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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gainesboro, Tennessee, USA.
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    398

    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Well it's challenging, risky, and there are always learning curves. Many think why put myself thru that adjustment period, it's already hard enough.

    Most big keepers are from pre-varroa or near that time period. I can't say that I blame the commercial beekeepers on just wanting to make a livelihood but why not keep the majority with treatment and have 10% or so pushing towards a chemical free operation.

    Big beekeepers are the best suited towards truly finding a fix on a large scale. Experience, quantity of bees, equipment, varied environments. These are the breaking grounds that are needed to test stocks and truly see what works and what needs done.

    Mark how many big guys have truly tried?

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    portland, dorset, UK
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    134

    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Not too keen on point-for-point posts, but as this was directed at me I'll have a go at answering.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Proof would require controlled studies, and as far as I know none have been done that actually monitor feral health near and away from treated apriaries. However, there are studies of bees that survive in isolation, and the authors clearly indicate that it is the fact of isoloation that has enabled them to do so.
    In your environment, in the British Isles? I'm not too interested in what might be, if I go and live in a different environment, I need stuff that I can realistically make work, here and now.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    In this case, the consequence is entirely predictable, and found: around treating apriaries use of treatments against varroa will suppress the rise of what would otherwise be very natural developing resistance - that is found in isolated populations.
    Same question again, where in our environment has any evidence of 'natural developing resistance' been found, who verified that resistance?

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    There is no proof, because no proof is needed.
    If I'm going to go down the treatment free road again and watch previously powerful, healthy colonies, perish (in my environment) then you bet, there does need to be some proof. Theory about how things should work because that's how it's happening elsewhere in the world is worthless to me personally. I've had a go, as we've discussed privately in the past, and got my fingers burnt.

    I've no issue with the goal but I see no value in sacrificing countless colonies, and maybe many valuable traits to an ideal for the sake of feeling good about ourselves. I get no feel good pleasure from seeing a colony die when I know that it could have been saved.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Feral colonies will die out for all sorts of reasons - that's perfectly natural. In many cases they will be offspring of apiary bees.
    Surely you mean in all cases, unless we're back to the claim that wild honeybees exist anywhere in the British Isles.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    PS If you remain unconvinced I have an analogy up my sleeve...
    No, honestly, please don't worry about that.

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    27,571

    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    None that I know of. Neither do I know of any who have started TF and grown into being a commercial beekeeper amongst commercial beekeepers. I know this can be snobbish. But it is what it is.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gainesboro, Tennessee, USA.
    Posts
    398

    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Well I think we can agree atleast it would be nice if someone would go commercial chemical free. It would be the best way and would leave beekeepers with more money at the end of the season. The only losers would be the treatment producers.

    I know I am young and not experienced in commercial beekeeping. Quotes like yours is what continually drives me the route that I have chosen.
    Last edited by Kamon Reynolds; 12-14-2013 at 02:22 PM. Reason: spelling

  5. #65
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    Dec 2012
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    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
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    1,256

    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    I don't know Williams or anything about him, but Dee Lusby doesn't run 1,000. Maybe Williams does?

    Why do you suppose that there aren't more than two?
    What about Kirk Webster? Isn't there a guy in Texas with a pretty big operation that's tf? There was a thread back when I first started here on BeeSources, something like "Are there any commercial treatment free beekeepers?" First answer: no:

    A though that occurs to me is to wonder how many over 1000 hive operations there are that are not migratory. That might turn out to be a more reliable marker than whether or not they can not treat and get away with it.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    In my part of England we don't have that agreement. But I'm not intending to 'abuse' anyone. I'm just pointing out that my honey is tf honey, and therefore Real Honey Made By Real Bees, and explaining what I mean by that.

    It means its much, much, more natural than ordinary honey, and that in making it I haven't harmed any wild bees.

    Mike (UK)
    So much of these threads is theory, not reality. In this case, what somebody would, in theory, do to their competitors etc when selling honey. In reality, Mike did you sell any honey?
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 12-14-2013 at 03:32 PM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  7. #67

    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    Isn't there a guy in Texas with a pretty big operation that's tf?
    The BWeavers claim to be. Surely a multithousand hive operation.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  8. #68
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamon Reynolds View Post
    Well I think we can agree atleast it would be nice if someone would go commercial chemical free. It would be the best way and would leave beekeepers with more money at the end of the season. The only losers would be the treatment producers.
    Again, nice to see some idealism, but it should also be tempered with reality. With the above types of statements a group mentality takes over and people convince each other that large beekeepers would be better off even financially, if they would only see the light and do what the experts here in the treatment free forum are telling them.

    Business reality if there was more money for commercial beekeepers in being treatment free, they would be treatment free.

    Beeweavers are an example. As they sell bees not honey, they can claim their bees are TF and thereby command a premium price in the hobby market. Largely though, their bees have not worked for commercial guys honey producers & pollinators.

    It would be nice if some of these people who dispense advice to commercial beekeepers and make it all sound so simple, could try it.

    Oh that's right, read last year about someone who did. Went through what must have been a soul destroying process of building his hives, and over a three year period battling increasing adversity till he lost all his bees, all his money, his house, and his possessions.

    But, he didn't treat and I'll give him credit for incredible sticking power for that. But he's a broken man.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #69
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    Dec 2012
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    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
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    1,256

    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    The BWeavers claim to be. Surely a multithousand hive operation.
    Well, yes, but don't they sell mostly bees? I was thinking of someone else. I'll do a search.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    My position is to avoid putting anything into my colonies that I would be scared of eating myself.
    There are stories, perhaps urban legends, that when DDT was first introduced as this wonder-working miracle pesticide, researchers and college professors were drinking DDT in public to profess its safety.

    I wonder where they are now? I would love to verify the story/myth.

    Still, I'm not serving shredded apistan or apivar strips as a garnish in my salad.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
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    4,062

    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    One of the early proponents of DDT did indeed take a drink of DDT during his presentation. I doubt he had any worms and he lived to a ripe old age. When used as directed which it largely wasn't I think it was not a bad product. But people poured barrels of it in swamps to kill mosquitoes! Recently the poor folks in Africa started losing all their children again because it was totally banned. They were painting it on the roofs of their huts and it killed the night feeding mosquitoes vectoring the malaria. I guess they don't love their children like we love ours, so that is OK I suppose. Every coin has two sides.

  12. #72
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    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,459

    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    There are stories, perhaps urban legends, that when DDT was first introduced as this wonder-working miracle pesticide, researchers and college professors were drinking DDT in public to profess its safety.

    I wonder where they are now?
    Years ago, my local extension agent...he's now the head of the VT extension...and I were having a debate on the use of Roundup. To make his point about the safety of Roundup, he boasted that he would rather eat a spoonful of Roundup than a spoonful of salt. Oh my.

  13. #73
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamon Reynolds View Post
    Well I think we can agree atleast it would be nice if someone would go commercial chemical free. It would be the best way and would leave beekeepers with more money at the end of the season. The only losers would be the treatment producers.

    I know I am young and not experienced in commercial beekeeping. Quotes like yours is what continually drives me the route that I have chosen.
    It would be nice if someone could, but I haven't seen it yet. I have been through it, sort of. One year w/out treatments sent my numbers from 732 down to 100 in 9 months.

    That might not be a true trial. I tried overwintering some hives in the North one year too, which didn't go well. Fourty turned into four.

    If anyone is going to be a treatment free commercial beekeeper they should start out that way and build up into it.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  14. #74
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    What about Kirk Webster? Isn't there a guy in Texas with a pretty big operation that's tf?
    What about Kirk Webster? And if you can't recall a TF commercial guy in Texas, that says something.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  15. #75
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    What are Kirks losses? And is his production known?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  16. #76
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
    Posts
    4,317

    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    If many commercial operations re-queen every year, I don't see why they couldn't make the transition quickly and easily if TF/resistant queens are available.

  17. #77
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    2,728

    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Have we not been down this road before? Some one posted:


    Reality as I see it is that commercial beekeepers could go cold turkey the same as I did. They don't because they have not figured out the steps that make it work.

    Don't kid yourself, I could instruct any commercial beekeeper in one sentence how to
    successfully keep TF bees commercially:

    "Strike ALL drone brood every 12-14 days"

    It is WAY more expensive doing it that way, so they do not. Simple explanation.

    Roland Diehnelt 5th gen Commercial beekeeper
    Linden Apiary, est. 1852

    500 hives, using NO miticides, shaken method for AFB

  18. #78
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    If many commercial operations re-queen every year, I don't see why they couldn't make the transition quickly and easily if TF/resistant queens are available.
    They aren't. Not ones that will reliably stand up to the rigours imposed on most commercial bees, and resist mites, without treatment.

    Commercial beekeepers are tight with their money, have to be. If all they had to do was stick a particular queen in then forget about treating, they would.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  19. #79
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    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Roland, is that really you? There's something different about your recent Posts which make me think a younger version of you is Posting.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  20. #80
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    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
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    1,256

    Default Re: Why Treatment Free.

    Okay, just a short list of commercial treatment free guys. I don't know if they all have a thousand hives, but they do make a living form bees.

    Chris Baldwin is actually a treatment free migratory beekeeper from South Dakota who takes bees to the almonds. 1800 hives.
    Kirk Webster in Vermont makes a living from TF bees.
    Dee Lusby has 700 hives, which seems like a commercial number.

    If you extend the territory, to other countries you get folks like John Kefuss, Eric Osterlund, and others.

    If you consider those who sell bees to be eligible for commercial status, there's BeeWeaver, Purvis, and others.

    There are many sideliner-sized operators who claim success.

    Apparently it can be done.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

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