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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Competition for breeding bees suitable for commrcial operation

    Rader:

    If you're asking what it is I like about BeeWeaver...

    They're probably the most easily available chemical free/resistant queens that I can find.

    The service is very good.

    Daniel Weaver not only coordinated the HoneyBee Genome Consortium, the genome sequence itself came from BeeWeaver queens.

    I have also benefitted as a result of his work on the Honeybee Genome Consortium.

    Furthermore, since they're open mated queens, I also have access to a number of papers describing the genetics of the feral population in Texas.

    In short, I have more information available to me about BeeWeaver's genetics than I do for any other queen producer on the planet.

    Organic or not.

    Finally, I like the way they're working out so far.

    That's what I like about them.

  2. #22
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    May 2009
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    Bloomington In
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    Default Re: Competition for breeding bees suitable for commrcial operation

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey-4-All View Post
    Name me one full time ( no outside income) "100% organic" queen breeder who sells them for under $50!!!

    Thats what he's looking for!
    I would like to know how one would become 100% organic queen breeder? Its like 100% organic honey how is that possible.

  3. #23
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    Apr 2011
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    Pottstown, Pennyslvania, USA
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    Default Re: Competition for breeding bees suitable for commrcial operation

    Move to a rain forest in South America.
    Dan Boylan, At it since 2007 in Pa Zone 6B, 13 hives, 7 nucs, treat when needed.

  4. #24
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    Dec 2008
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    Solano, California, USA
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    Default Re: Competition for breeding bees suitable for commrcial operation

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    I'm not sure why you're casting stones?

    I like a lot of things about BeeWeaver.

    Is there such a thing as an organically certified Honeybee queen?

    You could always go on their website to see what it says.

    Not casting stones. Just shedding light on what I would consider a misconception and a pipe dream commercially.

    You asked for "organic" queen producers as Radar noted? Not true? I said it ain't happening under $50..... which is the fact currently as far as I know.

    In fact no one I know one I know sells them at any price here in the US?

    Not sure even anyone in Hawaii could still qualify at this point.

    If I'm wrong I would love to see a web link. Could it be done..... Yes.

    Under $50.00 and its not very probable you will see them for sale.

    If you wish to place an order for a thousand at $75 I would consider raising some "July" ones in our yards in the shadow of Denali in AK.... Best 100% organic fields in the US and we could run the bees to match your request. Its my estimate that even at that pricing we would loose money 8 out of 10 years on such a crazy attempt.

    Queen raising on massive scale is not all its cut out to be for those who produce one or two at home. An Organic version would not be nearly as easy as you think.

    What you infer from your reading of Weavers website...... Things like "we haven't treated for mites since xxxx " is a heck of a long way from "organic" by the definitions used here in CA.

    So....... Are you calling or do I need to ask her the next time I chat with them???? There is no way they will be signing the paper certifying what you infer!!!

    Up for lunch?

  5. #25
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    Dec 2008
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    Default Re: Competition for breeding bees suitable for commrcial operation

    Quote Originally Posted by Birdman View Post
    I would like to know how one would become 100% organic queen breeder? Its like 100% organic honey how is that possible.
    Birdman: Some summer you can visit and see the yards in AK and tell me if they would qualify as "organic." We could do it, Bees, Bears, Moose, and millions of acres of nothing but great scenery, rocks, rivers, and a lot of mush.... The certification would cost me a ton and not earn a penny more on the honey anyways! Same with the queens.... All it would do is ad a ton of expense for very little gain...

  6. #26

    Default Re: Competition for breeding bees suitable for commrcial operation

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    Juhani, that's a pretty difficult standard. Not only would we have problems in defining a successful bee, there's no agreement on what constitutes a commercial beekeeper. I'm beginning to think that genetics, while part of the solution, may not be the most important factor.
    What about thinking it like a PR trick and advertisement for beekeeping. The winner of a racing competition is not the best driver, is he. The winner of a singing competition is not the best singer either, but the media likes to tell stories about them.

    And the rules are something we make up. We are not claiming that the winner of this competition would work as a perfect bee all over the world. It would just be the winner.

  7. #27
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    Feb 2010
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    New York City, NY
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    Default Re: Competition for breeding bees suitable for commrcial operation

    "So....... Are you calling or do I need to ask her the next time I chat with them???? There is no way they will be signing the paper certifying what you infer!!! Up for lunch?"

    Honey4all, perhaps we'll just call them 'chemical free' since you're insisting on a 'certified' organic status.

    I'm always up for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. What a silly question.

  8. #28
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Competition for breeding bees suitable for commrcial operation

    I guess it would be about best results, and that could only be determined by them actually being tested in a commercial outfit.

    So probably it would be a case of finding a friendly commercial beekeeper (if such a creature exists LOL), who would be prepared to take say, 10 queens and measure the results of them over a 2 or 3 year period.

    There would be a lot of work involved for the commercial beekeeper, he would have to initially introduce the queens to 10 equal hives along with the same for any competitor queens. He would then have to keep track of them all, more complex than it sounds in a migratory outfit, especially if splits are made, brood swapped, etc. And it would have to be a migratory outfit, or the queens would not be exposed to those hardships and it would not be a fair trial.

    The very hardest for a commercial beekeeper would be to not treat, and if the hive is dying, let it. Very difficult in a commercial operation with bees on pallets.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Competition for breeding bees suitable for commrcial operation

    Commercial outfits already use resistant queens, like BeeWeavers.

    They probably use queens from so many different sources however, that I wonder if they can even keep track of them, let alone find comparisons.

  10. #30

    Default Re: Competition for breeding bees suitable for commrcial operation

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    I guess it would be about best results, and that could only be determined by them actually being tested in a commercial outfit.

    And it would have to be a migratory outfit, or the queens would not be exposed to those hardships and it would not be a fair trial.

    The very hardest for a commercial beekeeper would be to not treat, and if the hive is dying, let it. Very difficult in a commercial operation with bees on pallets.
    The best beekeepers for the testing job are not the biggest ones, maybe someone with hundreds of hives and a system of record keeping. And weather it should be a migratory outfit, it is totally up to us to decide. Maybe the beekeeper in US could be one, but the others not. Migratory beekeeping as done in US is quite unknown to for instance beekeepers in Europe. Professional beekeepers move their bees according to flowers blooming, but we donīt have the almond deserts.

  11. #31
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    May 2009
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    Bloomington In
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    Default Re: Competition for breeding bees suitable for commrcial operation

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey-4-All View Post
    Birdman: Some summer you can visit and see the yards in AK and tell me if they would qualify as "organic." We could do it, Bees, Bears, Moose, and millions of acres of nothing but great scenery, rocks, rivers, and a lot of mush.... The certification would cost me a ton and not earn a penny more on the honey anyways! Same with the queens.... All it would do is ad a ton of expense for very little gain...
    I would love to come down a check it out. How big are your yards and what do the bee forage on rocks, rivers and mush don't produce much honey.

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Competition for breeding bees suitable for commrcial operation

    Quote Originally Posted by Birdman View Post
    I would love to come down a check it out. How big are your yards and what do the bee forage on rocks, rivers and mush don't produce much honey.
    AK is one of the richest areas around for honey I would kill for just the fireweed. only downside is its a short season

  13. #33
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    Jul 2012
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    Kirksville, Missouri USA
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    Default Re: Competition for breeding bees suitable for commrcial operation

    Ok, I am a beginner at this beekeeping, but I can see one thing about this TF commercial beekeeping idea. I don't know how well I can explain my thoughts here, but I don't think that TF can go commercial in the normal sense of commercial beekeeping. Not that it's incompetent, just maybe the two attitudes of beekeeping aren't really compatible.

    I can think of my daughters raising chickens, tending to their needs to have fresh water and food, allowing them to be pastured, watching over each one of them in a sense, and knowing when one has an issue to tend to. They have a lot of hands on in it to keep the chickens healthy and laying great tasting eggs. The chickens don't need any medications, etc. to keep them alive. If one came along that wasn't healthy and strong like the rest, don't drag it along with the rest of them, but put it on the butcher block. The time invested wouldn't pay off and we wouldn't want weak genetics in the mix either. They won't be able to compete with the local super market for egg sales, but they would have a smaller market with the people who would want that great tasting pastured chicken egg and willing to pay extra.
    If they one day decided to ramp up the egg sales to thousands of eggs a week, or whatever, their chicken raising model would have to change. They would have to invest in a big long building and cage them all up with automated feeding, watering, etc. They don't have the time to know each chicken a little bit, (they seem to know which chicken laid which egg) and how are you going to keep track of all those chickens out in the pasture? Of course, now they would be able to sell to Tyson or some industrial egg producer, but their chickens and eggs would taste like the rest too.
    I am sure this is a shabby illustration, but you can either raise chickens with care and produce a great tasting chicken and egg, or you can be commercial and feed the masses. I think both will be there, but they can only mix so far before they become the other. The industry will pound out a bunch of cheap chickens, and the chicken keeper will salvage the different breeds and keep a diverse selection of chickens out there and provide some people with great eggs.
    I don't think we even need the commercial food industry to feed the world, but they will be here because they make cheaper food.

    I hope everyone can apply that picture to bees. I am not trying to compare chickens to bees some how, so no straw men please. It's just that there are two models of producing and I don't think they can mix. I could also be totally wrong.

    By the way, I am attempting TF bees.

  14. #34
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    May 2013
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    North Liberty, IN
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    Default Re: Competition for breeding bees suitable for commrcial operation

    Just received my 2013 USDA Pesticide Diagnostic Report, collected 8/19/13. Zero Pesticides detected.

    Of the 451 samples tested nationally. The top 5 pesticides are put in by the beekeeper.

  15. #35
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    Dec 2012
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    Default Re: Competition for breeding bees suitable for commrcial operation

    Quote Originally Posted by DanielD View Post
    I am sure this is a shabby illustration, but you can either raise chickens with care and produce a great tasting chicken and egg, or you can be commercial and feed the masses. I think both will be there, but they can only mix so far before they become the other. The industry will pound out a bunch of cheap chickens, and the chicken keeper will salvage the different breeds and keep a diverse selection of chickens out there and provide some people with great eggs.

    By the way, I am attempting TF bees.
    There may be a middle ground, to continue the chicken analogy. Joel Salatin makes a good living from farming sustainably. (He's the chicken tractor guy in VA.) His chickens are a little more expensive than Tyson's but if I were in VA, I'd buy them. He's worked out the technology to produce thousands of chickens over the course of a year on pasture and organic feed, without medication or debeaking.

    Some beekeepers have done the same, but they evidently lack Salatin's promotional genius. But the trend is positive, I believe.

    http://www.polyfacefarms.com/
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Competition for breeding bees suitable for commrcial operation

    I see one major fundamental flaw with this idea (and several minor ones which I shall not address at this time). In my experience, treatment-free beekeeping relies on bees bred and tested in the conditions in which they operate. That means you'd need a consistent commercial testbed and it has been explained repeatedly how commercial beekeepers are not willing to so endanger their profit margin.

    Furthermore, I have yet to see it possible for treatment-free bees to survive such stress and exposure to pathogens as they are when migrated.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Competition for breeding bees suitable for commrcial operation

    If chickens get a pest the size of a silver dollar that starts killing them all off, you may rethink that idea.

    Still waiting on my reports...... Mine were sampled in aug......

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Competition for breeding bees suitable for commrcial operation

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I
    Furthermore, I have yet to see it possible for treatment-free bees to survive such stress and exposure to pathogens as they are when migrated.
    What about Chris Baldwin?
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Competition for breeding bees suitable for commrcial operation

    Nobody knows much about Chris Baldwin.

    In the context of the actual thread topic, if this contest took place, the bees would need to be tested in a migratory situation. Hauling bees possibly for days, with the truck covered in nets so bees are transferring from one hive to another, along with all the other stresses of being exposed to possibly thousands of other hives and their pathogen variants, having to live for long periods with no natural food, all the stuff that is par for the course for a commercial beehive. Would require that a queen has to be tested in this environment so it can show it's mettle.

    To me it is no surprise at all that of the hives that are treatment free, virtually all of them are stationary, or moved occasionally and with care.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  20. #40

    Default Re: Competition for breeding bees suitable for commrcial operation

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I see one major fundamental flaw with this idea (and several minor ones which I shall not address at this time). In my experience, treatment-free beekeeping relies on bees bred and tested in the conditions in which they operate. That means you'd need a consistent commercial testbed and it has been explained repeatedly how commercial beekeepers are not willing to so endanger their profit margin.

    Furthermore, I have yet to see it possible for treatment-free bees to survive such stress and exposure to pathogens as they are when migrated.
    This would be a test between the tf bees, so all participants would be faced the same stress factors.

    Commercial testbed? For the breeder to test some intermediate results? Just breeding strong tf bees ends up sometimes with astonishing results: I have got good reports of my bees from Cyprus and Mexico, from climate and environment of stress factors, which are totally different from mine. These beekeepers are both treating.


    OT: Rusty Hill Farm mentioned these VSH-Pol line bees. I read a study where they already had been tested in migratory beekeeping. They managed well.
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

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