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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Warsaw Ohio
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Not as of yet but this year i plan on doing it as soon as it warm again. I plan on doing the powdered sugar method i cant see killing a bunch of bees with the other methods i have seen.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    713

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Would you mind describing what you are calling black walnut "shavings'? Is it ground or shaved wood, or husks from nuts? My BW aren't big enough to bear, yet, so no husks. But I would be willing to do a little pruning...!

    And I'm really curious about your mite levels. My bees are all mysterious mutts from swarms (and still alive despite the awful winter and having a very inexperienced beekeeper messin' with them.) I can't say if they are survivor local bees, or just swarmees from another apiary. Naturally I'm hoping they're survivors. So that's why I'm curious about your mite levels, to try to tease out whether it's your bees or the BW smoke.

    Thanks

    Enj.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Warsaw Ohio
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    The black walnut shavings are the wood from a planer. Some small branches i would say should have them same effect in the smoker or stop by a place that builds furniture and ask about getting a bag they will probably be more then glad to get rid of them. Mine are local survivors as far as i know. As soon as springs here and they build up a little bit i will let everyone know about the mite levels.

    Mike is the person who told me about this and hes been doing it to his hives for years and says it helps his a lot and i can not argue with it at all. He also has some impressive bees that i am sure help with the problem more then anything but every little bit counts in my eyes.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Stan, I don't think Mark was trying to snipe at you. He's been nothing but kind and helpful to me, even though he may think my ideas are foolish and naive.

    I think he was just trying to make the point that if you put anything into the hive to kill mites, that's a treatment by definition. I'm a treatment free beekeeper myself, though only a beginner, but I guess I take a somewhat flexible view of the subject. For example, last year I bought some predatory mites (they were reputed to prey on varroa) and put them in my hives. Now at the time, I told myself that I was not treating, I was just attempting to restore the ecology of the hive, since the predatory mites are native to North America. But I was kidding myself. Even though that was an attempt at a biological control and one that would not injure the bees, it was still a treatment.

    All that said, most of us smoke our hives, even if we don't treat. Still, if there's something in the walnut smoke that kills mites, you would sooner or later run into the same problem that those who treat with harsher chemicals run into. If you don't kill every mite, eventually the survivors will become resistant to whatever has been killing them.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Warsaw Ohio
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    I felt his blowing smoke comment was a bit more then trying to make a point and was ending it there before it turned into more.

    Next time i am up at mikes will be in June. I will ask him how long he has been doing this but i do know it has been at least a few years. I know that is not long enough for them to really build up a resistance but so far it works great for him. At this point i am just glad to not have the problems and made it threw this winter and hopefully 'fingers crossed' the last of the single digits here. This year i will hopefully be putting it to the test more as i should be up to 30 hives.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,647

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by Stansuch99 View Post
    I feel i must be doing something right if in my second year i have not lost any hives during the worst winter i have seen.
    Stan -

    Glad your bees are still alive, but there is still plenty of time left to this winter where you're not out of the woods yet. I believe we've had a harsher winter than you, I still have live bees, but I won't say they've survived this winter for another month at least.
    Regards, Barry

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,274

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    Stan, I don't think Mark was trying to snipe at you. He's been nothing but kind and helpful to me, even though he may think my ideas are foolish and naive.
    Why do people assume that they know what I think or believe just because I ask leading or challenging questions?

    It is nothing to me if someone uses walnut wood shavings in their smoker to have some beneficial effect on mite levels in their hives, it just seems foolish for someone that does what looks like a treatment to claim treatment free status. That's all.

    It's not that I think using walnut shavings is foolish. It's believing that doing so is not treating. It may work. I don't know. Further study and information is needed.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  8. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
    Posts
    419

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Stansuch 99, cheers on having them turn the corner into Spring, I think it is a big celebration. Sometimes you have to shake the negative off, if you know what I mean Many told me that all of my bees would be dead in their third year , due to the fact that I don't do mite counts, or treatments (according to my definition). I am intrigued by this idea of black walnut shavings smoke and look forward to hearing more about it. If it works for you and that is what you assess their survival to, keep on keeping on

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,034

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    It means nothing to me w/o hives not being smoked with black walnut shavings, I think the point on smoking them is moot.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Why do people assume that they know what I think or believe just because I ask leading or challenging questions?
    Hey now... I said you may think my ideas are "foolish and naive" and I made that surmise only because it's a fairly universal opinion among beekeepers who know what they're doing. I don't mind.

    Yes, I would say that Stan is treating too. No opinion on whether it works or not, but the trouble with stuff that kills mites is that it may also affect other bugs. Like bees. As JRG said, I'd need to see a large scale trial of "smoked with walnut" vs. unsmoked to even begin to form an opinion.

    I seem to recall that some SW beekeepers swear by creosote bush trimmings for their smokers.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Bell County, KY, USA
    Posts
    425

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Hey Stan,
    Not trying to be a Debbie-downer but I started out as Treatment-Free as well and my experience was that they tend do well for 2 years but crash the 3rd.
    I've seen others on here report the same; good for two, crash the third due to mites.

    I hope you fair better than I did.
    It was a tough lesson to learn, I just didn't want to listen.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    945

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Treatment free?!? I'm kinda with Mark on this one. Down on the treatment-free forum there is a post that defines treatments thus:

    Treatment: A substance introduced by the beekeeper into the hive with the intent of killing, repelling, or inhibiting a pest or disease afflicting the bees.
    Smoking with black walnut shells sure sounds like a treatment according to that definition.

    Hey, I LIKE natural treatments. I sugar dust all the time. But I don't call myself a treatment-free beekeeper.

    JMO

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    649

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Be real easy to test, throw a sticky board under your hives. Smoke half with walnut shavings the other half with something else and compare what happens. Reverse it the next week if you want to double check.

    Don

  14. #34
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,034

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    I don't have any issues with being treatment free, but rather the notion of something working that's really unproven or without comparison. Some areas just have less mite pressure as well. I always see people mentioning that 3rd year crash, well come over in these parts and watch hives fail in one season, even fresh nucs/colonies pulled that year. Even with multiple brood breaks I see colonies succumb to mites come October.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    I have always assumed anytime you get something (anything) on the bees, even smelly smoke, they will groom more and that will get rid of more mites. Probably not enough more to matter... but more. I would bet that banging on the side of the hives would get rid of more as agitated bees seem to groom more as well... but it may be that walnut (which is very poisonous to many insects and even mammals) could have an effect. But then the problem with poisons is that when you try to poison a bug on a bug how are you affecting the bigger bug?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,274

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    Hey now... I said you may think my ideas are "foolish and naive" and I made that surmise only because it's a fairly universal opinion among beekeepers who know what they're doing. I don't mind.
    I wasn't referring to you.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  17. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,463

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by Stansuch99 View Post
    .... and i can say i have no fear of contaminating anything i eat.
    Have you had the hive contents tested after smoking to determine if there might be any residues from the Walnut Smoke found on the open cells of honey or nectar?

    I am not trying to discourage you from using this method if it's working for you. But you may want to consider running a test sometime in the future for your own peace of mind. You sound like a health conscious person, and I assume this would be something you want to be certain about.
    To everything there is a season....

  18. #38
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    paulding Georgia USA
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Sounds like you may have found something that works for you, I wish you continued good luck. When you smoke do you just use a little, like you would normally on a inspection? Or maybe a little more than usual? Thanks.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
    Posts
    419

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    I don't have any issues with being treatment free, but rather the notion of something working that's really unproven or without comparison. Some areas just have less mite pressure as well. I always see people mentioning that 3rd year crash, well come over in these parts and watch hives fail in one season, even fresh nucs/colonies pulled that year. Even with multiple brood breaks I see colonies succumb to mites come October.
    And why do you think that is (hives in your area succumbing to mites their first year)? More mite pressure, or?

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Warsaw Ohio
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Gillmore View Post
    Have you had the hive contents tested after smoking to determine if there might be any residues from the Walnut Smoke found on the open cells of honey or nectar?
    Not yet but i do plan on doing it if nothing else to find out what is going into my hives from around the area. I would like to do it this year or the next i am thinking next year would be the best. Is there any places that specialize in testing wax, honey and bees from hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by larrybeach View Post
    Sounds like you may have found something that works for you, I wish you continued good luck. When you smoke do you just use a little, like you would normally on a inspection? Or maybe a little more than usual? Thanks.
    I do the normal at first and give them a puff of smoke and as needed during working with them. When i close them up i put the smoker in the inspection hole and keep going until the smokes coming out of the entrance and put the lid back on. I normally inspect once a week and do it every time.

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