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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by fieldsofnaturalhoney View Post
    And why do you think that is (hives in your area succumbing to mites their first year)? More mite pressure, or?
    Yes, I'd be interested in your opinion as well. There does seem to be greater difficulty with TF beekeeping in California, which seems to lead some California beekeepers to doubt that it's possible anywhere.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Warsaw Ohio
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by fieldsofnaturalhoney View Post
    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
    Thanks for the positive words i appreciate it I have heard a lot of people saying they will all be dead in the first year without treatment and so far they are doing great a month away from spring. I cant wait for this spring i have big plans so hopefully its a good one.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Warsaw Ohio
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    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?

    So far no ill effects from it for either me or Mike. If it is hurting the bees at all i can not see it being even close to the damage the chemicals used commercially to kill them.

    Thank you for the website i have learned a lot from it and plan to try making some queens the way you describe on your site this year. Hopefully you have queens for sale next year i would like to get a few to improve mines diversity. I am going to get your book sometime this year if it has half of what your website does i think it will be more then worth the buy.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,978

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Fields,

    I feel it's more of a combination of things. We don't get huge flows of pollen or nectar. Spring provides good build up but not a lot of excess. Summer can yield a box of honey if there's a good nectar crop planted nearby, such as sunflowers. End of July brings our fall dearth which can last til next spring depending on when or if it rains before January. Of course I'm just speaking of my location, some areas are better off of course. I also think the influx of bees for almonds doesn't help our cause of local adaptation to disease haplotypes/mites, virtual cess pool of pathogens is created here and it just seems it takes a lot less of a mite load to crash a hive.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,076

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    there's another guy who treats with organic acids and grease patties but he said the same thing. he is treatment free cos far as he is concerned what he puts in the hive is not a treatment, it's a happy meal for the bees.

    Yes, he actually said that, LOL.

    I remember the debate when the forum rules were being set up. There were some disappointed people who considered themselves treatment free beekeepers. but it turned out that to them you were treatment free if you used anything to treat, except the chemicals they used. There was always an argument why those particular treatments should not be called treatments.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,576

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    there's another guy who treats with organic acids and grease patties but he said the same thing. he is treatment free cos far as he is concerned what he puts in the hive is not a treatment, it's a happy meal for the bees.

    Yes, he actually said that, LOL.

    I remember the debate when the forum rules were being set up. There were some disappointed people who considered themselves treatment free beekeepers. but it turned out that to them you were treatment free if you used anything to treat, except the chemicals they used. There was always an argument why those particular treatments should not be called treatments.
    .....but in the end, it's really all just semantics isn't it. Do you want to be included in the treatment free club as defined by the Beesource forum. Nothing more nothing less. There are no benefits I am aware of to being in the club save bragging rights and, unlike what many choose to believe, it need have NOTHING to do with honey purity.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,089

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by Stansuch99 View Post
    When i close them up i put the smoker in the inspection hole ...
    Please describe the inspection hole. I don't understand what that is.

    In reply to Oldtimer and Jim Lyons: Why do we call ourselves by some descriptor or say anything about how we do something other than to be included in some sort of group, to align ourselves w/ those we admire or emulate?
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  8. #48
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    >I am going to get your book sometime this year if it has half of what your website does i think it will be more then worth the buy.

    It is pretty much the same material. Nothing new in the book.

    >it's really all just semantics isn't it.

    Actually I think it's English and logic. How can you say, "I'm treatment free because I only treat with _____"? Did you not just contridict yourself? But yes, the Beesource definition was only intended to define the topic and scope of the forum, not to make a definition the rest of the world has to abide by.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Logic and intent.

    If I requeen, I'm treatment free.
    If I pour granular sugar on top of the brood on newspaper with the intent to feed, I'm treatment free.
    If that granular sugar is from the bottom of a bag, somewhat fine and some falls through the hive as the bees eat the paper, I'm still still treatment free.
    If I'm 3 weeks out on a replacement for a failing queen, powder sugar dust until I can install new genetics, I'm not.
    If instead I pinch the failing queen, freeze drone brood, combine with a strong hive and then split with the new queen 3 weeks later, I'm treatment free.

    Hmmm, certainly is easier with a bunch of hives.

  10. #50
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,978

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    I think mainly people forget how locational beekeeping can be and think what works for them will work for everyone else, 10 hives or 10,000. Sadly, it's not the case at all and many a disagreement and bad feelings ensue.

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    I don't understand the idea that the only reason to be treatment free is so you can belong to the TF club on Beesource. What serious person would care about that? My decision to be treatment free hinged on two ideas.

    The first idea is that anything you put into a colony to kill mites is going to have some negative effects on the bees and the hive micro-ecology. You can argue about how much effect it has, but I don't believe any intelligent person would deny this. Killing little bugs on big bugs with bug poison is going to have some negative effects on the big bugs. 'Cause they're bugs.

    The second idea is that some beekeepers have succeeded in keeping bees without using poisons. If they can do it, why can't I?

    It may turn out that I can't, in which case I'll have to change my approach or quit keeping bees. Not the end of the world, in either case. 'Cause, you know, they're just bugs.

    My personal belief is that since losses have been pretty high even among treated hives, there's something not quite right about the way most bees are being kept. I want to see if I can do better. Because even though they're just bugs, I've always believed that if you're going to do something, you should do the best job you can.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,576

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Ray I can't say I disagree with much of what you are saying. Just trying to say I think it's a bit silly to argue about the nuances of what does or what dosent constitute being treatment free as is defined here on Beesource. Another forum probably has another definition. I only care about the results that my decisions make in my hives not what others opinion of what I do may be. I won't further reiterate my previous points but in regards to winter losses of treated vs. tf hives I have no doubt there will be high losses this winter in both groups. Anyone care, though, to comment on what percentage of replacement bees will come from tf hives this spring? That might give a bit different picture.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    I don't know why anyone would want to be in the TF club here. All that does is make you a target.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,076

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    At this point you do not know if it kills mites or if your bees would be doing fine anyway. Best way to know would be a sticky board test. Sticky board in the hives for 24 hours. Remove and put new sticky boards & treat the bees with your smoke however you do that, then leave the sticky boards 24 hours, remove, count, and compare. To really do it right you also need to smoke some with a sticky board with non walnut smoke, cos any smoke will dislodge a few mites onto a sticky board you need to see if the walnut smoke is significantly more effective.

    Next assumption is that you can eat the honey no worries. With walnut shavings containing toxins and the hives being treated heavily this way weekly, which is a lot more often than most other treatments are done, it's a certainty some of that stuff will get into the honey. Might not kill you outright, could be carcinogenic, who knows? You won't know till you've done some research and tests.

    Would I eat your honey? A spoonful or two probably. By the jar? Probably not till more is known.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    You put it nicely Michael..."But yes, the Beesource definition was only intended to define the topic and scope of the forum, not to make a definition the rest of the world has to abide by."

    Husks or hulls, which is being used? I think the carcinogens are in the husks, could be wrong of course.
    Julysun elevation 23 feet. 4 Hives, 2 years.

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Anyone care, though, to comment on what percentage of replacement bees will come from tf hives this spring? That might give a bit different picture.
    That's an interesting question. The only bigtime supplier of TF bees I know about is Beeweaver, and their packages are almost completely sold out. But I bet they're a tiny fraction of the market. It's very hard to find completely untreated bees in commercial quantities, I think. A few suppliers I'm aware of claim TF bees, but treat with essential oils, etc.

    I'm getting more Beeweaver queens this year. My strongest hive right now is headed by a BeeWeaver queen. I split it yesterday; it had ten frames of brood already.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    My replacements come from my bees, except for the few I will catch this season. Already caught one swarm. But I don't claim true TF either - just nothing commercial or purchased chemicals. You could get really stupid and even call feeding a treatment, along with every other manipulation.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  18. #58
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    I'm not sure what all the toxins in walnut are, but when a stable I know of got sawdust delivered for bedding and all their horses went lame, they quickly tracked it down to black walnut sawdust.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,076

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Nothing commercial or purchased is interesting Paul, what do you use?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: 2 Year and treatment free

    Well, I suppose some ARE chemical in the sense that food is chemical - mostly a little vinegar in the Winter food and the local creosote bush or Juniper as smoker fuel. I used to put a little spearmint in the syrup, but not so much now since it can incite robbing when they learn the smell. I doubt any of it really has much affect. Mostly "folk" type treatments you could say. I don't buy anything produced for treatments not because I am avoiding treatments for enviro reasons, but because I want the ability to maintain bee colonies with no outside influences other than stuff I can produce on my own, if need be. All of my "treatments" can be produced in the home or picked up off the ground, or they are manipulations of some type. Not sure how much benefit a commercial guy would get from what I do.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

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