Is no treatment possible? - Page 2
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  1. #21

    Default Re: Is no treatment possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenG View Post
    I do use the cd jewel case trap for the shb.
    What do you use in those cd jewel case traps?
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    5,373

    Default Re: Is no treatment possible?

    I feel the same way as StevenG. I've never done any mite counts, not tested for any diseases, tracheal mites, etc. I realize it may help some people (or beekeepers) to know where what pest/pathogens are located, but like StevenG said, "... if they survive, they survive, if they don't, I didn't want them anyway."

    I've seen a few possible cases of PMS, simple requeening from a standby queen in a nuc takes care of them.

    If a colony gets too defensive, a quick requeening from a standby queen in a nuc, almost always takes care of this issue too.

    Raising my own queens and keeping them available in nucs has been one of the best management techniques I ever added to my beekeeping arsenal.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 02-04-2010 at 02:33 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Is no treatment possible?

    Raising my own queens is something that is in my plans for this year also, something I've never done before. Is there a site that I can go to get a strategy on how to raise a few queens to have on standby for myself. I could have used a couple queens last year, but didn't have them on hand.

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
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    Default Re: Is no treatment possible?

    re: mite count. Yes, I assume my bees have mites. Since installing the two packages in 2006 and growing to 14 colonies last fall, I have lost one hive. Many of the dead bees had deformed wings. Whenever I see dead bees outside the hive, I take a look at them. I occasionally see a bee with deformed wings, but not often. When I do inspections over the winter (just looking at the dead bees at the entrances) I look for deformed wings, and haven't seen any yet, knock on wood!

    foundation: I have been using standard foundation. Not small cell. However, I am transitioning this year to foundationless.

    shb trap: Based on recommendations from others, I installed the cd cases late last summer. The oil traps just seemed too messy to me, and the bees propolised some of them up pretty bad. The way the cd case works is that you break out the four tabs on each case, to give the beetles an entrance. Then mix your poison... 1 part shortening (I use Crisco) 1 part powdered sugar, and 1/2 part boric acid. I have heard of some just using the boric acid. I might try that this year, just to see how it works. I've not had a lot of beetles in my hives. Most was about a dozen, but I'm really, and I mean really paranoid about them. I want to stay on top of that threat.
    Hope this helps.
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brandenburg, KY
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    318

    Default Re: Is no treatment possible?

    I posted this in another thread

    I haven't had any losses for the past six years-no medications or any other type of parasite control other than screened bottom boards on two hives. Two hives have plastic screened bottom boards (the green ones), 2 with plastic bottoms (white solid ones), 1 regular wooden. Have allowed natural queen succession the whole time and not fed any sugar or syrup. Started out with 1-Russian hybrid, 1-Mininnosota hygenic, 1 Buckfast and 2 Italians (I like variety . The Russian was queened to a swarm that settled in the wall of our garage, that was an easy freebie .

    Just started switching to small comb last year. I'm also going to put screened bottom boards on a couple more hives this year. Adding three packages of Russian-hybrids this year for my daughter and split three colonies. The new hives will have screened bottom boards. I want some honey, so I'm not going to split the other two unless they start to look crowded.

    I'm also lazy and usually stick at least three supers on each hive at the beginning of spring and add one to two more on top if they look busy. I usually get two to three supers filled and some comb drawn in the other two. I don't do hive body reversals or any type of arranging of supers during honey flow. I usually get a good percentage of the Ross rounds filled (maybe a couple of light ones on the end) and the extracting supers are always filled.

    I let them go into fall with two hive bodies and if one appears light, I'll leave a super of honey. It works for me, but I don't have a lot of time to go into the hives. I'm in them, maybe a max of six times a year.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Is no treatment possible?

    kbfarms, very informative look into your bees and management, good to see you are not having any varroa problems for six years now. Seems like screened bottom boards are pretty much commonplace with beeks now. I have them on my two top bar hives, but there is a tray under the screens to collect droppings and for doing mite counts. I'm starting 6-8 new Lang hives this spring, will use screened bottoms on them, but will probably leave it open to the ground under the screens most of the time, except for when I do a mite count I will insert the tray back under the screen. I think ventilation is more important than what we used to think years back. Even our own homes are too air tight nowadays.

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Bay City, MI, USA
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    87

    Default Re: Is no treatment possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenG View Post

    Now, and this is going to be sacrilege to some, but not only have I not given any chemical treatments, I haven't dusted, used essential oils, nothing. nada. zilch. And here's where the sacrilege comes in... I haven't even taken the time to do mite counts. My rationale is, if they survive, they survive, if they don't, I didn't want them anyway.
    Steven
    I am new to the game, but I've been reading a LOT!!! I just wanted to add that Kirk Webster lives by this philosophy, and seems to be one of the gurus.

    This is also my goal. I'd like to completely avoid chemicals, etc.

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
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    2,760

    Default Re: Is no treatment possible?

    Any strain of hygienic bees in use today by hobby beekeepers (under southern conditions) should last at least 3 years with no treatments of any kind. The colony may not be as productive as a treated colony but they will usually make their winter stores and a medium super surplus.

  10. #29
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Rogersville,TN,USA
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    17

    Default Re: Is no treatment possible?

    Kirk Webster and the others who live by the "if they live, they live" is a very strong strategy. Having read the works of Darwin, and knowing how survival of the fittest works, I have been chemical free for three years. Screened bottom boards, indeed, replaced all the old comb last year with plastic unwaxed foundation.

    Luck has a lot to do with it. Almost all of my colonies (for the most part) have been captured from swarms. I just split the strong ones, pinched the queen in the week one, move a frame of eggs/brood from the strong one to the one where the queen was bumped off, and let them raise a new queen. And being near a person that breeds their own queens insures that I have plenty of drones. Taking advantage of drones that are not mine insures that I have plenty of resistance.

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Slovenia
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    326

    Default Re: Is no treatment possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    I am curious if there are any beeks out there who have done absolutely no treatments (including sugar dusting) of any kind for varroa mites for at least 3 years. If so, how is the condition of the hives, if they are still alive? Are they on small cell wax foundation or plastic, or natural cell? Are there any special management practices you are using to keep them alive? I'm just doing some research on my own into varroa mites. Thanks in advance for your answers.
    Yep, natural comb and I let them swarm. Nothing else.... 3rd season now treatment free and those hives are all I wanted. Treatment free, swarm or two or three, couple of kilos of honey and gentle, very gentle.

    I have hives in the same apiary that I treat. A little more honey crop but not so gentle as treatment free hives but still gentle. I let these swarm as well.

    The only practice I can think of now is that I just leave them bee, put no foundation inside, all natural comb and I like catching swarms, I don't fight it...
    Sig

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
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    Default Re: Is no treatment possible?

    I have been chewing on this for a while. If I occasionally dust my bees w/ sugar(I say dust, but what i mean is scoop n dump. No Screens or dusters) then am I treatment free? I also do para moth in the supers, but lets not get.
    I am running open mated VSH, buckfast mutts, and just plain feral mutts. I have not dusted in 2010 and I have not lost any. Does that mean that my bees are varroa tolerant, or is it not the time of year to lose them to mites? IMHO, there is more of a chance of losing to pesticides than mites where I live, but I could be wrong.

    This week is hygenic test. In a few weeks comes the VSH test. I will keep the ones that are VSH separtate and dust the others so that they do not flop.

    I have been having issues w/ my VSH. The egg pattern is solid. But the capped brood is spotty. Is that the VSH in them, or a dud queen?


    Correct me if I am wrong.


    Kingfisher

  13. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Spencer, MA, USA
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    2,862

    Default Re: Is no treatment possible?

    [QUOTE=Kingfisher Apiaries;547324]

    This week is hygenic test. In a few weeks comes the VSH test. I will keep the ones that are VSH separtate and dust the others so that they do not flop.

    I have been having issues w/ my VSH. The egg pattern is solid. But the capped brood is spotty. Is that the VSH in them, or a dud queen? QUOTE]


    Can't say for sure, but I have 2 VSH queens mated to Russian drones who are laying almost perfect brood patterns and so far the workers are not pulling or uncapping any brood. However, these were packages from California with Australian bees, so there should have been no varroa in the packages. Therefore, my mite load in these hives might be very low or non-existent. Haven't tested for mites yet. Will in early August.

  14. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Chesterfield, VA
    Posts
    94

    Thumbs Up Re: Is no treatment possible?

    I have done absolutly no type of treatments for several years now. I am a firm believer in it and I have lost only one hive in the last few years. I swear by it. It may not be for everybody but it is right for me and my girls.
    Big T

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Columbiana, AL
    Posts
    68

    Thumbs Up Re: Is no treatment possible?

    No treatments of any kind for six years now ,I have Russian -Italian mutts pretty much leave them alone except for splits, and adding supers. I do brood box reversing in the spring to try and minimize swarming in the spring.I use screened bottom boards also .
    jlk

  16. #35
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    chicago, illinois
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Is no treatment possible?

    Yes,
    Survival of the fitest.Let bees be bees.......

  17. #36
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
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    Default Re: Is no treatment possible?

    If you do not get bees from sources/breeders who do not treat, there will be no survival. Some feral stocks are survivor stock. But to buy from someone who treats regularly is to invite disaster in your apiary if you attempt to go treatment free. The bees will not have any resistance.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  18. #37
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Accord, NY
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: Is no treatment possible?

    Is splitting (interrupting the brood cycle) a form of varoa treatment? That's the only one I use.

  19. #38
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Port Orange, Florida, USA
    Posts
    243

    Default Re: Is no treatment possible?

    Going on three years with no mite treatments on my four hives. I'm using a mix of plastic and wax foundation with all naturally drawn comb. I will pull patches of drone brood out of the frames if I spot any large clumps of them. I have seen mites on some of the drone brood and ocassionally see workers with crumpled wings in late August. I havent requeened any of my hives using commercial queens for five years and unless the hives start getting agressive I have no plans to requeen using store bought queens. I'm using screened bottom boards and beetle blasters for SHB's which are a big problem here in Florida.

  20. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    3,021

    Default Re: Is no treatment possible?

    >Several (if not all) Russian Honeybee Breeders Association members are treatment free. Carl Webb, Georgia, and Hubert Tubbs, Mississippi, are two that I'm aware of. They are both primarily honey producers with the queen business and nuc sales secondary parts of their operation. I've been treatment free for two years with good results

    I've been TOTALLY TREATMENT FREE for two years also, and I don't have Russian's, I have plain ole nothin fancy Italians, as a matter of fact, they are southern raised Italian's, not even northern adapted survivor Italian's. So, it looks like one doesn't have the advantage over the other just yet when it comes to varroa, so let's not get carried away with cheerleading for Russian bees as the answer. John

  21. #40
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    Jan 2009
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    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Is no treatment possible?

    >If you do not get bees from sources/breeders who do not treat, there will be no survival.

    StevenG, that's cold........my bees don't pay attention to pessimistic statements like this, they just keep on going. The package bees I started with a couple years ago were not treatment free by any means, they are now though, and are still here and prospering. John

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