Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatments - Page 2
Page 2 of 7 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 126
  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    2,998

    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    Then count me in the treatment free group. I've been a sideliner since 1975 though I had a few colonies in 1969 but really did not know much about them and did nothing to manage them. I had my first brush with AFB in 1976 when a commercial beekeeper gave me some older equipment. My choice then was to use terramycin for prophylaxis. I had about a dozen colonies in 1988 when tracheal mites wiped me out. I bought some colonies from a guy who just hived swarms and did NO stock selection of any sort, but he had live bees and mine were dead. I requeened them with Buckfast queens and I rebuilt to about 30 colonies. Then in 1993 varroa wiped me out again. I had one live colony in 1994. I split it in march and got 3 very productive colonies that made about 500 pounds of honey. I also caught 2 swarms that year, no idea where they came from, but bait hives brought them in. Then in the fall, I split again and wound up with 11 colonies going into 1995. I started treating with Apistan in the fall of 1994 and continued to treat until the fall of 2004. By that time I had located some feral stock that showed decent tolerance of varroa and I found out about Dann Purvis who had been doing serious selection work with mite tolerant stock. His methods were simple, raise queens and AI them from his best mite tolerant stock, then let the mites kill off all they could. Raise more queens from the survivors. It was highly effective, unfortunately, the stock was relatively poor for honey production. He crossed them with a decent Italian line and selected until they were highly mite tolerant and had mediocre performance. I got some of the gold line queens from him in 2005 and requeened 2/3 of my colonies. I kept the best of the feral mite tolerant colonies I already had. Today my bees are roughly 60% descended from the feral lines and 40% from the Purvis queens. I have not treated any colonies since 2005. They survive just fine on their own. Do they produce honey? Yes, my best colony made 5 full shallow supers of decent honey this year. My average colonies made between 80 and 100 pounds. Are they infested with varroa mites? Could be, but I can't find them. I checked last week and even an alcohol roll did not turn up any mites. There is still a palm of your hand sized patch of brood in most colonies so it is possible there are varroa in the cells. But the brood is hatching healthy so it must not be much. I have my colonies on small cell and use 11 frames in the brood nest. I don't know if this impacts the mites and really don't care. What matters is that my bees are alive and treatment free and they make a good crop of honey every year.

    DarJones
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,683

    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    I would like to reply to Axtmann,
    I do not know how you arrive at your conclusions. I will however tell you about a study our Provincial Bee lab did. It was on the levels of Apistan, checkmite and amitraz in hives, brood chamber comb to be exact. The study gathered 3-5 samples from many apiaries in Manitoba and Ontario who wished to partake in the study. (many of the keepers did) Comb, newer, culled, dark brood frames from each site were sampled
    Checkmite and apistan showed up in the comb. Levels depended on how recently they were used. However, amitraz did not... in any of the comb from any site. Several of the sites had used it either in previous fall or in the spring with testing only a couple of months after spring testing

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,148

    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    You should rotate comb out regardless if you are treatment free or do treat. Cuts down on all the crap, diseases, viruses, chemicals and contaiminents brought in from the enviroment from honey bee foraging. In Europe they rotate combs on a more frequent basis. We incorporated this into our operation about ten years ago. TED
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,683

    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    as do we Ted. Have a couple of pallets of comb to send out...from this year alone. It makes good sense to give clean healthy comb to where the brood and food is

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,541

    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    What is your comb rotation schedule like? One comb per brood box each year? Or what?
    Mark Berninghausen

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Medford, Oregon
    Posts
    5,083

    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    I do two per brood box per year. Older gets rotated up above.

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,541

    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    Thanks Sol, but I was hoping to hear from someone w/ more hives than I have, not fewer. But, you may be doing the same as Ted does. Ya neva know.
    Mark Berninghausen

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,148

    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    Mark, it is usually anywhere from one to three combs rotated out per hive. I know you are thinking how are we doing this....Well, we sell nucs and most of our combs are below a certain age now. So the brood frames that we make up the nucs with are replaced with either fresh frames of foundation or newly drawn honey production comb from the previous season. Since we sell four frame nucs. It does not take long to go through the outfit. 2000 hives=2000 to 4000 frames of foundation and new frames..... I also cull old drone comb when ever. Bees seem to keep a certain amount of drone cells around anyway. Mark, swapping out old comb with fresh foundation does help the health of your colonies and increases production/ If Parker is doing this on a regular basis, then he is to be commended .EVERYBODY should rotate out old combs on a scheduled basis. TED
    Last edited by Ted Kretschmann; 11-29-2011 at 08:17 PM. Reason: symantics...
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,148

    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    IN 1986 beekeeping was hit by an asteroid called varroa. This collision between a new invasive species and our bees, that had never seen such a critter, change the dynamics of the beekeeping industry forever. Everybody knows the story, as we have all been part of it since then. One of the best mite controls ever formulated came out of desperation by a devastated industry...I know of beekeepers that lost their entire operations of thousands of colonies within a matter of weeks, usually in the months of June and July due to varroa mite infestations...The only thing that stabilized the situation and stopped the die offs was the introduction of APISTAN.....It, as all know, is an impregnated strip with ten percent Fluvaliunate. This is a pyretherin, though mass produced in a lab. Most pyretherins are derived from Chrysanthemums. Good old christmas "MUMS" Kenya supplies most of the worlds pyretherin production from farm grown Mums....Pyretherins are considered to be the safest insecticide around food production facilities because they are biodegradable. The chemical disintegrates in sunlight and air. It affects the varroa mite's nervous system. While introduced back in the mid 1980's, Vita continues to manufacture this product. It has had a long and successful track record. I have never heard of any beekeepers dying from the handling of this product... Thus even today, with apistan resistant mites out there, the product has a place in IPM management for use on rotational 3-4 year basis with soft chemicals. Resistant mites though, brought in even more changes in the industry. TED
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Medford, Oregon
    Posts
    5,083

    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    Sounds like you got a magazine article going here Ted, or at least copying from one. Well done.

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    dadeville, alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,148

    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    I do not need a magazine. I was there, I lived it. My mother was married to a well known honeybee scientist, the expert on bee diseases at the time. So I had the inside scoop on what was happening. And Because of that connection I also met a who's who of beekeeping. I hope, Parker, you keep bees for almost forty years in your beekeeping career also. You will live through who knows what sort of unforeseen honeybee problems and meet who know's who along the way. TED
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

  13. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,683

    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    We do two frames per brood box per year. In the first few years after buying these hives, it has been a bit higher to get rid of the dark comb. And even though i try not to extract from brood frames, (dang canola makes it hard to follow though), I find myself culling frames during extraction as well.

    Ted, I am not sure I would have had the gumtion to make the transition from pre varroa to living through it. Kudos to those of you who persevered through it.

  14. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,541

    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    Quote Originally Posted by honeyshack View Post
    Ted, I am not sure I would have had the gumtion to make the transition from pre varroa to living through it. Kudos to those of you who persevered through it.
    I don't know that it is gumption. For me it is a matter of, this is what I want to do for a living and what else am I going to do. We are still in the process of living thru it.

    Maybe Ted was going to get to this, but just in case I will mention here. During the time of the Treatment Era beekeepers of size have tried the Treatment Free Method and found themselves nearly bankrupt.

    Michael Palmer and Kirk Webster(were he a Poster here) could tell you their stories. Kirks' has beern documented in ABJ. I think it is fair to say that Michaels' experience has brought him to raising queens and nucs as a bigger part of his income stream.

    I seem to notice, amongst my commercial friends, that those who have strong productive hives are the ones who have what some would consider an intensive work ethic. Whether, like Roland, they are into all of their hives every 14 days smushing drone brood or they are constantly hitting their hives w/ a rotation of mite treatments, soft and hard, when no honey supers are present, it is the ones who pay alot of attention to their hives who are keeping strong colonies and making crops of honey, often while pollinating two or three different crops.

    I guess when I get tired of getting by I will become more like them. Perhaps. I still believe it comes down to personal style and abilities, both mental and physical.
    Mark Berninghausen

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    6,586

    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    in our case we are a fourth generation operation. I have never had a real job, the bees have always paid the bills. Since the great majority of posters on here have never had the financial pressures of actually making a living doing this it's difficult for them to understand the context for the treatment decisions that you are forced to make. Many operations went under because of the decisions that they made or perhaps in this case decisions that they didn't make. For most folks on here bees are an interesting hobby or perhaps even a sideline operation in which black ink on the bottom line is a luxury and not an absolute requirement. For commercials, bees are production units first and natures amazing little insects second. I get a little frustrated on here at times when I hear condescending phrases pointed at us like "dumping chemicals in hives", or "feedlot beekeeping", or "commercial genetics" or lectured to about being irresponsible by doing the things we do by folks with a couple of hives in their back yards. I don't mean to disparage anyone with these statements only to point out that you have never walked in my boots. On the other side of the coin, though, I think we as commercials must be responsible for the purity of the products that we produce, that is the challenge that we face and the fine line that we must walk.
    Last edited by jim lyon; 11-30-2011 at 07:16 AM.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  16. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Medford, Oregon
    Posts
    5,083

    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    I guess when I get tired of getting by I will become more like them. Perhaps. I still believe it comes down to personal style and abilities, both mental and physical.
    Perhaps when you start spending less time on Beesource?

  17. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,541

    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    Yeah, especially that. (insert "BUSTED" icon)
    Mark Berninghausen

  18. #37
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    4,953

    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Kretschmann View Post
    Everyone must realize that before 1984 and 1986 ALL beekeepers were basically "treatment" free...
    Ted, I asked for some clarification on this earlier....before 1984, were most beekeepers not using TM or sulfa at least occasionally?

    deknow

  19. #38
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,541

    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    If I may, yes, of course, Sulfathiazole and TM, in that order, were used by beekeepers before 1984. Whether most were or not is unknown and debatable, I guess. How would one know to any level of accuracy w/out records? As wisespread common use goes, I think that would not be too far off.

    It is also true, historically speaking, that Sulfer was used in the harvesting of honey and wax from beehives. And smoke has been used to work bees since before written historical record. So, assuming all, if not the majority of beekeepers, use smoke, none of us are, or have ever been, Treatment Free, if we want to stretch the definition.

    But deknoiw, to your question, the short answer is Yes. I believe that Ted is refering to as opposed to what is in common use today.
    Mark Berninghausen

  20. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    4,953

    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    ....yes, of course I knew that. So, Ted's statement (that "all beekeepers were basically treatment free") is not quite correct.

    deknow

  21. #40
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,541

    Default Re: Commercial beekeeping and the historical decreasing use of harsh to soft treatmen

    Relatively speaking, if you want to be technical, yes, not quite correct. Otherwise, compared to what we were faced w/ after 1984, technically, he is quite correct.

    Would you have rather he had written "Compared to what is common today, before 1984 beekeepers didn't use pesticides of any kind in their hives."?
    Mark Berninghausen

Page 2 of 7 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •