I don't understand this complaint about treatment free beekeepers - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    Default Re: I don't understand this complaint about treatment free beekeepers

    "the only way to get resistant bees is to "not treat".

    Well, at some point in the process, I suppose it's true. It makes sense with ferals. It would make sense if someone is testing for resistance for example.

    I do know that DVE showed that 75%VSH will keep mite levels low enough to avoid colony loss.

    Do you think that he treated to figure that one out? Nope, you can't treat for that kind of a test.

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  3. #42
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    Default Re: I don't understand this complaint about treatment free beekeepers

    To simplistic WLC. Our own VSH breeding program has achieved 80%+ VSH, but treatment was an essential part of the program because the bees that were the original breeding stock some years back were around 20% VSH and would have succumbed to varroa.

    If treatment as needed had not been part of the breeding program, the 80% VSH bees we have now would not have been produced.

    So bond is not the only way, and is in fact a way that wastes good material.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  4. #43
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    Default Re: I don't understand this complaint about treatment free beekeepers

    All I'm saying is that treatment has to be withheld at some point in the process.

    It certainly doesn't need to be the customer though.

  5. #44
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    Default Re: I don't understand this complaint about treatment free beekeepers

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    I see a lot of generalizations going on Rhaldridge, I think this also leads to a lot of the bickering, everyone is an expert on what works for them but it's not universal. There are some TF successes, but look at how many bees they run and if they are migratory. How many treatment free beeks are there with 5000+ hives and are migratory? When you're making a living off bees it's tough to neglect treating and risk losing income if your hives come out of winter poorly.
    Good points.

    I think the stress of migratory beekeeping might be a major reason why some migratory beekeepers have such high losses in spite of treating. It might turn out that migratory beekeeping is not a sustainable practice, after all. In modern agriculture, I see a lot of stuff that appears to me to be unsustainable.

    In the case of migratory beekeeping, I hope I'm wrong, because I know a lot of folks depend on the practice to make a decent living at a tough job. But change is the one constant, in farming even more than in most arenas of life.

    Ray

  6. #45
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    Default Re: I don't understand this complaint about treatment free beekeepers

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post

    My main complaint about the TF "catechism" is the patently untrue statement that "the only way to get resistant bees is to "not treat". This formulation is repeated ad infinitum, but repeating does not make it true. What is true, is that selected breeding programs are able to develop resistant forms efficiently. Wild outcrossing is not a "selected breeding program", it may (truely) generate some local genotypes, but inefficiently. The inertia I see in the system implies that a very simple adaptation like in AHB -- constant swarming is going to replace refined forms in the land races. You already see this, and I suppose BeeWeaver are sending the genes all over the country.
    I've heard the catechism in a slightly different form: "The only way to get treatment free bees is to not treat." You may be paraphrasing a bit there.

    I think you may be overestimating the effect of AHB genetics on managed populations. Take an example probably everybody has heard about: Dee Lusby. I've seen that video of her working her yards, and to me it's terrifying. Her bees may have some Africanized gene expression, but they are clearly not entirely subverted, because according to all the research I've seen, you couldn't get AHB to fill 3 deeps with such massive numbers of bees. They'd have long since swarmed.

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    You complain about condescension. Curiously enough, the commercial keepers feel just as put upon by the religious zeal of treatment-free acolytes.
    I don't know why. I rarely see such raw dismissive contempt for commercial keepers in the bee journals. Do you? Maybe they are just frail sensitive flowers, but most of the ones I've had any contact with don't strike me that way.

    My complaint isn't really about condescension, which is only annoying. It's about blinkered attitudes, which seems to be costing the profession dearly.

    So what's your explanation for why bee scientists have found the various successful treatment free keepers to be unworthy of study?

    Do you give any credence to the idea that the fairly soft treatments you are using might be adversely affecting hive biota?

    http://www.yalescientific.org/2013/0...ey-bee-health/

  7. #46
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    Default Re: I don't understand this complaint about treatment free beekeepers

    THE major U.S. migratory beekeeper is suing the EPA over pesticides.

    I wouldn't even mention the PPB thing. We know where that's coming from. (Hint: the opposition.)

  8. #47
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    Default Re: I don't understand this complaint about treatment free beekeepers

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post

    Do you give any credence to the idea that the fairly soft treatments you are using might be adversely affecting hive biota?

    http://www.yalescientific.org/2013/0...ey-bee-health/
    My trial is not treat a hived swarm colony until I judge it start expressing high levels of DWV and/or Varroa. Hence, there are no soft treatments in the "test" phase, and no nearby treated colonies to mess up the community level micro-biota. Local ferals simply don't pass the test, neither better nor worse than any random colony.

    I would guess Fumagilin (which is a broad anti-microspiridian and anti-ameboid, and not a targeted one) might destabilize biota.


    I am sure there are lots of researchers working on TF. You get ahead in academics by upsetting the apple cart, being a young turk; so there is ample incentive to re-invent the wheel.
    I know my local teaching agriculture school trialed treatment-free on a multi-hundred hive level using Glenn VSH queens. That ended poorly.
    I know the Arizona experiment station tests TF outyards.
    North Carolina has papers on TF vs. T trials.
    etc.
    Last edited by JWChesnut; 08-28-2013 at 07:08 PM.

  9. #48
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    Default Re: I don't understand this complaint about treatment free beekeepers

    So, you're not using trapouts or a cutouts?

    Maybe you would do better?

  10. #49
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    Default Re: I don't understand this complaint about treatment free beekeepers

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    I know my local teaching agriculture school trialed treatment-free on a multi-hundred hive level using Glenn VSH queens. That ended poorly.
    I know the Arizona experiment station tests TF outyards.
    North Carolina has papers on TF vs. T trials.
    etc.
    That sounds very interesting. Do you have any links to these?

  11. #50
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    Default Re: I don't understand this complaint about treatment free beekeepers

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    In reality what is a constant threat is the continued propogation of weak genetics that can't survive being propped up by artificial means, and "super mites" who can breed fast enough to overcome treatments... these are not coming from the treatment free hives...
    Its been about 25 years since varroa first impacted the US. Is their any evidence that these super mites have evolved? Wouldnt a mite that breeds fast enough to overcome treatments serve to hasten its own demise? My experience is that varroa is far easier to control now than when it first affected our operation. Our bees could never have weathered even a single season without a mite treatment 20 years ago. I worry far more about the mite vectored viruses, even in bees with fairly low mite counts.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  12. #51
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    Default Re: I don't understand this complaint about treatment free beekeepers

    It's another one of those theories that sounds good and gets repeated so often it becomes "fact".

    I've been seeing an awful lot of them especially in the last few months, some of them far removed from reality. Evidence for them is hinted at, but never supplied.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  13. #52
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    Default Re: I don't understand this complaint about treatment free beekeepers

    Jim,
    Your skepticism surprises me. Mites resistant to fluvalinate, coumaphos and amitraz have all been extensively reported and developed with predictable speed. I think this is what MB is referring to, and his own conversion to TF came during the first episode of amitraz resistance if I recall his journal.
    Under application was a co-factor in resistance development. The resistance doesn't persist without continuing exposure (as it imposes a metabolic cost on the mite expressing it). I don't believe resistance to the organic acids have been reported, but anytime minimal effective doses are used, resistance develops more easily.

    Annecdotally, many California commercial operations are still doping with "Taktic" - which they must be rustling out of Mexico or Canada as its off the market. The frequency of the doping application and concentration is increasing (per my conversations with operators)- sure sign that Taktic's efficacy is wearing off. I've seen both oil soaks with Taktic and backback spraying of frames using a water/Amitraz mix applied.

  14. #53
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    Default Re: I don't understand this complaint about treatment free beekeepers

    That's a shame about the abuse of Taktic as it means the legal product (Apivar) will eventually not work.

    re the supermite discussion, the problem I have with this argument is with the way it is presented. I think everybody realises mites are becoming immune to some of the treatments, that is accepted fact.

    But the way the argument is worded often goes along the lines of "breeding stronger and stronger mites". Which to the gullible, means the mites are more deadly against bees than they used to be. Not the truth, in fact the reverse is more likely as the mites have to expend something to maintain the resistance.

    Just so often, we see theories expressed, with a slight wording twist or little misconception somewhere, that gives the wrong idea. Often unintentional by the person who says it. So we end up with people being convinced of something that is not the case, while believing that science is on their side.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  15. #54
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    Default Re: I don't understand this complaint about treatment free beekeepers

    JWC: That there is resistance to many chemical treatments is undeniable, it is what led me away from the products you listed years ago. That there are many effective treatments and ipm strategies that have been in use for years with no signs of resistance is equally true. My point is that bees may well be developing a resistance to mites at least as fast as the mites are developing a resistance to treatments and that the theory of the uncontrollable "super mite" is just, just that, a theory. Mostly, though, I am relating my personal experience with varroa and stand by my statement that varroa dosent continue to have the impact on our bees that they had 25 years ago. Isnt it just as logical to assume that this super mite has come and then just as quickly killed itself off? Clearly, though, the battle is an ongoing one but my bet is that the beekeeper is more tenacious than the mite.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  16. #55
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    Default Re: I don't understand this complaint about treatment free beekeepers

    Well, it's easy to order up VSH queens, so getting resistant bees isn't a problem.

    I do agree with Jim that viruses like DWV are the real concern. It has spilled-over into bumble bees. And, DWV bees are widespread and easy to notice.

    As for the Korea vs Japan haplotype of Varroa. There is evidence for mite attenuation in bees. As for virus attenuation, Martin has demonstrated that single DWV strains do dominate mites/bees in the Hawaii study.

    So, I don't think that it's far fetched to say that treatments can be an impediment to developing attenuated mites/viruses locally.

    It took three years for a single strain of DWV to dominate colonies locally in Hawaii, for example, according to the study.

    In short, there is enough science to back up MB's position.
    Last edited by WLC; 08-29-2013 at 04:15 AM.

  17. #56
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    Default Re: I don't understand this complaint about treatment free beekeepers

    Mike Bispham? Which position? Last posts we were talking about supermites, you change the subject to DWV and say there is science to back MB position. Do you mean your own position?

    Re bumblebees, nobody knows how long they have has DWV. Could be thousands of years and passed unnoticed. As it passed largely unnoticed in honeybees till the advent of varroa mites.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  18. #57
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    Default Re: I don't understand this complaint about treatment free beekeepers

    Kwing was an indicator of Tracheal mites before Varroa came along, if I recall correctly.
    Mark Berninghausen

  19. #58
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    Default Re: I don't understand this complaint about treatment free beekeepers

    >Its been about 25 years since varroa first impacted the US. Is their any evidence that these super mites have evolved?

    Nothing is evolving at any rate that affects anything. However there is selective pressure and certainly the mites have built resistance to the treatments and they have reproduced fast enough to still be a problem despite the treatments. Do we really want to continue to put selective pressure in that direction?

    >Wouldnt a mite that breeds fast enough to overcome treatments serve to hasten its own demise?

    It only has to reproduce faster in order to still succeed with treatments. I has to reproduce slower in order to still succeed without treatments.

    >My experience is that varroa is far easier to control now than when it first affected our operation.

    I would say the bees are getting resistance, not because of treatments, but because of feral bees that are not getting treatments...

    >My main complaint about the TF "catechism" is the patently untrue statement that "the only way to get resistant bees is to "not treat".

    Tell me how you know your bees can survive without treatments if you are treating. How would you select for bees that can survive without treatments? I need bees that don't have health issues at all. Not just bees that can survive mites, but bees that can survive winter, nosema, afb, efb, chalkbrood, sacbrood, stonebrood, wax moths and small hive beetles and still be gentle and productive. What combination of traits is that? How do I select for it if I treat?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  20. #59
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    Default Re: I don't understand this complaint about treatment free beekeepers

    Back to the thread topic. I think the complaint stems from the knowledge that treatment free beekeeping is sustainable with little to no cost to a beekeeper who is starting fresh and drawing their own clean comb. I think the larger beekeepers have too much invested in treatments to admit they are making a mistake and change course. Not to mention the enormity of such a task. Another point is how long these beekeepers have been preaching to the use of pesticides in the hive to anyone who will listen. It takes a lot of salt to admit foolishness, even more when the foolishness was indoctrinated. Teachers tend to suffer from this more than others.

  21. #60
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    Default Re: I don't understand this complaint about treatment free beekeepers

    Quote Originally Posted by Pipiyolti View Post
    Back to the thread topic. I think the complaint stems from the knowledge that treatment free beekeeping is sustainable with little to no cost to a beekeeper who is starting fresh and drawing their own clean comb. I think the larger beekeepers have too much invested in treatments to admit they are making a mistake and change course. Not to mention the enormity of such a task. Another point is how long these beekeepers have been preaching to the use of pesticides in the hive to anyone who will listen. It takes a lot of salt to admit foolishness, even more when the foolishness was indoctrinated. Teachers tend to suffer from this more than others.
    Commercial beekeepers have a lot more invested in their equipment and livestock than they do in anything else. They depend on their investments to support their family. Something no Small Scale Beekeeper does.

    Have you ever had 600 colonies die from not treating? I have. Six or 7 years ago I had 732 colonies in May and by March had 100. So what was the foolish thing I did? Go back to splitting strong hives, making increase, buying more bees, and treating? Investing in my bees so I could pay my bills? What?

    Had I another means of surviving/paying bills in other ways and I was good at grafting and raising queens maybe I would have done that but that was not the situation I had in front of me. I am not independently well off outside of my Beekeeping Operation. We are mutually dependent.

    I don't preach pesticide use. I simply do it. I had more colonies of bees this Summer than I did last year. Positive improvement to me. If anyone is preaching here it is folks who critisize others for being foolish. Walk a mile in my shoes and then show me how to do what I do w/out doing what I do. Show me the error of my ways, don't just sit there saying something should be done a certain way w/out having done it.

    Commercials and Small Scalers are not Machintoshes and Granny Smiths they are Jonathans and Navels.

    You have a certain luxury which I do not have. You are not as invested in your bees as I am, as dependent on them as I am. You are newer to this vocation than I am. So you have a certain perspective not available to me. I can't see it for all of the experience I have had clouding my view. You are younger than I, somewhat, living under different circumstances than I am and than I have. I see these as your luxuries which allow you to see things as you do and to seem (maybe it isn't so) to look down on others who do things the way they do for reasons both common to many others and highly personal.

    I know Sam Comfort somewhat, he texted me about the apple crop he knows my bees pollinated a cpl evenings ago, and I enjoy Sam's attitude and the way he expresses himself to those who don't necessarily want to hear it. I don't know if you know who Sam is or what his experiences have been, but, at least he has spent some time working in the field, working for Dave Mendes for one and Michael Palmer (I believe) and others and has his own operation made up of all TBHs, enough that he considers himself commercial. Have you done anything like that?
    Last edited by sqkcrk; 08-29-2013 at 08:15 AM.
    Mark Berninghausen

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