My (alternative) theory of the Bush Miracle - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: My (alternative) theory of the Bush Miracle

    As interesting as bees are, they are not nearly so interesting as beekeepers.
    Last edited by Riverderwent; 04-06-2014 at 07:25 AM.

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: My (alternative) theory of the Bush Miracle

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    I think the time is ripe to consider an alternative theory that accounts for the Bush results..
    ok how about:
    1 he is a wizard and uses the same spell on his hives that professor McGonagall used in the last harry potter movie to protect hog warts school and when the mites try to enter the hive they are disintegrated.

    2 UFO's are abducting the varroa mites from his apiary and taking them back to their home planet for probing.

    3 its all part of a government plot to make everyone buy electric cars and we just haven't seen the "big picture" yet.


    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    Oddly, Bush has never seen fit to perform this basic validation.
    ..
    I cant speak for Mr Bush however I would bet if you would pony up a few million dollars for research he would do what ever test you would like.
    Last edited by flatfootflukey; 04-06-2014 at 02:01 AM. Reason: spelling

  4. #23
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    Default Re: My (alternative) theory of the Bush Miracle

    His success is largely in the feral source of bees. Also 20% winter loss is pretty high and self reported, and may be reported optimistically. If a drunk tells you they drink one a week, they likely drink 4 a day.

    I think that if anybody did tests on the feral recaptures that occur around the country they would find an element of hygienic behavior or perhaps some other mite resistance not yet discovered. But The scientists do not believe ferals are out there so...
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  5. #24
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    Default Re: My (alternative) theory of the Bush Miracle

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    it's ok barry. i interpret what jwc and plb are saying is 'show me'.
    Right, because if it works we'd all like to know how it's done so maybe the rest of us could do it too.
    Mark Berninghausen

  6. #25
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    Default Re: My (alternative) theory of the Bush Miracle

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverderwent View Post
    How would you say that treatment is working for the industry?
    The industry? Treatments are keeping the industry alive and growing. It's the treatment free part of the industry that is being discussed in this Thread.
    Mark Berninghausen

  7. #26

    Default Re: My (alternative) theory of the Bush Miracle

    Thank you JW for continuing the good fight.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  8. #27
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    Default Re: My (alternative) theory of the Bush Miracle

    I think it's sad that people on here are so adamant to bash people who are successful. do what works for you and stop trying to tear others down.

  9. #28
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    Default Re: My (alternative) theory of the Bush Miracle

    When you have success, with whatever method you're using, you plant the flag and defend your ground. I've seen it go the other way too. Those who treat are made out to be evil vilains who are responsible for all of the ills in the beekeeping world.

    Bashing is not good whatever one's opinion might be, but civil discussion and debate can be very educational.
    To everything there is a season....

  10. #29
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    Default Re: My (alternative) theory of the Bush Miracle

    Myself, I think Michael Bush's hives that show on Google are just camouflage, same as the British did in WW2. Come to think of it, I am not sure Michael Bush is real. I've lived a few years and I've never met one.
    Pretty sure he moved to area 51 too. Maybe it was 54?
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  11. #30
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    Default Re: My (alternative) theory of the Bush Miracle

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    I find it interesting that someone has to "explain" why his bees are thriving sans treatments.

    Maybe you would like to explain why my bees are thriving treatment free.

    But it would be more interesting if you could explain why you are still treating your bees knowing that you could also be treatment free.
    I see you put the emphasis on the wrong word. It is not the Explain that is as important is the "Why".

    I readily admit I am a definite follower of Micheal. and yet I do not necessarily agree that small cell plays a significant roll in his results. So far I have had good results with no attention to cell size. I agree that promoting the cell size issue does not result in reliable repeatable results. and one thing required in developing a proven method is reliable repeatable results. I woudl rather see the time and energy devoted to small cell be applied to those factors that are in fact causing such results.

    The results are not being challenged. They are considered fact. They do happen they can be done. I don to necessary believe they are location dependent either.

    I do not agree that 20% losses are a strong selection pressure and certainly not one strong enough to produce rapid results. It is enough to do nothing but back slide at about 40 times the rate necessary to get nowhere. This serves to basically removed selection as any part of the equation. This is actually a promising factor. It indicates that any bees anywhere at any time can be kept with similar results if the proper How is used. And the How will be found by understanding the Why.

    As far as I am concerned selection has no part in it. I also do not consider location has any part in it. this leaves us with the splits.

    Just of the top of my head I think about how often I see people complain about loosing splits to mites. Not often. in fact I am not sure I have ever heard anyone mention mites being a problem in splits. In fact splits are promoted as one of the ways to address heavy mite loads.

    Most of my hives are young and would still be considered in some form of build up as some various form of splitting. I also see no indication any of my colonies have mites. I have 11 hives that are about 1 year old or a younger and one that is 2 years old. 4 others that are bet wen 1 and 2 years old. none of them have mites as far as I know. Two of them have had them in the past when I first acquired them.

    I see the focus needs to be on the effects of splits or colonies that are in some state of building up to full size colonies and it's effects on mite populations. I believe that splits and that period that colonies act like swarms is devastating to mites. I do not understand the mechanics but I do see the results.

    I also see that a period of rapid expansion even in a full size established colony may have the same result. again I cannot say why.
    Everything gets darker, as it goes to where there is less light. Darrel Tank (5PM drawing instructor)

  12. #31
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    Default Re: My (alternative) theory of the Bush Miracle

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Gillmore View Post
    Until it's proven otherwise, I'm still convinced that the key to successful TF beekeeping is superior resistant stock, in a region that is more or less saturated with those genetics.
    What evidence do you have that resistance does work? From what I can tell resistance is not working for the very people that are attempting to breed for it. Without more evidence than I currently have I read your comment as you require proof that something does not work in order to not believe in it even though you do not require the same proof that it does work to believe in it.
    Everything gets darker, as it goes to where there is less light. Darrel Tank (5PM drawing instructor)

  13. #32
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    Default Re: My (alternative) theory of the Bush Miracle

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    How do we resolve this apparent contradiction? One way would be to implement a side-by-side controlled trial to isolate and test the elements of the method. Oddly, Bush has never seen fit to perform this basic validation.
    You need to do the test yourself. He's done his own tests and is satisfied with results



    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    A trial could be designed, quite easily, to test my alternative theory -- paired blocks of small cell and large cell hives could be located within the Bush "bubble" and at a selected Nebraska commercial site known for the presence of Varroa.
    Since it's your alternative theory the testing is on you. Why would anyone want to test your theory if you don't do it first ???
    I’m really not that serious

  14. #33
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    Default Re: My (alternative) theory of the Bush Miracle

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post

    But it would be more interesting if you could explain why you are still treating your bees knowing that you could also be treatment free.
    Fusion Power,
    I have an experimental TF apiary. I have run this since returning from Costa Rica in 2002. It is located on an isolated clearing on the slope of a (low) coastal mountain bordering a 50,000 acre State Park. It is not completely isolated (I can see commercial drops in the valley below in the winter) and I have a Oxalic/Formic/Thymol treated yard about 1.5 miles away on a similar clearing. I stock it with wild swarms (and in the old days when they were available, the awesome Glenn VSH line). I will split the hives in April-May. Late splits are not really a viable option in my droughty coastal location.

    My TF hives get mites. My TF hives (just like the T ones) have a distinct spike in mite-DWV-Nosema in September. If I observe the DWV disease, I will attempt to salvage the hive with one of the fumigant treatments, but I also move it out of the TF yard.

    I attempt to validate my practices by experimenting. A huge criticism I have of TF purists is they make inductive leaps-of-faith. They believe "feral bees" must be resistant, and promote this theory. This is pure Aristotelian induction -- where is the experimental evidence? The Arnot forest bees contradicted the faith-based belief in Feral micro-evolution.

    Admittedly, I can be intemperate, demissive, and impatient with Michael Bush's unvalidated (and difficult to implement successfully) system. That impatience is driven by the enormous waste I have observed being devoted to trying to accomplish the same results. I estimate more than a million dollars has been spent in my county alone by others trying to do what Bush claims is easy. This includes several $50-100,000 capital investments. If one can induce others to drop a million dollars on their story, it seems to me it behooves the promoter to actual subject the theory to hard tests. Otherwise, its just a confidence game.

  15. #34
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    Default Re: My (alternative) theory of the Bush Miracle

    When I started beekeeping I decided to go treatment free because basically I just didn't want to learn another step.

    I always said that if I start running into problems I wouldn't hesitate to start treating. Years later and and 50 colonies later I never ran into trouble being treatment free.

    In my opinion I think treatment free is 75% genetics and 25% location.(just throwing those # out there). I live in a great area with lots of forage and only one Beekeeper within 20 Miles and he is treatment free also.

    But I believe that the genetics is the key in my operation. All my bees are feral ( I know this because I live in a small town which had no beekeepers since I been alive). These bees are doing great.
    I believe its genetics because I buy queens from well known breeder just to try out and cant find many that can thrive treatment free on its second year.

  16. #35
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    Default Re: My (alternative) theory of the Bush Miracle

    I see no reason at all to think Mr Bush is anything other than an honorable, truthful person. I am perfectly willing to accept that he maintains his bees treatment free and sees roughly a 10% colony death rate per year just as he says. I also think the evidence is clear that small cell does not eliminate varroa mites and probably does not even reduce the population. But, Mr Bush really does not run small cell. He runs natural cell, that is whatever his bees happen to build, as he does not provide foundation as a template for most of his brood nests.

    I also wonder if varroa are the real cause of many hive deaths for anyone. Or are those hive deaths a result of viral and bacterial infections that are better transmitted in the presence of varroa? So, is it possible that the Bush cultural methods have simply given him bees that are more resistant to whatever bacterial or viral infections are the real problem and varroa has little to do with his success? I wonder this as I do not recall Mr Bush ever producing data by alcohol washes on his hives to document what his varroa infection rate is over the course of a summer. I am not being critical of him for not doing this experiment. He has a method that is working and cares little exactly why it works. All he cares is that it works. Not a thing wrong with that. Besides, why kill a bunch of bees to get data that is of no real interest to him?

  17. #36
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    Default Re: My (alternative) theory of the Bush Miracle

    I agree with Salty Bee, I am 75 years old and I have traveled extensively in my work. I have never seen Michael Bush or interviewed anyone who has seen him. I think he is ghost writer and as Salty stated, he uses camouflage bee hives or takes pictures of other apiaries as he drives about.

    To those among us that think there are no feral bees: A feral animal is one that has been domesticated and has then learned to live in the wild. There is a hive of bees under my neighbor's utility building that has been there for seven consecutive years. They are very docile. He has never been stung, and he just leaves them to their work.

    From the get go, this thread was a slightly veiled personal attack on Michael Bush. I am treatment free, and I have Michael Bush's big book, but I am not knowledgeable enough to begin defending his positions. To me, he is an accomplished bee entomologist. He has a huge amount of common knowledge about bees in his noggin.

    I wish this thread hadn't been posted. That's just my opinion.

  18. #37
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    Default Re: My (alternative) theory of the Bush Miracle

    I do understand why Mike Bush is successful.

    He flooded the area with good BeeWeaver genetics for decades, including some 'hot' bees that swarmed.

    He has created his own resistant 'hybrid swarm', and they have the same small cell, reduced mite load characteristics, of other AHB stocks.

  19. #38
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    Default Re: My (alternative) theory of the Bush Miracle

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    Originally Posted by Mike Gillmore

    Until it's proven otherwise, I'm still convinced that the key to successful TF beekeeping is superior resistant stock, in a region that is more or less saturated with those genetics.
    What evidence do you have that resistance does work? From what I can tell resistance is not working for the very people that are attempting to breed for it. Without more evidence than I currently have I read your comment as you require proof that something does not work in order to not believe in it even though you do not require the same proof that it does work to believe in it.
    Guess I need another cup of coffee, I'm not really following you.
    All I am saying is that I personally would need proof to validate the idea that the combination of small cell, an uncontaminated internal hive environment, and resistant stock will provide successful TF beekeeping in any area one chooses to set up. If someone were to bring a few hives which met all of the above criteria to my area, I don't think they would last long due to the pressure of inferior stock in this area. JMHO based on what I see happening with most of the beekeepers in this area.

    I have no dog in this fight. Michael Bush does not either. What he is doing works for him, and what I am doing works for me. No one has any duty to 'show proof" that their methods work.
    To everything there is a season....

  20. #39
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    Default Re: My (alternative) theory of the Bush Miracle

    I am TF (my definition, not that found on the TF forum) for past 10 years ranging 20-50 hives all LC colonies (Mann Lake Ritecell). I run VSH (sorry for the "fancy" letters) and long-term survivors and breed from my top 5% colonies. In a previous post MB said: "I don't think anything under 100 hives is statistically relevant enough to draw any hard conclusions." This, at least to me, means that pretty much everyone posting SC success stories on beesource doesn't meet this criteria and therefore community success cannot be attributed to cell size. The big question is: does SC have negative effects? I don't know, but that should be looked at. In the other recent contentious thread, I posed the request to do some rigorous experiments and again it was shot down. It seems like MB could run some colonies on LC and simply monitor the results. We could even take up a collection to buy him equipment! I offered to buy some of MB queens and run them on LC and was told that was flawed too. So given all this, and the lack of statistically relevant SC data, my belief is that it is WAY more about the genetics and local mite pressures rather than any cell size that leads to success. I have as much experience (likely much more) and success as pretty much anyone posting here on the benefits of SC to tell me success can be achieved on 5.4 foundation. This is not an attack on MB, but simply a conjecture that there are very likely other effects at play, which I believe was the point of the opening thread by JWC.

    And for the record:

    I feed sugar water when needed
    I will sometimes, but not routinely, do cut-down splits
    I raise my own queens (lots)
    I definitely import hygienic queens
    If I have a colony with high mite counts, it is treated and requeened
    I employ the MP method of splits the dinks and make nucs.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  21. #40
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    Default Re: My (alternative) theory of the Bush Miracle

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cryberg View Post
    But, Mr Bush really does not run small cell. He runs natural cell, that is whatever his bees happen to build, as he does not provide foundation as a template for most of his brood nests.
    I may be incorrect, but I believe MB uses mostly small cell plastic in his brood nests, along with natural comb. I'm sure he will correct me if I'm wrong.

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