Treatment Free Sub-Forum by Area?
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  1. #1
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    Default Treatment Free Sub-Forum by Area?

    There are success stories of TF beeks from all parts and regions. The difference between success and failure often seems to be an obvious factor: location. That being said, there are stories of success from places seemingly impossible to raise bees sans treatment. Point being, for a new TF beek, it seems that universal truths don't really play a part in success stories, as they are regionally biased.

    Unlike treatment beekeeping, where treatments are delivered on schedules depending on brooding, flows, time of year, TF practices, or lack thereof, are open to interpretation and arguably require a steeper learning curve in relation to understanding the nature of bees and utilizing their natural abilities in our favor. The environments in which we choose to keep bees seem to have the most sway on our practices. That being said, to openly discuss success/failure and have meaningful dialogue, would it be better to create regional sub-forums? It could also provide a place for discussion on obtaining local, TF resistant stock, whether it be feral sources or breeders. It would give some categorical direction of where to turn when looking for answers.

    Thoughts?
    Season 5. TF.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Sub-Forum by Area?

    South Florida, 9 hives, TF, foundation free, slatted racks, bottom entrances, zone 10b

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Sub-Forum by Area?

    i don't think there is much regional difference at all, now the timing maybe, but the concept of keeping bees is pretty universal. And as far as timing goes, let the bees be your guide. As far as what regional differences their are, those are going to be true across the spectrum of beekeeping for example you probably wouldn't want to be making a split this time of yr in WI, but in Florida, you could probably get away with it, this would be true for both treaters and non treaters alike.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Sub-Forum by Area?

    You're right in the sense that there are universal truths in all of beekeeping. What's not universal or always known are factors such as open population resistance mechanisms, which vary from area to area. Can I open mate queens and sustain my Apiary, or is this a scenario where I must keep mother and daughter lines going from breeders. How volatile are the mite vectored diseases in my area and how are bees coping with them in said area. What known resistance mechanisms have your bees shown? Having a place to share regional results and reviews might help with some of the outlying problems associated with the generalities when standard methodology doesn't work. It may not, as well.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Sub-Forum by Area?

    Beekeeping is very location specific. But those difference are the same whether you treat or not. I think you are succumbing to the people who want you to believe it is either impossible or so difficult that it is not worth doing. Unfortunately there are a lot of them on this forum. Makes me want to have a treatment free forum where treatment free beekeepers can discuss how they are doing it... oh wait... I guess that doesn't work...

    "People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."-George Bernard Shaw
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Sub-Forum by Area?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Beekeeping is very location specific. But those difference are the same whether you treat or not. I think you are succumbing to the people who want you to believe it is either impossible or so difficult that it is not worth doing. Unfortunately there are a lot of them on this forum. Makes me want to have a treatment free forum where treatment free beekeepers can discuss how they are doing it... oh wait... I guess that doesn't work...

    "People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."-George Bernard Shaw
    Mr. Bush, let me start by saying you're one of the main reasons I got into beekeeping. I talked to you ten years ago about possibly getting some of your stock when I first got interested in doing this. You were extremely helpful, and due to life circumstances, I was unable to make it happen. Ten years later, here I am, and no, I am not even close to succumbing to the idea that it's not possible. I'm doing it. Nor am I going to tell someone who is struggling doing it with 70% losses they are doing it wrong. Many beeks on here with far more experience and knowledge than I will ever have. Yourself I count as one I most highly regard.

    If I don't validate those that have tried and failed, with the reasons given as influences beyond their control, why should I ask for validation on my successes?

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Sub-Forum by Area?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    ... people who want you to believe it is either impossible or so difficult that it is not worth doing....

    "People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."-George Bernard Shaw
    TFobia?

    Actually, I've wondered why there is such opposition to letting others explore TF concepts. The "follow the money" thought came to mind. Is it that there are commercial interests that would be negatively impacted by TF beekeeping?

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Sub-Forum by Area?

    It is worse in Europe. Very little work was done with VSH or grooming/mauling traits until the last 5 years. Many beekeepers are required by law to treat for mites.

    When an untreated colony dies from mite related syndrome, other colonies in the area rob the honey and in the process can bring a huge load of mites back to their colony. This can take a treated and otherwise healthy colony to the verge of death in a few weeks. The beekeeper recognizes that his treated colony was overwhelmed by the untreated colony's mites and becomes angry at the beekeeper who did not treat.

    I have not treated for 11 years, but I am in an area conducive to keeping bees untreated. There are a dozen beekeepers within 5 miles of my home. Only 3 of them treat for mites. The rest either have my mite tolerant stock or else have figured out that their bees have reasonably good mite tolerance. This basic paradigm is present in most of rural north Alabama.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Sub-Forum by Area?

    I don't believe there are commercial interests involved, atleast not on these forums and not from forum members. My experience has been that members from both camps are very helpful and very passionate about what they do. In fact they are so passionate about it that they may assume some type of manipulation or conspiracy from the other camp.

    Good folks from both camps recommend to get local queen, encourage you to do increases from your own stock and not continue to dump money into bees year over year unnecessarily. However TF tend to advice the "natural selection" theory and Treat folks advice to worry about keeping your bees alive and make some crop.

    Experienced folks from both camps see newbees as little kids who just started walking and learning. They want to make sure the kids get on right path and dont give up. In that effort, they may forget that we (newbees) are all grown ups, most of us are not commercial or sideliners and we can take responsibility for our own actions.

    If get little deeper, some Treatment folks may think TF gurus are selling seminars, smokes and mirrors and TF folks may think the Treatment guys are selling gadgets, equipment etc. But I have personally not seen anyone advice me or approach me with any financial interest.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Sub-Forum by Area?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    It is worse in Europe. Very little work was done with VSH or grooming/mauling traits until the last 5 years. Many beekeepers are required by law to treat for mites.

    When an untreated colony dies from mite related syndrome, other colonies in the area rob the honey and in the process can bring a huge load of mites back to their colony. This can take a treated and otherwise healthy colony to the verge of death in a few weeks. The beekeeper recognizes that his treated colony was overwhelmed by the untreated colony's mites and becomes angry at the beekeeper who did not treat.

    I have not treated for 11 years, but I am in an area conducive to keeping bees untreated. There are a dozen beekeepers within 5 miles of my home. Only 3 of them treat for mites. The rest either have my mite tolerant stock or else have figured out that their bees have reasonably good mite tolerance. This basic paradigm is present in most of rural north Alabama.
    Thanks fusion power. How did you approach people with your stock, or was it kind of an organic occurrence? I am considering something similar eventually, if I can get past my misanthropic ways. A bit of an exaggeration, but only a bit.
    Season 5. TF.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Sub-Forum by Area?

    approach me with any financial interest
    soliciting can get you put in jail. As I plan a seminar while polishing my mirror and puffing my smoker...


    Nordak,
    I run a tomato and pepper plant business which means quite a few people see my bees. If they are interested, I get them set up with a couple of colonies as a start. Three so far have reached the 10 to 20 colonies level. With time, I hope to get everyone in this area working together to stay treatment free. Another 10 years and who knows, maybe we will all use TF genetics.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Sub-Forum by Area?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post

    I run a tomato and pepper plant business which means quite a few people see my bees. If they are interested, I get them set up with a couple of colonies as a start. Three so far have reached the 10 to 20 colonies level. With time, I hope to get everyone in this area working together to stay treatment free.
    Very cool. I plan on selling some nucs next year, hoping some will land near me. Seems like a great approach.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    Another 10 years and who knows, maybe we will all use TF genetics.
    I think you meant your area, but one can dream.
    Season 5. TF.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Sub-Forum by Area?

    Quote Originally Posted by DaisyNJ View Post
    I have personally not seen anyone advice me or approach me with any financial interest.
    I meant negatively impacted commercial interests (i.e. OA, queen breeding, etc.). However, I think Fusion brought to light what could be a more sensitive underlying issue. Which by the way, I believe is a very valid concern and helps me see things from a different perspective. Imagine if all new beeks all the sudden, irresponsible, went TF ("cold turkey")! That could be a big problem to other beeks, at least in the short term.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post

    When an untreated colony dies from mite related syndrome, other colonies in the area rob the honey and in the process can bring a huge load of mites back to their colony. This can take a treated and otherwise healthy colony to the verge of death in a few weeks. The beekeeper recognizes that his treated colony was overwhelmed by the untreated colony's mites and becomes angry at the beekeeper who did not treat.

    I have not treated for 11 years, but I am in an area conducive to keeping bees untreated. There are a dozen beekeepers within 5 miles of my home. Only 3 of them treat for mites. The rest either have my mite tolerant stock or else have figured out that their bees have reasonably good mite tolerance. This basic paradigm is present in most of rural north Alabama.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Sub-Forum by Area?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeronimoJC View Post
    TFobia?

    Actually, I've wondered why there is such opposition to letting others explore TF concepts. The "follow the money" thought came to mind. Is it that there are commercial interests that would be negatively impacted by TF beekeeping?
    I spoke with a large commercial beekeeper from the Northeast earlier this year and he has been treatment free for about 15 years. He speaks to beekeeping groups and I've seen some of his videos on Youtube. He used to write articles for the bee magazines about treatment free beekeeping and all of a sudden they wouldn't publish his writings any more. He told me that he could tell from talking to them that they were under pressure from the chemical manufacturers and retailers that they better stop printing his articles. They didn't just come out and admit it, but he could read between the lines and knew that's what was happening. "Chemical free" beekeeping is a threat to their livelihood.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Sub-Forum by Area?

    To the original post: There is something in what you say. Those of us is in the North/Midwest have an advantage when it comes to broodbreaks because of that great cold broodbreak called winter.

  17. #16

    Default Re: Treatment Free Sub-Forum by Area?

    @nordak
    You don`t need a separate forum. I´ve got 2 bee yards, 20 minutes driving apart from each other.
    You would not believe how different the 2 locations are. Flow, farming, spraying, weather, neighbors, bee race, sun or shade.....

    Just read here and find your strategy. Everybody is posting his climate. Or ask.

    I started a treatment free forum but we have all kinds of beekeepers. Since I´m moderator, I delete every unfriendly post, but so far nobody wants to do bashing and I´m learning much managements from others too. Beekeeping isnot always about treating.

    @dar
    It is worse in Europe. Very little work was done with VSH or grooming/mauling traits until the last 5 years. Many beekeepers are required by law to treat for mites.

    When an untreated colony dies from mite related syndrome, other colonies in the area rob the honey and in the process can bring a huge load of mites back to their colony. This can take a treated and otherwise healthy colony to the verge of death in a few weeks. The beekeeper recognizes that his treated colony was overwhelmed by the untreated colony's mites and becomes angry at the beekeeper who did not treat.
    They have programs to breed VSH queens now (Kirchhain, Ralph Bücheler) everybody can take part.
    http://www.toleranzzucht.de/home/
    But VSH is not everything. Management of hives is more.
    We are required to treat but only if we have severe mite problems.

    Fact is, the treated hives, especially the big production hives, now breed the mites. They die in spite of treatments, being weakened. The mites are virulent, formic acid kills more bees than mites, other sickness like chalk brood and nosema is common.

    Unsustainable beekeeping system

    "Beekeeping now has the dubious honor of becoming the first part of our system of industrial agriculture to actually fall apart. Let’s stop pretending that something else is going on. We no longer have enough bees to pollinate our crops. Each time the bees go through a downturn, we respond by making things more stressful for them, rather than less--we move them around more often, expose them to still more toxic substances, or fill the equipment up again with more untested and poorly adapted stock. We blame the weather, the mites, the markets, new diseases, consumers, the Chinese, the Germans, the (fill in your favorite scapegoat), other beekeepers, the packers, the scientific community, the price of gas, global warming--anything rather than face up to what’s really happening. We are losing the ability to take care of living things."--Kirk Webster
    Last edited by 1102009; 08-17-2016 at 04:35 AM. Reason: more

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Sub-Forum by Area?

    Sibylle, I translated the page for varroa tolerance breeding and read Buchler's document about selecting for VSH. Are there any other breeding programs you are aware of besides Juhani in Finland and Kefuss in France? https://aristabeeresearch.org/ is a website dedicated to breeding resistant bees.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Sub-Forum by Area?

    Quote Originally Posted by JeronimoJC View Post
    TFobia?

    Actually, I've wondered why there is such opposition to letting others explore TF concepts. The "follow the money" thought came to mind. Is it that there are commercial interests that would be negatively impacted by TF beekeeping?
    One reason I see mentioned even by top researchers are that TF beekeepers are a significant reason there are mites for the treatment people to still treat for. I don't necessarily subscribe to that thinking and actually think there are going to be mites with or without treatment. But overall when the path you walk requires yo step on my toes. you now made it my business. Like it or not that is a valid reason to get in your business. Particularly if it is nothing but a means for someone to spout garbage to make a buck and that buck is in part coming out of my pocket. At that point I will actively oppose your efforts.
    Everything gets darker, as it goes to where there is less light. Darrel Tank (5PM drawing instructor)

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Sub-Forum by Area?

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    @nordak
    You don`t need a separate forum. I´ve got 2 bee yards, 20 minutes driving apart from each other.
    You would not believe how different the 2 locations are. Flow, farming, spraying, weather, neighbors, bee race, sun or shade.....
    Yeah, I think you're right. I was just thinking last night how much variation exists between feral swarms I've caught here in my backyard. By all accounts I've read, they should be homogenized. But each one has it's unique personality. I think there is so much left to learn and understand on bee mating biology and it's effects on diversity.

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    I started a treatment free forum but we have all kinds of beekeepers.
    Can you point me in the right direction? I'd like to check it out.

  21. #20

    Default Re: Treatment Free Sub-Forum by Area?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    Sibylle, I translated the page for varroa tolerance breeding and read Buchler's document about selecting for VSH. Are there any other breeding programs you are aware of besides Juhani in Finland and Kefuss in France? https://aristabeeresearch.org/ is a website dedicated to breeding resistant bees.
    only private beekeepers as there are

    www.voralpenhonig.at
    www.resistantbees.com
    www.elgon.se
    www.wolnepszczoly.org

    Can you point me in the right direction? I'd like to check it out.
    If you speak german, be my guest:
    www.VivaBiene.de

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