Treatment free queens
Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 126
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Sandpoint, ID, USA
    Posts
    1,143

    Default Treatment free queens

    Where are they. If they exist i want one... i mean literally, no intervention whatsoever except feeding them if need be.

    So many people out there that advertise the next latest and greatest bee genetics. Yet, they all still need us to help them along the way at some point or another...

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    3,052

    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    Having after midnight dreams? I'm not a queen breeder, but can assure you there are queens with the right traits to make it treatment free.

    Carpenter apiaries sells queens with decent resistance.

    BWeaver queens are fairly resistant if you can get past the stinging traits from africanized influence.

    AdamF has queens with fairly good resistance.


    Most beekeepers are not willing to make the changes required to successfully keep bees treatment free. They purchase 2 or 3 queens, keep them a year, find out they are heavily infested with mites, and conclude that it doesn't work. The problem is that they either have other colonies that are mite infested and require treatment or they have so many mite susceptible colonies in the area that their queens with mite resistance genes are overwhelmed by the influx of mites in autumn. It is necessary to switch to resistant genetics and do something about mite bombs that can overwhelm colonies.

    I was able to go treatment free by first identifying a queen that had significant mite resistance then getting some Purvis queens to produce drones so I could raise queens and get reasonably pure mating. Once I had about 20 colonies established, I deliberately pushed them to swarm for a couple of years which got enough resistant genetics into the trees that they formed a buffer between my bees and the treated bees common in the area.

    If you really want to try treatment free, set a goal of purchasing enough queens to make a difference. When those queens are established in your colonies, start working on the genetics in the area by getting neighboring beekeepers to use treatment free genetics. Consider pushing swarms into the trees like I did if that will help.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,406

    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    I deliberately pushed them to swarm for a couple of years which got enough resistant genetics into the trees that they formed a buffer between my bees and the treated bees common in the area.
    If you read the articles by Randy, you probably aren't accomplishing what you think you are. Feral hives quickly maintain their own genetics, and revert back to their "wild selection" genes. Feral hives caught near commercial apiaries, that have been operating for years allowing swarms to escape, showed little genetic variation decade to decade, despite the change in apiary genetics over the same time period. Essentially, the beekeeper was changing the genetics, but the feral colonies weren't. I'd be interested to see some feral colonies in your area genetically tested to tell what is truly going on (although, who really has the cash for that).

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    It is necessary to switch to resistant genetics and do something about mite bombs that can overwhelm colonies.
    Which currently involves treatment. Defeating the original purpose.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    I'm not a queen breeder, but can assure you there are queens with the right traits to make it treatment free.
    I recognize this may be a situation of "agree to disagree" . . . . but I disagree.

    If you take a "treatment free" queen and move it to a different hive configuration, an apiary with different management practices, a different geographic area, or a different climate, and it's a crap shoot as to whether they will work or not. The reason why they were successful in one area and not another? No clue. That isn't that just I have no clue, but no one else does either. There are so many factors at play that no one is truly able to identify what makes one apiary that's tf successful while another one isn't.

    Not news to most on here, but years ago I went treatment free. I did everything I was told to by those in the know at the time. Used local genes from feral hives that were surviving year after year, fed little (if anything), natural comb, all mediums, unlimited brood nest, no treatments what soever, uncontrolled swarming, little (if any) honey harvest. In the end all 60 something hives died out. I asked several successful tf beekeepers what I did wrong, or what they did differently than I did. All responded the same way: "I don't know." (aside from those who attacked me for lying, as if losing 60 hives and starting over half a dozen years later wasn't enough, but I digress).

    There are so many factors at play.

    Quote Originally Posted by hex0rz View Post
    Where are they. If they exist i want one... i mean literally, no intervention whatsoever except feeding them if need be.
    If that's what you're looking for, a queen to plop in and sit back, harvesting honey and occasionally feeding in emergencies, it doesn't exist. The adds and the forum posts, in my opinion, are either snake water or are isolated successful events that are not repeatable.

    Not that it will always be that way.

    I've tried all the latest "tf queens" (and I continue to purchase from BeeWeaver). They help, they keep mite numbers lower and can usually maintain more mite pressure, but they are not the silver bullet you're looking for. Not yet at least.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Mogollon Rim, Arizona 85933
    Posts
    747

    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    Michael Bush has them for sale @ $50 each

    lol, good luck

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    3,052

    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    Typical responses. hex0rz, your work is cut out for you.

    SK, at the time, there were no feral colonies in this area except a few beekeeper escapes. Pushing a few dozen swarms into the trees meant putting mite resistant bees between me and the beekeepers.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    DuPage County Illinois
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    Quote Originally Posted by hex0rz View Post
    Where are they. If they exist i want one... i mean literally, no intervention whatsoever except feeding them if need be.

    So many people out there that advertise the next latest and greatest bee genetics. Yet, they all still need us to help them along the way at some point or another...
    Great thread! Really important and never discussed on BS before. I will be fascinated to see all the well thought out responses. Not.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO United States
    Posts
    1,406

    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidZ View Post
    Michael Bush has them for sale @ $50 each lol,
    Why does this make you laugh out loud

    Quote Originally Posted by hex0rz View Post
    Where are they. If they exist i want one... i mean literally, no intervention whatsoever except feeding them if need be.
    So many people out there that advertise the next latest and greatest bee genetics. Yet, they all still need us to help them along the way at some point or another...
    Isn't feeding them an intervention/help? Yes, even TF queens need management. It's not like you can put any queen in a box, sit back and see what happens to them or the mites. Not to mention, wouldn't you be dying to count & intervene because you thought the numbers told you they needed it
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat ;)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    6,034

    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    SK, at the time, there were no feral colonies in this area except a few beekeeper escapes. Pushing a few dozen swarms into the trees meant putting mite resistant bees between me and the beekeepers.
    By what means could you possibly have ascertained that they were "no feral" bees in your area with any sort of certainty?
    Just curious.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Collierville, TN
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    I can’t claim any isolated mating yards or fantastical buffers between my bees and others. I did however move myself and my bees from sw VA to west TN nearly three years ago and they are thriving. I don’t share the non-intervention ideas becoming prevalent in the TF community right now, I manage my bees for increase and for honey production and they do very well. I am very fond of plastic foundation and queen excluders, as well as feed. I do not use any miticides, or antibiotics. I have been growing my apiary a bit slow with profit from hives only. I don’t sell queens, because it’s more efficient and profitable to sell nuc’s at this point. Good luck in your search for queens, if you want to travel some you can find them in my yards.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Mogollon Rim, Arizona 85933
    Posts
    747

    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    lol...I'm a crunchy...lmao

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Elkton, Maryland
    Posts
    47

    Default

    I am going to experiment with a treatment free out yard next year. I have found some neglected hives out on a farm. If they survive another winter, I will graft from them. I am only doing it because there is a niche market from folks demanding TF queens and nucs. I will try to sell it to them (with a no guarantee disclaimer).

    But I worry it's not going to be profitable for me because they are going to die on me, or their population won't thrive enough for me to split.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Port Angeles, WA, USA
    Posts
    469

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hex0rz View Post
    Where are they. If they exist i want one... i mean literally, no intervention whatsoever except feeding them if need be.

    So many people out there that advertise the next latest and greatest bee genetics. Yet, they all still need us to help them along the way at some point or another...
    Check http://wildernessbees.com
    Instrumental Insemination & Northern VSH Queens

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Collierville, TN
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    Quote Originally Posted by CBQueens View Post
    I am going to experiment with a treatment free out yard next year. I have found some neglected hives out on a farm. If they survive another winter, I will graft from them. I am only doing it because there is a niche market from folks demanding TF queens and nucs. I will try to sell it to them (with a no guarantee disclaimer).

    But I worry it's not going to be profitable for me because they are going to die on me, or their population won't thrive enough for me to split.
    If that is the case then they are not good bees and you shouldn't be trying to fill the niche market with them. Consider actually developing a bee you would want before offering them up as TF, their should be more qualifying factors than they happened to not die the previous year when nearly everything else died.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Sandpoint, ID, USA
    Posts
    1,143

    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz-kill View Post
    Great thread! Really important and never discussed on BS before. I will be fascinated to see all the well thought out responses. Not.
    Wow, of all the responses, this one caught my attention most. Thank you for your entirely oxymoronic post...

    Quote Originally Posted by fieldsofnaturalhoney View Post
    Isn't feeding them an intervention/help? Yes, even TF queens need management. It's not like you can put any queen in a box, sit back and see what happens to them or the mites. Not to mention, wouldn't you be dying to count & intervene because you thought the numbers told you they needed it
    I wouldn't think feeding is a treatment. Intervention, by definition, sure.

    My hope is to experience a queen that can bring back what it was like pre varroa day. Forage is a factor, but that's a bigger battle...

    Other then that, thanks for all the responses, ill look into these suggestions.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Sawyer County,WI USA
    Posts
    369

    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    We raise our own queens, or allow our bees to raise them through swarming or splits, and we've been completely TF for 10 years. However, we do feed syrup when honey is lacking.

    I'm confidant that our queens are completely TF and will stay that way for as long as we keep bees. Its really not that hard to resist the temptation to add the latest 'miracle cure' into our colonies.....We decided a while ago that "Treating' is harder (on the bees) than not treating...and often results in dead bees anyway.

    difern't strokes......

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,644

    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    Quote Originally Posted by drummerboy View Post
    We raise our own queens, or allow our bees to raise them through swarming or splits, and we've been completely TF for 10 years. However, we do feed syrup when honey is lacking.

    I'm confidant that our queens are completely TF and will stay that way for as long as we keep bees. Its really not that hard to resist the temptation to add the latest 'miracle cure' into our colonies.....We decided a while ago that "Treating' is harder (on the bees) than not treating...and often results in dead bees anyway.

    difern't strokes......
    I thought you bought them from a local guy, both queens and nucs.
    Are those local bees and queens you buy tf ?

    Quote Originally Posted by drummerboy View Post
    I guess I'd want to visit this apiary before buying anything from them, beekeepers can be rip off artists as well as anyone.

    We typically buy 'over-wintered' 5 frame Nuc's from a local guy for $120.00, and his queens for $35.00 (up from $25.00).

    Four 'baby' Nuc's (un-proven?) for $440.00 seems like a bit much IMHO.

    Are they overwintered as 2 frame Nuc's....or are they made up as consumers/Beeks want them? BIG difference!!

    Do they advertise ample brood rearing going on...or just a four way box with 4 queens and some bees?

    I'd definitely have some questions...before forking over the bucks.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    2,794

    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    I bought 2 from Beeweaver in TX this spring. Only one was accepted. That mama was too hot for my no-smoker operation. Not stinging, but very defensive and bouncing off my veil. I live in the suburbs so I can't have any of that. Have 3 of her daughters that I will take through the winter to see how they do. I also buy them from Wildflowermeadows in CA. Haven't taken those through the winter yet.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    If you are interested in the carnis, I have a daughter from the aggressive commercial operation that mated
    with the local carnis drones on top of an ant hill hives. Basically through out the season, the owner never
    show up to treat or care for his bees because the hives are on a very busy street in an open grass field. They are
    there for 5 seasons already. I only saw once during the mid-Spring time that the owner was there maybe harvesting
    the honey. Never saw him there to treat his bees at all.

    For me, I have been removing the mites off the hives along with the cap broods going on the 3rd seasons now, tf. This daughter queen has not been evaluated yet because she's only been laying since the last week of August. Very strong, big and solid laying pattern queen. I don't know how resistant the bees are or how aggressive they are. The local drones are a bit docile but to be able to keep the carpenter ants out of the hives, they sure got something in their genetics alright. And she is totally tf queen.

    Tf to me means that the hive can withstand the mite load without crashing during the early Spring time and late Autumn time hive build up. So don't be too surprised when you see the mite load have increased during the mite and bees emergence cycle. If not crashed yet then those are the bees you want to keep as tf stocks!
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    8,158

    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    If a "TF" beekeeper who sells TF queens has to buy package bees to replace the deadouts, aren't the queens raised in the apiary worthless as a source of TF bees?

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Collierville, TN
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    If a "TF" beekeeper who sells TF queens has to buy package bees to replace the deadouts, aren't the queens raised in the apiary worthless as a source of TF bees?
    Yes

Page 1 of 7 123 ... 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
  •