Treatment free queens - Page 4
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  1. #61

    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    Quote Originally Posted by jcase View Post
    In all seriousness, can you please give good reasons why one can't or shouldn't pull honey from hives headed by II queens.
    No reason. But....to try to run a honey production business with II queens heading all or even most of the hives would be lunacy....in my opinion.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

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  3. #62
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    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    No reason. But....to try to run a honey productions business with II queens heading all or even most of the hives would be lunacy....in my opinion.
    Thank you.

    Only reasons I could come up with were cost (mostly negated if done in house) or time if you are a huge operation, or don't already produce queens. For a smaller operation, that is producing their own queens, I see no reason not to. Also not all II'd queens end up "breeder" quality, you have to do something with them. If they are complete trash, pinch them, but if they are still perfectly good, no reason to dispatch them. Put them to work somewhere.
    Instrumental Insemination & Northern VSH Queens

  4. #63
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    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeJ View Post
    ...
    It seems to me (not trying to put anyone down) when many tf sellers are advertising the "treatment free" is spoken of as if it is a product (i.e. not an environment). Then if it comes to questions about the queens' abilities it becomes the environment in which they were raised.
    ...
    I know it is odd for one to reply to their own post
    Actually this post bothered me every time I woke up last night. I feel I messed up with this. Thinking on it, I felt it conveyed that I have dealt with "many" sellers and this was my own personal results from such (I have actually had very little contact personally with tf breeders).

    In actuality, my desire was to reflect the various posts I have seen on tf queens. I do think specialKayMe did an great job on communicating (with actual facts) what I was intending to convey from third party observation.
    Mostly I was aiming at how the "your mileage may differ" comments seem to slip so often.

    So that is off my chest (stop looking at me like that)

    gww: yes - I still admit a guarantee is obviously not something that can be done. I am referring to a tf queen as a product not as an environmental description.

  5. #64
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    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    Mike
    gww: yes - I still admit a guarantee is obviously not something that can be done. I am referring to a tf queen as a product not as an environmental description.
    Hey, I look at all bees as a product the same way when I can see a death rate of 35 percent in germany and 12 percent in switzerland. It is also interesting to see a couple of headings on a google search that the usa death rate is coming down from some previous years. It seems like bees as a product have differrent enviromental stresses in differrent years no matter how they are kept. Then you will hear about local issue with no real answer but yet we are all pretty much using the same bees in the big picture. There are so many things that happen that a finger can not always be put on the cause and so we just keep doing our best.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  6. #65
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    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    that's a nice post mike and very much appreciated.

    as sk pointed out i may have been parsing the words too much and this can be a pitfall when exchanging thoughts in writing like we do here on the forum.

    to be honest my exposure to beekeeping is pretty much limited to beesource and the handful of folks i keep up with in my area, so i regret my reaction the descriptors 'typical' and 'many' as being hyperbole wasn't more tempered.

    i think you can see by my replies about the beeweaver ads that we are on the same page with respect to 'honest' advertising and realistic promotion when it comes to marketing tf bees. with respect to the other links provided by sk i didn't really see anything in those that bothered me.

    as far as an implied warranty goes i'll have to disagree with that. in my view the buyer bears some responsibility to do the homework necessary to know what they are getting into. it's not that hard to talk to other beekeepers or ask questions on a forum like this one.

    in my case i have detailed with full disclosure the past 3 years of experience with the bees i keep off treatments. should i start marketing queens i'll let that record speak for itself and remind any potential buyer of my first two rules of beekeeping:

    1. it depends
    2. no guarantees

    bee blessed mike.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #66
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    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeJ View Post
    I am referring to a tf queen as a product not as an environmental description.
    in my view you really can't divorce the two.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #67
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    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    No reason. But....to try to run a honey production business with II queens heading all or even most of the hives would be lunacy....in my opinion.

    An II queen, once fully inseminated, is as good as a production queen. She can lay up to 2-3 seasons. Tom and Sue said so. These are professional in their trade. Not affected by weather or seasons as long as you can make the drones. A drone laying queen that she turn out to be, I will make her into a drone mother queen Cordovan style, of course.

    If it is loonie, then I will be the first one testing them out this coming Spring using my homemade ghetto II station. You can call me
    a mad (bee) scientist! Already geared up with many altered II syringes this time. I will try to make as many of these II queens as I possibly can to head the production colonies here. One is to test their productivity and second is to test their laying progress over time. Thirdly is to test their mite resistant ability coming from compatible no chemical treatment and mite resistant stocks. I don't see how an II queen is different from an open mated production queen. Both are vigorous productive laying queens, right! If you can make them why not. Centrifuge on!



    II syringes made, more to come:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  9. #68

    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    An II queen, once fully inseminated, is as good as a production queen.
    Enough with the II queens already!!!!

    My original honey production reference was to VSH queens as one would buy from a VSH queen producer…not selected II VSH queens. As is obvious now…I failed to make that distinction and jcase jumped on my failure to be specific. I presumed…my mistake….that anyone following the thread would intuitively make the connection.
    Clearly those who are fascinated with the II process have focused on my error….when I initially referred to the foolishness of using II queens for honey production…my issue was with II VSH queens vs VSH queens that have been open mated. If you want to parade your II qualifications, skills or the magnificence of II queens in general….I think a separated thread would be appropriate.
    My apologies for my part in this totally unrelated branch of the original thread.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  10. #69
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    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.
    if you are unable locate anyone near standpoint, id with bees like that your next best bet would be to track down and collect swarms from and/or do cut outs of proven (confirmed to have made through a winter or two) feral survivors.

    a fairly common denominator among those having success keeping bees off treatments is the presence of thriving feral population, and this makes sense because those survivor genes (traits) get cycled into bee operations via the feral drones.

    the next step would be to find out if along with survivability (read here 'mite resistance') other desirable traits such as good temperment, favorable response to swarm prevention, and good honey production are also present.

    the (almost) fail proof approach and the one not available to most is to find someone having the kind of tf success your are looking for in your general area, and if possible obtain bees and glean management practices from them.

    unfortunately and as randy oliver has pointed out in his abj series 'the varroa problem' the beekeeping business like any other business is driven the economics of supply and demand. treatment free is low in demand and is feared counterproductive to meeting supply when it comes the 5% of beekeepers managing the 95% of all colonies that are employed in commercial pursuits.

    those us that comprise the other 95% of beekeepers managing the remaining 5% of all colonies as hobbiests and sideliners are perhaps in a better position to work toward developing tf stock, but there doesn't appear to be widespread appetite for that.

    jmho, but unless there is general agreement among beekeepers in a given area say a county or group of adjoining counties to transition from current practices to tf, i think its going to be very hard to make a significant change in the bee stock because of open mating and polyandry.

    and when's the last time you noticed general agreement among beekeepers?
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  11. #70
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    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    Enough with the II queens already!!!!

    My original honey production reference was to VSH queens as one would buy from a VSH queen producer…not selected II VSH queens. As is obvious now…I failed to make that distinction and jcase jumped on my failure to be specific. I presumed…my mistake….that anyone following the thread would intuitively make the connection.
    Clearly those who are fascinated with the II process have focused on my error….when I initially referred to the foolishness of using II queens for honey production…my issue was with II VSH queens vs VSH queens that have been open mated. If you want to parade your II qualifications, skills or the magnificence of II queens in general….I think a separated thread would be appropriate.
    My apologies for my part in this totally unrelated branch of the original thread.
    I apologize for my part in it as well. I expected someone with well over a decade of experience to use correct terms, and not mix up two very different terms. I know now that I made a bad assumption, and should have clarified.
    Instrumental Insemination & Northern VSH Queens

  12. #71

    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    Quote Originally Posted by jcase View Post
    I expected someone with well over a decade of experience to use correct terms, and not mix up two very different terms. I know now that I made a bad assumption, and should have clarified.
    And I expected any knowledgeable readers to follow the direction of the discussion. Seems like we both had overly high expectations.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  13. #72
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    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    And I expected any knowledgeable readers to follow the direction of the discussion. Seems like we both had overly high expectations.
    another thing I shouldn't have expected, as politeness and others backing things up with facts when asked. We both messed up big time it seems. Alright that is my last of it. If either of us need more, we can make a cranky old man thread, I'm sure we both fit in it fine.
    Instrumental Insemination & Northern VSH Queens

  14. #73
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    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    Quote Originally Posted by jcase View Post
    a If either of us need more, we can make a cranky old man thread, I'm sure we both fit in it fine.
    It would be a popular thread, stretching for pages with plenty jumping in. Like I just did.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  15. #74
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    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    It would be a popular thread, stretching for pages with plenty jumping in. Like I just did.
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...05#post1583705
    Instrumental Insemination & Northern VSH Queens

  16. #75
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    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    as far as an implied warranty goes i'll have to disagree with that. in my view the buyer bears some responsibility to do the homework necessary to know what they are getting into. it's not that hard to talk to other beekeepers or ask questions on a forum like this one.
    If someone orders a "Cordovan Queen" and the queen that comes in the mail is black (along with her daughters) do you think that's right? Do you think they might have some level of a claim against the breeder for giving him something other than what he wanted? Or is the sole blame on the customer who "should have known better" than to order from that person?

    What about if you call up a breeder and tell them you want VERY gentle bees. The breeder tells you they've "got you covered." The queen that comes in the mail is hot. Very hot. You have them genetically tested, and they have AHB genetics. Do you think that's right? Or is the sole blame again falling upon the customer who "should have done more research?"

    How is it any different than someone that sells a "Treatment Free Queen" that then comes in the mail, gets riddled by mites and collapses in a matter of months? They ordered a "Treatment Free Queen" and they didn't get what they ordered. The seller, by calling it a "Treatment Free Queen" has held their product out as being able to perform a particular quality: survive without treatments.

    To me, if someone sells "Queens" but lets people know their management practices, which happen to be treatment free, that's one thing. The buyer looked into and weighed everything, and chose to buy the queen. But it's something entirely different if someone sells "Treatment Free Queens" but doesn't let anyone know their management practices. The buyer has nothing further to look into, and is not able to make a fully informed decision. In fact, the seller usually markets it as "Treatment Free Queens" to get a higher price. The same as someone who sells "Cordovan Queens." When you hold yourself out as selling a particular type of queen, you should deliver that queen.

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    treatment free is low in demand and is feared counterproductive to meeting supply when it comes the 5% of beekeepers managing the 95% of all colonies that are employed in commercial pursuits.

    those us that comprise the other 95% of beekeepers managing the remaining 5% of all colonies as hobbiests and sideliners are perhaps in a better position to work toward developing tf stock, but there doesn't appear to be widespread appetite for that.
    From someone who's kept bees longer than since 2010, I can tell you there's more to this story than you're implying.

    The varroa mite entered the US in 1987. At the time, there was no registered treatment for varroa mites. Everyone's hives were treatment free. And everyone's hives started dying. A few years later the first varroacide was developed and put into practice. But not everyone started using it. Some elected to stay "treatment free." There is a reason you don't see anyone advertising "Treatment Free since 1987." Everyone that was treatment free back then was either forced out of business, or was forced to use treatments.

    Since then a plethora of people have gone treatment free, have entered the arena of treatment free, or started keeping bees treatment free. The vast majority of them are no longer either keeping bees, or doing so treatment free. The reason? It didn't work for them.

    It isn't that the large commercial operations aren't interested in treatment free. They'd absolutely love it. And most are selecting for mite resistance. But they've seen their coworkers become financially devastated from going treatment free. Some lost everything. Their houses, their businesses, their livelihoods. So they aren't interested in repeating that by jumping in with both feet. Most hobby beekeepers that have started keeping bees in the last 10 years don't know, or don't remember the history. They can afford to lose everything, or more often don't realize so many people have risked everything before them only to be forced into bankruptcy. Remember that the next time you pass judgment on a commercial beekeeper for "using chemicals."

    It's been 30 years last month since the varroa entered the US. And where's the magic bullet?
    Last edited by Specialkayme; 10-08-2017 at 10:36 AM.

  17. #76

    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    If you purchase something and are disappointed, it´s the end of business for the seller or do you believe people will stay ignorant about that?
    Not in the net age.

    We are even longer in the mite and treatments situation you describe above SK and no ferals left to use but I wonder why Seeley is discussed suddenly and old habits change...must be the beekeepers are tired to treat or something.
    Or the older generation gave up beekeeping and the younger changed their attitude starting to see bees as of value for nutrition ( pollination) and not as livestock?
    Must be the vegans who have no use of honey, I know many vegan people keeping bees, or the average young wealthy people wanting regional food not cheap important bad stuff.

    Thanks to the romantic views in a cold profit world.

  18. #77
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    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    i'm with you sk in that the seller has just as much obligation to deliver as advertised as the buyer does to diligently obtain consumer reports from others with respect to the level of satisfaction they experienced.

    when such information is not available then i say no information is also useful in that expectations deserve to be guarded. no one is forcing anyone to buy anything.

    sibylle makes the point better than i. like most markets this one polices itself.

    i've been pretty careful about which queens i choose to graft from, but in the end there is usually a range in performance from a batch of queens from stellar to not so good.

    so the experience the buyer is going to get can vary from off the charts to very poor and the problem is each individual queen isn't proven until she is. so in the end it always depends and there are no guarantees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    And where's the magic bullet?
    no magic bullets, especially none that are just a click and a debit card away. in my area feral colonies and managed colonies derived from them have been doing very well off treatments at least as far back as 1996.

    jmho, but it's these and other populations now documented to be surviving varroa off treatments that are likely to provide the answers we are looking for.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  19. #78
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    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    like most markets this one polices itself.
    Does it? BeeWeaver continues to hold themselves out as producers of queens that you can just drop in the hive and forget about treatments. They have for years. At least the 5 that I've purchased from them. And they sell out every year. Do their queens hold up to their marketing? Or course not. And yet they continue to make outlandish statements and sell out of queens every year. Where's the policing?

    The buck doesn't stop with BeeWeaver though. Someone posts an add for "treatment free queens." Some buy, give it a shot, and they're crap. Does he stop selling? Nope. New beekeepers (like SiWolKe) are starting each year. An endless round of customers. A new sucker born every minute. And should the "system" catch up to the seller, they'll be a new one next year. And the year after that.

    I see no policing. I see uninformed buyers being taken advantage of from sellers, and a treatment free industry ready, willing, and able to add social pressure to make you believe buying that queen is the right thing to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    in my area feral colonies and managed colonies derived from them have been doing very well off treatments at least as far back as 1996.

    jmho, but it's these and other populations now documented to be surviving varroa off treatments that are likely to provide the answers we are looking for.
    Were you around in 1996 to document that?

    Ok, so I'll modify my statement. Assume it's correct, and ferals in your area have been doing fine since 1996. So it's been TWENTY ONE YEARS. Where's the answer? Where's the mite proof bees?

  20. #79
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    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    I think a lot of the problem is that there are basically two definitions for "Treatment Free".

    If your the seller, your capitalizing on your environment and suggesting that this will give your queens/bees a leg up (which apparently it may - reading posts - - or may not depending). Your not intending that it be assumed your bees will *end* mite/etc. problems - but just be a large part of the battle (well, maybe not for weaver bees ).

    If your the buyer (or at least what I think when I hear "tf"), is thinking along the lines of a finished product that you put in the hive and that should mean at least 90% done. This may be because many beekeepers (esp. backyard keepers) really want a silver bullet, and so we tend to let ourselves "hope" it is this way.

  21. #80

    Default Re: Treatment free queens

    SK
    I think you are very bitter with your personal experience. I´m sorry for that.

    I met some people members of this forum, who are happy with the BeeWeavers, we still post via mail.

    If people are uninformed, it´s their problem. It´s easy today to be informed. If breeders are able to sell bad queens good luck to them. I do not attack them, I pity the ignorant buyers. I was like them once but I don´t regret this experience.
    I lost much money to have "resistant" colonies but today I´m glad because the bad experience made me more careful and taught me much about disease and tf and how local beekeeping is.

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