treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    In my humble opinion no greater damage is currently being done to our new beekeepers than the damage by some of the "gurus" on here shoving treatment free down the throats of every newb who asks a question. I'm sure if you have at least a dozen hives and are ok with constant crashes, massive splitting to simply maintain hive #s each year, and are either into buying bees constantly as well or are someplace you can catch lots of swarms then you could be "treatment free" and live merrily. However when you have a first year beek or worse one without bees yet asking what should I do for x,y,and z and in swoops people saying "we'll I don't treat and I'm successful so don't treat either" you are setting that newb up for failure. Just think about it what's the difference between you? First year vs 5, 10, or 40 years keeping bees. New beeks face countless struggles and issues on their way to surviving the first few years, building their apiary to where they want it, learning the basics, and understanding what a normal healthy hive looks like. They are never going to stick with it if they never taste success.
    As for brood breaks themselves as a form a varroa control pretty sure Randy Oliver has a graph on his site showing it does essentially nothing. Now a brood break combined with some other sort of treatment very effective. Honestly if brood breaks worked by themselves why do our northern colonies not come out of winter with less mites than when they went in? It don't hold water.
    If treatment free is truly doable why don't some of the major "pushers" of said philosophy open the books on their apiary? How many hives do you have? How many splits did you make? How many queens you produce each year? #s of honey produced and total losses for the year? If it can be done and is something that you believe repeatable shouldn't be a problem providing some proof of it.

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  3. #42

    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    humble opinion?

    I donīt think tf is being shoved down the throats because people interested in tf beekeeping normally have the idea beforehand.
    And the tf "gurus" as you call them, are very helpful with all questions to beekeeping aside from tf.

    That said treating was shoved down my throat much more when I posted I wanted to be tf. I was called a bee killer and irresponsible...but there is the tf forum thankfully.

  4. #43
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by vtbeeguy View Post
    As for brood breaks themselves as a form a varroa control pretty sure Randy Oliver has a graph on his site showing it does essentially nothing. Now a brood break combined with some other sort of treatment very effective. Honestly if brood breaks worked by themselves why do our northern colonies not come out of winter with less mites than when they went in? It don't hold water.
    It's true a brood break is not always enough. But I've seen enough nucs turned around by just placing a capped cell in them to have faith it knocks the heck out of the mites and usually gets that nuc back on track. Possibly better genetics and a new vigorous young queen doesn't hurt. If done in combination with a treatment, sure it is going to be very effective. But I do run them without treatments with anything I may want to graft from down the road or to evaluate daughters performance and resistance, so I can keep an eye on what my bees can do on their own.

    If I wasn't rearing queens, It would be different. I would treat them all at that broodless time.
    If you have more than a few hives though, it would take some serious coordinating in that few days when your window opens, then slams shut. Using a just started queen cell would extend that window.
    Last edited by Lauri; 01-15-2018 at 02:27 PM.
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.

  5. #44
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    I look at varroa destructor in the same way I see the snakehead fish or the Burmese python. They are an invasive species that were placed here by artificial means (man) into an ecosystem that did not have the benefit of thousands of years to adapt to its presence. It is in many ways an Apex predator that, but for a healthy market that demands the artificial proliferation of the honey bee, could wipe out the native species (well, not truly native). I think it borders on hubris to believe that we will somehow evolve or adapt the honey bee in a matter of a few years, or even decades, to deal with this invasive species by simply leaving it alone.

    It is one thing to breed for an EXISTING trait. I can select from cows with shorter legs, or chickens that do not have as strong of a brood instinct, or honey bee queens with more gentle offspring.

    IF I could readily identify and scientifically prove the existence of the strong trait of mite biting, or mite hygiene, or virus resistance within a honey bee queen, then I suppose I could begin my program of selection.

    However, I am not convinced that this trait actually EXISTS. Yes, some might have more success than others. Some might seem to survive more than others. But have we isolated the trait we want? Other than just the trait of plain survival?

    There has been a lot of talk, a lot of studies and a lot of proclaimed successes. We all know that there will be a very healthy market for a scientifically proven queen line that has this mythical trait. And yet, I still cannot buy one.

    Is it there? I have my doubts. But I want it to be true as badly as any tf beek out there. Good luck.

  6. #45
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    vtbeeguy
    However, the guys that are doing it know what they are doing wether they feel the need to prove it or not. I saw four new members join the forum this year with all of them saying they had bees for three years and did not treat and thier bees were still alive. I don't discount the horror stories of others who have tried it and had a bad experiance either.

    Never being around bees at all when I started, I didn't treat but it wasn't because I was a purist and against treatment but more that I already did not know what I was doing even after reading for a year and learning how to treat was just one more thing to maby get to someday but learning how to feed with out robbing and how to inspect a hive came first and even that was pretty intimidating.

    Since I read a year before getting bees, I did know the risk and so to me, if you know the risk, you get to make the choice. I expected all my hives to die but they lived. I still expect them to die and they may but have not yet. Even if it does go bad, I am further along and have other knowlage of bee keeping gained and will also be able to see what differrence treating makes cause I have experiance not treating and should be able to see the differrence.

    The numbers of people keeping bees is like 50% don't treat. I do not question for one second that poeple on this thread that talk about trying it and having a bad experiance. Just as I don't question that squarepeg is having the success he is having and he did give those numbers you talk of.

    I didn't treat cause I didn't know how and did not prioritze learning that first. But I did know the risk and made a decission to try it knowing those risk. My view was that you don't know till you try.

    I would not be one that says it will work for everyone but would also say you don't know untill you try. So if you were brand new and it was one of the things you would like, now is the time to try it. Know the risk, if it goes bad, make what adjustments you need to make. It would depend on your over all goals and why you are keeping bees.

    I would say of those four people that joined the forum that had a couple of years treatment free and thier bees were alive. They may not have did it on purpose but more just got some bees and got lucky cause they had not learned enough to "know better". However, they do know now what they have already did. I don't even write this saying I know my nine hives will be alive come april, only that they are alive now.

    I do know when you keep live animals or bugs, you take some risk of them dieing. I went to a bee club meeting and sevaral new beekeepers had lost all thier bees and it had nothing to do with wether they treated or not but more to do with them being new. The guy that still had bees had kept them for 20 years and does not treat. He had one to sell me and nobody else local did.

    I don't stand here and say it will work for everyone cause the post on here prove that but also think that if that is what a person wants to end up with, there is only one way to try it and see.

    I may treat someday just to see but am very happy that I have not yet just to see also.

    I wouldn't think of myself as a pusher cause I don't care what you do and wish whatever it is that you do well. I do think your position is kind of a pusher position cause it discounts what others know they have did wether they prove it to you are not. Even if they tried to prove it to you, you would have to believe what they told you.

    I think the best way to let a newby start beekeeping is to tell him of the options and the risk and let him that spends the money decide. Tell him that just buying bees does not mean something can not go wrong and that they may die. Tell him when he is inspecting he might kill the queen. Let him know he can treat if he decides to and that oct might be too late if he makes that decission.

    Tell him open feeding by a newly hived package may cause robbing.

    Tell him there are pushers of all philosopheis and some successes and failures for new guys on all sides and he can decide.

    Just so you know. I don't do brood breaks due to mites. I do make any split I was going to make anyway in a mite friendly way. I have not tried to cull drone comb to get rid of mites.

    I try to stop swarming though I am not good at that yet.

    Everybody can look at somebody else and say I could get more out of what he has but what is important is is the person doing it getting enough for hisself that it is worth doing. The one with the sweat in the game is the one who gets to decide when he is happy with what he is getting.
    Cheers
    gww
    Ps I see by the responces that I type pretty slow
    Last edited by gww; 01-15-2018 at 10:17 AM.
    zone 5b

  7. #46
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    squarepeg, hows your treatment free project coming along ?

  8. #47
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Ian
    I am not squarepeg but do read his thread and he made $600 per hive after takeing out the cost of building a bunch of new hive bodies.
    I think he has lost 2 or three hives this year so far.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  9. #48
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by vtbeeguy View Post
    If treatment free is truly doable why don't some of the major "pushers" of said philosophy open the books on their apiary?
    i certainly do not consider myself a "pusher" of any philosophy, but there are several of us in my area are having year after year success with survival and honey production while keeping bees off treatments.

    see post 1331 on this page for 2015-2017 tallies:

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...erience/page34

    please post your numbers so that we can do a side by side comparison.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  10. #49
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by vtbeeguy View Post
    In my humble opinion no greater damage is currently being done to our new beekeepers than the damage by some of the "gurus" on here shoving treatment free down the throats of every newb who asks a question.
    perhaps in the past... a quick look at the BIP says the numbers of TF keepers are crashing, now at about 1/2 the 10 year advrage with 2/3s less hives being manged TF. TF is failing them and they quit or change.....I Blame the let them die message...it makes no sence to tell some one that there package bees will "develop" anything... I spoke out about this being a poor path https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...for-new-back-y

    Quote Originally Posted by vtbeeguy View Post
    As for brood breaks themselves as a form a varroa control pretty sure Randy Oliver has a graph on his site showing it does essentially nothing. Now a brood break combined with some other sort of treatment very effective. Honestly if brood breaks worked by themselves why do our northern colonies not come out of winter with less mites than when they went in? It don't hold water.
    I haven't seen this graph... his mite model and the research of outhers says it has an impact around 40% I see iy in my yard as well when the dearth hits, my aug roll are lower, or the same as the July rolls.
    enough on it own maby in some places, not in a lot of outhers...but a tool in the bag, yes

    IF I could readily identify and scientifically prove the existence of the strong trait of mite biting, or mite hygiene, or virus resistance within a honey bee queen, then I suppose I could begin my program of selection
    Its easy, mite counts!
    you select for hives that resist the build up of the mite population. You don't need the "how" just the end result... ie you don't need to know /test for fast twitch vs slow twitch mussels, you just breed from the fastest or strongest horses in your program.

  11. #50

    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    The different opinions on what influences bee health are very interesting, for example:

    In recent years, beekeepers on several continents have been suffering heavy losses of colonies. If we systematically investigate factors causing the losses, we can justifiably ask whether the way in which honey bees are kept is part of the problem. Could hive design, frames, foundation, intrusion, artificial queen breeding, drone suppression, queen excluders, artificial feeding, medication, transhumance and overstocking - all elements of modern beekeeping - be reducing the vitality of bees?
    David Heaf


    Honey bees are increasingly important in the pollination of crops and wild plants. Recent reports of the weakening and periodical high losses of managed honey bee colonies have alarmed beekeeper, farmers and scientists. Infestations with the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor in combination with its associated viruses have been identified as a crucial driver of these health problems.
    From the lithium chloride link Bernhard Heuvel provided recently.

  12. #51
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i certainly do not consider myself a "pusher" of any philosophy, but there are several of us in my area are having year after year success with survival and honey production while keeping bees off treatments.

    see post 1331 on this page for 2015-2017 tallies:

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...erience/page34

    please post your numbers so that we can do a side by side comparison.
    Looks like the post you are referring to is on Page 67 Post 1331...

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...erience/page67

  13. #52
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    (the exact page number depends on how the pages are formatted on your device, for me it's page 34, should be post 1331 for everyone)
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  14. #53
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    msl
    perhaps in the past... a quick look at the BIP says the numbers of TF keepers are crashing, now at about 1/2 the 10 year advrage with 2/3s less hives being manged TF. TF is failing them and they quit or change.....I Blame the let them die message...it makes no sence to tell some one that there package bees will "develop" anything... I spoke out about this being a poor path https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...for-new-back-y
    Bip is interesting when you look at the surveys.
    Treating bee keepers lost 34 percent and non treaters lost 43 percent. But of course if you dig further.
    Those that replaced the queen lost almost the reverse of the mite numbers and the ones that did not replace had less loss and then the screened bottom board was reversed again with screened bottom boards losing less then other. In the end there is not more then 10 percent differrence in the survey numbers and unless you knew the bee keeping coctail, you can not attribute one single thing to the numbers. With the right busness plan and the differrence between 30 and 40 percent is not that bad. It is all about taking it all and comeing up to a compermise position that is giving enough to make it worth doing.

    It is like solar, you need a big enough battery cause of when the sun don't shine but you can only have a big enough battery that your solar can charge at a certain rate for it to work and also so there is not too much waste. Winter tilt is differrent then summer tilt and so you have to add up a compermise that gives enough of both and you want air conditioning but to get it you have to decide if having too much power for nine months when you don't need air is worth the cost.

    Those are numbers (even the bad ones) that can be worked with and this is expecially true when they are just average numbers that some will be worse then but some will beat consistantly. I don't think even treaters are satisfied with the posted 34 percent average.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  15. #54
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    As for me, TF is the only way to go to make any sense...
    Otherwise, I don't even care to keep bees (seen most of it already as-is - enough).
    No challenge, and no fun, and no long-term utility in keeping medicated bees.
    Medicating is the dead-end, folks.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  16. #55
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    I would put one cavate to my view. I take exactly the opposite view on it being bad to advise a new bee keeper to start treatment free. I think if that is what they want then they might as well try it. If, however I already had a succesful buisness that was putting shoes on my kids feet and was having no problims and was a treater, I would not go cold turky and mess up my game plan that was working. I might do small expermentation but would be pretty sure of myself before switching over from something that was working to something I was just trying.

    You got to talk from where you are.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  17. #56
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    ... If, however I already had a succesful buisness.....gww
    Most people arguing here TF vs. Medicated don't really depend on the bees for their way of life.

    Those who are in serious business and depend on the bees for living, they have no time or desire to argue here.
    They just go about the business as needed.
    I would not worry about them doing some crazy moves.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  18. #57
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Well here we go again all smoke and mirrors and no substance. Square why don't you tell us how your mite counts were in mid summer and how they were in the fall, or any other beekeepers who do not care about mites on there bees. First of all are you keeping resistant bees or are you keeping benign mites or do you have mites at all because if you cannot answer these questions you yourself do not know why your bees are alive while others die and most probably yours could die if moved to a different location. We need answers not dreams.
    Johno

  19. #58
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Greg
    There are bigger bee keepers that are treatment free. One of my recent post on this thread was about zelots pushing for one way. I like to think of my postion as more of open minded and not discounting other peoples experiances. So I don't think little ole me is going to influince successful poeple that know more then me and are proving it by doing it. I just posted it so that those who are reading this thread know that I lean one way but am also willing to reconize why people do what they do. They work from where they are sitting.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  20. #59
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    johno
    First of all are you keeping resistant bees or are you keeping benign mites or do you have mites at all because if you cannot answer these questions you yourself do not know why your bees are alive while others die and most probably yours could die if moved to a different location. We need answers not dreams.
    By this logic it could be said there are a whole bunch of people that are treating now and would not have to be cause thier bees would live.

    Doing something is not smoke and mirrors cause it is being done. I don't think claims were made that everyone has the same success and even sientist are still guessing why it is working in some places. They make the same guesses you made on benigh mites and such. You have nothing new but a repeat guess of why you think it works for Square. The point is, it is working for him and others. Yes, new things may come along and change that and you might get a differrent flue then what might have been around last year. That is the nature of nature. Now if your position is there is never adjustments made in nature, there is probly enough proof to prove that wrong.
    Square peg is not the only person that gets by with out treating and yes, some have had no luck but that doesn't mean that some that do have luck is not true. They killed a whole bunch of chickens in korea due to a chicken virus but I am still keeping chickens. Some poeple have burnt hives due to foul brood but poeple still keep bees with out using antibiotics.
    I hear you but don't buy what you say.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  21. #60
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    I've heard TF works exceedingly well somewhere in Nebraska

    +1 Johno @ benign mites
    Zone 5 @ 4700 ft. High Desert

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