treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread - Page 4
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  1. #61
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    There are a few studies out there that show that bees with long standing mite pressure have made mites a bit more benign but supressing the mite reprodution. The sientist don't know how they are doing that but do know it is happening.
    Just saying.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

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  3. #62
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Gww I think you miss the point, when I sample my bees and my mite level is above 3% in mid summer I try to lower my mite count because I know my bees are susceptible to DWV or whatever other viruses they may be carrying. Now there must be a reason someone who cares not about his miteload and still keeps his bees and succeeds. I would like to know how this is done. Unfortunately very little useful information seems to come from this quarter especially about mite loads. smoke and mirrors, because no tangible answers are forthcoming. Some say everything works if you let it but for me everything will die if I let it. The only feral bees in my area are a few swarms that have escaped from my yards. So very little progress is being made in the search for the perfect stock all round.
    Johno

  4. #63
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Johno hits the nail on the head and that is why I am so data driven... be it TF or Fad fogger cures.....show me the numbers
    however I think SP has doen a good job documenting his program, most of what you want is there... counts, losses, yealds.. yes its deep in a long thread, but if you feel like digging its there.

    The issue is simple its realy hard to repucate the results of TF relibuily, its real easy to repucate the results of cems

    Side note, will never have perfect all around stock... you cant buy a bunch of VT Holstein milk cows turn them out freerange in TX and expect them to do well, any more then sticking a longhorn in milk barn is a good idea.

  5. #64
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    The non-treated yards have consistently suffered high mortality. No instant "evolution" to "survivor" bees has occured. I consider TF beekeeping a pure fraud.
    My experiments have yielded the same results. I also consider TF beekeeping a fraud, which is very easily perpetrated for reasons unknown to me.

  6. #65
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    johno
    I see your point and don't discount your experiance. I believe the other guys on this site that say they have had horrible experiances. I am the type that thinks you have to do what you have to do to keep your bees alive or why have bees. I do not keep bees for the bees, I keep bees for what they might give me.

    I do say this also though. When I decided I was going to just see what happenned, I did not pre judge the out come but more just tried it hoping for the best and expecting the worse. The worse may still happen. I do not keep counts cause I figure who needs them if I am refusing to do anything about them anyway. So if my bees did live, I would just be able to say that and not really give the reasons why. So though I would have no ill will to others, I also don't feel like becoming a sientist to help everyone else. I don't want to hurt them either. So I just say what works for me and tell the truth on it but don't say it will work for you. My view is that you have to try it.

    Ok, you tried it and it doesn't work. I don't have the answer for that. The possibilities are that may change someday like it has changed from the beginning where when the mites showed up 90 percent of the wild hives died but now they have stable populations. Enough time or other factors may have held your area back in this development and so in my mind, it might still be a possible future for your areas but it is not there yet and you have to deal with realities.

    I do know that all the bees are not all the same and I am sure all the mites and virouses are not the same and this is why even with people you will have cluster outbreaks of disiese. Things evolve in and evolve out. I think in your area that if somebody is willing to eat the losses and keep the pressure on that it might evolve faster but just like me taking mite counts and posting them, it would not be your responcibility to be the one to do it for everyone else.

    I do think with the right work, it might be possible to make all places treatment free but doing that would not be pain free and so I don't blame anyone or think it is their responcibility to be the one. Plus, I could even be wrong that it is possible. It is possible where I am for whatever reason and that could change or it could even get better. I can't see not doing it if it is working just like if I was in your shoes, I could not see me being the one to try and make it happen if I was getting along fine with out it. Yes, I am selfish enough to relie on others to do it for me.

    beekeeping is kinda funny and every one sorta has to look at what is out there and try a few things untill he is getting what he needs for his bees. Plus what is wanted out of bees is also diverse. Sometimes there is no one shoe fitts all and you gotta do what you gotta do.

    I don't have answers, I just don't discount the possibilities out of hand.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  7. #66
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    clyderoad-the reason is simple...
    Anti Big AG, Anti establishment sells, we want to believe we are sooooo much smarter/better then the geunration before us. Instead of learning lessons form them we discount there experience and are worce for it...

  8. #67
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    It is possible where I am for whatever reason and that could change or it could even get better.
    Interesting you say that, i remember someone on the forum mentioning that not too far from here the area had decent TF results. Didn't realize an "area" could play a factor..?
    The only beekeeper that i know is 100% treatment free and has decent success. Success is relative - but he is sustainable for his goals. He's always trying out different queens but from what i can tell he hasn't landed on any specific queen genetics that he breeds from. Example, last year he bought an II VSH queen and did some grafting from her.
    I was afraid to chance it starting out and honestly the more i learn the harder it is becoming to see changing in the future.

  9. #68
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    squarepeg,

    I think you have opened up Pandora's Box and created a new Frankenstein. My bet is that this will be the longest thread in Beesource history.


    Back to the topic.....
    I'm not a professional beekeeper, have never had more than 25 hives, but I've been at this for a while. Kept bees in the late 70's (pre-Varroa Mite) and still keeping bees now in the present "Varroa" era. Based on my own personal experiences, and what I've gleaned from other beekeepers accounts around the country, I'm convinced that Treatment/TF success is largely dependent upon "regional" conditions.

    If an area is not saturated with genetics that demonstrate varroa resistance, good luck going treatment free. I went down the TF path some years back, prompted by my desire to raise my bees in the most natural conditions as possible. Tried to do everything right. Small Cell, bought Hygenic mite resistant queens, used clean chemical free comb, no treatments. Still, lost almost all my hives to mite pressure.

    I believe there are some segments of the country where successful TF beekeeping is possible. But where my bees reside, it's a losing proposition. Beekeepers need to understand their surroundings, and do what is necessary to keep their bees healthy and thriving. To this end I now use the most effective treatments available with the least amount of negative side effects on the bees health. If you are in an area where TF is possible, go for it.

    My 2 cents.
    To everything there is a season....

  10. #69
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Cbay
    If you are happy with your results, keep doing what you are doing. The key to me is if the person that is doing the work is happy with his results.
    Oldtimer told me one time that if I kept the bees like the treatment free guy I got them from kept them, I should have the same results as him. Then the question is, are those results good enough? I have not lost any hives yet. I am not sure that if I lost 30 percent but was still ending every year with more hives then I had the year before, if that would bother me even if I could do more work and improve that result. The thing is, there is always some way for improvement in life but most don't take advantage of it due to the work and being happy with where they are.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  11. #70
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    You're right about one thing gww, it isn't someones responsibility to record their experience for the benefit of others. Doubters can get out of the arm chair and try techniques themselves then report their own "scientific" findings. Funny how those who claim to have open minds are often the most critical. I remember when squarepeg started his thread. He deserves some applause for being transparent with his techniques and findings, that takes some guts.

    The other thing people mistake is TF being synonymous with Management Free. TF requires extensive management and a good sense of timing. Starting grafts, pinching queens, culling drones, doing splits all to battle mites. All that energy with the mite crash looming over you. All my tf stock came from the old parts of town from captured swarms and to be honest they always did pretty well. The mite rolls were always pretty consistent (leaving out years of data intentionally ). Hygenic bees Selling people what they desperately want

    That's a lot of work once you get over 10 hives, 20 hives, whatever. A little OA and your apiary doubles and doubles and doubles
    Zone 5 @ 4700 ft. High Desert

  12. #71
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by cbay View Post
    Didn't realize an "area" could play a factor..?.
    Were you keep makes a huge impact. Area mite loads (invastion rates), background gentincts, nutrition, loacal effects like brood breaks, etc

    pulling numbers from the BIP
    If you look at square pegs state of AL the 5 year advrage for a TF keeper is 26.1% losses (50 and under hive group)
    in johno's neck of the woods (VA) even if you treat you lose 32.1 and the TF guy will lose 42%
    In GWW's MO TF lose 33.2%

    You look at the numbers and you can see why SP feels it's no problem and johno can't see how its a possibly and Gww would feel the losses are execptabul

    AR is 28.3% TF losses, what happen to Sol when he moved to a state that takes 47% TF losses ?

    In my state a few years after I started the TF losses were 28.5% (2011), the next year 39.1%, the year after 40.4, last year (2017) 61.8!!!!! I don't keep TF at the moment, and haven't for a while, the growing losses were too much.. at 28.5% its reasanuble to tell fokes to make a go of it if they want the risk...at 61.% they are just fulling them selfs about there chances and that is realy bad advice

    were you keep bees MATTERS, maby more then anything elce... and there are areas (bolth state and micro climates) were it is not reasonable to keep TF and thats a part of the discourse that needs attention.

    The other thing people mistake is TF being synonymous with Management Free. TF requires extensive management
    That's a lot of work once you get over 10 hives, 20 hives, whatever. A little OA and your apiary doubles and doubles and doubles
    well put!!
    if your out side one of the sweet spots its a ruff go. once I did a little oad my hive count expanded rappidaly

  13. #72
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    rwurster
    I remember when squarepeg started his thread. He deserves some applause for being transparent with his techniques and findings, that takes some guts.

    gww
    zone 5b

  14. #73
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    We are still no nearer to the answer, do you have resistant bees or benign mites! I give up.
    Johno

  15. #74
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    The other thing people mistake is TF being synonymous with Management Free.
    This says a lot! Which begs the question, how is chemical treatment management doing anything to improve the bee stock in regards to varroa and disease resistance? With TF at least there is a definite ability to select and cull appropriately.

    For both sides what are your grand plans to improve beekeeping in your localities?

    Here's a few ideas leaning toward the treatment free groups.

    http://www.pedigreeapis.org/biblio/a...vivor14en.html

  16. #75
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Hahaha Johno, that begs some philosophizing. If we had resistant bees, would there be benign mites? Or maybe its, if we had benign mites would there be resistant bees?
    Zone 5 @ 4700 ft. High Desert

  17. #76
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    johno
    All I can say is that I have mites and bees and both are alive.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  18. #77
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Johno, it's an interesting question and we've seen both sides of the story in various studies or examples. I think location plays a strong role, in terms of mite pressure and colony health. Some places seem better than others, and one of the common factors to me, is these areas are quite productive in terms of honey or at least, above average. The other thing I've noticed, is the TF group really grasps onto certain concepts, typically ones leaning towards more healthy/sustainable concepts w/o any other real understanding of the biology, biochemistry, or sometimes just the very basic theory of the thing. For instance, someone signed me up into the TF FB group, and I was trying to discuss how actual breeding is a much stronger selector than natural selection. Of course, this concept was immediately dismissed, nature has been selecting for millions, well, billions of years, how can we compete, but the concept is totally lost on them, that yes, nature is a good selector, typically with broad strokes, but look at what we can do in a short time in teasing out and isolating variation and really selecting for the fringe gene expression that can really get you good results. Also, the counter argument is pointed to something Randy Oliver posted, on selective breeding and the ultimate loss of other traits that comes of it.... yes, this may happen, but then again, look at what the argument is for getting mite resistance... stop treating and yes, maybe we'll lose 80-90% or more, but what's left will be the bees we need to live in balance with varroa.... ok, but now look at what your genetic diversity will be... essentially a huge bottleneck will be created but this is way better than selective breeding.... I just find it funny, that their counter argument is typically very contrary to their concepts as well, but they never really make that realization..... they want to maintain diversity, but yet, the whole theory behind TF breeding is to pull from a very narrow genetic pool and find some local adaptation that typically doesn't hold up elsewhere or under areas of higher selective pressure.

    At the same time, I don't discredit any success I hear about. I believe there can be success, but when you look at the numbers it's usually on smaller scales. Even when looking at case studies such as the Gotland experiment and the Arnot forest bees... it's a handful of colonies they're referencing and they stay fairly isolated. To get back to some sense though, I think it is a two pronged approach, when you look at the philosophy of not treating, or the Gotland experiment, I think two criteria have to be met and it also answers Johno's question.... it's both. The colonies that survive have bees that tolerate or deal with the mites, and the mites that survive will be the less virulent mites, when both of these criteria are met, those are the hives that survive these studies and maintain the balance.

  19. #78
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Delta Bay View Post
    This says a lot! Which begs the question, how is chemical treatment management doing anything to improve the bee stock in regards to varroa and disease resistance? With TF at least there is a definite ability to select and cull appropriately.

    For both sides what are your grand plans to improve beekeeping in your localities?

    Here's a few ideas leaning toward the treatment free groups.

    http://www.pedigreeapis.org/biblio/a...vivor14en.html
    I made this realization years ago on my own, although I don't limit myself to local genetics. I want to see proven heritability that holds up in a broad range, not just local adaptation. Luckily I live in an area that seems to have very high pressure, which makes it somewhat difficult but also that if I do see some resistance, its actually something tangible and will hold up in most areas.

  20. #79
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    If you can be treatment free and your bees live good for you! Your one of the lucky ones! If I want to have bees I have to treat. Mixing of the bees in the almonds mixes mites and viruses. So one question do the guys with bees without treatment mix their bees with other bees, is isolation the reason?

  21. #80
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    Default Re: treating vs. not treating for mites: opinion thread

    jrg13
    Just my view right now. The problim with selective breeding is that even on the bees that are being studied with the exception of a few traits, the sientist don't know how the bees are doing what they are doing. They know some things are happining but not the why.

    So the risk is missing something important. However, I am one of those guys that has no real ideal about how stuff works. I read the studies that I can't understand and so read them several times and get what I get and look for trends across the studies and still don't really understand. I understand that they say vhs on its own is not enough and stuff like that but in the end it mostly seems to be theories that will still need to be tested out. In other words, best guess. And they are working pretty hard at it.

    So far it does not seem like anyone can say the have the answer. On a base level, just knowing it is happening has to be enough for a dummy like me to try it and see if I get lucky and then I guess why I might be getting lucky.
    The big guys that want to sell something and are working towards that with all thier energy will probly come up with something but untill then.....
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

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