TF: Beginning
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Thread: TF: Beginning

  1. #1
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    Default TF: Beginning

    It said that starting TF one should start with the best TF stock available. Who would you consisting the top 5 TF breeders? They need not to have arrived at perfection but strongly working on excellent stock.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: TF: Beginning

    that's a really good question and something that hasn't been discussed in a while. i wish i could give a meaningful reply but my only experience is with locally adapted survivor mutts.

    there was a list generated at one time of suppliers for treatment free queens but i was unable to find it. maybe someone with better search skills can come up with it, but if i recall correctly it was a rather short list.

    today's post reminded me of an older post of yours clay:

    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton Huestis View Post
    To continue the base of some of my TF free stock were from package bees that were from Caucasian decent. Acquired from Bolling been apiaries when Bill Gafford was just retiring. Unfortunately these bees are no longer available...

    So from a small breeder with good stock I think some good stock could be acquired to work towards TF. It can be a long difficult path to follow. You need to be able to raise queens and select bees. Don't expect to just buy TF bees. After 16 yrs I'm changing some tactics. I'd try someone like Sam Comfort for packages not just run of the mill treated package dealers that's a recipe for disaster. Then work your stocks up from there. Don't do the same thing if you lose 90% for 5yrs. Change up what your doing step back and be honest with yourself.
    that was from december 2016. did you try changing tactics or new suppliers in 2017? are you propagating more queens from your best colonies?
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #3
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    Squarepeg, Actually I'm not happy at all with current stock started using oav as varroa tolerance has been up and down like a yo yo. Probably will shake out 3/4 of my colonies with just a hand full of keepers. There is more to the story but I gate typing on a tablet. Let's just say I made a few bad decisions. Compounded with big changes at my breeding yard. With that said am looking for genetic material to base a reboot of the apiary. My list of breeders I'm looking at:

    1. Bee Weaver apiaries probably the best TF stock in the US ATM
    2. Olympic Wilderness apiaries hear they are making good strides also strong selection against nosema cerana
    3. Old Sol apiaries also is working with survivor stock
    4. Anarchy apiaries hear Sam has some promising lines
    5. Carpenter apiaries mite biting stock
    6. New River apiaries

  5. #4
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    Default Re: TF: Beginning

    understood clay. thanks for the reply and i wish you success going forward.

    i found that old thread i was thinking about and i'll be rebooting it shortly.

    there may be a few more leads for you there.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #5
    Join Date
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    Rosebud Missouri
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    Default Re: TF: Beginning

    Frost apary says they are treatment free but they are more southern then you.
    I had heard of a few more but my memory is blank.
    Good luck
    gww
    zone 5b

  7. #6
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    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
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    Default Re: TF: Beginning

    you might give this a look https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/...IBRA.1.53.2.03
    it would sujest the closer to home you source your stock the better your chances
    even the famous Avignon TF stock was less resistance then the local commercial stock in most cases.

  8. #7
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    I do have Kirk Webster a rocks through away. Just not sure how I feel about Russian stock. But maybe mighty be a good place to start.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: TF: Beginning

    I have purchased queens from Beeweaver and Sam Comfort. Both good queen lines but the Beeweaver can be a little spicy. Even Sam Comfort's daughter queens were not too happy with me during a dearth (I'm a non smoker with all topbar hives)

    Managed to get my hands on an Old Sol apiary queen last fall, and can't wait to see how her daughters do.

    And ordered 4 virgins from New River Apiaries for this April. 2 Caucasians, 1 Buckfast, and 1 of his own line.

    I do like to add all of these gene lines to my apiary where I make my own chemical treatment free queens that overwinter well in our area.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: TF: Beginning

    i see vast expanses of wooded lands to the east and west of crown point clay. is it known if there are ferals surviving in those woods?
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  11. #10
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    I know allot of loggers many say they find bee trees. But who knows the source of the bees? I would venture some are ferals.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: TF: Beginning

    the key is did the tree colony overwinter or is it a new swarm. now is the time year to make that determination. it would be nice if one had access to property on the outskirts of those wilderness areas.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  13. #12
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    Default Re: TF: Beginning

    I have access to several hundred acres of woodlands. With all my uncles combined probably 1500 acres. More than I could search in a life time.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: TF: Beginning

    awesome. is there a way to make sure there aren't any managed hives nearby?

    if your uncles' property is sufficiently isolated from other beekeepers you might consider setting out quail feeders here and there containing syrup spiked with lemongrass oil, and if any bees show up then perhaps setting out a swarm trap or two.

    the tf supplier i first got bees from started with bee tree cut outs that were surviving when everyone else's bees were collapsing from mites back in the mid 90's. several of the others having success keeping bees off treatments are located near vast expanses of wooded lands like that.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  15. #14
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    Default Re: TF: Beginning

    There are a few spots I could try. I'll toss out a few swarm traps even if I don't catch ferals; free bees is always nice. Just will monitor mite levels as usual.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: TF: Beginning

    exactly, couldn't hurt. good luck clay.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  17. #16
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    Default Re: TF: Beginning

    the only ones to actual show some real resistance (not tolerance) is the VHS line. With Weavers, spicy can be an understatement. some are fine, others will cause problems. In my test they fared no differently than any other queens.
    500-1000 hives mostly honey

  18. #17

    Default Re: TF: Beginning

    I would be cautious about Carpenter’s. He is located in an area that has a relatively high ahb population. Before buying I would ask him what steps he takes to mitigate that potential exposure.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  19. #18
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    Default Re: TF: Beginning

    the only ones to actual show some real resistance (not tolerance) is the VHS line.
    Where can stock with real progress be obtained?

    With Weavers, spicy can be an understatement. some are fine, others will cause problems. In my test they fared no differently than any other queens.
    Can yo tell me when this was tested? Some more info? thanks.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: TF: Beginning

    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton Huestis View Post
    Where can stock with real progress be obtained?



    Can yo tell me when this was tested? Some more info? thanks.
    My personal test, along with several IL inspectors also, not public test, just basic information I tested them 2 times, nice queens overall, Tested in 2015 and 2016, but in my yards they were nothing special and a couple of them caused problems(extremely aggressive) For the price, I rated them as not to repeat. If they were the same as other cemmercial queens I would use them again. Others swear the are TF, but the 100$ question is as always, to what level or standard. You can read the sales pitch on the website. VSH at least has a standard, heard several people pleased with MH queens being pretty good at keeping Varro in check. I have not tested them yet myself.

    I do find that varroa problems vary a lot year to year, so only side by side comparisons are valuable in my opinion.
    500-1000 hives mostly honey

  21. #20
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    Default Re: TF: Beginning

    old sol treats and endorses treating, all his bees are treated. john does not endorse treatment free, he is against it. don't believe me come on down to SOBA and talk to him or call them. their survivors are just that local adapted treated bees that overwinter and survive with treatments.
    john's a friend, known him now for 15yrs since he became pres of SOBA

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