Do I really need to medicate? - Page 13
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  1. #241
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    No, our conditions are completely different and no, I do not agree with feeding except in emergencies.

    I am using a method to regress my bees because I have been told they will not survive without continually being treated by the calendar and by the book- Apistan/Apivar and Bavarol and that they do not/ will not regress down to smaller size on there own here.
    I do not know if this is true or not, but from what I have seen on our local forum, this appears to be the acceptable truth.

    This is not a quick process and While I am doing it, I am also not too sure that it is the only thing I need to address.
    I also think there may very well be a problem with the bees immune system- just like our own suffering from sheer chemical overload....but i have a sneaky plan I want to try this year, a la Murrell.
    The first step was to give them starter strips to build out from, then go onto small cell frames with the shoulders not shaved down and now bit by bit introducing the shaved down frames.
    Will it work? I dont know, as I said earlier, I have all the questions, not the answers.
    I will keep trying, knowing that others have done similar and are now happily keeping bees not fighting mites- thats the end goal.

    Catch 22. Damned if I do and damned if I dont.
    If I leave my bees as is, they will die. If I treat as most do here with bought chemical treatments, they will may not die, but they will not be healthy in the long term and already, I am hearing murmurings that these treatments are not as effective as they once were. I have been told to keep the Apivar in for longer than the package states and will do so simply because i had to use this sh-stuff and do have to make sure it is in long enough to do its job. Hopefully this will be the last time I ever have to use it.

    Does this make me a hypocrite?
    Probably in the eyes of some, but as I have said elsewhere, i am treating my bees as I do myself and as I also treated my kids= if I have/had to use meds. I use them as recommended, no short cuts.
    I prefer to use food, homegrown is obviously the best and dietary supplements and have even gone out of my way to do my best for my bees in this regard as well, in spite of being told that i simply cannot grow enough to meet their needs.

    I disagree, every little bit we do makes a difference and if every beek grew season specific plants for both native and honey bees, we will all be better off than if we sat on on hands and did nothing.

    I am seeing beeks here, saying that it now takes less varroa to cause hives to fail. This tells me that our bees are compromised and/or varroa along the associated viral infections are more toxic.
    Our (NZ) gene pool is, from what I have read so far, has always been seriously limited.

    To me, every hive is valuable and needs to be allowed to reproduce itself as it sees fit. I let them produce as much drone as they like, I do not use and refuse point blank, to use Queen excluders.

    I maybe wrong, but that these points may one day, may be a key factor in changing things for the better.
    We just do not know.

    As I have also said elsewhere and maybe here, cant remember,....we need to look at a broader picture and change alot more of our actions and behaviours.
    Stop using pesticides, herbicides, fungicides. Stop planting pretty fashionable hybrid plants and turn back to locally natives.
    Failing that, grow your own herbs, fruit and vegetables. Let the wild weeds grow- dandelions, sow thistles etc....
    Like us, bees need diversity.

    It is no longer just about us or just about our bees, it has got to the point where it is about our whole eco system.

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  3. #242
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Well that is quite the philosophical mission statement! It is obviously very energizing for you. Hopefully confirmation bias will not interfere too much with the search for truth.
    Frank

  4. #243
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by mischief View Post
    Let the wild weeds grow- dandelions, sow thistles etc....
    If you were caught sowing thistles in Britain, you'd end up in court ...
    (UK Weeds Act 1959, revised 2014)
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  5. #244
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Let the wild weeds grow- dandelions, sow thistles etc....
    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    If you were caught sowing thistles in Britain, you'd end up in court ...
    (UK Weeds Act 1959, revised 2014)
    LJ
    No need to sow anything.
    They will sow themselves just fine and legally too.


    The Act does not make it illegal to allow the five weeds to grow .....
    https://assets.publishing.service.go...264/weed2a.pdf
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  6. #245
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by mischief View Post
    ..........
    It is no longer just about us or just about our bees, it has got to the point where it is about our whole eco system.
    So, mischief, I am your advocate in many ways (foods, eco, etc).
    I live this life just as of this writing.

    Now, back to the bees...
    If you want to be off medications, you must think of your local "population", understand what it is, and find a way forward to alter the population around you in your favor.
    Simply leaving your few backyard hives without their drugs will kill them (assuming typical commercial bees).
    This will only reinforce the treater beekeepers' position.

    In my case, I very quickly understood this - I don't have enough lifetime in me to try to select something out of the cloud of the commercial swarms around me.
    This is possible, to be sure, but this is a very unproductive project with uncertain outcomes.
    I might just croak before anything useful will come out of this.

    A fellow TF beekeeper in my area already attempted exactly this (so I know about the problem in my locality with the flood of commercial bees).
    After many years of trying he finally caught ONE swarm that produced a promising line (these particular bees have been off-meds up to 5 years now, I believe).
    So, I got a queen from this friend.
    Also, I got a couple of queens from other friend.
    So, now we are talking some real business, something we can practically work with (not a pie in a sky).

    I say this - look around and find sources that already done the work before you (no need to reinvent a bike).
    Get few promising queens and go from there.
    BUT - unsure how realistic this plan is in NZ; maybe it is, maybe not - you should know better (to compare, North America offers many options in this regard).

    Given the sterile, commercial environment around you, I do not see a practical way forward (artificially sterile environment is bad in many, many ways - not going there).
    To be honest, the honey bees should be just banned in NZ altogether and done with (well, the next question will be then what about honey bees in Australia and North America - so, not going there either).
    The Pandora's box has been opened.
    A done deal can not be undone now.

    Well, I will stop here and let you do the thinking about your next steps....
    Don't wanna suggest anything illegal.
    Last edited by GregV; 11-16-2018 at 08:40 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  7. #246
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Such brief selective quotations can be very misleading ...

    Under the Act, the Secretary of State may serve a notice on an occupier of any land on which the injurious weeds are growing, requiring the occupier to take action to prevent the weeds from spreading. The Act permits authorised officials to enter land to inspect whether an enforcement notice has been complied with. If an occupier has unreasonably failed to comply with the notice, he or she shall be guilty of an offence and, on conviction, liable to a fine.
    Please note it is an offence under section 14(2) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to “plant or otherwise cause to grow in the wild” any plant listed in Schedule 9, Part II of the Act which includes Japanese Knotweed. It is not an offence to simply have it growing in your garden or on your land and there is no specific legal requirement to control it if it is.
    What this adds up to is - it's quite ok to have weeds growing in your own garden - but - if they spread into the wild, or if a person complains about wind-blown seeding of thistles (etc) onto their land, then notice may be served as above. It's far more likely these days to form the basis of an ASBO (Anti-Social Behaviour Order). If granted, then breaching the terms of an ASBO can lead to a fine, imprisonment, or both.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  8. #247
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    No need to sow anything.
    They will sow themselves just fine and legally too.
    I agree, most fields and other rough ground is full of thistles round here.

  9. #248
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    Such brief selective quotations can be very misleading ...LJ
    You are correct at that.
    But anyway, the thistles are less a concern and might well fly on their own everywhere.

    Meanwhile, dropping few seed balls there and here can be quite effective.
    Some scrap lands in my area (already full of thistles) would only benefit from sweet clover addition, for example.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  10. #249
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    What I was trying to communicate is that Mischief really needs to check-out the legislation in his own country. My guess is that it might be pretty tight if Oz is anything to go by, as I believe they're quite heavy-handed over there when it comes to blackberries and similar - precisely because of their potential for invasiveness.

    And it's not just the law - it's about getting on with your neighbours too. Thistles for example, might be ok on moorland and scrub land as Pete says, but they are a serious nuisance on productive farmland. Where I live the land is Grade I, growing two crops a year if they're planted out in modules, and there's not a single thistle in sight - and that's over tens of thousands of acres. If I were to sow thistles around here, I'd expect angry farmers to soon come knocking on my front door.

    And anyway, there are plenty of other nectar bearing plants which could be sown without causing such problems - Borage for example, or Viper's Bugloss, or Buckwheat - there are plenty to choose from without creating problems for one's neighbours. With the long term in mind, why not grow some Bee-Bee trees (tetradium daniellii) ?
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  11. #250
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Sorry, I get a bit carried away sometimes.

    Sow thistles are called Puha here and is a traditional food source, one which I do not like, but the bumbles and the finches do. Its not the nodding thistle- all prickly, thats a different story, I think that is classed as a noxious weed, but I still let it self sow so there is always at least two. Its supposed to be high in minerals and good for something. I'm going to have to take another look at my herb book.

    Um.....actually, its, She.

    My neighbours, now both have lovely tall fences that makes their places look even 'better' than before. ( I built them) Now they can just forget I am here and I cant see their environmental tragedies either. We are all much happier now.

    This may not be as straight forward as I was hoping.....worse case scenario then, I might have to treat with something, OAV most likely.
    I am allowed 10 hives on the property, mum's place is 5 minutes away and 10 could go there too, then there is my sons place a little further away but still within range......(shaking head here), cant see this happening any time just yet. Work commitments and knowing my own limits.

  12. #251
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Um.....actually, its, She.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  13. #252
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Good info GregV. Over the years of reading the experiences of others in different places, it seems to me that there is no "formula" for keeping TF bees that works for everyone. It's a psychological human condition, when we do something a certain way and it works for us, we assume we have hit the right formula, it's a human condition to look for a concrete set of rules we can follow. And think that if everybody else does that it will work for them also. In beekeeping this does not always apply due to different locations, and bee types.

    As examples of this is a certain management technique that has been touted as the be all and end all of swarm control. It worked well for the originator but not always for people in other locations. But the originator could never accept it didn't work for everybody, he would always insist they must not be doing it correctly.
    Bad example OT !!!
    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds" Albert Einstein

  14. #253
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Tim to sum the post up in 3 words it would read beekeeping is local. I believe that true, and do not see stating it, as a bad example.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  15. #254
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    I also don't see Oldtimer's early comment as being a bad example ... quite the opposite.

    The last two posts have revived a thread from last year, and so I scanned upwards to Mischief's post at the top of the page (couldn't summon enough enthusiasm to look any further back), and I noticed a couple of things in that post I'd like to comment on:

    I am using a method to regress my bees because I have been told they will not survive without continually being treated by the calendar and by the book- Apistan/Apivar and Bavarol and that they do not/ will not regress down to smaller size on there own here.
    I do not know if this is true or not, but from what I have seen on our local forum, this appears to be the acceptable truth.

    If I leave my bees as is, they will die. If I treat as most do here with bought chemical treatments, they will may not die, but they will not be healthy in the long term and already, I am hearing murmurings that these treatments are not as effective as they once were.

    I am seeing beeks here, saying that it now takes less varroa to cause hives to fail. This tells me that our bees are compromised and/or varroa along the associated viral infections are more toxic.
    What I read in the above is a fair amount of being influenced by the opinions of others. It seems to me that there are two ways of proceeding: either to "do your own thing" and live with the consequences, whether these be good or bad - or to follow the beekeeping methods of those who you know to be 'successful', in whatever form 'success' means for you.

    To me, every hive is valuable and needs to be allowed to reproduce itself as it sees fit.
    To you, maybe - but that's not how Nature operates. Nature is unfeeling and impartial - there is no enhanced 'value' placed upon any particular organism: it either survives or it doesn't; it either reproduces or it doesn't.


    Re: small cell. My colonies all draw natural-sized cells - it's something they've established themselves after countless repeated cycles of drawing foundationless comb. I haven't imposed this size upon them, and can see no reason why your bees should not undergo the same process - I can't see any reason why a different location should make any difference. Unless you attract swarms of course, which bring 'whatever size they happen to be' along with them.

    Which brings me to bees originating from outside of your apiary. Even if you were to adopt the most 'natural' beekeeping methods in the world, if you have 'non-natural' beekeepers within range, then your bees will influence their genetics, and theirs yours. It's a bi-directional process in which "no man is an island", due to the honeybee's promiscuous mating habits. There's really no way of getting around this, unless you adopt AI or some other form of genetic control.
    'best
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  16. #255
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Unfortunately for new beekeepers, we have to take on board what other more experienced Beeks say..... having said that, y'll have had 30 years to deal the mites and its still here and in NZ worse than ever before, so please pause before you knock someone trying something that is considered stoopid.

    My hive is still alive after almost 3 years in a country where most newbies either lose them, if not in the first year, then in the second, so I am at least hanging in there.

    My personal philosophy on life is difficult for a lot of people to deal with- too bad.
    Part of it is ALL creatures have a right to be here whether we appreciate them or not- that is nature. They all have a part to play whether we understand their role or not.

    My understanding of beekeepers is All are passionate about their bees and all have their own opinions as to which is the best way to keep them. Me, I'm still learning, but even I have set parametres according to what i have studied over the 3 years previous to getting my hive.

    I'm told that I need 'to get a dose of real', why? because you cant keep bees alive in NZ on small cell according to OT....hmmmm

    What you have apparently missed is OT tried to go SC and his bees died within two years. Now whether that was because plastic frames were a new concept and it wasnt understood that they need to be heavily waxed, or did he just put them straight onto SC without letting them build out on starter strips first...did he just stop doing what ever treatments he was doing expecting SC to be a silver bullet??? I dont know either and havent had the time nor inclination to find out.

    Unlike most of you, I have only had this one hive for almost three years....guess what??? thats 100 % survival rate for almost three!!!!! years running and yes, with the help from a kind hearted samaratin last spring.

    This year I am going to Have to split them or they are going to swarm. Already their box is getting to be too small and we are only in the first month of spring here.

  17. #256
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Hit the send button by mistake....oh well.
    I did an OAV on monday- 24 hour mite count was two. Checked again today- none.
    I have cockcroaches and ( dont you just hate it when that word sits on the tongue and wont come out)...some other bug that might be eating the mites off the boards. Thats the only way i can see how you can have less mites on the boards than you did the day before.

    My bottom line up front, to borrow a cool expression, is and always has been= There is something very wrong with the idea that you must treat any lifeform JUST to keep it alive.
    I know of no other animal/insect that has to be treated just to keep it alive.
    Something is wrong with this.

  18. #257
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Centipede

  19. #258
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by mischief View Post
    What you have apparently missed is OT tried to go SC and his bees died within two years.
    Little-John did not "apparently miss" that, his post was some advice, to you Mischief.

    Quote Originally Posted by mischief View Post
    you cant keep bees alive in NZ on small cell according to OT....hmmmm
    Not according to me. I have bees alive on small cell now.

    Quote Originally Posted by mischief View Post
    OT tried to go SC and his bees died within two years. Now whether that was because plastic frames were a new concept and it wasnt understood that they need to be heavily waxed
    No it wasn't that.

    Quote Originally Posted by mischief View Post
    or did he just put them straight onto SC without letting them build out on starter strips first.
    No not that either.

    Quote Originally Posted by mischief View Post
    I dont know either and havent had the time nor inclination to find out.
    But you keep talking about it. Might be faster just to find out.

    Quote Originally Posted by mischief View Post
    Unlike most of you, I have only had this one hive for almost three years....guess what??? thats 100 % survival rate for almost three!!!!! years running and yes, with the help from a kind hearted samaratin last spring.
    "Unlike most of you" LOL. Survival for more than 2 years is the norm rather than the exception. Especially when like you, people use chemical treatments to kill the mites.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  20. #259
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Chem treatments? Wasnt that was what you were pushing last year.
    I dont use them as a matter of course and have been up front in having to do so last spring.... and what you have just said is completely different to what you said to me in PM's.
    You also said...'I might try SC again' and now you are saying you already have been...hmmm
    Maybe I should just copy and paste our PM's for transparency.

    You told me 'you have to use Apivar, not Apilife or your bees will die', now you are saying you dont actually use these chems. refer to "I had a bright idea" in the pests and disease forum.

    I did notice that you didnt mention....'she needs to get a dose of real'...ie, silly girl for thinking she could do TF in NZ. I think thats in the TF opinions thread.

    I'm not interested in maintaining a 'rep'.

    I just want bees that stay alive and you know what? So far they are.

    Whats the national average survival rate in any country? Thats actually a rhetorical question...but is 100 %....no. it isnt
    On the 1st of January, my hive will be 4 years old.

  21. #260
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    I thought OT hit the nail squarely on the head when he wrote:
    ... when we do something a certain way and it works for us, we assume we have hit the right formula, it's a human condition to look for a concrete set of rules we can follow. And think that if everybody else does that it will work for them also.
    Now although OT was referring to TF techniques, this applies to so many others as well. One of my techniques - which I believe is the core principle underpinning my own modest successes, is to run hives in a 'condenser' format.

    That is: to have highly insulated tops, little insulation at the sides, and as near as possible an open bottom. This format then condenses excess water and allows it to fall out of the hive and thus keep it 'sweet'. The bees over-winter near the top, where it's warmest - and where emergency supplies of feed are located during winter, just in case they should run out of stores. This methodology has been running like clockwork now for several years, and so I've posted about the 'advantages' of setting up hives in this way ... only for those who have prolonged and severe winters to quickly point out that if they were to follow suit, a solid block of ice would undoubtedly form beneath each hive as a result.

    I believe exactly the same 'lack of a universal formula' applies to TF issues. I treat mites with Vapourised Oxalic Acid (only) and would very much like to not be doing that. I know such a treatment is 'pointless' in the sense that it isn't a one-off cure, as re-infestation is a reality of life - but it is the only acceptable method I know of to keep the mites in check until such time as a more permanent solution is hopefully found.

    I have yet to encounter any TF regime or principal which gives any form of guarantee that it's adoption holds a realistic prospect of success - if one were demonstrated to exist, then I'd certainly try it. You said earlier that 'we' (presumably the 'treaters') have had 30 years to deal with the mites - but so too have the TF enthusiasts - and neither of these two groups are unfortunately any nearer to finding a practical long-term solution.

    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

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