Do I really need to medicate? - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >... It looks to me like as long as Monsanto, Bayer and Syngenta are funding the bee lab (which they are) that is unlikely to happen.
    What I have been saying.
    If beekeeping does not help in chem sales - they do not care of such beekeeping.
    Chem-free beekeeping is useless to them.
    In fact, chem-free beekeeping is threatening to undercut their business, then why fund it?
    That simple.

    So - "Do I really need to medicate?"
    Not really, you don't need to medicate.

    But this will mean a common backyard beekeeping prescription will not work for you.
    You will complicate your life quite a bit if trying to be chem-free.

    Go by your heart and call it done.
    If this means you should get out of the bees - get out of the bees.
    Whatever works.
    Last edited by GregV; 10-18-2018 at 08:43 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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  3. #22

    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    Every queen sent around Europe will be a step forward spreading resistant genes.

    How many packages did you buy this summer and where did they come from?
    >>> not long if treatments go on and no selection is taking place. And not every queen is resistant.

    >>> I bought 4 packages of buckfasts from a breeder who claims to breed for VSH as a trait ( not the main traits, because I canīt afford pure VSH queens) he is 200km far north. I followed the local association`s advise which was not to import bees from italy. First I wanted to follow your advise purchasing F1 daughters from your queens from italy, but I donīt want to be blamed if the SHB appears. You never did take me on my offer to test one or two queens from you getting them for free, even when we were friends in Austria you were not interested.
    You wanted to test our survivor queens though, as I remember.
    I offered to feedback and journal about your queens and how they do under my circumstances.

    I thought I would have more losses so I wanted to have bee numbers but I had enough survivors in spring to rise to the same numbers of hives almost. And more if I had wanted to. So I made a mistake, I donīt need the package bees (yet?)
    I plan to use part of the bees for my next breeding out of elgon survivors if I have any.
    The buckfast queens will be tested in a different location and not treated too or maybe treated and exploited for honey to feed the not treated.

  4. #23

    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    You never did take me on my offer to test one or two queens from you getting them for free,
    I cannot afford sending queens for free.
    If you think about it for a minute, you soon realize, that there might be couple hundred beekeepers besides you wanting free queens.

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    You wanted to test our survivor queens though, as I remember.
    Yes, I do want to buy any bee stock kept TF over longer time. In Austria I remember talking with Manuel Schüle about his black bees, 6 years without treatments. Manuel is from Switzerland and he told me that some of his friends have been even longer tf, even André Wermelinger, one of the speakers, was interested getting his stock into a study.
    Last edited by Juhani Lunden; 10-18-2018 at 09:00 PM.

  5. #24

    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    I cannot afford sending queens for free.
    If you think about it for a minute, you soon realize, that there might be couple hundred beekeepers besides you wanting free queens.



    Yes, I do want to buy any bee stock kept TF over longer time. In Austria I remember talking with Manuel Schüle about his black bees, 6 years without treatments. Manuel is from Switzerland and he told me that some of his friends have been even longer tf, even André Wermelinger, one of the speakers, was interested getting his stock into a study.
    >>> you decide to whom they go. I pay the shipping.

    >>> many people talk. Manuel lives near but he never showed me his hives. I donīt know if he has any or if he cares for someone elseīs hives or if it is all a myth. Two years ago he said he lost all, now he says he has colonies years tf. Iīve met such people. Iīve met some who treat but claim they do not.
    They have a EFB problem in switzerland which is severe, so he may be occupied.
    I only believe what I see. Everybody is welcome to visit my beeyards or read my journals to believe me.

    Back to topic. no, you donīt have to treat with chemicals. There are other ways to hold the mites at bay, but they are treatments too.

  6. #25
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    Jun 2016
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    washington, vermont, USA
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Learn the basics of keeping bees before you attempt to be a "treatment free" beekeeper. Imo this "lazy beekeeping" off treatments is impossible with Varroa. It requires multiple other tactics (IPM) to keep bees treatment free. The days of leaving your hive and just popping in it to harvest honey once a year is no longer possible if it ever was.

  7. #26
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    i'll offer my standard reply this question, and that is if you can find someone successfully managing bees without medicating in your general area, then acquire your bees from them and mirror their management practices.

    likewise, if you search high and low and are unable to find anyone doing this or even more if you talk to folks who have tried and failed then chances are you can expect a similar result.

    siwolke is located in germany and medications are required by law there. she has acquired the knowledge and understanding vtbeeguy is referring to that is necessary to do the work required to move toward a treatment free approach when located amongst a medicated only bee population comprised of varroa mite susceptible stock.

    i am fortunate to be able to keep bees without medicating them and enjoy survival rates and honey production that are as good or better than what others are getting in my general area who use treatments.

    since starting i have provided bees and mentorship to a handful of entry level beekeepers and most of them are also enjoying a similar success.

    unfortunately our experience is more the exception than the rule for most locations, but you never know unless you get out there and ask around. it helps alot that we have a viable wild type (feral) bee population in the large expanses of wooded lands here.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #27
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    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Squarepeg; I suggest that you have many times the accumulated technique in the necessities and niceties of TF beekeeping compared to that of the typical person embarking upon a TF bee raising journey. I think you are discounting the value of your thousands of hours of study of bees plus a whole bunch of other parallel knowledge.

    I see all the questions asked by newbees and their problems remind me of how much material there is to absorb about the instinctive behavior of bees and their diseases, etc., and how that must all mesh with the mechanics of the equipment they are kept in in various climates. That appears to demand a very steep learning curve.

    My isolation from other bees and no presence of SHB or wax moth in the area would probably allow me to keep bees alive TF but it would take a whole lot more attention to detail on my part.

    I think you do a decent job of making realistic disclaimers, but some of the staunchest promoters of TF verge on the entrapment of the innocent in their portrayal of guaranteed success.
    Frank

  9. #28
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    many thanks for the kind words frank, i really appreciate that.

    i wish i could claim a lot of hard work and thought went into it for me but really it was more providence than anything.

    i happened into bees accidentally when a handful of hives were 'orphaned' on my property.

    as it turns out those bees came with a history of medicating including a twice yearly round of antibiotics as a foulbrood preventative.

    all save one of those colonies perished and the progeny of that one is still my 'go to' line for breeder queens.

    after losing those i ended up purchasing a few nucs from a guy who collected bees surviving in trees back in the mid-nineties at the time when everyone else's bees started dying off from the mite invasion.

    i am a clinician by trade and prescribe medications daily so i was all geared up to learn how to diagnose and treat bee maladies, but when i found out the guy i got the nucs from had never used a treatment i thought 'what the heck' so decided to let them be and see what happened.

    to be honest and with everything else there was to learn and do i can't deny that parsimonious part of me was happy to not have to deal with anything else at the time. i think i got lucky and the rest i've shared here on the forum.

    if memory serves me you are located far enough in the north where it is believed there are no wild type or feral bees living in the woods. if that's the case you wouldn't have the advantage of surviving colonies contributing drones like we have here.

    the other thing about long cold winters seems to be that every bee counts in terms of having a strong wintering cluster. i can see how even a mild infestation could knock the colony strength back enough to make a difference.

    that is almost the opposite here and i have been truly amazed at how tiny a colony can get and still make it through winter.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  10. #29
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron.koe View Post
    is treating for diseases and pests something that must be done
    Short answer, Yes.

    Why? Because -

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron.koe View Post
    Bought two packages.
    Package bees are typically high production bees that are bred for that and are medicated, they are unlikely to last much over 12 months, if even that, if not medicated.

    They are not the same bees you might get from Michael Bush, and I'll bet you are not using his management methods either.

    Might sound a bit flippant, but, medicate, or die.

    Not with hopguard though, it's rubbish.

    Or alternatively, ask Michael Bush to send you 2 of these queens he sells. Let's know how that works out.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  11. #30
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron.koe View Post
    My question is probably a dumb one, but is treating for diseases and pests something that must be done every year?
    Probably not in your location. Where did you get your packages, and are you in the north/northwest part of Houston? Make a couple of walk away splits in early April to get some local urban feral genetics.
    David Matlock

  12. #31

    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    siwolke is located in germany and medications are required by law there. she has acquired the knowledge and understanding vtbeeguy is referring to that is necessary to do the work required to move toward a treatment free approach when located amongst a medicated only bee population comprised of varroa mite susceptible stock.
    thanks for the kind words, SP.

    TF beekeeping under my circumstances is totally different to beekeeping normally practised, so today I realize that as tf beekeeper here it is not possible to learn from an experienced old school beekeeper but one has to develop his own strategies.
    Actually, the experienced long time beekeepers learn from us a different approach, as it shows in my forum.
    For that they must be open to all ideas and tries which is a psychological thing. Leave behind all arrogance and start new.

    Itīs more try and try again with times of high losses.

    Iīm still at a start and it might fail, but I see that all beekeepers here have only one topic : to be able to stop chemical treatments. Reserch goes into that direction too.

    My comment to the so called "neglected " colonies: they are our future hope.
    Iīm with a group which observes free living colonies which survive in spite of the worst circumstances and we want to find out why. They are the new "ferals" and might keep good genetics.

    Fear of loosing control made all our ferals and feral survivor traits extinct. Now europe wants to have them back.

  13. #32

    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    To me,
    old school beekeeping with itīs prophylactic, non monitoring, not bee orientated managements is lazy beekeeping.

    Under my circumstances the so called "neglected" colonies are our future hope, keeping some survivor traits breeders made extinct.

    240 never treated wild living survivor colonies already observed in germany canīt speak wrong.

    If treatment management goes on like that in the US I promise you you will get to the point europe was some years ago. Donīt follow our example!
    The mites will never go away and the bees will get weaker and weaker. Until some new pest arrives. Then the bee colonies will crash.
    Last edited by 1102009; 10-20-2018 at 12:27 AM.

  14. #33
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    SiWolKe: Back to topic. no, you donīt have to treat with chemicals. There are other ways to hold the mites at bay, but they are treatments too.
    Now THAT is a key statement.

    Personally, I don't understand the paranoia which surrounds the use of chemicals (perhaps being an organic chemist at one point in my life is relevant ?), as we live within a chemical world ... we are ourselves (as are the bees) huge conglomerations of biological chemicals. Water, even the air we breathe, 'is/are' (or at least can be viewed as being), chemicals ...

    vtbeeguy: It requires multiple other tactics (IPM) to keep bees treatment free.
    As Sibylle has pointed out above, IPM involves physical treatments - and so the bees are actually no better off from the adoption of such a chemical-free approach, for the Human Being firmly remains an essential component within the honeybee's survival equation.
    If, however, a strain of bee could emerge (naturally, NOT by human selection) which could co-exist in some way with the Varroa mite - then I'd be one of the first in the queue to acquire and propagate such a bee.


    I'd like to take this opportunity to remind people that in dosing a beehive with Vapourised Oxalic Acid (which is the only treatment I've ever used, and the only one I intent using), it is NOT the bees themselves which are being treated (as far as we know) - that is, the mites are not some kind of pathological organism interfering with the bee's biochemistry - it is the parasitic mites themselves which are being treated.

    Any genetic adaptations which may be required to render VOA treatment ineffective must arise within the mite, and not within the bee - that, I would suggest - confirms my claim that it is actually the mite, and not the bee, which undergoes such treatment.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  15. #34
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    "Any genetic adaptations which may be required to render VOA treatment ineffective must arise within the mite, and not within the bee - that, I would suggest - confirms my claim that it is actually the mite, and not the bee, which undergoes such treatment.
    LJ "

    Yes; treat the problem not the symptom. Dont mess with the bees genetics trying to make them resistant to what could be a relatively temporary problem! Much better to mess with the mites genetics! We do not know what or how soon the next pest of the bees will be. shall we then attempt to modify the bees again! That seems to lack some logic.

    I think that fortunately the bees are very proficient at throwing off such short term and mindless attacks on their genetics. JWChestnut has often spoken of their strong tendency to revert to the norm. Anyone who has tried to permanently fix a trait in bees could tell you how resistant they are to any mutation.
    Frank

  16. #35
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    "Any genetic adaptations which may be required to render VOA treatment ineffective must arise within the mite, and not within the bee - that, I would suggest - confirms my claim that it is actually the mite, and not the bee, which undergoes such treatment.
    LJ "

    Yes; treat the problem not the symptom. Dont mess with the bees genetics trying to make them resistant to what could be a relatively temporary problem! Much better to mess with the mites genetics! We do not know what or how soon the next pest of the bees will be. shall we then attempt to modify the bees again! That seems to lack some logic.

    I think that fortunately the bees are very proficient at throwing off such short term and mindless attacks on their genetics. JWChestnut has often spoken of their strong tendency to revert to the norm. Anyone who has tried to permanently fix a trait in bees could tell you how resistant they are to any mutation.
    Where I live there is a significant population of feral bees. Those bees exert an ever changing gravitational pull on the gene pool bending it toward genetic traits that favor surviveability. Some of those traits that favor surviveabilty are desirable for me; some are not. The local managed bees, including those managed by me, also exert a force on the gene pool. Some of the traits that result from the influence of those managed bees are desirable to me; others are not. Once in a great while I have to pinch a queen. More often, nature culls her for me. The norm to which the bees revert changes over time due to such things as invasive species, new diseases, changes in cultivation practices, and other changes affecting the bees’ environment.
    David Matlock

  17. #36

    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    You forget the microorganisms. I believe them playing a big part with bee health. So, as it is the truth that brood culling is a treatment too, itīs not a treatment having any influence on the symbiotic behaviours developing between mite and bee.

    These are influenced by any chemical treatment, by oils, by acids, by hive climate , by disruptions.

    Itīs a wonderful topic for hobbyist reseach and my group started a mind mapping thread in my forum to improve beekeeping as much as possible.

  18. #37

    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Funny, I was always thinking a flow hive the peak of exploitation and lazyness, but not anymore.
    Leave the brood chamber alone, harvest the honey, weigh and feed if need arises and here we are. Maybe just what the bees need.

  19. #38
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    ... the symbiotic behaviours developing between mite and bee.
    Symbiosis is a term usually employed to describe a relationship which is mutually beneficial to both organisms. How does the presence or behaviour of the Varroa mite ever benefit the Honey-Bee ?
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  20. #39
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    ."

    Sybllle: a snip from your post> "My comment to the so called "neglected " colonies: they are our future hope.
    Iīm with a group which observes free living colonies which survive in spite of the worst circumstances and we want to find out why. They are the new "ferals" and might keep good genetics."

    From what I gather the ferals which move towards survival tend to bring out their inherent traits of smaller colonies, frequent swarming, defensive behaviour and much less honey production than our most common commercial stocks. I think that the majority of people would not thank you for your efforts to reduce the need to treat for mites if that is to be the new norm!

    I suggest that a better situation mite develop if the same effort were put into manipulating the varroa genetics but that seems not to have the same emotional appeal as so called bee improving. I would be far more likely to make contributions to some entity that was engaged in mite genetic research. Mites are the problem.
    Frank

  21. #40
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron.koe View Post
    This is my first year bee keeping. So far I would say pretty successful. Bought two packages in late May. One hive has filled both deeps and working on two supers. Other hive has finally filled the first deep. Pretty good for a late start and no comb to start with.

    I try not to bother them too much. Every time I open the hive I feel like I kill so many from the busy hive I feel bad about it. How do you set a 100 pound deep box down on a flood of bees pouring out everywhere.

    My question is probably a dumb one, but is treating for diseases and pests something that must be done every year? I haven’t done anything for them but give them a good home to grow. Probably one good month left before it gets cold. I’ll take my supers off the busy hive the end of this month.

    Thanks!
    Hi Aaron, when you remove a box set it on its side, or caddi- corner on the upside down outer cover (after smoking them of course)

    Yes, you should monitor your varroa levels and treat them if a high sugar rol or alcohol wash. ― cup of bees you should treat if you have 5 or more varroa ( see some utubes on that)

    Make it a goal to have a sustainable apiary, no more buying bees. See Michael Palmer’s utube video for that; actually anything by him is excellent, in addition to Randy Oliver’s site Scientific Beekeeping

    And lastly, enjoy your new hobby and learn as much as you can! Deb
    Proverbs 16:24

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