Treating to Become Treatment Free - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Treating to Become Treatment Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    ...... send those drones out into the field ..................... A true feral is the only untreated bee, still waiting for one to land near me.
    Have been.
    No matter how much honey and drone comb it may cost me.
    Does not matter.
    This season I have two large resource units doing nothing but working on propagation projects for me (including drone generation).
    I am, in fact, working on benefiting myself by doing the drones.

    But also I have to say this...
    Did any of the mite complainers every try to bring in any resistant stock?
    If you are in the US and the pending year is 2020 - the choices are many and keep buying the 0% resistant bee is not really reasonable anymore.
    I don't know why not at least try it and see for yourself what happens.

    What are you waiting for?
    Just get your feral/TF bee in the mail and be on your way forward.
    I have done the same 3 years ago now.
    Last edited by GregV; 09-18-2019 at 12:04 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Treating to Become Treatment Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    Manipulation is a form of treatment.....
    If you are a FT purist - sure.
    Being CF is good enough for me.

    Done my 2 years of working with the aggressive chems (cleaning food plant) - enough is enough.
    The damage is probably irreversible and the long-term results - who knows.
    Making your valuable long-term queen be sniffing the OA - not beneficial to her either.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  4. #23
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    Default Re: Treating to Become Treatment Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    Another heretic;

    What's the difference in "stress" on the bees (or soft Bond) between hard treating and soft treating? ....
    Btw, back to this:

    - bees swarm naturally (even if late in season);
    - bees also abscond naturally (when under stress) - that is their normal way to deal with the stress;
    - bees do NOT treat themselves with Oxalic acid.

    That's your difference.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  5. #24
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Treating to Become Treatment Free

    If you want to make sure you have at least SOME bees survive every winter think about the odds and adjust your number of hives as you can. To make the math simple, let's assume your area has an average 50% survival rate. If you have one hive that gives you a 50% chance of having a surviving hive in the spring. If you have two hives you have a 50% chance of having two hive survive and an 75% chance of one hive surviving or just a 1 in 4 chance of none surviving. if you have four hives you have a 50% chance of having four hive survive but you have a 1 in 16 chance of having no survivors in the spring. If you have eight hives you now have a 1 in 256 chance of having none in the spring (mathematically speaking assuming the 50/50 chance hasn't changed). Of course in reality a bad fall or a really harsh winter has an effect as well, but you can see the change in the odds. So seven is a nice number of hives if you want to have REALLY good odds of having a hive survive to spring.
    Last edited by Michael Bush; 09-18-2019 at 01:09 PM. Reason: Correcting math brain fart
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  6. #25
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    Default Re: Treating to Become Treatment Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    .... So seven is a nice number of hives if you want to have REALLY good odds of having a hive survive to spring.
    With this in mind, I just end up sending into winter about 14-15 units (large and small) and so far always have more than enough bees.
    I can not keep up and lost swarms this summer (too busy to keep up).
    It's OK though and just works towards the same goal - better local population.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  7. #26
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    Default Re: Treating to Become Treatment Free

    I don't understand the let them die philosophy... treat them, requeen.... Empty boxes aren't worth much in Spring. Also, most don't cycle enough generations per year to make much progress.... If you really are trying to integrate/shift to feral genetics etc... you need to get daughters from all the generations constantly and evaluate what you're getting and how each subsequent generation may or may not be progressing. Once you start finding decent queens with fair survivability, then you can focus on a few good breeders etc... Also, the length of your season probably plays a significant role as well... longer seasons will see more mite pressure than shorter ones.

  8. #27
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    Default Re: Treating to Become Treatment Free

    >I don't understand the let them die philosophy...

    Because you have several misunderstandings. First you assume if you treat they won't die and if you don't treat they will die. My experience won't bear that out. Second you are not taking into account that if you let the ones that SHOULD die, die (the ones that die without treatments) then you get the genetics you need (the ones that survive without treatments). Treating is not a long term solution. Not treating IS the long term solution.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  9. #28
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    Default Re: Treating to Become Treatment Free

    A pile of dead workers is just a pile of dead workers. There is no genetic impact one way or the other, live or die. A pile of unborn poor drones may have a genetic benefit, but a weak hive is not going to spit out a pile of strong, fast flying drones.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  10. #29
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    Default Re: Treating to Become Treatment Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Saltybee View Post
    .......but a weak hive is not going to spit out a pile of strong, fast flying drones.
    My CF drone output was great.
    Them drones are still flying too - I hope the area was well served.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  11. #30
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    Default Re: Treating to Become Treatment Free

    Here's the chart the percent likelyhood of having a surviving colony in the spring based on the number of hives and a 50% survival rate:
    Hives %
    7 = 99%
    6 = 98 %
    5 = 95%
    4 = 93%
    3= 87%
    2=75%
    1= 50%
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  12. #31
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    Default Re: Treating to Become Treatment Free

    >A pile of dead workers is just a pile of dead workers.

    You seem to be making two assumptions:
    1) that you can predict the demise of a colony
    and
    2) that treating will prevent that demise

    I have not found either to be true.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  13. #32
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    Default Re: Treating to Become Treatment Free

    I'd take a slight issue with that. Predicting the demise of a colony can be done, and for commercial beekeepers it's a major part of what we do.

    Colonies likely to perish are identified, and then something is done to prevent that. Which could be treating if the problem is mites, feeding if the problem is lack of feed, requeening if the problem is queen related, etc...

    IMO saying that predicting the demise of a colony cannot be done, and doing anything about it also cannot be done, is a fatalistic approach that will lead new beekeepers to lazy, non productive beekeeping.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  14. #33
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    Default Re: Treating to Become Treatment Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Here's the chart the percent likelyhood of having a surviving colony in the spring based on the number of hives and a 50% survival rate:
    Hives %
    7 = 99%
    6 = 98 %
    5 = 95%
    4 = 93%
    3= 87%
    2=75%
    1= 50%
    Michael:

    I am assuming those percentages are based off of average package/nuc purchases that come from treated (non-survivor) stock. But let's say I was willing to suffer the losses and work this plan for 10 years, keeping only "survivors." What can I expect my percentages to be in ten years? In 10 years, how many hives would I need to go into winter with to have a 99% chance of coming out with a single colony?

    You have been treatment free for 40 years. What are your loss percentages each year?

    I believe you when you say that "treating is not a long term solution." But losing 1/2 or more of my hives every Fall/Winter is not a long term solution for me. When should I start seeing the "survivor effect" in my apiaries and my tf losses start moving down?

    I know there is no formula for this, but I am just trying to get an idea of what I could reasonably expect.

  15. #34
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    Default Re: Treating to Become Treatment Free

    Quote Originally Posted by psm1212 View Post
    .......I know there is no formula for this, but I am just trying to get an idea of what I could reasonably expect.
    I see you are from Alabama.
    This means folks like SP and/or FP should be within a driving distance.
    I would personally introduce myself to these folks long ago and the rest is kind of obvious.
    Have you done that yet?
    If not, why not?
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  16. #35
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    Default Re: Treating to Become Treatment Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    ....... lazy, non productive beekeeping.
    What is "lazy, unproductive beekeeping" exactly?

    No, I don't produce lots of honey - putting that away, right away.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  17. #36
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    Default Re: Treating to Become Treatment Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >I don't understand the let them die philosophy...

    Because you have several misunderstandings. First you assume if you treat they won't die and if you don't treat they will die. My experience won't bear that out. Second you are not taking into account that if you let the ones that SHOULD die, die (the ones that die without treatments) then you get the genetics you need (the ones that survive without treatments). Treating is not a long term solution. Not treating IS the long term solution.
    Yes, but i'm not treating them to let them live... I'm treating them to increase their chances of surviving so I can use their resources with new genetics... boxes with bees in them come spring are worth a lot more to me than empty boxes. Say i'm starting out, i get 5 hives.... what's the point of watching them all dwindle and die and have 0 hives come spring when you can treat them and possibly save most of them and have 3-4 hives come spring that you requeen etc... It's hard to get queens in and stuff w/o bees....

  18. #37
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    Default Re: Treating to Become Treatment Free

    Having a hard time picturing a better "stress test" of genetics than bringing a hive back from failure by re queening.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  19. #38
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    Default Re: Treating to Become Treatment Free

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Have you done that yet?
    If not, why not?
    I follow SP's long-running thread. His apiary is not doing so well right now, but I am a big fan and enjoy his posts. As to why I don't drive to these people's houses for introductions, I generally don't do that to those that post anonymously on internet message boards.

    Care to take a stab at any of my questions above?

  20. #39
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    Default Re: Treating to Become Treatment Free

    Quote Originally Posted by psm1212 View Post
    I follow SP's long-running thread. His apiary is not doing so well right now, but I am a big fan and enjoy his posts. As to why I don't drive to these people's houses for introductions, I generally don't do that to those that post anonymously on internet message boards.

    Care to take a stab at any of my questions above?
    Well, if living in AL, I would at least send a PM and ask about material availability.
    But it is me, and the time is too short not to give it an honest try.
    For sure, I know the TF folk around me and don't shy away from collaboration.
    Anyway....

    As for the Qs - I dunno your answers and I would not put out any #s anyway because I did not spend the time studying what they are.
    Fortunately for me, bees do not underwrite my paycheck and I don't spend much money on them either.

    You are welcome to follow my thread, I put up my honest unit survival #s are out there as things develop.
    So far the compounded losses have been greater than 50% (compounded #s means - ALL losses where the true mite losses where only the fraction).
    Last edited by GregV; 09-18-2019 at 04:55 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  21. #40
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    Default Re: Treating to Become Treatment Free

    I will do that Greg. I have a "remote" yard picked out for this Spring. The plan is to graft queens from some of my better colonies and start some nucs there. I have not set out a lot of swarm traps in a few years, but I plan to this Spring with the idea of setting these up in my "remote" yard. I will probably sprinkle in one or two mail-order queens in the mix as well.

    My plan is to do spring splits and do fall brood breaks via caging queens w/ drone removal. Our season is so long, I can almost count on a natural swarm every summer, even from spring splits, especially when I do nothing to discourage it. So three brood breaks and no chemical treatments.

    I am just trying to get my mind right about what I can reasonably expect. It is going to be difficult for me to deal with 50% losses in perpetuity. I will need to see loss percentages trending downward at some point. I just don't know what point.

    Not sure I will have the patience or the stomach for this, but I want to do it.

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