Confusing in treatment free vs mis-treating bees
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  1. #1
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    Default Confusing in treatment free vs mis-treating bees

    I’m doing my due diligence on treatment free beekeeping and there is a backlash against those beekeepers because many here in urban California tote themselves as “treatment free” when in actuality they are NOT beekeepers at all, but bee-havers. These havers buy packages or catch swarms and throw up supers to collect honey. Some never even bother to look into brood chamber. Should a hive die - they simply get another. They don’t spend any time caring for their bees and are only concerned with the honey they can extract with the least amount of work and cost. They can’t tell you what that hive has died from because they haven’t spent any time caring for the bees. That is not treatment free - it’s mis-treating bees!

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Confusing in treatment free vs mis-treating bees

    Quote Originally Posted by MimiE View Post
    I’m doing my due diligence on treatment free beekeeping.......... That is not treatment free - it’s mis-treating bees!
    So, look, just a day ago I finally looked inside my #2 resource unit.
    This is the first time since about July 4th weekend (when this resource was subject to a fly-back).
    OK, I simply rearranged the frames some for the upcoming winter season and closed it back in (no plans to look back again; maybe pull few honey frames if needed elsewhere)
    This means, I really have not looked into the brood area for about 3 months (even now, I only flipped the frames quickly, without pulling them out, due to the robbing pressure - must be quick; it was sufficient to tell me what I needed to know).

    This is a 20-frame Layen's hive, if you know what it means.
    I have more similar examples.

    So, yes, I am a once-a-month bee-haver (by most definitions) and will continue doing the same.
    I guess, my nucs get a bit more attention (I need to feed them weekly right now).

    What is your point again?
    Don't catch swarms? (which I do and advocate for).
    Check brood once per week? (which I don't; not even the nucs).
    Keep them alive at all cost? (which I don't do - keep them alive at all cost; yes - some of the colonies are more valuable to me; I will feed them at least).
    I'd rather the unfit bees of mine just die off and do so rather quickly so the valuable resources can be reallocated elsewhere.
    Last edited by GregV; 09-27-2019 at 10:31 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Confusing in treatment free vs mis-treating bees

    MimiE
    Why do you care? Does it make you mad when someone pinches a queen cause he knows a new queen is less likely to swarm and so he can probably pull more honey? I would say most people do the work involved with bees so they can get something. Would there be more bees if a person let his hive swarm and did not worry about getting honey? If it was a termite or and ant, would you feel the same?
    If it makes you feel better then others to do what you do, that is fine for you and really won't affect others who may not care that you feel that way.

    Since most take care of bees for what the bees can provide for them, most decisions made are with this in mind.
    Just saying.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  5. #4
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    Colorado Springs, CO United States
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    Default Re: Confusing in treatment free vs mis-treating bees

    Quote Originally Posted by MimiE View Post
    Should a hive die - they simply get another. They donít spend any time caring for their bees and are only concerned with the honey they can extract with the least amount of work and cost. They canít tell you what that hive has died from because they havenít spent any time caring for the bees. That is not treatment free - itís mis-treating bees!
    Don't all beekeepers get another hive or propagate from their survivors, should a hive die I have to go now because I am a day late on my scheduled prophylactic treatments And no, I didn't do any mite counts, because I know they have mites, and the calendar says I need to treat to have healthy Winter bees
    Please excuse me, I am now free to go manage & treat ;)
    my ladies the best way I know how.

  6. #5
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    Default

    If you manage your hive - however you choose to manage it from weekly to monthly to seasonally- that’s your prerogative. What makes me mad is those who know nothing and attempt to learn nothing about bees but simply throw boxes on top to collect honey and consider themselves beekeepers when they’ve done nothing to “keep” the bees.

  7. #6
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Confusing in treatment free vs mis-treating bees

    most on the forum would agree with you mimie.

    what should never be acceptable is neglecting kept bees, allowing them to collapse, and not doing anything to prevent the spread of diseases and pests to nearby colonies.

    an older thread in which this was hashed out pretty good:

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...ping-the-risks
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Confusing in treatment free vs mis-treating bees

    Quote Originally Posted by MimiE View Post
    If you manage your hive - however you choose to manage it from weekly to monthly to seasonally- thatís your prerogative. What makes me mad is those who know nothing and attempt to learn nothing about bees but simply throw boxes on top to collect honey and consider themselves beekeepers when theyíve done nothing to ďkeepĒ the bees.
    I don't know what to say - other than for each of us to keep our own bees with due consideration (of course) in whatever way we consider appropriate - whether that involves treatment or not - and try as far as possible to be content with 'keeping our own house in order'.

    If you can see some way of changing what you describe - then go right ahead and try to do that - perhaps by constructive criticism, or offering help/advice etc., but do be prepared for rejection.

    Getting mad in itself unfortunately isn't going to change anything - except perhaps take a toll on your health - and that certainly wouldn't be good.
    'best
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Confusing in treatment free vs mis-treating bees

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    most on the forum would agree with you mimie.

    what should never be acceptable is neglecting kept bees, allowing them to collapse, and not doing anything to prevent the spread of diseases and pests to nearby colonies.

    an older thread in which this was hashed out pretty good:

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...ping-the-risks
    Nothing wrong with allowing them to collapse.
    The unfit ones should just collapse and be done with - so not to be wasting my time and resources and diluting the good stock.
    I wish I knew what they are ahead of the time, so to just help them.

    NOT letting them be robbed out - a very good practice on very many levels, however.
    This season I hope no robbing of my dead-outs occurs (either due to my own actions OR just luck, like the weather).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Confusing in treatment free vs mis-treating bees

    Quote Originally Posted by MimiE View Post
    If you manage your hive - however you choose to manage it from weekly to monthly to seasonally- that’s your prerogative. What makes me mad is those who know nothing and attempt to learn nothing about bees but simply throw boxes on top to collect honey and consider themselves beekeepers when they’ve done nothing to “keep” the bees.
    I have to say - a big group of the "beekeepers" (or use whatever proper term if there is) would rather do exactly that - do nothing and harvest enough honey once per year.
    What is wrong with them?
    Nothing.

    This is exactly what the peasants have done for hundreds and thousands of years.
    The same has place today (granted the availability of a low-maintenance bee - the current and unfortunate problem to overcome - shortage of such bee).
    Once the low-maintenance bee is available (only a matter of time IMO) - I would happily resort to the peasant-style "beekeeping" (or call it whatever).
    Surely, I am not alone in that regard.

    My ideal management - build hives (my real hobby); put bees in them; forget them until the honey time.
    A good and traditional management approach.
    Call it mis-management - fine.
    I would disagree.
    I would argue the current conventions are really OVER-management in very many ways.
    Last edited by GregV; 09-27-2019 at 12:16 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  11. #10
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    Default

    A “treatment-free” pleasant-style beekeeper kept buying packages every spring because she kept losing her hive. Someone told her she needed two hives so she could split or otherwise help weaker one. Then she began buying two packages, but still both package died so after 6 years or so she gave up and sold her equipment. Both individuals who brought her used equipment had AFB!
    Another pleasant-style beekeeper donated her bees to local private school garden club. She choose least amount of management because her hive was difficult to work with. Those bees turned out to be Africanized - yeah they’re hard to work with.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Confusing in treatment free vs mis-treating bees

    Quote Originally Posted by MimiE View Post
    A “treatment-free” pleasant-style beekeeper kept buying packages every spring because she kept losing her hive. Someone told her she needed two hives so she could split or otherwise help weaker one. Then she began buying two packages, but still both package died so after 6 years or so she gave up and sold her equipment. Both individuals who brought her used equipment had AFB!
    Another pleasant-style beekeeper donated her bees to local private school garden club. She choose least amount of management because her hive was difficult to work with. Those bees turned out to be Africanized - yeah they’re hard to work with.
    I am not sure what you are getting at.

    I never bought a bee in my life - all captured (friends did give me few TF queens to improve my stock).
    Despite the mortality, I have enough bees every spring to restart the program and right now I have just under 20 units.
    Got more honey then we can eat and to "pay the rent".
    My bee handling is at capacity - no more! (need to make more hives urgently).
    Few will die; some will make it to spring.
    How it goes.

    So I don't know what is this topic about....
    I gave my evolving prospective on CF (chem-free) beekeeping many times over.
    Enough of that (people get mad with me).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  13. #12
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    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    Default Re: Confusing in treatment free vs mis-treating bees

    "diligence on treatment free beekeeping and there is a backlash "
    Feeling a little sensitive are we. If you are on BS I really do not think this was aimed at you.

    Making a decision to go Bond, in my opinion, is not the best decision, it is not however neglect. Bond to the extent of AFB unnoticed is abuse, if you are OK with the result on the bees, you should be concerned with the impact on beekeepers.

    I have no idea if the description of conduct is accurate, if so it is fertile ground for beekeeping laws that might not be welcomed.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

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