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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As of this year i have been treatment free on my 6 hives and as of today all 6 have made it threw the winter. I bought a bunch of equipment from http://www.mikesbeesandhoney.com/ and he swore by smoking the hives once a week with black walnut shavings for the control of mites. He sold me a big bag of them for a few dollars and ever sense the beginning of the year i have been doing that and nothing else to manage them so i feel it must be working rather well. I bought 5 hives this year from a local beekeeper in Newark Ohio that were from a survivor stock and was able to split the 5 into 8 but lost 2 of the hives in a cold snap during late July :scratch: I think it happened from the queens being in a introduction cage and the bees not huddling together as it got cold. The year before i had Georgia bought nucs for my first year. Needless to say i was never impressed by them and the first few days it hit zero they all froze. That was during the year with the drought and they never did seem to build up to there full potential. With that said i feel there is no reason to not be able to keep honeybees and not be treatment free with a good plan. This has been the worst winter we have had and there doing great. If they can make it threw this winter doing so well hopefully they will be able to make it threw any.
 

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I have to assume - as you are in Ohio - that you did not literally mean "smoking the hives once a week ..." for a full 12 months per year. Do you mean only during the months when bees are actively flying?


Black walnut trees do contain juglone, which can be toxic to some other plants and insects. So far, I have not seen controlled studies that show that juglone is demonstrably effective against varroa, though.

More on yew and walnut extracts in varroa control here:
http://yadda.icm.edu.pl/yadda/eleme...07f-4ba5-a8de-aef2407504a3/c/Garbaczewska.pdf

The study linked above used walnut extract rather than walnut smoke.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes only during the warmer weather. Its the only thing i can think of that made the difference. Even the person i bought them from has lost a good bit of his hives. Every hives appears to even have a full 10 deep frames of honey left they are only now starting on. I did not take any from them to make sure they had enough plus there was a good crop off each hive in the spring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This spring i am planning on doing the powder sugar mite test i will post what i get from each hive. I am planning on getting 20 more hives this year. Sense my first year i love doing it but never believed in chemicals in my garden so i am determined to not use any in my bees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I feel i must be doing something right if in my second year i have not lost any hives during the worst winter i have seen and wanted to share what i think it is with everyone. Anything is possible if you work at it hard enough and want to succeeded.
 

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Stan99, I've heard of smoking with walnut shavings kills varroa, but personally haven't used it. Been TF for 4yrs now on
large cell fd and its worked for me too, so far..... Good luck, and keep doing what you've been doing.
 

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All well and good, but if you are treating your hives why do you claim to be treatment free? Just doesn't make sense to me, that's all.

By the way, tanic acid is a chemical. Black walnut hulls have been used to dye wool for ages.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am not sure i could consider using black walnut shavings in my smokers and giving them a good smoking before i go to the next one as treatment. Its not much more then anyone would do when they normally work with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
A good survivor stock from the area i live in and keeping the mites in check by smoking them. Now instead of going around about this all night with someone who obviously does not like seeing someone do so well i will say i do not treat using any chemicals that are bought from a company that are no good for the bees.
 

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I'm glad to see that you admit to yourself that you treat for mites using something other than conventional materials. If you want to call your treatment treatment free then that's your perogative. No arguments, except I am glad that you are having some success. Just don't blow smoke
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
As i said earlier i do not consider black walnut shaving to be treating them. I only said that because i am not going around all night with someone who has a different point of view on treatment then i do or for that matter most of the beekeeping community i have met. Now strut off like a rooster and we will both say you won because arguing with you about this is nothing but a waste of my time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Everyone has a opinion and mine is this is no more a treatment then someone who uses small cells to control the mites. This is something i learned from a man who is probably more intelligent then 99% of the people on this forum including myself and he has very low losses and has success with his hives and his opinion is hes treatment free. Now someone such as him i am inclined to listen to there opinion.
 

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Stan99, Under TF Forum Rules by Solomon Parker, the use of a smoker is not considered a treatment. Now, what you
put in it, might be debated for hrs, days, weeks, maybe mos..........
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I noticed but to each is there own. If nothing else if someone wants to consider it a treatment its a sustainable one that seems to have no ill effect on the bees like the commercial products and i can say i have no fear of contaminating anything i eat.
 
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