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2019 Lusby Conference blows up, virtually nobody signed up.

Guess the thought of getting mauled by bloodthirsty Arizona Africanized bees didn't appeal.
 

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This might be a sign that the beekeeping fad that started with CCD in 2006 is finally waning.
 

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This might be a sign that the beekeeping fad that started with CCD in 2006 is finally waning.
Quite possibly.
I met Dee Lusby and there's no doubt that she has a lot of bee knowledge, but it's also no secret that she can be abrasive and off putting to some. I've found her to be way more approachable in private than in a public setting.
I've never been to the conference she puts on, but I've seen/heard some of the speakers that attend that conference - Kirk Webster, Michael Bush, Sam Comfort. I found those talks interesting and learned something from each. I've also learned from others like Randy Oliver, Mike Palmer, Samuel Ramsey, Dave Tarpy. There's a lot of bee knowledge from many sources, and Dee's approach was limiting the knowledge to some sources.
 

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From my own perspective, I feel the Treatment-Free movement is sagging under the weight of dead bees. I did it myself for 6 years, so I understand the interest. But I think the more one learns about bees and beekeeping, the less the old Bond method seems to make any sense, and it's hard to make meaningful breeding progress without I.I. coupled with knowledge of honey bee genetics, geographic isolation or control of the vast majority of the local population. When I got back into bees in '09, it seemed like the majority of new beekeepers were anti-commercial and treatment free. Now, a quick look at the Facebook groups and it looks like the new norm is sidelining as an almond pollinator.

Dollars and sense.
 

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That last youtube video probably didn't do her any favors. There's no doubt her bees are survivors, but the dilapidated gear and crazy working environment will not appeal to many.

As i understand, Dee now has a hip problem and relies on help from volunteers drawn from these conferences. If that dries up, her operation may dissolve into the desert sand.
 

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The last few videos show she is in no shape to debate, right or wrong, its a dead end.
Having dealt with elder parents( talking 4 DR appointments a week, dementia, ass wiping, bathing and diaper changes here....If you could still get out of bed and walk, you still had a place in my home), I hope my daughter judges me by who I was, not what I became in the end, so we should give Dee the same respect.
 

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>2019 Lusby Conference blows up, virtually nobody signed up.
>Guess the thought of getting mauled by bloodthirsty Arizona Africanized bees didn't appeal.

Dee has been unable to walk without crutches for several years now. She is in constant pain. Age and failing health are catching up to her. I don't see how she gets anything done under her current circumstances. Gloating seems inappropriate.
 

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Gloating seems inappropriate.
Understatement of the year. Time and circumstance will come to us all. I am fortunate to have lived 59 years and still be healthy.
 

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So how does she get anything done? Is it from volunteer helpers?

I am sure she will want to pass on the mantle and been wondering what will happen, been thinking the only way that could happen if someone was keen enough to take the whole thing over, lock stock and barrel. If it is still generating revenue, a younger fit person could build new gear and gradually replace stuff.

Although it would be a big job. Reading Dee in the past, I've been amazed how much energy she must have had, for example each piece of comb foundation was made by hand.
 

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Is this her most recent talk? Published January 2019?

At the end she claims that bees get 80-90% more gentle when combs are properly Housel Positioned. :rolleyes: And claimed that cold causes DWV.
 

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Understatement of the year.
From my very humble vantage point, I could not agree more. Whether one agrees with Dee's approach or not, it is remarkable what she has (and continues) to accomplish despite the obstacles. The example of dogged determination is commendable.
 

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Regarding the content of the linked video, I thought it is generally well accepted there is no benefit to Housel positioning . . . ?




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Some speakers are good and some are not so good. But, anyone speaking about our passion should be respected. Sorry that Dee is not having success.
 

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Regarding the content of the linked video, I thought it is generally well accepted there is no benefit to Housel positioning . . . ?
You are correct that majority opinion is that housel position offers no benefit. However if some folks like Dee adamantly believe that housel positioning makes their bees gentle, then obviously, who are any of us to argue?
 

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You are correct that majority opinion is that housel position offers no benefit. However if some folks like Dee adamantly believe that housel positioning makes their bees gentle, then obviously, who are any of us to argue?
Dee Lusby has forgotten more about beekeeping in one day than I will ever know in my lifetime, but "gentle" bees is not what I think of when I see videos from the Lusby apiary. Reminds me that even highly respected scientific experts can misinterpret their observations. One particularly famous example is Prof. Percival Lowell:

https://www.nytimes.com/1906/12/09/...-mars-prof-percival-lowell-recognized-as.html






.
 

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I have no personal knowledge of Dee Lusby but through a beekeeper that started when I did when we first formed a local Club. My friend advocated treatment free and even got Sam Comfort to come to our new Club. She followed Dee’s (and husband) treatment free teaching passionately. That was in 2011. I don’t believe she knew/understood (at that time) about the AHB that Dee had and how that and her isolated location contributed to her success of TF.
 

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I don’t believe she knew/understood (at that time) about the AHB that Dee had and how that and her isolated location contributed to her success of TF.
Your point is well taken and valid. But it is possible to keep bees treatment free and not have them die. For me that entails splitting the hives, monitoring for mites ( and requeening colonies that have high counts ), integrating VSH genetics, using darker bees and being ok with smaller honey harvests.
 

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But it is possible to keep bees treatment free and not have them die.
In some locations.

Try it where i am, won't work.

How do i know this? i tried it and followed Dees teachings to the best of my abilities over a 2 year time frame. Ended up losing every single hive. At that time i was scoffed at by some in the treatment free camp, it was my fault, somehow, somewhere, i must have done something wrong, they said.

I didn't think so, and my belief was confirmed when over time, 2 TF beekeepers from overseas emmigrated to my country, got hold of some bees, then jumped onto our local bee chat forum and denigrated all NZ beekeepers for poisoning their bees and being ignorant (yes that, and other words were used). One of these guys collected swarms and did cutouts and quickly built up more than 50 hives. He was a fervent Dee Lusby follower and stated that his small cell bees would not even get AFB. He also advertised and sold several of his special nucs for NZ$3,000, that's just over US$2,000. Everybody was watching to see how he would go, as to be straight up the guy had been extremely abnoxious and condescending. Anyhow, all of a sudden, his posts on the forum stopped, he went silent.


Later, i talked to a beekeeper who had visited him. He told me they looked at his bees together, all but 3 hives were dead, and the 3 that were alive were nearly dead. Pity the guy himself, in the interest of full education, did not have the integrity to go back online and admit the whole thing didn't work. There are still newbies reading his posts and trying his methods, only to lose their bees.

Anyhow to my point, beekeeping is local. This guy had been a successful TF beekeeper overseas. His mistake was to assume that his methods would work anywhere.
 

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In some locations.

Anyhow to my point, beekeeping is local
True. #1 rule in beekeeping is that ALL beekeeping is local.
And, for the record, I wasn't saying that Dee's methods are the only way. I like Sam Comfort's approach of "treatment free but not stupid" much better. In the end, do what works for you that keeps your bees productive, healthy and not a source of problems for your beekeeping neighbors.
 

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Agreed Marcin. I have very much enjoyed some of Sam Comforts videos. He has an excellent understanding of bees, and has walked both sides of the fence, migratory commercial, and now TF top bars. Like every successful beekeeper he has settled on a method that is working for him, and giving him the lifestyle he enjoys.
 
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