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Discussion Starter #1
Here it is. Between Barry's schedule and mine, it's taken a while. And do not ask me what I think of the word processing program that we have to use for this.

Here's the link: http://www.beesource.com/2010/no-treatment-of-honey-bees-report-3/

DO NOT post comments there. We'll discuss it here.

Now, as background, this report came about because folks wanted data - dates, activities, results. This is not a scientific study, it is simply a report that will, when concluded, track 6 years of all of my hives. Beginning 4 seasons ago, and concluding in Dec. 2011.

As indicated, it is a real pain getting the data in there and formatted, so please forgive any errors. I have all the summations in, and details on 3 on the 14 hives. I have the data for the other 11 hives in my word processing program in my computer, and will get it transferred as soon as possible. I hope you find this interesting and helpful. If not, just ignore it.

For all the other reports and data that has been generated as a result of our discussions a few weeks ago about "Treatment Free", I think its exciting!
Regards,
Steven
 

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Steven,
Thanks for the report. I am new to beekeeping this will be my first year starting April 15th.

So thanks for the information. I am going to try and go chemical free.
:thumbsup:
 

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Hi Steven,
Just finished reading the report. You did a great job writing it, even a construction worker like me can follow along without getting lost.

Thanks,
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Brooklyn, in the words of Yoda, "Do not try. Do." :applause:
My take on this is that if you don't start with the right bees, you will fail. If you panic and treat, you'll never get off the treatment treadmill. I don't mean "you" personally, I mean all of us. I am more nervous about beekeeping now than I ever was the first time around. I've been second-guessing myself for two years now, and won't really know how it works out for another year or two. Mainly because I've sacrified what I know about getting a honey crop to both go treatment free and rapidly expand.
Good luck to you!
Steven
 

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very detailed, i look forward to reviewing you progress. Thanks. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok folks, data on all 14 hives is now entered. There are a few formatting problems, but I'll deal with that another time. Got to finish equipment so I can expand up to 32 hives this spring. :doh:
Regards,
Steven
 

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StevenG, I like the report. For me it was hard to figure what race of bees are in each hive. Maybe you could add that info where you have the hive number? I will be looking forward to your progress. I think it is important that we all strive towards imposing ourselves less.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
ccar2000, you're right, I wasn't as clear as I should have been re: strains of bees, as I started out. As you read the data, you see where I have the strains, or changed strains. I'll go back and make that change on the earlier data. I think it's more clear on later hives.

I don't think at this point I'll label each hive at the heading, which strain it is, because I requeened a couple of them after a season or two, changing the strain.
Thanks,
Steven
 

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StevenG, read through your report...great job, good stuff. My main question is how do I post my report when I'm ready?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
acbees, pm Barry, the moderator about it. I don't know what he's worked up with other "powers that be" about the best way to handle whatever is generated as a result of this discussion. I look forward to reading your report!
Regards,
Steven
 

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Thanks for doing this. I, too, believe in letting the bees build their immune systems which is hard to do if they are constantly bombarded with medications. My bees have dealt with nosema, shb, and dwv. I've done nothing more than requeen. Thus far, things are going well, and I haven't had a die out.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
March 15, 2010 temp. is 53, heavy overcast, light breeze, very cool day. I inspected the final two hives today, #1 and 2. Needless to say, the bees were extremely cranky. I do not usually wear gloves, but I did today, and was glad I did. If I didn't have to leave town tomorrow, I would have waited for a better day.

The blog has been updated, to reflect my activities in the last few days. Hives needing feeding are being fed.

I began 2010 with 14 colonies. I lost only one colony over the winter - #4. Indications are starvation, perhaps aggravated by a small cluster unable due to cold weather to move into stores. That is a 7% loss, if I calculate correctly. Needless to say, I am very pleased! And probably very lucky!

The next update will probably be around April 1.
Regards,
Steven
 

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Nice job. One big question I have, (not trying to be critical) is why not at least monitor and record mite counts? Seems like you're really taking the time to document this effort, why not take it one step further and document mite levels? Seems like now if you loose a hive, unless the cause is totally obvious, you're somewhat left guessing as to what happened. With counts you could add data like: Sept. 1, 2010 hive 14 has 200 mites/ day, Nov. 30, 2010 hive 14 dead.

...just my 2 cents
 

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I believe this thread was set up for reporting only. Discussion and comments should be posted at the "no treatment...do-ers only" thread. I believe discussion posts should be deleted from this thread by the moderator.
 

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I believe this thread was set up for reporting only. Discussion and comments should be posted at the "no treatment...do-ers only" thread. I believe discussion posts should be deleted from this thread by the moderator.
Here it is. Between Barry's schedule and mine, it's taken a while. And do not ask me what I think of the word processing program that we have to use for this.

Here's the link: http://www.beesource.com/2010/no-treatment-of-honey-bees-report-3/

DO NOT post comments there. We'll discuss it here.

Regards,
Steven
 

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Discussion Starter #17
sorry folks, I've been out of town for 10 days.

Regarding discussion - the report posted on the blog and this thread are set up for discussion of the report to occur here. Rationale is that we can keep the discussion focused on the report better here, than if it is part of a generalized discussion. That way if you ask a question, here, you know you'll find the answer to your specific question, here.

Astrobee - regarding doing mite counts - I've been struggling with that thought. On the one hand I could have the kind of information you indicate, and that information might indicate mites were contributory to the death of the colony. On the other hand, if I do a mite count, and find the counts skyrocketing, I might be tempted to treat. Which would defeat my purpose in using and keeping resistant bees. On the third hand :lpf: is the ever-present issue of time. Do I really want to use my time to test for something that is basically irrelevant to me? The ultimate test is if the colony dies or survives.

Now, the colony that starved, and the one that almost starved, had no deformed wings. If I successfully deal with moisture, starvation, lack of pollen, queenlessness, etc etc etc, my bees should thrive. So at this point, that's what I'm focused on. Right or wrong, I'm sticking with my plan at this point. I've read some of the more scientifically oriented postings on this forum, and I've come to the conclusion that we sideliners or back-yarders can have too much information. So much so that it kind of paralyzes us into inaction, because we don't know which is the "right" course of action to take. Beeks test, treat, count, their colonies dies. Beeks don't test, treat, count, their colonies die. I may have gotten lucky this year - I didn't test, treat, or count, and only lost one colony, out of 14. We'll see what happens next winter.

re: Critical - I didn't take your comment as being critical. In fact, I welcome suggestions and clarifying questions or comments.
Regards,
Steven
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Today, March 27, I inspected all the hives after being gone almost two weeks. The blog is updated, here's the link in case you need it:
http://www.beesource.com/2010/no-treatment-of-honey-bees-report-3/

The weather was not conducive to doing what I really wanted to do. It was a cool 58-60 degrees, overcast, chilly breeze. The bees were really, and I mean really, cranky. So I wore gloves for a change, and glad I did. I did get most everything done I needed to do. I did notice some mites on drone pupae when frames were removed for inspection. I messed up, didn't note count or hive they were in. Realized my mistake when headed to the next group of hives. I'll make that note next time. However, in about 4 dozen pupae, I only saw about 5 mites... in about 5 colonies. But, :no: on me for not noting it in the journal. I could have guessed and gone back and entered it, but it would not have been accurate, so I didn't do it.

Each time I work the hives irrespective of the weather, because I know they have to be worked, I have a deeper appreciation for the commercial beeks who do this all the time, fair weather or foul. You simply gotta do what you gotta do. I honor them for their hard work. :applause:

If I didn't have to work, I'd not be so weather dependent. On Tuesday I'll feed the ones needing feeding, and prepare site named MARK B to receive 10 colonies when I get my nucs and make my splits. I'll do some of that next weekend, when weather permits, and will probably update the blog again then.

Regarding the foundationless frames I added to hive #2 because they had drawn some comb: I was surprised how much comb they had drawn since installing the deep super. Unfortunately, it looks to be mainly drone comb. I understand they'll draw what they need, but I sure didn't want solid frames of drone comb. I'll see what the queen lays in those cells, to be sure. But its like they started drawing comb in two or three different points at the top of the frame, and where they joined the comb, it's rather wavy. New experience for me. It could be it was simply too early for them to draw worker comb...but they sure did want to draw comb.

Remember, any questions or comments, post them here on this thread. Thanks!
Regards,
Steven
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yes, I have purchased all my queens for requeening and splits to this point. This year I'm purchasing 6 MnHyg queens also, to add to the genetics. I wanted to be sure I had good genetics

However, this year I also plan to make "walk away splits" and let several of my hives make their own queens. I hope to eventually get to the point where I raise my own queens. This year is the first step in that process. My guess is eventually I'll have "mutts", but I want to be sure they retain the survivability necessary.

I will continue to purchase queens periodically, in order to keep the gene pool stirred up. lolol
Regards,
Steven
 
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