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Welcome to the Treatment-Free Beekeeping forum. This is the place to discuss and promote all topics related to treatment free beekeeping.

Please read all forum rules. The main forum rules mention that each topical forum may have unique rules. These are those rules. The purpose of these rules is not to qualify or disqualify anyone's hive as being "treatment free." The purpose of these rules is to define the topic for this forum. Everyone keeps their hives however they like and no one is setting rules as to how anyone can keep their bees. The Treatment-Free Beekeeping Forum is not a standard or a certification program or a benchmark. It is a forum with the stated purpose of discussing how to keep bees by letting them cope with disease on their own.

The users of this forum have decided to agree on a single definition for "Treatment-Free Beekeeping" for the sake of context in posts and threads in this forum.

Treatment: A substance introduced by the beekeeper into the hive with the intent of killing, repelling, or inhibiting a pest or disease afflicting the bees.

Treatments include but are not limited to:
Apiguard (thymol)
Mite-away II (formic acid)
Apistan (fluvalinate)
Sucrocide (sucrose octanoate esters)
Mite-A-Thol (menthol)
Terramycin/Tetra-B (antibiotic)
Tylan (antibiotic)
Gardstar (permethrin)
Fumagilin (antibiotic)
Paramoth (p-dichlorobenzene)
Checkmite (coumaphos)
Oxalic Acid (dicarboxylic acid)
Formic Acid (carboxylic acid)
Mineral Oil (food grade mineral oil, FGMO)
Sugar Dusting (sucrose)
HBH (essential oils)
MegaBee (diet formula)
Honey Bee Healthy (feeding stimulant containing essential oils)
Bt Aizawai (bacteria)
Thymol (crystals, feed, or fogging)
Essential oils (in general)
Grease patties (Crisco etc.)

Treatments do not include items considered to be manipulations or equipment including but not limited to the following:
Frequent queen replacement
Systematic splitting
Frequent replacement of comb/foundation
Small cell foundation
Drone comb removal
Screened Bottom Boards
Small Hive Beetle Traps
Honey Harvest
Pollen Harvest
Frame Manipulation
Hive Body Reversal
The Use of a Smoker
Sticky Boards
Any Method of Breeding

The definition of the term treatment also does not include feeding items such as:
Sugar syrup
Dry granulated sugar
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
Pollen substitutes

This forum is for those who wish to discuss Treatment-Free Beekeeping, not for them to be required to defend it. There is no need to discuss commercial or other methods of beekeeping. There are multiple forums to address any and all subjects. Any post advocating the use of treatments, according to the forum definition of treatment will be considered off topic and shall be moved to another forum or deleted by a moderator, unless it is employed as part of a plan in becoming treatment free. Discussions of the definition of "Treatment-Free" will be deleted.

Posts or portions of posts judged to be uncivil may be edited or deleted by a moderator. Please avoid making any kind of accusation toward another forum user. Do not impugn their motives, do not question their skills, and do not use pejoratives. Be responsible and do not post offering advice about things you have not experienced and methods you have not used. To avoid misunderstandings, statements intended to be interpreted humorously should be marked with a smilie.

Any question concerning the rules of the forum or questioning actions taken by the moderator shall be addressed via private message to the moderator and should not be made visible to the forum users. The main forum rules banning the discussion of moderation still apply.

Please enjoy this forum. There is a wealth of information available from long time beekeepers with real world experience in these subjects. Feel free to ask any and all serious questions and engage in spirited discussion and learning.

Premium Member
12,001 Posts

squarepeg wrote:

from the 'unique forum rules':

"Any post advocating the use of treatments, according to the forum definition of treatment will be considered off topic and shall be moved to another forum or deleted by a moderator, unless it is employed as part of a plan in becoming treatment free."

(emphasis mine)

this allows for the contingency that there may be those who might consider treatments as a stop gap measure to save a colony which has not been able to 'do it on it's own', and prevent the loss of time, money, and a live colony of bees.

tf 'mindset' has been brought up in another thread. to some, this mindset is seen to include being prepared to allow colonies to perish as part of the tf process. i see nothing wrong with this, and i have always felt that all beekeepers should be able to make their own management decisions as they so feel moved to do so, (within the constraints of applicable laws and in a way that doesn't threaten nearby colonies kept by others and/or feral colonies).

what often appears to be the case is that beginning beekeepers have made the decision to go tf without understanding that this may involve losing colonies in what can potentially become a disappointing and expensive process.

it makes perfect sense to me for someone to do whatever is necessary to save a colony in the short term and while attempting to come up with measures that will lead to their bees being able to be kept off treatments, but to the hard core this 'mindset' flys against theirs and they dismiss it.

bottom line: don't be constrained by this or that definition and make your choices based on what it is you feel is appropriate for you, your circumstances, and your goals.
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