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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Watched a beeweaver video on their first attempt at TF bees….

Out of 1000 colonies, 900 died. Out of the 100 survivors, about 50 were productive. Out of those only 5 went on to raise progeny that survived and were productive.

Pretty depressing numbers for those trying effect the gentics of a handful of hives....

I’m getting 5 beeweavers next week. Will split my hives and go TF on those 5 and treat my first 7. They will all been in the same location so everything except the treatments and the genetics will be the same.

We shall see….
 

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Well, it would be pretty depressing, if that weren't a fairly long time ago. I really think resistance is higher in the general population these days.

I really liked my Beeweaver queen that I got last summer. Started brooding up big and early, and I made 2 splits from it this spring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We have the advantage of being able to buy TF queens from an enviroment that is not wildly different from ours. Florida is a tough place to go TF. I'm just hoping my beeweavers aren't mean as rattlesnakes... I love wondering around my hives every afternoon with my wife. I really don't want to suit up just to go look at them.
 

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Florida is a tough place to go TF.
Why is that? I had my hives treatment free from the get go. Partially because I didn't know any better and partially because I just don't see a point of making honey with chemicals - I can buy it at the store with way less effort and money involved. In the beginning I did loose a couple of hives. But then got a good queen from R-weaver and used her to make more queens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Why is that? I had my hives treatment free from the get go. Partially because I didn't know any better and partially because I just don't see a point of making honey with chemicals - I can buy it at the store with way less effort and money involved. In the beginning I did loose a couple of hives. But then got a good queen from R-weaver and used her to make more queens.
Bee-52, you just made my point. You lost hives until you BOUGHT queens that have been raised to be treatment free. Florida probably has the worst SHB and mites because of our climate. SHB thrive in the warmer climate as do mites. Toss in our very long brood season and it makes for a pretty tough enviroment.
 

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You lost hives until you BOUGHT queens that have been raised to be treatment free.
Actually no. Just to be clear, R-Weaver doesn't advertise their queens as varroa resistant or VSH. I just kept buying queens from them until I stumbled on one that did really good. That's not the only way to fly either. There are other ways of finding bees with resistant traits. What so significant about BUYING? You lost me there. There are plenty of people who started treatment free by using local bees or a feral swarm. As far as Florida climate, my opinion, and that's just that, is that we have an advantage compared to colder climate. Contrary to popular opinion varroa mites don't kill entire colonies. Varroa infestation weakens the colonies. And there is no such a thing as varroa free colony in the US. So regardless of a brood break or no brood break all colonies have mites present. So you kind of at the same starting point weather you are in Florida or in Alaska. However when you add the stress that winter adds to a colony, you instantly put northern bees to a disadvantage. A stressed colony that might have survived a "winter" in Florida would have no chances somewhere up north. If it was not so, commercial beekeepers would overwinter their bees in Canada rather than in Florida.

Anyhow, if you artificially sustain genetics that is not adapted to deal with a certain calamity, you will have to continue to increase your efforts to do so until those efforts can not be sustained anymore. Imagine the world from the point of view of a staphylococcus bacteria. The biggest calamity in your life is penicillin and it decimated 95% of your friends. However you and other 5% survived and since that's the only genetic pool that was left, your progeny all have resistance to penicillin and life is good again (if you are a bacteria) and you proudly wear title MRSA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well I won't continue to argue with a guru of your stature. I will tell you that beesource is full of stories about watching their hives die of mites. If it's so easy, why isn't everyone treatment free? Do you think people just want to spend the money on treatments? Or are all those who treat too stupid to figure it out? I brought out some interesting historical info and in typical treatment free bee keeper fashion was attacked. Thanks for turning this thread into your typical TF or drop dead thread. There is a reason I didn't post this thread under the treatment free forum. It's to avoid the mighty TF gurus sanctimonious attacks. I'll simply add you to my ignore list...
 

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Well I won't continue to argue with a guru of your stature. I will tell you that beesource is full of stories about watching their hives die of mites..
To be fair, a lot of those stories come from beekeepers who treat.

I think keeping bees in Florida has pluses and minuses, like everywhere else. Our winters aren't as harsh, but as you say, long brood season, SHB, and little natural break. On the other hand, the climate can keep marginal bees alive in some cases. I caught a swarm in northern NY in August, and if I'd hived it there, it would not have had time to build up enough to winter. In October, I decided one of my established hives up there would not have enough stores to get through, so brought it south. Both hives are now building up massively-- the swarm is on its second medium super above the deep brood nest-- so I'm trying to take advantage of the pluses of both climates.

I think TF can be done in Florida, but like you, I think it's probably harder than it is in some other places. The other day Bill Hagan told me he'd been TF for 7 or 8 years, and then last year all but one of his hives crashed.

So it goes.
 

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Well I won't continue to argue with a guru of your stature.
No reason to get your measuring stick out. As I mentioned before - it is just my opinion, nothing else. I think everybody is entitled to have at least one. Going treatment free worked for me so far and involved zero extra effort. That's not to say that tomorrow all my bees are not going to die and then I will add my lachrymose story to the plethora of writings on Beesoruce about succumbing to the mite plague. Can you answer one question for me though. How come AHB seems to thrive and multiply in Florida and other southern states with no treatments if the conditions here are so difficult for treatment free beekeeping?


Our winters aren't as harsh, but as you say, long brood season, SHB, and little natural break.
The same queen that I mentioned produced bees that seem to deal with SHB better. When I would lift the top cover on the other hives I would have to go to town squishing them beetles. With this one I would normally find a couple and they would be persecuted by bees with extreme prejudice while in the other hives bettles would crawl around like they own the place. Ever since then I replaced all (but one) of my queens with daughters from that queen and they all exhibit the same traits.

Bee52 - Was the queen you bought from RWeaver a Buckfast queen? How did you like their queens?
It was Buckfast. Most of the info on this forum about RWeaver queens seem to be right on the money. Some of their daughters do tend to make slightly more aggressive bees. Some of them tend to be more hardworking than others.
 

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We have the advantage of being able to buy TF queens from an enviroment that is not wildly different from ours. Florida is a tough place to go TF. I'm just hoping my beeweavers aren't mean as rattlesnakes... I love wondering around my hives every afternoon with my wife. I really don't want to suit up just to go look at them.
I have 2 beeweaver queens. One is 6yrs old this year and my best producer, early build up and gentle as can bee. My other one is 3yrs old this year. Not as good as my other and they do have a bit of a temper but nothing I can't handle or consider hot. But I've never had an issue just sitting there watching them. Just when I open the lid they get a little more angry than some of my others.

I've never treated or gotten in a TF/Non argument. I don't loose hives very often so I just do things my way and keep on keeping on.
 

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I have 2 beeweaver queens. One is 6yrs old this year and my best producer, early build up and gentle as can bee. My other one is 3yrs old this year. Not as good as my other and they do have a bit of a temper but nothing I can't handle or consider hot. But I've never had an issue just sitting there watching them. Just when I open the lid they get a little more angry than some of my others.

I've never treated or gotten in a TF/Non argument. I don't loose hives very often so I just do things my way and keep on keeping on.

Amen to that!!!
 
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