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I imagine this one is a rather religious debate, but I am going to try it anyway:

I was watching some videos posted by NY Bee Wellness, specifically one which was a presentation by Dr. Lawrence John Connor. While the majority of what he had to say was somewhat well agreed-upon, towards the end during Q&A is where either strange beliefs, or perhaps stubbornness took over for Dr. Connor.

Specifically, someone asked about Varroa management, and he simply stated "I'm not going to talk about that."

I've started all of two threads here plus my introduction thread, so I have not exactly been around the block many times. I also don't keep bees yet. That said, my desire to be able to keep bees without needing to treat (which is different than not treating bees) was met with some ... friction here? The friction was certainly well-intended and I did not take it in any but the most positive manner. But that said, it "seems like" that there are Varroa mites and they can be a problem seems pretty well accepted, even by those who say they don't have a problem with them. I think the staunchest "no treatment" keepers will agree that there are people for whom mites are a problem.

So, why then does Dr. Conner not want to talk about it? Is it because it is such a polarizing subject? Is it because it was towards the end of the presentation and he felt there wasn't enough time? When I search Dr. Google for "lawrence john connor varroa management" I am not met with a lot of information. Certainly, nothing one would expect to see with all of the books he's written. One book in which he implies "the option of wintering nucleus colonies" will help control mites and another where selective breeding is the answer.

To be clear I think both of these can be tools, but why is that all I see?

The question I am left with after blathering on about all that is relatively simple: Can I trust what he's got to say, or do I send my money elsewhere for someone else's books? Maybe I'm misjudging him, in which case I expect Cunningham's Law will right things immediately. :)
 

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Dr. Connor is a fairly well-respected researcher. He and Dewey Caron have co-authored a book that is taught to entomology students in college courses. He is no lightweight. He can also be quite gruff. I have met him a few times. He is nice enough, but is rather direct.

Dr. Connor is not only an author but a book publisher and owner of WicWas Press. He is in the business of selling books now. However, that should not be taken to diminish his career and research. I respect him and trust what he says. That does not always mean he is correct or is above throwing out anecdotal observations he thinks he has seen that have not been proven through rigorous scientific study.

If you want to have a good conversation about treatment-free beekeeping, there is a sub-forum for those conversations. The rest of the members are not supposed to attack folks there. I make no promises.

Based on your signature, I thank you for your service.
 

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trust every one but verify. :)
you will soon find out talk to 10 keepers and 10 different ways to do something, combine a couple and now you are at 11.

season and location can mean a lot, one would not "wrap/insulate" hives in Texas, but in North Dakoda maybe a must. feeding for me is an almost never, as there are not many dearth's here some places don't feed,, bees die. Add in the race variations and no two places will be the same.
Wait till you have bees in 2 places, the honey tastes different ,they winter different ETC, in a 25 mile difference.

each speaks from their frame of reference, in their locale and with the race of bee they have they are likely correct.
so in my mind every one speaks truth, but will it work for me, here, with my bees. those ideas that I feel have merit I try.
if it fails it does not make them a liar it makes the tactic here not work due to my locale.

try not to be a purest, keep bees any old way till you find your path then follow it.
IMO poring over "maps" with out bees is at some point sifting the white stuff out of chicken ****t.
one can always add in FL frames or decide not to treat once you have the ability to over winter and split back to your starting point. If they are all dead in the spring did what frame you used matter?

In the late 70's when I started, I had 1 book and 1 keeper to ask things of for 10 years Plus.
It can be done, the bees will teach you the best, today with all the stuff out there one can get into analyses paralyses quite easily.

order the bees and the wooden ware and just jump in........:)
you will either hate it or wish you started 5 years ago.

GG
 

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He is nice enough, but is rather direct.
I concur with psm1212 on this assessment. Dr. Conner has had a long and illustrious career in beekeeping and is a wealth of great information. I have also found that he is very helpful and willing to share his advice so long as you don't mind him shooting straight with you- truth with no candy coating.

FWIW in most presentations I have watched he gives his e-mail address and I expect (but can't guarantee) that if you e-mailed him your question in a thoughtful and respectful manner he might just e-mail you back and let you know his thoughts on the subject.

I too appreciate your service on behalf of our country. The Heroes to Hives program looks like a great program.

Russ
 

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I remember watching that seminar live via the internet and what I took away from it was he didn’t want to dive into the whole mess that varroa is..seems like he wanted to keep things k.i.s.s. I could be wrong but that’s what I got from it. I’ve bought books from wicwas press and can’t complain about them or Larry Conor.
 

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I left beekeeping for a while just before the varroa mite came on shore and changed everything. When I re entered beekeeping my apiaries smelled like a french bakery from all the non essential oils. My frames were all small cell. Foundationless frames and screened bottom boards did not pass the giggle test so I never tried those but I gave TF the old college try. It worked if you call 60% winter loss and a pathetic honey crop success.

I am sure that Dr Connor is methodologically capable of doing good research and I have learned from reading his books. Since this research was done on the government/academe dime it would seem to me that the information gained from that research should have gone on Agricultural extension pamphlets as twenty pages would have been an adequate precis, but where would that leave wicwas press.
 

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"Wait till you have bees in 2 places, the honey tastes different ,they winter different ETC, in a 25 mile difference"

I have two locations that I keep bees myself, about 20 miles apart. At one location which is isolated I could probably be successful "treatment free" with the bees I have. As long as I start a season with a low infestation rate there they could probably handle keeping the population down. BUT at that location I need to FEED and I my spring flow is over by the end of June and there is nothing for the bees until the next May ... probably why there are no bees out there...and no mites, the bees don't have brood for half the summer and half the winter!

My hives in town have a flow all year from all the "in town" gardeners but If I don't treat 4 times a year the colonies collapse. There are so many beekeepers in town with high infestation rates that I can wash 1% in August and have 20 mites in a wash by October. I went to the local association to find out that EVERYONE buys bees every year... I'm not in it to be buying bees every year...or ever... So I treat in the Spring, I treat during the flow, and as soon as my honey supers come off all the way through Nov I treat in one form or another.
I wanted to be treatment free in the beginning but I lost 100% of my colonies the first year, and my first "mentor" had NEVER had a colony survive until spring for the past 8 years... he just bought bees every year.... not for me thanks.

Then I thought about the fact that we have had varroa here for 30 years and my puney 12 colonies aren't going to breed out varroa. We have folks like Randy Oliver and the Beeweavers devoting 1,000+ colonies to treatment free resistant breeding...So I buy queens from breeders that prioritize resistance ( luckily there are some great ones locally here ) and do what I can to keep my colonies alive. Its just more fun when my bees are alive in the spring.

I found a mentor that doesn't know what to do with all his bees he is so good at keeping them alive... so I just copied what he does and now I don't know what to do with the fact that these things multiply exponentially if your not careful.

My old mentor has even changed his tune and started treating...and guess what, he didn't buy any bees last year and is up to 8 colonies instead all of them collapsing this fall, like he has experienced this past decade... he's a lot happier too.

I'm not saying don't try , I'm just sharing my experience.
From one Veteran to another thank you for your service , keep you powder dry, your axe sharp and your varroa infestation under 1%
DOL
 

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I gave TF the old college try. It worked if you call 60% winter loss and a pathetic honey crop success.
LOL, said with good humor Vance.

I remember when around 70% of Beesourcers were Treatment free, and talking about their success. The word "success" came up frequently and was also a topic of debate how it should be defined.

I would like to know what happened to a lot of those folks, especially the more vociferous ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
He can also be quite gruff. I have met him a few times. He is nice enough, but is rather direct.
This likely explains a lot. I did another search and found a picture so oddly enough, that helped. While it’s not a guarantee of wisdom, there is a point of view from a person who has seen a few years that’s worth considering.

If you want to have a good conversation about treatment-free beekeeping, there is a sub-forum for those conversations.
Thank you, I will go read there as well. I want to reiterate I’m not even a beekeeper yet much less a TF beek, but I do think if there are ways to help the bees help themselves, they are worth considering as part of one’s approach

order the bees and the wooden ware and just jump in
Ordered the hives and related stuff yesterday actually, pretty psyched about that. My schedule is wild so I want to leave myself enough time to get everything built, sealed, painted, etc.

There is the argument that if I don’t have time now, maybe bees are a bad idea. The craziness right now should be over in a few months. I hope.

I remember watching that seminar live via the internet and what I took away from it was he didn’t want to dive into the whole mess that varroa is..seems like he wanted to keep things k.i.s.s.
Thanks for that. That’s probably it. I don’t know enough yet to qualify things I hear and read so that’s why I’m asking here

Thanks all!
 

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Dealing with the varroa is a story that goes back nearly 40 years; many of the theories and positions taken have changed greatly and are still evolving. Many authors were faced with having to change their dearly held positions. That does not come easily to many. A quote from the author Tolstoy suggests a scenario that might hold sway.

"I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." - Tolstoy."

Some of the "gurus" out there really should go back and note that their positions have changed to reflect realities as seen today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That would certainly make it easier on folks like me. Another issue is the “truth” as written on the Internet may change, but rando website where you found it may not have been updated for 10 years.

I appreciate the frank discourse here!
 

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"Wait till you have bees in 2 places, the honey tastes different ,they winter different ETC, in a 25 mile difference"

I have two locations that I keep bees myself, about 20 miles apart. At one location which is isolated I could probably be successful "treatment free" with the bees I have. As long as I start a season with a low infestation rate there they could probably handle keeping the population down. BUT at that location I need to FEED and I my spring flow is over by the end of June and there is nothing for the bees until the next May ... probably why there are no bees out there...and no mites, the bees don't have brood for half the summer and half the winter!

My hives in town have a flow all year from all the "in town" gardeners but If I don't treat 4 times a year the colonies collapse. There are so many beekeepers in town with high infestation rates that I can wash 1% in August and have 20 mites in a wash by October. I went to the local association to find out that EVERYONE buys bees every year... I'm not in it to be buying bees every year...or ever... So I treat in the Spring, I treat during the flow, and as soon as my honey supers come off all the way through Nov I treat in one form or another.
I wanted to be treatment free in the beginning but I lost 100% of my colonies the first year, and my first "mentor" had NEVER had a colony survive until spring for the past 8 years... he just bought bees every year.... not for me thanks.

Then I thought about the fact that we have had varroa here for 30 years and my puney 12 colonies aren't going to breed out varroa. We have folks like Randy Oliver and the Beeweavers devoting 1,000+ colonies to treatment free resistant breeding...So I buy queens from breeders that prioritize resistance ( luckily there are some great ones locally here ) and do what I can to keep my colonies alive. Its just more fun when my bees are alive in the spring.

I found a mentor that doesn't know what to do with all his bees he is so good at keeping them alive... so I just copied what he does and now I don't know what to do with the fact that these things multiply exponentially if your not careful.

My old mentor has even changed his tune and started treating...and guess what, he didn't buy any bees last year and is up to 8 colonies instead all of them collapsing this fall, like he has experienced this past decade... he's a lot happier too.

I'm not saying don't try , I'm just sharing my experience.
From one Veteran to another thank you for your service , keep you powder dry, your axe sharp and your varroa infestation under 1%
DOL
right so what works in one place may not in the next.
Until you "try" your place and see what happens you somewhat do not know.
Easy to see why keepers have "differing views" as the locale matters.

BTW I have abandoned some places and found new ones. A whole nuther discussion.
If it don't work , don't stay. IMO not every place is a bee site.

GG
 

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Keep reading and absorbing as much info as you can, then get some bees and believe what your eyes are showing you. Then you will be able to discern what works for you in your area.

Alex
 

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The club I am a member of seems dead set against taking any advice from YouTube, period. It seems their largest concerns are these personalities are spreading bad habits / ideas.

I try to take a little more moderate approach. Listen to these folks and watch what they do. Try it out for yourself, and within a year, you will know what works best for you.

Beekeeping in NW Georgia is most certainly different that Louisiana, Alaska, or Hawaii. And probably different that Tennessee. What works great in these places may not be as effective where I am.

Heck, even two hives side by side may vary, depending on the queen, genetics, mite load, and population.

Especially if you're looking to do TF, I recommend you do mite washes. There is no excuse for coming back in 6 months and asking why your colonies died if you didn't treat, and you don't have the numbers to back up this decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I want to be careful to restate this: I am not saying I will be treatment-free. I'm saying I'd like to get to where my hives don't need treatments. I will absolutely monitor mite load.

I think it's relatively easy to determine who is authoritative and who is not - but for the gray areas, I ask. That's why I'm asking about this one. :)

For instance, I don't think I've seen any bad videos on queen rearing. Or maybe I've just not loaded up my library with crap yet.
 

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The trouble with YouTube is that it contains everything you need to know to be a successful beekeeper while also containing hours upon hours of absolutely terrible beekeeping advice. And in many cases the presentation of that information isn't particularly different because of whackjobs, hucksters, and groupies that promote and elevate what is, frankly, garbage.

New beekeepers don't know enough to be able to suss out all of the bad from the good. And that's not their fault. The first book I read about bees was Les Crowder's TBH book and while I'm sure it had some good information in it... it also had a lot of bad information and what I would consider lies or misrepresentations. And the wild part about beekeeping is you can believe all sorts of absolutely false information and still keep bees just fine. Bees are very adaptable. If you think of bees like a dog (not to advocate thinking of them as pets) there is a huge variation of 'dogkeepers' and some of them are totally horrible at training, feeding, etc.

I try to stick to particular people and not clubs or 'shows' necessarily. Like the National Honey Show... most of that stuff is great. But then there's a rambling, clueless old man every once in awhile and it just makes me scratch my head.
Michael Palmer, Ian Steppler, and Kamon Reynolds are good sources off the top of my head from a 'how to keep bees' standpoint. As an exception to the rule... University of Guelph is also a good resource from what I've seen.
For a deeper more scientific dive... Randy Oliver, Marla Spivak, Jamie Ellis, Tom Seeley, and The Koenigers (Gudran and Nikolous).
There's overlap in these groups, particularly with Mr. Oliver. But I don't necessarily want Tom Seeley to be helping me learn how to keep bees because he isn't necessarily a "beekeeper" in a strict sense of the word. He's more of a scientist. They might be fantastic beekeepers, but that's not the focus of their public bee life if you will.
I won't bother with a list of who to avoid and there's obviously a TON more available information out there and other great sources. These are just the ones I kind of default to. I try to avoid the cutout and bee rescue folks as I don't find any of that information particularly useful to the act of beekeeping. Now, if you're going to do a cutout it might make sense to take a look at some of that.

Treatment and treatment-free just seems to get so contentious sometimes. This is hardly scientific, but I've got quite a few beekeeping friends who initially were TF who have since worked into some of the softer treatments (like OAV) because they are tired of the loses and sickness. In my opinion they're just kind of snapping back to reality from la-la land in a lot of ways. I don't see a lot of traditional beekeepers making the jump to TF... and I know that's a fallacious argument. But I think it's safe to say that every single beekeeper would rather be treatment free if it worked for them. And the reality is that it just doesn't for most people.
I'd also make the argument that a new beekeepers number one priority should be to keep healthy bees capable of surviving winter to the best of their ability. Because I can tell you with absolute certainty that being on the one-and-done cycle of buying packages/nucs and letting them all die for 2, 3, 4+ years gets you nowhere in your beekeeping journey, really.

I think some of the hesitancy to talk about varroa might stem from the fact that in some random sample of beekeepers sitting at a bee talk, there's a high likelihood of having a complete nutjob who has an axe to grind or a bone to pick or really just wants to get some sort of rant in to hear themselves talk. I haven't watched the video the OP is talking about, I don't think, and I don't know that I've ever listened or read anything by Dr. Connor. But I have heard some beekeepers talk about having what I would call varroa fatigue. It might have been Michael Palmer or it might have been someone else. But I remember someone saying something to the effect of "I'm tired of talking about it because varroa isn't a problem if you know what you're doing" (paraphrasing). It's the same issue I have with most club activity (at least in my experience). I mean we're going to talk about how to shake packages in, how to feed syrup to your new package, how to install a nucleus colony, make sure you push all your frames tight together... like how many YEARS of this type of stuff need to be hashed over with in many cases the same people.

Progress as a beekeeper, that's my main advice. Make your decisions... embrace the outcomes. You'll have failures and when you do, strive for a deeper understanding about the root cause. Don't be like 90% of beekeepers who open their deadouts, see bees head down in cells, and believe that means they starved because that's what their "mentor" or "the club" told them. A successful beekeeper should have more bees than they know what to do with, if you find yourself taking advice from someone who has a failing/failed, sad little apiary... look somewhere else. They shouldn't really be buying bees after a couple years (in my opinion). If you're trying to learn beekeeping from someone who has a standing 10 package order every spring from a local supplier for the last decade, expect that you'll also be doing that if you follow their methods. Trust your eyes even if you don't necessarily know what you're looking at in some cases. Just absorb what a healthy colony looks like. I think there's more to learn from watching Mr. Palmer poke through one of his nucs in a 10 minute video than there is in two or three hour discussions with some celebrity types.

For instance, I don't think I've seen any bad videos on queen rearing. Or maybe I've just not loaded up my library with crap yet.
Likely the higher barrier to entry for queen rearing. Meaning, you kind of at least have to know how to keep bees alive over winter to do any sort of appreciable queen rearing.
I'm sure there's plenty of dumb stuff about queen rearing on YouTube, but I think that's more niche and filtered out some of the fluff.
 

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Some operators seem to have minor difficulties of keeping ahead of the varro but the reason may be in the method of operation rather than any adaptation on the part of the bees. Multiple splitting so that individual colonies stay small, ongoing sales of nucs, importing a high percentage of queens to head the nucs etc., limits the number of colonies that must survive. A short winter and high potential forage area helps. Throw in some natural isolation and you may have a recipe for having apparently mite resistant bees. The Devil is in the details.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The trouble with YouTube is that it contains everything you need to know to be a successful beekeeper while also containing hours upon hours of absolutely terrible beekeeping advice. And in many cases the presentation of that information isn't particularly different because of whackjobs, hucksters, and groupies that promote and elevate what is, frankly, garbage.
Agreed - I think in a lot of cases it's not hard to figure those folks out. In some ways, "bad YouTuber" is apparent no matter whether you can critically examine the subject or not. Then there's the corroboration: If I am listening to a random person but he's saying a lot of the same things as Randy Oliver and Michael Palmer, I place a higher value on what I view.

I also find myself watching the same somewhat small group of people for the bee science part, and expanding only as they do. For instance, if I trust X person and then see X has collaborated with Y, Y goes up a couple of notches.

For the rest, some of it is looking at the mechanics. Take a walkway split (just pulling a well-known technique out of thin air.) If I want to watch someone do it, I can watch about 30 people in an hour and learn a little from each one. Tips to not make a mistake are not at the same level as bee science, so I can learn from a lot of people in that manner. Something as simple as "I put my box here to keep from twisting" or "I have one of these stools that keeps me comfortable" are not science and they can be learned from even the newest unknown beekeeper.

The first book I read about bees was Les Crowder's TBH book and while I'm sure it had some good information in it... it also had a lot of bad information and what I would consider lies or misrepresentations.
In my mind, I group those things (same as Michael Bush as I brought up in another thread) as information shared to support a style/method. Therefore I group all of that information into a healthy skepticism bucket and look for the corroboration I mentioned above. Obviously, lots of folks have kept TBH in the world, quite successfully. If you use that information, not as a means to convince yourself it's right, but rather to support you as you try that method, it makes more sense. So the "method support" can be sound, and the arguments for the method can be faulty and there will still be value there.

That's how I look at it anyway.

I try to stick to particular people and not clubs or 'shows' necessarily. Like the National Honey Show... most of that stuff is great. But then there's a rambling, clueless old man every once in awhile and it just makes me scratch my head.
Michael Palmer, Ian Steppler, and Kamon Reynolds are good sources off the top of my head from a 'how to keep bees' standpoint. As an exception to the rule... University of Guelph is also a good resource from what I've seen.
For a deeper more scientific dive... Randy Oliver, Marla Spivak, Jamie Ellis, Tom Seeley, and The Koenigers (Gudran and Nikolous).
I'm thrilled that so far at least I seem to be tracking on some of the names which seem to be trusted and well accepted. I think of all those names, Jamie Ellis is the only one I've not come across (as I go to bookmark him.) As far as books go, I am reading Seely right now.

Now when I come across a channel in which there's a video listed named "BLOWING UP a Yellow Jacket's Nest!!", I know to have a pass on that particular expert.

As an exception to the rule... University of Guelph is also a good resource from what I've seen.
To which rule would that be an exception? I find those very interesting, especially with the locally-derived differences (canvas instead of an inner cover, for instance.)

Treatment and treatment-free just seems to get so contentious sometimes.
Again, with my astounding, staggering experience, I write that off as emotional reactions. I get it. People wind themselves up past the point where they want to be right and jump right to where they want to be believed. That's dangerous (in anything.) I think it's safe to say every beekeeper wants healthy bees. I will go out on a limb and say every beekeeper who treats wishes they did not have to. To that extent, everyone is in agreement.

The difference is the spectrum from those who actually don't need to treat, through the ones that don't have any idea, to the ones that really should but do not, to the ones that monitor and treat, then all the way on the other side are the ones who treat religiously and have no idea if they need to.

To your point about keeping a pet: If your pet is telling you they are thirsty, give them water. You don't tell them they are X breed and they should not need it. You also bring them to the vet for checkups to head off worse things. These are what careful and compassionate people do. Even if we are talking about livestock, the same applies. Why people would ignore horrendous losses because they are religiously gripping an ideal is beyond me.

Yes, I want healthy bees. Yes, I want chemical-free hives. First of all, however, I want bees.

I'd also make the argument that a new beekeepers number one priority should be to keep healthy bees capable of surviving winter to the best of their ability.
Dr. Adam Ingrao was the national director for Heroes to Hives until recently. He has his quirks. How many videos can you really get away with by starting with an opening shot of you reading a book, and then looking startled that you have a visitor and say "Oh, hello there!"? I mean really.

That said, he's a legit Entomologist, professor, professional beekeeper and he got the program off the ground. If I take one thing to my grave that he's hammered in our heads, it's that we must check for pests and pathogens (especially Varroa.) I think he's even said, "you can choose not to treat but you cannot reasonably choose to ignore the status of your hive." Paraphrased, but that was my takeaway.

I think the guy got burned out trying to take the program from 2,000 in one year to 8,000-10,000 the next. You could hear it in his voice when he shared information. That's the last takeaway from all this I guess: When you get old and grumpy, realize it, and either temper your delivery or do something different. It sounds like that may be where Dr. Connor is (see how I hooked that back around to my first post to stay on topic? :))

I think some of the hesitancy to talk about varroa might stem from the fact that in some random sample of beekeepers sitting at a bee talk, there's a high likelihood of having a complete nutjob who has an axe to grind or a bone to pick or really just wants to get some sort of rant in to hear themselves talk. I haven't watched the video the OP is talking about
One of the guys in my class does that when anyone talks about the climate changing over time and the impact on bees. I can almost hear the guns ****ing when these people who have never met us start sharing their information. It makes me feel a little sorry for them.

how many YEARS of this type of stuff need to be hashed over with in many cases the same people.
Well, If you have two new beekeepers watching, it's worth it (thinking about me attending local meetings.) The military instilled training in my head in three steps:
  1. Learn
  2. Do
  3. Teach
You got to claim mastery after step three; not two, certainly not one. So even the "bored observers" at a club meeting can gain something from listening to how to do a mite wash for the 100th time. Better yet, they can get up and help some folks in smaller groups with hands-on to reinforce their own mastery. Even Randy Oliver learned something new about a mite wash in 2020, and shared it in not one, not two, not three, but FOUR parts in the ABJ.

I'm sure there's plenty of dumb stuff about queen rearing on YouTube, but I think that's more niche and filtered out some of the fluff.
So far. :) If I find some really egregious video I'll be sure to share.
 

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LBussy you seem like a nice guy. I would guess that you have researched and asked enough questions that it is time to quit researching and get to doing. I believe your research has reached the point of diminishing returns and you are going down rabbit holes before you even get bees.

I have acquaintances who read every book, watched every video, and talked to as many experts about raising kids before they had any. With their 1st, everything was Dr XXX says to YYY when they would ask me a question. My reply was usually that raising kids isnt terribly hard, not much different than a dog just love them and feed them more.

The would just look at me horrified.

They raised #1 by the book and that child is quite socially maladjusted. #2 they had to throttle back on the book because of time constraints and do what worked for them. All indications are that #2 is going to do much better at life.

Bringing it back to beekeeping...there is no special secret sauce. You will have the same growing pains we all do. You do what works and learn from your mistakes. "By the book" frequently means Buy the Book and those same experts with hidden knowledge will gladly sell you more bees when yours die.
 

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I can watch about 30 people in an hour and learn a little from each one.
Actually, I say stop it.
Really.

This is akin to me watching Youtube about guns (I don't even own one and have no plans for it).
But it is addictive.
Well, at least I carried an AKM for few months and shut few mags out of it - so I have some practical feel.

None of this matters much until you get the real stuff on hands and get few stings (hopefully without adverse reaction - which could be prohibitive immediately and cold).

I'd spend the off-season prepping and lining up the equipment and figuring out your bee source for the 2022 season.
And no more.
A couple of thick, theoretical books about bees and the keeping would be useful to digest too.
As well as some good BS discussions are worthwhile of slow reading with alongside research.
For example:
 
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