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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.
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.
(y)
Quite possibly the best advice so far.

TF is a lofty goal, and I found a path not worth treading, to put it simply I got tired of buying bees every spring, and rarely getting a decent honey crop. If someone cracks the secret we all would like to jump on the bandwagon, assuming it actually works.
 

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Next Year: 8-Frame Mediums
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I believe your research has reached the point of diminishing returns and you are going down rabbit holes before you even get bees.
Diminishing returns implies I've made an investment. I have not. I am traveling and I'd be reading/watching something so I may as well study this.

Actually, I say stop it.
Really.
I've ordered my woodenware, I'm 800 miles from home ..... what else can I do?

ETA: I also think I have my bee source sorted, and I will check on my proposed yard when I get back in town.
 

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I'd agree with GregV on this one. I got super excited and 'studied' alot last year, and while its been helpful... I still had alot of growing pains this year, especially trying out foundationless bee keeping. I've lost one hive to mites...(had to try TF for a year at least) get a base understanding, get some bees, then start applying practical things. Reading/watching someone hold up a frame of bees is very different than doing it yourself.
 

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Our honey bees can not deal with varroa mites. They are too recent. I believe varroa was first considered a problem in the 1980's. It will take the bees hundreds if not thousands of years to adapt to the mite. We beekeepers have to fight the mites until the bees can come up with a solution. My hope is that native bees will be the first to figure out how to ward off the mites and we can transfer that knowledge to honeybees. Otherwise we are in for the long haul.
https://beekeep.info/a-treatise-on-...ging-diseases-and-pests/varroa-short-history/ .
 

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Our honey bees can not deal with varroa mites. They are too recent. I believe varroa was first considered a problem in the 1980's. It will take the bees hundreds if not thousands of years to adapt to the mite. We beekeepers have to fight the mites until the bees can come up with a solution. My hope is that native bees will be the first to figure out how to ward off the mites and we can transfer that knowledge to honeybees. Otherwise we are in for the long haul.
A history of the Varroa mite. It's introduction and effects around the world. .
Interesting position.
Not sure I am on board with that.
Porta Rico did it in 30 years.

the last paragraph offers some insight. areas too poor or war torn to treat are ahead of areas treating.

GG
 

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Puerto Rican bees are apis millifera scutellata (Africanized Bees) that are thought to have arrived in PR in the 1990s and quickly dominated the genetic apis millifera stew. It is my understanding that they have not developed any unique tolerance or resistance to varroa mites that are not shared by the rest of the subspecies a.m. scutellata.

What they have developed, at least reportedly, is a more gentle disposition, likely due to selection pressures by beekeepers and residents of a small island that can be patrolled much easier than a large continent.

We can effectively select for gentle bees in our own colonies in the United States. But our western honey bees did not begin in our country with the evolutionary varroa advantages of a.m. scutellata.
 

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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.
When doing a presentation for the local bee club I now always include a section on what I call the 'youtube filter'. It works along this line.

1 - When watching a video about beekeeping, if the presenter is in a spotless new full bee suit, just change the channel, they obviously have not spent much time in a bee yard.
2 - If a presenter looks interesting, look back at the video history. If you see the 'watch me hive my first package of bees' video in the list, move on. This is not a beekeeper, its a videographer trying to make money from youtube views.
3 - If the presenter is pushing you to subscribe and ring the bell, again, move on. They aren't interested in bees, they are interested in youtube revenue.
4 - Look at the presenters location. Yes I know, tiny boxes with two standard frames, one new, one half drawn, may well work for somebody in Alabama that buys syrup in totes, it wont work in our climate.
5 - If the end of the video starts directing you to some store to buy a fancy beekeeping gadget, move on, it's not an educational video, it's an advertisement masquerading as one.
 

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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. :)
NewYork Bee Wellness is excellent with all speakers she (Pat Bono) has on there. I trust all that NYBW produces on their website. Deb
 

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Me, I think it is impossible for a new beekeeper to discern what is and is not good advice on youtube videos. And on internet blogs for that matter.

Even beekeepers with a few hives for several years can still not have all the tools they need to be able to judge.

Agree with some of the former comments but I'll add this. If the beekeeper has been successful over several years, then most of his content is likely correct.

But even the successful can hold some untrue beliefs. But in the end, if it works, do that.
 

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Thank you for watching the video! Dr. Connor is such a great resource. He may have not wanted to talk about varroa treatment because there was not a lot of time to adequately discuss the issue. Treatment strategies are varied and have different pros and cons, and there is much to be discovered about varroa.
. He has authored many books, such as, https://wicwas.com/project/honey-bee-biology-and-beekeeping-revised-edition-55-00/

The video is here on the NY Bee Wellness Youtube channel;( the comment is at 63 minute mark),
Colony Management: Fall to Spring with Larry Connor - a NY Bee Wellness Webinar

next week on September 21, 7:30 pm ET, is a webinar from the head of the USDA Beltsville lab, talking about diagnostics:
Welcome! You are invited to join a webinar: Honey Bee Disease Diagnostics and Research Conducted at the USDA Bee Lab. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the webinar.

I try to have the most informative videos posted.


Good Luck with your beekeeping!

-Pat Bono





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."


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.

...
 

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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. :)
mites are the biggest challeng i face.
 

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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.
The native bees from whence the varroa came have solved the issue somewhat. They heat their brood higher than varroa can stand except for drone brood. Most researchers have come to the realization that mites need to be thermally treated and they know there is a second species that chemicals don’t work on. Many beekeepers, esp the moderators of the largest group on a certain social media site refuse to even accept that that method works.
 

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After bee school I spent a year just reading because I realized there was a lot to know. I decided to build my own beehives after reading "Keeping Bees With a Smile" by Lazutin. Dr. Leo Sharshkin published that book and he has his own website (www.horizontalhive.com). He keeps bees in Layens hives and never ever treats his bees. He runs a few workshops each year around Cabool, MO and does speaking engagements as well. He doesn't buy packages, he sets swarm traps. All his bees are local stock. He has the luxury of living in a rural area and that makes a difference.

The problem with varroa treatments are many. Some require certain temperatures to apply or you'll kill the queen. Some require you take your honey supers off. Then there's the problem of mites developing resistance to treatments over time. You get the idea. Treatment-free requires the ability to perform integrated pest management (IPM) on a timely basis to be successful. Possible to do but it's not beekeeping 101. I know you want to make this work. Experience is a tough teacher - she tests first and teaches after. All the best!
 

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Dr. Leo Sharshkin published that book and he has his own website (www.horizontalhive.com). He keeps bees in Layens hives and never ever treats his bees.......... He doesn't buy packages, he sets swarm traps.
If his treatment free methods work, why does he have to bolster numbers by catching swarms?

I have plenty bees, and don't catch swarms, they are a nuisance, and I have no idea what I am getting. They could be anything, from anywhere.
 

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In fact it's one of the criterion I use to figure who I can trust. Anyone who spends a lot of time talking about how to catch swarms, clearly has issues maintaining their bee population and I don't pay them much attention.
 

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Like many worthy pursuits, beekeeping is an evolving art form. I've probably got over 50 books on the subject (earliest from 1905) and while many things have changed over the years (not necessarily improved) most things have not. We're all still performing the basics as written many years ago. What's new is mites (and their diseases) and how we/they are dealing with it all. Both our bees and our brother/sister beeks are learning/evolving all the time. It never stops, or at least it shouldn't.

Who to trust? There's to many to mention, I might be biased but I still find myself returning to Richard Taylor's books for just about anything 'not' relative to varroa. The data on that subject is still evolving imho.

Thanks for military service? I have this sticker on my truck; "If ya want to thank me for my service, work for peace" :) I've known lots of vets/beekeepers over the years and have often wondered how many veterans take up beekeeping as a way to stay in the moment (seeking a percentage)......hard to think of anything else when your head is in a box full of stinging insects.

Perhaps a survey would be appropriate? Thanks for this discussion.
 
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