Planning for year two

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--- Quote from: charentejohn on November 06, 2020, 06:59:25 pm ---Hard to 'hold the line' and not treat, there is always that little voice that says just the once won't hurt.  I really struggle(d) with this as I was planning to do a treatment if I thought it was needed. .

Other than buying actual TF bees this is as near as I can get.       

--- End quote ---
If you are more interested in bees than honey take a look at mite reproductive cycle. Sounds like you are monitoring so when you get to your threshold pull your queen with a frame or two of brood. (next year not now) The mites need open brood. The original hive will start to make another queen and since no more open brood through the cycle they will decrease. If the queen does not come back mated give them another frame of open brood. (you have to be careful not to collapse your little nuc, you may have to do a newspaper combine back again).

Thanks for the idea, some may consider it but for me manipulating brood is just intervention which I am trying to avoid.  My Warres have top bars but they are not frames so not easy to manipulate, this is intentional as I want them to 'free form' comb.
Opening the hive just loses all the hive scents and such they have built up.  Manipulating to slow varroa is not helping them as they need to be able to deal with it on their own.  That is part of my 'holding the line' comment that it isn't easy to do.  Just a couple of manipulations, just a bit of chemical treatment, won't hurt will it ?  For me TF means TTF totally treatment free, oxalic and formic may be organic but still stop them from developing properly themselves.

I was just thinking about the idea of buying, as I did, local bees that have had a treatment.  Even if they have had a few treatments I think it is worth giving them a chance to recover.  I considered that people say they won't survive without treatments, yet lots swarm and go off into the wild and survive.  If that was not true then once treated for a couple of years all swarming bees are doomed to die, but they don't.  Some do, but then some do anyway.

Bob Wilson:
Charentejohn. By TTF hives, it sounds like you mean to not open the hives at all... for inspection, for moving comb, etc. Does that mean you are leaving the hives completely untouched except when you want honey?

Yes, that's the plan.   :smile:  I am working on the idea that I shouldn't need to do anything as they can manage themselves.
I have considered taking honey but it is a low priority, if I do it will be just a few pounds/kg for my own use.  Currently the hives have dadant to warre adapters on and next year I will remove them to leave 3 box high warre hives.  Depending on how they do I may takes some honey the year after that.
I would rather they considered swarming next year (their choice) or but definitely want then to swarm the year after that, good for their general health.

A neighbour has a few hives like this, his are dadant and he does take honey but his oldest brood box has been unmolested for 7yrs. No treatments and no moved frames, they just do as they like and have been constantly occupied.  He just adds/removes supers and the rest is up to them, he lets them swarm and tries to catch them and always has more bees than he needs so is able to sell swarms.  Nice setup and shows what is possible.

Bob Wilson:
I assume you are in a country, rural area. I tend to think that keeping bees in a neighborhood, such as I am in, we would keep them away from neighborhood walkways, make sure they have water instead of our neighbor's pools, and keep them from swarming into our neighbor's attics and eaves.


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