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Author Topic: Varroa - to treat, or not to treat ?  (Read 3563 times)

Offline Joe D

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Re: Varroa - to treat, or not to treat ?
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2016, 12:41:03 am »
I started to keep bees five and a half years ago and have never treated.  I have had a coupe of hives that absconded, and one that starved(my fault).  Back a couple years ago a neighbor let a commercial bk  put 20 hive on his place and was fixing to put another 20 there.  I saw him at our local bee club and told him his bee were I/2 mile from me.  He asked what I treated with and I told him I have never treated for mites, within a couple of weeks his bees were gone and haven't been back.  Worked great for me.

Good luck to you and your bees


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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Varroa - to treat, or not to treat ?
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2016, 05:54:43 pm »
I need to tell the commercial Beek that puts his hives right up against my property the same thing. Maybe he will stop putting them on top of me.
Jim
« Last Edit: June 15, 2016, 08:56:44 pm by sawdstmakr »
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Offline Oblio13

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Re: Varroa - to treat, or not to treat ?
« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2016, 08:32:39 pm »
>I bought bees from both Kirk Webster and Anarchy Apiaries (Sam Cook) year after year, and year after year I lost them to Varroa.

On natural comb?  Small cell?  Large cell?  I lost all my bees to Varroa everytime on large cell foundation.
Natural comb - I use foundationless frames in eight-frame medium boxes, and a few Warre hives.

Offline Philbee100

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Re: Varroa - to treat, or not to treat ?
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2017, 02:58:54 am »
>And catching feral swarms is not feasible.   

I don't see how it's not feasible, but the first step is to get bees that are surviving without treatments.  The feral bees have already taken their losses.  If you don't want to trap them or get on a swarm list or do a cut out then try these for next year:

http://www.fatbeeman.com/bees-honey/
http://www.wolfcreekbees.com/
http://www.goldstarhoneybees.com/shopcontent.asp?type=How%20to%20get%20bees%20for%20your%20Gold%20Star%20top%20bar%20hive
http://anarchyapiaries.org/hivetools/node/32
http://www.enjoybeekeeping.com/

And if they are all sold out you can call or write:
Kirk Webster
Box 381
Middlebury, Vt. 05753
802-989-5895 (no voice mail)

Myron Kropf
2233 LITTLE WOODS RD
BEXAR AR 72515-9509
870-458-3002 (no voice mail)

And there are others.  Likely there are some treatment free beekeepers near you.
In New Zealand all our feral bees are dead due to Varroa.
If all the Beekeepers here went treatment free the industry would be decimated inside two seasons.
As far as Genetics go I cant see how and insect that open mates can be genetically improved?
Or can it?

Offline Acebird

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Re: Varroa - to treat, or not to treat ?
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2017, 09:34:19 am »
As far as Genetics go I cant see how and insect that open mates can be genetically improved?
How did the earth get populated with people when the only form of life was bacteria?
How do you genetically improve a species when you kill off its parasites for them?
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Offline EaglePestEliminators

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Re: Varroa - to treat, or not to treat ?
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2017, 11:22:10 am »
Treat or not to treat Decision is always personal.

FYI: Varroa Treatment: Treatments currently available for Varroa. Pyrethroid based varroacides, Thymol based varroacides more likely be Apiguard, MAQS Beehive Strips (not found everywhere), pi-Bioxal (oxalic acid).

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Varroa - to treat, or not to treat ?
« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2017, 01:29:41 pm »
>In New Zealand all our feral bees are dead due to Varroa.

Maybe.  But I've heard people say the the same here and it's simply not true.
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Offline gww

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Re: Varroa - to treat, or not to treat ?
« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2017, 07:08:56 pm »
I am a brand new bee keeper.  I think I know that most hive that are over run by mites do it by having babies, lots of babies.  If all hives have mites wether teated or untreated and the mite become an over load due to lots of brood making lots of mites and lots of mites infecting more bees with virus?  I do not see how the treatment free or treating guys can really be hurting each other that bad and even if they are, it will never be stopped.  I lean to the treatment free due to the fact that nobody controls all thier swarms so that none get away and so mites will never go away.  My conclusion right now is to not worry bout how anyone else keeps bees except maby to steal ideals from them that I want to incorperate for myself.  I have not treated yet and nothing has died yet.  When something dies, I will do an autopsy and try and figure out why.  I will watch for dmv and pierced brood caps and such.

If I lose some bees I might still live treatment free if I still end up with more then I started with when all is said and done.

I could be wrong but was thinking that kirk and micheal palmer may have had hives in the same area and both have taken differrent routes and made it work.  I am not even against treaters as long as they don't point too many fingers at me for the way I keep bees.  I might be a treater someday if that is where I decide to go.  Alot will depend on how I do now.

I figure all the bee keepers lose some of thier bees.  I don't expect to never lose one.  As long as I can keep building at a slow rate and not going too far backward (Though everyone of the big name early guys like lanstroth and miller all lost whole aperies and they are still looked up to.

One thing I believe is that the outside invioroment can not be controlled and so I intend to do it my way (which includes stealing ideals from others).  I am sure of one thing.  Bees are probly going no where cause all you have to do is look on craigs list and somebody always has extra to sell.

I would not try treatment free but the guy I bought my bees from doesn't treat and so I am letting it ride also.  I do think there is a differrance with a commercial guy who makes a living off bees with no other income.  I believe what they do is find the easiest way to put little proceedures in so that it can be relayed to thier helpers with less oversite from them.

Most peg away at it till they find what works really well for them and then the growing stops untill something new starts happenning.  Why make changes to what you know if you are being successful.

If I am successful not treating, you will not be able to convince me I am doing it wrong.  Most are like that. 
Cheers
gww

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Varroa - to treat, or not to treat ?
« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2017, 08:05:04 pm »
GWW
When I started keeping bees. I was told over and over again that it was impossible to keep bees treatment free. That was 8 years ago and I am still treatement free. I use dry oil trays so you can check for mites all the time. Most hives have very few mites even with the trays being left un cleaned for a week. When I started out, there were very few feral swarms. At my farm, my wife's garden went un pollinatedfor 2 years until I placed hives there.   Now we see bees before we move them to the farm.
It can and is being done, even some commercial beeks are now doing it.
Jim
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Offline gww

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Re: Varroa - to treat, or not to treat ?
« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2017, 08:40:22 pm »
Saw
Yes, I would not have the guts if I did not know that some have success.  It has some appeal to me cause I am lazy and not sure that I wan't lots of hives making 200lbs of honey.  I like money as good as anyone but already had one full time job for a big part of my life.  I am doing this cause it keeps me home and it is fun to learn.

I am using solid bottom boards cause I don't have to buy anything to build them.
I started this year with three hives and one swarmed and I gave the swarm away and then still did a fly back sorta split to try and stop after swarms.  Today I did a teronov split cause I found queen cups with eggs in them and did not want to lose more bees.  I was dissapointed cause I was going to try to make a little honey this year.  I need to get in the last hive and add some empties in the brood nest before it decides it wants to swarm.

I now have five hives and gave one away and didn't treat yet and if two die I will be even and the year is just started.  I of course in all of this am relieing on the queens getting mated and laying.

I don't know what the future holds for me but I am going to not treat for awhile and see how it goes.
Thanks for the tray trick.  I doubt it works with my hives and what I built.
gww

Offline cao

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Re: Varroa - to treat, or not to treat ?
« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2017, 09:36:06 pm »
Five years and counting with bees and not treated yet.  I have more of a problem with SHB than mites.  I do have SBB with oil trays on some of my hive and that helps alot.  I don't even look for mites.  I started with 3 nucs five years ago and had 20 make it through winter this year.  With swarms and splits I'm over 30(provided queens get mated).  I have several more hives to split.  It can be done treatment free.  Yes I have lost hives along the way but have had the resources to keep increasing numbers.  I understand the fear a new beek has in losing a hive when they only have one or two.  I think that is some of the reason why people treat.   Bees will live or die whether treated or not.  We cannot control nature.  We can only help it along.

Offline little john

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Re: Varroa - to treat, or not to treat ?
« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2017, 03:36:40 pm »
Interesting Article in Nature this week about the relationship of varroa and Deformed Wing Virus (DWV). https://www.nature.com/articles/srep45953

Some implications there perhaps for those who don't treat ... ?
LJ
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Varroa - to treat, or not to treat ?
« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2017, 05:42:51 pm »
Some implications there perhaps for those who don't treat ... ?

I saw some implications that they have no idea why some colonies continue to live year after year without treatment.  Then go on to make assumptions that the end is near.
Well OK I will make an assumption that these colonies survive because they are in a remote area and not influenced by colonies that are treated.  That would explain why when you move them to areas that have bees that are treated they die.  Simple solution to help the bees in the long run would be to ban treatments of all honeybees.  As long as we are making assumptions and calling it science...
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Offline sc-bee

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Re: Varroa - to treat, or not to treat ?
« Reply #33 on: July 15, 2017, 02:00:09 am »
The problem is not the people not treating.  The problem is the people treating.

?If you?re not part of the genetic solution of breeding mite-tolerant bees, then you?re part of the problem?? Randy Oliver
LJ used as a tag
BTW - I don't think quoting Randy Oliver's opinion is really very helpful.

LJ

I am really surprise that a treatment free beekeeper would quote Oliver. A large majority of his page is devoted to varroa treatment. Well lets pick a quote from Oliver--- Better yet lets allow Olive to state it. Check here at 36:38 & 58:00 & 1:07 This presentation was in Feb 2017

I am not trying to offend anyone with graphic images... this is an actual picture from the Oliver presentation. Now tell me what Oliver thinks of TREATMENT FREE PLEASE.... REMEMBER we are picking and choosing QUOTES as they meet our needs. And MR. Bush I do respect your opinion(s).... just showing the other side of the coin...





« Last Edit: July 15, 2017, 04:49:40 am by sc-bee »
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Varroa - to treat, or not to treat ?
« Reply #34 on: July 15, 2017, 10:05:47 pm »
Maybe dogs who have a genetic predisposition to have mange should not be bred... but bees are not dogs.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Varroa - to treat, or not to treat ?
« Reply #35 on: July 15, 2017, 10:36:41 pm »
Maybe dogs who have a genetic predisposition to have mange should not be bred... but bees are not dogs.
Except the logic still holds true.
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Offline sc-bee

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Re: Varroa - to treat, or not to treat ?
« Reply #36 on: July 16, 2017, 01:34:33 am »
Maybe dogs who have a genetic predisposition to have mange should not be bred... but bees are not dogs.

Who said anything about breeding a mite infested (mange ) puppy ...Oliver certainly didn't in the clip. It is clearly titled "treatment". So the ones that have mange do you put a bullet in their head ( or drown them in soapy water)? Or do you not treat and let it crash or die and leave its infestation. And the point was, as you know, treatment of or lack of treatment being a good husbandry practice. I think you realize Oliver states treat to keep the colony alive so it won't crash and induce a mite bomb to your other hives, but do not breed form that colony. I had a treatment free beek tell me, but you are leaving the drones

So how do you get to where you are without treating for a beginner. Of course choosing good stock I understand. Finding it is another issue. Do you tell a newbee who just forked out hundreds of dollars on new hives to not treat them and soap them because they are mite prone/infested/bad stock. I recently heard a seasoned treatment free beek tell some newbees that in a meeting. That went over like that thing floating in the punch bowl.

 I admire where you are with your bees but I also understand it takes time to get there and some others don't understand that. They read and think oh I just don't treat at all with anything. Is that the answer?  It also takes a certain amount of isolation that some do not have... right? So what do you suggest to newbees, how do you get started without treatments of some kind... the "James Bond Live and Let Die Method?" I imagine die it would be? Or at least it seems that way for most???
« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 01:58:08 am by sc-bee »
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Varroa - to treat, or not to treat ?
« Reply #37 on: July 16, 2017, 09:22:15 am »
how do you get started without treatments of some kind... the "James Bond Live and Let Die Method?" I imagine die it would be? Or at least it seems that way for most???

If you live in an area that is highly influenced by beekeepers that treat you will end up jumping on the treatment mill.  At least it seems that way for most.  What is not explained to newbies is that bees still die on the treatment mill especially when the newbie is new.  So they fork over hundreds of dollars for their bees to get started, buy chemicals and such, and end up with dead bees.  If the solution was to treat and your bees lived it would make sense to me.  No one can claim their bees will live if they treat.  They can only claim they feel good about what they did.  If I were to treat I wouldn't feel good about what I did.  You have to do what feels good for you.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline gww

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Re: Varroa - to treat, or not to treat ?
« Reply #38 on: July 16, 2017, 10:11:25 am »
This may sound crazy and I am sure there are extreems on both sides but I started with 3 mini hives that made it through winter.  I apparrently did a pretty poor job of swarm control because all but one swarmed.  So I have two hives (and not big ones) that due to actions of me trying to forstall swarms and the bees actually swarming anyway, I have a total of eight hives from those three.  I did not porposely make a split except where the bees had queen cups with larva or queen cells in the hive.

The point of the above info is that if bees propagated in that manner and nothing killed them, there would be nothing but bees in this world.  I don't want to be miss-understood or considerred hard hearted and I want my bees to live but some bees have to die for some reason for things to stay in ballance.  If you moved rabbits or rats to some island that had no preditors, they would do some distruction and over populate and eventually get some disiese or eat themselves out of house and home till there was a population correction.

I want to keep my bees alive, I want to beat the odds, but I just think that some bees are going to die to keep the world in ballance.  So I sorta agree for my reasons with Ace's last post that in the end we figure out what we feel best about doing and then have some measure of success or failure.  Many times we may also come to wrong conclutions of why something happened.  We may find a bunch of bees that had died and did not have stores in the hive and we figure they starved to death and it might be that some other thing caused them not to gether the food or it might be that the food was just not there.  It is really hard to know for sure some of the time.

I haven't treated yet, but all my hives might die and I will be stuck looking for why.  They are living right now and I also look for the why in that.  I do expect to have some hives die no matter what I do cause at the rate of increase with out even trying, I know there would have to be some ebb and flow to keep things in ballance.

Like I said, I might be crazy in the way I think.

Another thing.  Ace might tell me that I have bad genetics and swarmy bees and I need to change.  I might say well I am going to kill half the hives and steal every thing from them and end up with still as many bees as you have and as much honey.

I only say the above to point out that there are many ways to skin a cat and it is hard to say what is right and what is wrong if the person that is doing the work is happy with what he is doing.  I realize there are extreems that are easy to judge as right or wrong but a whole bunch of gray areas that are hard to point a finger at.

I know I am still a dummy and some things are clearer as I go along and if I see them I adjust for the better and so I am sorta happy with how I am keeping bees now untill I change my mind and do it differrent and when I do it differrent I may still be a dummy in the big picture.

I would say if it was too easy a girl would do it but some girls do it better then me so I will just say, If it was to easy to do everyone would do it and the doing it would then have no value.  Pick your poisen and then do your best and take the good with the bad.
Cheers
gww

Offline tycrnp

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Re: Varroa - to treat, or not to treat ?
« Reply #39 on: July 16, 2017, 11:19:29 am »
Has anyone used this?  http://www.beegym.co.uk/