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Author Topic: How to Start, With the End Goal of Being Treatment Free  (Read 2283 times)

Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: How to Start, With the End Goal of Being Treatment Free
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2018, 02:03:47 pm »
as I said, this yard is not in the forest. it?s a real good place for bees. dry and sunny all year long.
and it`s only at this yard where there were problems. all the others are doing fine. strong hives I have all over the place.
the bees in the forest are doing REALLY fine considering mites.

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: How to Start, With the End Goal of Being Treatment Free
« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2018, 02:48:51 pm »
BFB
perhaps it?s a good thing then to contact your neighbors.
I find that the silence and keeping apart of beekeepers with different opinions and managements and the results of this separate actions is not leading to any results.
Eye to eye many things can be changed and common strategies established as it is done in my area between farmers and beekeepers.

Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: How to Start, With the End Goal of Being Treatment Free
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2018, 03:18:18 am »
Hi, SiWo,
that`s a good idea usually. And I did mention things to one "Bienensachverst?ndiger", being part of this group. He simpy denied everything, but it was noticable there was something not being said. The "Vorstand" of the local beekeepers club talked long to me on the phone and told me about this group of "wild" beekeepers. That is how I got to know about this in the first place; and what all of a sudden explained the high mite counts THERE (as opposed to the rest of the yards) the years beofre.
So.... there seems to be no talking possible.
To add difficulties, I myself am not from those parts, my wife is. And I don`t know anybody.
Is no commercial setup close. Its all hobbyists.

If the bees are not even "angemeldet" (word`?), how is the vet-office gonna find them? how am I gonna find tehm`?

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: How to Start, With the End Goal of Being Treatment Free
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2018, 04:05:29 am »
Hi BFB,
it?s sad there are those problems but I know it?s hard to satisfy everyone.

In the last magazine there was someone telling how to place "feral" hives everywhere and I was astonished this was not corrected and noderated. So it must be getting normal.
Everywhere those projects pop up and the bee inspectors tolerate them.

In my eyes this is a very good thing to start survivor genetics flooding the areas, but I know how much fear the commercials and sideliners have because of that.
In my eyes you will profit very much in the long run by having stronger bees.

Do you know about the project of a J?rgen Tautz group on "Schw?bische Alb"? There are many escaped swarms living in the forest near beekeepers. The swarms are observed.
The beekeepers have no problems.

Myself, i?m observing two "feral" colonies in "Hegau". The live 200m near beekeepers.
The beekeepers do not know about them. They have no mite problems.

...if we could mark mites.....there was evidence where they come from. My bee inspector says most of the pests and disease comes from neglected commersial settings where beekeepers get too old to care much. They often have to take away those hives. He says most hobbyists treat more carefully than the commercials, having learned this in bee class.

But I?m not taking sides. I try not to set free mite bombs, but mostly because the mite bombs will reinfest my own beeyards. I have to take the bad genetics from my neighbors and they do not care about this, so why should I care much about my mites coming to them? They will kill them in late summer and winter.


 

Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: How to Start, With the End Goal of Being Treatment Free
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2018, 05:05:27 am »
its a bad myth that commercials care less about their bees than hobbyist.
commercials LIVE off their bees. They cannot afford even 10 percent of losses. Whereas for the hobbyist it doesnt really matter.

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: How to Start, With the End Goal of Being Treatment Free
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2018, 05:36:57 am »
Personally I have never met a hobbyist who does not care about survivability rate and in my area I?m the only one tf.

What will you do if the small hive beetle or the asian hornet arrives? Who will you blame?

The commercials import italian bees from italian breeders like crazy because they bring more honey. Those bees are even more susceptible in our humid climate ( overwintering).

Every spring hundreds of nucs are sold illegally at the Brenner route. In no time the SHB will be here and he will settle in warmer areas like mine or your Kraichgau. Just like the hornet, which is in spain already.

If bees can take the mites and know how to fight pests they will not have big problems.
But bees bred only for honey and gentleness will.

If you place your hives where the larva of your SHB go in the ground to pupate and then you move to the honey, the neighbor hobbyists you have will get all your newly bred hive beetles.
Do you believe they will forbid migration then? No. It will be more chemicals and the neighbors will get the blame spreading beetle bombs.

There is a saying: the more bee colony density in an area they more pests and disease. Therefore you migrating beekeepers now must have a special health certificate.

Offline Acebird

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Re: How to Start, With the End Goal of Being Treatment Free
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2018, 09:56:53 am »
its a bad myth that commercials care less about their bees than hobbyist.
commercials LIVE off their bees. They cannot afford even 10 percent of losses. Whereas for the hobbyist it doesnt really matter.

Oh boy, here we go, pitting the commercials against the hobbyist...
Commercials do live off their bees this is true.  The 10 percent figure is rather bogus.  The average is between 15% and 30% and there have been times of 50% losses and the industry still survives.  Insects survive in general because of their ability to multiply quickly.

Now I hope we don't go down the rat hole on this one because the real myth between commercials (especially migratory) and hobbyist is that hobbyist cause the spread of disease due to lack of care for their bees.  The spread of all disease no matter what is due to mobility.  So if you are mobile don't be pointing at someone that is stationary no matter what they are doing.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline SiWolKe

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Re: How to Start, With the End Goal of Being Treatment Free
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2018, 11:48:08 am »
Let?s go back to the topic or we will be the entertainement of the forums. It?s bees, not debate. Everyone has the right to his opinions, but it?s the treatment free forum.
And I want to know more about the OP?s ideas and thoughts, it?s his thread anyway.

@ the 15th member: do you plan go follow your originial goal, to be treatment free? You said you will.

There are many approaches:
- treat less and less
- have some treated hives beside treatment free colonies and use survivor genetics of the tf yard ( in 2 separate beeyards)
- start new with treatment free bees and try again ( you mentioned sugar shakes, probably you have to start earlier in year, drone culling)
- multiply like crazy and if over ten colonies do live and let die
- soft bond..treat after monitoring and if bees are over a threshold
- try to improve managements, in working the bees, in hive configuration...

Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: How to Start, With the End Goal of Being Treatment Free
« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2018, 03:58:06 pm »
its a bad myth that commercials care less about their bees than hobbyist.
commercials LIVE off their bees. They cannot afford even 10 percent of losses. Whereas for the hobbyist it doesnt really matter.

Oh boy, here we go, pitting the commercials against the hobbyist...
Commercials do live off their bees this is true.  The 10 percent figure is rather bogus.  The average is between 15% and 30% and there have been times of 50% losses and the industry still survives.  Insects survive in general because of their ability to multiply quickly.

Now I hope we don't go down the rat hole on this one because the real myth between commercials (especially migratory) and hobbyist is that hobbyist cause the spread of disease due to lack of care for their bees.  The spread of all disease no matter what is due to mobility.  So if you are mobile don't be pointing at someone that is stationary no matter what they are doing.

hooo. you really got it wrong, Ace. Commercials with 50% losses are out of the game or their house belongs to the bank. THP, what do You say to this?
But actually, there is no way to debate this. You take it religiously, beekeeping, that is. No way to debate about faith.

Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: How to Start, With the End Goal of Being Treatment Free
« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2018, 03:59:19 pm »
its a bad myth that commercials care less about their bees than hobbyist.
commercials LIVE off their bees. They cannot afford even 10 percent of losses. Whereas for the hobbyist it doesnt really matter.

Oh boy, here we go, pitting the commercials against the hobbyist...
Commercials do live off their bees this is true.  The 10 percent figure is rather bogus.  The average is between 15% and 30% and there have been times of 50% losses and the industry still survives.  Insects survive in general because of their ability to multiply quickly.

Now I hope we don't go down the rat hole on this one because the real myth between commercials (especially migratory) and hobbyist is that hobbyist cause the spread of disease due to lack of care for their bees.  The spread of all disease no matter what is due to mobility.  So if you are mobile don't be pointing at someone that is stationary no matter what they are doing.

hooo. you really got it wrong, Ace. Commercials with 50% losses are out of the game or their house belongs to the bank. THP, what do You say to this?
But actually, there is no way to debate this. You take it religiously, beekeeping, that is. No way to debate about faith.

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: How to Start, With the End Goal of Being Treatment Free
« Reply #30 on: December 30, 2018, 04:24:02 pm »
 
Quote
You take it religiously, beekeeping, that is. No way to debate about faith.

 It?s confirmation, not faith. And you have it too. Only in a different direction.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: How to Start, With the End Goal of Being Treatment Free
« Reply #31 on: December 30, 2018, 08:22:11 pm »
Let?s go back to the topic or we will be the entertainement of the forums. It?s bees, not debate. Everyone has the right to his opinions, but it?s the treatment free forum.
And I want to know more about the OP?s ideas and thoughts, it?s his thread anyway.

@ the 15th member: do you plan go follow your originial goal, to be treatment free? You said you will.

There are many approaches:
- treat less and less
- have some treated hives beside treatment free colonies and use survivor genetics of the tf yard ( in 2 separate beeyards)
- start new with treatment free bees and try again ( you mentioned sugar shakes, probably you have to start earlier in year, drone culling)
- multiply like crazy and if over ten colonies do live and let die
- soft bond..treat after monitoring and if bees are over a threshold
- try to improve managements, in working the bees, in hive configuration...
No hard feelings about it, but I am a girl too actually.  :grin:  I think it's really funny that gender confusion happens all the time on this forum and we have gender markers on our profiles.  I've done it myself too!  For some reason nobody looks to the left of the posts to check.   :cheesy: 

I am very committed to being treatment free, although I don't quite have my plan 100% together on how I'm going to go about it.  I'm still too new to beekeeping to be able to say "I WILL do this" or "I WON'T do that" with anything resembling certainty because I'm still just learning how to keep bees.  I'm very much in an experimentation stage, learning what works and what doesn't for me, my bees, and my microclimate.  I don't have the option of having multiple bee yards, at least not far enough away that it would make a significant different, so that's not going to be a part of my plan.  My basic plan for this year is essentially to try again with the sugar dusting with these bees and see how it goes, since I feel like last year's issue was really my fault.  It's possible though that they don't have the genetics to hold up under that soft of a treatment and if they don't, maybe I'll try a different strain the next year.  I'm going to try to split my remaining hive this summer so I'm back to two hives, and that may help with the mites as well.               
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Offline blackforest beekeeper

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Re: How to Start, With the End Goal of Being Treatment Free
« Reply #32 on: December 31, 2018, 02:33:25 am »
Quote
You take it religiously, beekeeping, that is. No way to debate about faith.

 It?s confirmation, not faith. And you have it too. Only in a different direction.

About TF? Read my posts again!

About commercial beeks not being able to afford even average losses? Maybe in the US this is different, though I can?t imagine. In Germany, you are out. Ace is just lacking infos and connections.

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: How to Start, With the End Goal of Being Treatment Free
« Reply #33 on: December 31, 2018, 03:46:00 am »
Sorry about adressing you as a male!  :embarassed:
Your photo is so nice I overlooked the mark  :grin: good excuse, no?  :wink:

If you have only one or two colonies I think it a good advise to observe what?s going on all he time, just to learn. I did it too, yes, terrible me watched them die out with a kind of horrible fascination, but I had the excuse they were treated and dying anyway.
I think I learned more about bee pests and disease than about anything else about beekeeping. With one look I can tell you the state they are in.

If I were you I would cut out a part of the first drone comb, open cells and evaluate the infestation. Or do an alcohol wash in spring, before apple blossom.
 
If you dust the hive with sugar every 3 weeks this works like an OAV vaporising. You can keep the numbers low, but you must start in may.
Afterwards wash the sugar and count mites. Dust the whole hive, all bees, then its monitoring and treatment at the same time.

I did it and it worked well, but I was too late, the virus had taken over. It was in late summer, when my first hive, treated, was reinfested by robbing.

You can ask me any questions you want to, I have much experience doing this with co-workers on our way to treatment free beekeeping. We have a mind mapping thread in my german forum.
I can tell you what works and what does not. I?m still on my way too.
And I have no problems if someone decides to treat, fearing crash. In an approach to tf timing of actions and monitoring mites is most important.


Offline The15thMember

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Re: How to Start, With the End Goal of Being Treatment Free
« Reply #34 on: January 02, 2019, 01:43:09 pm »
Sorry about adressing you as a male!  :embarassed:
Your photo is so nice I overlooked the mark  :grin: good excuse, no?  :wink:

If you have only one or two colonies I think it a good advise to observe what?s going on all he time, just to learn. I did it too, yes, terrible me watched them die out with a kind of horrible fascination, but I had the excuse they were treated and dying anyway.
I think I learned more about bee pests and disease than about anything else about beekeeping. With one look I can tell you the state they are in.

If I were you I would cut out a part of the first drone comb, open cells and evaluate the infestation. Or do an alcohol wash in spring, before apple blossom.
 
If you dust the hive with sugar every 3 weeks this works like an OAV vaporising. You can keep the numbers low, but you must start in may.
Afterwards wash the sugar and count mites. Dust the whole hive, all bees, then its monitoring and treatment at the same time.

I did it and it worked well, but I was too late, the virus had taken over. It was in late summer, when my first hive, treated, was reinfested by robbing.

You can ask me any questions you want to, I have much experience doing this with co-workers on our way to treatment free beekeeping. We have a mind mapping thread in my german forum.
I can tell you what works and what does not. I?m still on my way too.
And I have no problems if someone decides to treat, fearing crash. In an approach to tf timing of actions and monitoring mites is most important.



Haha, that is a good excuse!  That picture actually isn't even a real photograph, it's a CGI bee from Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug.  Amazing how good CGI is getting these days!  Thanks for the advice and for the offer to help me out with questions.  You seem to have a similar view to me on treatment free, and I'm sure you'll be a great help to me in the coming season.       
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline SiWolKe

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Re: How to Start, With the End Goal of Being Treatment Free
« Reply #35 on: January 02, 2019, 02:08:12 pm »
Have to look up the HOBBIT. As I?m getting older I have to wear my glasses more. The bee?s face... :grin:

Yes, we may have similar thinking. Be welcome.
 :smile:

Offline yes2matt

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Re: How to Start, With the End Goal of Being Treatment Free
« Reply #36 on: March 19, 2019, 10:13:23 pm »
I would like to be treatment free, but it seems that people who are treatment free took a while to get to the point where their bees were successful, and I'm not sure how they got there.  I read so many things that say you need to be proactive with varroa, or your bees will die.  If my goal is to be treatment free, should I start out that way, just monitoring to see how many mites there are, and then do something if it gets out of hand?  Should I do nothing if it gets out of hand, and just let the bees die and try again with different bees?  It seems most people are told to rein in the idealism and just get a year or two under their belt, but how should I go about getting a year or two under my belt?  Basically my question is, with the goal of being treatment free, what should my treatment plan be going into my first year?         
I would like to address the original question. How to be capable of maintaining an productive apiary year over year without employing miticides or other -icides/ chemicals.

One key is capability to reproduce bees, or consistently capture/retrieve swarms.  Reproduction doesn't have to be fancy grafting or II or anything beyond basic tools and methods (I just put ten capped queen cells into five mating nucs -- special tools included a sharp knife, nuc-sized boxes, and extra blank frames).   When you can reproduce on demand and as many (reasonably) as you want, it frees you up to > be sustainable even while incurring loss; and >  put directional pressure on your genetic base stock. (of both bees and mites) in direction of your choosing.   That is all to say, "learn to make splits and raise queens."

Second key, and it is where I have a lot to learn, is to replace the lost productivity (honey and wax). Basically to replace the productivity lost to both disease and to increased reproduction, you will need to employ some techniques that I would say are more advanced.  Example is my best colony which I referenced above (the splits) has been queenless for a couple weeks before the spring flow. So it will cost me a box of honey at least to make those nucs. (there probably is a better way to manage it but I have lots to learn).  To be sustainable, i need to replace that box of honey somehow.  so "become a student of the big-honey methods"

In both cases, you need lots of bees. Two hives in the back yard will never do it. (but you can put a queen castle on the top of each one, and have six colonies in the space of two).  Solomon Parker said at some point that you need at least six colonies to be sustainable and TF.  I think six is barely enough and during splitting time many more.

Then it is about commitment and belief. They don't sell that in the catalogs tho  :)


Offline The15thMember

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Re: How to Start, With the End Goal of Being Treatment Free
« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2019, 05:26:11 pm »
I would like to address the original question. How to be capable of maintaining an productive apiary year over year without employing miticides or other -icides/ chemicals.

One key is capability to reproduce bees, or consistently capture/retrieve swarms.  Reproduction doesn't have to be fancy grafting or II or anything beyond basic tools and methods (I just put ten capped queen cells into five mating nucs -- special tools included a sharp knife, nuc-sized boxes, and extra blank frames).   When you can reproduce on demand and as many (reasonably) as you want, it frees you up to > be sustainable even while incurring loss; and >  put directional pressure on your genetic base stock. (of both bees and mites) in direction of your choosing.   That is all to say, "learn to make splits and raise queens."

Second key, and it is where I have a lot to learn, is to replace the lost productivity (honey and wax). Basically to replace the productivity lost to both disease and to increased reproduction, you will need to employ some techniques that I would say are more advanced.  Example is my best colony which I referenced above (the splits) has been queenless for a couple weeks before the spring flow. So it will cost me a box of honey at least to make those nucs. (there probably is a better way to manage it but I have lots to learn).  To be sustainable, i need to replace that box of honey somehow.  so "become a student of the big-honey methods"

In both cases, you need lots of bees. Two hives in the back yard will never do it. (but you can put a queen castle on the top of each one, and have six colonies in the space of two).  Solomon Parker said at some point that you need at least six colonies to be sustainable and TF.  I think six is barely enough and during splitting time many more.

Then it is about commitment and belief. They don't sell that in the catalogs tho  :)
Thanks for your response, yes2matt.  That is good information to keep in mind.  You incidentally answered a question I've been contemplating lately but had not asked anyone about yet, which is how many hives I'd like to have eventually.  I'm putting up some swarm traps this year for the first time, and I am figuring out how much equipment I should purchase for hiving swarms, which is why I've been considering the subject of hive number.  I don't want to move too fast and outpace myself with the number of hives I have to manage, so I'm trying to slowly expand.  I'm thinking I'll try for no more than 4 hives this year.   
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.