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Beekeeping Management Practices... by Underwood ,Traver, and López-Uribe

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  • Beekeeping Management Practices... by Underwood ,Traver, and López-Uribe

    First paper in this Channel, here we go!

    Robyn Underwood sent me this paper this morning, so I thought I would post it here and get your thoughts. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, so I will do so a little later today and respond with my comments. And this is not to thrash Robyn, she is my friend, and she's a member here. But I think we both agree that we have differences in philosophy and I mean that not only in how to keep bees but also in how we think about keeping bees. And I still very much appreciate her willingness to engage with the treatment-free community, when other researchers have decided not to.

    Here is the abstract: Abstract:

    Management by beekeepers is of utmost importance for the health and survival of honey bee colonies. Beekeeping management practices vary from low to high intervention regarding the use of chemicals, hive manipulations, and supplemental feeding of colonies. In this study, we use quantitative data from the Bee Informed Partnership’s national survey to investigate drivers of management practices among beekeepers in the United States. This is the first study to quantitatively examine these variables to objectively describe the management practices among different groups of beekeepers in the United States. We hypothesized that management practices and goals among beekeepers are different based on the beekeeper’s philosophy (as determined by their willingness to use chemicals to control pests and pathogens) and the size of the beekeeping operation. Using a multiple factor analysis, we determined that beekeepers use a continuum of management practices. However, we found that beekeepers’ willingness to use in-hive chemicals and the number of colonies in their operation are non-randomly associated with other aspects of beekeeping management practices. Specifically, the size of the beekeeping operation was associated with beekeepers’ choices of in-hive chemicals, while beekeepers’ philosophy was most strongly associated with choices of in-hive chemicals and beekeeping goals. Our results will facilitate the development of decision-making tools for beekeepers to choose management practices that are appropriate for the size of their operations and their beekeeping philosophy.


    You can find the whole paper here:
    https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4450/10/1/10/htm

    I would post the whole thing but there are graphs and such.
    Management by beekeepers is of utmost importance for the health and survival of honey bee colonies. Beekeeping management practices vary from low to high intervention regarding the use of chemicals, hive manipulations, and supplemental feeding of colonies. In this study, we use quantitative data from the Bee Informed Partnership’s national survey to investigate drivers of management practices among beekeepers in the United States. This is the first study to quantitatively examine these variables to objectively describe the management practices among different groups of beekeepers in the United States. We hypothesized that management practices and goals among beekeepers are different based on the beekeeper’s philosophy (as determined by their willingness to use chemicals to control pests and pathogens) and the size of the beekeeping operation. Using a multiple factor analysis, we determined that beekeepers use a continuum of management practices. However, we found that beekeepers’ willingness to use in-hive chemicals and the number of colonies in their operation are non-randomly associated with other aspects of beekeeping management practices. Specifically, the size of the beekeeping operation was associated with beekeepers’ choices of in-hive chemicals, while beekeepers’ philosophy was most strongly associated with choices of in-hive chemicals and beekeeping goals. Our results will facilitate the development of decision-making tools for beekeepers to choose management practices that are appropriate for the size of their operations and their beekeeping philosophy.
    100% Treatment-Free, 16 years.
    Medford, Oregon, USA

  • #2
    Management by beekeepers is of utmost importance for the health and survival of honey bee colonies.
    Well, I have to go ahead and take issue with the very first sentence of the abstract.

    Bees don't need our help. The species doesn't need our help to survive, it's already doing that.

    However, we are flooded with crappy puppy mill bees that WILL DIE if you don't "take care" of them. It's junk. It's a bad model. And the desire of people to "help" by becoming beekeepers and medicating is actually hurting the bees. The species is surviving despite all our best efforts, not because of them.

    So, in summary, this is an unsupported assertion that colors the entire paper, and shouts the bias of the authors. Something like this causes me to question the fidelity to which the authors might accurately describe the methods of beekeepers to whose philosophies they very clearly do not subscribe.


    Our results will facilitate the development of decision-making tools for beekeepers to choose management practices that are appropriate for the size of their operations and their beekeeping philosophy.
    Okay, last sentence in the Abstract.

    What I see here is a bias toward something which I have observed since about 2011, the philosophy that not treating is essentially just a different "treatment group" (in research terms) that is basically the same as all other methods and philosophies, and with correlated outcomes. I have heard this so many times from aspiring beekeepers, that they will just "not treat" and assume everything will turn out more or less the same as the way everybody else does it. These poor beekeepers, almost to a person, lose all their bees, often multiple times. No, TF beekeeping is a different animal. It draws from a different population of bees. If you start with junk bees, you're going to have to junk a lot of them before a sustainable population is revealed. This totally skews all results from the different "treatment groups" which are invariably short term projects using short term "conventional" methods.

    Conventional, there's another term that ????es me off. What about treating is conventional? It's traditionalism, conservatism, keeping things the way they are, within the very limited scope of the past couple decades. Bees have been kept for thousands of years. Modern treating and commercial beekeeping is in no way conventional. It's just the status quo.

    TF is a return to beekeeping within truly traditional methods, when animal husbandry didn't have the crutch of medicines, when problems and issues were solved over many years by selective breeding and the actual development of the methods and materials that are taken for granted today.

    Before I get into the actual paper I have to say that these sorts of unchecked biases are what drives the TF community away from the "science." Every viewpoint is a view from a point, and I have seen very little evidence that the scientific community is interested in inspecting their own bias. The beekeeping scientific community by default firmly places themselves on one side of the argument with antagonistic words and methods. At least Robyn is trying, and for that, we thank her.
    Last edited by Solomon; 01-08-2019, 09:53 PM. Reason: fix quotes
    100% Treatment-Free, 16 years.
    Medford, Oregon, USA

    Comment


    • #3
      Solomon,
      I agree that not all bees need to be truly managed, but most do. So, management matters to most beekeepers (and most bees). The intention of this article is to simply describe and analyze the current beekeeping practices of beekeepers in the US. There is no bias for or against any management practices in this article.

      I agree with you about the meaning of "conventional." To me, I use it to mean what is generally done or taught. And, well, the use of chemicals is the most common method for dealing with varroa mites and it is what is taught, so that is what makes it conventional.

      It is unfortunate that the survey data did not allow us to look at the source of the bees that are being kept. I know this is a MAJOR factor - as you say, you cannot just buy bees from a supplier and not treat them - so I hope to address that issue in the future.

      Again, the entire point of the paper is to describe groups of beekeepers based on their management decisions. So, guess what, there's a group of "natural beekeepers" out there! Not really big news, but scientists gather data to support (or not) their observations. Now we have that and can begin talking properly about management systems (treatment free is one of them, even if you don't think of what you are doing as management).
      Robyn

      Comment


      • #4
        Next, section 1, Introduction.


        Control of a number of parasites and pathogens is a priority, because they are among the main causes of summer and winter colony losses
        Here we have another consistent bias from the medical treatment fix it pill domesticated pet paradigm. The dog has fleas! We must nearly poison it to get rid of the fleas! We TF beekeepers do not control the parasites and pathogens, instead leaving it up to the bees to do so, with their ability to rapidly adapt to changing conditions. What is a colony loss but a natural selective pressure? The "conventional" model is a "buy this, keep this alive, protect my investment" model. Again, this is not conventional, this is new, and it's a model in which experienced TF beeks in large part do not participate. For us, the mite is a helpful sifting tool to remove weak colonies from the population, one which is occasionally added (Dr. Kefuss) to hives (or even through the paradigm of the "mite bomb"). One cannot place "protect them" and "let them have it" on the same continuum honestly.


        However, it is unclear whether beekeepers’ choices along this continuum are random or if certain combinations of choices are associated with each other (e.g., high vs. low intervention options).
        This confuses me. Again, we're looking at a model where intervention is rated from a zero level to whatever the high level is, and these results seem to be expected to fall in correlative categories. It seems self evidently obvious to me that if you do more stuff, there will be more results, and if you do no stuff there will be fewer things to look at. Again, this totally removes the variable of the bees. What is the control group? If you test junk bees against junk bees, you're going to get junk bees results. This is further evidence that the viewpoint is stacked against anything but the "conventional" model. It's as if the researchers say "this is the way it's done" so anything that is done any different way will by default be found to be less (whatever the measure) than the "conventional" way.


        Figure 1
        https://res.mdpi.com/insects/insects...00010-g001.png

        I think there is an issue with figure one. There is of course the continuum issue, but aside from that, here we have a stack of 13 different continuums. One might on first blush assume that to choose one’s method, one must draw a straight line from top to bottom, and that would be a guide in choosing one’s methods. Lot of problems with that (admittedly my own creation, I don’t know you you’ll read it). Firstly, each of these continuums are on their own scale. They could be from 0 to 5, from 0-100, or maybe they start at 1 or some other number. They don’t actually go from Low to High as shown in the figure, some go from no to yes, none to all, some deserve multi-dimensional continuum all their own. But they’re simplistically stuck in one figure.


        Secondly, there is a huge variation of beekeeping practice. The accusation that TF beekeepers are interventionless, hands-off, or “bee havers” is a crock of hooey. I recently recorded a conversation with a treater who essentially said “if you don’t treat, then how are you a beekeeper?” Because I do literally everything everyone else does, except treat! How is that interventionless? It’s certainly not hands off. So instead of the straight vertical line I mentioned above, any given beekeeper (except for the far ends of the distribution) is going to exist on a very jagged line. And many beekeepers will exist on several places within each of a number of the continuums.

        Admittedly, it’s a figure, essentially a metaphor, a model, and all models are flawed. All metaphors fall short.


        Varroa mite control is currently considered one of the most important practices for successful beekeeping [7].

        Again, by whom? Certainly a very un-objective way of looking at the populations this paper claims to be evaluating. We TF beekeepers do not agree to this bluntly stated assumption.


        There are a variety of legal, registered chemical control options available to beekeepers, ranging from synthetic chemicals (e.g., amitraz and tau-fluvalinate) to organic compounds (e.g., formic and oxalic acids and essential oils), all of which vary in how they are applied, their mode of action, and their efficacy (see review by [8]).
        (Not an issue with this paper, but with other things in general). This definition of “organic” is precisely why most of us don’t use the term “organic” anymore. While it may be technically correct from a legal standpoint, it betrays the original intent of the organic movement.



        Finally, the choice of hive equipment also varies among beekeepers, but one common theme is that they all contain removable frames, as required by most states [31].

        No, they ALL don’t. It’s hard to spend much time around TF beekeepers without hearing about skeps. Skeps are making inroads. My most popular video BY FAR, in fact, more popular than all others put together, by minutes watched, by ad revenues, by view count, is a video on skep beekeeping. Always gotta be careful using words like always, all, never, only, etc. It’s bad form and can easily demonstrate your ignorance if you’re wrong.



        The rest of the introduction is a pretty good exploration of the various methods of treatment, etc that beekeepers typically use. But again, treating TF options as if they're just one of the other options.

        Sorry for grading you so hard Robyn. And I'm not sure how I would write the same paper without bias myself, so it's not as though I'm criticizing the paper on that level, but the bias exists. We've been dealing with it since forever. I don't really blame you, I'm not mad, but when we read these papers and studies, we just don't see ourselves fairly represented therein.

        100% Treatment-Free, 16 years.
        Medford, Oregon, USA

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Robyn U View Post
          There is no bias for or against any management practices in this article.
          Instead of saying there is bias 'for' or 'against' I think I would say bias 'from.' It's bias from a certain viewpoint. The assumptions and statements indicate a very firm bias from one "side" or point of view. It's not fairly observing the data from an objective point of view, as I am reading, thus far.

          One of my rules is always describe someone's view point in terms that they would agree with. This paper does not do that. That indicates to me that all parties reviewing it, also see from that viewpoint. Which again, is normal for us in the TF world. Our point of view is not fairly represented in scientific literature.
          100% Treatment-Free, 16 years.
          Medford, Oregon, USA

          Comment


          • #6
            Section 2, Methods

            We used a multiple factor analysis (MFA) to investigate the association between different beekeeping management practices and goals and two supplementary variables: beekeeping philosophy (conventional, organic, natural) and operation size (commercial, sideline, backyard).
            As I have opined in many places, conventional, organic, and natural, are inappropriate descriptors for the categories of beekeeping I encounter. I don’t like “conventional,” we’ve already established that. Organic is fine, I guess, because it’s legally defined at this point. But “natural” totally misses the point. I’m nearly the strictest of TF beekeepers (aside from the use of sugar), but in no way would I ever describe what I do as “natural.” It is most certainly not natural. It would be like calling a trimmed, fertilized, cut down, bagged, shipped, and stood up in your living room Christmas tree, natural. It’s ancestors were natural, standing in the woods for hundreds of years. There is no such thing as natural beekeeping.

            Anyway, that’s my own anality. (I just looked it up, and that’s actually a word, which I didn’t know before just now.) I’m sure other people disagree and I know for a fact that some TF beekeepers refer to themselves as “natural” or “organic” even though they’re not.







            100% Treatment-Free, 16 years.
            Medford, Oregon, USA

            Comment


            • #7
              Section 3: Results

              The only whine I have here is with the characterization of the goals of different groups of beekeepers. I think this writing lines up very well with the "conventional" approach to beekeeping, that the big successful commercial beekeepers are doing it right, and therefore they should be held up as the standard. Meanwhile, they're also the ones that spread all manner of disease around the country willy nilly every year. Bees weren't mean to be moved. And they could deal with disease a whole lot better if they weren't exposed to ALL of them every year. They brought us these diseases, and they make sure we get our noses rubbed in them every year, and they demand we treat so their hives don't get mites.

              I find it funny that I hear so many commercial beekeepers tout the number of hours they work to support their prowess, yet they still have plenty of time to use Facebook to do it.
              100% Treatment-Free, 16 years.
              Medford, Oregon, USA

              Comment


              • #8
                When you're working with source material that has definitions already (such as the BIP survey) your hands are somewhat tied to use those definitions.
                I think "natural" was used because it is the closest to allowing the bees to exist as they may in the wild, but still being managed by a beekeeper.

                Organic (occur in nature, made up of main group elements, halogens and alkali metals) and synthetic chemicals (synthesized from other molecules in a lab) are scientific terms that have little or nothing to do with the USDA definition of Organic.
                Southwest Michigan (Fennville)

                Comment


                • #9

                  Again, many thanks to Robyn Underwood for her attempts to maintain relationships with TF beekeepers. These responses are in no way meant as an insult to her personally or to her work. There are merely my musings, my opinions, largely unsupported by scientifically significant data. These comments are not intended to be read as speaking directly to Robyn (or indeed to any specific person), but to you the anonymous internet reader, whoever you are. I like Robyn and I don't want her to stop liking me.


                  Section 4: Discussion

                  Most natural beekeepers do not have financially driven operations through bee or honey production, but keep bees for enjoyment, teaching, or research, and they are less likely to earn an income from their operations

                  This is one of the downfalls, I think, in the scientific method. These things are true, objectively, but specifically, in various cases, they are not true. Science has a method for eliminating outliers, and in this paper, the data was filtered to eliminate some of these. But in real life, it is the outliers we look to for inspiration. (If you haven’t read “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell, you really should). I think for most of the history of TF beekeeping, TF beeks have been the outliers. For a long time we were simply discarded as aberrations in the data, or “liars” as we are still sometimes called. But as time goes on an TF beekeeping comes to reassert itself (we have 10,000 years of foundational history on our side) things have changed and we are actually to the point where someone like Robyn actually wants to talk to us. Suffice it to say, there are commercial TF beeks, both in the honey realm and the bees realm, especially queens. They are not represented in the BIP.

                  Which leads me to another thing, the BIP as a source for this kind of data. It is a survey, it is not comprehensive, or even necessarily representative of reality. I recently came across a treater who was on Facebook advocating falsifying data on the BIP in order to drive up honey prices. So while the conclusions of this paper seem relatively straightforward, they are not proof of any specific contention.


                  Beekeeping management by commercial and sideline beekeepers is largely different from practices of backyard beekeepers (Figure 3A).

                  (Not sarcasm) it is really great to finally be able to cite a scientific study to support my assertion that commercial beekeepers do different things than backyard beekeepers, and that backyard beekeepers therefore should not lionize commercial beekeepers. They should instead seek experienced backyard beekeepers from which to learn their craft. Because you want to learn from people who actually know how to do what you want to do.


                  For supplemental feeding, commercial and sideline beekeepers use pollen and carbohydrate supplements, while backyard beekeepers range from the use of both to not using protein to the exclusive use of honey for carbohydrate supplementation.

                  Not a criticism per se, but I see this a lot in Robyn’s work, and I have heard a lot of people make this intention, but seldom does anybody feed any volume of honey more than once. It’s freaking expensive, especially when you think you need to feed chemical free honey to your chemical free bees. All the old hats seem either to feed nothing at all or some form of sugar. I guess you could count frames of capped honey, but that seems to me to be something that’s more a part of the practice of equalizing hives.

                  I mean this winter, I technically fed honey because I took full mediums of honey off a dead hive and put them two other hives. Did they need it? They did not. They had plenty, but, gotta put that honey somewhere or it will just get robbed out of the dead hive. Did I feed honey? This doesn’t really fit the definition of feeding to me. You’re just shortcutting the process of mid winter sunny day robbing (which is another fantastic survival technique of some TF bees, you don’t need to store much honey, just steal it from the dead treaters). Feeding to me is something more artificial, like taking extracted honey and putting it in an actual feeder, which is a terrible idea by the way, don’t do it, you’re asking for fermentation. Just don’t feed honey all together, how’s that from a TF purist?

                  Anyway, again not a real criticism, it’s just something that glares to me that doesn’t fit my experience.


                  Alternatively, it may indicate barriers to increasing colony numbers when using organic or natural beekeeping management practices.


                  This is one that I think is just patently false. It is the TF beekeepers of size who do the most increase activities. It’s a fundamental part of what they do, they increase, catch swarms, make queens, etc. It’s the larger beekeepers who buy rather than increase who are also on the money model who are the major treaters. Money ruins everything. They can’t make the needed changes to get to a TF model because it would cost them points on their credit rating, which I understand. But I think this is really just a misinterpretation of the people out there. But what this seems to say is that there are no commercial TF because there are barriers to increasing hive numbers, which is simply false. Part of the issue I think is the definition of "commercial" in this paper. I know at least one full time commercial beekeeper (and know of others) whose numbers remain consistently under 500 colonies. And the more prolific TF queen breeders I know, producing many thousands of queens per year, can do so at far below 500. So this assertion seems to be biased toward the California-almond-infection model of commercial beekeeping, where it becomes rather difficult to maintain almond infection numbers and not be above 500. From what was reported on NPR, the disgusting state of that model is such that for every hive that goes to almonds, there is another sick one that didn't get to go almonds. That means the minimum size for a CAI beek is 800, as you can only fit 400 on a truck. There's also the need to be in Cali for a month to feed and medicate these poor insects so they don't die wholesale.


                  such as drone brood removal.


                  Which the BIP data demonstrates doesn’t hardly work, if at all. (arguable given how you choose the data, I find it funny that SBBs don’t work for sideliners, but work for everybody else! And drone removal only works for backyarders, but nobody else! What does this demonstrate?) Go play with the management survey, you find some weird stuff some times.


                  Overall, our findings suggest that beekeepers most likely make management decisions by weighing the financial and biological benefits of each practice.


                  I don’t think the paragraph following this sentence really supports it. Only the financial benefits are weighed. No exploration of the biology at all. In fact, in this whole paper, I find no discussion as to why TF beekeepers might do what they do that aligns with how we actually think. Of the three groups, only one group can quit treating and not lose all their bees. That's the main reason for me. Treated bees die when not treated. That sucks. I don't want to be a part of that model. With the use of screaming cheap oxalic acid vaporization, money is not really a rational reason for not treating anymore. So why do we not do it? This paper seems agnostic on the question.


                  These results about winter mortality indicate that colony survival is affected by management practices.


                  I know papers have to be pedantic and all. But BIP has been demonstrating this for years. It’s the reason why can I say things like drone removal and screened bottom boards don’t really work. And it doesn’t parse out any differences between someone like me whose loss rates are often lower than that of the treaters, and the loss rates of someone less experienced, whose high loss rates reflect many things, but not hardly management.



                  100% Treatment-Free, 16 years.
                  Medford, Oregon, USA

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Section 5: Conclusions

                    I'll just post the whole section here since is it short enough.

                    Our study provides the first empirical assessment of the associations between management practices and goals among beekeepers, and sheds light on the potential drivers of different sets of management choices. We describe, for the first time, the existence of three groups of beekeepers based on their philosophy towards in-hive chemicals (conventional, organic, and natural) and characterize, in detail, common practices that are used by each of these groups. Differences in the management practices between commercial, sideline, and backyard beekeepers are often mentioned in the literature, but had not been previously characterized (e.g., [4,41,42]). Because there is a continuum of beekeeping practices, most beekeepers do not necessarily fall into one discrete category. However, we show that beekeeping management practices are not randomly selected among individuals. How this continuum of management practices impacts colony health, productivity, and overwintering success remains to be investigated. Future work should aim to determine the biological and economic effects of these management decisions.
                    I think that's fairly straightforward.

                    Again, many thanks to Robyn Underwood and her colleagues for their engagement with TF community. I would encourage them to engage even more with the community to fully understand the diversity of philosophy and practice among TF beekeepers, especially on the front of TF commercial beekeepers (none of which I know of have more than 500 hives).

                    For me to see this type of study as really valuable, though, I would like to see a stark reduction in the language that couches the context of the research firmly in the commercial beekeeping realm. It's difficult for me to see a justification for writing it this way. I don't think it is malicious or even purposeful, it's simply how it's done. I think it should be possible to write these sorts of things from a totally outside perspective or a neutral perspective. As I mentioned above, I think there are some things missing that I would like to see. One of the main things, I think, is why TF beekeepers don't treat. "What is so hard about treating" as one hostile person put it to me lately. While there have been a few factors put forward, I think there are many that are missing.

                    Here are a few:
                    If it's not necessary, why should I?
                    Costs more.
                    Toxic, possibly dangerous.
                    Food and wax adulturation.
                    Treating reverses natural selection, creating strong mites and weak bees, while natural selection creates the exact opposite.
                    Feral bees don't need treated.
                    Don't like wearing gloves.

                    This paper focuses on money, which again is a bias from the commercial perspective. I'd love to see the hinted at but unexplored factor of biology. That's a major factor for me. So is the challenge. Hey look, I've succeeded at something ##% of beekeepers can't figure out how to do!

                    One possible exploration is the size of operation needed to support an income between treating and non-treating. How does is it scale? Seems to me TF beekeepers need fewer hives in order to make a living, possibly due to reduced costs of treating and testing, reduced time for management. Also, TF commercials seem to be more into selling queens and nucs rather than migratory pollination. I myself have hypothesized that migratory pollination may be impossible with TF bees due to the high stresses, chemical exposure, and disease exposure that are hallmarks of today's migratory pollination beekeeping. I hope I am wrong, but I think the situation is simply too hard on them to survive without being propped up with chemicals. This is a contemporary issue, and was not the same as in the past, hopefully we are simply in a time period where bees have not yet adapted to all the diseases (and pesticides) that have been dumped on them to deal with in the last 30 years.
                    100% Treatment-Free, 16 years.
                    Medford, Oregon, USA

                    Comment


                    • genobird
                      genobird commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Thank you so much for this extensive, articulate analysis. I couldn't have hung in there as long to formulate thorough responses. In the communications I have had with a number of well known researchers, these are the exact same arguments they use to defend the contorted models employed to "investigate" varroa mortality, management practices, TF beekeepers, biological understanding (a VERY important missing analysis) inherent biases, etc.

                  • #11
                    I think it's important for people to be consistent with their world view when beekeeping. People who run to the doctor every time they get a cold and take medicine before considering natural alternatives are never going to be comfortable with natural beekeeping and that cognitive dissonance will lead them to failure. Any project in any business requires "buy in" from the people involved to succeed. This is a scientific fact. To say that people need to believe in what they are doing in order to succeed at it is a simple fact. I'm not saying you can't change your world view, but that is difficult for most people. Some people can. There is an old Buddhist saying that in order to get a fresh cup of tea you have to throw out the old one. Some people are good at paradigm shifts when the current paradigm doesn't work, but most people simply can't do it.

                    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesbelief.htm
                    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesphilosophy.htm
                    Nehawka, Nebraska. My website: bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm em portugues: bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm My book: ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
                    -----"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin-----

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      I would say most people are not good a paradigm shifts, even when the current paradigm doesn't work. Even the most obvious evidence that the status quo doesn't work goes right over most people's heads. Just look at TF beekeepers. It seems to me that few who are TF now started on treatments. And nobody I know of started on treatments, defended them, and then eventually switched. If you build your case on something like this, there is a very small chance you'll ever come to see that it's wrong. You'll always justify, always defend. And in this case, it's not that treating is "wrong." People make it work when they want it to. And to be honest, people make TF work when they want it to. Here I am trying to convince people that losing all their bees doesn't mean they're a failure, when I've been using the converse as evidence for my own success for years.
                      100% Treatment-Free, 16 years.
                      Medford, Oregon, USA

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        >And in this case, it's not that treating is "wrong." People make it work when they want it to. And to be honest, people make TF work when they want it to.

                        Exactly. Belief has a lot to do with success.
                        Nehawka, Nebraska. My website: bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm em portugues: bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm My book: ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
                        -----"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin-----

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          If memory serves me right, Michael Bush went through a treatment phase with his bees for a period of time, but dumped it to go TF. That right?

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            But in the great majority of cases, I would say observation shows that those who treat will go to extreme means to defend it, no matter what, and vilify TF practiced with good survivor stock

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