Beekeeping in France

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37
Location
West Coast
Experience
Hobbyist
Thank you for your reply and awesome picture of the lavender field. I am an advocate of no treatment in America. So I have been collecting and selecting wild feral bees and have not treated my colonies for the past 20 years. My problem here in America is not V. Mites but Small Hive Beetles (SHB). I cannot make summer splits any more because SHB will devastate. As the split grows, they cannot patrol new areas where they filled up with honey and pollen because their numbers are still too small, or sometimes a strong colony can be wiped out in three days by SHB's. They came to America in 1991. It takes about a decade for a pathogen and a host to reach an armistice (South African and Swedish Studies). So all the feral bees live with SHB. All my bees jump at the sight of a beetle, showing they have learned to defend. So I gave up making nucs in the fall and try to make splits in the spring, starting this year. It sounds like you do not have SHB issues in France, which is good.

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Earthboy, I commend your philosophy of no treatments for varroa.Have you tried the small cell size foundation (4.9) or are you using conventional foundation. Are your bees yellow or black?
 
E

Earthboy

Guest
Earthboy, I commend your philosophy of no treatments for varroa.Have you tried the small cell size foundation (4.9) or are you using conventional foundation. Are your bees yellow or black?
The researches done over the years in America do not support any benefit of small cell size, which was a fad about a decade ago. Mines are Apis Mellifer (Italian) but almost all bees now globally cannot be called pure this or that any more; in fact, I also use Carniolans sometimes to mix with Italians, as well. For better or worse, we even have AHB's too. I love their vigor. Many studies (Africa and Sweden, to name a few) have shown that it takes about a decade or more for honeybees to develop resistance to mites or even SHB's, and I am currently working on the latter, having fought off the former--naturally. I have written extensively on this treatment free beekeeping on Bee-L, if you are interested. Why do I do this? Because, for one reason or another, all kept bees cannot live in the wild, left alone. I think there is something horrible in that. Now many beekeepers seem to think it is unnatural for the bees to thrive in nature! They are keeping bees inside this bubble, an ICU. It will pop any time now.

Earthboy
 

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