Resistance conference in Hallsberg 12 Nov

Terje Reinertsen from Norway, more than 25 years of treatment free beekeeping, will visit us and share his experiences.

We who work with varroa resistance in Hallsberg and the surroundings will have our fourth annual conference on varroa resistance and treatment free beekeeping. Anyone who is interested is welcome! In previous years, there have been participants from several different places besides Hallsberg.

We meet on Saturday, November 12, starting at 10 a.m. Ending at about 3 p.m. Alléskolan’s hall or dining room, depending on how many we are. Mingle coffee before 10 am. Light lunch so we will survive the lectures. Afternoon coffee. Pay SEK 150 on the spot. Register in advance to Peter Tesell, text message to +46706199606 or email:, preferably no later than November 10.

Last year there was a speaker from outside Sweden, Juhani Lundén from Finland, who shared his experiences. He treated for the last time in 2008. It is not so dense with bees where he lives. He lost many bee colonies the first year, but got about 15 left. Today he has about 50. He first tried to decrease treatment of oxalic acid every year for several years. He lost many hives. He lost less this way.

You should be able to find at least one brood frame with good area of tight capped brood.
You should not find only such frames as this throughout the brood season.

There are usually 4-5 speakers. There are a few of us in the Hallsberg area who have stopped treating against varroa because the bees don’t need it. We have used thymol pads and decreased the amount as time and bees have shown we could. There are more beekeepers in other places in Sweden that have not been treating for several years. Annual losses 5-10%.

Terje Reinertsen from Norway will come and talk about his treatment-free beekeeping for 25 years. Dr. Melissa Oddie, who has researched his bees and is developing how to breed other bees based on his bees, was unable to attend this year, but plans to next.

There are beekeepers that think that resistant bees can only achieved if the bees become less productive in brood rearing. We strongly declare that this is not the case! We have always have strong selective parameter for brood rearing and honey production. Yes, you can make unfavorable selections, but we are observant avoiding this. We want bees that produce honey, for themselves and for us.

It is important that treatment-free bees produce a good harvest and are easy to work, otherwise many will not want them. This is our goal!

Preliminary agenda for the conference:

– Why treatment-free bees? What is happening in Sweden and Norway. Per Ideström – Treatment-free bees for 9 years

– Our successful concept in Norway. Terje Reinertsen – Treatment-free bees for 25 years

– What is happening in Hallsberg? – Unique collaboration. Peter Tesell, Hallsberg. Hallsberg has 3 beekeepers completely treatment-free with approx. 200 colonies and 4 beekeepers almost treatment-free bees with approx. 400 colonies

– Guidelines for breeding work when you have started and when your bees are approximately half the way to being totally treatment free. Erik Österlund, Hallsberg

– My treatment-free beekeeping. Johan Ingjald, Hallsberg

– Experiences and tips when approaching treatment free beekeeping. Radim Gavlovsky, Hallsberg

– To start as a beekeeping sidelining with a treatment-free approach. Richard Clame, Hallsberg

– Fight for treatment-free beekeeping – Treatment-free bees for 7 years. Magnus and Ulrika Kranshammar, Ullared

Unfortunately all lectures are in Swedish (😀) Welcome anywayto join us in the work to give beekeepers treatment-free bees!

Experiences with varroa-resistant bees
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6 thoughts on “Experiences with varroa-resistant bees

  • October 30, 2022 at 15:10

    Thanks for the information and invitation.
    Presently I keep bees in Sweden treatment free for 3 years, of your stock and descendants.
    Before moving to Sweden I kept bees in Germany without treatments for 5 years. One colony was treated with thymol once.
    Right now I keep 12 colonies in Sweden of which some came into my care this summer and some are 3 years my “pets”, and it was 15 colonies in Germany.

    The difficulties, if there were any, were not the mites. It was queens lost on mating flights, lack of adaptation to the localities ( which in my eyes are even having an effect if colonies are moved a short distance plus where the stock is coming from), woodpeckers, some of my beginners mistakes….or just a bad year. If mite impact was involved, it was not the numbers of mites but the viruses they carried which made a problem. Colonies which are vulnerable can have a low numbers of mites and still succumb to the diseases.

    So, in my eyes, it’s mostly the microbiom which counts and the action of too many disturbances by the beekeepers ( no offense meant to anyone here). That’s why I prefer a natural beekeeping in future, trying this out and enhancing it although I had no losses so far in Sweden and my losses in Germany were acceptable.

    I will not take part in the meeting this year for lack of understanding the Swedish language enough.
    But I wish luck and happiness to all who believe that it’s not normal to douse bees with medicaments just to keep them alive. They are stronger than you believe they are. Many colonies need no help at all and the others can be changed to be stronger.

    Best, Sibylle

    • December 18, 2022 at 13:37

      Thanks for sharing Sibylle
      Those that find their way to this site can see treatment-free bees are real and not fantasy.
      The purpose of it is to inspire beekeepers to start treatment-free beekeeping after getting good info from many different beekeepers in different areas.

  • October 31, 2022 at 22:01

    Thanks for the invitation.I live in Belgium and have been beekeepers since 1985. I have been through the whole Varroa situation, a bit under duress from older beekeepers. Without result. Back in the 90s I read an article about smaller cell size. We have also tested this but without success. In 2015 I visited the resistantbees site and started following your name and the story of the Elgon bee. I try to follow the whole concept of resistantbees as closely as possible and I immediately stopped treating my bees. As expected, I had major losses in the first few years, but from the third year that has stabilized very well.
    I would have liked to have attended this meeting. Unfortunately this is not possible. I would like to inform the beekeepers in my country about the possibilities to switch to untreated beekeeping. Therefore my question about the possibility to use the texts of the lectures to translate and to publish them here in the beekeepers’ magazines and two: hopefully recordings are made to be able to follow on a youtube channel.
    Please leave a comment
    thanks in advance
    Ludo Moens
    Buckfast Flanders Belgium

    • December 18, 2022 at 13:40

      Hello Ludo
      Glad to know about your efforts and success. Good you share here with another example that it’s well possible to become a treatment-free beekeeper.
      Yes, you are free to use the info you find here. Just mention where you got it from.
      No recordings were made from the conference. But soon there will appear a report on this site with quite some info.

  • November 10, 2022 at 23:48

    Hello – Fellow TF Beekeeper in the States here. Michigan to be exact, just outside of Detroit.

    Will the lectures be available on YouTube? I can watch subtitles since I don’t speak Swedish!

    (Hej – Fellow TF Biodlare i USA här. Michigan för att vara exakt, strax utanför Detroit.

    Kommer föreläsningarna att finnas tillgängliga på YouTube? Jag kan se undertexter eftersom jag inte pratar svenska!)

    • December 18, 2022 at 13:47

      Hello James
      Glad get in contact with treatment-free beekeepers in other parts of the world.
      Sorry no Youtube videos, but soon there will be a report on this site with quite some info.

Comments are closed.