If honey bees are sick, can I contract a sickness from them through honey?
Honey bee diseases are not contagious to humans.
Does Broken Timbers Honey cook or pasteurize honey?
Pasteurization kills the enzymes in the honey and that wont ever happen in my bee yard.
Does Broken Timbers Honey medicate or use chemicals in the bee hives?
There are two antibiotics that I use. First one is Fumagilin-B. Here is a link to the Wikipedia definition(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fumagillin). Beekeepers use it to battle against Nosema (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nosema_ceranae) in spring and fall. I only use it in fall because the bees generally work themselves out of it in the spring if treated in fall. If left untreated, the bees will continue to get worse, weaken the entire colony, and eventually die. That is a $100.00 investment down the drain. Not to mention having to purchase replacements and little or no honey production from that colony. This medication is also used in humans.
The second one I use is Terramycin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxytetracycline). It is used to treat American Foulbrood and European Foulbrood (AFB and EFB respectively). These two diseases can be spread from hive to hive. If left untreated, it could decimate an entire bee yard. If a hive dies, all of the equipment has to be destroyed to keep it from spreading to other hives or the replacement bees. The AFB and EFB spores can only be destroyed by burning or sending it to the dump to be buried. No one has found a safer way to kill the spores without potentially causing additional problems. This medication is also used in poultry in various forms to treat a “cold”.
Various types of chemicals are used to kill off the Varorra mite. Its another type of bug that attaches itself to the honey bee and, in not so many words, feeds off the bee until it is too weak to eat or fly. Much like a tick. I have found an alternative to using chemicals that is all natural and more effective. Its as simple as powdered sugar dusting. Drops the mite count by 90%. When the hive gets dusted, the bees go into cleaning and grooming mode. If it does not belong, its gone. Not to mention they can benefit from the sugar!
That’s pretty much it. We are working on an alternative to treating for Nosema in a more natural form and I found something that may work, but I am still awaiting its arrival. AFB and EFB treatments still have to continue. I cannot afford to loose a $700 or more investment per hive and cannot believe anyone else can either. Its just not practical or moral. ALL TREATMENTS ARE DONE 4 OR MORE WEEKS PRIOR TO HONEY SUPERS GOING ON. This way there isn’t any chance that some meds might get into the finished product.