Its all coffee shop talk, the whole lot of it
SQKCRK, you are just dizzy from watching the pea and the 3 shells. (which shell has hte pea under it)
I put up a calculation sheet which uses the correlation found between outside daily maximum air temperature and egg laying of the honeybee queen. This has been found by the bee scientist Bretschko and verified by the scientists Bergmann & Bergmann, which also developed a formula.
From there you can calculate all sorts of things, like number of capped cells, number of nurse bees and such. Of course those numbers are estimated values only. But nevertheless very useful for hive management. I super the hive with new foundation, when there is a significant number of capped cells hatching. Also I know roughly when they start swarming which is when the ratio between bees and brood starts to sink again under 120 % after peaking in Spring.
The use of the sheet also allows minimal hive inspection, since you know how they develop. Also it allows to discover when somethings going wrong. If you calculated a certain development and it does not happen, somethings going wrong. (Helpful with poisoning incidents.) And so on. Bottom line. I find it useful to backup my gut feeling.
One drawback: you have to estimate the number of bees and brood cells when they start to brood again in the midst of the winter. Which is February here. You do not need to open all hives, though.
Since this model worked very well for me, I wonder how the numbers compare to Tim's reports.
Oh the suspense......
Which was what? 90 lbs per hive?
My head is spinning reading this thread. I guess I'll never understand the nuances here, at least not until I buy a hummerbee.
But, I can figure a few things out, and, I do like Ian's numbers, easy to figure.
(900 x 180 x $per_pound) - $cost = $bragging_rights.
All the other banter, it's just fluff. CRA / IRS are the true judge of who wins the $bragging_rights competition. In the end, it's all about money, not honey, and it's only the taxable part that you can spend on the fun stuff, so that's all that matters in the end, what's the bottom line, taxable, after expenses......
DOH, now it suddenly makes sense, it's september, the month to feed. You guys feed the trolls when it's the season to feed the bees. Suddenly it all starts to make sense.
Ian, one thing I would like to take away from this... 'Conjecture' is a little insight into your management style, as it seems to work for you... When you pull 8 deeps off of your single do you add a double brood chamber and winter it that way then bust it back in the spring or just let the extra bees die off? Also do you have trouble forcing that many into a single deep using escapes? Sorry to go off topic
I don't think that there's going to be a huge amount of difference in honey production, deep for deep, when comparing standard practices vs what Tim is doing.
However, in terms of commercial operations, Tim is as organic as you can get under the circumstances. His hives are not only sustainable, but Tim has achieved some degree of permaculture.
Let's not forget his use of 'ferals', as well as his use of tower hives.
He's not using treatments of any kind, and he is not using supplemental feeding either. Something I would call probiotic beekeeping.
Add to that that his hives are productive to such an extent, that he's having logistical issues.
I would characterize his form of 'commercial beekeeping' to be so significantly different, that it's something remarkably new.
Don't get stuck on the honey production issue. It's not that important to the bigger picture.
We can only hope that it can be successfully replicated by other beekeepers.
The other stuff is peripheral in my opinion.
There are some recent experiments using bee condos that showed some promise as well.
My point is this: why aren't more of us trying to see if this type of beekeeping works?
There's a very real moral imperative in play here.
I think the people that have been commenting in this thread and those that subscribed to the thread but don't post are very interested in Tim's approach to bee keeping. But want to know the what/why/where/hows to all of it.
Many of the people commenting might just want to understand his methods before investing in this approach. Based on the quantity of woodenware required there would need to be a good amount invested in that.
(This comment- not meant to be a dig at you) Commercial means this is their livelihood and not everyone wants to make the leap before taking the time to understand. I can relate, I run my own consulting business and if I know an investment I make is sure to pay off then you bet I'm going to make it. If I'm not sure, I want to do everything I can to understand before making the final decision.
It seems like there are many interested in his methods, but are having a hard time piecing together the details. We all have our motives. Some want to know the honey crop while others like myself want to incorporate some of his methods with the methods from other seasoned beekeepers to form a sustainable form of beekeeping for my locale.
Would you be willing to start a new thread that shows / explains a more detailed approach to your bee keeping?
I've watched you're youtube videos and am blown away with what your doing, but would love to understand some of the key fundamentals to your method. It'd be great to understand your methods on a finer level. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
Perhaps you don't understand why sustainable forms of commercial beekeeping are a moral rather than a financial imperative.
It's simply because there are too many issues surrounding current forms of commercial beekeeping.
If someone like Tim Ives has achieved a form of sustainable commercial beekeeping, then it becomes the moral thing to do.
If it's also as lucrative, then it can become a best practice.
I've been in the Founders' Room of a LEED Platinum skyscraper that has a recently installed green roof, and a couple of bee hives as well.
It's an example of how a moral imperative can also achieve a financial one. Nearby property values have increased as a result, and it's a model green building.
that's the conclusion i came to as well. in my area, in a good year, it's possible to get 5 medium supers of harvestable honey without feeding syrup using a single deep. i think the biggest factor that allows for tim's impressive harvest per hive is that he has found locations that give him 3 months of 'main flow'
there are a number of us using 'ferals', but none that i know of that are able to work them without protection. a more gentle hive here and a more defensive one there is what seems reasonable. with the genetic diversity that tim has across his operation, it seems incredible that all of his colonies can be worked without protection
this is the commercial forum wlc, you and i aren't part of 'us'. i think tim probably has gotten the attention of some of the bigger honey producers, although his methods may not be applicable to all locations
i'm still trying to understand the mechanism for tim's five years and more on queen longevity.
I would love to achieve sustainable permaculture with a tower hive with hybrid Honeybees.
Don't forget, I've got marked/clipped queens in my hives. I mean the BeeWeavers (commercial queens).
PS-You posted your comments inside the quote bubble. Not outside.
There are a lot of bees to fit into the single chamber, but its all about timing. Here the queen starts to slow down brood production in Aug and into Sept. As we push the bees down into the single in September, a lot of those summer foraging bees have died off already, but still see beards on the hives all the same. Those bees die off throughout September, and by the time we move the hives into storage in November the winter cluster is mostly what we see.
I managed both single and double arrangements for many years. the doubles would tend to go into winter with larger cluster. I found that the cluster in both arrangements were mostly the same by spring.