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  1. #61
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    Jun 2002
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    Oceano, California, USA
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    467

    Post

    Jean-Marc, Texas Mission is one of the traditional pollinator varities for almonds. There are others used more nowdays, as with it's hard shell it brings in less money.

  2. #62
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    Jul 2000
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    NE Calif.
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    The worst robbing I have seen was in a holding yard where hundreds of disoriented hives were stacked awaiting trucks to haul them back home.The weak ones were pounced on by hives still in the area that sensed an easy target.This doesnt happen every year or in all areas, but this year was a very fast bloom.

  3. #63
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    Mar 2005
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    Erin, NY /Florence SC
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    To add to Harrys' point, with over a million hives crowded into a 450 mile stretch of Almond country the extreme overpopulation vs available forage would seemingly make robbing a normal consequence of survival of the fittest.

  4. #64
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    Mar 2005
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    Erin, NY /Florence SC
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    To add to Harrys' point, with over a million hives crowded into a 450 mile stretch of Almond country the extreme overpopulation vs available forage would seemingly make robbing a normal consequence of survival of the fittest.

    Potentially though disease and pests may be and increased risk the quality of survior stock potential must me be pretty high also.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    mountain home, ar, usa
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    "you don't know what you are talking about and should do a whole lot of listening and much less preaching"...

    yes, a very good description of what condescending is, thanks Harry.

    My intent is to point out that mites don't transfer in significant numbers from one hive to another. If bees robbed another hive, the most conjested part of the hive is the brood nest (where most of the mites are), and robbers are not going to go through the conjestion. So, give me a viable mechanism for mite transfer in the thousands, from one hive to another. No one has even suggested a method that is plausible.

    My statement "Robbing seldom occurs during any kind of flow, so it's unlikely during almonds" is true. AFTER the almond flow is another matter, and if you leave your bees around after almonds then that's a risk you take (robbing).

    There is a mechanism for small hive beetle transfer... the adults can fly into any hive and lay eggs. There is no mechanism for large mite transfer, which is why it doesn't occur. If someone lost a hive to mites, it wasn't due to someone elses hive.

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
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    949

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    Dear Curry,
    You got me there, and I'm sorry if my comments were a bit harsh. O.K.?
    Here's what I see when reading through your posts in this thread:
    You are Bright.
    You are literate.
    You have zeal!
    I respect you already!
    O.K. Now to your points:

    >>yes, a very good description of what condescending is, thanks Harry.<<

    Guilty as charged. Sorry Curry.

    >>My intent is to point out that mites don't transfer in significant numbers from one hive to another. If bees robbed another hive, the most conjested part of the hive is the brood nest where most of the mites are, and robbers are not going to go through the conjestion. So, give me a viable mechanism for mite transfer in the thousands, from one hive to another. No one has even suggested a method that is plausible.<<

    Here you are only guilty of lack of information.
    Nobody knows everything.
    Crack the books!

    >>My statement "Robbing seldom occurs during any kind of flow, so it's unlikely during almonds" is true. AFTER the almond flow is another matter, and if you leave your bees around after almonds then that's a risk you take (robbing).<<

    Are you a commercial Beekeeper? You have to understand the massive and daunting reletionship between the beekeeper and the grower. Many growers will not release the hives until EVERY SINGLE PEDAL HAS FALLEN! Others are slow in returning calls etc...etc.. So here we are up in Oregon, trying to second guess pedal fall.
    Have you ever been in that position?
    OOPS that was condescending, sorry!

    >>There is no mechanism for large mite transfer, which is why it doesn't occur. If someone lost a hive to mites, it wasn't due to someone elses hive.<<

    Dear Curry,
    We are on the same side. We are both beekeepers that have energy and drive for the industry. Please don't make statements like the last one that exposes your lack of knowledge.
    Before you post an embarrasing statement for all of the world to see, make sure of its factuality.

    We are all at some point on the learning curve.
    Harry
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,113

    Post

    >There is no mechanism for large mite transfer, which is why it doesn't occur. If someone lost a hive to mites, it wasn't due to someone elses hive.

    I would disagree. In my observation, a strong hive robbing a hive crashing from Varroa mites brings back a very significant number of mites. Others have observed the same.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Salem, Oregon
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    I have always considered Dr. Marion Ellis to know what he's talking about, Curry, but maybe he doesn't and I should have been listening to you instead.
    Check out:
    http://ianrpubs.unl.edu/insects/g1302.htm

    And I quote" The most serious spread of varroa occurs in colonies where the social structure has been weakened by mite infestation. As these colonies lose the ability to defend their nests, many varroa mites disperse on robbing bees."

    Now thats Dr. Ellis speaking, Curry.

    But I prefer your view. Therefore, I will remove the mites from hy hives and never, EVER become reinfested from the outside again.

    My good clean bees will go to California and rob away with total impunity. IN FACT, as soon as I get off of this computer, I'm going to call my breeders and ask them to start selecting for robbing behavior!
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  9. #69
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Whitefield, Maine USA
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    6,624

    Post

    >>I'm going to call my breeders and ask them to start selecting for robbing behavior!

    It's already been done, they're called "Italians" [img]smile.gif[/img]

    George-
    Dulcius ex asperis

  10. #70
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
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    3,598

    Post

    It's already been done, they're called "Italians"

    HEY!!

    my bee's resemble that compliment!

    Dave

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    mountain home, ar, usa
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    " The most serious spread of varroa occurs in colonies where the social structure has been weakened by mite infestation. As these colonies lose the ability to defend their nests, many varroa mites disperse on robbing bees."

    This statement was under the heading "SPREAD". Of course varroa mites spread by various methods... drones, as M. Bush mentioned in a previous post (which Harry, I think you failed to read because you couldn't figure out why I was responding to that). Also, mites spread by robbing bees, as others have mentioned. And I have much respect for those that are postulating ideas for mite transfer, but not so much respect for those that are just interested in banter.

    But once again, the issue at hand is there ENOUGH transfer of mites to put a hive in danger of collapsing from varroa? The quote given says that "many" varroa disperse with robbing bees.

    I can respect, though disagree, with Michaels statement that robbing bees can bring back significant numbers of mites. But again, unless "significant" is in the thousands, it is not going to cause a hive to crash. How is a hive going to get thousands of mites by by-passing the brood nest, where most of the mites are?

    Just because I've never seen it happen, doesn't mean that someone else hasn't. But until I am given a plausible mechanism for transferring thousands of mites, I just am not going to worry about my hives in almonds crashing from someone elses hives.

    And Harry, believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear. Don't just accept someone else's statements, because history has shown a good many statements as incorrect. Don't believe what I'm saying... go find out for yourself.

    And I see that you are fairly new to this forum. What's really great about this forum is that it is not used to badger people- just to exchange information. I hope you enjoy it.

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
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    >>And I see that you are fairly new to this forum.<<

    Yes, but not new to beekeeping; which is more important?

    >>I can respect, though disagree, with Michaels statement that robbing bees can bring back significant numbers of mites. But again, unless "significant" is in the thousands, it is not going to cause a hive to crash. How is a hive going to get thousands of mites by by-passing the brood nest, where most of the mites are?<<

    I have the answer to your nagging question, Brother Curry!
    And here it is:
    Reread your question!
    You have absolutly no clue about the subject that you are "bantering" about. NO CLUE!
    I am doing you a favor here. You know about the awkward situation where the guy at work has a bad case of B.O. and no one has the heart to tell him because he's a good guy????
    Curry! You are a good guy!
    We're on your side! You're sharp!
    Please learn to listen.

    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Oceano, California, USA
    Posts
    467

    Post

    "But once again, the issue at hand is there ENOUGH transfer of mites to put a hive in danger of collapsing from varroa? The quote given says that "many" varroa disperse with robbing bees."

    Yes.

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >How is a hive going to get thousands of mites by by-passing the brood nest, where most of the mites are?

    How does a robber bee walk in the bottom entrnace (typical entrance for a hive) and get to the supers while bypassing the brood nest? In the end the robbers will rob out every cell in the hive and crawl over every inch of comb multiple times finishing up the cleanout. How can they NOT come into contact with thousands of mites in a crashing hive? Have you watched a crashing hive get completely robbed out?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
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    <<But until I am given a plausible mechanism for transferring thousands of mites>>

    If a hive is broodless then all of the mites are phoretic.

    Any workers not killed in the initial fight will drift to neighboring hives after their's is cleaned out.

    Resulting in nearly ALL of the mites from the robbed hive being transferred to neighboring hives.

  16. #76
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
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    949

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    >>>And Harry, believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear.<<<

    This is, hands down, THE WORST beekeeping advise I have ever read.

    One of the great benefits of being human is the ability to read, listen and then comprehend incredibly complex concepts.

    Or do we flush all of the billions of hours of work, research and experience that has gone before us and then all start from scratch?
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  17. #77
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    San Jose CA
    Posts
    164

    Post

    We somehow skipped over Joel's comment and went straight to arguing over mite infestation and attacking each other....

    > ...it's about the fact that if we have similar situation
    > as South America (very likely) what are we doing to deal
    > with the problem and how will we carry on. Now we can
    > stick our head in the sand and say, no worrys mate. Or
    > we can work to research and discuss what is most likely
    > to happen and determine how a factor that completely
    > changed beekeeping in much of South America and Mexico
    > will effect us in our litigenous American Society.

    There are beekeepers in South America and Africa who are managing to farm bees for both honey and migratory pollination but the sources are limited because the language barrier prevents wide coverage of their techniques. Only a few examples pop up when browsing, and it is not clear how much can be adapted to beekeeping here.

    Based on information that is available on the web:

    - In Mexico beekeepers use Langstroths, are ruthless about destroying aggressive AHB queens and active in re-queening cannibalized hives with their own queens that are hybridized towards the gentler side of the spectrum.
    - The Jackson hives/frames out of Africa lessen the exposure to aggressive bees during harvesting, reduce the risk of capensis that Rob Harrison mentioned, and are strong enough to be trucked for pollination.

    The Mexican methods are very labor intensive.

    Rob Harrison mentioned capensis invasion as a bigger threat than mites, and the 32x20x9 Jackson appears to defeat invasion because the nest is not disturbed to harvest honey or check the hive. It sounds too simple, but supposedly the queen's pheronomes are strong enough to prevent the invading capensis workers from laying eggs because the pheronomes are not dispersed as happens when a Langstroth is opened.

    Being a cross between Langstroth and TBH, the Jackson appears suitable for migratory pollination because it would stack readily in a truck. The doweled frames are strong and do not suffer from comb failure like a TBH. The bees being used in Africa undoubtedly have nasty natures because many hives are hoisted 8' above the ground in trees. The reasons given are to protect the hive from predatory damage, but unsaid is that it also puts the flying patterns above people.

    The Jackson is a variation on the double length Langstroth which has been used with success by some beekeepers. Almond pollination is the whipping post of the day.

    Wouldn't it be great to have some empirical experience from a beekeeper who used natural or small cell comb in the brood nest of a double length Langstroths supered at the rear?

    If those hives did not suffer mightily from Varroa infestation after the flow it would suggest there are viable strategies that can be readily adopted.

    JP

  18. #78
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    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    >Wouldn't it be great to have some empirical experience from a beekeeper who used natural or small cell comb in the brood nest of a double length Langstroths supered at the rear?

    I've had several double wides on small/natural cell. I currently have one that is Deeps (9 1/4" frames) and one that is Dadant deeps (11 1/4" frames). Both are 22 frames or so. But I super them at the front and force the bees to go through the super to get into the hive so they will not ignore it and keep moving the brood nest to the rear so I don't have to lift supers to get to it. Other than the small cell, what does it have to do with Varroa?

    I do like the idea of having frames with solid top bars so you get the calm, closed effect of a TBH and yet the support of a frame. I've been thinking how I want build the frames for a while.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  19. #79
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    mountain home, ar, usa
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    378

    Post

    "Any workers not killed in the initial fight will drift to neighboring hives after their's is cleaned out. Resulting in nearly ALL of the mites from the robbed hive being transferred to neighboring hives."

    My experience with robbed out hives is that most of the bees remain with their hive and die out from starvation. But, this at least, is a very worthwhile thought and I appreciate the idea.

    And I appreciate Michaels comments about robbing bees... and yes they do comb every inch of honey and lick it dry, but what interest would they have in the brood nest? And, after the hive is empty, they're gone, and it doesn't take long for them to empty one. But I do appreciate and think about these ideas.

    Harry, I thank my lucky stars that I've never just done beekeeping by how others think I should- it would be a pain in the rear. I enjoy beekeeping because I HAVEN'T listened to the PhD's, and other know-it-alls. I test everything, and question everything for myself. And yes, I do read and study much (I found this site before you...), but I only test what I read, not accept it.

    I've come to the conclusion that losing bees from mites is similar to accountability of CEO's. CEO's who don't meet expectations always blame their losses on the weather (hurricane Katrina will be this quarters). Likewise, I'm convinced that beekeepers who suffer large losses have to blame something else- and what a great excuse, as luck would have it, that %$#&@ beekeeper next to me who had tons of mites... if it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have lost half my hives!

    My bees are finishing up in soybeans right now, and I'll be moving them to a holding yard in California for almonds here shortly. And, yes, I'm sure my strong hives which just built up on soybeans will rob out some of y'alls weak hives that was lucky to get some goldenrod- but I, for one, will not blame your hives if I lose some to varroa. You, however, may feel free to blame me for robbing your hives out!

    Sorry to beat this subject to death, but I can't think of a more important subject in beekeeping today... and IF mites can transfer en masse, and destroy a nearby hive, I think that would be valuable info. On the other hand, IF they don't, I think that is VERY valuable info to beekeepers in almonds. It's very hard to see mites on robbing bees because they don't just hang around and let you see them. The only way I've been able to make my conclusions is by keeping mite counts of various hives, and seeing if there is any significant changes after robbing, or by being near a heavily infested hive. I just haven't seen any appreciable changes in mite counts afterwards. Any other ideas on how to make a definative test?

  20. #80
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    San Jose CA
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    164

    Post

    > Other than the small cell, what does it have to do with Varroa?

    This thread has focused on almond pollination, and the longest repartee has been arguing about the validity or otherwise of massive mite infestations that occur because of robbing.

    Huge numbers of hives
    --> Robbing
    --> Severe Varroa infestations

    TBHs/Jackson hives have the reputation of handling mites better than Langstroths (natural comb cells and an undisturbed brood nest are said to be key contributing factors).

    Premise: Double wides on small cell comb or natural combs are a close facsimile to TBH/Jackson so prima facie, they should be able to cope with mite infestations better than regular Langstroths.

    Use the almond orchards as a live 'laboratory' environment.

    If double wides are not as affected by mites at the end of the bloom as regular hives there would be anecdotal evidence that double wides help bees help themselves.

    You have mentioned before that small cell means mites are not a big problem for you in any hives, and you run TBHs, Langstroths, and double wides.

    Do your double wides and TBHs handle mites any better than your regular Langstroths?

    > I do like the idea of having frames with solid top bars
    > so you get the calm, closed effect of a TBH and yet the
    > support of a frame. I've been thinking how I want build
    > the frames for a while.

    Have you considered Jackson frames? Each end of the top bar is drilled with 1/2" holes into which you glue a length of dowel. If you use something waterproof like Gorilla Glue you do not need to staple a nail through the bar into the dowel. The result is very rigid. If you want a bottom bar you screw it into the end of the dowel (easier than the original design which uses 1/4" dowel drilled into the 1/2" dowel).

    JP

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