I am starting this topic in response to a private email from John Sewell, in which we talked about new beekeepers getting started and "Growing up (working up) their operations in bee numbers using naturally smaller cell size foundations, specificially with an end purpose of having an Organic/Natural/Traditional, yet commercial level beekeeping operation.
Comments to begin....Anyone??
Are we assuming that the new beekeeper is starting with zero hives or already has a few "standard" hives going? Given the parameters are getting an operation going that would be considered commercial, growth in the shortest time possible is an important factor. The other issue I see is how would an existing commercial outfit convert over to an Organic/Natural/Traditional way of beekeeping. Two scenarios that require two different approaches. Which one are we wanting to dive into?
I think that most commercial (I call that 40 hives or more, due to UK insurance division here) beekeepers will be unlikely to put all their eggs in one basket, even with my few colonies I'm going to run the 2 sizes together, 'tho in different apiaries. It means I utilise the brood and eggs from shakedowns and have colonies to crop from.
This is in reply to Johnsewell's post of 12-06-2000 08:48 AM
Let's make a distinction here before too much dialogue gets posted on this topic.
We will talk here about growing up an outfit from brandnew here or converting an existing hobby or sideline out here.
For those converting a commercial size outfit, you will need to discuss on the topic listed as: Commercial converting to Organic/Natural/Tradtional ways of beekeeping.
For further guidlines we will use USA hive count standards for category definition:
1-49 equates with hobbyst
50-299 equates with sideline beekeeper
300 or higher, equates with professional/commercial beekeeper operation
This is not to say sideline beekeepers are not commercially keeping bees, as many have to carry the same insurance, post accounting books the same as commercial beekeepers, but the schematics of the dialogue dictated to by the numbers of colonies involved will require different approaches, consequently, there must be a breakout for ease of discussion for solving the problems of thought, so beekeepers replying/discussing can get the help here they require.
Hopefully all submitting discussion will get their questions answered to help themselves.
Then keep in mind guys, pass the information along to keep it growing, to help others come thru the tunnel with their bees too.
[This message has been edited by Dee A. Lusby (edited 12-06-2000).]
I've just joined this group. At present I have 45 colonies in Upstate NY and will be increasing to 100 to 200 hives. I plan to converting 10 colonies to 4.9 foundation as a test this year, maybe next. In your POV you said that diet played 1/3, and breeding 1/3. Could you you discuss diet as it applies to the beekeepers part(feeding,ect.)? Also, I use carniolans will there bee any differences in your answer to the above because of race?
In your post of 12-09-2000, 08:34 you wrote:
In your POV you said that diet played 1/3, and breeding 1/3. Could you you discuss diet as it applies to the beekeepers part(feeding,ect.)?
Sure Clayton, Basically if one believes that you are what you eat and diet can pre-disposition a body to disease by not having all nutrients on hand to fight infections, then by using a whole body concept, that would also encompass the keeping of livestock of which bees are a part, it would mean that they should be on a diet as natural as possible relative to the real world for optium survival.
Basicially what this means is that I advocate a diet without supplements of any artificial source that the bees themselves could not procure. Therefore, we only feed out bees back honey, pollen, or propolis when they need it, as that is what they would have to harvest in the wild to survive. It also means placing them back onto a natural system, including comb cell size, so they are in harmony by size ratio to the plants around them, so that they can gather a whole balanced diet for optium health.
Clayton, you also wrote:
Also, I use carniolans will there bee any differences in your answer to the above because of race?
No. Further you will find that names of bees are names place upon them by man. No matter what stock line you purchase, the environment will work it around to fit the locality the bees are kept in for survival.So if you place them on 4.9 foundation you will have small black bees on 4.9 foundation for lack of another word. Think about this too! by all bees being on enlarged 5.4mm foundation whether Italian,Carnolian or Caucasian stock now, what is the difference relative to same size foundation sizing, other than the fact they are now too big and dying from parasites and disease because of it.
Put them on small natural foundation, feed them a proper diet and the races/strains are still the same you would have to work with. Basically, yellow bees and black bees and hybrids of both, with names labeled as suits man only, not the bees.
Very best regards to you. May you make your goal of 200 hives.