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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Las Cruces, NM USA
    Posts
    20

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    I kept bees before all the bad things happen to beekeeping(mites,etc) Now that I am returning, I have been trying to catch up and read as much as possible.

    Question #1 Why were the feral bees desimated by mites since they are mostly small bees from correspondingly small comb?

    Question#2 Does the smaller cell size cause a problem when bees are trying to move stores when feeding larvae? I know there are honeys that crystallize quickly(dandelion) and the bees have to add water to the stores to make it into a more fluid food for larvae. Pollen, is also a food that can get like little rocks when not soften by water and nectar. This can be seen when one extracts combs that have some pollen included. Does this not also prove a "stress" on bees?

    Question #3 If a small percent of cells around the perifery of brood combs were dedicated to drone size, would this necessarily lead to drone brood rather than being filled with honey and pollen?

    I understand that an older queen (or colony itself) might sense the upcoming need of a drone population but are they just normally predisposed to create drone brood? We all hate to see the big fat drones eating up all the good honey, but I wonder if a certain percent of drone population may be necessary for a strong hive. Not having dealt with V. mites , this may appear as a foolish question. However, I wonder if we are losing more than we think by iradicating all the drone we can find? I know that bees will tear down regular cells and build drone cells when they feel the need. Do they consume more honey in this indeavor than the resulting drone could consume. The estimate is that it takes 8#'s of honey to create 1# of wax.

    I commend your "natural" approach to beekeeping and hope you will overlook any naivete' on my part.

    Lincoln

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,458

    Post

    Dee can give you her perspective. Here's my perspective of her perspective

    >Question #1 Why were the feral bees desimated by mites since they are mostly small bees from correspondingly small comb?

    Dee and Ed Lusby say that the "natural" method is of three parts. Natural comb (size and positioning) which the feral bees were doing. Food (honey and pollen not syrup and soy flour) whicn the feral bees were doing. Genetics. The feral bee population is made up mostly of escaped bees that we bred for other criteria than survival of the mites. Many died from the mites and some survived. The survivors seem to be doing well.

    >Question#2 Does the smaller cell size cause a problem when bees are trying to move stores when feeding larvae? I know there are honeys that crystallize quickly(dandelion) and the bees have to add water to the stores to make it into a more fluid food for larvae. Pollen, is also a food that can get like little rocks when not soften by water and nectar. This can be seen when one extracts combs that have some pollen included. Does this not also prove a "stress" on bees?

    Do you mean difficult to remove from a small cell vs a large cell? I see no difference to the bees. They take it a little bit at a time anyway.

    >Question #3 If a small percent of cells around the perifery of brood combs were dedicated to drone size, would this necessarily lead to drone brood rather than being filled with honey and pollen?

    From my experience the bees tend to fill the drone size at the top and sides with honey. Near the bottom or in the middle they seem to lay drone in.

    >I understand that an older queen (or colony itself) might sense the upcoming need of a drone population but are they just normally predisposed to create drone brood? We all hate to see the big fat drones eating up all the good honey, but I wonder if a certain percent of drone population may be necessary for a strong hive.

    I can't say what Dee Lusby will say, but as I understand her system they allow for a certain amount of drone by leaving a small space at the bottom of the foundation. I think drones are necessary.

    >Not having dealt with V. mites , this may appear as a foolish question. However, I wonder if we are losing more than we think by iradicating all the drone we can find?

    Dee is simply saying you don't want more than 10% drone. She doesn't advacate no drone brood.

    >I know that bees will tear down regular cells and build drone cells when they feel the need. Do they consume more honey in this indeavor than the resulting drone could consume.

    They just rearrange the wax. I've watched them.

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