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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
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    3,598

    Post

    I shouldn't have made a comment like that but the line

    >telling me I am reading too much.

    made me spew coffee all over my keyboard [img]smile.gif[/img]
    you have to understand that when you get into these issues your falling into the squabble between people who want to control nature and people who want to work with her
    I'm really not doing small cell
    I'm doing natural cell
    just give em a narrow strip of foundation to get em started and then let em build what they want
    I don't have much experience but I have read a lot and my take on the issue is this
    humans for the last 200 years have been doing stuff to make the bees do what we want
    we put em in boxes like we want
    we give em frames of foundation so they build nice straight combs that are convinient for us to manipulate
    we steal there food and feed em sugar water
    the list is long
    all these thing stress the bees
    up till recently, they handled it ok
    now the t and v mites come along
    the bees are getting pounded
    the stuff we do ain't helping
    maybe we should back off and let the bees do what they want a little
    maybe we can help em a bit and they'll figure out how to handle the mites
    I might be all wrong but I sure like this idea better that trying to find a better pesticide to put in hives to kill mites, thats just not a road I want to go down

    I'm sure the master beekeeper was just trying to help you get started without getting you to confussed with alternative ideas, but read all you can here and you'll find many folks who don't want to be on the pesticide bandwagon and are looking for a way off

    Dave

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,603

    Post

    A friend of mine, Dale Morse, hasn't used pesticides for over 5 years. He makes splits with the colonies that survive the winter and adds Hardeman Russians to them. He makes a crop of honey and doesn't worry about his mite counts.

    Of course you could join the Natural Beekeeping Club and only harvest honey from feral colonies in trees or building spaces. Then you wouldn't be trying to make the bees do what you want them to.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hotlanta, GA
    Posts
    475

    Post

    I'm hearing of more and more people who can maintain their bees on 5.4 without chems now and still get great yields. This is all just from passing comments so I have no empirical date, but it sure seems like maybe bee genetics are catching up with the varroa problem?

    I personally can't say from experience because I've been all SC from day one. But it stands to reason that natural selection will eventually produce mite resistant bees on its own. I can say that I've never done anything in regards to varroa anyways as the small hive beetle is 100 times worse of a problem than varroa for me.

    edit: whoops I just noticed there's a thread in diseases exactly on this topic

    [size="1"][ March 20, 2006, 11:30 AM: Message edited by: Branman ][/size]
    Ask two beekeepers, get three answers

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Post

    Eventually, maybe, bees will evolve to exist with mites. I don't think it will happen for quite a bit. Until them I use hygenics on small/natural cell.

    Better safe than sorry seems to fit here.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    597

    Post

    To Malone "You say with your experience large bees carry more honey. Please tell us your experience regarding your history with large cell beekeeping verses Small cell beekeeping? How long have you kept bees on large cells and how long have you kept bees on small cells?
    "

    I have nursed bees 45 years. I have had many races and many size bees. I live on 60 north latitude = Alaska Anchorage. My average yield is now 160 lbs. Every hive survived over winter. Varroa makes no harm.

    My best colonies have been large size. I don't remember any good hives which have had mini size bees. I have no reason to use mini cells or mini bees.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Post

    Sundance pointed out:
    "Eventually, maybe, bees will evolve to exist with mites. I don't think it will happen for quite a bit."

    I have to agree, especially since it will take the existence of genetic material to accomplish this, and as the professionals in genetics point out, that material/information has to exist in order to be passed on to the new generation. I suppose there is the extremely rare examples of mutations. But most all that I've heard of being documented with are more likely detrimental mutations rather than beneficial mutations. But perhaps we Could get that to happen if we exposed them to a burst of Gamma radiation.

    Then again, we wouldn't be able to run the risk of making them mad because they would turn green, rip their hives apart, and thrash the neighborhood.
    Oh, yeah, and split their pants.
    Waya
    WayaCoyote

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    597

    Post

    .
    People forget that mite evolves faster than bee, because it produces faster generations. Beginners seems often hope that they are just the one which resolves huge problem. And they are adult people.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,649

    Post

    Finman, are you also Finsky from the Beemaster's International forum?

    If you are, I have read that you use only oxalic acid trickling for mite control with good success. Have you experimented with any of your hives since you began treating hives for varroa by not treating after a few seasons?

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    597

    Post

    I am same.

    I killed first varroa hive 1982.

    I use normal commercial queens and I do not try raise no varroa resistant stocks or any my own stocks. It is nonsence if you want good honey yields.
    I have studied so much genetics in University that I do not try achieve any gloria with "varroa resistant bees". It is not easy to anybody. If you live on tah earea of Africanized bees then you succeed.

    I know one in Finland who use small cell and Elqon bees and he says that he do not use treatment ( Monticola blood from Africa.) But in South Africa varroa has destroyed hives fast.

    Varroa is not a problem here if you take care of bees. Almost all feral bees have vahished here.

    Things go well with trickling.
    .

  10. #30

    Post

    I'm hearing of more and more people who can maintain their bees on 5.4 without chems now and still get great yields. This is all just from passing comments so I have no empirical date, but it sure seems like maybe bee genetics are catching up with the varroa problem?

    I personally can't say from experience because I've been all SC from day one. But it stands to reason that natural selection will eventually produce mite resistant bees on its own.
    Branman,

    I got into beekeeping about 6 years ago (and later took a few years off), and it seems to me that today, I've heard of more beekeepers in my town who claim to see no varroa problems (ie no dieoff or major weakening of the colony from PMS) than when I started. These are people who have been using foundation (conventional large cell) and not treating in any way.

    This is not universal in any way (Marshall's Honey, which is a largish cottage-industry semi-commercial outfit, reports that they lose half of their (small) organic line to mites every year, and they seemed to know nothing about small cell or soft treatments)

    My top bar hive friends here (and I) also report the same thing, but I"d assume this has to do with natural cell use to some extent and therefore natural cell sizing. BUt it surprised me when I recently met owners of several Langstroth large-cell-foundation hives who have healthy colonies that overwinter well without major Varroa problems.

    [size="1"][ April 07, 2006, 12:41 AM: Message edited by: girl Mark ][/size]
    urban top bar hives in Oakland and Berkeley, CA...

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    597

    Post

    girl Mark:"But it stands to reason that natural selection will eventually produce mite resistant bees on its own. "

    May be but not during your life time. There are 100 times more evidence that varroa continues spreading than it becomes rare.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Lyndon, KS
    Posts
    357

    Post

    Question is this: Will the bees evolve to survive the mites OR since mites have faster generations will the mites evolve to survive the bees........see it is of no use for the mite to kill the colony as then their generations die too.......a parasitic mite can only survive if its host survives so one must surmise that the mite will evolve first to adapt to the bees.

    IMHO my small cell bees are in their 3rd year no treatment and going strong (even stronger than all the others)
    You have to stop and smell the roses......but please watch out for my bees.
    www.johnwaynehoney.com

  13. #33

    Post

    Hi Flewster,

    > IMHO my small cell bees are in their 3rd year no treatment and going strong (even stronger than all the others)
    >

    But how can that be, Finman claims small bees do not do as well as bigger bees? Maybe Finman has it wrong or has not experienced true small cell beekeeping, or perhaps Flewster does not know his own experience. I am confused. c]:~)>

    Also on the topic if the mites that kill their colonies were let to die instead of nursing them along with treatments all the bad mites will die and all that will be left are mites that allow the bees to survive or at least you will get bees that are mite resistant.
    . .. Keith Malone, Chugiak, Alaska,<br />c(((([ Apiarian <a href=\"http://takeoff.to/alaskahoney\" target=\"_blank\">http://takeoff.to/alaskahoney</a> <a href=\"http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akbeekeepers\" target=\"_blank\">http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akbeekeepers</a> <a href=\"http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Norlandbeekeepers\" target=\"_blank\">http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Norlandbeekeepers</a> <a href=\"http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ApiarianBreedersGuild/\" target=\"_blank\">http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ApiarianBreedersGuild/</a>

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,336

    Post

    Or mites that are coexistant.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Lyndon, KS
    Posts
    357

    Post

    I really think that the best solution is a coexistant mite as Michael says.....there is no way to eliminate them and so the best choice is to breed bees to be more hygenic and also to let the mites survive that do not kill our colonies......sounds weird but these mites have been coexisting with other bees for millinia so why not honeybees?......I am against chemical treatments and have found small cell beekeeping a joy as I don't worry as much about mites now....I have two small cell hives that are thriving and plan to split them this year or put on heavy feed and have them draw small cell frames for putting in my oher hives witht he goal of being all small cell in a few years.....works for me and of that I am certain no matter what others say........and BTW bees seem to start out tiny but "fluff" up to be a uniform size like i see in all my other hives so What i get are regular size bees hatching 1 day earlier and surviving the mites.......now would someone please refute my own observations and tell me that I am wron in what I am observing......I also have a natural comb observation hive that is thriving with the mites too......they coexist due to the shorter capping time which must break the mite cycle or at least keep it in check because I can see mites but they do no harm to this hive either.....great project and learnign tool for sure to observe the coexistance of mites and bees and to see the bees doing so well......
    You have to stop and smell the roses......but please watch out for my bees.
    www.johnwaynehoney.com

  16. #36

    Post

    Hi,

    &gt; I really think that the best solution is a coexistant mite as Michael says
    &gt;

    I agree, this is just what I was eluding to with my statement of; "if the mites that kill their colonies were let to die instead of nursing them along with treatments all the bad mites will die and all that will be left are mites that allow the bees to survive".
    So besides using small cells perhaps, just what else, or simply what, would be the best way to achieve this with the resources we have at our disposal?
    I do not put much credence in what Finman says about the situation because I firmly to not think he has given small cells a good go or try and he gives all credence to established treatment methods. Finman has never as of yet explained his experience with the use of smaller cells in his beekeeping as I asked him earlier in this thread. His methods gives way for bad genetics, super mites, and bees that survive because he allows them to by default of his methods.
    The topic of the subject here is "Disadvantage off Smaller bees", so someone who knows and has used small cells wholesale please explain the disadvantage of smaller bees and the use of smaller cells in the brood nest?
    I am using and have used small cells since 2002 and I see no disadvantages.

    I edited this post for misspelled words and I added to one sentence for clarity.

    [size="1"][ April 20, 2006, 12:21 AM: Message edited by: Keith Malone ][/size]
    . .. Keith Malone, Chugiak, Alaska,<br />c(((([ Apiarian <a href=\"http://takeoff.to/alaskahoney\" target=\"_blank\">http://takeoff.to/alaskahoney</a> <a href=\"http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akbeekeepers\" target=\"_blank\">http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akbeekeepers</a> <a href=\"http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Norlandbeekeepers\" target=\"_blank\">http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Norlandbeekeepers</a> <a href=\"http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ApiarianBreedersGuild/\" target=\"_blank\">http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ApiarianBreedersGuild/</a>

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    597

    Post

    Hi Malone. First: I have studied genetics in Helsinki university. I am master in science in bioloby. What I say that people here talk about evolution and they just don't understand the basics.

    People do not understand the work what beekeepers have done to select varroa resistant bee stock during tens of years. Where they have succeeded so that you may say that it is mite tolerant.

    We say that Russian bee tolerate varroa, but a lot of beekeepers say that varroa destroyed their Russians.

    Africanized colonies are contaminated with mites and they are alive. To be alive and gather honey is different question.

    When you read about Apis cerana and Apis mellifera selection, you may find that commercial bees are bigger than their feral relatives. WHY? because beekeepers have selected best producing stocks and best producing are bigger.

    I handle now mites with oxalic acid trickling. It not problem to me. Thanks to mites they killed feral bees. Now beekeeping is very calm job comapred with 20 years ago.

    It is all the same what you think about my sayings. I manage really well with my bees. Average yield 80 kg per hive on 60 northern latitude is surely good and if get better with small bees please let me know.

    The secret of good yield is good pastures. It is the same what bees are I there are not enough nectar in flowers. You are talking too much about mite and cell size.

    I use only commercial, usual bees. I do not even try to breed my own stock. It is difficult even for professionals who has 500 hives.

    The dream that every boy may find his own varroa tolerant bees stock is nonsence. Beginners who has not even any hive are ready to breed their own stock.

    And no one speak that mite is more stronger now in USA than ever. Why ? In most European countries varroa is any more problem but here very few speak about small cells or small bees.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Perkasie, PA
    Posts
    1,998

    Post

    Finman,
    You have a keen understanding of both biology and and management. Unfortunately many of the details of science seem to get lost or ignore on the WWW. People can't or don't wish to distinguish between single genes, phenotypes and production outcomes. All to often the main problem in an apiary has a first and last name. Its easy to blame bees, breeding industry, mites pesticides etc. Most of us would proud to have 1/2 of you honey production with any bee, at any latitude

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Helsinki, Finland
    Posts
    597

    Post

    To Aspera:

    My last wepon in beekeeping is that I put only 3 hives in one point and poit is really good. Even if you put one good hive in one bad pasture point you get no proper honey.

    My strategy is that bees get heavy load and fly short distance. This strategy means 3 or 5 fold yield compared to another point just 3 miles away where soil is dry. You loose 50% of yiled if bees must fly over 1 km.

    You alone put hives there where they are. You cannot buy "good pastures" like good queens. It is only you. You cannot blame others.

    Honey yields's biggest enemy is swarming, not varroa. You can get slow swarming stock and you may do many things if you know what to do.

    When you look USA's honey yield during period of varroa, it is same from year to year even if 30% of hives has gone. The rest bees have foraged same nectar from fields. It means over pasturing. Too many hives have been charing same yield.

  20. #40

    Post

    Hi Finman,

    &gt; Hi Malone. First: I have studied genetics in Helsinki university. I am master in science in bioloby. What I say that people here talk about evolution and they just don't understand the basics.
    &gt;

    Still did not answer my question on small cell experience. :confused:
    . .. Keith Malone, Chugiak, Alaska,<br />c(((([ Apiarian <a href=\"http://takeoff.to/alaskahoney\" target=\"_blank\">http://takeoff.to/alaskahoney</a> <a href=\"http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akbeekeepers\" target=\"_blank\">http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akbeekeepers</a> <a href=\"http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Norlandbeekeepers\" target=\"_blank\">http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Norlandbeekeepers</a> <a href=\"http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ApiarianBreedersGuild/\" target=\"_blank\">http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ApiarianBreedersGuild/</a>

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