Results 1 to 20 of 164

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,280

    Default "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Here it is. Between Barry's schedule and mine, it's taken a while. And do not ask me what I think of the word processing program that we have to use for this.

    Here's the link: http://www.beesource.com/2010/no-tre...bees-report-3/

    DO NOT post comments there. We'll discuss it here.

    Now, as background, this report came about because folks wanted data - dates, activities, results. This is not a scientific study, it is simply a report that will, when concluded, track 6 years of all of my hives. Beginning 4 seasons ago, and concluding in Dec. 2011.

    As indicated, it is a real pain getting the data in there and formatted, so please forgive any errors. I have all the summations in, and details on 3 on the 14 hives. I have the data for the other 11 hives in my word processing program in my computer, and will get it transferred as soon as possible. I hope you find this interesting and helpful. If not, just ignore it.

    For all the other reports and data that has been generated as a result of our discussions a few weeks ago about "Treatment Free", I think its exciting!
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Lexington, South Carolina
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Steven,
    Thanks for the report. I am new to beekeeping this will be my first year starting April 15th.

    So thanks for the information. I am going to try and go chemical free.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,081

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Hi Steven,
    Just finished reading the report. You did a great job writing it, even a construction worker like me can follow along without getting lost.

    Thanks,
    Dan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,280

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Brooklyn, in the words of Yoda, "Do not try. Do."
    My take on this is that if you don't start with the right bees, you will fail. If you panic and treat, you'll never get off the treatment treadmill. I don't mean "you" personally, I mean all of us. I am more nervous about beekeeping now than I ever was the first time around. I've been second-guessing myself for two years now, and won't really know how it works out for another year or two. Mainly because I've sacrified what I know about getting a honey crop to both go treatment free and rapidly expand.
    Good luck to you!
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Malabar, FL
    Posts
    1,268

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    very detailed, i look forward to reviewing you progress. Thanks.
    A government large enough to provide everything you need is strong enough to take everything you have. T. Jefferson

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,280

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Ok folks, data on all 14 hives is now entered. There are a few formatting problems, but I'll deal with that another time. Got to finish equipment so I can expand up to 32 hives this spring.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Kokomo, In
    Posts
    359

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Quote Originally Posted by ACBEES View Post
    I believe this thread was set up for reporting only. Discussion and comments should be posted at the "no treatment...do-ers only" thread. I believe discussion posts should be deleted from this thread by the moderator.
    Quote Originally Posted by StevenG View Post
    Here it is. Between Barry's schedule and mine, it's taken a while. And do not ask me what I think of the word processing program that we have to use for this.

    Here's the link: http://www.beesource.com/2010/no-tre...bees-report-3/

    DO NOT post comments there. We'll discuss it here.

    Regards,
    Steven

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,280

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    sorry folks, I've been out of town for 10 days.

    Regarding discussion - the report posted on the blog and this thread are set up for discussion of the report to occur here. Rationale is that we can keep the discussion focused on the report better here, than if it is part of a generalized discussion. That way if you ask a question, here, you know you'll find the answer to your specific question, here.

    Astrobee - regarding doing mite counts - I've been struggling with that thought. On the one hand I could have the kind of information you indicate, and that information might indicate mites were contributory to the death of the colony. On the other hand, if I do a mite count, and find the counts skyrocketing, I might be tempted to treat. Which would defeat my purpose in using and keeping resistant bees. On the third hand is the ever-present issue of time. Do I really want to use my time to test for something that is basically irrelevant to me? The ultimate test is if the colony dies or survives.

    Now, the colony that starved, and the one that almost starved, had no deformed wings. If I successfully deal with moisture, starvation, lack of pollen, queenlessness, etc etc etc, my bees should thrive. So at this point, that's what I'm focused on. Right or wrong, I'm sticking with my plan at this point. I've read some of the more scientifically oriented postings on this forum, and I've come to the conclusion that we sideliners or back-yarders can have too much information. So much so that it kind of paralyzes us into inaction, because we don't know which is the "right" course of action to take. Beeks test, treat, count, their colonies dies. Beeks don't test, treat, count, their colonies die. I may have gotten lucky this year - I didn't test, treat, or count, and only lost one colony, out of 14. We'll see what happens next winter.

    re: Critical - I didn't take your comment as being critical. In fact, I welcome suggestions and clarifying questions or comments.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,280

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Today, March 27, I inspected all the hives after being gone almost two weeks. The blog is updated, here's the link in case you need it:
    http://www.beesource.com/2010/no-tre...bees-report-3/

    The weather was not conducive to doing what I really wanted to do. It was a cool 58-60 degrees, overcast, chilly breeze. The bees were really, and I mean really, cranky. So I wore gloves for a change, and glad I did. I did get most everything done I needed to do. I did notice some mites on drone pupae when frames were removed for inspection. I messed up, didn't note count or hive they were in. Realized my mistake when headed to the next group of hives. I'll make that note next time. However, in about 4 dozen pupae, I only saw about 5 mites... in about 5 colonies. But, on me for not noting it in the journal. I could have guessed and gone back and entered it, but it would not have been accurate, so I didn't do it.

    Each time I work the hives irrespective of the weather, because I know they have to be worked, I have a deeper appreciation for the commercial beeks who do this all the time, fair weather or foul. You simply gotta do what you gotta do. I honor them for their hard work.

    If I didn't have to work, I'd not be so weather dependent. On Tuesday I'll feed the ones needing feeding, and prepare site named MARK B to receive 10 colonies when I get my nucs and make my splits. I'll do some of that next weekend, when weather permits, and will probably update the blog again then.

    Regarding the foundationless frames I added to hive #2 because they had drawn some comb: I was surprised how much comb they had drawn since installing the deep super. Unfortunately, it looks to be mainly drone comb. I understand they'll draw what they need, but I sure didn't want solid frames of drone comb. I'll see what the queen lays in those cells, to be sure. But its like they started drawing comb in two or three different points at the top of the frame, and where they joined the comb, it's rather wavy. New experience for me. It could be it was simply too early for them to draw worker comb...but they sure did want to draw comb.

    Remember, any questions or comments, post them here on this thread. Thanks!
    Regards,
    Steven
    Last edited by StevenG; 03-27-2010 at 05:10 PM. Reason: added information
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    This looks great.

    I do have a question about your queens. It appears that you have purchased queens for your requeening and splits. Is it your intent to continue to do this or will you start to rear your own queens?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,280

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Yes, I have purchased all my queens for requeening and splits to this point. This year I'm purchasing 6 MnHyg queens also, to add to the genetics. I wanted to be sure I had good genetics

    However, this year I also plan to make "walk away splits" and let several of my hives make their own queens. I hope to eventually get to the point where I raise my own queens. This year is the first step in that process. My guess is eventually I'll have "mutts", but I want to be sure they retain the survivability necessary.

    I will continue to purchase queens periodically, in order to keep the gene pool stirred up. lolol
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Dalkeith, Ont, Canada
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenG View Post
    Today, March 27, I inspected all the hives after being gone almost two weeks. The blog is updated, here's the link in case you need it:
    http://www.beesource.com/2010/no-tre...bees-report-3/

    The weather was not conducive to doing what I really wanted to do. It was a cool 58-60 degrees, overcast, chilly breeze. The bees were really, and I mean really, cranky. So I wore gloves for a change, and glad I did. I did get most everything done I needed to do. I did notice some mites on drone pupae when frames were removed for inspection. I messed up, didn't note count or hive they were in. Realized my mistake when headed to the next group of hives. I'll make that note next time. However, in about 4 dozen pupae, I only saw about 5 mites... in about 5 colonies. But, on me for not noting it in the journal. I could have guessed and gone back and entered it, but it would not have been accurate, so I didn't do it.

    Each time I work the hives irrespective of the weather, because I know they have to be worked, I have a deeper appreciation for the commercial beeks who do this all the time, fair weather or foul. You simply gotta do what you gotta do. I honor them for their hard work.

    If I didn't have to work, I'd not be so weather dependent. On Tuesday I'll feed the ones needing feeding, and prepare site named MARK B to receive 10 colonies when I get my nucs and make my splits. I'll do some of that next weekend, when weather permits, and will probably update the blog again then.

    Regarding the foundationless frames I added to hive #2 because they had drawn some comb: I was surprised how much comb they had drawn since installing the deep super. Unfortunately, it looks to be mainly drone comb. I understand they'll draw what they need, but I sure didn't want solid frames of drone comb. I'll see what the queen lays in those cells, to be sure. But its like they started drawing comb in two or three different points at the top of the frame, and where they joined the comb, it's rather wavy. New experience for me. It could be it was simply too early for them to draw worker comb...but they sure did want to draw comb.

    Remember, any questions or comments, post them here on this thread. Thanks!
    Regards,
    Steven
    What your doing is awesome, there is way to much speculation in the beekeeping community imho. On the drone comb, what I have read is when suddenly given the freedom to draw their own comb they will draw a lot of drone, my tb hives had less then a frame of drone comb and all of it was natural comb, a big selling point of foundation is the inhabitation of drone comb (imho)

    Sam.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,280

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Sam, I think you're right about the selling point of foundation - it inhibits drone comb. However, I've noticed while going thru my hives, how the bees will take perfectly good foundation, and make the biggest section of drone cells you can imagine! Either centered in the bottom of the frame, in a semi-circle, or a wave of drone cells going up one side of the comb.

    Several folks have observed that the bees will build what they need and want, irrespective of our desires. Soooo true! The swarm I just hived, I put in a deep box with one frame of old worker brood cells, and 9 frames of foundationless. I've read a new swarm will build worker comb, so I'll see. And if so, I'm going to keep those little darlings as a separate colony, not reunite them with their parent hive, and let them build as much worker foundationless comb as they want. As long as they keep building worker comb, I'll keep adding boxes of deep frames.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lamont, Florida, USA
    Posts
    181

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Steven - Thanks for all the hard work - your report is interesting and helpful.

    BeeCuz
    Last edited by Barry; 05-15-2010 at 05:49 AM. Reason: quotes

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,280

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Bumbles, thanks for the head's up on Bjorn Apiaries, I'll check them out. Regarding blogs, contact the moderator, Barry. I don't know what the criteria are for blogs. When the discussion developed around doing a study blog, Barry chimed in, and away we went.

    Beecuz, glad you find it interesting. I must admit, by doing the report, its forcing me to focus on better record-keeping, and it is amazing what I'm learning by that.

    FYI, i got this idea from Grant Gilliard. I take a spiral notebook with me, make my notes on each hive right after working it. Then return home, and transfer those notes into an organized ring binder. I check those notes before going out the next time, and make a list of things to do with the hives. Saves a lot of time, keeps me focused, and minimizes surprises. Except for the list of things to do, all those notes appear in the blog, unedited.
    Regards,
    Steven
    Last edited by StevenG; 05-15-2010 at 07:34 AM. Reason: added info
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Dalkeith, Ont, Canada
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    On the wax contamination issue, another problem is this same foundation wax keeps getting reused so the concentrations of those chems will only rise.
    Have you thought off adding feral bees to your collection? Especially survivors, feral colonies that are more then one year old?
    My blog @ Bee Crazy

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,280

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Hi Sam-smith. I think you're correct regarding the increasing level of contamination in foundation. It would be interesting to know if any of the major players in the foundation market would render a particular beek's wax into foundation, and what it would cost. My guess is, at this point, the beek couldn't afford it. But it would be interesting to know.

    Regarding feral bees: The supposition is that most of the truly feral bees have been killed off by varroa. I don't think that is correct, some have probably survived, but not many. Again, just supposition. But think how many bees you see in nature today? or in yards? Not nearly like it was 20 years ago. So regarding feral bees, I'm operating on the assumption they resulted from swarms from a beekeeper, and may or may not have the traits I want. Personally I do not clip my queens. I try to prevent swarming, but figure if a hive swarms, it is my contribution to reestablishing bees in the wild. Soon to become feral. I'll catch and trap any swarms I can, but I won't go out of my way looking for feral bees. Perhaps after I retire and have more time! Some beeks swear by ferals, and it makes sense to me. Just not my cup of tea at this time.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lamont, Florida, USA
    Posts
    181

    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenG View Post
    Hi Sam-smith. I try to prevent swarming, but figure if a hive swarms, it is my contribution to reestablishing bees in the wild.
    Regards,
    Steven
    I agree.
    I recently surrendered a swarm to a nearby oak. Now, every time I visit the bee yard I look up at the oak tree see the bees happy and settled, buzzing around their new home...and I am just as happy to have them a part of my
    "bee kingdom" even though they are too high for me to harvest. Just having them there is such a joy. I guess I am hooked.

    ___________
    "For breath is sweeter taken even as the last in places dear...
    With gardens, fields and dogwood trees...
    In forest stands of bamboo shoots...
    Of ginger root and honey bees..."

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads