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  1. #121
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    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    What doesn't seem possible?
    Once the stinger entrails have left the bee there is nothing to push against as a reactive force. I thought...

    After studying the diagram that Intheswamp linked to there may be a possibility it could happen. I didn't realize that the bee's stinger was two split barbs. If the pumping action results in a see saw action of those barb stingers they could walk their way in deeper, one pushing against the other. That would be one clever sting mechanism.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  2. #122
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    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    It is a rather clever stinging mechanism. Actually it is made up of two lancets, which are barbed, and a muscular sting sac which keeps pumping, as does a heart taken out of the body of a live frog.

    There is more in this world than in your imagination. To present a poor paraphrase of something William Shakespeare wrote.
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  3. #123
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    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    >That would be one clever sting mechanism.

    It is. With two barbed halves one half can hold while the other drives in further and the the other half holds while the first drives in further. Thus, even though the stinger is no longer attached to the bee, it continues, not only to pump in venom, but to drive in further as well, just as Mark described.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/Sting1.JPG
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #124
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    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    It just baffles me that something of this complexity and ingenuity could develop in nature for an insect. I can't get my head around it.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  5. #125
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    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    >It just baffles me that something of this complexity and ingenuity could develop in nature for an insect. I can't get my head around it.

    That's why a lot of us believe there is a creator... hard to fathom the complexity of a stinger let alone the behavior of building comb, or adjusting the input of pollen or even flight without a master designer. The complexity of one cell boggles the mind and now you put those together to make a bee and put those together to make a colony...

    Or maybe it's all just a freak accident...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #126
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    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    > <snip>

    That's why a lot of us believe there is a creator... <snip>

    Or maybe it's all just a freak accident...
    I hear you, Mike. I personally don't believe in luck or coincidences. You're right, there are many, many more incredible things about honey bees other than the stinger...the bee dances, the workers knowing what their jobs are from day one and onward, the virgin queens knowing where the DCAs are located, the ability of the house bees to communicate to the foragers what is needed in the "house", etc., etc.,. Some incredible details, but so subtle.

    Ed

  7. #127
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    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Quote Originally Posted by Intheswamp View Post
    the virgin queens knowing where the DCAs are located,
    Ed
    Just gotta say, they don't know where they are so much as they find them, in case you thought otherwise. Maybe somewhat less amazing, but still intriuging.
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  8. #128
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    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Just gotta say, they don't know where they are so much as they find them, in case you thought otherwise. Maybe somewhat less amazing, but still intriuging.


    I still consider it amazing, actually the honey bee just boggles my mind. John

  9. #129
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    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Ditto
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  10. #130
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    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    That is intriguing, Mark. Thanks for clarifying it for me. The fact that the virgin has the option of heading out in any cardinal direction or point between and being able to find a dca is truly amazing. The exertion that she uses to propel her long body, dodging birds and dragonflies and the like come in to play...it's amazing that so many make it. I've heard it said that the virgin mates on multiple days...after the first day do you think she knows where to go looking?

    Ed

  11. #131
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    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    I imagine she does in a way. Similarily to how she knows how to get home. Bees have a sense of smell which comes in handy. I bet that has something to do w/ it.

    "How do queens find DCAs?" would be a nice thing to know.
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  12. #132
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    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Well, Mark, do we even know how the drones themselves find the DCAs? It's not like there's a map tacked to the hive wall from the last years drones showing them how to get to the cemetery or ridgeline or woodline or whatever...but they return to the same area year after year from what I've read. There's some questions that I believe will never be answered by man.

  13. #133
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    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    No, I don't. But I have a book.

    Under "Drone congregation area" it says, "The fact that drones and virgin queensfly to specific areas, now called drone congregation areas for mating, was discovered by Zmarlicki(Zmarlicki, C. and R.A. Morse (1963)"Drone congregation areas, in Journal of Apicultural Research 2: 64-66) Drone congregation areas have been found in nearly all parts of the world where Apis mellifera is established. DESPITE MUCH RESEARCH, WE STILL DO NOT KNOW HOW THEY ARE FORMED OR WHAT ATTRACTS QUEENS AND DRONES TO THEM. Where mating takes place in other Apis species is unknown.
    "Our best theory at the present time is that an anomaly in the earth's crust is responsible for making certain areas attractive. We have been frustrated in our search for their origin because of our inability to learn how they are found by the insect. IT HAS BEEN SUGGESTED BY VARIOUS PEOPLE THAT ODOUR AND VISUAL AND MAGNETIC CUES ARE OF GREATEST IMPORTANCE IN BEES FINDING AREAS, BUT NO ONE OF THESE SUGGESTIONS HAS BEEN SUBSTANTIATED BY DATA. "

    Caps used to highlight pertinent parts to reply to what we were discussing.

    There certainly will always be unanswered questions to ponder and investigate. Let's not give up on that search.
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  14. #134
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    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    For those following my report on treatment-free beekeeping, as previously reported this year (2012) I lost 2 of 32 hives overwinter (6%). Today I was able to check the remaining 30. Of those, 2 are somewhat weak but rebuilding, the rest are doing great! I have a couple of gang-busters going strong, the usual suspects. I supered all hives with one, either shallow or medium super. The hives in full sun had nearly no hive beetles in the beetle jails. The four hives in partial shade had a couple dozen dead beetles in the traps. I cleaned and refilled all traps. In one of the hives in partial shade I was able to execute 7 beetles...very satisfying.

    Because of some changes occuring in my life and family situation, unfortunately I will not be able to manage the hives this year as I would like. Do not have the time to do swarm prevention, thus I've just supered. Will check as I can, and will report periodically how things are going.

    Just to remind any new folks to this thread, since inception, I have done NO mite treatments, and have done NO mite counts. I have tried Russians, Purvis queens, MnHyg queens/bees, and B. Weaver packages and queens. I do walk-away splits. I messed up big time when I tried to go foundationless a couple years ago, took two years to straighten out that mess. Not the bees fault, mine. I started with two packages, have built up to 30 this point. Plan to get to 50, but that will take a couple more years, as I have to stabilize now at this plateau.

    Feel free to ask me any question here, or pm me. Personally I like to keep the discussion on these pages, as I believe it helps us all learn. My open-mated walk-away splits are doing as well as my store-bought queens. So the genetics appear to transfer acceptably well, at least here in SE Missouri.
    Regards to all, and may you have your best year yet!
    Steven
    Last edited by StevenG; 03-25-2012 at 04:40 PM. Reason: clarification
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  15. #135
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    Jan 2012
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    Liberty, Indiana, USA
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    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Are you doing anything else to control the beetles besides those traps? Ground drenching etc..... Up to this point I have provided no treatment except sugar dusting, which I stopped because it seemed more cruel than just letting them sort things out with the mites.

    I saw SHB's in one of my out-yards about 15 miles from most of my hives. I would like to keep them isolated, but I don't know if that will be possible since beetles can fly. any advise?

    Also what are you loading the traps with?
    Jason Bruns
    LetMBee.com YouTube

  16. #136
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    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    LetMBee, you can't keep them isolated, because, as you mentioned, the beetle can fly. I use plain mineral oil. Depending on the size of the hive, and how much of a problem the beetles seem to be, I'll have from 2 to 5 traps in a colony, with a max of two traps per box. I do not use Gardstar.

    From what I've read, except for in the south, if you need or use Gardstar or some form of ground drench, it's too late for your hives. As I understand it, the beetles simply must be taken care of in the hive, before they get to the point they head to ground. But like I said, in the south, it is vastly different.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  17. #137
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    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    I had 16 last summer. We had a bad drought here in Texas and I lost 2 to???, so I had 14 going into the winter. And we didn't have much winter to speak of this year. The middle of January thru the end of January, weather and time permitting, I went through all 14 colonies. Each had eggs, grubs, and sealed brood except 1, which had ample population but no evidence of a queen. I dropped a frame of eggs from my favorite colony and a week later had several queen cells. At the time I checked and they had queen cells, I dropped 2 frames of sealed brood [mediums] from two different colonies to keep their population up before winter die offs. A couple of weeks later I had a queen laying good patterns.

    I have since recovered a swarm in mid flight, and split that colony and 2 others fixing to swarm to a total of 17. All are doing good.

    I do not treat with anything except screened bottom boards [on all but 3 which have solid bottoms], and will be converting about 1/2 of my apiary this year to solid bottoms because these are doing better than the rest. If this proves out then I will be going to all solid bottoms.

    Kindest Regards
    Danny Unger
    "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Nathan Hale, 1776

  18. #138
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    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Thanks for the post, Danny. I run screened bottom boards on all my hives. I think I'll follow your example and try some solid boards on a few hives and see if that makes a difference on wintering. Though our winter was quite mild this year.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  19. #139
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    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    Forgot to mention in my first post, that I am on small cell using the mannlaked medium plastic frames. I am having a lot of ears breaking off the plastic frames so I will be going to wooden frames with starter strips. Still considering how I will do that.

    Kindest Regards
    Danny Unger
    "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Nathan Hale, 1776

  20. #140
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    Default Re: "No Treatment of Honey Bees Report" by StevenG

    UPDATE!
    Worked the bees today. Of my 30 hives, I lost one...it had been weak, and post mortem indicated queen failure. There was brood three weeks ago. Found some emergency queen cells along the top bars where the cluster had been. My guess is the queen failed, colony dwindled, cold snap finished them off. Very few bees in the hive. Plus a vacant mouse nest in the bottom deep box.

    The remaining 29 colonies are all over the board, as usual. Some booming, a couple struggling. There's a chance I'll lose one of my Russian colonies, I'm watching it. Another queen issue.

    I did hive a swarm last Saturday, and it's going gangbusters now. So I'm still at 30 colonies now, with the swarm and with the dead-out. Foir those reading my blog linked in the first posting here, the colony that died was #15.

    Of my three apiaries, I'm having small hive beetle problems in my home apiary. Killed 17 beetles in two colonies. Didn't see any in the other two colonies at home. I keep the traps filled with mineral oil. Bees seem to be doing a good job. These colonies are in partial shade...unfortunately I don't have any place else to keep them here.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

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