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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Littlerock, California, USA
    Posts
    951

    Default Re: Survive winter, but die out in spring-support please

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfisher Apiaries View Post
    Why? Drones are good....are you talking about a droney layer?
    I would find some treatment free bees. Chances are that you got some Italian bees from a Georgia breeder that treats like crazy via dadant. Try local or some other person that does not treat...never go cold turkey on a treated line!

    mike
    How do you get to treatment free from a treated line?
    “Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,648

    Default Re: Survive winter, but die out in spring-support please

    Personally, I went the route of cold turkey. I tried the treatment route but realized I was heading down a road I didn't want to be on. You can try the small step at a time approach, but I don 't think it will work too good. Half the battle is making up your mind that you won't use treatments. Then, take all the available knowledge and tools that treatment free keepers have and decided what route you want to go.

    Since I started before there was any kind of track record in treatment free beekeeping outside of the Lusby's and a few others, I followed what Dee suggested. Pulled all my existing comb out and shook all the bees onto SC foundation. Most hives died, but a few made it and from there I expanded. I had EFB, but in the third year, things changed around and stabilized. If you can get regressed bees, use them. If not, use what you can get and work at getting SC comb drawn.
    Regards, Barry

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Littlerock, California, USA
    Posts
    951

    Default Re: Survive winter, but die out in spring-support please

    Thank you. I have already converted my hives to 11-frame brood boxes and am working in that direction. What are the indicators of a teetering point to go without treatment?
    “Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,648

    Default Re: Survive winter, but die out in spring-support please

    Not sure I understand your question. Can you rephrase it?
    Regards, Barry

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Littlerock, California, USA
    Posts
    951

    Default Re: Survive winter, but die out in spring-support please

    in the third year, things changed around and stabilized. If you can get regressed bees, use them. If not, use what you can get and work at getting SC comb drawn.

    How did you know things turned around in the third year? What were your indications? Just no more foulbrood?

    Kind of going off topic here but, In working toward small cell beekeeping I have converted my brood boxes to 1-1/4" frames. do I also need to change or replace my foundation as well? I am thinking about going foundationless.
    “Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,648

    Default Re: Survive winter, but die out in spring-support please

    Indications? Bees were not dying. Mites were hard to find. Balance regained. No more purple-eyed pupa showing up.

    I only had EFB in one hive on a couple of frames. Took them out and moved on.

    I've not tried foundation-less. I haven't cut frames down an 1/8" either. What are you using for foundation?
    Regards, Barry

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,127

    Default Re: Survive winter, but die out in spring-support please

    Ccar if you want to go small cell, and your current foundation is not small cell, yes, you will have to change your foundation.

    But it's not just as simple as that either, as I recently discovered. The first step will be to measure your exsting cells to see what size you have. If your current cells are 5.5 mm's, you will have to follow several steps to get the bees down to 4.9. if your current cell size is 5.2 or 5.3, you may be able to do it in one step.

    Be aware, small cell is controversial and I for one, am not endorsing it, although I have started some bees with it. Because of all the conflicting information I'm trying it myself. But some people have tried it & had no success.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Littlerock, California, USA
    Posts
    951

    Default Re: Survive winter, but die out in spring-support please

    I am using standard wax coated plastic, a couple of different mfgrs and wooden frames. I am working on swapping out frames every year in three year cycles but have not made it there yet. Maybe I should get small cell foundation at that time?

    As far as switching to treatment free, I am just trying to figure out how to work with what I have to get there.
    “Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,127

    Default Re: Survive winter, but die out in spring-support please

    Edit - double post
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,127

    Default Re: Survive winter, but die out in spring-support please

    Drop StevenG a pm. He is more successful than most treatment free beeks, and like you he is not using small cell.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  11. #31
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Blairsville, Ga. USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Survive winter, but die out in spring-support please

    I had the same problem and had no mite issues, guess that theory isn't accurate for everyone.
    Strong up until 2 weeks before Spring then POOF!
    However, recovery was fast from wild swarms that took up in empty hives. All is well.

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