Page 4 of 9 FirstFirst ... 23456 ... LastLast
Results 61 to 80 of 164
  1. #61
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    3,015

    Default Re: Starting out in treatment-free beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Solomon, that is called talking out of both sides of the mouth. I got your drift. I will learn from someone else.
    I think the problem is... you are trying to teach before you learn. To be a good teacher you need both experience and knowledge.

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,549

    Default Re: Starting out in treatment-free beekeeping

    If kicking around ideas is teaching then I guess we are all teachers. My idea of a teacher is someone who is paid to instruct people on proven concepts. I haven't seen too many proven concepts in bee keeping that aren't already taught by individuals that get paid to do so.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    686

    Default Re: Starting out in treatment-free beekeeping

    I couldn't edit this into my #55 post, spose I was offline too long for the edit timer but I am going to use old timers method of producing queens next year for any potential splits we do. This is the thread I was referring to: http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...thout-Grafting.

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Starting out in treatment-free beekeeping

    That's a fantastic method, Oldtimer knows his stuff. I haven't yet tried it, but it's on my list. It simplifies several pertinent aspects of producing queens, no worries about finding the right age larvae or how to scoop them out of the cell. It's a straightforward method, but there are still many things to learn about timing, and recognizing what are the best conditions for queen cell building. After I try it, it will appear on my website. I don't want to write about things with which I don't have experience.

    I want to try grafting first because I can make daughters of several queens at the same time. Also, I don't want to cause too much disturbance in the mother hive. Michael Palmer says leave your production colonies alone, let them do their job and produce honey for you.

    In the future, I think this will be a great method given the right timing and more hives among which the new queens can be spread. With the few hives I have now, I don't want to replace many queens with daughters of one mother. Actually, I'm not in the habit of killing queens at all, just relegating them to nuc duty unless they're just unbearable.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Greenville County, South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Starting out in treatment-free beekeeping

    Well, I've read this whole thread now, as a total newbie, and after getting past all the "stinging" remarks, I've found the thread helpful, both Solomon's ideas and the feedback from others. Thanks for the thread!

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    South Weber, Utah
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Starting out in treatment-free beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by honeyshack View Post
    This is making beekeeping to complicated for beginners. Keep it simple
    Start with two hives, scrap the nucs, start on clean equipment, and start with packages. No old wax, no larva which might already have some breeding varroa

    No wintering nucs...Just two hives to learn on. The curve is steep, the cost is expensive, the results could not be good come the following spring. Thus leading to a discouraged beekeeper who just laid out a ton of cash on your 5 hive system.

    No need to re invent the wheel here Solomon...start small, start fresh, and go from there
    Well said!! I completely agree!

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Starting out in treatment-free beekeeping

    Thank you both Sarge and honeyshack for your inputs.

    It's not my intention to reinvent the wheel, but if I thought doing the same thing everyone else is doing was working, I wouldn't be suggesting something different. I don't think it's sustainable small. I know at least two single colony beekeepers whose bees died this year, and it's not even winter yet.

    And it's just a plan, not a system, I'm not selling it. Nobody is laying out a ton of cash on my system. I think that makes a huge difference.

    Thanks for your time.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,549

    Default Re: Starting out in treatment-free beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by Bee-Sarge View Post
    Well said!! I completely agree!
    Funny, when I commented on the idea it was acting like a teacher. Are you guys certified?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,382

    Default Re: Starting out in treatment-free beekeeping

    Soloman,

    Nice write up. I like the approach. Would you modify anything for those of us in northern/or mountain environments? Particularly the nucs versus hives.
    I am taking this approach. I added 5 hives this year, up from 1 last year. I have lost one (a split that never took off and lost the queen late in the summer). All Tx free.

    Thanks for the time you took on this.
    Dan Hayden
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Starting out in treatment-free beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by RiodeLobo View Post
    Would you modify anything for those of us in northern/or mountain environments? Particularly the nucs versus hives.
    What sorts of modifications would you suggest? What sorts of concerns should be taken into account?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,709

    Default Re: Starting out in treatment-free beekeeping

    Our honey flow and build up may be shorter and more intense than yours. The balance between not enough bees in the cold of late May, and 5 frames of brood and swarms from crowding in late June is difficult for an experienced beekeeper. A nuc in this environment would require much more management than a 2 lb package installed in 3 deeps. They have enough bees to keep warm in May, and enough room not to swarm in June.

    Crazy Roland

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Starting out in treatment-free beekeeping

    Is a swarm a bad thing for someone not making honey?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: Starting out in treatment-free beekeeping

    Solomon,
    I think your article will be very helpful for those it is targeting.

    I also think that a swarm is likely very much a bad thing, even if one is not managing for honey production:
    I am managing for increase, and not for honey. I would certainly be disappointed to lose a substantial part of the livestock in my hive to a swarm!

    I think that the only beekeepers who would not be disappointed with swarming would those who intentionally let hives swarm to encourage a particular genetic line in local feral colonies, and those who keep bees only for the entertainment the activity provides and don't care if they produce anything.

    But I also think that if one is going to learn to keep an apiary in a sustainable way, nucs are essential, particularly for those of us who live in the north.
    It surely may require more diligence to prevent swarming and be more challenging, but it is important, IMO.

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Starting out in treatment-free beekeeping

    In my treatment-free philosophy, swarming is not a bad thing. Healthy hives swarm.

    Rather than being strictly prevented, the swarming impulse should be channeled to produce increase or honey. Frankly, I believe that the idea that swarming must be stopped is simply an untenable position and further selects bees that are reliant on human intervention for survival and propagation of the species. A hive that doesn't swarm or won't swarm is a hive that cannot reproduce, and is like one of those thanksgiving turkeys which must be artificially inseminated to lay an egg.

    Naturally, a 'swarmy' stock is also a bad thing because all drive is pointed toward reproduction and none to honey production and that's the sort of thing that is consequently reduced if we breed for honey production. But a newbee as a learning experience needs to see a swarm, they need to be able to identify swarm cells vs. supersedure cells, and they need to properly contextualize the reproductive urge of honeybees.

    One of the things that I see as detrimental to freshman beekeepers is the idea that they must from day one operate like a commercial beekeeper. They are supposed to prevent swarms and kill their hives and requeen with commercial stock and space nine frames per box and make honey and feed protein patties and syrup and reverse brood chambers and do all sorts of things that they don't need to do and that the bees don't need done to them. And they're supposed to do all these things before they've had time to assimilate and observe exactly what bees do. The methods of a beekeeper must come from an understanding of the natural ways of bees, and how to cope with them, manipulate them, and subvert them to do what is useful for humans.

    Further clouding the issue are arguments over terms like 'beekeeper vs. bee-haver vs. bee-meddler.' I find it most useful to have bees first without trying to keep them too hard. "I wanna KEEP BEES, I wanna KEEP 'EM, so they DON'T GET AWAY!! I want them to go get honey and COME BACK HERE!!!" - Eddie Izzard

    My plan focuses on having them first and increasing them so as to have a better chance of survival over the first winter treatment-free. It gives the newbee a chance to get their hands dirty, to get in and look at the hives all the time which with normal hives is a detriment, but more necessary with nucs. And if they do swarm, so much the better. There needs to be more swarms. We're low on bee population in this country, remember?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: Starting out in treatment-free beekeeping

    Yep, I remember hearing a lot that we are low on bee population in this country!

    But isn't the subject of this thread feedback on your educational article? The existence of the article kinda implies a desire to increase the population of successful bee keepers in this country.

    One who loses a substantial part of his bee population to swarming is one with a motive to add to the population of former bee keepers.

    Most of us keeping bees are not absolutely altruistic about it: we want something, whether it is honey, nucs to sell, more colonies, or something else.

    Roland presented a challenge he perceives we up north are likely to face that is a little different to raising nucs in Arkansas. Your response is asking if swarming is a bad thing of you are not raising bees for honey, instead of directly addressing the concern.

    To be more concise than my first observation on that question:

    "Yer darn straight it is! If I wanted bees in the trees, I'd hollow out trees and leave bees alone."

    No matter how we manage there will always be population loss to swarming among inexperienced beekeepers. It's been said that bees make better beekeepers than beekeepers make bees. If Man died tomorrow, creation would still function to promote increase, and the bee population would recover. (It's not dependent on poor management inducing swarming.)

    A short intense flow does present a challenge that requires more management than a less intense one to prevent swarming.
    Perhaps an observation to that effect with an exhortation to increase awareness of the sign that a colony may be nearing swarm commitment would make your article more valuable to northern beeks and others likely to encounter intense flows.

    Neither buying packages nor being content waving good-bye to swarms are acceptable if one is beginning to build a sustainable apiary that is as self sufficient as possible.
    Last edited by Beregondo; 11-15-2011 at 07:32 AM. Reason: typo

  16. #76
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,709

    Default Re: Starting out in treatment-free beekeeping

    Sol asked:

    Is a swarm a bad thing for someone not making honey?

    1. You have just lost your queen that was of a known quality, and the genetics that you worked to establish. Her replacement may not be of the same quality.

    2. You just lost a large number of bees. This resource could have been ussed for other purposes, what ever your goal is.

    3. You have just polluted the feral gene pool.

    4. There is a potential that the swarm will become a nuisance in someone's residence. Is that socially responsible?


    Swarming is not to be stopped for it's own sake. With proper management, the bees will be worked in such a manner that the total population of the Apiary can be greater that if the bees are allowed to swarm. Giving the queen plenty of room to lay keeps the bees away from the swarm impulse. In the end, you will have more of something, bees or honey or both.

    Sol wrote:

    There needs to be more swarms. We're low on bee population in this country, remember?

    Agreed, so lets all try to manage out bees the best, to make increases. If the feral situation was the best chance for survival, we would have more feral bees than managed colonies.

    Crazy ROland

  17. #77
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,395

    Default Re: Starting out in treatment-free beekeeping

    There it is in a "nutshell" folks, read posts #74 and #76. Two entirely divergent viewpoints. Read them and decide for yourself who you agree with more. I know which side I am on. Yes I am a "commercial guy", my goal is to be treatment free and we have made huge strides towards that end in recent years, another goal I have is to be profitable. I am not knocking the decisions that many have made to be treatment free, I'm just giving my perspective. Be treatment (or in this case management) free if you choose, but if another goal is to try to make your investment give you a monetary return, then be prepared to face the reality that there are times those two goals can be mutually exclusive.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  18. #78
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,641

    Default Re: Starting out in treatment-free beekeeping

    One thing that is apparent to me is that most endeavors are not immediately profitable. Especially given that most who are treatment free have been through significant losses on some scale...this may help explain why those that are treatment free say it's possible (they were willing to take losses to get there) and why those that are focused on short term profitability don't seem to see it as viable (note that I'm not against short term profitability).

    There are other ways to fund a breeding program other than making it immediately profitable.

    deknow

  19. #79
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Starting out in treatment-free beekeeping

    Quote Originally Posted by Beregondo View Post
    Roland presented a challenge he perceives we up north are likely to face that is a little different to raising nucs in Arkansas. Your response is asking if swarming is a bad thing of you are not raising bees for honey, instead of directly addressing the concern.
    I haven't avoided it completely, I just haven't answered it yet, preferring to ask questions to gain information and context before addressing the issue directly. The direct answer is, I don't know yet. I would like to, but I'm not there and I won't likely get the chance to keep bees in widely divergent climes. I see Michael Palmer wintering 4 frame nucs and so naturally, I believe it can be done, and in depths of snow that I personally have never seen on my hives.

    On the other hand, raising bees in Northwest Arkansas (not like the rest of Arkansas) may be more similar than you might imagine. There are no commercial beekeepers around here, nobody that sells honey wholesale that I know of. And the reason is that there isn't much. Prime nectar season ends in June. Then it's a long hot summer where hives are run dry of honey by efforts to cool the colony. Finally, there's a short flow in September and October that nets a few frames of honey per hive. I have every need to have bees out collecting as early in the season as possible, just like you do. The main difference is that I have a shorter winter but in truth, my net nectar flow is less than most of the country.

    The other thing is that I haven't gotten to writing year two. Year two is when we start becoming a real beekeeper. Year one is getting your feet wet and deciding whether or not to press the abort button.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  20. #80
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Starting out in treatment-free beekeeping

    At this point, I'm not entirely sure (very fuzzy on this one) whether or not it is possible to operate as a commercial migratory beekeeper and be treatment-free. I won't put it past the realm of possibility, but it seems to me that it may very well be just too stressful for the bees to do on their own at this point in time. I know it is done for honey production, but in no way in nature were hives ever meant to move that far and that often. So my focus is not on commercial beekeepers (please don't any of you think that I'm against you because I am not but the issue keeps popping up) my focus is on backyard beekeepers, hobbyists and stationary sideliners.

    It's one of my goals as well to become profitable. But I don't have to spend money on treatments, and less so on sugar (optimally none). So I have a low overhead, especially if I quit buying things I don't need yet. Ultimately though, it's not about profitability so much as sustainability. Personally, as a hobbyist, I'm not doing this as a career or with the intention to make a wad of cash. But I would like to get it to the point where it doesn't cost a wad of cash.

    You make a very good point Deknow, I guess I'm saying I'm also not against short term profitability, it's just not my primary focus, nor would it be that of a newbee either.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

Page 4 of 9 FirstFirst ... 23456 ... LastLast

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