Page 4 of 8 FirstFirst ... 23456 ... LastLast
Results 61 to 80 of 158
  1. #61
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    Maybe Mr Ed has reference to the emergency shortage of stores where the colony stops feeding larval brood. Have seen it a few times, but didn't note the level of honey on hand. The literature says it's about 3 deep frames of honey. Whatever that level is, they don't wait until they run out of capped honey to invoke the emergency measure. May look like they have plenty to the beek, but the colony safety margin has been bridged. All larvae yellow, turn brown and die. When nectar is coming in again, they start brood rearing again. Or, give them a few frames of honey and they restart promptly.

    It's certainly true that sometimes one colony is much busier than others. Or one is dawdling while others are busy. I generally attribute that to the scouting force. Normally the less strong do not have a large number of scouts in the field and may not find the source located by the stronger colonies. You generally do not see this if the source is everywhere in the area.

    As to your question about incoming forage stimulating activity/growth - no question about that. If forage is not coming in, they are dragging their feet in the stores conservation mode.

    heaflaw:
    A typical Feb cluster is about basketball sized, if they had the benefit of backfilling the broodnest at closeout and the pollen box to support Aug build up.

    An under-recognized feature of colony fall preps is tailoring population of the right age distribution to be proportional to stores/cavity size. With some help from me they get it right and cluster sizes in late winter are much more uniform. When I tell folks that I don't have winter losses, I get that look that says "and you expect me to believe that??"

    Walt

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    695

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    Walt, no offense implied, you were quite plain that the drawings were not accurate: Let me be more specific and think a bit more as I type. My question was specific to your box configuration since we are of about the same zone. The drawings show three different configurations for a “one step management” and I was wondering if you had standardized to a single configuration (in your zone 7 area). I was building more boxes this weekend (got some cheap 1x8) and was debating cutting some of them down to a shallow for CB method. I have to admit that MB’s theory of “one size does it all” definitely is showing it strong points. Not just building but also in the pyramiding up, sharing frames of brood between hives, making splits.
    My winter manipulation I put all of my brood in the bottom box, honey / empty in the top and fed until the top was full (cold wet late summer). The plan this year is easy (center diagram if they do not eat it all) Do you do deep, deep, shallow shallow (DDSS) and super mediums? Do you replace your second deep with shallows (DSS)? I can do a split after the raspberry flow and move the second deep off. You are trying to get us to think for ourselves but I just want to get a foundation configuration so half of my stock does not fly away every year.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    I have not ever maintained colonies in a cold, long winter area, but I don't believe that the basic colony survival traits change with location. Most of the literature originated in the northeastern tier of states and that perspective distorts the views of southern beeks. My opinions are based on what I see and that strays from what I hear or read. (Standard intro)

    Saving of an overhead reserve of capped honey is conspicuous here. A colony overwintered in a deep and shallow here seldom taps the shallow of capped honey overhead through the swarm prep period. All swarm prep activities are accomplished in the deep. A smaller swarm , generated earlier, has about the same chance of survival as a later, larger swarm.

    You northern folks who only leave enough honey for wintering are depriving the colony of their reserve. It is a reserve, and you are forcing them to consume it to survive. That causes you to be feeding in the spring. It's interesting that here on these forums, beekeepers will not call it a RESERVE, but that's what it is. (Honey cap, etc.)

    Getting a little further from my experience base, it seems that harvesting fall honey would compound the problem. In the fall, the colony is adjusting population to be proportional to stores/cavity size. Suddenly, stores and cavity size take a dive, resulting in over-population. Both good and bad. the oversized population winters better and builds faster, but eats too much. Barring pest and disease, the major cause of northern winter losses is attributed to starvation. I wonder why.

    Overpopulation contributes to afterswarms. The bees need to get back to the balance of population in consonance with quarters. We don't generally get afterswarms in Dixie. Again, I wonder why.

    Walt

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    Quote Originally Posted by wcubed View Post
    Barring pest and disease, the major cause of northern winter losses is attributed to starvation. I wonder why.

    Walt
    Having thought about this for years I think that the reason is quite simple. Bees have been bred in the south for 50 years with one goal in mind. Pollination. The money in beekeeping in the US is in pollination, the honey crop is a bi-product and less and less of an emphasis has been put on breeding for production of honey. This issue is compounded by the progression of feeding being for emergencies, to it being standard management practice. How many beeks do you know who do not own a syrup pump and feed? People talk all the time about nectar dearths, when the reality is that quite often their bees are just not gathering and storing nectar. Why should they? they will get all the feed they need come winter. The poor gatherers are assisted to live and allowed to breed.

    So along with the loss of good honey production from moderate sized hives, breeding in the south has also led to an inability to winter on small amount of stores. Our bees now need 50 lbs of honey to winter over when the literature shows they should easily winter over on 10 lbs or less. If they needed only 10 lbs of stores they could reach those 10 lbs without breaking cluster. But because they need 50 lbs now days, they have to live in a climate that allows them to break cluster and move, otherwise they starve.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,021

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    I just finished reading Walt’s book / manuscript and on page 58 if I may:

    "In more northerly locations where it takes more honey to sustain the colony through the winter, the bees often have brood to the top. If the lower empty is raised, the colony is operating in the recovery mode immediately. All that is required to prevent swarming is to maintain empty comb above the raised empty hive body, so as to not let them fill the space to the top."
    This says to me that checkerboarding may not be that useful in the north, at least for swarm prevention.

    Quote Originally Posted by minz View Post
    I have to admit that MB’s theory of “one size does it all” definitely is showing it strong points.
    In another part of the book he makes a claim that the bees do not like to bridge the gap between boxes. With my little experience I have to disagree with this also for my location so I wouldn't give up on all the boxes being the same.

    I do follow a lot of Walt's logic but I wonder what he has observed since the last observations which were about 10 years ago. I chuckle at his inability to change the old beeks ways in the book and realized if anything was going to change it would have to be with the newer beeks. That is pretty much the way it is with beekeeping Walt.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    I wouldn't deny that those could be factors. The breeding from survivors gang has demonstrated that you can alter aggregate genetics in just a few generations. But I think it more important to recognize that from the bees perspective, their reserve is NOT surplus. It's an important part of colony survival strategy. The reserve protects them from nectar dropouts and bad weather in the period where they are deliberately skewing population up to support division by the swarm. P.S. I like your tag line.

    Walt

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,277

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    >Having thought about this for years I think that the reason is quite simple. Bees have been bred in the south for 50 years...


    and thus is the case made by many on the forum for breeding queens from local survivor stock.

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    Quote Originally Posted by wcubed View Post
    I have not ever maintained colonies in a cold, long winter area,
    Walt
    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I just finished reading Walt’s book / manuscript and on page 58 if I may:

    "In more northerly locations where it takes more honey to sustain the colony through the winter, the bees often have brood to the top. If the lower empty is raised, the colony is operating in the recovery mode immediately. All that is required to prevent swarming is to maintain empty comb above the raised empty hive body, so as to not let them fill the space to the top."
    This says to me that checkerboarding may not be that useful in the north, at least for swarm prevention.
    Walt
    Given your admission quoted above, what is your source of info for the quote from your book, if it isn't based on experience?
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    bluegrass:
    Sounds like a "gotcha" and to some extent it is. Studied the effects of CB for several years, and that was a conclusion drawn from observing those effects. Since we were using CB exclusively during that time, we have no evidence that it's true, and it may not be.
    Mr. Palmer's approach of adding a box of drawn comb at the top to start overhead nectar storage would seem to add some credibility to the concept.

    We are currently updating the contents of the manuscript, and we'll try to more careful in how that subject is treated.

    Walt

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    Not intended to be a gotcha. I was just curious who you were working with as I don't have the manuscript here to read the footnotes.

    My bees move straight to the top box as brood rearing stops and the weather gets cold. I surmise that they do this because the underside of the inner cover is the warmest location in the hive being as it is farthest from the entrance and I place insulation above it.

    I tested this theory by placing a colony in a beemax deep with a wood body on top. They stayed clustered in the beemax.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,021

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    Have you ever left a box of honey on top?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    If you are addressing me: Yes, often the top brood box is full of honey, I have also left mediums of honey on hives because I didn't have anywhere to store them.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,021

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    Yes, and did they still go to the top? I want to know because my first successful winter they went to the top but they almost starved too. This year I have more then enough honey and I am wondering if they will still go to the top. I also put a chunk of insulation on the top but this season is very mild so there still isn't a good comparison to last year.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    Ace

    One of the best tools you can have for checking on hives in the winter is a stethoscope. You can listen to all sides of the hive to locate the exact location of the cluster without disturbing the bees and opening the hive in the winter.

    I have a Littmann, cost about $100.00 and worth the investment. The cheap ones don't really work well because it is hard to hear much through them.

    Yes they still go to the top even with honey in the top box. IMO starvation is rarely the primary cause of winter death... usually secondary to some other issue.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,021

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    I have one but there is so much background noise I can't get an accurate location. We bought a new 200 dollar one for my wife's daughter because she went from a heart unit to a pulmonary unit and needed a special one. I didn't dare try it out for fear of wrecking it. I will say that thing is like putting on head phones. No background noise what so ever.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  16. #76
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    Do you have a lot of traffic near your hives? That could be an issue.

    Is you step daughter a nurse? I am also, I work on a stroke unit. The amplified stethoscopes are nice, I would be afraid of messing it up too...don't blame you there.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  17. #77
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,973

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    Quote Originally Posted by wcubed View Post
    ...I think it more important to recognize that from the bees perspective, their reserve is NOT surplus. It's an important part of colony survival strategy. The reserve protects them from nectar dropouts and bad weather in the period where they are deliberately skewing population up to support division by the swarm...

    Walt
    Reading through this thread, I think this is a very important point, and one worth specific focus.

    Many view the honey harvest as taking "surplus"; thinking that the bees make "more than they need". To view the honey as necessary to the bees is a fundamental shift of perspective, and is key to Walt's views as I read them.

    What is happening to the bees' behavior when we remove this "necessary" resource from the hive? In the top bar hive, this harvest also means empty space. In the lang, it means reduced space (as it does if you put a follower board in place in the top bar hive after harvesting.)

    How many of us do these manipulations with little thought to what it does to the bees perception of their situation? Do they perceive it at all? And what are the implications if they do?

    Adam

  18. #78
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    minz:
    We deliberately moved away from double deeps many years ago. Too many reasons to go into here. We shifted to one deep and the rest shallows for flexibility. The brood nest is anchored in the deep by colony preference. The colony expands upward and decreases brood volume downward reliably with this config. Full season brood in the deep.

    The pollen box was incorporated by '98, but we didn't learn until '07 why wintering was improved. CCD where nutrition was a suspect cause, prompted an investigation of when and whys.
    Current config. from the top, down in late winter follows:
    Shallow of mostly capped honey - To be CBed when forage is available.
    Shallow of all capped honey - To avoid having to feed syrup in the early season. It's there for the odd season when they need it.
    Deep basic brood nest, with overwintered cluster.
    Shallow of empty comb. This box was last fall's pollen box, used in August of the preceding season to support fall needs, and left in place for the winter. It will be used to CB with the top box. It's brood comb. Susequently (maybe two weeks after CB) a full shallow of brood will be moved to this position to be filled with long-term pollen for this season's pollen box.
    Bottom board.

    Does this help?
    Walt

  19. #79
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,021

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrass View Post
    Do you have a lot of traffic near your hives?
    http://i697.photobucket.com/albums/v...n7-2010004.jpg

    Four lane divided highway.
    Yes she just moved up from Stoney Brook in Long Island.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  20. #80
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,021

    Default Re: Checkerboarding verses Opening the Broodnest

    Walt, I have a question that you spoke about in the book too, brood comb. Why does brood comb matter? In a natural hive the bees do not move frames of comb around they just make it into what ever they want be it storing honey or pollen or raising brood.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

Page 4 of 8 FirstFirst ... 23456 ... LastLast

Tags for this Thread

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