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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lavaca county, Texas
    Posts
    497

    Default Re: Why is my beekeeping experience so different?

    I think beekeeping, and most ag, is much more localized than it used to be, which is kind of odd since so much is now commercialized.

    Wax moths are a huge problem for me, partly because they don't go dormant here. The Bt didn't kill the moths, but the bees don't like it, and won't word frames sprayed with it. I have one hive that is obviously part AHB, and even they get moths, so size/strength/attitude are not the only factors.

    No varrora problems for me, but I know that makes me odd (er).

    SHB also a problem here, but again, no dormant season. AJs traps and vinegar work well.

    CCD, EFB, AFB, Nosema, not a problem for me.

    Fire ants BIG problem for me, and they are not like other ants, so the helpful advice from those who've never dealt with them is just irritating.

    Weather extremes here in TX have also been a factor -- 2007, wettest year on record. 2008 below average moisture. 2009-2011 Record drought across the state. 2012, better than last year, but still behind.

    If you read most of the major books, they write as if all conditions, problems and solutions are the same everywhere, and I'd like to see more forum members recognize that it just ain't so anymore. And my different experience does not automatically mean that I am wrong. But that's another thread.

    Keep up the good work, Solomon. If we keep swimming upstream, we'll eventually make progress, right?

    Summer

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: Why is my beekeeping experience so different?

    I hope it put a smile on ur face for real,,like I say who knows why things go the way they do??

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,621

    Default Re: Why is my beekeeping experience so different?

    Sol. having grown up in a commercial operation, then being a hobbiest for 2 decades. and now commercial again, your situation is exactly as I would predict. I saw no disease as a hobbiest. It all about numbers. If you only have a few hives(less than 20), your chances of catching a disease are very slim, but NOT ZERO. The point is sooner or later, when you get bigger, you will have problems.

    Crazy Roland

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Why is my beekeeping experience so different?

    My experience is similar to yours. I really have no wax moth issues here. They exist but prevention is a great cure. No SHB. No CCD. Probably see more swarm activity than you report but I recognize it and deal with it in time unless I am just caught out or lazy. Only had one hive swarm this year and I could have prevented it if my sons didn't want to go camping so bad. My sons take priority so a few bees into the woods is no big deal.

    I am curious what your honey production per colony averages in the South compared to us up here in the North. You seem to have a tidy operation and similar size to mine so I would love to know what you are extracting down there.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,803

    Default Re: Why is my beekeeping experience so different?

    You have done everything right:

    Followed the teachings of Dee Lusby
    Disciple of Michael Bush
    Gone small cell and foundationless
    Used cube hives
    Moved from Oregon to Alabama

    Sadly enough because of your great insite and following these roads, you will never suffer any pestilence and therefore never experience anything to teach about these problems. You will lead a boring life merely extracting gobs of honey and making numerous divides off of those never swarming hives. Because of suffering no losses, you will expand to a size equal that of the biggest beekeepers in the country. Bigger than Roland even. You will become fabulously wealthy and spend lonely winters rebuilding moth eaten combs and yearning to solve the moth larvae infestations. You will eventually solve this problem which will make you even wealthier. Life is good.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: Why is my beekeeping experience so different?

    Waterloo=bad luck, its still luck.
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Default Re: Why is my beekeeping experience so different?

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    Moved from Oregon to Alabama...yearning to solve the moth larvae infestations.
    I'm not sure you've been reading what I've been writing.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  8. #28
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,803

    Default Re: Why is my beekeeping experience so different?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I'm not sure you've been reading what I've been writing.
    Alabama, Arkansas, tomato tomato....did you solve the moth problem?

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Default Re: Why is my beekeeping experience so different?

    Don't have a moth problem. I have bees. They keep the moths back.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  10. #30
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,015

    Thumbs Up Re: Why is my beekeeping experience so different?

    Quote Originally Posted by sfisher View Post
    Waterloo=bad luck, its still luck.
    The military definition of luck:

    "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity"

    ...and, as sfisher points out, it does go both ways.

    ROTFL sfisher...'Catfish tremble at the mention of your name', wish I could say the same.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Citrus County, Florida, United States
    Posts
    258

    Default Re: Why is my beekeeping experience so different?

    @ odfrank

    Whoa...Lusby, Bush...no FatBeeMan????

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: Why is my beekeeping experience so different?


  13. #33
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Panama City, Florida, USA
    Posts
    535

    Default Re: Why is my beekeeping experience so different?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post

    Varroa: Large crashes in my apiaries predicted many dozens of times have not materialized.

    AFB: Haven't seen it. And I have been looking.

    EFB: Haven't seen it.

    SHB: Not a big problem around here, but I do find beetles from time to time.

    Nosema: Other than a couple of cases of dysentery mid-winter, I see no evidence of it.

    Swarming: My year 'round really big hives do not swarm much if ever.

    I'm trying to figure out how best I can serve the beekeeping community, especially the avid hobbyists and micro-sideliners like myself. It's hard to do that if I'm not experiencing what everybody else is experiencing.
    Are you sure you are not rewriting history a bit? Didn't you start with 20 nucs and lose all the way down to 2, with half those loses being attributable to varroa? I would call that a significant crash.

    As for me.

    AFB. Have not seen it.

    EFB. Seen it in my weak OB hive but they recovered on their own

    SHB. Largest problem I have. Move to Florida and you can experience them at their worst(strong hive or not)

    CCD. Have not seen it

    Varroa. Lost a few hives to them. But probably lost over 50% to them last year if I attribute losses of hives weakened by them that eventually died or absconded from stresses from being weakened by varroa first.

    Wax moths are not a problem on my comb as long as the bees have first cleaned them ( removed all protien, pollen etc). Hardly any of my comb has seen chemicals. Nor is any of it more than 3 years old.

    Nosema apis, nosema ceranae have not seen any.

    Swarms: 1 abscond and 2 swarms. Latest one last week from my top bar hive that I had already split three ways this spring.

    I don't see that your experience is so far afield of others.
    Last edited by jbeshearse; 07-20-2012 at 02:24 PM. Reason: Did not see that it was posted on treatment free forum. So I self deleted reference to acceptability of treatments

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Default Re: Why is my beekeeping experience so different?

    Quote Originally Posted by jbeshearse View Post
    Are you sure you are not rewriting history a bit? Didn't you start with 20 nucs and lose all the way down to 2, with half those loses being attributable to varroa? I would call that a significant crash.
    That happened, but Roland, Ted Kretschman, Mark Berninghausen, and others (you know who you are) hadn't predicted it dozens of times at that point. And it wasn't a crash, it took six or seven years without making increases to do it. I have 28 hives now, I'd expect a crash to kill at least half of them in one year. I have not experienced a crash due to varroa.

    I did follow the teachings of Dee Lusby, but I'm moving away from them. I have exchanged one email with her in the last several years. I like Mike, but I'm not his disciple. Disciple involves discipline to his methods and I have none. I bought some of Don Kuchenmeister's nucs, but I in no way follow his teachings. Plus, I don't think he likes me. I keep asking him why he'll drink FGMO from a plastic bottle, but he won't put plastic frames in his hives because they're not natural.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,244

    Default Re: Why is my beekeeping experience so different?

    Ok here is my scorecard:
    AFB: Saw a case last year, havent seen one yet this year
    EFB: We have seen a few cases this year, not surprising considering the stresses the bees have been under lately
    SHB: A minor pest in our climate, just had to change our way of doing a few things. Have never lost a hive to them but have lost a few frames in the extracting room
    CCD: I have never seen significant losses that were unexplainable
    Varroa: The "big dog" and always our biggest concern but seems to be less of a problem in recent years.
    Wax moth: Has always been a concern when storing dark comb in the heat of the summer and never a problem for a strong hive to control. Leaving all dark comb on the bees until fall pretty well takes care of the problem
    Nosema: Treated for a couple of years and not at all the past two years. Our bees are better now.
    Swarming: We requeen each year and rarely lose swarms.
    Beekeeping in general: So easy a caveman could do it.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Panama City, Florida, USA
    Posts
    535

    Default Re: Why is my beekeeping experience so different?

    Parker,

    What have your losses been from?

    My losses were at first glance absconds or SHB or Queen failures. But the reality is it was probably from hives being weakened due to varroa. Even a spotty queen (queen failure) can be a varroa problem. How do you determine varroa loads?

    I really think that frequent swarms and supercedures are a natural
    Defense againt pest loads of today and think we will see that become more and more prevalent.
    Last edited by jbeshearse; 07-20-2012 at 08:53 PM.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Default Re: Why is my beekeeping experience so different?

    I know, no matter how I describe a dead hive, it's always varroa. Check the archives, I have submitted several cases for opinions. The most varroa I've ever found on a bottom board was from a living hive. Pics on the blog, earlier this spring. It's still alive today.

    And it's Solomon or Mr. Parker. I do not like to be called Parker.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Why is my beekeeping experience so different?

    I'll ask again. Can you tell me what you are averaging for honey or are you just working on increase at this time?
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Default Re: Why is my beekeeping experience so different?

    I'm truly sorry, I saw your post and was going to reply, but I got distracted doing something else.

    I had set aside only one hive this year from which I intended to harvest honey and robbed brood from the rest to make nucs, however, when honey harvesting day came, I found five (three that had brood robbed, and one that was used as a queenless cell builder) had honey in excess. Unfortunately, a lot of frames in the one I had saved to make honey had brood or major sections of pollen or uncured nectar in them so I wasn't able to harvest as much as I had liked. Still, they were left with 6 mostly full deeps. In total, I harvested four deeps of honey, totaling 17 gallons when extracted.

    I started this year with 10 hives, made 29 nucs, sold some, lost some to failed matings ect., sold some queens, caught one swarm, and right now I have 28. My goal is to come through winter with 20, I'll be doing some experiments with overwintering nucs. I'd like to sell 10-20 nucs next year.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Panama City, Florida, USA
    Posts
    535

    Default Re: Why is my beekeeping experience so different?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I know, no matter how I describe a dead hive, it's always varroa. Check the archives, I have submitted several cases for opinions. The most varroa I've ever found on a bottom board was from a living hive. Pics on the blog, earlier this spring. It's still alive today.

    And it's Solomon or Mr. Parker. I do not like to be called Parker.
    Okay, Soloman,

    I was not implying that any of your hives that died, died of varroa, I don't know, I was simply asking what they died from. I won't wade through archived posts, not worth the time. Let us know how that particular hive is doing at the end of September.

    I will say this and attach a link to a photo. This a bottom board from one of my hives last year, they produced lots of surplus the honey, built up well and managed to survive a heavy mite load with no treatment. They did however abscond late in the year after they began to dwindle and the DWV became prevalent. Notice the amount of drones in the photo. No doubt one reason the mite count was so high, but high drone counts mean a hive is doing well in my opinion (unless you have a laying worker or failing queen of course, and this had neither problem at this point.

    It has been my experience that a hive can survive one season with an extraordinary mite load then will either dwindle down and break its own brood cycle (which also breaks the mites cycle) or they will abscond or die out. This is not based on just one hive, but many.

    http://flic.kr/p/9jX1uM

    But this is all off topic. You were wondering why your experience if different, everyone's is somewhat different. I don't think your is much of an oddity, when you consider the range of experiences there are in beekeeping.

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