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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,941

    Default Re: Maintaining amount of hives

    i agree that it is hard to maintain a set number of hives. how many do you have now?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  2. #62
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    roswell, georgia, USA
    Posts
    720

    Default Re: Maintaining amount of hives

    Quote Originally Posted by Pamela White View Post
    Thank you all for your responses. I am now thoroughly confused, but will go with my best instinct and read, read, read. I know you all have your own way of beekeeping and I really enjoy reading what you have to say. I am brand new to this and have been learning so much and hopefully don't lose my bees for my ignorance. I am old-fashioned in lots of ways and believe that they know way more than we do. I think lots of common sense will go along way. I just want to do right by them. They give me more than I ever asked for. It is a challenge for me and I don't really care to go into the Scientific way of doing things. Just as long as they are ok, I will let nature stay in charge. The bees have done fine without us for a long time. Thanks for all of your help and comments and suggestions.
    I too am a traditional beekeeper - because without a lot of experience and time, that's the way I learned. Sure I implement new sound, logical ideas to support them under changing conditions - and those that you ever do will be of your choice, information and decision, based on all the factors that encompasses your particular situation.

    We throw bees in a crazy box, introduce new viruses, new biological creatures, the diminishment of their environment, along with their inherent conditions/natural instinct to swarm, replace failing queens... and we expect them to maintain some sort of equalibrium?

    Safely store your good comb, have enough equipment to be able to support 20% more than your optimum and find good spring sources (now) for nuc, packages or queens (or make your own) to make your winter year-end total about where you want it - and accect the consequences.

    A lot of other ideas have been presented, not only in this thread, but throughout the forum. I'm sure that many work over time, depending on your level of involvment. Is 20% plus loss of resources acceptable to me - no, but considering how much time and resources I am able to commit - it is the best I can hope for. So sometimes I go into winter with more than I want (rarely) and usually less.

    200 LBS off of 5 garden hives this year.
    EAS Georgia Certified. "Tradition - Even if you have done it the same way for years doesn't mean that it is not stupid."

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,357

    Default Re: Maintaining amount of hives

    Mike,
    Thought I had stomped the worm of the flat-bottomed brood nest, but maybe not. With a deep on the bottom, the flat bottom inhibits the storing of the natural pollen reserve below. The tendency of the colony to fill the deep frames with brood leaves no comb below for pollen. Didn't see the bee bread below until the brood nest was turned loose (unlimited) by checkerboarding. Some colonies would fill the bottom deep with bee bread. Note that it is seen more readily on all-medium configurations with unlimited brood nest, and sometimes referred to as "pollen bound."

    To help the colony build their pollen reserve below, early in the buildup, a shallow of brood is moved below the deep. Colony preference for rearing brood in a deep gets that shallow below filled with bee bread when pollen is plentiful in the spring. When consumption of the pollen reserve starts in early August, it is done in the familier arch like the top (but upside down) and some brood is reared in the arch for a rounded bottom of the the brood nest. Rearing brood in the bottom shallow is temporary, and disappears by Sept. leaving the comb empty going into winter.

    Another note of significance: In the '07 season, a late freeze took out all pollen sources for nearly 3 months. The colonies made do for that period without tapping their box of pollen below. In other words, the pollen reserve at the bottom is dedicated to the August buildup.

    I think it's safe to say that the pollen reserve is a survival trait that is inhibited by Lang hive design.

    Walt

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,146

    Default Re: Maintaining amount of hives

    wcubed I would like to read a proper write up on checkerboarding, can you please provide a link?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,178

    Default Re: Maintaining amount of hives

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Checker...8beekeeping%29
    http://beenaturalguy.com/vertical-to...cker-boarding/ (this one adds an issue called White Wax period, an interesting addition to the issue)
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesexperiment.htm (a call for an experiment concerning checkerboarding vs opening brood nest vs doing nothing. it also explains the white wax period a bit better)
    Last but not least, go to the source.
    http://www.knology.net/~k4vb/all%20walt%20articles.htm
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,595

    Default Re: Maintaining amount of hives

    Quote Originally Posted by wcubed View Post
    Mike,
    Thought I had stomped the worm of the flat-bottomed brood nest, but maybe not. With a deep on the bottom, the flat bottom inhibits the storing of the natural pollen reserve below. The tendency of the colony to fill the deep frames with brood leaves no comb below for pollen. Didn't see the bee bread below until the brood nest was turned loose (unlimited) by checkerboarding. Some colonies would fill the bottom deep with bee bread. Note that it is seen more readily on all-medium configurations with unlimited brood nest, and sometimes referred to as "pollen bound."

    This doesn't make much sense until you recognize the bees heritage. Their instincts were developed for life in the tree hollow of extended forest. Not much fall flow in the forest. What the pollen box is intended to do is accommodate their instincts in a Lang hive. The hypothesis is that in the vertical tree hollow, they store pollen in the period when it's plentiful, the spring. As the brood nest grows upward, the pollen reserve is stored at the bottom. Come time to rear wintering bees, the broodnest grows downward into the pollen reserve. In so doing, the cluster winters in the bottom with their honey stores overhead to grow into in the late winter. The small-cell folks call that the "core" broodnest.

    Walt
    Seems to me, that in a natural, vertical tree cavity, there's no differentiation between comb...deep, shallow, or otherwise. The bees store pollen below the active broodnest even though the combs in a tree are continous. I believe it has everything to do with how much comb there is overhead...above the bottom of the cavity. If you're running an unlimited broodnest, I guess it depends on what you mean by unlimited. That the bees have more than enough room above the lowest combs to raise the brood they want, and to store the feed they need. If they're limited by an excluder, or lack of broodcomb above, because all combs are filled with honey, then they're forced down and can't store a box of pollen below...but they will store pollen near the outside combs...as the center is used for brood.

    I don't believe pollen storage below has anything to do with the depth of the combs placed on the bottom board, or any space between top and bottom bars, but rather has to do with the height of the broodnest. Yes, the colony is moved down when rearing winter bees...by incoming nectar. All the way down? Not if the cavity in the tree, or the one you create is tall enough. I winter in 2d1m, as the smallest unit. Many of my hives are taller going into winter. 3d1m, 1d3m, 6m, etc. I never remove extra brood boxes from the bottom. As I said the other day, I looked at a dozen colonies the other day. None of the clusters were located at the bottom of the bottom box. Most had deeps on the bottom. No clusters were flat.

    Pollen bound...at least in my colonies, would refer to a condition where the core of the broodnest is so filled with pollen, that the queen has no, or very few open cells in which to lay eggs. I see this often in colonies with failing queens and/or being compromised by varroa/viruses. Pollen stored below the active brood rearing cluster is, as you say, normal.

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,357

    Default Re: Maintaining amount of hives

    Mike,
    This is just another case of what we see being different and conclusions/opinions drawn from those observations also being different. I say again, this doesn't mean that either one of us is WRONG.

    Some time back, you reported weighing, and feeding if required, up to 160 lbs. My reaction at the time was that did not indicate that your wintering config. was filled. Two deeps and a medium should weigh at least 200 lbs if filled. The fact that you look up from the bottom and see a recessed, rounded cluster tells me that your clusters are not going into winter in the bottom box.

    That's not what we see in Dixie. With some seasonal exceptions, our bees winter in the filled bottom deep. A rounded cluster would have to protrude through the bottom board.
    That doesn't happen often.

    Give me a break in your incessant efforts to debunk anything I say.
    Walt

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,746

    Default Re: Maintaining amount of hives

    If I lived where they only allowed two hives I would go into winter with two hives each with a nuc on top. I seriously doubt that a non beekeeper would recognize it as four hives and I seriously doubt that a beekeeper would consider the nucs "hives" on their own. When you dog has puppies and you live where you're only allowed two dogs have you violated the law? I think it depends on how big the dogs get before you do something...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    790

    Default Re: Maintaining amount of hives

    Walt, I am a great fan but also want to say that I have followed your writings for a while and admire your achievements but found the lead off to be kind of abrasive and uppity (post#8)
    ‘Am also amazed how many beekeepers still think… ‘
    which may have set the tone to the next posts. I am not a poet but have been told frequently that
    ‘you unknowingly step on the toes of your fellows and they retaliate, seemingly without provocation’
    Seems like a firestorm of posts that sours the discussion followed. Keep writing, post your white paper for evidence, and dance (even if you have no place to do it but in your living room).
    I have no wisdom, just observations and regurgitation.
    Last edited by minz; 11-14-2012 at 03:02 PM. Reason: incomplete thought,
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,287

    Default Re: Maintaining amount of hives

    minz, is that addressed to Michael Bush? What are you refering to #8?
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  11. #71
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    790

    Default Re: Maintaining amount of hives

    Thanks Sqt, I deleted about 1/2 of what I had typed and it was incomplete. Let me know if it is still not clear (lunch hour ending, fast typing)
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,357

    Default Re: Maintaining amount of hives

    minz,
    Interesting that you should take it that way. My friends and family have been telling me for years that I have not been agressive enough in pushing what I believe to be in the best interest of beekeepers. Normally, I'm fairly passive in presentation of the concepts. The concepts are out there - use 'em, if you choose. But I turned 80 a couple months ago. Maybe that's the crotchety threshold. I am tiring of the abuse from those I'm trying to help. Didn't mean for it to show, though.
    Thanks,
    Walt

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,941

    Default Re: Maintaining amount of hives

    not crotchety enough walt, go for it!

    any plans to be in jackson county soon? would love for you to come by.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,595

    Default Re: Maintaining amount of hives

    Quote Originally Posted by minz View Post
    I have followed your writings for a while and admire your achievements but found the lead off to be kind of abrasive and uppity (post#8)

    ‘you unknowingly step on the toes of your fellows and they retaliate, seemingly without provocation’
    Seems like a firestorm of posts that sours the discussion followed.
    Walt, you asked and I'll tell you...

    Your premise that says all previous beekeeping literature, that came before your nectar management, swarm prep C/O date theory, and all scientists and professional beekeepers since the beginning of time...have got it wrong. This is how you open the document you sent me. This is how you usually introduce your dogma. I can';t abide this kind of attitude, and if you're going to continue in this vein, I'm going to present another side when I feel it's appropriate. If you say your management theories are the one and only way, I'll present what I've found in my life with the bees, if I feel it's different than yours and important enough to disagree. When you make seemingly outlandish claims, my hackles are raised

    Nothing personal Walt, just that both sides of the coin must be shown.

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,287

    Default Re: Maintaining amount of hives

    Does the difference between GA and VT come into this discussion?
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  16. #76
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default Re: Maintaining amount of hives

    Pamela - when you do loose your hives to ignorance you'll be in good company since everyone of us ignormaousus have lost hives that way! :-)
    it's part of the whole process. Gleening from all our ideas and bending and twisiting them to fit your ideals, methods and goals and then sharing that with us keeps the learning and process moving ahead. Don't let what sounds like animosity on some of these posts confuse you, what you are seeing is a whole bunch of people passionate about what they do, I'll take that over mediocraty any day.

    Walt - 80 years - thanks for all you have and we are confident you will continue to contribute. I hope to have the opportunity to be 80 and as someone said - crotchity!

  17. #77
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,543

    Default Re: Maintaining amount of hives

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Does the difference between GA and VT come into this discussion?

    My feeling exactly Mark you 2 boyzs need to chill a bit "all beekeeping is local" so take into consideration the 1000 miles or so that you are apart.

    Does any one remember the orginial question?

    Just a quick question and I should have asked this long ago? If I have 5 hives that I start out with, how do I maintain them instead of splitting and making more if I just want to continue with 5???
    Now which way did that wabbit go?
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  18. #78
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,996

    Default Re: Maintaining amount of hives

    I'm happy to see detailed critique, and countering observations/opinions.

    I understand hurt feelings, and bruised egos. I have heard from a number of people who have left this forum over the years because of the way things can get tough here.

    But I'll take the tough, but RESPECTFUL head-to-head over the "love-in, group think" environment any day.

    I had a great teacher once who told me "when you get frustrated, you should realize that the frustration is the sign that you have an opportunity to learn something, and to go beyond yourself."

    I don't see anything disrespectful going on in this thread.

    Thanks for the efforts to share, on all sides. It serves us all a lot.

    Adam

  19. #79
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,357

    Default Re: Maintaining amount of hives

    Joel,
    Meant to thank you for your earlier post - left it on my email notice list so I could go directly to it later. Must say that is an unusual group of associates that you have. Been a long-time member of two clubs - Huntsville, AL and Nashville. The management of the AL group were experienced beeks and the TN group academics. With the revered club leaders in opposition, made very little progress in my efforts.

    Mike,
    I remember a post on another thread where you asked "whats wrong with this picture? Had to do with my position that conventional wisdom is not accurate in the area of swarming. I didn't respond, but if I had, would have to point out that, to my knowledge, nobody had gone to the trouble to try to understand the swarm process. Academics and beekeepers alike were happy with calling effects of the process the causes. We have demonstrated that treating the symptoms or effects is not a reliable approach to swarm prevention. Those effects include adult bee crowding (congestion), no room for the queen to lay (backfilling), idle young bees (swarm needs wax makers), and others.

    I'll stand pat on my contention that those concepts are obsolete. Me against the world. There is some consolation in the knowledge that people who buck conventional wisdom are not popular in their day. Some die in disgrace.

    In past exchenges with you, I've been tempted to caution you against sking over the edge of this flat world. To my knowledge, nobody has come back from going over the edge.

    sqkcrk.
    The differences in colony effects between TN and VT is very much a part of this discussion.

    All,
    Have a nice day. Mine is off to a flying start.

    Walt

  20. #80
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    6,146

    Default Re: Maintaining amount of hives

    Thank you Daniel Y, I'll try it on a few hives & see what happens.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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