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  1. #181
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    sol's thread, public forum.

    wacky weather and hampered build up does not discriminate between tf or not, commercial or hobbiest.

    sol, i believe that you reported most of your losses over the years were from starvation during the summer?
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  2. #182
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    sol, i believe that you reported most of your losses over the years were from starvation during the summer?
    I have reported that in the last couple of years, I have lost more hives during the summer. It's a bit harder to figure out what exactly got them because in the winter they're a bit more refrigerated and preserved but in the summer, not so much. Last summer, I lost three nucs and a hive. The summer before, I lost something like three hives. The other trait is that brand new hives are the ones that die in the summer, older ones are the ones that die in the winter, generally speaking.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #183
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    Jun 2012
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    Spicewood, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Solomon:
    I figured that is what happened with my question, especially since everyone is so busy this time of year.

    Yes, I released both queens on April 15. Looks like one was accepted just fine. I found her, plus some capped brood, when I went into the hive the day before yesterday. She's in the TBH with the (closed) screened bottom board.

    I have checked three times for the queen in the other hive. I never could find her even though she is marked. The hive numbers are dwindling, the bees seem lethargic, I see very little pollen and can't recall seeing capped stores. I saw no eggs or larvae, but I sure wish it were easier to see through my bee suit screen. I do know there was plenty of fresh, empty comb in which she could lay. I am going to put in another queen this morning and hope it's not too late. I'll leave her in the cage for a few days.

    Sondra

  4. #184
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Sondra, I wish I could be more helpful. It does sound like maybe they rejected her. Is there any way you can add some capped brood to this hive to perk them up a little?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  5. #185
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    May 2009
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    Canterbry, UK
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Hi Solomon,

    From about 30 swarms and cut-outs collected and simply boxed last year, and sent into winter without any help, I have come through with 7 survivors, which includes one outstanding queen/colony. Following advice from R.O.B. Manley, Honey Farming, London, 1946, I have removed her to a small nuc to preserve her for breeding purposes.

    (It could be that these are early days, and this hive will suffer from mites later, but so far they are just fine, and I want to develop my breeding skills and system anyway)

    This action had the unfortunate effect of stopping the extensive drone production in her original BB+lift box, something I had considered essential to my aim of raising vigourous and productive mite-managers.

    So I'm been considering trying inserting large cell foundation into her nuc to try to get her drone numbers back.

    Does this sound like a good plan - both overall and on the specific matter of preservation of the most valued queen and drone production?

    On the (7 brood frame) queen preservation nuc, I'm thinking of withdrawing one or two frames regularly to stop swarming behaviours developing. I'm thinking about adding a lift too. It seems to me there is a fine line to be found between cramping her to slow her laying (and thus preserving her) and provoking swarming behaviour. Then again, if she raises swarm cells I could always pinch them for new nucs.

    Again, can I ask for your thoughts about this general strategy?

    Many thanks in advance,

    Mike Bispham, UK
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
    http://www.suttonjoinery.co.uk/CCD/

  6. #186
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Again, can I ask for your thoughts about this general strategy?
    Good to hear from the UK, I am a fan of your N. T. Wright, your Eddie Izzard, and the fact that I can be a fan of both at once.

    I will be happy to offer you some thoughts, some of these things I have done, some I have not.

    First, I have not been in the habit of setting aside a queen like that, though maybe I should be. This year, it has been quite inconvenient having my breeder queens off-site. I think I will incorporate that into my plan for next year. Another of my problems is not being able to summer a hive of much less than two deeps. They need those honey stores to make it through the summer, a problem I don't think you have. Also, for utilitarian purposes, I like to see what she's capable of, though that may mean a shortened life.

    I have on a number of occasions used nucs to build comb. Nucs make good comb builders. I've found that they can draw out a comb and fill it with brood in a week under the right conditions. Then I can remove one of the older frames with honey and keep the brood population high, and maintain the ability to build comb, and yes, this also effectively limits swarming.

    I also like the drone comb. I am in the habit of placing foundationless frames in hives I want to make drones and they will. Watch the term "large cell foundation" around here because that typically refers to standard size foundation in this crowd, a number of which use small cell foundation. I don't have much drone foundation myself, just a couple pieces of plastic, but I do use the foundationless frames for that purpose.

    Also, around here, pinch usually means squish, but I believe it means steal for you.

    What is the state of miticide usage in the UK?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  7. #187
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    Canterbry, UK
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    What is the state of miticide usage in the UK?
    Orthodox, carefully orchestrated, followed by the great majority. Worse, the larger part of the beekeeper population doesn't have the background knowledge to comprehend the mechanism by which treatments perpetuate the need to treat, or the way it suppresses feral populations (and fail to see any benefit to feral populations). As we're a densely populated island, going treatment free entails the location of relatively isolated spots and a determined effort to control the genetics of the local breeding pool.

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I like to see what she's capable of, though that may mean a shortened life.
    Yes, I agree 'field tests' are crucial part. But once tested (and even better, tested for the propensity to supply strong offspring) reserving this precious resource makes sense I think. Doing so in a way that is simple and systematic, and also satisfies the need for a strong male side, seems like an area worth focusing on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Nucs make good comb builders. I've found that they can draw out a comb and fill it with brood in a week under the right conditions. Then I can remove one of the older frames with honey and keep the brood population high, and maintain the ability to build comb, and yes, this also effectively limits swarming.
    I took a look at her in her new 7 frame nuc yesterday, and she's filled every unused cell with an egg. I made a quick decision and popped another brood box on top, thinking they can draw comb (as you say), relieve her urge to lay, and I can whip the top off as a strong split in a week or two, and repeat. I'll try to persuade her to ease up slowly! Probably as midsummer passes she'll want to do that anyway. Then we'll move on to work with grafting and mating nucs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I am in the habit of placing foundationless frames in hives I want to make drones and they will.
    I'm moving to starter strip only, and yes they make a nice number of drones. Which points up a danger in those who go foundationless while treating/manipulating against varroa - lots of ugly drones. I might experiment with drone foundation later, but, thinking about it, this might give a 'false reading' on the mite issue, as the drone brood soak up the mite action. Probably just going natural is the best approach.

    I'm liking this idea of special treatment for the queen of queens more and more. Thanks Solomon!

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 06-02-2013 at 01:32 AM.
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
    http://www.suttonjoinery.co.uk/CCD/

  8. #188
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Are there many successful treatment free hives in England?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #189
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I have reported that in the last couple of years, I have lost more hives during the summer. It's a bit harder to figure out what exactly got them because in the winter they're a bit more refrigerated and preserved but in the summer, not so much. Last summer, I lost three nucs and a hive. The summer before, I lost something like three hives. The other trait is that brand new hives are the ones that die in the summer, older ones are the ones that die in the winter, generally speaking.
    I had the same experience last summer and winter. They did not starve during either period, because I didn't harvest honey until really late, and I fed fall and winter.

    My theory is that cured honey alone during a long hot dearth is not conducive to healthy hives and brood production - it is what they have adapted to keep them going through the winter. The strong subsisted on a simulated nectar flow that was caused by successful robbing, but they were still under a long period of nutritional stress that resulted in a population of weak, short lived bees going into winter.

    The survivors this year in my yard are on average the most aggressive bees I have ever had, and I suspect when the flow ends in a few days that they will be brutal robbers.

    That's why the shop project of the day is robber screens.

  10. #190
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Roscommon Mi USA
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    37

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    I am a third year bee keeper. I had one hive of Italians that I thought was doing very good and they died last winter(their second year). I now have three hives of carnolians(two are splits). I started them from nucs and they really took off. I split one hive and the one with the queen is doing well the queenless hive has a couple queen cells waiting to hatch. I want to go treatment free. I just got some small plastic frames from Mann Lake. I would hate to lose my bees while switching over. Should I treat for mites this year during transition or try something different like powder sugar?? I've heard that smoke from sumac pods kills mites, true? I really don't want poison in my hive if I can help it. Any suggestions for transition. I am reading this thread a lot....

  11. #191
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    Dec 2002
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by sheepdog View Post
    Should I treat for mites this year during transition or try something different like powder sugar??
    I supposed you could, but surveys show it doesn't work. I wouldn't if I were you. Increase is the key. Get numbers up, that way if losses do occur, you can absorb them.

    Quote Originally Posted by sheepdog View Post
    I've heard that smoke from sumac pods kills mites, true?
    I wouldn't know. The one downside to not treating with anything is that I don't really know what works and what doesn't. I will say this, the middle of the year is a really hard time to start unless you can increase, which may well be possible in your area. However, it's got to be done sooner or later, and if your bees are accustomed to having that work done for them, then they're going to have a hard time. I would recommend never using any treatment of any kind whatsoever, especially ones that will have lasting effects. Dirty comb will not help you.

    This is the problem I see with the argument that "one ought to start out the usual way first and then go treatment-free later." It brings all these problems in. I say go treatment-free first. And then go big.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  12. #192
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    Sep 2011
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    Reno, NV
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    .
    The one downside to not treating with anything is that I don't really know what works and what doesn't.
    Would that include weather treatment free actually works? Sorry I just could not resist. that comment just jumped out at me. It is true that I do not subscribe to the none treatment idea any more than I would the idea you can consolidate hundreds of animals in a small space and then ignore the risk of infectious diseases.

    By the way. what difference do you see beekeeping creates in regard to diseases. infections infestations and stresses that they would otherwise not be exposed to if not being kept in extremely unnatural concentrations? Do beekeeping methods increase the likelihood or weaken the bees natural resistance to diseases?
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  13. #193
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    Would that include weather treatment free actually works?
    I would use the criteria that an effective treatment would be demonstrated by the event in which a greater statistically significant number of colonies survived as compared to a control. That would be evidence that it worked. Evidence that it was effective would have to be constituted of a far higher number of colonies surviving in comparison to a control. In my view, no mite treatment passes that test. The best one according to the Bee Informed Survey is one that provides only ten percentage points higher survival rate. That's the difference between losing three colonies out of ten and losing four out of ten. I don't see that as very effective.


    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    what difference do you see beekeeping creates in regard to diseases. infections infestations and stresses that they would otherwise not be exposed to if not being kept in extremely unnatural concentrations?
    I see the unnatural concentrations of hives causing a greater occurrence and more rapid spread of disease. However, it is migratory beekeeping which spreads disease the quickest and furthest. I believe, and my continued beekeeping experience shows this, that those problems can be overcome and have so by many generations of keeping bees in apiaries, if they existed at all.


    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    Do beekeeping methods increase the likelihood or weaken the bees natural resistance to diseases?
    Modern beekeeping, and I am speaking of the use of treatments here, increases the likelihood of infection as I mentioned above, but the treatment weakens the natural resistance to disease. By supporting hives that would otherwise die, the beekeeper artificially subverts natural selection to a great degree and causes reduced effectiveness or the simple loss of the natural defense mechanisms which would be held to the forefront if colonies not able to handle the disease were allowed to follow their natural course. Treatment-free beekeeping returns the natural defense mechanisms to the population simply by removing those individuals (the super-organism) who do not have them. This is a rather basic concept in the theory of natural selection.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  14. #194
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    May 2011
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    Roscommon Mi USA
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Thank you Solomon Parker

  15. #195
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    By supporting hives that would otherwise die, the beekeeper artificially subverts natural selection to a great degree and causes reduced effectiveness or the simple loss of the natural defense mechanisms which would be held to the forefront if colonies not able to handle the disease were allowed to follow their natural course. Treatment-free beekeeping returns the natural defense mechanisms to the population simply by removing those individuals (the super-organism) who do not have them. This is a rather basic concept in the theory of natural selection.
    It is also a rather basic concept in plant and animal husbandry.

    Selective parentage (perhaps better understood as routine and systematic breeding toward health and vitality) has been the essential trick and the keystone of agriculture for thousands of years.

    That is what 'treatment free' amounts to. Its simply traditional time-tested husbandry.

    There can be no question that it works.

    That the 'alternative' the veterinary model of 'husbandry' might work in open populations is however not merely questionable - it is an absurd proposition.

    Mike
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
    http://www.suttonjoinery.co.uk/CCD/

  16. #196
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Are there many successful treatment free hives in the UK?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  17. #197
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Are there many successful treatment free hives in the UK?
    Nobody knows. There certainly hasn't been anything like the effort put in here as in the US. I don't know if there are any UK forums where non-treatment conversations are allowed to develop - there weren't last time I tried - so public communications about just what people are doing are as far as I know-non existent.

    From private conversations I do know people are quietly working at it, and often partially succeeding. Not many are deliberately breeding toward mite resistance -again as far as I know - the 'non-treatment' routines seems to be just that, with consequent high losses. There is, or at least was, a Cornish project, but the last time I spoke with them they didn't seem to have much of a clue about the relationship between treating and resistance. There is a lot of talk about breeding, and long-standing bee-breeders organisation, but they are obsessed with restoration of the native bee. If you try to talk with them about treatments and resistance they'll just say 'the native bee will obviously be best for the UK' and carry on making black-coloured bees which they'll have to treat 'until they develop resistance'.

    But I'm not well up on what goes on on the forums or anywhere else - I just do my own thing - and that seems to be working so far.

    In Europe there is John Kefus of course.

    Mike
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
    http://www.suttonjoinery.co.uk/CCD/

  18. #198
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    OK well I had a look at your site and did understand and sympathise with the cross breeding problem with non resistant stock.

    But from your post I take it that you anyway, are successfully treatment free?

    Reason I'm asking, well there's a few issues of similarities, I think, between your country and mine. Neither have Africanised bees, that I know of, and in my country there are no successful treatment free beekeepers, not one. That's despite me and I've discovered 2 others, making a fairly determined attempt at it but in the end failing. There is one guy here still running a good number of treatment free hives but he hasn't been going long. He has the advantage I didn't of being in a fairly isolated area, he uses the bond method.

    Anyhow sorry about the rant, just wondering what I could learn from the UK situation.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  19. #199
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    [QUOTE=Oldtimer;974862]... from your post I take it that you anyway, are successfully treatment free?/QUOTE]

    I don't treat or manipulate in any way that might obstruct the development of a resistant population. I split from what seem to be the healthiset, most productive, vigourous and trouble free hives. And I'm working at building numbers and dominating the airspace around my mating yard.

    I started out with as many swarms and cut-outs from what I understood were long-standing feral colonies as I could get my hands on, and making increase quickly. I lost about 2/3rds last winter, but that's pretty much what i expected - and wanted - to happen. It was, by our standards a dreadful summer and a similarly awful winter, and I was hard on them.

    I currently have 30 (apparently trouble-free) hives at varying stages of development - most this year's splits. This is the third year of an attempt to do this, and I think I now have the genetic material I need to make it work - but - we'll see. I'm optimistic that I'll lose less than a 1/3rd this winter - I can just see how much stronger they are this year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Reason I'm asking, well there's a few issues of similarities, I think, between your country and mine. Neither have Africanised bees, that I know of, and in my country there are no successful treatment free beekeepers, not one. That's despite me and I've discovered 2 others, making a fairly determined attempt at it but in the end failing.
    What have you tried?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    There is one guy here still running a good number of treatment free hives but he hasn't been going long. He has the advantage I didn't of being in a fairly isolated area, he uses the bond method.

    Anyhow sorry about the rant, just wondering what I could learn from the UK situation.
    No probs, hope that helps. Try to get hold of good bees, increase them fast, and dominate - or at least influence - the drone activity. Where are you?

    Mike (UK)
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
    http://www.suttonjoinery.co.uk/CCD/

  20. #200
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    What have you tried?
    I ran some small cell hives bond method, end of day, couldn't make it work.

    By the way, British native bees, I know about them, that's what we used to have here, the early settlers brought them. It was a long time before a different breed arrived, Italians. The British bees were pretty much wiped out when varroa arrived, they go extinct in each area within 2 or 3 years of varroa getting there. Of course the other bees are all partially hybridised so there is still some British genetics. But nothing too pure they cannot live with varroa.
    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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