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  1. #441
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    cub, if it were me i would let them store some syrup in the comb, but be careful not to let them store so much that the broodnest becomes 'honeybound'.

    you still should have some fall forage, and i would consider allowing them to store as much of that as possible and then supplement with syrup if needed to bring up to winter weight.

    generally speaking, about 2/3 of the hive cavity should contain stores by the time the first frost hits.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  2. #442
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    What squarepeg said, however the practicality of achieving that with a top entrance is limited, you cannot safely feed sugar syrup into a hive if it has a top entrance.

    If the open feeding system you are using has been working, ie, the hive is filling with syrup, good. But if you do not see that syrup you are feeding end up in the desired hive, it is going somewhere else.

    Just sending a hive into winter with granulated sugar only and little normal stores in the combs is a high risk strategy. You have some opposing advice here ( not unusual ), so go with whichever you want. But if it was my hive, I would not consider it winter ready till it's been stimulated to build more comb and be in two boxes. Only real way to achieve that in this case without adding bees, is to first change to a bottom entrance and give the bees a few days to adapt to that. Then put a frame feeder or top feeder in and feed them syrup at a rate that forces them to build new comb. At the same time feed an occasional extra comb into mid broodnest to encourage them to produce more bees.

    If you want them to winter with a top entrance, you can change back to one after syrup feeding is over.

    So to me, the goal would be the hive in two boxes of drawn comb with more bees than currently, and plenty of syrup plus whatever they gather, stored in their combs. Once that has been achieved you can consider supplementary granulated sugar feed through winter although I never do that.

    Secondly I would do a mite count or two, a healthy hive is a pre requisite to winter survival.

    Sorry about all the conflicting advice, it happens. Just pick whichever way you want to go. But learn though, if something does not work don't just shrug your shoulders and move on. Figure out why it didn't work and what you have to change next time to make it work, that way you can get some benefit even from a loss.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  3. #443
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Baker Oregon
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    I am far from an expert, but if you are looking for a consensus I agree with Mr. Berninghausen, squarepeg and Oldtimer. I would feed as much syrup as they would take and than use the dry sugar as a insurance policy. I like feeding candy instead of dry sugar, because I find it easier to place in the hive (faster in cold weather) and I think they can access it better in a cluster (but for sure it is more work).
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  4. #444
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    Jan 2011
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    Athens, OH
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    I like the candy, too, but it has just about lost me my kitchen privileges
    Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?

  5. #445
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Canterbry, UK
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Secondly I would do a mite count or two, a healthy hive is a pre requisite to winter survival.
    So... a high mite count would indicate an unhealthy hive, and you'd... do what?

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

  6. #446
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    For a full answer, ask me in a different section.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  7. #447
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    The search function can save a lot of repetition.
    Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?

  8. #448
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Fayetteville, Arkansas
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    I guess that's why we keep getting demands to do mite counts. It's based on a presupposed idea that we're going to do something about it. We're not. Mite counts really have no bearing on how I keep bees or from which queen I breed. No decent performing treatment-free hive has a mite problem. Yours might, those of you who treat currently, have a good booming year and then crash. I have no doubt that happens, but it doesn't happen in a long term treatment-free program. I haven't gotten honey off a hive and then had it die in years, since 2008 I believe, and that was a climate problem, big clusters that couldn't move in the cold.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  9. #449
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Actually it wasn't any of that.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  10. #450
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    It's based on a presupposed idea that we're going to do something about it. We're not.
    No, no. I want you to do it for my own information.
    Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?

  11. #451
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    For a full answer, ask me in a different section.
    We are here in the no-treatment section. And you are suggesting doing something about mites, following a count. Asking what you, who recommends a mite count, suggest I should do if I find high levels of mites, seems like a very natural question to ask. Here. What should a no-treatment beekeeper do?

    I'm not asking for a 'full' answer. Any answer at all will be gratefully recieved.

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

  12. #452
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    from previous posts, oldtimer applied the hard bond test and allowed his colonies to collapse, and all of them (100%) are gone.

    if the goal is to deselect for lack of resistance, and in a treatment free regime, my approach will be to dequeen, brood break, sugar dust, and requeen. since it will be late in the season and after queen rearing is done, the requeening will take the form of combining a nuc with the 'failed' colony.

    the argument is sometimes made that allowing a colony to rebound from the brink of collapse has the potential to advance the acquisition of resistance. the counter-argument is the chances are slim that the colony will rebound, that it will collapse in the fall or winter, and there is a risk of the colony collapsing mites being spread to other colonies via robbing.

    the problem is that since the treatment free contributors on this forum don't do mite counts, it is unknown what infestation rates are being tolerated, and at what level a colony is likely to collapse.

    i will be undertaking mite counts in my treatment free operation and attempting to correlate them with survival and productivity. whether or not there will be predictive value in the counts which would lead to the intervention detailed above remains to be seen.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  13. #453
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Mike there are things I would / may do that are acceptable in this forum. But it would not be a full answer or the whole picture.

    If you want to know what I would do, a "part" answer will not be what I would do. Would it.

    With your history of arguing with everything I say, I am certain my answer will be argued with and you will demand further explanation.

    For that reason you will have to ask elsewhere.

    That is, unless you don't actually want to know what I would do but are just seeking another argument.

    In fact an example of that has happened already. I have already given a "part answer" to what I would do, ie, a mite count. And the two usual suspects, you and Solomon, have immediately picked up on it and steering this towards an argument.

    Again, ask elsewhere. Is that too hard?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  14. #454
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    Athens, OH
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    I remember when y'all spent all that time hashing out forum rules. Here.

    "This forum is for those who wish to discuss Treatment-Free Beekeeping, not for them to be required to defend it. There is no need to discuss commercial or other methods of beekeeping. There are multiple forums to address any and all subjects. Any post advocating the use of treatments, according to the forum definition of treatment will be considered off topic and shall be moved to another forum or deleted by a moderator. Discussions of the definition of "Treatment-Free" will be deleted.

    Posts or portions of posts judged to be uncivil may be edited or deleted by a moderator. Please avoid making any kind of accusation toward another forum user. Do not impugn their motives, do not question their skills, and do not use pejoratives."
    Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?

  15. #455
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
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    1,184

    Default Re: Winter losses vs. Summer gains

    I've thought about this quite a bit, and it seems to me that almost no one is really a Bond beekeeper in strict terms. What I mean is that you would tend to make increase from your survivors, and you really might not know why they survived.

    Lots of folks have told me that no matter how good my untreated hives look now, in their second year, they will inevitably collapse.

    While that may be true, who just stands still and waits for all their hives to die? I've already made a couple of splits from my best hive, and they are doing well. They probably have benefited from the brood break involved. If all three die over the winter (such as it is here in N Florida) well, the line was too weak to waste time keeping alive. But if even one does survive, then I would make increase from that one. And from other hives that do well.

    I don't know, but isn't this the way most beekeepers would approach the situation, whether treating or not treating? The point I'm struggling to make is that not-treating is going to remove the weakest bees from the yard. But you make increase from survivors, so your increase will be a mix of your strongest bees, your luckiest bees, and your middling bees that have survived... not necessarily due to their superior genetics.

    Isn't the approach I've outlined a much more common approach to treatment-free beekeeping than simply setting up a number of colonies and waiting to see if any of them survive? I would suppose that one advantage of this approach is that you get valuable genetic input from local survivors, via open mated queens, so the tendency should be toward survivorship, unless you are near a large commercial apiary.

  16. #456
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    Fayetteville, Arkansas
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    Default Re: Winter losses vs. Summer gains

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    I've thought about this quite a bit, and it seems to me that almost no one is really a Bond beekeeper in strict terms. What I mean is that you would tend to make increase from your survivors, and you really might not know why they survived.
    I don't see understanding why they survived as relevant to the fact that they survived.



    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    Lots of folks have told me that no matter how good my untreated hives look now, in their second year, they will inevitably collapse.
    I've heard the same thing, year after year after year.



    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    While that may be true, who just stands still and waits for all their hives to die?
    Nobody, that's a straw man. We keep on beekeeping. The whole point is to increase faster than losses accrue, just like with every other beekeeper. What you're suggesting is to die by attrition and that will have the same result treatment or no. I have done it by the way, just for a limited time. One does have too many hives at times you know.



    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    But you make increase from survivors, so your increase will be a mix of your strongest bees, your luckiest bees, and your middling bees that have survived... not necessarily due to their superior genetics.
    As I've mentioned before, I don't believe in luck, so that leaves the strongest bees and the middling bees. And yes, this is exactly what happens, but the same is the case with treated bees. My methods are adapted from Michael Palmer's. Keep the performers to perform and provide genetics, off the dinks, and requeen the middlers. If it isn't due to the genetics, it is incumbent upon you to provide a hypothesis which explains the data.



    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    Isn't the approach I've outlined a much more common approach to treatment-free beekeeping than simply setting up a number of colonies and waiting to see if any of them survive?
    I would say it is, however, I haven't heard of it working all that well in the long run to be frank. I ask how many of us treatment-free beekeepers did it that way? Ultimately, it always comes down to the Bond Test.


    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    I would suppose that one advantage of this approach is that you get valuable genetic input from local survivors, via open mated queens, so the tendency should be toward survivorship, unless you are near a large commercial apiary.
    I've discovered I have a yard near a commercial queen breeder, and in fact, I'm probably providing him drones. I have not had a hive in that yard die since I set it up. I can only recount my experience.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  17. #457
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    Dec 2012
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    Default Re: Winter losses vs. Summer gains

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    If it isn't due to the genetics, it is incumbent upon you to provide a hypothesis which explains the data.
    My hypothesis is that genetics is only part of the answer.

    One of the things that has amazed me in the course of researching this is the unwillingness of folks to grasp that treatments are in fact damaging to colony health. It seems to me to be at least plausible that treatments which disrupt hive and bee microbiota are in substantial part to blame for loss of colony vitality. It has been demonstrated that certain widely-used treatments do result in reduced queen longevity and fecundity. I feel reasonably certain that there are other unquantified sub-lethal effects. Among these stressors may be the extended feeding of sugar, the use of contaminated foundation, less than optimal cell size, and so forth.

    I don't know of any way to prove this, but my suspicion is that when middling-quality bees survive for a while without treatment, it is at least in part due to the lack of these stressors.

    If in fact colony mortality is related to a fairly large number of factors, and not just to genetics alone, it would go far toward explaining certain anomalies. As an example, consider Tim Ives, whose colonies thrive in the midst of corn and soy country. Why do his hives produce so well, and have such low mortality, when he is surrounded by a monocrop desert? I think it can best be explained by the idea that there are many important factors in maintaining healthy bees beyond genetics, or pesticide-free forage, or leaving adequate stores.

    My feeling is that natural systems, are in reality far more complex than we are yet in a position to understand. What we should be doing is reducing all the adverse actors in colony health that we can figure out, while breeding toward bees that can survive the pest du jour-- most recently, varroa-- as long as everything else, or most everything else, is right.

    The fact that the drones from that large commercial apiary are not swamping your improved genetics is an indication to me that it is your cultural practices more than it is the genetics of your bees that have led to your success.

    But I'm a beginner, and I've only been studying this since last winter, so I could be completely wrong.

  18. #458
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    Default Re: Winter losses vs. Summer gains

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I've discovered I have a yard near a commercial queen breeder, and in fact, I'm probably providing him drones. I have not had a hive in that yard die since I set it up. I can only recount my experience.
    OK, you are probably supplying him drones. It would be nave to think that he is not also supplying you drones.

    In fact, if the guy is a commercial queen breeder he will likely be swamping the area with drones and your bees will have his genetics. Presumably those "weak commercial" genetics you have often spoken about.

    Does he treat? If so, your bees have treated genetics. Yet you claim no hives in that yard have died.

    The facts, as presented by yourself, are at variance with your argument about your genetically treatment free line. I would have to agree with RAldridge on this one. Additionally, I can tell you that few beekeepers are as isolated from everybody else as they think. An example to prove that, would be the fact that all this time you've been thinking you are developing your own line, then only recently have discovered you have a commercial queen breeder and his drones right next door.

    The interesting thing would be what the commercial queen breeders practises are, and what kind of bees he is breeding. Are they Russians? Are they totally non varroa resistant Italians? I would like to hear your comments on this.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  19. #459
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    May 2009
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    Canterbry, UK
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    Default Re: Winter losses vs. Summer gains

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    OK, you are probably supplying him drones. It would be nave to think that he is not also supplying you drones.

    In fact, if the guy is a commercial queen breeder he will likely be swamping the area with drones and your bees will have his genetics. Presumably those "weak commercial" genetics you have often spoken about.

    The facts, as presented by yourself, are at variance with your argument about your genetically treatment free line.
    Not necessarily. One hypothesis is that a good strain with firmly embedded mite tolerance (as Solomon has developed) propagated vigorously down the queen side can offer good genetic defence despite high levels of mite-vulnerable drone input. Remember, only a few patrilines need carry the necessary behaviors.

    Then again, Solomon, are you allowing mating here, or simply inserting queens mated elsewhere?

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

  20. #460
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Nelson, South Island, New Zealand
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    Default Re: Winter losses vs. Summer gains

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I've discovered I have a yard near a commercial queen breeder, and in fact, I'm probably providing him drones. I have not had a hive in that yard die since I set it up. I can only recount my experience.
    lol I would suggest he will be supplying a hundred fold more drones to the area than you will be Solomon, I'd also suggest 8 out of 10 queens mated in your yard are mating with his drones.

    @ Mike can't fault your optimism !

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