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  1. #521

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Soft Bond by John Kefuss:

    http://www.immenfreunde.de/SBT.pdf

  2. #522
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post
    In the third year and fourth year you will experience a 100 % loss.
    Yes, I've also been hearing that for quite some time. I haven't found it to be true as I have been keeping bees treatment-free for ten years without ever having more than a 71% loss in any given year. Perhaps Michael Bush is on the money.


    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    So; is sugar dusting a good thing? If not why not? What do people here think, and why?
    Well, the appropriate response in this forum would be no. But let's back that up. http://beeinformed.org/wp-content/up...-sugar-use.pdf The Bee Informed National survey shows no statistical difference when using sugar dusting.


    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    This is technically and practically impossible.
    Michael Bush would say you're mistaken, and he would credit small cell. I'm starting to think he's right. With the Bond Test, small cell is what can tip the balance. I've seen it done without small cell, using bees from Bee Weaver and similar sources, but often the foundationless crew has troubles. And before the arguments crop up, small cell is not "natural," but it is more natural and more normal than the widely available standard cell size. If you can't explain my successes, then perhaps small cell (or GASP!!! Housel Positioning) is really the deciding factor.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #523
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    I've purchased BeeWeaver packages since I'm convinced that it's far better to start with resistant stock, or better yet, feral colonies, than it is to try and 'Bond' your way to resistant stock.

    I've since discovered that there is a small but significant amount of African genetics in BeeWeavers.

    I did put PF120's small cell medium frames in my supers. 4.9mm seems to be the natural cell size for Africanized bees.

    To my disappointment, they're building ladder comb between PF120 frames in the mediums (again).

    Different stock, same problem.

  4. #524
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    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    I did put PF120's small cell medium frames in my supers. 4.9mm seems to be the natural cell size for Africanized bees.

    To my disappointment, they're building ladder comb between PF120 frames in the mediums (again).

    Different stock, same problem.
    Part of it is just stupid plastic frames with their thin top bar thickness causes more bridge comb and laddering.

    Shaving the end bars down to 1 1/4" spacing and sticking an extra frame in the box helps. I find smaller bees do better with tighter spacing.

    Anonymous regards

  5. #525
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by D Semple View Post
    Shaving the end bars down to 1 1/4" spacing and sticking an extra frame in the box helps. I find smaller bees do better with tighter spacing.
    Have you done this with the Mann Lake frames? I've been doing it and it seems to work fairly well. I do get the occasional perpendicular comb across several frames. I bought a small planer, I can do a frame in about four seconds.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  6. #526
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Mr. Parker; If it is small cell that makes the difference, how do all of the beekeepers that have bees on 5.2 and larger have bees that survive? There are many Arkansas beekeepers that do not treat or seldom treat that have colonies survive for several years.

  7. #527
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Have you done this with the Mann Lake frames? I've been doing it and it seems to work fairly well. I do get the occasional perpendicular comb across several frames. I bought a small planer, I can do a frame in about four seconds.
    Yes, I use a jointer (which I encouraged you to buy for the same purpose if my memory is correct).

    Don

  8. #528
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by AR Beekeeper View Post
    Mr. Parker; If it is small cell that makes the difference, how do all of the beekeepers that have bees on 5.2 and larger have bees that survive? There are many Arkansas beekeepers that do not treat or seldom treat that have colonies survive for several years.
    I know. Yet you say yours don't. How do you explain that? I've seen it go both ways around here. I'm looking for a hypothesis which explains the data.



    Quote Originally Posted by D Semple View Post
    Yes, I use a jointer (which I encouraged you to buy for the same purpose if my memory is correct).
    Same thing, I found one on Craig's List.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  9. #529
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    My Bond Yard was started in 2006 with 12 colonies on Pierco plastic foundations and standard was foundation and have not been managed in any way. As of last week there are still 6 colonies that are alive. How many of your small cell colonies that have been left completely alone are still alive and how many years have they been that way?

  10. #530
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    All of my colonies are small cells, ~32 as of this writing. I don't know what to do with "left completely alone" as I keep bees like any other normal person. I do not split for mite control. About 50-60% of hives are not interfered with in a given year other than occasional inspections and then honey collection in June. There is little to no inspection done between June and September in this locale.

    I can say off hand, at least five hives have not been much messed with in the last two years. I have one hive that has been treatment-free for ten years, never requeened.

    So your Bond yard was not small cell? Any splitting at all? Any management?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  11. #531
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post
    I followed a strict let-die regime. No feeding, no treating. Doing this for ten years, suffered massive losses.
    Hi Bernhard,

    I'm just going to ask questions in reply, which may seem short, but I'm trying to get directly to te things that seem important.

    Can I understand that all this time you were making increase only from your most promising? How did you evaluate for that?

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post
    And just because I had seperate apiaries and some apiaries where I treated the bees (tried all the different treatments available for comparison) I had bees to restart my treatment free project. Over and over again. Bullheaded as I sometimes can be.
    So your initial genetics, time and again were treated apiary bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post
    I didn't do any swarm preventions, so multiplied with swarms and also did a lot of cutouts.
    So no to the question about multiplying only from your best?

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post
    I had longterm survivors. Especially in one hive. That hive is 60 years old (just the hive not the bees), a horizontal hive, plastered with a thick propolis layer, filled with fixed comb and a lot of honey. But even that hive collapsed after five years. I still keep the daughter queens, though, trying to keep that line.
    Do you keep her daughters for drone material? In fact what is your drone policy? How do you defend any good genetics you might have against imregantion by treatment-dependent strains?

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post
    So I am Mike just ten years later. I learned a lot about how much hives can take, about the different stages from suffering first mite damages to a collapse. If you watch it happen over and over again, you can say: hey, now it is too late for a recovery. One good thing I learned. But that's the only good thing about the Bond method.
    As I understand it John Kefuss travelled all over to source mite resistant genetics. That is is, to my mind, a critical part of the Bond method.

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post
    Not good for the bees, certainly. I probably go to hell one day for letting all those colonies suffer and die. For nothing. Definitely not worth to waste a number of hives to it
    If we'd all just let those that can't handle mites die, we'd be back to normal in a few years. Its the maintenance of non resistant bees that is the problem. Its not waste, its natural process.

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post
    . If you want to do some research and educate yourself, start with less hives. They all collapse the same way.
    Others report differently - but then perhaps they took strong and urgent steps to source resistant genetics from the beginning, and then got organised to defend those genetics against the lousy drones. Or perhaps they got lucky with isolation and good bee country, resulting in naturally adapted ferals.

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post
    I stumbled over the Soft Bond Method just when I wanted to give it all up. It works for me. Some years I do have to treat only 10 %. Some years are bad and I have to treat about 90 % of all hives. There is no average. But I have untreated colonies and I multiply from those, that do seem to cope well with varroa. *I requeen all the others that get treated. That is about it.
    That seems like a reasonable process. But I'd definately work to get in more resistant genetics, and to arrange a well stocked mating yard to try to get the resistance moving in down the drone side as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post
    What I have learned is, that it is not sugar, nor frames, nor moving hives, nor the beekeeper, nor varroa. I can rule that out from my own experiments. Bees do as fine (or not) in a log hive as in a frame hive. With or without sugar. Doesn't matter.
    Not varroa? How can you say that?

    The big question on my mind is: how many hives are you working with, and how many treated hives are around you, how close? Unless you can influence the drone side strongly you will tend to constantly backslide.

    The other is: are there longstanding ferals near you? Can you draw on them more?

    More and more people are reporting success Bernhard. How do you account for that?

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

  12. #532
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    No, my bond yard is standard cell foundation,wax and plastic, and have had no feeding, requeening or other manipulations, except for removing a queen or two for breeders. They have just sat in place and I have watched the entrances to see if they have survived winters and drouths. They have produced swarms, some I caught, others I did not. My purpose in making the yard a bond yard was to see how long colonies could survive with no help from beekeepers and how successful they would be in requeening themselves.

    This yard is the last registered yard north of Mtn. View and it is bordered by Government lands. The closest registered yard is my home yard and it is 4.5 miles away according to a GPS.

  13. #533
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    I should have come to visit you when I was in your neck of the woods the other week.

    That's an interesting experiment, but I'm a beekeeper, I keep bees. That involves a lot more than just stacks of boxes in the corner of the yard as you know. If I did that, I'd be accused of being a bee haver.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  14. #534
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    [MB]This is technically and practically impossible. (remarking on Oldtimer's suggestion that genetcs might be irrelevant)
    [Solomon]
    Michael Bush would say you're mistaken, and he would credit small cell.

    He may say I have him wrong; but I think he'd agree that genetics are always relevant, that having the right genetics is essential, but would add: that in his experience small cell also makes a positive difference. That's an addition, not a correction.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    I've purchased BeeWeaver packages since I'm convinced that it's far better to start with resistant stock, or better yet, feral colonies, than it is to try and 'Bond' your way to resistant stock.
    Its a no brainer. You wouldn't start a labrador breeding business with alsatians. You wouldn't start a pig farm by going round the local pig farms asking them to give you their unwanted runts.

    If you possibly can you start a breeding project with sound initial genetics. Every time. You do your utmost to only allow further sound genetics into your breeding population.

    These are basic breeding principles.

    In every field of husbandry the best breeding stock are worth tens or even hundreds of times more than ordinary stock. There is a reason for that.

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

  15. #535
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    That's an addition, not a correction.
    Understood.


    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    alsatians
    You might clarify for those that don't speak Brit. I know exactly what you mean, I used to listen to Billy Connolly.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  16. #536
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Yes, I've also been hearing that for quite some time. I haven't found it to be true as I have been keeping bees treatment-free for ten years without ever having more than a 71% loss in any given year. Perhaps Michael Bush is on the money.
    The thing people tend to forget about this (and with many things beekeeping), is it is location dependant.

    Bernhards experience was true for him, in his location.

    Others, who are not familiar with what's what where he is, can postulate why bond didn't work there. But I suspect the reasons postulated are wrong, because there are "successful" tf beekeepers who have done all those "wrong" things, yet succeeded.

    What I have noticed, is the relative ease with which even unskilled hobby beekeepers in the US convert their bees to TF, even by using the bond method, and that in other places it does not work, full stop.

    Another thing I have noticed, is there is a correlation between countries where tf is easily achieved, and countries that have Africanised genetics. Draw your own conclusions.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  17. #537
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    >In the third year and fourth year you will experience a 100 % loss.

    On large cells it did not take that long. Two was sufficient. But on small cell it didn't happen. Not in the third, or the fourth, or the fifth or the sixth or the seventh or the eighth or the ninth or the tenth or the eleventh...

    >To my disappointment, they're building ladder comb between PF120 frames in the mediums (again).

    On any frame with a thin top bar (plastic or otherwise, small cell or large cell) the bees will connect between the boxes. This is a well known phenomena and has been documented since the late 1800.

    Thick top bars:
    a quick search of 50 years among the bees turns it up on page 46.

    "When attending that same convention that very practical Canadian bee-keeper, J.B. Hall, showed me his thick top-bars, and told me that they prevented the building up of so much burr-comb between the top-bars and the sections. Although I made no immediate practical use of this knowledge, it had no little to do with my using thick top-bars afterwards. i was at that time using the Heddon slat honey-board (Fig. 6) and the use of it with the frames I then had was a boon. It kept the bottoms of the sections clean, but when it was necessary to open the brood-chamber there was found a solid mass of honey between the honey-board and the top bars. It was something of a nuisance, too, to have this extra part in the way, and I am very glad that at the present day it can be dispensed with by having top-bars 1-1/8 inch wide and 7/8 inch thick, with a space of 1/4 inch between top-bar and section. Not that there is an entire absence of burr-combs, but near enough to it so that one can get along much more comfortably than with the slat honey-board. At any rate there is no longer the killing of bees that there was every day the dauby honey-board was replaced."--C.C. Miller, Fifty Years Among the Bees.

    "Q. Do you believe that a half-inch thick brood-frame top-bar will tend to prevent the bees building burr-comb on such frames, as well as the three-quarter inch top-bar? Which kind do you use?

    A. I do not believe that the one-half inch will prevent burr-
    combs quite as well as the three-quarter. Mine are seven-eighths."--C.C. Miller, A Thousand Answers to Beekeeping Questions

    >Mr. Parker; If it is small cell that makes the difference, how do all of the beekeepers that have bees on 5.2 and larger have bees that survive?

    In my experience they are still fighting Varroa on 5.4mm. Some of them surviving isn't everything.

    >This is technically and practically impossible.
    >He may say I have him wrong; but I think he'd agree that genetics are always relevant

    Relevant to survival against Varroa? Not in my experience. Relevant to winter survival? Most definitely. Relevant to general health? Most definitely.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #538
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Oldtimer said : ..."some TF beekeepers are finding they handle mites regardless of genetics."

    Mike Bispham replied: "This is technically and practically impossible... There is no 'regardless of genetics.' Genetics is always there, whether you appreciate the fact or not.

    Adam Foster Collins suggests:

    Sometimes the genetics that tip the scales in favor of colony survival could in fact be the genetics of the mites. It is possible that in some cases, it may be the mite population that is adjusting itself to find a balance with the host on which their lives depend...

    Adam

  19. #539
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post

    [...]
    This is technically and practically impossible.
    >He may say I have him wrong; but I think he'd agree that genetics are always relevant

    Relevant to survival against Varroa? Not in my experience. Relevant to winter survival? Most definitely. Relevant to general health? Most definitely.
    It surprises me to hear you say that. Do you have no belief at all in the genetic nature of the 'hygienic' traits of grooming, allogrooming, uncapping, undertaking that (many well qualified folks) talk about?

    Would it be fair to hypothesise that you have bred, or are working with, bees that rely on a small cell mechanism, whereas others' bees rely on different mechanisms to manage varroa?

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

  20. #540
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post

    Adam Foster Collins suggests:

    Sometimes the genetics that tip the scales in favor of colony survival could in fact be the genetics of the mites. It is possible that in some cases, it may be the mite population that is adjusting itself to find a balance with the host on which their lives depend...
    One of the 'hygienic' mechanisms that seems most useful is that of 'uncapping'. Here bees detect mites in the capped cells, uncap and remove them. The more interesting part is this: they only detect those mites that have large families. If there are lots of mites in the cells they have a higher chance of being detected. (Having large families is called 'fecundity')

    This is 'selection' against large families. And strains of mite that have large families do the most damage - because they can build up explosively. So in effect the bees are 'breeding' less fecund strains of mite, which they can live with.

    That's an elegant solution, and also an example of co-evolution. Those mites that have large families tend to kill their hosts. In protected apiaries that doesn't matter, because they can spread into the next hive, but in more natural settings that tends to end the fecund strains.

    In nature everything is trying to extract as much energy from wherever it can get it, and convert that energy to newborns just as fast as it can. That's the name of the game. Most things specialise one way or another (because that pays off in the energy-extraction-to-newborns-game - there is never another reason). And everything constantly, constantly evolves, to and fro, over and back, as advantages are gained and lost in extraction or defence of energy. Predator and prey consantly evolve (the 'arms race')

    That's co-evolution. Its a fact of life, as certain as gravity. Genetics are the mechanism by which things are built. Things with the right sort of blueprints are built to suit the present resources and predators, and to compete well with brothers, sisters, cousins and further relatives, will do better than things built badly. The eternal competition for energy sorts the winners from the losers, and the better suited genes go forward into the next generation.

    That's the deal. That's the mechanism of life. Fiddle with it - or don't - at your peril. Its always there.

    Successful husbandrymen know this. They may not know much about the detail, but they understand the importance of 'putting best to best'. As John Kefuss says, you don't need to know how an aeroplane works to fly in one.

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

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