Soft Bond by John Kefuss:
Soft Bond by John Kefuss:
http://beeinformed.org/wp-content/up...-sugar-use.pdf The Bee Informed National survey shows no statistical difference when using sugar dusting.
Housel Positioning) is really the deciding factor.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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?
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?
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.
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.
[MB]This is technically and practically impossible. (remarking on Oldtimer's suggestion that genetcs might be irrelevant)
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.
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.
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).
>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.
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...
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?
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.