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  1. #101
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,847

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    The main reason they make holes is just to have a pathway to the other side of the comb. Often but not always these holes are started by some damage to the comb done by the beekeeper then the bees decide to continue it as a hole.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  2. #102
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
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    232

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    It did strike me as an intentional pass-through, especially since they build the combs and THEN make holes in them.

  3. #103
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Yes. I use mating nucs made from full size deep combs, quite often they don't have a lot of bees. In these circumstances they'll often make a hole, as the cluster does not go to the edge of the comb and they want good access.

    At one time one of the plastic foundation manufacturers was making the sheets with an optional snap off corner, to allow the bees to do their hole making thing, if they wished.

    Hole making is less prevalent in strong hives but they still may choose to do it.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #104
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    640

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Years ago when we used Dadant Duragilt foundation (before the days of plastic formed foundation like Ritecell) it came with circular punchouts at the bottom of each sheet. As Oldtimer indicated, they are commonly called communication holes allowing the bees free access through the combs. In the wild they will also construct them on their own.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  5. #105
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
    Posts
    425

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Here's a question.

    This is going to be my third year keeping bees. My first year I bought five packages from a producer and of the five two died. The two that died were probably a direct result of my learning curve. I think I killed a queen by accident in one hive and the other hive just didn't build up adequate stores. Of the three remaining hives, all three are still alive going into my third season, checked them as recently as last week and all three roared back when I knocked on the side of the hives.

    In my second season I purchased thirty-three more packages, made two splits, and got one swarm from one of my original three hives bringing my total number of hives to thirty-nine. Thirty-eight of the thirty-nine hives are alive as of this writing along with one strong nuc I produced last year.

    Going forward with my little operation I intend to produce somewhere around two hundred nucs this season from these thirty-nine colonies, none of which have had any treatments. My question being, at what point would the treatment free community on beesource consider this a successful operation? I don't consider a hive lost if I have to add brood and allow them to raise their own queen (the case with six of my packages that had queens dead on arrival). I learned to graft and raise queens last year and was able to successfully produce around forty queens in each attempt. My careless handling of the queens killed some of them off and not fully understanding the best practices for introducing virgin cells killed many more off but these are all things to be expected while learning. This year I will no doubt be much more successful, that being said, I can't imagine my operation going down the toilet unless I suffer a 100% loss through the winter. I live in an area where state average yield is a meager 45# per hive, and yet I haven't seemed to have many problems in the past couple of seasons. So, how do I calculate success and failure?

    *edit*

    All of my packages came from a commercial beekeeper that migrates to California and treats all of his hives accordingly, I haven't treated; and yes, I know how some people feel about packages.
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

  6. #106
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,847

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Is your operation successful? I would say for the amount of time you've been going you have been extremely successful, and are obviously doing most things right, some people just have what it takes.

    Be aware, there's a relatively common them where treatment free beeks go well for several years then have a major crash. However because you are building hive numbers aggressively, you ought to be able to ride anything like that out. That's IF the crash happens, it may not.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  7. #107
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
    Posts
    425

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    I kind of feel like that's my unspoken strategy. Continue to multiply numbers so in the event that I do have a series of hive failures I'll have other hives in production or at least nucs and queens ready to go that can fill the gap. My strategy in loose terms is to remain ahead of the deadout curve by continually raising more bees. I'm trying to outbreed the problem in the hopes that the bees that survive will be heartier then the last until I hit an eventual leveling off point.
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

  8. #108
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,071

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Moon View Post
    My question being, at what point would the treatment free community on beesource consider this a successful operation?
    I've quit answering this question. You get to decide if you're successful based on your own criteria. Next, your customers decide after being happy with your product. I cannot speak for the rest of the beekeeping community. This thread is not about deciding what is success, it's about people needing help and being able to find it from someone with relevant experience and a willingness to share.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  9. #109
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,847

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    The thread is titled "Ask Questions Here".
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  10. #110
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
    Posts
    425

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    The thread is titled "Ask Questions Here".
    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I've quit answering this question.
    Excuse me for asking Solomon.
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

  11. #111
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,373

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    sounds like you're doing great to me moon, i would be very happy with those results.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  12. #112
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Packages are regarded with suspicion by some. Moon if you are OK with it, who supplied the bees, and what are they, ie, italians, sunkist or whatever they were called?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  13. #113
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
    Posts
    425

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Well in all honestly I didn't know so much what I was getting into at the beginning. I had researched bees and beekeeping enough to know that it's what I wanted to do as a hobby. Aside from reading a couple of Kim Flottum's books and reading Beekeeping for Dummies I knew packages were cheaper then nucs and my first year I was starting with a limited budget. The first couple of packages I got were Italian's, the beekeeper I got them from comes from a well established family of beek's that operate (what I would consider) a very successful migratory operation of ~6,000 hives. So I trusted the stock, and was OK with the packages. My second year I ordered packages from the same individual, 17 of which were italians and 16 of which were carniolans. I had 8 queens die of the 33 packages, he replaced a couple of the queens but I think he was suspicious that I had done something wrong to kill them because he said they had the same queens in all of their packages they brought back from California and they lost 2 out of 850. Maybe I mishandled, maybe something else happened, I'm not sure but I do remember being upset he didn't replace all 8 queens. In any case, I'm done buying packages and intend to raise my own queens and hives via nucs/splits from here on out, however, I still do intend to infuse new genetics through the purchase of reputable queens from time to time.
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

  14. #114
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,071

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Riskybizz View Post
    Would you mind elaborating a little bit on your definition of success.
    Asked and answered.


    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I want to give everybody the free and explicit opportunity to ask serious questions. If you want to be treatment-free, or if you are weighing your options, ask away. I want to help you. I'm not going to be answering challenges or defending my methods or viewpoint. I want to help you if you want to be helped. I want to tell you what you want to know, not what you want to hear. I had tons of questions and many of them will be the same ones you are asking now.
    For those who read the whole thread, its purpose is clear.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  15. #115
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
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    2,177

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Solomon, have you quit blogging?

  16. #116
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    5,071

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    I was writing my Master's Thesis. But I have not quit altogether.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  17. #117
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,177

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    Good. I like reading beekeepers' blogs.

  18. #118
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
    Posts
    425

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    In a treatment free world, if/when you have a hive die out of a nosema infestation over the winter, what do you do with the frames/equipment next year? Burn them, or treat them?
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

  19. #119
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,071

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    I have not had any nosema problems, so I can't speak from any experience on that issue.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  20. #120
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: Ask Questions Here!

    I have read that you can kill the Nosema spores with 65% acetic acid. I guess the question would be if this was a treatment, or just getting the combs ready for the next inhabitants.

    Ted

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