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  1. #141
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    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Bob Harrison, Missouri beekeeper on Bee-L uses the term "dink" when referring to weak colonies.

    While I don't use weak colonies, or dinks if you prefer, to make up my mating nucs, I do use "non-productive" colonies to start my regular nucs for wintering. While I still sacrifice these colonies for nuc making, I'm moving toward making all my nucs from over wintered nucs. I think I used about 20 colonies to make somewhere near 100 of the nucs this year, but the rest of the 450+ came from nucs. In 2013, all will be made up from nucleus colonies. My mating nucs are 4 way on mini-combs. These I make up by expanding the winter survivors onto additional mini-combs.
    thanks mike, sorry for not representing it accurately.

    are you leaning toward using all nucs for your nucs because you are having less non-productive colonies?

    and, what will be your approach to dealing with (if any) non-productive colonies?

    i c d bz 2!
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  2. #142
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    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    and let those poor bees die in imaginalbly horrific death....
    I have never lived the life of a bee so it is hard for me to imagine how to measure the death from being eaten by a bird, skunk etc. or starvation by being kicked out of the hive which beeing male would be my destiny anyway.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  3. #143

    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    starvation by being kicked out of the hive which beeing male would be my destiny anyway.
    Not necessarily......on the other hand the alternative death is only slightly prettier.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  4. #144
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    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    i think i would rather be eaten by a bird or skunk, unless i were a drone, then i would rather die from mission accomplished!

    i don't think bees necessarily 'feel' misery in the way we do. but i choose to try not let them succumb to what is the equivelent of ticks and fleas getting under my cloths, sucking my life's blood, and inoculating me with viruses.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  5. #145
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    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    I do use "non-productive" colonies to start my regular nucs for wintering.
    Doesn't that propagate more "non-productive" colonies? It makes sense to me that you would switch to over wintered nucs because they would most likely have good survivor genes.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  6. #146
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    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    but i choose to try not let them succumb to what is the equivelent of ticks and fleas getting under my cloths, sucking my life's blood, and inoculating me with viruses.
    You don't think that happens every day of your life? AH, because you can't see them...
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  7. #147
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    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    basically the same thing as an alcohol wash

    Quote Originally Posted by buzz abbott View Post
    I have not heard anyone mention powdered sugar rolls to count mites. Could you guys with lots of experience comment on the pros and cons of a sugar roll count?
    pros, it gives you parameters to work in
    its quick and accurate
    cons, there are no cons,
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  8. #148
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    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    I do use "non-productive" colonies to start my regular nucs for wintering. While I still sacrifice these colonies for nuc making, I'm moving toward making all my nucs from over wintered nucs.
    I do the same. I will take down a yard or two and make up a couple hundred nucs, then I will make a round and pull all the non-production hives and cut them down into nucs. I will use cells on some and mated queens on others just depending on whats available.
    I average about 4 nucs per hive, alot of work but sure is a good way to make up numbers and a good way to bring in good genetics.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  9. #149
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    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    That would be a factor if breeding from those wintered hives. I can not speak for Michael Palmer, but I hire all my queen work done. I have 4 or 5 queen sources that I pull from every year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Doesn't that propagate more "non-productive" colonies? It makes sense to me that you would switch to over wintered nucs because they would most likely have good survivor genes.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  10. #150
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    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post

    are you leaning toward using all nucs for your nucs because you are having less non-productive colonies?

    and, what will be your approach to dealing with (if any) non-productive colonies?

    i c d bz 2!
    Sacrificing non-productive colonies for making nucs means less production colonies to make a future honey crop. The tradeoff is acceptable, when you have no other resources with which to make them. Might as well use what resources you do have in the best way you can. I would rather manage a production colony, boosting it with a nuc in the spring, or set it up with a second queen to boost population and re-queen. Keeps my numbers up for honey production. Now that I have so many nucleus colonies coming out of winter every year, I keep back a hundred, expand them up onto additional combs, and use them to produce all the brood and bees I need for cell building and nuc making.

  11. #151
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    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Doesn't that propagate more "non-productive" colonies? It makes sense to me that you would switch to over wintered nucs because they would most likely have good survivor genes.
    I do get tired of using and hearing the "S" word. It has nothing to do with survivor stocks. All queens and bees are raised from survivors.

    Ace, I raise all my own queens. When I sacrifice a production colony to make nucs, I use the bees and brood, but don't allow them to raise their own queen. I give them all a new queen, caught from my mating nucs a day or two before. I agree, allowing them to raise their own queen could, I guess, select for stocks I don't want. But, the sacrificed colony isn't necessarily non-productice because it has some genetic fault. Could have swarmed and lost its population making it unable to gather mucvh surplus.

  12. #152
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    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    I do the same.
    I average about 4 nucs per hive, alot of work but sure is a good way to make up numbers and a good way to bring in good genetics.
    I average the same.

  13. #153
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    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    I can not speak for Michael Palmer, but I hire all my queen work done. I have 4 or 5 queen sources that I pull from every year.
    I hire my yard work help, and do the queen rearing myself...too much fun not to.

  14. #154
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    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    I also slide two nucs together during the flows using an excluder and collect close to 100 lbs of honey off them. Sometimes I think they are bringing in honey faster than my production colonies
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  15. #155
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    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Sacrificing non-productive colonies for making nucs means less production colonies to make a future honey crop. The tradeoff is acceptable, when you have no other resources with which to make them. Might as well use what resources you do have in the best way you can. I would rather manage a production colony, boosting it with a nuc in the spring, or set it up with a second queen to boost population and re-queen. Keeps my numbers up for honey production. Now that I have so many nucleus colonies coming out of winter every year, I keep back a hundred, expand them up onto additional combs, and use them to produce all the brood and bees I need for cell building and nuc making.
    i was guessing that you would be requeening those colonies michael, but i did not want to be presumptive again.

    that's more or less the route i have found myself taking, since i have a fixed number of slots in my yards for production colonies.

    so far, overwintering losses have been few. sustaining, or filling in the empty slots, is easier done by splitting my best queens into a 3 frame nuc to start a colony, and using swarm traps.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  16. #156
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    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    and using swarm traps.
    how do you use those?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  17. #157
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    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    the traps are the empty deeps that will go on to hive my new colony. i set a out a few of these traps around the property during swarm season this year. they consisted of an empty deep, with a reduced entrance, and a pack of mann lake's swarm lure inside.

    next year i will have some brood comb to put in as well.

    after catching the swarm, a frame of brood from another colony was added to help anchor them to that box.

    ended up with four new colonies this way. a couple of them i know were my bees, and a couple that i'm not sure about, but could be ferals.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  18. #158
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    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    When I sacrifice a production colony to make nucs, I use the bees and brood, but don't allow them to raise their own queen. I give them all a new queen, caught from my mating nucs a day or two before.
    OK it is clear now. I can't see how that is practical for me with 2-3 colonies so it is very unlikely that I will go that route.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  19. #159
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    43,453

    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    >...8. you get the idea
    >any thoughts?

    A list of differences from natural:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesunnatural.htm

    As far as ferals surviving (I have always seen a lot of them) and any decline:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnaturalcell.htm#feralbees
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  20. #160
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    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    many thanks michael. i thought i had read everything on your site, at least twice.

    but i didn't remember your 'things we change from nature' page.

    you said it best, and i am with you on:

    'I would like to see research on the effects, both good and bad, that all of these changes we have made have on natural balance of the colony of bees and their parasites. '

    ps: we seem to have a lot of ferals in my area as well.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

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