Page 6 of 9 FirstFirst ... 45678 ... LastLast
Results 101 to 120 of 163
  1. #101
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,771

    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    good replies all.

    i tend to agree with jim, in the case of sol's hives there's not reliable way to 'know' why they didn't make it.

    and to the larger question, and the point of the thread,

    my view is that if one assumes that the colony is challenged by the impact of the beekeeper, then the beekeeper is obligated to be 'hands on' in helping the bees out if they get in trouble.

    if the colony has dwindled to the point of no return, and if it is because it is from the lack of traits that enable resistance, and if that colony is unlikely to pass it's genetics on anyway....

    there's really no point in letting it die. my approach would be to help it out, and change the genetics.

    hobbiests and sideliners are in a better position to micromanage colonies in this way. it may not be feasable for those with hundreds or thousands of hives.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  2. #102
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,510

    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    >>hobbiests and sideliners are in a better position to micromanage colonies in this way. it may not be feasable for those with hundreds or thousands of hives.

    especially with beekeepers with hundreds or thousands, infact they are already doing such. In my op any hive that doesnt meet my specs will get a new queen, bred from the finest suppliers in the country.
    Do not get the impression that commercial operators do not open their hives, we do, and we do it often. Just on a larger scale, and probably not as intensively as sideliners. But a good beekeeper can tell whats happening in the colony by observing all the outside conditions of hte hive, and making a quick hive inspection
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  3. #103
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,771

    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    interesting ian. so i would assume that a lot of your management time is spent checking out your hives. for efficiency, and assuming no overt signs of a problem, is the alcohol wash on each hive the gold standard?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #104
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    >>I think it is safe to say that feral colonys exist w/out beekeeper intervention, but to say they exist, or survive, "just fine" w/out intervention may be a stretch.

    Who measures the success of the feral colony performance, the feral bees or out side looking beekeepers. There are feral bees out there, surviving and reproducing, and according to the laws of nature, they are meeting their minimum requirements and surviving just fine.
    This is a point I wanted to make from the beginning. Except I won't go as far as to say they're meeting their minimum requirements. Many researchers believe they are dying off and succumbing to mites in alarming numbers as well.
    So when naturalist use the bee tree as their holy grail of beekeeping, well I don't think that's the answer in and of itself. I do however think there is still room for optimization in hive management by looking at how bees naturally want to live.

  5. #105
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,771

    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joes_bees View Post
    This is a point I wanted to make from the beginning. Except I won't go as far as to say they're meeting their minimum requirements. Many researchers believe they are dying off and succumbing to mites in alarming numbers as well.
    So when naturalist use the bee tree as their holy grail of beekeeping, well I don't think that's the answer in and of itself. I do however think there is still room for optimization in hive management by looking at how bees naturally want to live.
    well said joe and ian.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #106
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,510

    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    I agree totally Joe. I agree totally with your entire statement.
    We as beekeeper have to look at how bees naturally survive to be able to understand how we can keep them in a managed state. In my opinion there is no in between sence of beekeeping. Either the bees are keep "all natural" or they are kept in a "managed" sense. And if managed, the beekeeper must follow through to keep the bees from being subject to the wrath of nature herself. Because that is what managed mean, keeping them in an un natural state, even though it looks like are allowing them to live naturally.
    Otherwise the beekeeper might as well just keep the "all natural".
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  7. #107
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,576

    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    >>Visual inspections (just looking closely at bees) mean nothing to me.

    I doubt that, I bet you will use visual inspections to diagnosis a death problem

    >>ether rolls

    The thing I like about counting mites in an alcohol wash is that it gives parameters to work in. If the testing falls within a certain reading, you have high limits and low limits to base treatments on or alternative actions on.
    Yeah you got me there Ian. The point at which I can easily visually diagnose a problem is pretty much the point at which it's game over for the hive.
    With varroa I like to use the old analogy of how you can be a millionaire by doubling a penny each day for a month. You really don't have much money if you quit after 20 days (a shorter season in varroa terms) its the late summer surge that can do you in and it's always right after the "they looked awesome the last time I checked them" inspection that's so fresh in your mind.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  8. #108
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,510

    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    interesting ian. so i would assume that a lot of your management time is spent checking out your hives. for efficiency, and assuming no overt signs of a problem, is the alcohol wash on each hive the gold standard?
    yes, every round we work the hives, we expect the yards to be performing at a certain bench mark. We are always measuring the hives, thats what hive management is all about. That is the beekeepers job.
    Then we manipulate the hive accordingly so that they all meet that bench mark. But it can drive a man crazy trying to meet the "gold standard"
    So I work on averages, I expect certain amount of hive to be meeting a certain benchmark at a given time of the year. Some are over, some are under. My job as a beekeeper is to keep those averages in check.
    and when you make that comparison between a hobby and commercial, that is actually what your referring to.
    A hobby beekeeper can manage his averages much closer than a commercial can, well feasibly anyway lol
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  9. #109
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    A great example of the optimization I'm talking about is Mike Palmer's method of creating a sustainable apiary. He creates nucs the time of year when a hive would be swarming. He makes these splits from hives that aren't producing and adds queens from proven genetics that thrive in his region.

    Who would have thought creating lots of little colonies before a honey flow would result in more colonies the following year? Nature figured that out a long time ago.

  10. #110
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,510

    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    ha ha ha ha,
    Im just figuring that one out!!! lol
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  11. #111
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,771

    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    fascinating ian.

    can you share your benchmarks?

    and maybe share how and when in the season you are looking for them?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  12. #112
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,510

    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    yes, here is one of my pillars for this area, and described simply

    3-4 frames of brood third last week of May
    2 or 3 frames of feed at minimum
    mite counts under 1% infestation

    and if those benchmarks are not meet, the hive or operation is managed accordingly
    Strength manipulation, queen replacement, feeding, hive treatment and such
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  13. #113
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,771

    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    many thanks ian. and if i may...

    strength manipulation - adding frames of brood from stronger hives?
    queen replacement - appears straightforward
    feeding - i assume before honey supers are placed
    treatment - you may have already touched on this, but what is your treatment of choice for mites?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  14. #114
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,510

    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    another is 5-8 frame of bees entering winter with mite counts under 3%

    By using these targets we are able to manage our bees more efficiently and have a better sense of whats ahead. Otherwise how would you read and react to your hives yearly behavior routeens

    How do you measure your bees performance on an annual basis squarepeg? How do you what manipulation needs to be done throughout the year? What is it that tells you to work the colony a certain way? Are you a reactive beekeeper or a proactive beekeeper?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  15. #115
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    145

    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    Sorry, watched the sustainable apiary talk recently.

    I've had a lot of experience beekeepers tell me a hive that small won't make it through the winter. I've never tried it myself. I'm still trying to wrap my head around that as well.

  16. #116
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,510

    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    many thanks ian. and if i may...

    strength manipulation - adding frames of brood from stronger hives?
    queen replacement - appears straightforward
    feeding - i assume before honey supers are placed
    treatment - you may have already touched on this, but what is your treatment of choice for mites?
    I usually dont boost smaller one, in those cases I will requeen and if all else is good they will catch up. I will use stregth from the larger to make up new hives. No use wasting strength resources on failing hives, right?
    To replace queens you need to know if your old queens are meeting your expectations, so you need to have targets in place, so that when she fails to meet those targets, you can quickly replace her.
    Feeding is an act of the beekeeper to keep the queen laying to ensure a constant bee emergence as the honeyflow comes on. If the keeper gets his timing right, and keeps the hive going through a derth, a hive can enter into a honey flow with 100000 bees plus and reap an outstanding crop while avoiding the loss of the bees to swarming. So you have to know how much honey to expect to see in the hive through out the year to be able to react positively with feed pails. Feeding hives at the wrong times can decrease your overall performance.
    And for treatments, I have been using Apivar. This is a huge area of discussion also. There are so many ways to keep bees using a whole array of different mite control options. Apivar is by far the easiest, but if a beekeeper gets creative, chemical treatments can be avoided
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  17. #117
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,771

    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    good questions ian. i try to be proactive, but sometimes find myself being reactive.

    this was my second full season with bees. i had to be careful about moving frames around because i had a afb loss right at the beginning of the season.

    most of my colonies were started last fall or this spring. i started with 10, lost one to afb, (my fault for not knowing better to buy old treated hives), lost one to laying workers, (my fault for not getting around to my outyard often enough), and lost one to mites, (my fault for not sampling).

    i have learned how to do mite counts and plan on doing them on all of the hives next year.

    i have also gained a little experience in recognizing a strong vs. weak colony, and hopefully that will help me be more proactive in the future.

    i appreciate your willingness to 'mentor' here.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  18. #118
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,510

    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joes_bees View Post
    Sorry, watched the sustainable apiary talk recently.

    I've had a lot of experience beekeepers tell me a hive that small won't make it through the winter. I've never tried it myself. I'm still trying to wrap my head around that as well.
    I winter indoors, 5-8 framers is about my hive frame count average.
    now if I were wintering outside, Id want 10 frames plus
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  19. #119
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,510

    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    >>most of my colonies were started last fall or this spring. i started with 10, lost one to afb, (my fault for not knowing better to buy old treated hives), lost one to laying workers, (my fault for not getting around to my outyard often enough), and lost one to mites, (my fault for not sampling).

    Key words right there, you just told me the diagnosis of your hives failures. You obviously know enough to be able to recognize the issues that took the hives down. Alot of the time these things are out of our control, but how you act on the problems and hopefully in a proactive sense will determine the success of your overall beekeeping year
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  20. #120
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,510

    Default Re: benign beekeeping?

    Nature has benchmarks and she measures the performance of hives on an annual basis. Ifthey do not meet her standards, she kills them off.
    Same thing with keeping bees, we set our targets, and if they dont meet those targets actions are taken to meet those targets, and ultimately Mother nature decides if we fall within her parameters

    So when I chuckle when I hear a beekeeper claim colony loss due to starvation inches away from the honey, Im chuckling because it was not the starvation that killed the colony . . . it was the other factor/s
    Last edited by Ian; 11-17-2012 at 11:32 AM.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

Page 6 of 9 FirstFirst ... 45678 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads