Re: Ckeckerboarding Literature by Walt Wright: is it still available?
I have not read the links above completely. But I have read enough to think that they are not the manuscript. The manuscript as far as I can tell is more complete and finished product. the links above where written in the midst of discovery. I will add that Walt is a beekeeper not a writer.
I got the manuscript via Ace who had an extra copy with Walts permission. My gratitude to the generosity of both.
The amnuscript does give very detailed information about Walts observations. conclusions and how he understands they can be used to manipulate the Honeybee. It also was a bit tiresome to me that at each progression in information Walt seemed to have to re make his case for the entire concept. I suspect this has come from a track record of having to defend it. but for his magnum opus it is not really appropriate.
I also have some issue with what I see as contradictions in his observations and conclusions. but in all I have yet to be able to give his ideas an adequate trial.
For me Walt looses it when he attempts to translate observations to conclusions. Which for anyone is goign to be inaccurate. so no insult to Walt. seeing something happen does not mean you can accurately figure out why it happened. I do believe the why is very important but is yet a long way off and may never actually be discovered. That one person can make a long progression of observations and then without error make accurate conclusions concerning them is a statistical impossibility.
I make this pint manly to make the next only I do not think Walt has to be accurate as to the why. what he needed to be was constant and accurate in his observations. Does Walt in fact see what he claims to see. do bees in fact act in accordance with his descriptions. and that is really all that matters. the why can be discovered later. it will not change how the bees act. it will only change our understanding of why.
I can now say that with my less than detailed attempts at Walts methods last year I have every belief that swarming in my hives was delayed about 2 weeks. and that was with a very poor attempt to copy Walts methods. It was enough for me to think Walt is on to something. It was also enough for me to devote a significant amount of my resources to a more complete attempt this coming spring. I will admit the rest of my resources are on standby in case they fail as well.
I do not have his address but I do highly recommend you get the actual manuscript that he wrote once he thought his method was complete enough to write a complete manuscript on it.
I will add my actual attempt and results.
Our weather warmed up the first of March last spring. we usually do not see warm weather until the first of June here. I had 3 medium supers for my largest hive. was in the process of making 8 more and had no extra drawn comb so added frames of foundation to these boxes. Walt says this method will not work on foundation. they need empty comb.
During the Month of March I had added all 3 medium supers and was thinking I needed to add more when I had to be away for a weekend. I returned from that 3 day pause to find my bees preparing to swarm. I removed all queen cells. they swarmed anyway. they cast a swarm large enough to fill a double deep hive. They had in fact drawn 30 frames of foundation before leaving. they also where not suffering for population even after casting that swarm. I captured it by the way. I left eh original colony queenless for a few weeks to prevent any further swarm attempts. This hive swarmed in the second week in April after having expended from a single deep to two deeps and a medium in about a month. As far as i can tell they swarmed about one week before the cut off date. I suspect had I added more space before leaving for that weekend they may not have started swarm prep. maybe they would have. I tend to believe that with actual drawn comb the queen woudl have been able to place more brood in the upper boxes. keeping the bees in those boxes satisfied and not triggered the swarm impulse. But three medium supers packed shoulder to shoulder with bees setting around with tanks full of nectar waiting for the next bit of comb to get drawn was to much.
My correction for this year is I know have 8 medium supers filled with drawn comb ready for this same hive next spring. If that dos not get them past swarm period. then I will be ready to question the method as valid. I can add a new box each week for two months and still be bale to add more boxes beyond that if I really have to.
I am thinking of making an adaptation to the addition of supers though.and that is to add new empties right above the main brood nest. my problem is the brood nest can stretch all the way up through 4 or 5 boxes. That may also be part of my problem. If I can keep more of the brood nest down lower. the upper bees will have room to unload nectar and not be as likely to be triggered to swarm.
For now I simply have lots of thought. lots of concerns, and a whole lot of observations to make of my own.
Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.