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  1. #41
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Bloomington In
    Posts
    787

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    So far so good all 20 hives still going and one tree limb with bees that I got late Oct.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Springfield, MO, USA
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    So far, 30 untreated hives (No treatments in 10 years) are alive and well. My winter has been like Solomon's - mild but not as mild as last year. So far, it looks like we're going to have another early spring.

    I had to feed for the first time in years because we had a very long drought here in SW Missouri. Almost 5 weeks with no rain and 100+ degree days for more than a week at a time. So the only real nectar flow we had in this area was from March thru mid May. The bees had nothing to feed on during the summer and fall (except humming bird feeders ) So many hives lost weight during the summer. I don't like feeding because it helps me determine which lines of bees are the best at surviving, but this fall I had little choice. Only a small percentage would have been able to survive this drought. I am really worried about the feral hive's survival rates this winter.
    Jeffrey Maddox
    www.MaddoxBees.com

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,900

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    excellent jeff. doing anything special like using small cell foundation or bringing in vsh queens?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Springfield, MO, USA
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    excellent jeff. doing anything special like using small cell foundation or bringing in vsh queens?
    I have worked in Ecology for almost 30 years and have seen the damage we do when we transport living creatures across great distances (think varroa mites, SHB, starlings). So, I am very hesitant to bring in bees from areas outside of my ecoregion because I do not want to make those same mistakes. (And yes, I do recognize the hypocrisy of this since honeybees are not native to the Americas. I figure I should admit to that before I get lamblasted. )

    I do let the bees draw a lot of natural comb though. So they get to decide what size of cell works best for them.

    When I moved here from Indiana, I found the bees that did well in Indiana did not do as well here in SW Missouri. So I have concentrated on finding bees that do well here. I do a lot of removals and swarm collections. When I get a new set of bees from a removal, I treat them as a new genetic line since I do not know where they originated. I keep careful track of these lines and evaluate them over a two year period for production, conservation of stores, workability (gentleness), whether they fly earlier than other hives, swarming tendency, spring build up, etc......and of course survival. I am not concerned with exactly how they survive, as long as they do survive. I used to worry more about the "how" until I realized how much time I was spending on it. The bottom line for me is that they do well, not "how" they did well. I like to keep a diversity of genetic lines and survival mechanisms. Diverse populations are almost always more robust than uniform or semi-monotypic populations.

    If a genetic line makes it through two winters and is doing well, then I consider them for possible breeding. The whole line must be doing well, not just one or two hives in the line. Then I select the best of those lines to put in the breeding yards. These are the ones I use to raise queens to sell in nucs. I usually end up with about 10 new lines a year. Only 4 or so make it to final evaluation. My process is still evolving so nothing is set in stone

    I sell nucs and that has an effect on the mite population. So, I do not count mites because my data would be skewed anyway. Mostly, I am concerned with finding bees that do well despite the mites and SHB. Again, the important part to me is that they do survive, not exactly how. I have several hives between 4-10 years old now.
    Jeffrey Maddox
    www.MaddoxBees.com

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,900

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    great reply, thanks jeff.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maddox65804 View Post
    I had to feed for the first time in years because we had a very long drought here in SW Missouri. Almost 5 weeks with no rain and 100+ degree days for more than a week at a time. So the only real nectar flow we had in this area was from March thru mid May. The bees had nothing to feed on during the summer and fall (except humming bird feeders ) So many hives lost weight during the summer. I don't like feeding because it helps me determine which lines of bees are the best at surviving, but this fall I had little choice. Only a small percentage would have been able to survive this drought. I am really worried about the feral hive's survival rates this winter.
    Same conditions here. Last winter, I had virtually no hives with any substantial stores going into fall. This year was a little better and more than half have not been fed.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Indiana, Clay County
    Posts
    572

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Lost a 2nd yr russian hybrid hive by october, my bad on that. I didnt do deep enough hive inspection ; they couldnt replace their queen and lost some combs to wax moths. Just lost a sunkist hive this week that did replace their brand new queen 2x last year and had no brood in october , was 4 frames of bees then. My 3 rd hive NWC's , are booming 2 deeps full of bees ( 2nd yr queen) , all looking good and healthy. This has been an average winter here, everyone knows the severe drought that went on in 2012 all over the midwest espically in SW Indiana

  8. #48
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
    Posts
    438

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Lost one hive of 39 but I'm pretty sure it wasn't going to make it. Fought with it all summer between losing a queen early on, getting a drone laying queen, and then what I was assuming was a laying worker. Finally had it sorted out by adding endless frames of brood only to have fall set in and the hive die out with a lack of resources. The other 38 are still alive as of right now, the winter hasn't been harsh in comparison to most Wyoming winter but we've had several days at sub zero temperatures. All hives were left with 2 deeps of honey, some managed to end up with 3 (don't know why or how I missed them) and I have one nuc that is still going pretty strong. One hive that I was expecting to die because it was in a 10 frame deep that had only 6 frames drawn out was full of bees and no honey on my last walk around the apiary. In an attempt to help them make it through till winter I grabbed 2 frames of honey from the deadout and dropped them in, hopefully they're still doing well. Keep waiting for a 50 degree day to get out and do some manipulations but until then, best keep tossing back the Easy Street's
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Latest check, 23/23 still alive. The first week of February is the latest I've ever lost a hive here in Arkansas and maple pollen is already out. Also working on my website. New front page format, a couple new and expanded pages as well.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Clintwood VA USA
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    So far so good! Lost 1 out of 14. Thought it would be more as several of them were light and I should of feed more. Hope the rest make it through March!!

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Farmington, NM
    Posts
    739

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Lost two of last year's swarm hives.
    Plant Hardiness Zone 6B, 5300 ft., Bee Zone A/B, Proverbs 24:13
    https://www.facebook.com/mobileprotection#!/2RBeeFarm

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Greene County, NY, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Lost 3 out of 20 and and all of 14 Nucs still going strong

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,118

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    I have had a bad year. Lost 15 of 21 hives. Have been treatment free for 8 or 9 years. They seemed to have swindled until there were not enough bees in the cluster to keep warm. I did a check for varroa where I poured powdered sugar on them and counted the dropped mites on the sticky board. I only counted about 8 mites for each hive. I plan to send a sample of dead bees to Beltsville for testing. Maybe it was Nosema Ceranae? Any suggestions?

    I'm very disheartened. I had planned to try raising queens and selling them and nucs this spring. I won't have enough bees and I also don't want to sell treatment free bees if they aren't.

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,127

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Quote Originally Posted by heaflaw View Post
    I also don't want to sell treatment free bees if they aren't.
    Put it this way. Whatever the reason it turns out it happened to them, you have 6 survivors. They would surely be as qualified to be bred from, as anyone elses?

    At least you've been straight up about what happened. If I was near you and wanted to buy some survivor queens, I'd probably prefer to buy them from you.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,118

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Put it this way. Whatever the reason it turns out it happened to them, you have 6 survivors. They would surely be as qualified to be bred from, as anyone elses?

    At least you've been straight up about what happened. If I was near you and wanted to buy some survivor queens, I'd probably prefer to buy them from you.
    Good way to put it. Thanks. I feel better.
    Last edited by heaflaw; 02-23-2013 at 12:33 AM.

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    I lost 2 of 7 both were nucs, 1 has a laying worker i probably killed the queen, they hatch some queens out but there was no drones around at the time. I lost the other one yesturday, I put some syrup on it because Im trying to get them to start drawing out PF frames. Yesturday I saw that it was being robbed but couldnt do anything because I was on my way to work. Checked it last night when I got home and it was empty.
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  17. #57
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
    Posts
    438

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Heaflaw, there's no reason you can't raise queens and nucs off of what you have. With 2 hives I was able to produce 40 queens in one sitting via the grafting method. If you have 1 hive setup for rearing queens that leaves you 5 hives to pull frames of brood from to establish nucs. I think you could safely establish 15-20 mating nucs and allow those mating or mini nucs to grow into full sized 5 frame nucs and later in the season into a deep or double deep setup depending on the flows in your area and how much you would be willing to feed.
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

  18. #58
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Quote Originally Posted by heaflaw View Post
    Any suggestions?
    Yes, keep going. And stop dumping foreign substances in your hives.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    East Peoria, IL
    Posts
    398

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    I lost 1 of 9 and that one was sometime in early Jan. Lots of stores (nearly a full deep) and lots of bees, enough to cover the SBB with at least an inch of carcasses plus what was butt out in the combs, just wouldn't move to the top box. Others are looking good. The nuc I'm wintering benefitted from the demise of the other hive and got 5 full deep frames of honey, they were nearly out of stores. Ready for my first full season with bees!

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,118

    Default Re: Treatment-Free, Winter 2012-2013, How's it going?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Yes, keep going. And stop dumping foreign substances in your hives.
    Yes, I know powdered sugar treatments are not really treatment free. It was just a quick way to gauge mite infestation and once in 8 years will make very little difference.

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