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  1. #781
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Leominster, MA USA
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    165

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    We went to see Tim Ives speak in northern New Jersey on March 15. He mentioned "fat bees" and stressed that it is important the bees eat only real honey, no artificial feeds at all, and that they go into winter with three deeps packed full of honey, pollen and bees.

    Not sure if Tim is aware of how Dee manages her bees but the idea of the bees only eating real honey and pollen and overwintering in three deeps packed with real food, looks almost exactly like Dee's hives. (Dee will swap capped honey frames with extracted wets during a flow to open up space for the queen to lay but makes sure the third box is full of capped honey before winter...otherwise does not take anything from the third deep down.)

    WRT trees, he had never been east before and couldn't believe how many trees we have. His "trees" are narrow strips at the edges of cultivated corn and soy. By overwintering hives with huge resources, his bees build up even bigger on the very early weed blooms in the cultivated rows.

    Many questions after his presentation and much from New Jersey locals who said their flow patterns prohibit Tim's management. He laughed and said that that is exactly what other beekeepers in his Indiana area say, that it is impossible to do what he is doing.

    Ramona

  2. #782
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
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    1,191

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    rhaldridge, I have not gotten the chance to go through his site, probably will, looks interesting

    whats the crutch to his success?
    (dont say faith)
    He hasn't got a website, as far as I know. All he has are a few videos (and I agree they could use some editing) online. He is an officer of the Michiana club.

    But I have the impression that he relies on having monster hives. In the videos I've watched, the thing that struck me was that those 3 deep broodnests are always boiling over, even in March in northern Indiana. In another video, he's using a stepladder to super up a hive. In April... he's stacking 6 mediums on that 3 deep broodnest. I think he breeds his own queens, if I'm remembering correctly, using a lot of local feral stock. On another note, I read somewhere that he expects his hives to average over 300 pounds a season. I don't know how he keeps those monster hives from swarming.

    I got interested in him due to a Randy Oliver piece about neonicotinoids. Tim Ives keeps his yards in patches of woods in the middle of corn and soy fields, and has had no unusual losses.

    The reason I posted that video here was as a response to the video of Dee's bees, which as a beginner, I found pretty scary. In another of Ives' videos, he's doing an inspection of a 3 deep 6 medium hive without a veil.

    I have written to him, in hopes of learning more about his approach.

  3. #783
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Ramona, do you know if there's a transcript or a video of Tim's presentation?

    Ray

  4. #784
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Leominster, MA USA
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    165

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    Ramona, do you know if there's a transcript or a video of Tim's presentation?

    Ray
    Here is link to the Northern New Jersey Beekeepers club page with contact info. I have no idea if they recorded or not.

    http://www.nnjbees.org/ai1ec_event/m...nstance_id=638

  5. #785
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
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    1,191

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramona View Post
    Here is link to the Northern New Jersey Beekeepers club page with contact info. I have no idea if they recorded or not.

    http://www.nnjbees.org/ai1ec_event/m...nstance_id=638
    As far as I can tell, they didn't record it, but I did find this bit in a newsletter:

    In conjunction with our sister bee club, Morris and Somerset Counties Beekeepers, we are proud
    to present Tim Ives, licensed carpenter, Vice President of the Michiana Indiana Beekeepers Association, and
    Apiary director for Peace Bees/ Unity Gardens project will talk about how over-wintering in three deeps has
    dropped his average winter losses from over 50% to less than 8%, eliminated the need to feed, and has allowed
    him to super earlier, with more supers per hive, extracting honey 3 times in the season.

  6. #786
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,485

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    He hasn't got a website, as far as I know. All he has are a few videos (and I agree they could use some editing) online. He is an officer of the Michiana club.

    But I have the impression that he relies on having monster hives.
    I see,
    I associate monster hives with huge breeding grounds for varroa,

    I assume he has an internal breeding program in place,.? perhaps another mite strategy?
    I am interested to hear his management techniques
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  7. #787
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,485

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    >>>In conjunction with our sister bee club, Morris and Somerset Counties Beekeepers, we are proud
    to present Tim Ives, licensed carpenter, Vice President of the Michiana Indiana Beekeepers Association, and
    Apiary director for Peace Bees/ Unity Gardens project will talk about how over-wintering in three deeps has
    dropped his average winter losses from over 50% to less than 8%, eliminated the need to feed, and has allowed
    him to super earlier, with more supers per hive, extracting honey 3 times in the season.<<<

    over how many years has he been running these averages?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  8. #788
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
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    1,191

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    >>>In conjunction with our sister bee club, Morris and Somerset Counties Beekeepers, we are proud
    to present Tim Ives, licensed carpenter, Vice President of the Michiana Indiana Beekeepers Association, and
    Apiary director for Peace Bees/ Unity Gardens project will talk about how over-wintering in three deeps has
    dropped his average winter losses from over 50% to less than 8%, eliminated the need to feed, and has allowed
    him to super earlier, with more supers per hive, extracting honey 3 times in the season.<<<

    over how many years has he been running these averages?
    No idea. I've tried to contact him via a couple of email addresses, and if he responds, I'll ask him.

    Since he doesn't treat for varroa, I guess he's figured out a way to deal with it. I do have the impression that he is trying to breed resistant bees, and his former high losses might be a clue that it was an initially painful process.

    If I were in Indiana, I'd try to talk him out of a queen or two.

  9. #789
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
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    1,191

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Ian, Tim was kind enough to contact me and explain a little about his operation.

    He started in 2002, and for several years he lost 50 to 90 percent of his package bees. In 2006, he started catching swarms, most of them feral, and he found that these did not die as easily-- he had 15 hives from swarms that year and all but one survived the first winter. So I guess he's been successful at this for about 6 years, gradually building up to the number of hives he has now. He doesn't graft, he makes increase using splits. He tells me that a couple of local beekeepers have started using his management system, and they've both had results just as good or better.

    Reading his email, I got a bad case of honey envy. I'd asked him about how he controls swarming in those massive hives, and he indicated that had been a problem prior to 2010. That year he put 10 supers on each of 40 hives the first week of April (previously he'd waited to super until May, but his bees were swarming in late April.) In early July, he took off an average of 7 mediums of honey from each hive. He pulled an average of 5 supers in late August, and pulled honey again in October. He checkerboards his supers to help with the swarming impulse. He also believes that keeping the hive's wax builders maxed out is one key to preventing swarming.

    I think I've accurately related some of what he told me.

    Anyway, I'm impressed.

  10. #790
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,042

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    interesting, thanks rh.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  11. #791
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
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    2,611

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Does anyone have any info on how or why wax builders effect swarm impulse.
    How do you influence the population of wax builders in the colony?

    I have had claims made that bees will not draw foundation in late winter early spring. Yet at the very same time I had 4 colonies all drawing plastic foundation. I was relying on where I placed the fraems which I have observed makes a difference. But I have never heard of influencing wax maker population or that it effects swarm impulse.

    I have read that expanding the brood nest prevents swarming and that wax makers woudl be required to draw new comb if old brood comb was not available. but that info specifically stated that brood nest expansion in late winter early spring cannot be accomplished with foundation alone. Somebody forgot to tell my bees about that though.

    In all I am wondering if I influenced wax maker population without knowing it. Because my bees where drawing foundation since the end of January. The colony so far is 3 deeps and a med tall and at last inspection the brood nest was still expanding. No sign of a queen cup anywhere and only light foraging going on.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  12. #792

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Wax builder info: http://www.beesource.com/point-of-vi...y-age-effects/

    Just a short note: skep beekeepers used to shake bees in Octobre and let them build new comb. Completely removing them from the combs. They shook bees of three skeps into one empty skep. Feeded them.

    It works almost any time of year. You need bees, food and at least some warmth. You get wax builders in early spring only if you winter them from late autumn. See Walt's info.

  13. #793

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Daniel Y...I think you might get more response if you posted this elsewhere....maybe a new thread in the general forums.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  14. #794
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    24,495

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Which has what to do w/ this Thread?

    Mrs. Moderator?
    Last edited by sqkcrk; 04-09-2013 at 06:06 AM.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  15. #795
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Reno, NV
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    2,611

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Dan and Mark, You might want to actually read the thread. from the post by rhaldridge " He also believes that keeping the hive's wax builders maxed out is one key to preventing swarming."

    The claim that bees will not draw foundation came from Walt in his booklet Nectar Management. and was specifically claimed due to the lack of wax makers.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  16. #796

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    Dan and Mark, You might want to actually read the thread.
    Your usual pleasant response.
    My equally pleasant response.
    A. Commercial
    B. Not a thread about the nuts and bolts of basic beekeeping.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  17. #797
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,426

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    I mentioned Tim Ives a few times earlier in this thread. There are at least a few things that I found interesting about his approach that he either didn't articulate, or hadn't considered.

    Wax Building: What does it have to do with this thread? I think quite a bit...at least for some beekeepers.
    Many of the pesticides bees are exposed to are not water soluble, and thus we know they accumulate in the wax.

    Keeping the bees building comb does at least 2 things...
    1. There is a constant renewal of "fresh wax" in the hive that can act like a sponge to absorb some of the agricultural pesticides that might not get absorbed in wax that is already somewhat saturated.
    2. There is a constant "sink" of these oil soluble pesticides _from_ the biomass of the superorganism and _to_ the comb (especially in the honey supers where there is little or no brood..like Tim does).

    Both of these mechanisms could certainly believably be protecting the colony from some of the effects of pesticide exposure. Dismissing this aspect of Tim's management would be wholly unscientific without a closer look and consideration.

    There is also another aspect to Tim's management that I find intriguing. He overwinters in 3 deeps, with the top deep full of honey, the bottom deep with pollen, and the middle deep with mostly honey and bees.

    Tim claims that the way he keeps the queen out of the supers is that the first super above the brood nest is always full of undrawn foundation. He claims that the queen won't cross or lay in the foundation. ...but we know the queen can lay in foundation, and we know that the queen will cross foundation to lay...so what gives?

    Tim never puts this (medium) box of foundation on by itself...it is always accomanied by (it seemed like a minimum of 2) drawn medium honey supers....and he does this early (like March). His observation is that the bees use all the stored honey and pollen to build up very large populations early.

    What I think is happening is what I would call SHM (strategic honey moving). The box of foundation is placed at the same time as a couple of honey supers. The empty comb up top stimulates the bees to move honey from the bottom 3 deeps into the super. The bees are stimulated by moving the honey. The broodnest is being opened up by honey being moved out. The queen is laying in the cells emptied of honey...in the brood nest, so the opposite situation exists from when the bees are on a flow and the queen can't lay in the cells as they are filled with honey as soon as the brood emerges. There is no motivation for the queen to lay in the box of foundation or in the supers, as the broodnest is getting bigger (from honey being moved out of the nest).

    As for what makes the bees draw wax...need. Nectar in their honey stomaches and no place to put it. The need to raise more brood than the brood nest will hold.
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

  18. #798
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,042

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    this may be apples and oranges dean, i.e. tim's large established colonies vs. my overwintered nucs last year having to draw all but the few frames they started with.

    i tried putting a medium of foundation above the single deep and below the one or two freshly drawn mediums of honey last year and it put all nine colonies into swarm mode.

    in this case it seemed to act more as a barrier which precipitated backfilling in the deeps.

    other than this nuance tim's approach and the one that i am evolving are very similar.

    for my clime, a medium of pollen on the bottom and a medium of honey on top with a deep in between seems to be just right for overwintering.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  19. #799
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    ps: agree with what you said about the wax.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  20. #800
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
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    1,191

    Default Re: Treatment Free Commercial Beekeepers?

    Dean, can you direct me to the posts where you discussed Tim Ives? I'm finding his approach very interesting, and the thread is so massive I'm hoping I can avoid searching every page. When I tried searching Beesource, all I got were links to threads, not individual posts.

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