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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    5,113

    Default Re: Big Bee Buzz 2013

    I doubt they'll have specialized equipment like that. Last year they had Ultra Breeze jackets, hive tools, a few hives, feeders, beetle traps, frames, boxes, things like that.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    606

    Default Re: Big Bee Buzz 2013

    okie dokie. ill go on ozark's website and see if they can bring a couple things with them for me.

  3. #23
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    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    5,113

    Default Re: Big Bee Buzz 2013

    They brought honey gates!

    About to get going.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Big Bee Buzz 2013

    The evening has started and I've started blogging if you'd like to follow along.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
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    5,113

    Default Big Bee Buzz 2013: My Conclusions

    The Big Bee Buzz put put on by NEOBA was again a fantastic event. This year's festivities were a substantially treatment-free themed affair. It was so much fun, I got to meet and hang out with Sam Comfort, got to hang out with Michael Bush, and got to know Ed Levi (former Arkansas State Bee Inspector) better. So what did I take away?

    Some context. Everything I say is from the perspective of someone who is a Bond method beekeeper, and quite evangelical about it. I believe people should raise their own bees. I firmly dislike monoculture and the migratory beekeeping that enables it. My focus is pretty strictly on small beekeepers, backyard beekeepers, hobbyists, avid hobbyists, and sideliners.

    The new name I am using for my philosophy which I got with permission from Sam Comfort is Expansion Model Beekeeping. My twist is this: As a beekeeper, rather than spending a load of time learning about all the treatments, what they do, how to use them, all the mechanical and cultural methods of controlling mites, brood breaks, screened bottom boards etc., rather than putting energy into learning and internalizing all that stuff, learn how to breed and expand and to outrun the mites. And the thing is, outrunning them is only necessary for a relatively brief period of time. Once your local and localized population becomes sustainable, the mites are not a problem at all. Focus on creating and maintaining a population from which you can lose a few and not have coronaries about it. It's no big deal because you'll just raise some more in the spring. The last two years, I've only lost a single hive. That's after three years in this location with some higher losses, but a no point was it unsustainable. And with the methods that I have discovered and implemented now, I could have done it without buying new bees or queens. Run your operation, whatever size, on an expansion model rather than trying to maintain some certain benchmark. Hives are much easier to reduce in number than increase.

    A handy trick I learned from Mike Bush was when a queen flies off, to dump some bees on the topbars of the hives. They will begin scent fanning and she'll have a better chance of making it back to the right hive.

    Something I have been convinced to do is register my bees. I had been concerned that some inspector was going to tell me that I had to treat them. Ed Levi calmed my fears and said that they can't do that. The only thing they can do in Arkansas is burn them if they have American Foul Brood. I'm not so concerned about that. I've never had foulbrood and if I did, burning them is probably a good idea even though every deep box costs about $30 and every medium box costs about $25. It could get not cheap but it would be even more not cheap if it were allowed to spread. Anyway, the biggest benefit of registering and getting inspected is that I can ship queens and bees around.

    I'm also going to start going to the Northwest Arkansas Beekeepers meetings. I need to learn more about my area and get to know the local beekeepers.

    Sam thinks I should move up to 100 hives, but I doubt that's going to be happening any time soon. There's other things I like to do too you know. From talking to him I will also try putting my entrances somewhere in the middle of the hives to hopefully keep the brood and pollen separated a bit better from the honey.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,761

    Default Re: Big Bee Buzz 2013: My Conclusions

    nice synopsis sol.

    go into more detail about the expansion model when you have time, maybe start a thread about it.

    many thanks.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
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    5,113

    Default Re: Big Bee Buzz 2013: My Conclusions

    I plan on it. It's going to be a major thrust of my philosophy and I've been invited to go back to Tulsa later this year and talk about it.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,960

    Default Re: Big Bee Buzz 2013: My Conclusions

    Expansion Model sounds interesting; my concern is that some beekeepers, new ones in particular, will adopt the name of the philosophy but not the work that goes along with it. My take is that it requires observing what is going on in your hives and responding to those observations in keeping with the philosophy. It is most certainly not dumping a commercially produced package on new foundation in the spring, ignore them all summer, and b*tching about their either dieing or not producing a honey crop.

    Learning to see what you are observing is key. Beginning this year I will be making the effort to keep my TF bees going rather than experimenting if TF bees will survive and thrive in my area. I can't afford to bring in new bees every year only to have them die. So I will be looking into the whys deeper - why has this over wintered colony not taken off? Stuff like that.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,761

    Default Re: Big Bee Buzz 2013: My Conclusions

    it will be interesting to see how this differs from the approaches of mike palmer (creating and over wintering nucs), and mel disselkoen (out breeding mites).
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,064

    Default Re: Big Bee Buzz 2013: My Conclusions

    Nice report Solomon. I'm surprised, after all the discussions there have been on beesource about Apiary Inspectors and Apiary Inspection, that you didn't already know that AFB is the only thing States really regulate and try to control. Only APHIS has ever made anyone kill hives for having mites. And that was in the mid 1980s. And no one regulates viruses.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    648

    Default Re: Big Bee Buzz 2013: My Conclusions

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    A handy trick I learned from Mike Bush was when a queen flies off, to dump some bees on the topbars of the hives. They will begin scent fanning and she'll have a better chance of making it back to the right hive.

    Cool tip I hadn't ever heard before.

    Thx. Don

  12. #32
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    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: Big Bee Buzz 2013: My Conclusions

    Don, that should read "hive" not "hives". You dump bees on the home hive, they will scent fan so the queen may find her way back better. As we beekeepers tend to move things around, often the hive where she returned on her mating flight is not in the same location as she is now. I don't even know if she would be able to remember that.

    Mark, I have heard some horror stories about inspectors overstepping their bounds, whether they were performing their jobs according to the law or not. So it was not just what was legal that I was concerned about. I've always been the sort that likes to stay out of the spotlight, preferring to do my own thing on the sidelines. It's fine if one of y'all gets vendetta on the mind here on Beesource. It's a bit different when I get somebody who thinks treating is the law of the land and wants to make my life miserable and has the power to do so, legally or not. My bees and their genetics are precious to me and I'm not one who thinks all bees are the same. I'd prefer if registration were optional here like several of the amendments have proposed and I could just stay out of it until I wanted my little "Inspected" piece of paper. But that's not the way it is.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  13. #33
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
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    3,134

    Default Re: Big Bee Buzz 2013: My Conclusions

    Thanks for the report - it gave Mark and I something to discuss as we wandered through the blueberry fields feeding some hungry bees. I particularly appreciate the M.B. - Sam Comfort pics.... Barry B. sent me a separate pic of Niel... so now I am set. I suspect Sam C. may be correct about the 100 hives.... you might be pleasantly surprised at how little difference there is in keeping 20 hives and keeping 100.
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
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    2,726

    Default Re: Big Bee Buzz 2013: My Conclusions

    Quote Originally Posted by hpm08161947 View Post
    I particularly appreciate the M.B. - Sam Comfort pics.... Barry B. sent me a separate pic of Niel... so now I am set.
    I was starting to suspect there was something fishy about NeilV's existence. But then, I haven't seen the pics.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -H.S. Thompson

  15. #35
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
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    3,134

    Default Re: Big Bee Buzz 2013: My Conclusions

    Quote Originally Posted by cg3 View Post
    I was starting to suspect there was something fishy about NeilV's existence. But then, I haven't seen the pics.
    He looks like the kind of guy you would want in your corner the next time you are arrested.....
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: Big Bee Buzz 2013: My Conclusions

    Herb, I sent you a picture of him on Facebook, did you not get it? He does exist. He's a really nice guy, and he seems to be coming over to the treatment-free way of seeing things. He is the one who booked the speakers after all.

    I suspect Sam may be correct management wise, but I cannot keep more than ten hives in any location due to mass robbing issues. That's a lot of travel time on my precious spring Saturdays. Any expansion will have to be mostly on funding provided by continued beekeeping profits, which I also want to spend on solar panels. We'll see. I'm already deciding I can make an expansion from 20 to 25. Must build a bunch more boxes. I'm running out. I think I now have less than ten available deeps on hand.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  17. #37
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    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
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    Default Re: Big Bee Buzz 2013: My Conclusions

    So- if a colony can't fend off some robbing, then what?
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -H.S. Thompson

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
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    Default Re: Big Bee Buzz 2013: My Conclusions

    If they survive, then I pick up the pieces and move on. If they don't, then I do the same thing.

    http://youtu.be/uLlbuwJUg2U

    If I'm putting too many hives together and it's causing robbing, then it's obviously my fault and I need to not do that. It's the same sort of situation if I take too much honey and they starve to death over winter. I need to manage in a way that doesn't apply too much undue stress.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  19. #39
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    3,134

    Default Re: Big Bee Buzz 2013: My Conclusions

    Do the hives tend to get a bit unbalanced? Several strong ones and a few weak ones? Then the weak ones get robbed out.

    If this is the case, have your tried banlancing the hives, ie... moving a few frames of brood and bees into the weak ones... from the strong?

    BTW.. the utube video says "Private".
    “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.” - The Quran

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,726

    Default Re: Big Bee Buzz 2013

    I've been having robbing problems with nucs and particularly when moving nucs into 10 frame equipment. Robbing screens seem to have solved it.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -H.S. Thompson

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