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  1. #201
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    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    I found a listing online of his harvesting schedule, and figured out that he seemed to be taking 600 to 700 lbs of honey from his boomers.
    Could you share the link to this?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  2. #202
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    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Also noted the article in this months ABJ... he does not clam 6-700 lbs.. 3-400 is what he himself claims. which is not bad at all, but nowhere near a record....

    It also nice to note hes in apple orchards which are sprayed with Assail, 3 times a year.... (page 702 of the ABJ) a huge neonicotid

  3. #203
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    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    I'm not the only person who has found Tim's hives impressive. Randy Oliver has too.

    But what does he know, right?
    Randys from single deep country... but what impressed him the most was treatment methods( lack thereof) and the fact Tim is in the middle of neonics

  4. #204
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    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    I was impressed w/ all of the empty boxes he took off of his hives in the Youtube video I saw. Now, if they all ended up getting filled that would be impressive.
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  5. #205
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    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    Also noted the article in this months ABJ... he does not clam 6-700 lbs.. 3-400 is what he himself claims. which is not bad at all, but nowhere near a record....

    It also nice to note hes in apple orchards which are sprayed with Assail, 3 times a year.... (page 702 of the ABJ) a huge neonicotid
    I haven't seen the article; maybe that's an average. I did say "boomers." Out of curiosity, what's your average?

    Yeah, I came across his name first in a Randy Oliver piece on neonicotinoids. If I'm remembering correctly, Randy described him as keeping his yards in patches of woods located in the middle of soy and corn country.

    Actually, my info about his production came from an email he sent me. He didn't start his massive supering program until 2011; he did not have enough woodenware for all his hives, so he did this with 40 colonies to start with. He uses three deeps to avoid having to feed. He puts 10 supers on the first week of April-- evidently this was a strategy to keep the hives from swarming. He pulled honey the first time that year on first week of July, and there was an average of 7 supers filled. He put back 7 supers and pulled again 3rd week of August and averaged 5 supers filled. He pulled again in October but did not specify how many supers he got at that time. If you figure 50 lbs. per super, that's 600 lbs, not counting the October pull.

    I'm just reporting what he told me, but that seems pretty impressive to me. The point I was trying to make is that the oft-repeated notion that treatment free beekeepers don't make much honey is evidently not true in every case. If it's possible to not treat and still make large amounts of honey, then that is another reason why it might be wise to look at what guys like Tim Ives are doing. Also, his winter loss rate for the last several years has averaged 8 percent.

    What's not to like?

    Below this post, I expect to find numerous reasons why it won't work in the poster's personal situation. Tim says he hears that a lot.

  6. #206
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    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Ray: I don't believe anyone on here has ridiculed Tim. Frankly I would like to know more about specifically what he is doing. Real world experiences are always meaningful to me. Keeping a lot of honey on your hives isn't really a treatment free strategy in and of itself though. I assume there is a bit more to it than that. The real key, of course isn't so much what you get off your big hives it's minimizing your non productive hives to increase your average across the board. In my operation seeing one piled up a lot higher than the rest always leaves me wondering if I did something wrong on the smaller hives. Uniformity tells me I have maximized production......at least that's how I look at it.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  7. #207
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    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    he probably hears that alot because there aren't many places in the country with a strong nectar flow from april until october.

    there's none here from about mid-june until mid august or later. my bees have to use stored spring honey during those months.

    that tim is a lucky guy, and must have a heck of a strong back, (you can hear him grunting in the videos).

    and 36 lbs. is about all you can get out of a medium with nice fat combs.

    thing is ray, you've never lifted a super of honey, so i don't expect you get my point about why the average person isn't able to deal with those skyscrapers. maybe it's me who's wasting time here.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #208
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    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    he probably hears that alot because there aren't many places in the country with a strong nectar flow from april until october..
    He hears that from beekeepers in his part of Indiana. That exact complaint, in fact.

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    that tim is a lucky guy, and must have a heck of a strong back, (you can hear him grunting in the videos).

    and 36 lbs. is about all you can get out of a medium with nice fat combs.

    thing is ray, you've never lifted a super of honey, so i don't expect you get my point about why the average person isn't able to deal with those skyscrapers. maybe it's me who's wasting time here.
    Hmm. Michael Bush says a 10 frame medium full of honey weighs 60 lbs. I figured that wood and wax can't be much more than 10 lbs. I didn't take into account the weight of honey left after extraction, maybe that's the difference. Still, even using your figures, he gets over 400 lbs of honey, not counting what he gets from his last pull. I guess I can't expect you to get my point, which was that treatment free doesn't mean honey free-- a view that was put forward seriously earlier.

    I get your point about the difficulty of working those skyscrapers, but Tim is young and strong. I'm old and feeble, which is why I'm using long hives. They're about the volume of three 10 frame deeps, by a happy coincidence. They're set up for supering, and if I had to deal with massive nectar flows, I could put 9 supers on them without any super being more than chest high. Those would be 8 frame mediums. As I say. I'm old and feeble, but there is a faint possibility that I'm not an idiot.

    And actually, I have lifted a super, though it was a long time ago. When I was 13, I helped my grandfather with his hives for a summer. Then he died that fall. If he hadn't I might have become a beekeeper much sooner in life, and I could now be taking peevish little shots at ignorant novice beekeepers.

    Though I hope I'd have a little more class than that.

  9. #209
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    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    He hears that from beekeepers in his part of Indiana. That exact complaint, in fact.



    Hmm. Michael Bush says a 10 frame medium full of honey weighs 60 lbs.
    SP is pretty much on the money on this one. It takes a pretty special medium to squeeze out even 40 lbs. net. I usually "ball park" them at a 33 average if they are reasonably full for easy figuring and it's never too far off.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  10. #210
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    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    Below this post, I expect to find numerous reasons why it won't work in the poster's personal situation. Tim says he hears that a lot.
    peevish? moi? never. well maybe a little after you set the tone with this.

    sincere apologies ray.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  11. #211
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    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    peevish? moi? never. well maybe a little after you set the tone with this.

    sincere apologies ray.
    No problem. I was trying to be funny, with that remark about numerous reasons why it won't work. I didn't mean to offend.

    My advantage as a beginner is that I'm not motivated to defend the practices I've been using, because those practices don't exist. Probably my only advantage.

  12. #212
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    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    If you figure 50 lbs. per super, that's 600 lbs, not counting the October pull.

    Below this post, I expect to find numerous reasons why it won't work in the poster's personal situation. Tim says he hears that a lot.
    What won't work is getting 50 lbs of extracted honey from a medium depth super. It's hard enough averaging that much from a deep.
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  13. #213
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    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    My advantage as a beginner is that I'm not motivated to defend the practices I've been using, because those practices don't exist. Probably my only advantage.
    But your disadvantage, and I see this all the time, is that you and other beginners advocate and defend practices you don't fully understand because you haven't used them. Oft times reading something and figuring it's something everyone else aught to be doing or be able to do.

    In Tim's case, what's his full name by the way, I'll wager his location has something to do w/ his production capabilities.
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  14. #214
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    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Maybe one of the first steps in treatment free beekeeping should be feeding?

    Perhaps Tim is using the MDA splitter methodology?

    You know, where last year's splits can be combined into 'towers of power' ?

    But, they're right, you would need an epic flow to get some of the numbers being reported.

  15. #215
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    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    I found a listing online of his harvesting schedule, and figured out that he seemed to be taking 600 to 700 lbs of honey from his boomers..
    Again, could you share the link?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  16. #216
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    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    The very best hive that I can remember, in my life, that honey production was measured, gave me 185 Kg's of honey, that's around 400 ish pounds. But that was in an awesome location, and I managed it intensively just to see what it could do. The following year that and the other hives from that site were moved to another location which turned out to be a total waste of time, those hives got enough to winter, that's it. Same hives, different location.

    IMO, location is more important than anything.

    Luckily I've got some good sites and my honey hives average around 100 kg's, that's something over 200 lb's. That's just because I have only a few hives & can choose awesome locations for them, sites that have multi flora, and something yielding heavily for several months. The hives are managed carefully, and I think that average would be difficult (not impossible), to beat.

    I would be interested top hear from Tim himself what his crop is. If it's 400 to 700 lb's, that will give him 75 + ton annually from his 150 hives. What's his processing and packing plant like?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  17. #217
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    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    From the tower description, he's got to be using at least one hive body that's got a brood break while raising queen cells, and the rest filled with brood comb combined from other colonies to focus on honey production.

    That setup means that the bees won't be using honey for brood rearing, they're going to store most of it as honey (even in the brood area as the bees emerge), and it has a run of about a month or 2.

    But, it also means that you have a bunch of other colonies needed for support, and they need to build up again since their brood frames were used to build the powerhouse honey hive.

    So, you'll need alot more colonies than you have towers of power to make it work. And yes, you'll have to do alot of feeding to be ready to catch the flow.

    The MDA splitter method is a chemical free way to outbreed mites, and produce honey.

  18. #218
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    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    But your disadvantage, and I see this all the time, is that you and other beginners advocate and defend practices you don't fully understand because you haven't used them. Oft times reading something and figuring it's something everyone else aught to be doing or be able to do.

    In Tim's case, what's his full name by the way, I'll wager his location has something to do w/ his production capabilities.
    Mark, I try not to advocate or defend anything, though it may seem that I am, just because I bring up examples of beekeeping practices that appeal to me. I'm still in the learning phase, and I certainly understand my limitations. My presence here is mainly to learn-- and I certainly learn a lot about human nature by reporting results (not mine, of course) that seem to defy conventional wisdom. What I'm really looking for is useful and informative reactions to these unconventional results. I'm a lifelong organic gardener, so that philosophy appeals to me, and influences my theoretical preference for treatment free approaches to beekeeping. I do have 50 years of experience in gardening, and that experience has convinced me that the chemical approach to agriculture is terminally flawed. I'm trying to keep an open mind about treatment, but so far, I haven't seen any convincing arguments for the longterm sustainability of treatment. There's always a sort of stopgap flavor to arguments for treatment: "Well, are you going to treat, or are you going to let your hives die this winter?" I like to find examples of situations where that has proven to be a false dilemma. In Tim's case, not treating did, at first, mean that his hives died, and that continued as long as he was buying packages not adapted to his area. Once he began using feral swarms as the basis of his increase, his loss rate dropped from 50 to 90 percent down to 8 percent.

    Tim's full name is Tim Ives. The funny thing about his operation is that in northern Indiana, where he has his yards, his fellow beekeepers complain that they can't get his results because they're in a corn and soy desert. Randy Oliver even published a crop map of the area where Tim keeps his hives. I got the impression that he gets a lot of his nectar from herbicide resistant weeds in the rows, early in the season. I learned about this guy through Randy Oliver's work. Randy was talking about the effect of neonicotinoids on bees, and mentioned this treatment free beekeeper whose bees are surrounded by treated fields, and whose bees are thriving, to put it mildly. To me this is pretty strong evidence that even if neonics are bad for bees, they require other factors, like bad beekeeping, to have a serious effect on colony mortality.

    I'm one of those people who prefer to believe that if anything bad happens to me, it's my own fault, even if that's not exactly true. You can do something about stuff that's your own fault, but sometimes it's hard to correct stuff that's other people's fault. That's why I was pleased to learn that Tim can keep bees successfully in an area of heavy neonic use. The fact that he doesn't treat, doesn't feed, and makes large amounts of honey is just gravy.

    I don't want to post his email address, but you can find it easily enough, here:

    http://www.theunitygardens.org/

    He's a nice guy, and seems to be happy to answer questions.

  19. #219
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    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    In my operation seeing one piled up a lot higher than the rest always leaves me wondering if I did something wrong on the smaller hives.
    i was discussing this with my neighbor, friend, and fellow beekeeper (he has only a few hives now, but at one time was one of alabama's leading package producers).

    he threw out something that had not crossed my mind, but seemed worthy of consideration.

    after the main flow here and as we get into our dearth, robbing starts in earnest.

    a hive of mine last year got picked on when it fell behind the rest after failing to get the new queen mated post-swarming, and was set back even more when i let it raise a new one from donated eggs rather than buying a queen. robbing coincided with the end of the flow and the need for the small colony to cover brood once the new queen started laying, and the robbers turned out to be ferals out of the nearby woods.

    i don't think northern indiana has quite the dearth that we have down here, (if you live up there and i'm wrong about this please correct me), or it could be that tim has a great location with acres of clover that provide abundant nectar through the summer months.

    i wonder though, if there really isn't significant nectar available as reported by others in the area and those mega colonies are still producing honey through the summer, is it possible they are so strong that they are able to get it from other bees?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  20. #220
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    Default Re: Going Treatment Free - step 1

    We select breeders from among our best producers, the downside of doing that is you may well be breeding a strong tendency to rob into them. One thing I have see. Many times is that when supering, you drive your truck adjacent or even in the yard, start opening lids and adding supers that if there is a big flight on you have created so much disruption that the heavily laden foragers begin randomly landing somewhere. Sometimes they choose a super on the truck and other times its a random hive, usually a taller one on a corner of the yard. It can result in the big getting bigger and the small (shorter) hives losing some of their field force. For that reason alone I tend to discount stories about how much honey a particular hive makes and focus more on average production of the entire yard which I find more meaningful.

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