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  1. #101
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,718

    Default Re: Leaving Them Alone

    Gino you are Polynesian? Maoris would say kapai, ='s good, nice one, or similar, this word has been incorporated into NZ English, many Europeans would not use it, but would know what it means. There are some words the same in Hawaii & Maori, likely because orally handed down Maori history says they came from a place called Hawaiiki, probably Hawaii. When Maoris die, their spirits travel to the northern most part of NZ, and from there return to Hawaiiki.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  2. #102
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Leaving Them Alone

    I like reading this forum. It makes me believe that despite so many things that may have become worse for the bees that the beekeepers all of us will be the ones that save the bees in the long run. What I have learned from my approach was that at first my bees died partly because of rookie mistakes. Then the next year I tried some" Survivor bees" Local bees that had survived one season that someone gave me. Then I tried package italians from Georgia. Very different bees from my first Russian Nucs I bought. Then I learned to raise a few queens and see that the brood break did seem to make the mites disappear that I was seeing. I got some Late season queens from Russells and fed them to give them stores for winter. Some survived some didn't. I raised some more queens and used swarm cells to make little hives before winter and surprisingly some of the tiny hives that I thought wouldn't make it made it through winter which was long. I didn't need 90lbs of honey like I thought. 60% got through winter on like a medium or a shallow of honey. Survivors included queens reared in the summer. They had barely any time to build up so I fed them and they made it fine. Now I have several different queens from different places and I am raising like 8 queens plus from survivors. I am counting on the brood break which seems to knock the mites back considerably to ease mite pressure. I plan to keep breeding off of surviviors and then each spring during swarm season just split my hives and keep them in fresh clean wax with no treatments. I am optimistic that with a coninuous attention to rearing new queens from hives that seem to handle mites well will work well. I am kind of following the Mel Disselkoen philosophy of splitting and re generating a queen during the honey flow to give the bees a chance to break brood and store honey. I am optimistic that as we all experiment and try new things our odds of developing treatment free strains will increase.

    Starting the bees with the plan of low management may work well. It will give a reference of what low management results in. Then research can be sought and utilized. We are all trying to keep our bees alive and healthy so we can support eachother as we try things and that is invaluable. It takes time to build up your stocks and try different set ups. We are here for eachother so we can come up with great improvements. Good stuff.
    VW
    Queen 4 13 13 copy.jpg
    Last edited by virginiawolf; 05-22-2013 at 12:04 AM.

  3. #103
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,194

    Default Re: Leaving Them Alone

    Quote Originally Posted by virginiawolf View Post
    I like reading this forum. It makes me believe that despite so many things that may have become worse for the bees that the beekeepers all of us will be the ones that save the bees in the long run. What I have learned from my approach was that at first my bees died partly because of rookie mistakes. Then the next year I tried some" Survivor bees" Local bees that had survived one season that someone gave me. Then I tried package italians from Georgia. Very different bees from my first Russian Nucs I bought. Then I learned to raise a few queens and see that the brood break did seem to make the mites disappear that I was seeing. I got some Late season queens from Russells and fed them to give them stores for winter. Some survived some didn't. I raised some more queens and used swarm cells to make little hives before winter and surprisingly some of the tiny hives that I thought wouldn't make it made it through winter which was long. I didn't need 90lbs of honey like I thought. 60% got through winter on like a medium or a shallow of honey. Survivors included queens reared in the summer. They had barely any time to build up so I fed them and they made it fine. Now I have several different queens from different places and I am raising like 8 queens plus from survivors. I am counting on the brood break which seems to knock the mites back considerably to ease mite pressure. I plan to keep breeding off of surviviors and then each spring during swarm season just split my hives and keep them in fresh clean wax with no treatments. I am optimistic that with a coninuous attention to rearing new queens from hives that seem to handle mites well will work well. I am kind of following the Mel Disselkoen philosophy of splitting and re generating a queen during the honey flow to give the bees a chance to break brood and store honey. I am optimistic that as we all experiment and try new things our odds of developing treatment free strains will increase.

    Starting the bees with the plan of low management may work well. It will give a reference of what low management results in. Then research can be sought and utilized. We are all trying to keep our bees alive and healthy so we can support eachother as we try things and that is invaluable. It takes time to build up your stocks and try different set ups. We are here for eachother so we can come up with great improvements. Good stuff.
    VW
    Queen 4 13 13 copy.jpg
    Well said BEE SOURCE is great.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  4. #104
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,277

    Default Re: Leaving Them Alone

    yep, good post vw.

    i think that even when you start with 'good' bees, it takes a few seasons of selecting and propagating from the best ones to end up with good stock.

    plus, the beekeeper has a chance to get the hang of it and hopefully learns how not to get in the bees' way too much.

    getting nice supply of drawn comb comes in handy as well.

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

  5. #105
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: Leaving Them Alone

    I try and intervene as little as possible ... but I paid the price for not opening often enough this spring when small hive beetles had other plans for 5 of my spring starts. Word to the wise.

  6. #106
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Florida, USA
    Posts
    253

    Default Re: Leaving Them Alone

    Nice experiment if you have that kind of money to blow.

  7. #107
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Grand Blanc, MI
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: Leaving Them Alone

    I haven't treated my bees since I started into this hobby 8 yrs ago. Starting out with a couple of hives that way resulted in major losses. I now keep around 20 hives and expect to loose around a 1/3 every winter, which I'm ok with. I think the key to going treatment free is to get the queen out of there and let it go broodless for 30 days. I do this by selling nucs with the over wintered queen and also by doing splits.

  8. #108
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: Leaving Them Alone

    Spencer, that's my tact as well. I stumbled into a bizarre but wonderful situation this spring. One of my most bountiful hives had gone queenless. I found a queen by herself in a dead hive I hadn't gotten around to cleaning out. Apparently she was confused when returning from a mating flight. Based on my calendar she was in there for at least 2 weeks by herself (how could she have survived?), OR I overlooked a new queen in another hive. Anyway, that queenless hive? Since it had no brood, it had stored nothing but nectar and starting capping like wildfire in all of its frames, every single one. I combined with another strong hive (I bungled releasing the lone survivor queen into that hive, she flew away) and all is well. I'm now going to institute a queenless situation in my hives each spring with little or no brood, keeping the overwintered queens with their brood in nucs to sell or keep or recombine in 30 days. This queenless hive hadn't developed laying workers. How long does that take to occur? I'm suspecting that breaking the cycle when the fall flow is on also may help them build up stores for winter (and recombining after 30 days).

    Is 30 days the appropriate time to significantly diminish the varroa count?

  9. #109
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Grand Blanc, MI
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: Leaving Them Alone

    If you have eggs in the queenless hive the chances of developing a laying worker are few. I've only ever had a few laying worker hives and that was due to the bee yard being so far away.

    I've never done a mite count so I'm not sure how much it drops it.

  10. #110
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Stilwell, KS
    Posts
    1,718

    Default Re: Leaving Them Alone

    Quote Originally Posted by spencer View Post
    I I think the key to going treatment free is to get the queen out of there and let it go broodless for 30 days. I do this by selling nucs with the over wintered queen and also by doing splits.
    But how does that help breed mite resistant bees? I thought that was one of the goals of going treatment free.
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  11. #111
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Grand Blanc, MI
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: Leaving Them Alone

    Breeding mite resistance bees isn't my goal. My goal is to get the bees through the winter so I will never have to buy package bees again. This method has worked for me now for 5 yrs.
    For more info look up Mel Disselkoen.

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