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  1. #21
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    Jul 2012
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    lafargeville ny usa
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    887

    Default Re: Fifty years in house - treatment-free (This isn't supposed to be possible)

    sqkcrk is exactly correct.. however I would like to try some of those nice black bees there is always some chance that they are great. I also know they would be real ify as far north as mark and myself are.

  2. #22
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    Feb 2010
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    New York City, NY
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    4,317

    Default Re: Fifty years in house - treatment-free (This isn't supposed to be possible)

    However, the fact remains, that treatment free beekeepers are reporting that they are getting actual resistant stock from cutouts, etc. .

    A source of resistant stock, is a source of resistant stock.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
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    2,463

    Default Re: Fifty years in house - treatment-free (This isn't supposed to be possible)

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    However, the fact remains, that treatment free beekeepers are reporting that they are getting actual resistant stock from cutouts, etc. .

    A source of resistant stock, is a source of resistant stock.
    I am sure that that is correct, the real question is at what ratio? My guess is it would tend to follow a bell curve.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 12 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  4. #24
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    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
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    648

    Default Re: Fifty years in house - treatment-free (This isn't supposed to be possible)

    I'm one of the TF nuts but watching the video, I'm skeptical about the age of the current colony.

    I've done a lot of removals and old established colonies in my experience always have a lot of debris below the nest.

    Also, the quite entertaining beekeeper says the siding was removed and put back by the old farmer to harvest the honey in days gone by, but you would see that evidence in the old lap siding boards.

    Not saying the house hasn't had bees for 50 years, just not where they removed these.

    Good looking colony.

    Made my feet hurt watching him on that ladder so long.

    Don

  5. #25
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    Jun 2010
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    Stillwell, KS
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    648

    Default Re: Fifty years in house - treatment-free (This isn't supposed to be possible)

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    I disagree with the opposition speaker 100%

    I demand that we recognize the contributions of these true conservationists to treatment free beekeeping.

    WLC.

    Quit trolling please.


    Don

  6. #26
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    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,765

    Default Re: Fifty years in house - treatment-free (This isn't supposed to be possible)

    rearing bees from feral cut outs as a path to treatment free can and does work.

    my bees are derived from bee tree cut outs. my supplier started with six feral colonies almost 17 years ago, has used no treatments, and has a thriving apiary which produces 100+ nucs and 100+ queens for sale each year.

    i am in my third season with these bees off treatments, and so far so good, with very few losses and those mostly from queen failure.

    these bees are mutts, a little bit dark in color, not overly aggressive, good honey producers, and somewhat swarmy.

    i'll be taking mite counts soon to get an idea as to what levels of infestation they are tolerating.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
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    695

    Default Re: Fifty years in house - treatment-free (This isn't supposed to be possible)

    Well, I had bees living in the walls of one of my unheated dairy barns for 20+/- continuous years.

    They were always there, and they were there as late as December 2012.

    This spring there were none, in any of the three distinct cavities they had long occupied.

    Broke my heart, as I knew bees were under stress for the last couple of years, but I was too preoccupied with other stuff to figure out how to care for them.

    I was thrilled to discover that first two new swarms, and then a third one, reoccupied the cavities in June. They were cutout and now they live in their hives where I have a better chance to help them out, if necessary.

    (Just in case, though, I'm putting the siding back on with screws, not nails.)

    Although my old bees appeared to be doing well, for years, it's possible that as a non-beekeeper I missed previous die-offs and then re-occupation by new swarms. I doubt I would have noticed that as I didn't understand the bee-biology.

    When we did the cutout there were no masses of dead bees or diseased-ridden combs visible, either. The insides of the wall cavities were filled with enormous quantities of capped honey comb. I have no idea what happened to the old bees.

    The new bees (the ones now in my hives) would have appeared to a casual observer to be the same bees as last year, but they are not. They were fresh swarms this year, from who knows where. They are slightly smaller than most local (hived) honey bees that I see in nearby bee yards. I have no idea if they are ferals, or just ordinary reproductive swarms.

    Only time will tell if this is an improved situation for them. However I know I am enjoying caring for them.

    Enj.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
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    721

    Default Re: Fifty years in house - treatment-free (This isn't supposed to be possible)

    Bees move in, die off, wax moths open the cavity back up, bees move in, etc. I personally like when they move into my swarm traps or used equipment It's testament to why a cavity needs to be completely sealed after a cutout is complete. I love doing cutouts, especially when you can see that the bees are noticably smaller than bees raised on large cell, I can get them on small cell right off the bat and then let them build whatever kind of comb they choose in the outer foundationless frames.
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
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  9. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
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    503

    Default Re: Fifty years in house - treatment-free (This isn't supposed to be possible)

    I enjoyed this video and discussion so far. I haven't been keeping bees that long in comparison to many of you. I am appreciative to read forum members views on these topics. It helps me be a better beekeeper and sets my imagination going with different scenarios. My first thought is to build a very tall narrow hive about the size of the dimensions in the video. Put some bees in it from my bees that have wintered a couple years and see if they would survive year after year without any of my beekeeper meddling after initially getting them started. I guess it would be preferable to design it so that it could be inspected by the bee inspector or me if necessary. Maybe I could build it one day in the future.

    If the hive survived for like ten years despite swarming it could be a good basis for a queen rearing operation. "Bred from survivors" with a picture of the source colony. Even if the origin of the drones was not isolated one could perhaps have some faith that there was some consistency based on years of successful healthy bees.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,605

    Default Re: Fifty years in house - treatment-free (This isn't supposed to be possible)

    Quote Originally Posted by virginiawolf View Post
    My first thought is to build a very tall narrow hive about the size of the dimensions in the video.
    How would you create the "warm side"? What direction will it face? There are very real elements that must be factored in if you want to copy the real thing.
    Regards, Barry

  11. #31
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    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
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    503

    Default Re: Fifty years in house - treatment-free (This isn't supposed to be possible)

    I would probably just have a thick outside amount of wood maybe design some insulation into the walls something comparable to a cutout from a vacant house as opposed to a heated house. I have tried using tar paper for winter and not here in PA. Both have worked and not worked for me. I have imagined thicker hive bodies and hives that were designed with insulation on the boxes like a double wall. Although it may not be practical for more than a test hive. I have wondered what modifications might have impacts. Instinctually I am drawn to think a hive should be similar to as found in a tree but since the bees have done well in the sides of houses etc. Maybe being deeper inside of structures makes the temperatures more consistent. I don't live where there are redwood trees but if bees were inside a redwood tree maybe that large trunk would have benefits. There are so many variables and that is part of why Honeybees are so wondrous to me. The lack of singular methods and answers is part of what is cool about beekeeping. At this point I am still learning many basic things based on reading and what has worked so far. Re creating a hive like this would be a big jump but maybe one day. I like the hive the person made in the carved tree. This is not like the house but very cool.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcgA7rPgY2g

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTEoGSEMTtU
    Last edited by virginiawolf; 08-23-2013 at 10:23 PM.

  12. #32
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    May 2009
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    Canterbry, UK
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    1,753

    Default Re: Fifty years in house - treatment-free (This isn't supposed to be possible)

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    However, the fact remains, that treatment free beekeepers are reporting that they are getting actual resistant stock from cutouts, etc. .

    A source of resistant stock, is a source of resistant stock.
    WLC,

    Perhaps we should consider trying to express these things in more probabalistic and relative terms.

    We could offer: a colony that has reportedly lived without aid for say, 4 years, is more likely to have a good measure of resistance than one that has done so for 3 years.

    Both are more likely to have better resistance than any bees originating in systematically treated apiaries.

    These claims are dependent on the reliability of the witnesses to longevity.

    Cut-outs and swarms taken from good bee country with sparse treating apiaries are likely to have better levels of resistance than cut-outs and swarms taken from near treating apiaries.

    What I'm trying to get at is: let's identify the factors that increase the likelyhood that the bees will have a good measure of resistance, and state our results in (loosely quantified) probabalistic and relative terms. That will reflect the realities more closely.

    It will enable us to say - without fear of contradiction - these bees are almost certainly more valuable in resistance terms than any sourced from treating beekeepers.

    Mike (UK)
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
    http://www.suttonjoinery.co.uk/CCD/

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    28,080

    Default Re: Fifty years in house - treatment-free (This isn't supposed to be possible)

    Is it a resistance characteristic or is it how they are kept/not kept (as in a feral colony) so they end up swarming/requeening causing broodless periods therefore varroa reproduction gaps? Is it the genes or the house they live in?
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  14. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: Fifty years in house - treatment-free (This isn't supposed to be possible)

    Works for me, its where I get most of my bees. the only hives I have had mite problems with have been the ones I have paid money for. Each to their own....
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
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    4,317

    Default Re: Fifty years in house - treatment-free (This isn't supposed to be possible)

    Mike:

    You are aware of the 'Bond' hypothesis.

    Using feral trapouts and cutouts, from colonies that have successfully overwintered, will save you one season.

    It will also save you the cost of any colonies that won't overwinter.

    On top of that, it's good to remove exotic species from the environment.

    It has a value in terms of both time and money.

    As for 'feral' swarms, there's a lower percentage that they'll overwinter successfully, but if you consider the proportion of swarms that are actually feral vs the swarms that are from managed colonies, you're still enriching for feral/resistant stock.

    So, it's still better than 'bonding' any old stock.

    Let's not discount the importance of actual untreated feral comb. It's valuable stuff.

    It's got microflora on it that haven't been affected by any of the numerous potential hive contaminants, which includes contaminated beeswax.

    So, I'd say that trapouts/cutouts that include comb from known overwintered feral colonies, are more valuable than a swarm.

    But, there's nothing wrong with swarms since they are potentially feral/resistant, and besides, they're free.

    Regardless, we keep hearing reports from TFBers, and these local resistant stock fit the bill.

    They can save a lot of time, money, and effort on the part of TFBers.

    Too bad I don't have that option available.

  16. #36
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    May 2009
    Location
    Canterbry, UK
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    1,753

    Default Re: Fifty years in house - treatment-free (This isn't supposed to be possible)

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    As for 'feral' swarms, there's a lower percentage that they'll overwinter successfully, but if you consider the proportion of swarms that are actually feral vs the swarms that are from managed colonies, you're still enriching for feral/resistant stock.

    [...]

    So, I'd say that trapouts/cutouts that include comb from known overwintered feral colonies, are more valuable than a swarm.
    WlC,

    Unless the swarm is known/highly likely to come from a longstanding wild/feral colony... I suspect they'll bring their balance of micro-life with them and set to on starter strips the end result is the same. Good comb is good comb though - if you can persuade them to stitch it into a frame nicely...

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    So, it's still better than 'bonding' any old stock.
    I'm tempted to think bonding any old stock is probably a waste of time and effort. Do we know of any reports of success?

    Certainly bonding stock known to originate in systematically treated apiaries - and that's most of it - has to be close to hopeless.

    Soft bonding might be a different story. That's probably a different topic though...

    Ongoing success depends every bit as much on proximity to treating apiaries/feral colonies, and to how much attention is paid to lifting the resistant drone population.

    Mike (UK)
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
    http://www.suttonjoinery.co.uk/CCD/

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: Fifty years in house - treatment-free (This isn't supposed to be possible)

    Hope for him he found the Queen,
    Thank You for sharing this video clip

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Central Oregon
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Fifty years in house - treatment-free (This isn't supposed to be possible)

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i'll be taking mite counts soon to get an idea as to what levels of infestation they are tolerating.
    I would be very interested to see what your counts are. It would be nice to see some counts of those who are not treating so we can get an idea of what levels of mite infestation they are successfully living with.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    6,074

    Default Re: Fifty years in house - treatment-free (This isn't supposed to be possible)

    Here's one where Solomon checked into it
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...nt-Free-Colony
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester NY
    Posts
    239

    Default Re: Fifty years in house - treatment-free (This isn't supposed to be possible)

    A huge wall cavity full of old black smelly comb is extremely attractive to swarms as anyone with swarm traps knows--and a swarm can move in short order when no one is home so the fifty years thing is pretty doubtful

    I hear the "bond" method touted around but it is SO overly simplistic. All the "Method" is natural selection with no modifying factors --sure you can breed bees from ones that lived from last year ad infinitum, but that doesn't get to the matter at hand which is why they survived-maybe they had more food stores, maybe the queen was a young queen and there was a break in laying to slow down the mites, maybe the winter wasn't so bad etc. Left to nature alone evolution of any measurable sort takes many thousands of years

    Unless someone can take such techniques and have a clear MOP method of procedure you really do not know if the stock is really mite risistant or not. That combined with dealing with only small numbers of hives does not take into account other abnomalities/ reasons for survival including those outlined above. I would be interested to read about anyone doing larger scale studies out there
    Last edited by xcugat; 09-03-2013 at 06:02 PM.
    http://www.peekskillnurseries.com
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