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Thread: Tim Ives Method

  1. #101
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Reno, NV

    Default Re: Tim Ives Method

    Sorry Ace, My cylinders where not firing well. I had it in my head as beginning of winter. Long story but my mind is overwhelmed right now.
    More direst to the question you did ask. Last spring I did not find it necessary to mess with the brood nest at all since they where already at the bottom. My hive was a double deep at that time. I started my build up on March 1st and the bees where already well into building up a brood nest. This was surprising to me since I did not expect the bees to start building up until more like March. As Walt points out in his booklet. It is surprising what is going on in a hive mid winter if you actually go look. They are not just hanging around in a ball waiting for warmer weather.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  2. #102
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Miami, Manitoba, Canada

    Default Re: Tim Ives Method

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    It is surprising what is going on in a hive mid winter if you actually go look. They are not just hanging around in a ball waiting for warmer weather.
    Unless it February and -30 degrees C , lol
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog

  3. #103
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Utica, NY

    Default Re: Tim Ives Method

    Yeah Ian, temperature does make a difference.

    Daniel, when did you find the brood nest in the bottom deep? If you can go in real early they will be in the bottom deep because they haven't consumed the honey yet. The the thing is no body up here is going to truck through the snow to go out to their hive in February and brush off the snow to checkerboard their hive. What for?
    My limited experience with bees has convinced me that if you have a healthy hive and leave more than enough honey for the winter, that hive will go gang busters in the spring and you will have all you can do to keep up with it.
    Almost anything you do that disrupts the brood nest will deter the colony from swarming, be it reversing boxes, checkerboarding or just slapping on empty boxes and pulling up the center frames. Bees are so simple it isn't funny but the time required to manipulate them is a commitment. I could never be a commercial beekeeper because you work your butt off for not enough rewards in my opinion but a hobbyist beekeeper is a walk in the park.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  4. #104
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand

    Default Re: Tim Ives Method

    Find myself agreeing with Acebird to some extent.

    Here where I am we don't have hard winters so cannot comment on that, but this is what I've observed. In mid/late winter, cluster size of all hives tends to normalise, up, or down, till they are all similar, that's assuming sufficient feed plus allowing for bee breed. (pure carniolans have a much smaller cluster than Italians).

    But once the spring build up starts, if a hive does not have a lot of stores they build up slowly, as if making sure they will not run out. A hive with plenty of stores builds up faster even before any flow because they feel safe to do that.

    For me, I need lots of bees early, so I winter my hives heavy, ie 2 deeps nearly both full of honey just enough empty room for clustering. Come spring, it's almost as if the bees do an inventory and decide they have plenty, so they will turn it into as many bees as possible so they can swarm. That's where growth has to be controlled, or splits made, or some system used.

    Early build up is not always a good thing, some commercial beekeepers here go into winter with a set amount of feed on the hives, then will not open that hive at all till some certain point on their calendar, because any opening can stimulate the bees and lead to eventual swarming. They try to get build up right, to avoid swarming but be ready to go when the nectar flow starts. That's when a guy needs a good knowledge of his area.

    Somebody doing pollination would have a different set of needs and would manage that accordingly.

  5. #105
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    McClure, OH

    Default Re: Tim Ives Method


    I found that G. M. Doolittle made the same observation - that bigger stores allow the bees to increase without being interrupted with any lulls in the nectar availability. For that reason he held "reserve combs" and in April, about 1 month before the fruit bloom (the first flow in this area) he made sure they have at least 3 deep combs of honey. He overwintered in a single deep.

    Really interesting!

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