Treatment Free - How long does it take? - Page 11
Page 11 of 19 FirstFirst ... 910111213 ... LastLast
Results 201 to 220 of 376
  1. #201
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    8,873

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    A photo of the inside of WLC's "tower" hive could be more informative.
    "Thinking Inside The Box"

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #202
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    8,155

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    wlc, aren't you keeping your bees in an urban setting? was supplemental feeding required to grow your package into that tower?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #203
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
    Posts
    4,230

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    You do remember that I fed them LAB fermented syrup, right?

    Then the flow started, and I let the bees do their thing.

  5. #204
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    8,155

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    yep. beegurt, correct? so no feeding after the flow started?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #205
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
    Posts
    4,230

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    No more beegurt after the flow.

    My issue in the late winter, early spring will be to decide if I need to do it again.

    While there's plenty of early pollen around, I can't say the same for the nectar flow.

    It all depends on how much honey stores I have left on the hives.

  7. #206
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    8,155

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    No more beegurt after the flow.
    i assumed it would have took some syrup to get that much comb drawn in an area without a lot of nectar availability.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #207
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
    Posts
    4,230

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    I certainly didn't break the 5 gallon total mark per hive.

    The bulk of the frames were drawn after the main flow started, and the hives had brooded up as a result.

    I think I've got a shot at two full blown tower hives if I can harness all of the behaviors that Tim had written about.

    That's assuming the colonies don't fail and they don't swarm.

    My point for bringing this up is that some folks don't believe that there is such a thing as a productive TF colony.

    If I can get this tower colony to last 2 more seasons, with the same marked/clipped queen, it would convince me that it's possible.

    Otherwise, I can see the flip side. I doubt that I could even consider making a living from TF colonies based on my own experiences.

  9. #208
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    8,155

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    understood, thanks.

    i'm thinking good productivity is more a function of nectar availablility, swarm prevention, and having drawn comb; whereas treatment free success has more to do with winter survivability.

    some colonies are just better at getting the job done and living to tell about it, and it sure doesn't hurt if the weather cooperates.

    i guess i'm in the camp that would rather have three singles with four or five supers on each one and leave my ladder in the garage vs. the triple deep and seven supers, but i wish no ill will to anyone wanting to do that.

    how tim gets his queens to live for an average five years is what i don't get......
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  10. #209
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
    Posts
    4,230

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    I do think that TF bees have to pay a metabolic penalty for fighting off Varroa on their own.

    However, there's always a cost associated with using treatments as well.

  11. #210
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    8,873

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    some folks don't believe that there is such a thing as a productive TF colony.
    I doubt any open minded person would think that. It as been done, that's pretty obvious.

    Just, based on what I read on Beesource, the average crop taken from treatment free apiaries, is lower than treated. Best I can tell, on information provided, is a typical TF yard consists of a few productive hives, and the balance, at any time, poor performers and dinks. It has to be this way, because generally held TF philosophy is you are going to lose hives and therefore have to split and make increase to counter that. The bee survey indicates that TF losses are around 50% higher than treated hive losses, and the average TF beekeeper looses nearly 1/2 his colonies each year (bee survey put it around 45% from memory). It would stand to reason that with all these hives dying, there must be some not dying, but suffering. IE, they will not be as productive as they would have been if mite pressure was removed by a treatment.

    And yes, there are those who will say they are TF and haven't lost a hive in x years and get big honey crops, etc. But in this post I'm not talking about the best out there I'm talking about averages.

    Point of all this is, nobody's saying there are not TF successes, ever. Cos there are. Being honest about results is a different thing to saying that TF beekeeping can never succeed. Just, I only ever hear that from the more hard line TF people who keep saying that other beekeepers say that. But actually, I never hear it from the other beekeepers, only from their accusers putting words in their mouths.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 12-07-2013 at 09:54 PM. Reason: spelling correction
    "Thinking Inside The Box"

  12. #211
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,587

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    how tim gets his queens to live for an average five years is what i don't get......
    Do you really think he does? Do you really think that a 5 or 7 year old queen would be a good layer or even laying at all?

    The productivity of a queen over 3 years old is not going to be very good. Besides her own physical shape, the amount of and quality of the sperm and eggs she has won't be that great.
    Mark Berninghausen

  13. #212
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
    Posts
    4,230

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    The scientists who are running the original Bond colonies are saying it.

    I'm not going to do the 'snip' bit to show who might be saying that TF colonies aren't as productive, because it serves no real purpose.

    Basically, if mite levels aren't kept low, colonies lose productivity regardless of how resistant they are.

  14. #213
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    8,873

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    I was a little confused when I heard Tim's claim his queens live an average of 5 years. IE, some less, some even more.

    Based on his other statements, how many hives could this be? IE, how many hives did he have 5 years ago, and based on the losses he reported especially 3, 4, and 5 years ago, how many of these 5 year old queens could possibly be left?

    Based on the huge egg laying and brooding numbers reported, the size of the spermathecas in these queens must be astronomical.
    "Thinking Inside The Box"

  15. #214
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    8,873

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    The scientists who are running the original Bond colonies are saying it.
    I do not believe they did.

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Basically, if mite levels aren't kept low, colonies lose productivity regardless of how resistant they are.
    Agreed, that will be common ground between all viewpoints.
    "Thinking Inside The Box"

  16. #215
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,587

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Well Oldtimer, you know what people say about things that sound to good to be true, don't you?
    Mark Berninghausen

  17. #216
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    New York City, NY
    Posts
    4,230

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Why should we settle for queens that are only good for a season or two?

    Since Tim and other folks are working with resistant feral stock, I don't see why they can't come up with longer lived queens as well.

    They're not the typical domestic bees.

  18. #217
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    8,873

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Yes I'm sure it's all quite true.
    "Thinking Inside The Box"

  19. #218
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    2,820

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    It has to be this way, because generally held TF philosophy is you are going to lose hives and therefore have to split and make increase to counter that. The bee survey indicates that TF losses are around 50% higher than treated hive losses, and the average TF beekeeper looses nearly 1/2 his colonies each year (bee survey put it around 45% from memory).
    I understand that you are talking about averages, but I am not experiencing more than 10% winter loss. My production is not nearly as high as it could be given that I could do a lot more management and produce a heavier crop. I also have to make decisions whether to control swarming and produce a huge crop vs splitting my colonies and selling the extras. I could make more money with less effort by splitting and selling though by choice, I have deliberately been getting new beekeepers started pretty much at cost. So long story short, I am satisfied by splitting each colony once to double my numbers, then harvesting an average of close to 60 pounds per colony. In effect, I get 120 pounds of honey for each overwintered colony.

    I lost a colony sometime in the last 2 weeks. It was a weak colony in the fall caused by a lost queen. I caused the loss of the queen when I opened the colony back in August though I was not aware of it at the time. They raised a queen and she mated, but the colony never recovered fully and did not gather a crop from fall flowers. The result was inadequate stores for winter which I did not catch in time. Why is this important? Because I track the cause of colony losses. If it had been from varroa syndrome, I would want to know and figure out why. Since it is a beekeeper induced problem, I can promise to watch more carefully next time.

    In the also ran category, I am renewing equipment. I need at least 20 new deep brood chambers and about 30 new shallow supers. It is time to buy some wood and put the table saw to use. I have plenty of frames though they need to be culled heavily. Many of them are 30+ years old and showing signs of wood deterioration. A humid climate takes a toll on woodenware.
    NW Alabama, 47 years, 22 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  20. #219
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    8,873

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Nice work.
    "Thinking Inside The Box"

  21. #220
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,253

    Default Re: Treatment Free - How long does it take?

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    I think the giant hive strategy is applicable only to certain climates and conditions. Both Paul McCarthy and I have commented that I don't see western US bees as having the fecudity required to fill 3 deeps with brood. The climate and nectar supply will not support that level of brood..
    Dee Lusby would seem to be a counterexample that disproves this notion. She uses a minimum of 3 deeps of brood, I understand, sometimes 5 deeps. (To save time, can we dispense with the Africanized bees digression? If her bees survive because they are Africanized, how is she able to maintain such large hives, how is she able to prevent constant swarming from such massive colonies?)

    Some of Paul's hives are long hives, the functional equivalent of 3 deeps. He has characterized them as sometimes having frighteningly large populations. I don't know anything about the productivity of either Dee's or Paul's operation, though I suspect that honey is harder to make in their arid climates.

    But here is a question that seems useful to me: putting aside the issue of productivity, is there any advantage in terms of health to big hives? Are big hives subject to exactly the same risk of loss as smaller hives? Your speculation as to risk management assumes that a large hive has exactly the same (or worse) risk of dying out as a small hive, but as far as I can tell, this is only a surmise and not based on any actual research.

    There appears to be a possibility that small hives do represent a disadvantage, since many of those who have not succeeded at treatment free beekeeping seem to adhere, in general, to the idea that a hive should be wintered at the minimum size. It's been said, even by proponents of treatment free beekeeping, that those who derive major portions of their income from pollination are very poor candidates for treatment free beekeeping-- for many reasons. Could it be that one reason is that the economic demand for maximum colony numbers and mobility precludes experimentation with larger colonies? Could it be that smaller, weaker colonies are less able to withstand the pressures of pests, diseases, pesticides, and other insults to hive health? Most of the notable CCD disasters took place in migratory operations using small hives. Is this just a coincidence?

    As to risk management... I'm a beginner and a backyard beekeeper. I currently have 6 colonies in my backyard here in FL. Three are colonies I hope will survive and make more honey than they did in their first summer. Three are nucs I am maintaining to provide increase to stock hives on my property in NY and to replace any losses I may have in my FL hives. The first three are housed in long hives, the functional equivalent of 3 deeps, and can be supered with 6 mediums without exceeding chest height, They could potentially be as large as most of Tim's hives.without requiring the use of a ladder. I doubt that they will be, because I'm a beginner, and the bees are nothing special. But so far so good. I will perhaps learn something about the risks and rewards of large hives, with a lot of luck.

    Of course, I don't know if there's anything to the idea that big hives can better withstand pests and disease, but since some treatment free beekeepers are succeeding with large hives, it seems worthwhile to see if there's anything to that idea, rather than trying to rationalize away the fact that these beekeepers exist and have succeeded. Personally, I want to stack the deck as much in my favor as possible, which is why I'm trying every technique that seems reasonable to me, in my attempt to keep bees without treatment.

    In any case, Tim is not a backyard beekeeper, and he has made much increase and still maintained a substantial percentage of his yards in these huge hives. Evidently he has found the risk of using large hives to be acceptable-- this is in the real world and is not speculation. In conversations with him, he has mentioned that the limiting factor for his operation is woodenware and drawn comb; he can only expand at a rate determined by his ability to increase these resources. And bear in mind that while we natter away about his ideas on BeeSource, he has convinced by his example other beekeepers in his area to adopt his approach. These beekeepers are enjoying similar success. I find it surprisingly difficult to argue with success and would prefer to see what I can get from his example, rather than spending my time coming up with as many reasons as possible to believe that what works for him could not possibly work for me.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

Page 11 of 19 FirstFirst ... 910111213 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •