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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Canterbry, UK
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    Default Re: Are they survivors?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    My winnowing process is so steep...
    Can you let us have an idea of how steep that is Solomon? Can you express it as 'bottom 20% out' or something of that sort?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Also, always use multiple queens. Graft one cell bar from each queen, or however you see fit.
    This is my approach too. Keep the genetics broad (ish), while always propagating from what you think are the best.

    There must be a good descriptive name for this sort of appoach. I know, 'traditional husbandry' - but something that can be read easily by beekeepers raised in the modern world.

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

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: Are they survivors?

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Can you let us have an idea of how steep that is Solomon? Can you express it as 'bottom 20% out' or something of that sort?
    1. Only graft from hives that are doing what you want. No compromises unless you don't yet have what you want.

    2. No feeding.

    3. No treating.

    4. Any nucs with "failure to thrive," queens are pinched and merged with another hive. This knocks out probably a quarter. Proportion depends on your definition of "thriving" that day.

    5. Mating failures can knock out 10% to half depending on conditions.

    6. No hive insulation through winter.

    7. Harsh summer starves smaller hives.

    8. High robbing propensity during summer dearth kills a few.

    9. Mean hives are requeened or disassembled and spread to other hives so they cannot pass on their genes.

    Ultimately, I think the bottom half or more are out (in reference to my operation) under optimal conditions. If they can die of something, I want them to die of it. If I get 40 queen cells, I'd like to end up keeping five of them, sell 15, and the rest left by the wayside in one way or another. Conditions vary.



    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    There must be a good descriptive name for this sort of appoach... 'traditional husbandry'
    Works for me. I don't really see a revolution in methods, just a return to the basics. What do you do when you're out in the woods and don't have the benefits of pharmaceuticals and bee labs. Just keep bees. It works far better as an overall strategy.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Are they survivors?

    nice to see you posting solomon.

    how's the overwintering so far?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
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    Default Re: Are they survivors?

    Fantastic, have not lost a hive in my home yard, new record lows here, -5F.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Are they survivors?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Fantastic, have not lost a hive in my home yard, new record lows here, -5F.
    awesome. lost 2 out of nineteen so far, but not surprised as these were laggards compared to the rest.

    in contrast the colonies from my first attempt at grafting last summer are my strongest.

    i like the idea of using different donors for each cell bar, many thanks.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: Are they survivors?

    I've done two cell bars on the same frame from two different queens raised by the same cell builder on multiple occasions. It would be good to document which is which.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Are they survivors?

    yep. my frame has two bars with ten cells on each bar, and i've been keeping a pretty detailed journal. it was a little late in the season last year by the time i got ready to graft, but i'm good to go now. i'm hoping to get at least 2 or 3 rounds off this year, assuming there is a market for the queens and nucs.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: Are they survivors?

    Don't be discouraged if it doesn't work well the first time. I was fortunate the first time I did it to have high success, but it was due to very good weather conditions. The next year it was not nearly as good and I had to step back and regroup to figure out what was going on. I learned my lessons.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Are they survivors?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    ...... I had to step back and regroup to figure out what was going on. I learned my lessons.
    what are you doing differently?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: Are they survivors?

    It had to do with my queenright cell builder and finisher method, also known as the Ben Harden method which I have mentioned here many times. It really benefits from the correct placement of frames and the renewal of those frames to assure the right bees are in the right place. My first year it was easy to do because it was warm and the hives were booming. The second year, the weather did not cooperate and I did not have my maintenance schedule properly lined out. So what happened was we had a freeze and the bees were not interested in keeping the cells warm because the arrangement of the hive was not optimal. So I went back to the method, did my preparations properly and had far better results. I still heartily recommend it as the best way for a backyard beekeeper to produce queens. But like other forms of queen rearing, it must be done correctly to have the best results in all conditions. Otherwise you get lucky sometimes and fail other times and you don't know why.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  11. #31
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Are they survivors?

    many thanks sol. i used the cloake board method last year, but i will research the ben harden method. the unpredictability of the weather in the spring is definitely going to make it challenging from grafting to mating flights. what do you look for to decide when it's time to start your first batch?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: Are they survivors?

    You can read about it on my Queen Rearing page: http://parkerfarms.biz/queenrearing.html

    I suggest following the links to the original material as well to get a solid handle on it in case my interpretation is not thorough enough.

    As far as timing, I like good consistent warm weather with nectar coming in. Here, we don't have so many issues with drone availability and blooms and whatnot. Some winters the dandelions never stop blooming and the maples come in pretty early. I want the cell builder hives and the mating nucs to be warm enough. I also want the queens done early enough so that the nucs are built to salable size well before the dearth hits in June because after that, they won't grow any more. Last year, the weather hosed me and some of the nucs weren't done before June. Remember, this is all without feeding, so nectar flows are important.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Are they survivors?

    understood, thanks for the link.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  14. #34
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Canterbry, UK
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    1,606

    Default Re: Are they survivors?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    understood, thanks for the link.
    From here too.

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

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