Re: Biggest mistake ?
Funny, I just wrote a post last week on my facebook page about this topic:
If I could recommend ONE thing for beekeepers to improve the health of their hives, it would be to get rid of ANY frames that have come from unknown sources. Get new frames and allow the bees to draw them out with clean comb.
I'm not saying every frame is bad, but why take the chance?
I left them at first and struggled...until I got rid of them. Beekeeping and overwintering since then has been effortless in comparison. I used them for swarm traps..but if I left the swarm on them to grow, they didn't do near as well as those swarms that shaken immediatly onto clean or new frames. You can't tell by just looking at them.
My beeyard now has NO comb from any other apiary. I strongly believe It is one of the reasons I have the success I do. Don't confuse OLD comb with CONTAMINATED comb. They are two completly different things. It is the exposures to accumulative toxins that is the problem, not the age of the comb.
Comb exposed to potential pathogens, bacterial infections, pesticides's, fungicides and residual from treatments can be a slow grade chronic drain on your hives vigor.
Requeening with local hardy genetics would be my next advise.
But if you have a chronically toxic environment, better queens will not be able to overcome that.
If you have had trouble keeping your hives in a healthy sustainable state year after year, consider changing out the frames of comb if they have come from an unknown apiary.
It might not be the ONLY problem, but could be a significant contributing factor.
Last edited by Lauri; 01-26-2014 at 03:52 PM.
Lauri Miller. VSH Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn & Wild lines.
200+ hives, minimal mite treatments, no antibiotics or meds.