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  1. #81
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,074

    Default Re: Parker Farms January 2014 Update

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Why should we discount it?
    Wouldn't discount it totally, but I've never seen it and I've seen a lot of hives. Problem solving works best when starting with the more likely scenarios.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    4783 S Alda Rd,Alda,NE
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Parker Farms January 2014 Update

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    It's 35 degrees right now and I was heading home from a meeting and decided to stop and check on my north yard. I set up this yard about a year and a half ago and it has gone through two winters. Only last summer did I discover that it is actually within spitting distance of a commercial (ish) queen mill.

    I like to do quick checks on hives when the weather is cold. I can look down in the hive and see how much honey is left and the size of the cluster. It's cold so the bees don't fly out and the propolis is brittle so it breaks loose pretty easily.

    Turns out, four of the six hives at that location are dead. The other two have very small clusters and I expect them to be dead in the next month.

    I'm not disappointed and I'll tell you why. First, due to what I expect is influence from queen mill down the street, these bees were mean. I visited the queen mill last summer and his bees are mean. My bees are not mean generally speaking and I breed against meanness. I replaced most of these queens last summer due to meanness and poor performance. Second, it was a bad location for the reasons above. The hives didn't make much honey due to over saturation of the area and they were no fun to work. Third, I'm in the process of moving and don't need a pile of hives to take with me. Fourth, as I did not feed at all this past fall, the process of losing hives not adequately prepared for winter is actually a positive. It is selection for hives which store a lot of honey and which are frugal with it.

    I've also lost two more hives at my home yard which I am slightly bummed about. One of them was an old queen I purchased from Zia several years back, and the other was my oldest hive, one continuously alive since I purchased it, 11 years ago. So it lasted about 10.5 years, totally treatment free. It was however susceptible to robbing which is not very helpful, so there's a positive to that as well. A major portion of my current hives are descended from that hive, so life goes on.

    So that's six down out of 25, a 24% loss. I expect I'll lose a couple more including the remaining two at the north yard. If I get down to 18, I can fit them all on my truck and trailer and move them all at once.

    As some of you already know, I am not able to raise queens and nucs this year. As I said, I am in the process of moving and all my queen rearing equipment is in storage. Any makeup splits I need to make will be with walkaway splits, with the goal of covering equipment and maintaining no more than 18 hives for the time being. No honey production this year either, that's all in storage too.
    I wish you would be having a wonderful next year, in terms of collecting honey. At my place the situation is pretty bad.

  3. #83
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,068

    Default Re: Parker Farms January 2014 Update

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Isn't 'non-lethal' pesticide damage always a standing candidate for this sort of pattern?

    Mike (UK)
    Pretty low on the list, if at all.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  4. #84
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,068

    Default Re: Parker Farms January 2014 Update

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post

    We've just had a change of rules that has banned what are thought to the worst neonicotinoids for a couple of years - though last year's plantings may be present this year. Whether that actually represents an improvement remains to seen - the alternatives might be as bad or worse.

    Mike (UK)
    And after two years poor results there will be a call for two more years ban.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  5. #85
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    3,560

    Default Re: Parker Farms January 2014 Update

    I live in the middle of a city, and in a relatively financially challenged part of the city. (The advantage is that I live on 3 acres near 25 acres of woods in the middle of town at an affordable cost.) The only chemical sprayed in any quantity is 2-4d, which the City itself sprays for weed control on a very large right-of-way in a flood plain by my house. I doubt there are any neonics sprayed at all in the area where my bees fly.

  6. #86
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,783

    Default Re: Parker Farms January 2014 Update

    Sol wrote:

    The big crashes Roland predicts never happen.


    I predicted that in 20 years, due to the high cost of sterilization equipment, only commercial beekeepers will be treatment free.

    Seeing as how 20 years has not passed, and I made no claims on the speed of the bees demise(it could be slow), exactly how is my claim not fulfilled?

    Crazy Roland

  7. #87
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Canterbry, UK
    Posts
    1,751

    Default Re: Parker Farms January 2014 Update

    Quote Originally Posted by NeilV View Post
    I live in the middle of a city, and in a relatively financially challenged part of the city. (The advantage is that I live on 3 acres near 25 acres of woods in the middle of town at an affordable cost.) The only chemical sprayed in any quantity is 2-4d, which the City itself sprays for weed control on a very large right-of-way in a flood plain by my house. I doubt there are any neonics sprayed at all in the area where my bees fly.
    In my situation its something I fret about. The downside of lots of small mixed farms on broken country is that there's always some commercial crop being planted or sprayed with heaven knows what within reach. I can't say I've had any definate problems yet though. I have a stand right next to about 50 acres of field beans this year, and am hoping they'll be ok. I know field beans are sprayed against fungus infections round here at least once early in the season.

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

  8. #88
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Skiff, Alberta, CA
    Posts
    589

    Default Re: Parker Farms January 2014 Update

    Mike, if you are unsure of the well being of your bees being next to a crop that you know will be sprayed why wouldn't you move them to a safe place?

  9. #89
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Parker Farms January 2014 Update

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Did you re-queen them with virgins Solomon?
    No, I don't use virgins. All grafted queens are mated in my home yard.


    Quote Originally Posted by stefanybezar View Post
    I wish you would be having a wonderful next year, in terms of collecting honey.
    I'm not expecting to harvest this year. I'm moving to a totally new climate and am planning for the bees to have trouble with it, so I'm leaving all honey.


    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    exactly how is my claim not fulfilled?
    You predicted on a number of occasions that I was set to have a big crash right around the corner due to CCD or mites, but mostly CCD. Now you can waffle about timetables but that's not really my bag. I'm in the habit of NOT predicting the future.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  10. #90
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Parker Farms January 2014 Update

    Well, all those boxes that had honey are now on the hives in my home yard. So those of you that are concerned about disease will get to watch my entire operation crash before my eyes and I won't have a clue!

    Now no hive has fewer than 4 boxes on it which is something I've been wanting to do for a long time. I have enough to get them up to five (seven mediums) but didn't want to add too many boxes at once.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  11. #91
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Canterbry, UK
    Posts
    1,751

    Default Re: Parker Farms January 2014 Update

    Quote Originally Posted by Haraga View Post
    Mike, if you are unsure of the well being of your bees being next to a crop that you know will be sprayed why wouldn't you move them to a safe place?
    Well, for one there are worse places to be than right next to a big field of field beans, unless and until any spraying becomes a problem. If there isn't a problem it could well be a productive stand - there is also lots of topfruit nearby, and little rough flora. Again, round here it isn't easy to escape the arable crops altogether. I do have stands in places that are closer to a forest setting, and other in-betweens. This one is close to home, and useful for parking swarms and splits and bled bees from hives a few miles away. Mainly I have it because I'm trying to develop long-term stands in ideal spots - hidden but accessible behind locked gates - and this could be a good one. And I want to experiment a lot to see what works and what doesn't.

    So those are the main reasons I don't want to move them.


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

  12. #92
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Canterbry, UK
    Posts
    1,751

    Default Re: Parker Farms January 2014 Update

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    No, I don't use virgins. All grafted queens are mated in my home yard.
    Perhaps overwhelmed by the wrong strains of varroa then? (I think that low fecundity varroa, as bred by vhs bees, supplies protection against flown-in fecund strains. A new split with little varroa, placed near lots of treated bees may need time to build a protective population.)

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

  13. #93
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    924

    Default Re: Parker Farms January 2014 Update

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I'm moving to the Denver area . . .
    Colorado is awesome. You will love it here.

    Beekeeping can be tough, though, due to our dry climate. We have two local sayings which help paint a picture of agricultural life in Colorado: 1) whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting; and, 2) in Colorado, water flows uphill to money.

    Regarding beekeeping, in my limited experience, spring typically brings a strong flow, followed by a long summer dearth with a small and sometimes non-existent fall flow. Hives that build up fast in late winter and early spring to take strong advantage of the spring flow tend to do best. Also, positioning hives within foraging range of irrigated lands to offset the dry summer can be helpful, but irrigated land in Colorado is not necessarily easy to find.
    Last edited by shinbone; 02-25-2014 at 10:28 AM.
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 12 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  14. #94
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Parker Farms January 2014 Update

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Perhaps overwhelmed by the wrong strains of varroa then?
    I haven't had any noticeable varroa problems in quite a few years. I also don't believe in "wrong strains of varroa." Whatever it was, it was not something that shows itself with outward signs.

    I do believe in extra cold winters and that cold can kill bees not adapted for it.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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