Re: Clarifying 'Treatment Free'
Eh? What does this say (right above your quote):
Originally Posted by Rolande
"We can talk about the long history of animal husbandry, but with bees,it wasn't so long ago that beekeepers had to destroy a colony to harvest honey. "
What does "destroy a colony " mean if not kill the stock?
This is the part I find difficult to swallow - and all my remarks have been made in this context - historical circumstances of the sort Ray is talking about. It was in this context that I spoke about it not making sense to destroy the stocks.
Because: at this time I would doubt replacements could be found next spring that would outperform overwintered stocks. That's the picture we saw in the German video, and yes its relatively modern, but the uncertainty and economic factors would be similar.
Yes, honey farming page 16: "Every village had two or three skeppists, and most of them would let you have the bees that were to be 'taken up' rather than kill them."
Originally Posted by Rolande
This doesn't say 'kill them all' It says 'some were to be killed'. Sure, every skep has to be cleared of bees ('drove') and the brood and emerging bees inside killed. It might often pay to kill some of the flying bees (that would depend on individual circumstances).
But what I want to know - that is see historical evidence for, and have explained to me - is: does it pay to eliminate all, or most stocks in the autumn?
We have to bear in mind that cheap sugar wasn't available, and honey was too valuable to waste on bees. That works in your favour.
But is it really the case that all colonies were destroyed and next year's crops became reliant on catching early feral swarms in the spring? Or were a selection of skeps overwintered and relied upon to produce swarms next spring? Did skeppists really not know how to make splits?
Just what is it you're asking me to believe? I don't think yet you're presented compelling evidence for destruction of all colonies, in all situations, and it doesn't make sense to me.
That seems to be what you are saying. If you can back this up with evidence, if we can rebuild a picture of the year-round operation, in which all, or most are killed, then we will be in a position to ask how a greater or lesser proclivity toward swarming might be regarded. And we'd have to ask how widespread the methods you propose were.
This is Nutt's quote:
"51 Ancient as well as modern Bee-keepers have frequently adopted the plan of eking, that isplacing three or four rounds (called an eke) under their hives. This method of enlarging a hive does in many instances prevent swarming during the first season. Notwithstanding, from all that I can see in it, it tends only to put off the evil day, and to accumulate greater numbers for destruction the following year. This is certain, because on minute examination of the pavilion of nature, we see an increase of wealth, as well as an increase of numbers in the state; but there is no provision or contrivance in the conunon hive for dividing the produce of the labours of those numbers: eking will not do it, eking enlarges the hive, and that is all it does; consequently to get at their honey, the necessity for destroying the Bees folio ws,and the suffocating fumes of brimstone at length br|ng these worthies to the groundto the unwelcome pit in which they are buried, and are, alas, no more! a few minutes close the existence of thousands that had laboured for their ungrateful masters; and their once happy domicile becomes a scene of murder, of plunder, and of devastation, which is a disgrace to Bee-masters"
There is nothing here to suggest that queens are being lost. It makes sense to me to understand that in both this and Manley's text bee numbers are being reduced - to a state where the colony can be overwintered on minimal stores - on comb and honey built and gathered late in the year - ready to build again the next spring.
Last edited by mike bispham; 03-23-2014 at 06:34 AM.
The race isn't always to the swift, nor the fight to the strong, but that's the way to bet