Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Tineo, Asturias, SPAIN
    Posts
    184

    Default Need advice on supering from those familiar with Tim Ives's methods.

    I am trying an experiment based on what I have read in the past year or so of Tim Ives' management style (big colonies, early supering to prevent swarming).

    I overwintered my (single) hive with three deeps, which were full of honey and pollen. The colony is ramping up nicely (though I don't have a Tim Ives level of population). About ten days ago I inspected, had capped drone, put on four supers (he uses seven typically). My understanding is Tim supers before the drone emerges. Tim said in a post that the drones take 16 days to mature and so when they emerge, the bees will make their queens cells (if they are going to).

    My question is this: Tim Ives alternates undrawn foundation in first box, then drawn, undrawn, etc.. In addition, once they get started, he rotates undrawn boxes downwards to just above the brood boxes. I don't have any drawn medium frames to put in the supers but the top (3rd) deep has a lot of honey. Should I be worried that they won't cross that box to draw frames and store nectar in the four supers above it? Should I put the deep of honey above one of the supers to get them crossing (and drawing) the foundation in a super? My other concern is, if I do that, the queen might start laying in that box... but if that is a risk I must take, I will deal with it.

    Anyway, as a third year beekeeper with one hive (lost three to AFB last summer), despite all my reading here, I need some advice. I was planning on inspecting tomorrow - and if I see any swarm cells, remove them, and move the top (third) deep up and place a super between it and the bottom two deeps.

    Any and all advice would be appreciated. Want to have a plan (and some confidence in it) before I go in tomorrow. Or perhaps I should just leave them alone?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Need advice on supering from those familiar with Tim Ives's methods.

    It's always tough those first years of getting enough drawn comb. I believe Tim only uses one super of Foundation and the rest drawn. That one undrawn he sets atop the 3rd deep. I base that on the pictures he's posted on Facebook. All that said, I think your best option is leave the supers above the deeps. If you put one under the deep I'd be concerned about getting brood in it. If the Queen starts laying there it would be a headache in trying to move the super back up.

    You could smear a bit of honey on the foundation on the top super. That should draw the bees up to at least get the honey and might clue them in that extra room is available.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Tineo, Asturias, SPAIN
    Posts
    184

    Default Re: Need advice on supering from those familiar with Tim Ives's methods.

    Yes, thanks, now that you say that, I seem to remember that he puts on X supers, with the first undrawn, the others drawn, then after they draw that one he puts another undrawn at the bottom of the stack, to keep the wax makers "depleted".

    I will take your advice and put some honey up above on the foundation to see what happens.

    It could be they are already drawing on those frames, I just had my doubts because I put a middle entrance in between the deeps and supers and though I see guards there, there is no traffic in and out. But there is a virtual cloud of bees at the bottom entrance, coming and going.

    Thanks for the advice, much appreciated!

    Forrest

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,994

    Default Re: Need advice on supering from those familiar with Tim Ives's methods.

    You have what he does correct.

    Question is, will it work for you?

    Having tried his method here is my OPINION only, could be wrong.

    Best I can tell, where Tim is, he gets a series of pretty reliable flows, he knows when they will start & end etc.

    Which is why the neonicitinoids sprayed on corn all around him present no problem, the bees never go near the corn there is always something better going for them. No need to ever feed sugar either.

    But here's the kicker. If you are somewhere with no early flow or even a dearth, the bees are not going to touch that foundation, they will swarm. When I tried his method there was an early spring willow flow, then a dearth. Result, HUGE swarms that I could not stop. I was told by Tim that if I would just get the hives big & strong enough, they would find and store the nectar from somewhere. But, they didn't, there wasn't any.

    Other thing, Tim's rapid increase in hive numbers has been made entirely from swarm cells, ie, his bees do attempt to swarm & he splits to prevent it. His method just used on one hive will likely not prevent swarming.

    Anyhow likely Tim himself will post and he obviously knows his method better than anyone. But my opinion, it is a great method, in his area. He understands his bees and is a clever beekeeper. But, like many beekeepers he assumes that what works for him, will be good anywhere.

    I will not be doing any Tim Ives tower hives next season, I get as much honey as him relative to equipment, but with a different hive configuration, and management system, more suited to my area.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 04-16-2014 at 05:23 AM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,824

    Default Re: Need advice on supering from those familiar with Tim Ives's methods.

    In this video there are almost no bees and lots of supers. Don't think that would work for me.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXES...e_gdata_player

  6. #6

    Default Re: Need advice on supering from those familiar with Tim Ives's methods.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    ...
    Second that. Tried it last year and had the same result.

    As with checkerboarding I also think it is a waste of ressources. Boxes, combs and all. One can easily make a couple of hives out of the ressources used.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Need advice on supering from those familiar with Tim Ives's methods.

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    In this video there are almost no bees and lots of supers. Don't think that would work for me.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXES...e_gdata_player
    Yep, that has to be very good area for bees.

    I once worked for a professional beekeeper in NZ. They did mostly pollination of Kiwi fruit, but had about 200 hives in purely honey production, too. Management was simple. In spring 4 supers (3/4) on top. In autumn harvesting and queen changes. Thats it.

    I asked my boss why would he not put some more boxes on the hives. He answered: " I want them full, the price of honey compared to labour costs is not so good." This was 1986, things may have changed. But I learned the way to think if you want to be a pro.
    Last edited by Juhani Lunden; 04-16-2014 at 12:56 PM.
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Tineo, Asturias, SPAIN
    Posts
    184

    Default Re: Need advice on supering from those familiar with Tim Ives's methods.

    Well I know now why they haven't moved into the supers - I had placed some foundationless frames in the brood nest last week and they have been busy drawing that out and they are full of eggs. And the top of the three deeps is still taking in nectar - it isn't full yet. So until they fill that and finish drawing the frames below I imagine they won't start drawing the foundation in the supers.

    That said, I took Karolus's advice and smeared some honey up above. Can't hurt.

    I peeked in the brood nest, lots of eggs, larva, capped bood, didn't see any swarm cells (though I didn't pull all of the frames).

    @OT: I have good flow starting in Feb. with heather, then in early March with peaches, nectarines, plums, dandelion, etc.

    Cherries and pears (tons of them around here) started blooming the fourth week of March (depending on variety - some started as late as a week ago). And the apples have started in the past week - again, some come later depending on variety. In May the oaks are in bloom. Then we have chestnuts (usually in July) - all the people around here say we have a variable but decent flow from Feb until November.

    Anyway, if they swarm, they swarm, I am going to continue my experiment - I have a lot of swarm traps out and would like to build up to a dozen or so hives.

    As to Tim Ive's colonies swarming, my understanding is that each year he splits half of the hives into three, the other half he lets ride. He said he did have a lot of swarm problems until he started putting on lots of supers very early - before the drones emerge.

    Dunno, we'll see what happens here. I know what people around here do (overwinter in single deeps, treat for varroa, feed syrup, etc) and generally the results are mediocre. If that is what I have to do, I will do it, but I am not ready to give up the experiment yet - one season is not enough to see if the method can be adapted to this area. After all, Tim has been working it out in his area for more than 15 years.

    Thanks for all the input everyone. I will post a thread at the end of the season with a progress report (unless I come back earlier with another cry for help).

    Cheers.

    Forrest

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,994

    Default Re: Need advice on supering from those familiar with Tim Ives's methods.

    ForrestB if you have the good long flow you describe, that is what the Tim Ives method is designed for it may well work out for you.

    Good luck with it, don't forget to update in time.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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
  •  
Ads