Study of Nuc winter survival rates by equipment type - Page 3
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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Santa Fe, NM
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    Default Re: Study of Nuc winter survival rates by equipment type

    We run around 130 production colonies and overwinter 60-80 nuclei each winter. The bees are at 3800' along the Rio Grande river. Several years ago we decided to put a lot more of an emphasis on overwintering nucleus colonies like MP and we even ordered some queens from him. I'm glad to say we're proud to piggy-back off of someone with years of experience who has already done a lot of trial and error work. His climate is a lot colder than ours so we do modify our set-ups a little. Our main honey flow is usually around the middle of May. If your not on top of it you'll miss a few tons of honey (literally). I think last year we lost 3 nucs and one production colony that went queen less. Now our overwintered nucs provide ALL of our brood resources for our next generation splits. Our best management practices are geared towards keeping the production colonies large with good queens. For me personally I had to change mind sets and experiment on my own and try what others have been doing. I'm hardly new to beekeeping having kept bees 30 years, and you can still teach me new tricks.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

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  3. #42
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk, NY, USA
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    3,195

    Default Re: Study of Nuc winter survival rates by equipment type

    Quote Originally Posted by grozzie2 View Post

    My point is, BEES DO NOT THINK. Thinking would involve conscious decisions that plan ahead and create conditions they want. BEES REACT to the conditions they are experiencing. There is a huge difference.
    I agree with your line of thought in your post but offer- that bees react to the conditions they are experiencing and THEN create the conditions they want. Simple reactions by the bees to conditions achieve much the same outcome as planning ahead would and some conditions can only be solved by reacting to them. Cooling a hot hive in the afternoon,for example, and there are numerous others.
    "Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:........" Alexander Pope 1709

  4. #43
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: Study of Nuc winter survival rates by equipment type

    Quote Originally Posted by clyderoad View Post
    I agree with your line of thought in your post but offer- that bees react to the conditions they are experiencing and THEN create the conditions they want.
    Yes, I agree that honey bees react to stimuli. Mostly.

    Jamie Strange, a post Doc at Cornell at the time, studied the Amm bees in Provence. His presentation showed that the mellifera bees had a brood rearing spike just before the Lavender flow. It was as if they "knew" that the flow was coming. The Buckfast bees that were brought in by migratory beekeepers had a brood rearing spike on the Lavender flow...as a result of the flow. The local French beekeepers want the Buckfast bees out of their territory as they feel that the Mellifera bees are better suited for the area. Jamie's study showed that they are different and are in tune with their local micro climate. I wouldn't call it "thinking", but not really sure what it is. Interesting, no doubt.

    I can't find his presentation, with pictures, but I did find this.

    https://www.apidologie.org/articles/...7/03/m6088.pdf

  5. #44
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    Jun 2012
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    Suffolk, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Study of Nuc winter survival rates by equipment type

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Yes, I agree that honey bees react to stimuli. Mostly.

    Jamie Strange, a post Doc at Cornell at the time, studied the Amm bees in Provence. His presentation showed that the mellifera bees had a brood rearing spike just before the Lavender flow. It was as if they "knew" that the flow was coming. The Buckfast bees that were brought in by migratory beekeepers had a brood rearing spike on the Lavender flow...as a result of the flow. The local French beekeepers want the Buckfast bees out of their territory as they feel that the Mellifera bees are better suited for the area. Jamie's study showed that they are different and are in tune with their local micro climate. I wouldn't call it "thinking", but not really sure what it is. Interesting, no doubt.

    I can't find his presentation, with pictures, but I did find this.

    https://www.apidologie.org/articles/...7/03/m6088.pdf
    Yes it is interesting, fascinating really.
    I have wondered about this very same thing for some time. Thanks
    "Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:........" Alexander Pope 1709

  6. #45
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Uk
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    115

    Default Re: Study of Nuc winter survival rates by equipment type

    Quote Originally Posted by grozzie2 View Post
    I want to take you to task on this comment Ian, because it shows something that I think is to much of a trend these days. Bees do not think, they dont have enough brainpower to make conscious decisions. Bees react to stimulus in a way that's genetically programmed into them. I think a lot of the chatter about 'the bees know better' and 'let the bees figure it out' styles of beekeeping revolves around a flawed concept where folks are projecting human qualities, ie the ability to think, onto a box of insects.

    Use your winter shed as the extreme example, beekeeper is controlling the stimulus for the bees. You put them inside, then keep the temperature low enough they will be clustered for warmth. The other very important detail, you keep the shed DARK. How would your wintering success change if you just changed that one stimulus for the bees, and turned on the lights ?

    Over the winter, you keep them locked up, with a target temperature of 5C. The temperature is more about reducing stores consumption than it is about 'keep em warm'. They would survive fine at -10, but, likely consume twice as much stores warming the cluster thru the winter. So you have control of two important stimulus, keep them cold enough to stay clustered, and keep them in the dark so they aren't wandering out. When spring rolls around and you cant keep the temperatures down anymore, you move them out, at night. Why at night, it removes the light stimulation, then they get set out in a field. Come morning, the bees now start breaking cluster because it's warmed up, and they see light, which triggers the next reaction. Warm and light, out they come. In Kelowna, you called this the proverbial s*** storm, and it is just that, literally. A thousand plus beehives that have been cooped up for 4 or 5 months suddenly have a chance to get out for a relief flight, and the bees do exactly what is programmed into genetics as the correct reaction when those conditions arrive. The genetic code in the honeybee has a pre-programmed reaction for the condition 'Bladder full + not in cluster + light out', and that reaction is 'fly out, empty bladder'. And the result is pretty dramatic when 20 to 30 million bees hit that trigger set of conditions all at the same time, in the same field.

    My point is, BEES DO NOT THINK. Thinking would involve conscious decisions that plan ahead and create conditions they want. BEES REACT to the conditions they are experiencing. There is a huge difference. This puts the onus on the beekeeper to do the thinking and planning, then create the conditions required to get the bees to react the way we want them to react. The simplest example of this, when those bees come out of the shed, one reaction you are looking for, start making brood, lots of brood, but they couldn't do that without an intervention. The bees wont start making brood until they have the correct food supplies coming in, which you place out for them. They react to the incoming food supply by starting to brood up. Again, in your case, this happens prematurely to the natural progression because you place that food out a month before it would come available from natural sources, your plan is, get that first round of brood in early. But the bees aren't planning this, or thinking it thru, they are just reacting to the availability of a food supply when the brood nest has no brood in it.
    Others feel they can think!
    Martin Giurfa of the Free University in Berlin, and colleagues from Narbonne and Canberra, noted from earlier studies that bees can "interpolate visual information, exhibit associative recall, categorise visual information and learn contextual information" - do what in a human would be evidence of thinking. So they set the bees a test.

  7. #46
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    rochester ny
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    285

    Default Re: Study of Nuc winter survival rates by equipment type

    Michael Palmer then does it make sense to
    1. split up unproductive hives in to nucs as you have suggested;

    but also to

    2. split productive hives after the main flow to further maximize overwintering nuc numbers?

    I guess then the question would become do single/double/triple box hives winter better in a given climate.

  8. #47
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    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    7,551

    Default Re: Study of Nuc winter survival rates by equipment type

    Quote Originally Posted by aran View Post
    Michael Palmer then does it make sense to
    1. split up unproductive hives in to nucs as you have suggested;

    but also to

    2. split productive hives after the main flow to further maximize overwintering nuc numbers?

    I guess then the question would become do single/double/triple box hives winter better in a given climate.
    1. Sometime during the main flow, when you've made the determination that the colony isn't going to make a full crop. A colony that might make a super, when the rest of the apiary is making several. The brood and bees are more valuable as nucs than as a non-producing colony. My nuc making timeline is mid June to mid July. Say Sumac through Basswood.

    2. Well, I don't make nucs after the main flow that ends, here in Vermont, with Basswood.


    I winter production colonies and nucleus colonies in all sorts of configurations. Don't see much difference. Don't really winter many singles, but if my colony is only in one box there's an issue to begin with.

  9. #48
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
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    1,643

    Default Re: Study of Nuc winter survival rates by equipment type

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Yep, it's what's inside that counts.
    Well, WHO is outside counts as well.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  10. #49
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    Jul 2015
    Location
    Germany, BW
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    1,732

    Default Re: Study of Nuc winter survival rates by equipment type

    Quote Originally Posted by grozzie2 View Post
    Bees do not think, they dont have enough brainpower to make conscious decisions.
    Not exactly. They have learning abilities and their intelligence is much underestimated. They do not "think" as one bee but as a super organism. This super organism is much disturbed by husbandry, so nobody really knows much about natural bee "thinking".
    Just as they do not know what bees "think" about what is offered to them as a nesting place. We want to believe we meet their needs because it works for us.

    Because they are insects you cannot compare our "thinking" to theirs. Other priorities. And some people even believe they feel no pain, but they do. But they might think differently about pain, being altruistic.

    I have been to some speakings with Randolf Menzel about this interesting topic:
    http://www.bcp.fu-berlin.de/biologie...zel/index.html
    zone 8a, sc, dadant square, wax comb, tf, 4 years beekeeping
    www.vivabiene.de

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