squarepeg 2015-2019 treatment free experience - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
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    4,099

    Default Re: squarepeg 2015

    I'll be looking forward to your thread. Always wondering what others are doing in our area. I'm really interested in your experiences as treatment free. I'm hoping to get to that point. Thank you!

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015

    hi gary, lamar county is not too far from here. let me know if you find yourself over this way and we'll visit the beeyard.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #23
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    ot, lol! may i enlist you as my accountability partner on that one?
    I've been reading you long enough to know that nothing like that will be required.

    A thread by someone who enjoys real success, but always speaks inclusively, courteously and does not respond to insults in kind, will be a great thing. Wish I had your self discipline in my tendency to shoot off my mouth sometimes.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  5. #24
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015

    mighty kind of you ot, many thanks.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
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    4,208

    Default Re: squarepeg 2015

    You've probably talked about this before, but how will 2015 differ from what you've been doing in the past? Are there any significant changes you're planning? How are your colonies arranged, all in one yard or distributed? Regardless, thanks for taking the effort to publicly record your effort!!
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  7. #26
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Buderim, Queensland, Australia
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    255

    Default Re: squarepeg 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post

    i had mentioned in other threads that i was considering chronicling my 2015 season here on the forum. the purpose for doing so is because there has been interest expressed for more detailed information regarding the real life successes and failures involved with keeping bees off treatments. so i begin this thread with that expressed intent, primarily for information sharing and educational purposes, with all humility and with no desire to toot my own horn or otherwise. the one selfish objective i have in doing this is the hope that some of you seasoned veterans will chime in with feedback and suggestions.

    background: as stated in my tagline i started with bees in the summer of 2010. i started with stock obtained from a supplier who began breeding from feral cut outs in 1996 and has not used treatments the whole time. i still get some queen cells from him from time to time but mostly propagate my own queens via splits and grafts. i run all langstroth equipment, and most hives are a single 10 deep with medium supers. i use 5 frame deeps for nucs. foundation is mostly ritecell, although i have begun adding foundationless frames to the deeps. i generally avoid artificial feeds, but have made exceptions when indicated. the operation is a sideline business (llc) intended to produce supplemental income through honey and nuc sales.

    2015 goals: i seek to maximize the profitability of the operation to the extent possible while maintaining the colonies off treatments and avoiding artificial feeds.)
    Great to hear you are avoiding artificial feeds. Seems are lot of beekeepers forget that the honeybee's natural food is pollen, nectar and honey. Robbing all the honey off the bees and feeding them some witches brew and pollen substitute, does not sit well with me.

    Is Colony Collapse Disorder still happening in your country?
    Last edited by Barry; 02-16-2015 at 01:08 PM.

  8. #27
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    10,082

    Default Re: squarepeg 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    You've probably talked about this before, but how will 2015 differ from what you've been doing in the past? Are there any significant changes you're planning? How are your colonies arranged, all in one yard or distributed? Regardless, thanks for taking the effort to publicly record your effort!!
    my approach is a work in progress and frankly i hope it always will be, but here are some ways 2015 will be different:

    1. my bees are split almost equally between two yards, about 8 miles apart. rather than have a 'honey' yard and a 'nuc' yard like before, both yards and all hives will be utilized for honey and nucs in ways that make the most sense for each individual hive.

    2. i am considering equalizing populations among the hives as we progress through the spring build up. my thought is to take frames of capped brood with adhering nurse bees from the largest and donate them to the smallest. this is to give each hive a chance to be productive, and may give me a shot at holding the strongest back from swarming.

    3. swarm prevention is key to getting a decent honey harvest. i find that checkerboarding alone reduces my swarming by half, but i want better. i want to experiment with other methods and will likely utilize cut down splits on more of the hives than i have been. the sale of the cut downs will generate nuc income, and the nucs i keep can donate brood to the parent colonies during the month it takes for them to make a new queen.

    as i said in the op, all feedback, comments, suggestions, ect. are welcomed

    ps: i wish i could spend a season in suffolk looking over your shoulder ab, the progress you are making is noteworthy!
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #28
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by Kidbeeyoz View Post
    Great to hear you are avoiding artificial feeds. Seems are lot of beekeepers forget that the honeybee's natural food is pollen, nectar and honey. Robbing all the honey off the bees and feeding them some witches brew and pollen substitute, does not sit well with me.

    Is Colony Collapse Disorder still happening in your country?
    where i am located and in most years it is possible to get a decent harvest while leaving enough honey for the bees. i'm not an expert on ccd, but i don't think we have had many very confirmed cases reported for several years now. collapse is most often attributed to varroa and associated viruses.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    7,861

    Default Re: squarepeg 2015

    I would like to see what kind of tf hybrids the Suffolk and the AL tf bees will make.
    Will these hybrids do well when transplanted to other areas?
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  11. #30

    Default Re: squarepeg 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    2. i am considering equalizing populations among the hives as we progress through the spring build up. my thought is to take frames of capped brood with adhering nurse bees from the largest and donate them to the smallest. this is to give each hive a chance to be productive, and may give me a shot at holding the strongest back from swarming.
    This procedure will seriously mess up the breeding evaluations, not only this year but coming years too.

  12. #31
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    Suffolk, VA
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post

    ps: i wish i could spend a season in suffolk looking over your shoulder
    Heck, if you can't do a season come up for a weekend! I think we'd both learn from each other. I'd give you a queen or two to take back home!
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  13. #32
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Will these hybrids do well when transplanted to other areas?
    it's not been tried with the bees i am using bp, but my guess is that after a generation or two the genetics would meld with whatever is around. beyond genetics, it's possible that these hybrids have adapted to the weather and flora that is local to here and that may somehow impart some advantage to them. i am interested in seeing how they do elsewhere, my hope is to introduce them into ever increasing distances from here and see what happens.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  14. #33
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    This procedure will seriously mess up the breeding evaluations, not only this year but coming years too.
    i thought about that juhani and you are right. i'm hoping the number of colonies that require an extra frame of brood are few, and at this point my breeding program is very modest anyway.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  15. #34
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    Heck, if you can't do a season come up for a weekend! I think we'd both learn from each other. I'd give you a queen or two to take back home!
    you gotta deal!! and i would be happy to bring you some queens to try there. it would be great to visit your operation ab, perhaps we'll get an opportunity for that this year. i appreciate the offer!
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  16. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015

    Squarepeg: If I get a chance to visit, I'll let you know. Thank you.

  17. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
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    1,345

    Default Re: squarepeg 2015

    I said it before on the 2015 goal page that you were about the same size as I am and I think about the same climate. I hope to follow your model.
    Since you are just starting the thread could you give us a bit more detail on:
    Your geography? For instance I am in a valley between two mountain ranges, one separates me from the Pacific Ocean and the other from the high desert, I sit at 500’. Wet winters, dry summers. Only (12) + 90 degree days per year, average winter temp 40 degrees.
    Nectar flows: Example, major fruits start is Plums about mid March. All major fruit trees about the end of April. (March 1 for checkerboard based on traditional apple bloom). Major flow Blackberry, Mid June. Pull all supers in mid July, not another plant blooming until next year.
    These are items that I feel have a major influence in how your management relates to ours that we could not get from looking up your location on Google.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  18. #37
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: squarepeg 2015

    hi minz, yes it does sound like we have similar conditions. i am on a ridgetop overlooking the tennessee river valley and there is a ridge on the other side of the river. i am at about 1300' asl, and the river is at about 600' asl. one thing i notice is that similar blooms in the valley happen one to two weeks before they do on the ridgetop. i think this helps to 'stretch out' the flows and may be of benefit. fruit blooms happen at about the same time here as for you. i try to get the supers checkerboarded by around late february, but i am really watching more than anything for strong foraging on the first tree pollens, which tells me that brooding is ramping up.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  19. #38
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Canterbry, UK
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    2,478

    Default Re: squarepeg 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post

    i had mentioned in other threads that i was considering chronicling my 2015 season here on the forum. the purpose for doing so is because there has been interest expressed for more detailed information regarding the real life successes and failures involved with keeping bees off treatments. so i begin this thread with that expressed intent, primarily for information sharing and educational purposes, with all humility and with no desire to toot my own horn or otherwise. the one selfish objective i have in doing this is the hope that some of you seasoned veterans will chime in with feedback and suggestions.
    I'll follow this with interest SP. Your operation is similar to mine in several key ways. I've just read through, and the only thing I'd want to comment on is your plan to balance up the hives and take other measures to reduce swarming. I'm with Juhani; I think this will seriously interfere with evaluations. I'm not sure quite how, or in how many different ways, and if you can somehow discount most of them. Can you tell us a bit about your thoughts on that issue?

    Good luck with the project!

    Mike (UK)
    The race isn't always to the swift, nor the fight to the strong, but that's the way to bet

  20. #39
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    7,861

    Default Re: squarepeg 2015

    Yeah, like are you going to graft from the most mite resistant queens either the daughter or the mother queen?
    Or it doesn't matter as long as it is the most resistant queen? Just wondering what is your selection criteria.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  21. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    ceredigion (yes, its a county in West Wales UK)
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    166

    Default Re: squarepeg 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    it's not been tried with the bees i am using bp, but my guess is that after a generation or two the genetics would meld with whatever is around. beyond genetics, it's possible that these hybrids have adapted to the weather and flora that is local to here and that may somehow impart some advantage to them. i am interested in seeing how they do elsewhere, my hope is to introduce them into ever increasing distances from here and see what happens.
    There are very few success stories about queens capable of doing ok treatment free continuing to do so when parachuted into different areas. Surviving tf populations are often characterised by stability, continuity and a certain amount of isolation, which to my mind points to synergistic ( sorry for the naff buzz word, maybe "holistic" would have been better, but still naff!) reasons for survival encompassing the bees themselves but also the varroa and pathogens all adapting to live together without catastrophic collapses to either species.
    Anyway, interesting thread, thanks squarepeg (cool moniker btw) I'll try and lurk without posting off topic in future

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