Natural Selection Management - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    I see nothing to argue about.

    You use it already.


    I am sorry for the post.
    packed bees = healthy bees,..TF,..no FA,OA,EO,..autumn/winter/early spring - hive entrance = 1˝ auger hole,..SBB 44,5˙N

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragiša-Peđa Ranković View Post
    I see nothing to argue about.

    You use it already.


    I am sorry for the post.
    Please don't feel you have to apologise Dragisa! I'm trying to find out what it is you find interesting about this paper, and my method is to argue - in the hope that will be constructive. Arguing in my book is a good thing!

    Thanks for bringing the paper to our attention,

    Best

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

  4. #23
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    I currently have 53 building, out of about 70 that went into winter. These are mostly 2014 swarms and nucs, but there are 10 that originated (as swarms or nucs) in 2013, and 2 from 2012.
    Hi Mike, do you have stats on the ages of the colonies which were lost through the winter? I'm wondering whether there's a common trend in the losses or whether it was an even loss across-the-board.

    Nice to hear that you're considering bringing in tf queens from outside.

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    [QUOTE=Rolande;1250386]Hi Mike, do you have stats on the ages of the colonies which were lost through the winter? I'm wondering whether there's a common trend in the losses or whether it was an even loss across-the-board.

    Hi Roland,

    No - I've just been deleting them from my spreadsheet system when I find them dead, releasing the hive number for a replacement. It has occurred to me lately that this is short sighted! I have a really great tracking system now - I could track and manage 1000 hives easy peasy - but that bit needs adding in. I'll start keeping each record (which is just a line of cells on a spreadsheet) on a separate sheet together with death date, instead of deleting - thanks for the prompt!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolande View Post
    Nice to hear that you're considering bringing in tf queens from outside.
    How have you got on with your bought queens Roland?

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

  6. #25
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Negotiations are still in progress but all's looking good.

  7. #26
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolande View Post
    Hi Mike, do you have stats on the ages of the colonies which were lost through the winter? I'm wondering whether there's a common trend in the losses or whether it was an even loss across-the-board.

    Hi Roland,
    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Hi Roland,

    No - I've just been deleting them from my spreadsheet system when I find them dead, releasing the hive number for a replacement. It has occurred to me lately that this is short sighted!

    Mike (UK)
    Mike it has occurred to me that if you know enough about your bees to know that of the 53 hives, 31 are from last year, 10 are 2 years old and 2 are 3 years old (as stated in post 1), then you must have enough knowledge of them, to piece together stats on which ones and ages died through winter. IE, if you did not know which ones died through winter, you would not know which ones were left. But you did give that information, so you must know.

    It will just be a case of using or extrapolating, the data you have, but have not processed, in an orderly, or interpretable, manner.

  8. #27
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Mike it has occurred to me that if you know enough about your bees to know that of the 53 hives, 31 are from last year, 10 are 2 years old and 2 are 3 years old (as stated in post 1), then you must have enough knowledge of them, to piece together stats on which ones and ages died through winter. IE, if you did not know which ones died through winter, you would not know which ones were left. But you did give that information, so you must know.

    It will just be a case of using or extrapolating, the data you have, but have not processed, in an orderly, or interpretable, manner.
    The records were deleted when the bees died Alistair. The spreadsheet contains only information about living bees.

    I may have some old copies of the spreadsheet on the back of a clipboard from which I could use to flesh out some sort of analysis, but looking at that data to hand, it seems to me they are mostly dying after a year or two. (If they weren't I'd have more 2 and 3 year olds). I'm not really that curious - I've buried the dead and am working with the living.

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

  9. #28
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    No worries, not overly important if you are not concerned with it. Just, it occurred to me that based on the info you gave, the data could be extrapolated, even though the dead hives records have been discarded. IE, last year you knew what you had in hive numbers, and the ages of those hives, and I think you published it here at various points in time. This year you know what you have. So the difference can be extrapolated.

    No need to bother with it on my account though LOL. Without looking up the figures you gave last year myself, my guess, based on the large number of young hives you have, would be that most of the deaths were the older hives.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 04-14-2015 at 02:25 AM. Reason: fix my poor wording

  10. #29
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    [...] my guess, based on the large number of young hives you have, would be that most of the deaths were the older hives.
    Yes. As predicted, probably most are dying from accumulating varroa numbers that they're managing well enough to last a year or two, then succumbing. Some may be simply old queens/succession failure. I think a lot fall to robbing, but they were probably weak for a reason.

    As long as I can make enough from what I have to build numbers, and continue to trial them that doesn't bother me unduly. Most seem to thrive well enough in the time they get to give me some honey. I'll be happier when they're lasting longer of course!

    We'd all love hives that live for ever and supply a large and uniform amount of honey, and a lot of effort goes into trying to achieve that. But I think all too often that effort is part of our problem. We need to dial back to something sustainable, accepting the lower yield for the sake of a healthy process.

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

  11. #30
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Well it's early in the season, if you have 53 thriving hives now, no reason not to get to your planned 100 by seasons end.

  12. #31
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Well it's early in the season, if you have 53 thriving hives now, no reason not to get to your planned 100 by seasons end.
    I have 52 (likely 51) living hives, in various states of thrive... but yes, in theory 100 or more is doable.

    Soon up will be questions about the best way to do it while trying to minimise honey loss. Can you offer me any advice on that score Alistair? I 've been looking at Wilson's method, with minor adjustments. http://www.northantsbees.org.uk/wilson_queen.html

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

  13. #32
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Well best I can tell you are getting 30 or 40 hives per year via swarms and cutouts, so add in a little incidental increase from the existing hives your target of 100 by years end will be achieved almost automatically.

    My advice you would not agree with for ethical reasons, I think within the ethical regime and restrictions you have set yourself, you are probably already doing as well as you can, in fact better than I could. I tried it and failed.

  14. #33
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Below, hopefully, a photo of the underside of a felt roof to which feral combs were attached. The spacing appears to be a pretty regular. 7 intervals over 10" is I reckon very close to 1 7/16", or 36mm C-C. A smidgen over Hoffman pitch - so close as to make no odds.

    The felt was angled at 45 degrees, meaning the tied-in comb will be at 45 degrees to its intended angle. Will this make the brood giddy?

    Feral Comb.jpg

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

  15. #34
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    The felt was angled at 45 degrees, meaning the tied-in comb will be at 45 degrees to its intended angle. Will this make the brood giddy?
    Why not rest the bottom (square?) edge on the bottom bar rather than fixing to the topbar? Apart from anything else, they'll get to filling in the space between topbar and comb far quicker than they'd draw it from the bottom of the comb to the bottom bar.

  16. #35
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolande View Post
    Why not rest the bottom (square?) edge on the bottom bar rather than fixing to the topbar? Apart from anything else, they'll get to filling in the space between topbar and comb far quicker than they'd draw it from the bottom of the comb to the bottom bar.
    Not with you Roland. Anyway its all done - I do it straight away as I cut it out - straight into a nuc. I wasn't really serious about them getting giddy - though I did wonder if somebody would say it doesn't work.

    I'm not sure I agree about the speed top/bottom business. I often strap in (I use rubber bands) comb only for it to slide down and they take for ever to fill in the top gap. I suspect they're not really in comb-building mode at this stage.

    I collected another small swarm this morning, from a church colony I've known about for a year. Either a small prime swarm - their cavity might be small - or a first cast I reckon. I've two bait boxes fill too - though probably from my own hives.

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

  17. #36
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    I'm not sure I agree about the speed top/bottom business. I often strap in (I use rubber bands) comb only for it to slide down and they take for ever to fill in the top gap. I suspect they're not really in comb-building mode at this stage.
    I'd be surprised if you did Plenty of comparisons over the years have convinced me that there's more of an 'urgency' to infill a gap between top of comb and the 'roof' than there is to start extending the comb.

  18. #37
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    I suspect they're not really in comb-building mode at this stage.
    Give them some sugar syrup. It's not a treatment, it's a management technique to have them build comb to fill the gaps.

    Obviously you would do this after they have had a week or so to settle and are in a position to defend against robbing attempts.

  19. #38
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Give them some sugar syrup. It's not a treatment, it's a management technique to have them build comb to fill the gaps.

    Obviously you would do this after they have had a week or so to settle and are in a position to defend against robbing attempts.
    Yes, I've done this. They are a reasonable size, and I tend to work with minimal entrances to minimise robbing as a matter of course. Swarms especially are great comb builders, and I try to take advantage of that.
    The race isn't always to the swift, nor the fight to the strong, but that's the way to bet

  20. #39
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    On the topic of minimal entrances, I've known this one for 2 years... DSC07153.jpg

    I know of another multi-year tree colony that lives in a wide-open fissure.

    On the other side this week's cut out had a few two tiny entrances - about 1/4" by 1/2". The cavity was about a lift in volume, and filled with comb.

    I took a large swarm from the 3-colonies in a hung tile elevation yesterday (that I spoke of earlier).

    All these are within a few miles radius.

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

  21. #40
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolande View Post
    I'd be surprised if you did Plenty of comparisons over the years have convinced me that there's more of an 'urgency' to infill a gap between top of comb and the 'roof' than there is to start extending the comb.
    I'll look more closely Roland. The last cut-out was another of those from a 4" building cavity, all lovely and regular, and just the right size to pop into shallow frames. The only drawback is... they're in shallow frames!
    The race isn't always to the swift, nor the fight to the strong, but that's the way to bet

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