Natural Selection Management - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    I don't save burr comb, but if I did, I would have hung those combs from the top bars of deep frames then let them build the rest down. The bees would feel better after having been squished into a 4 inch space.

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  3. #42
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    I don't save burr comb, but if I did, I would have hung those combs from the top bars of deep frames then let them build the rest down. The bees would feel better after having been squished into a 4 inch space.
    Good plan but I've only just yesterday discovered a way to make rubber bands support comb from sliding down. I don't call this burr comb - it was lovely perfect cell-size-for-these-bees comb stuffed with eggs, brood, sealed brood, nectar and pollen. It took about 5 minutes to trim and strap all the good stuff in, minimising chilling. They'll have space in few days when I've collected a shallow and some deep frames and swapped things about.

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

  4. #43
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Mike
    On your numbers. I don't know what they mean.
    I'm just beginning. Please explain.

    so - what would the pattern below mean?

    Age 2 1
    Yeild 3 2
    Origin 2.5 1.5
    15 3

    Cathy

  5. #44
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by CathyC View Post
    Mike
    On your numbers. I don't know what they mean.
    I'm just beginning. Please explain.

    so - what would the pattern below mean?

    Age 2 1
    Yield 3 2
    Origin 2.5 1.5
    15 3

    Cathy
    (From https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...48#post1249848)

    Hi Cathy,

    Sorry, it isn't clear at all. (If you're just beginning I wouldn't worry about this at all - but I'll explain anyway.)

    First, imagine the columns line up, and the totals at the bottom are derived from each of the three scores above, multiplied. So, first column: 2*3*2.5 = 15 points. When the colony is two years old, the yield was '3' (points out of 3) and the origin was '2.5' (points out of 3) - meaning I had good reason to think it came from a feral colony, but couldn't be sure. (I don't have any bought bred-resistant queens - they'd earn the full 3 points.)...

    ... That combination earns 15 points.

    The second column has different scores, and you can see that while each score is not all that different, the effect of multiplying them out makes the total markedly different. And that's what I was aiming at - a way to score colonies that would show quickly and dramatically which were the best bet for reproductive purposes; from data that I had on record.

    The next 3 groupings show the effects of different kinds of score changes.

    In the event I tweaked the calculator for actual use a few weeks ago because I didn't like the results. Gut feeling said: nope, that one is better; fix the system to make it so. I'm still not happy that its producing the best result, but its fit for purpose, and I think its probably one of those things where being perpetually unhappy about it is the right place to be. It gave me this score column (the 15 highest scoring hives):

    100
    80
    80

    64
    60
    48
    40
    40

    32
    32

    20
    18
    16
    16
    16


    Perhaps the main difference is each score is now made out of 5, giving a best of 125 points.

    (Being a spreadsheet its great for a quick bar chart! Really helps you see what's what!)

    The top ones are getting the most reproduction, the bottoms ones maybe one split. Most of the resulting queens will be used for re-queening my weakest 1/3rd.

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 06-15-2015 at 11:37 PM.
    The race isn't always to the swift, nor the fight to the strong, but that's the way to bet

  6. #45
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Deleted, duplicate
    The race isn't always to the swift, nor the fight to the strong, but that's the way to bet

  7. #46
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    (In the event I tweaked the calculator for actual use a few weeks ago because I didn't like the results. Gut feeling said: nope, that one is better; fix the system to make it so.
    Ha ha what you say is the truth. At last we find one thing we agree on.

    At times I've thought I should be methodical and have a point scoring system so that breeder selection is an exact science. But I have never been able to get one that reliably selects the breeders I really think I should be using.

    Sometimes I go with my gut.

    And getting it wrong sometimes may actually be a good thing. Who am I to absolutely impose my ideals on the genetic make up of thousands of beehives.

  8. #47
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Could you take the bottom amount of hives that are on the low end by your numbers and set them up to force them to swarm next spring? Would it increase your feral gens in the area and produce a higher rate of your desired gens in the DCA?

  9. #48
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    I'm thinking the worst third of his performers will not swarm and probably not even survive. Mike is trying to make some money now so any hive that's doing well he's probably hanging onto those bees rather then let them swarm.

    Mike is actually removing bees from the surrounding environment into his own care rather than restocking it. In my opinion in such a situation, allowing bees to swarm is wasteful of resources because you don't know if the swarm will survive. If the intent is to re stock the surrounds with particular genetics, my plan would be to take advantage of the fact that from one queen you can breed hundreds, in a controlled manner, rather than random swarming.

    However I don't know what Mike plans to do but suspect he would be on the same page with me.

  10. #49
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksbees View Post
    Could you take the bottom amount of hives that are on the low end by your numbers and set them up to force them to swarm next spring? Would it increase your feral gens in the area and produce a higher rate of your desired gens in the DCA?
    I think its best for me to regard these colonies as weak because they don't have whatever it takes, genetically, to be strong. (I'll be wrong in some cases, but its a rule of thumb thing) I'd expect most to die over the winter. On that basis the last thing I'd want to do is press them to reproduce.

    The only good thing I can see to do with them is turn them into fresh colonies headed by new queens made from my best hives. That's pretty standard traditional apiary practice. It tends to raise the strength and productivity average.

    I think my apiary will support feral health through high mite-tolerant drone numbers and escaped swarms. I suspect the biggest limitation around here to feral population growth is lack of suitable nesting sites. Till recently it has been treatment-dependent drones, but I should be lifting that problem. My bigger unlimited nest hives are making a great many drones. I really do think this is a critical part of the solution to raising tolerance.

    I am worried though that some of them may be 1st-year wonders, and are actually damaging prospects. I'm thinking about limiting 1st-year brood nests next year in an effort to improve this factor.

    BTW I don't do anything to stop swarming except maintain unlimited brood nests, give them room and encourage them to build comb continuously. Thus far I've lost one prime swarm that I know of, and another I suspect; but I think I caught the first in a bait hive.

    Numbers are back (from a low of 48) to 67. This mostly by incoming swarms - most with excellent known feral origins.

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

  11. #50
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Thank you, to the both of you. I can see the logic in it now. Will you ever consider your work a success if you are able to have hives above a score of 100 year over year? What is your baseline to move your stock to the open market?

  12. #51
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Hi Mike
    Thank you!
    We can only have 4 here. But it could help compare across the members hives.
    Cathy

  13. #52
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksbees View Post
    Thank you, to the both of you. I can see the logic in it now. Will you ever consider your work a success if you are able to have hives above a score of 100 year over year? What is your baseline to move your stock to the open market?
    I consider it a success already! So many experts insisted for so long that it would quickly end in tears! Instead its exceeded my expectations - so far! I'll sell nucs just as some as I think I can spare some and am offered a reasonable price. But I'll be careful about the claims I make for them. At the moment they are just bees that see to be workable to me, and might well stand a good chance of having a sensible measure of mite resistance.

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

  14. #53
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    EDIT
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 06-18-2015 at 12:36 PM. Reason: grumpy

  15. #54

    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    I consider it a success already!
    So how is your success doing, Mikey? Is it still ongoing?

  16. #55
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post
    So how is your success doing, Mikey? Is it still ongoing?
    I'm hoping to go into winter with about 80 colonies Bernhard, up from just under 50. I was held up by personal stuff this year, and didn't get nucs made and splits done in good time, but if... we get some fine weather the late splits I've just done might take me up up another 10 or 20. About half a ton of honey, despite the bees having to build most of their comb. Only a very few outright failures, but too high a proportion of deadwood. I've made a few splits from my best producers, and as the honey has come off split them up into 3 or 4 nucs, as a systematic way of making 'best from best'.

    Ongoing: yes. With luck I'll be able to get into more some serious breeding next year, and perhaps start selling a few nucs.

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

  17. #56

    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Good on ya, Mike. I see progress and wish you a good portion of luck. Plus honey by the tons for the next season. You'll love it.

  18. #57
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Update: I've come through with about 69/80 colonies, which I'm very pleased with. Of the 'winnowed' about 4 were lost to mice (my fault), another 4 to starvation (some my fault, some through bee stupidity) and some just went small and died of cold . They might have been long-lasting queenless hives.

    About 30 are nucs, so the most immediate job is to give them room to expand. They're all in mixed orchards and, weather permitting, will have plenty of bloom to build with. If the weather is cold I'll continue with standby candy, and if warmer but not sunny will stimulate growth further with light syrup.

    I'm planning to continue the 'natural' management based on allowing the local population to develop strength, largely through unlimited brood nests allowing those with go to raise large numbers of drones.

    I'm planning to make 40 or so nucs for replacement/building/sale, and will be taking care to use only proven queens (or their offspring - I don't track supercedure, only performance) for mothers.

    I'm also anticipating collecting 30 or 40 swarms again. I'll hope to go into winter with 120-140 colonies

    As always there'll be one or two inspections for serious disease, otherwise just popped covers if I feel the need. There'll be no treatment and no mollycoddling, no swapping brood in, swapping hives ... I'll want to know that the winners won without any help from me.

    For those who don't know my story: these are all the survivors of a now 6 year bond test regime, all collected swarms or their offspring, many from known long lasting feral sites and cluster sites.

    Hope you're on track with your plans,

    All the best,

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

  19. #58
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Well that's a lot more hives than you have ever brought through winter before, so this might be a big year for you.
    Did you get much of a harvest last fall? How did the honey melter go?

  20. #59
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Yes, its a better rate. Harvest report #55 above. Melting idea abandoned.
    The race isn't always to the swift, nor the fight to the strong, but that's the way to bet

  21. #60
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    great report mike, wishing you continuing success with your efforts. sounds like your going be pretty busy.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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