Natural Selection Management - Page 5
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  1. #81
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post
    What about the absolute numbers of hives that made it so far? How many are populated by now?
    As it stands that is either unanswerable, or the answer wouldn't tell you anything! I'm not sure which!

    But (from memory) my 'overwintered' numbers have gone something like 1:3 (2012-13), 12:20 (2013-14), 40:60 (2014-15), 65:80 (2015-16).

    Factor in: I currently have aged hive as follows:

    2012 1 No.
    2013 3 No.
    2014 21 No.
    2015 31 No.

    That sums to 55, which would mean I lost 10 through spring and summer (since my 'overwinter' count about March). So my losses are higher than I had estimated.

    I've no idea at all what has been going on inside these hives in terms of supercedure/swarming. I just know they've been constantly occupied.

    Does that give you data to address your questions Bernard?

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 08-27-2016 at 10:23 AM.
    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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  3. #82

    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Thanks, Mike. Yes, now I can figure it.

  4. #83
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    We have what I suspect is an unusually heavy Ivy flow going. Which is really handy, as the cold spring and dry summer hadn't given me much honey at all. I understand Ivy honey crystalises fast; does anyone have experience of it?

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

  5. #84

    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    That`s what a member of my forum wrote, he is from ireland:

    >hi sibylle,
    nun efeuhonig gibt es hier praktisch jeden herbst,einmal weniger und andere jahre auch viel.es gab gute jahre,wo ich nie zufuettern musste.somit stand den bienen vorallem efeuhonig zur verfuegung.
    das mir voelker desswegen eingegangen sind,habe ich nie feststellen koennen.
    in deinem falle solltest du keine bedenken haben.deine voelker haben ja reserven,auf die sie zurueckgreifen koennen und frueher oder spaeter wird dann auch der efeuhonig aufgebraucht.
    LG.
    hans<

    Translation:
    Ivy honey we have every fall, sometimes less, sometimes much, some years I fed not so the bees had this honey only.
    Iīve never seen a hive dying because of this. ( he is an experienced beekeeper).
    Don`t fear, first they use the others stores but they take the ivy honey in the end, too.
    ( We have ivy honey, too, so I asked him).

  6. #85
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    an interesting presentation by daniel weaver entitled "selecting and propagating varroa resistant honey bees":

    http://www.beeweaver.com/beeweaver-videos

    play the one that says 'thanks to stan gore, honking goose media' just underneath it.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #86
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    With another winter in the books, how did you fare Mike?
    Bee management is like a flowing river, persistent and ever changing.

  8. #87
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksbees View Post
    With another winter in the books, how did you fare Mike?
    Looks ok. I haven't totted them up lately, but I must have lost 10 to 15 through the winter - a cluster recently. That gives me 85-90, most of which are coming up steadily - though I'm impatient - I get paid for pollination by hive sizes!

    I think these late losses are due to robbery - the small ones getting beaten up. Its mostly nucs. I'm not sure how to react. Part of me says: you had your chance - getting strong and staying strong is the job description. Part of me says protect them more but mark them for new queens. But I'm reluctant. Getting established is, I think the hardest part of becoming a colony from a swarm. According to some sources most swarms fail. They have to get their act together from the get go - pref early in the year. Do I really want to take out that part of the Great Test of Fitness? It might be that they were on their way out for reasons besides robbery. This is something I'm pondering a lot just now, and I'd be grateful for other's thoughts.

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

  9. #88
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Mike
    I am brand new and know nothing. I did read miller and lanstroths old book and it seemed to be thier view to use the dinks to build the strong even stronger and then make adjustments with the stong at a later time.
    Just thought I would throw that out. Maby the money for a bigger hive would add up to more then a quanity of smaller ones.
    Good luck
    gww
    zone 5b

  10. #89
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Do I really want to take out that part of the Great Test of Fitness? Mike UK
    If all other things being equal, I think keeping them in the Great Test of Fitness, would be the way to go. However depending on time of year of hiving the swarm, being later in the year, I would balance resources from a strong hive to it for the winter, and then, in the following spring put it in the program.

    I performed a late season cut last year in September, the 5th if memory serves me right. I balanced one frame of larva and brood to anchor, along with 5 frames worth of honey and pollen. During January this year the colony was reduced to 3 frames, and I was not sure how they were going to make it. This past weekend, she has grown the hive to 12 frames, producing new wax, and honey is starting to be capped. She is the best layer in my yard. Mite count is 1 per 300, and is the basis for my TF program.

    I am a slow leaner, once I figured out that TF is not the same as management free, I been able to take my cut outs down the TF path.
    Bee management is like a flowing river, persistent and ever changing.

  11. #90
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    .. use the dinks to build the strong even stronger and then make adjustments with the stong at a later time.
    I suspect they do this on their own!

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

  12. #91
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    I think if I can get the hang of making _lots_ of small nucs with mated queens, quite early, and give them what they need to build up through the year - just maybe three frames of comb and food during dearths - equivalent to a good nest find and a happy year for nectar - I've done quite enough and given myself enough to lose any that can't hack that easy challenge.

    I think the way the slow builders are consumed by the fast ones is an important part of the mechanism. But I have to admit there are so many natural variables I'm short circuiting - they all get to find a nest site with a single nice tiny entrance for example... I'm determined to try to not make it too easy for them. IMO its a critically important test.

    Mike

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

  13. #92
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    I think if I can get the hang of making _lots_ of small nucs with mated queens, quite early, and give them what they need to build up through the year - just maybe three frames of comb and food during dearths - equivalent to a good nest find and a happy year for nectar - I've done quite enough and given myself enough to lose any that can't hack that easy challenge.

    I think the way the slow builders are consumed by the fast ones is an important part of the mechanism. But I have to admit there are so many natural variables I'm short circuiting - they all get to find a nest site with a single nice tiny entrance for example... I'm determined to try to not make it too easy for them. IMO its a critically important test.

    Mike

    UK
    UK
    Bee management is like a flowing river, persistent and ever changing.

  14. #93

    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post

    I think these late losses are due to robbery - the small ones getting beaten up. Its mostly nucs. I'm not sure how to react. Part of me says: you had your chance - getting strong and staying strong is the job description. from the get Do I really want to take out that part of the Great Test of Fitness? It might be that they were on their way out for reasons besides robbery. This is something I'm pondering a lot just now, and I'd be grateful for other's thoughts.

    Mike UK
    Mmmh. In nature the swarms use a new territory and you will not find feral colonies in crowded bee yards. So to me every colony has itīs own status. A small cluster in winter and slow expansion with shifting temperatures could be an advantage to survivability. One, or even two years of productivity and mite tolerance must be observed.
    So, with our unnatural circumstances I would rather protect them a little bit from robbery and starvation.
    One question also is: how many hives in your location? They must be sustained by flow.

  15. #94
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    In nature the swarms use a new territory and you will not find feral colonies in crowded bee yards.
    I think bees often fly to the nearest available port. If good defensible sites are in short supply they'll choose the empty hive next door. After all a whole load of ready made comb is a huge asset. I'm not sure feral swarms will positively avoid apiaries. I've seen them happily bud off in adjacent rafter spaces - I've known three colonies within 6 feet.

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    So, with our unnatural circumstances I would rather protect them a little bit from robbery and starvation.
    Well, what I'm trying to do here is 'manage' them on as natural a basis as I can. Nature can do this better than me. I want bees that can take steps to avoid robbery and starvation themselves. That's the key aim of my 'Natural Selection Management.' In nature about 1 in 4 make it through the first winter. That kind of rate really hones the genes, and I don't want to reduce that any more than I have to.

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    One question also is: how many hives in your location?
    About 85 within a mile radius. With (sigh) 40 treated colonies alongside

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    They must be sustained by flow.
    Not sure what you mean by that Si?

    Mike

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

  16. #95
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    No bees can defend against robbing if they are weak and the hive is indefensable. No properly housed hive will get robbed if it is healthy, and the beekeeper has not made some mistake like take too long to inspect them while they are being robbed.

    In a breeding program the fewer traits you are selecting for, the more chance you have to achieve them. For me anyway, robbing resistance is not one of the things I'm selecting for, bees have already been getting selected for that for millenia how would I expect to improve that in my lifetime?

    Things bees have not been getting selected for over the centuries are areas where there might be room for improvement and I may be able to make a difference. These would include gentleness, storing big honey crops, low swarming propensity, that kind of thing. For TF folks it would include mite resistance, and since bees have only recently been exposed to varroa and have not been getting naturally selected against them for the last few thousand years, there should be room to make good improvements, or refinements, to the trait in a relatively short period of time.

    Things like AFB, well, bees have been getting naturally selected against that for thousands of years so it would be less likely any one beekeeper could make big improvements against that in a short time.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  17. #96
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    For me anyway, robbing resistance is not one of the things I'm selecting for, bees have already been getting selected for that for millenia how would I expect to improve that in my lifetime?
    Nothing I would want to do, but Bro Adam selected for a good sense of smell by selecting from colonies that were good robbers.

  18. #97
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Ha, never knew that!
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  19. #98

    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Well, what I'm trying to do here is 'manage' them on as natural a basis as I can. Nature can do this better than me. I want bees that can take steps to avoid robbery and starvation themselves. That's the key aim of my 'Natural Selection Management.' In nature about 1 in 4 make it through the first winter. That kind of rate really hones the genes, and I don't want to reduce that any more than I have to.
    Yes, but even with a robber screen you can see if they defend and if they do, use them to requeen or do not breed from them. The worker bees are not lost to u as a resource.

    About 85 within a mile radius. With (sigh) 40 treated colonies alongside
    Thatīs tough. Good luck. Even tougher than my situation

    Not sure what you mean by that Si?
    Sorry.
    When I was in bee class my teacher had 8 hives in a location where there was no flow except a spring flow.
    So I asked him: why do you keep bees in an area where they will starve? And they did! Later my mentor had the same situation. Both fed sugar syrup the whole year through but whatīs the sense in that?
    Starving bees and sugar honey?

    In my case I will watch the correlation between honey stores and brood. Having more than 10-12 hives likely is not possible in my location without migrating.

  20. #99
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    No bees can defend against robbing if they are weak and the hive is indefensible. No properly housed hive will get robbed if it is healthy, and the beekeeper has not made some mistake like take too long to inspect them while they are being robbed.
    With respect, I think you are missing the point here Oldtimer. Some are, all else being equal, less able to defend themselves, often because they've fallen behind in the race to be among the bigger and stronger. In nature these are killed and their stores and comb taken, and are thus prevented from contributing their weaker genes to future generations. If I help weak bees limp through - bees that didn't have what it takes to take advantage of autumn feeding and grow lots of winter bees, and get up and at it in good time - then, again, all else being equal, I'll be undermining the ability of the next generation to overwinter strongly. Of course I could always requeen them. But there isn't really much lost by doing nothing. The workers mostly go to the other 'winning' colonies, and help them build fast. Nature is doing her stuff and my main job is to not interfere with her processes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    For me anyway, robbing resistance is not one of the things I'm selecting for, bees have already been getting selected for that for millenia how would I expect to improve that in my lifetime?
    If and where beekeepers have not been selecting for 'robbing resistance' (to put it another way, mollycoddling) there will likely be room for rapid gains.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Things bees have not been getting selected for over the centuries are areas where there might be room for improvement and I may be able to make a difference. These would include gentleness, storing big honey crops, low swarming propensity, that kind of thing.
    Those things _have_ been selected for for thousands of years. But still there will likely be room for improvement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    For TF folks it would include mite resistance, and since bees have only recently been exposed to varroa and have not been getting naturally selected against them for the last few thousand years, there should be room to make good improvements, or refinements, to the trait in a relatively short period of time.
    I'm not sure that can be assumed, but it does seem to be the case. I think bees have a flexible range of tools that can manage a range of parasites, that just need bringing forward in the population.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Things like AFB, well, bees have been getting naturally selected against that for thousands of years so it would be less likely any one beekeeper could make big improvements against that in a short time.
    As with all these things one could make sure to terminate any lines that are susceptible.

    Mike

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

  21. #100
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    Default Re: Natural Selection Management

    Quote Originally Posted by SiWolKe View Post
    Yes, but even with a robber screen you can see if they defend and if they do, use them to requeen or do not breed from them. The worker bees are not lost to u as a resource.
    Don't forget their drones will be flying... They might build strong, and have thousands of drones passing on their I-can't-be-bothered attitude to overwintering...

    For me 'management' is about standing back and letting the cream come to the top. I'm guided by Ruttner here:

    ""Breeding is by no means a human invention. Nature, which in millions of years
    has bought forth this immense diversity of wonderfully adapted creatures, is the
    greatest breeder. It is from her that the present day breeder learnt how it must
    be done, excessive production and then ruthless selection, permitting only the
    most suitable to survive and eliminating the inferior."
    Friedrich Ruttner,
    Breeding Techniques and Selection for Breeding of the Honeybee, pg 45

    As long as I can expand my numbers by raising lots of nucs I can afford to follow that guidance with minimum effort - freeing my time to do other things that expand the apiary. Yes, I could protect them, mark them and requeen them, that that seems to me to be a lot more work than letting nature take its course and making lots of new ones in an industrial fashion. I figure its best use of time for someone like me.

    Mike

    UK
    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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