Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages - Page 17
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  1. #321
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    4,859

    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Two different views on stores consumption. Not mentioned is the influence of colony size and whether or not brooding is occurring equally. There will be a huge difference due to type of bee (Italian or Carni) and how this will affect their inclination to raise brood. Carnis will cease to brood if no pollen is coming in; Italians will brood as long as there is food in the hive and they can achieve brooding temperature.

    I think this question needs far better controls to make black or white conclusions. It would be an interesting to see a well controlled trial. There certainly is a lot of mixed opinion.

    Edit; I also remember seeing that mite levels will affect honey consumption.
    Frank

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  3. #322

    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    Carnis will cease to brood if no pollen is coming in; Italians will brood as long as there is food in the hive and they can achieve brooding temperature.
    Long enough human breeding will shape different races towards an optimum in a given environment. Carnis have been shaped to make more brood, Italians have been shaped to take care of their stores etc. Result: optimum bee (as beekeeper sees it), makes large hives and large crops and swarm inclination is minimal.

    Very often beginners ask me which race is the best. My answer is "wrong question". You should ask who are the best breeders. So close are the top breeds in Europe, no matter what race, Buckfast, Carnis or Italian.

  4. #323
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,859

    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Juhani;

    You may well be correct about the different original bee types in Europe, having drifted or been pushed toward more similar habits. I think perhaps the more dominant type of bee in the US is influenced by almond pollination: the need to brood up during cooler months so the old Italian type is well represented. I think Greg has referred to them as Zombie bees!

    From what I gather many of the Canadian breeders are working on bees with more of the Old Carni habits with less of the swarming traits. One that I am somewhat familiar with has, for selection traits 1. good disposition, 2. good production 3. low mite counts, 4. winter survial - he says he doesnt graft from any queens that didnt overwinter!

    What I was suggesting regarding insulation affecting winter honey consumption is that many of the examples put forth as proof have too many possible other influences involved for them to be very conclusive.
    Frank

  5. #324
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    3,042

    Default Re: Hive designs and their advantages and disadvantages

    Italians were bred - and still are today - to go into winter with large colonies. This does not necessarily correlate with consuming more stores over winter. They generally start brooding earlier in the spring and therefore are much more susceptible to starving out during inclement spring conditions. I've never had a Buckfast or Carniolan colony brood to the extent the Italians do when no nectar or pollen is coming in.

    There are several interactions taking place in a wintering colony of bees. Here are the variables to consider:

    1. How large is the colony going into winter?
    2. How healthy are the bees, particularly mite status?
    3. How much stores do they have to winter on?
    4. What genetics do they represent in terms of tendency to raise brood?
    5. What kind of hive are they in? (single wall wood, poly, or anything else)
    6. What weather conditions do they have to survive?
    7. What is the status of the queen's egg laying ability?

    A very large healthy colony going into winter in a poly hive may come out of winter nearly dead due to not being able to forage for water. The cluster needs to consume a minimum amount of honey not just to stay warm, but to produce the water they need to live. A small cluster in the same hive and conditions might come out of winter in superb condition because they were able to consume enough honey keeping warm to maintain their water levels. Put the large cluster in a single wall wooden hive and it would come out of winter in superb condition where the small cluster might die due to being too small to maintain cluster temperatures. Give the large cluster in a single wall wooden hive a prolific Italian queen and they might starve to death due to brooding so much they consume all their honey before nectar is available. The small cluster in a single wall wooden hive with a prolific Italian queen might come through winter in outstanding condition due to having plenty of stores to convert into bees before nectar flows start. Put that Italian queen in Juhani's conditions with a wooden single wall hive and the results would be very different compared to my climate in North Alabama. Juhani and I might both be very satisfied with the results of wintering Buckfast queens where neither of us is happy with Italians. Give me a 2 1/2 year old queen to overwinter and I would likely lose the colony. Give Juhani the same queen and he would probably consider her an excellent 2 year old queen. The point is simple. Beekeeping is as much an art as it is a practical business. The latest "fad" that comes along clamoring for your money is not nearly as valuable as the years of experience we have available by studying beekeeping literature of the last 150 years.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

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