Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017 - Page 19
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  1. #361
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    ...it seems it might be safe to infer that, "...it is associated with the internal operations of the colony in preparing to store honey..." as opposed to a lack of availability.
    definitely safer to infer that russ. availability is not the issue, although a few straight days of non-flying weather could be. saw the first new white wax in a couple of the stronger hives this past weekend...

    i'm feeling like we are close to what walt referred to as 'reproductive cutoff' here. this may be the first year i don't have any swarms issue from my hives. we'll see.
    'no wise man has the power to reason away what a fool believes' - the doobies

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  3. #362
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    What is the prime directive of a colony?
    David Matlock

  4. #363
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverderwent View Post
    What is the prime directive of a colony?
    with most if not all biological entities that would be reproduction, propagation of dna, yes?

    with the superorganism we fondly refer to as a honey bee colony, reproduction at the superorganism level would be swarming, no?

    to achieve that prime directive entails that the superorganism be focused on specific priorities at various times throughout the year, observations concur?
    'no wise man has the power to reason away what a fool believes' - the doobies

  5. #364
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    with most if not all biological entities that would be reproduction, propagation of dna, yes?
    Yes. Thank you for playing.

    with the superorganism we fondly refer to as a honey bee colony, reproduction at the superorganism level would be swarming, no?
    That's one. What's the other?

    to achieve that prime directive entails that the superorganism be focused on specific priorities at various times throughout the year, observations concur?
    Yes.
    David Matlock

  6. #365
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverderwent View Post
    That's one. What's the other?
    hmm, i thought prime by definition is just one. i give up.
    'no wise man has the power to reason away what a fool believes' - the doobies

  7. #366
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i'm feeling like we are close to what walt referred to as 'reproductive cutoff' here. this may be the first year i don't have any swarms issue from my hives. we'll see.
    This fact is quite impressive, Squarepeg and I believe it speaks to your skill as a beekeeper. I have always been impressed with your ability to 'read' your hives and make appropriate management decisions based on those observations- and I think your consistent results year-over-year reflect that reality.

  8. #367
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    hmm, i thought prime by definition is just one. i give up.
    Well (and I am not saying anything you both don't know), wouldn't Walt say that the most immediate objective of a colony is survival? Once colony level survival is met, they would then turn their attention to reproduction?

  9. #368
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    hmm, i thought prime by definition is just one. i give up.
    Is this Riverderwent math again?

    I'm thinking Russ has the "other" prime directive, ie survival.

  10. #369
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    hmm, i thought prime by definition is just one. i give up.
    Hoisted upon my own ambiguity. One prime directive, reproduction. Two ways of reproduction, swarming and ... ? Again, thank you for playing.
    David Matlock

  11. #370
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverderwent View Post
    Hoisted upon my own ambiguity. One prime directive, reproduction. Two ways of reproduction, swarming and ... ? Again, thank you for playing.
    ? = sending out drones ?

  12. #371
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by clong View Post
    ? = sending out drones ?
    You have chosen well. (And thank you.) They “must” be fruitful and multiply or land in the genetic ashcan. They can do that by producing fertile females (resulting in swarming) or virile males (resulting in those haploid go lucky layabouts we call drones), or both. How do bees decide whether to reproduce through swarming or drone production or both?
    David Matlock

  13. #372
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverderwent View Post
    They “must” be fruitful and multiply or land in the genetic ashcan. They can do that by producing fertile females (resulting in swarming) or virile males (resulting in those haploid go lucky layabouts we call drones), or both. How do bees decide whether to reproduce through swarming or drone production or both?
    This is a fun quiz, but it keeps getting harder. This last question requires more thought.

    How many questions are there?

  14. #373
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by clong View Post
    How many questions are there?
    I don’t know. I suppose it depends on the answers. It’s about the journey?
    David Matlock

  15. #374
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverderwent View Post
    How do bees decide whether to reproduce through swarming or drone production or both?
    Well CLong beat me to the punch in replying to the drone question, so I'll take a swing at the decision matrix question.

    Dr. Smith with Cornell recently enlightened me that a colony when left to it's own devices will invest approximately equal resources in queens and drones in a given year. If we accept this as fact, then it would stand to reason that a colony will decide what to invest in based on what resources it has to make a calculated risk with. In other words, no resource (i.e. drone comb) no investment (drones).

    Further, if colony survival is in question I have read that a colony might generate drones as a means to disperse their genetic profile even if the colony itself may (or may not) persist.

    So I would surmise that all hives left to their own development would prioritize drone investment above swarming and would only commit to developing queens when colony survival were relatively assured.
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  16. #375
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    Dr. Smith with Cornell recently enlightened me that a colony when left to it's own devices will invest approximately equal resources in queens and drones in a given year. If we accept this as fact, then it would stand to reason that a colony will decide what to invest in based on what resources it has to make a calculated risk with. In other words, no resource (i.e. drone comb) no investment (drones).
    Would then, all other things being equal, a colony with plenty of room for drone comb (from using foundationless frames or unimpressed foundation in the brood chamber) be less likely to swarm than a colony with no room for drone comb? Or stated conversely, would a colony with no room for drone comb be more likely to swarm than one with plenty of room for drone comb?
    David Matlock

  17. #376
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverderwent View Post
    Would then, all other things being equal, a colony with plenty of room for drone comb (from using foundationless frames or unimpressed foundation in the brood chamber) be less likely to swarm than a colony with no room for drone comb? Or stated conversely, would a colony with no room for drone comb be more likely to swarm than one with plenty of room for drone comb?
    River: Intriguing thought experiment. I freely acknowledge that the question is beyond my depth as a beekeeper, so my reply will represent what I have read rather than what I have observed. That said:

    My assumption (largely based on reading Mr. Walt Wright's observations) is that a colony's Spring priorities are thus:

    1. Assure immediate survival- this means the first priority is replenishing any of the capped honey reserve that was utilized to successfully overwinter.

    2. Produce reproductive swarm- this means that as the broodnest is successfully contracted following completion of priority #1, the colony recognizes they have the internal resources available to cast a swarm.

    3. Prepare to overwinter- this means the remaining Spring/Summer activities are prioritized around being prepared to: raise winter bees; and collect sufficient stores.

    That in view, and considering your question:

    We know that hives which haven't the resources to swarm will still make drones when allowed to do so.

    Based on this fact, I assume that drone production (even on a limited basis) is a very high priority for all colonies, and that it is somehow related (though not directly correlated to) their efforts to prepare for swarming.

    Because it does not appear there is a clearly delineated cause/effect relationship between reproductive swarms and drone production, my assumption is that preventing a hive from producing drones does not significantly impact their proclivity to cast a swarm- but I could be very wrong.

    It would almost seem that there are two different sets of rules which guide the colony in making decisions about rearing queens versus drones, but again these are the personal thoughts of a rank amateur, so they should be discounted accordingly.
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  18. #377
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverderwent View Post
    Would then, all other things being equal, a colony with plenty of room for drone comb (from using foundationless frames or unimpressed foundation in the brood chamber) be less likely to swarm than a colony with no room for drone comb? Or stated conversely, would a colony with no room for drone comb be more likely to swarm than one with plenty of room for drone comb?
    I would study resources about primitive beekeeping to get somewhat correct idea of the actual dynamics.
    Per my readings, I don't feel it is either/or situation. It is both.

    When living in natural/pseudo-natural dwelling of average 60 liter volumes, with minimal human management - wild AMM bees raise the drones as they see fit (taking up to 20% of the total combs; subsequently back-filled with honey) and swarm as they see fit (2-3 swarms per a colony is normal).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  19. #378
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    Default

    When living in natural/pseudo-natural dwelling of average 60 liter volumes, with minimal human management - wild AMM bees raise the drones as they see fit (taking up to 20% of the total combs; subsequently back-filled with honey) and swarm as they see fit (2-3 swarms per a colony is normal).
    Based on what I observed (admittedly, I did little true observation) I would say your numbers are pretty on point in regard to swarming. I had some large TBHs last year going into spring. Split most early and practically quit beekeeping for the year. I'm fairly certain every hive swarmed. Many 2 or 3 times. I learned a very valuable lesson in this region. Without post-swarm management, hives are extremely susceptible to SHB. I really beat myself up over this as I lost many good queens, several that were a few years old. I'm refocused this year and have decided that perhaps in my case, for now, less is more when it comes to hive numbers.
    Season 5. TF.

  20. #379
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverderwent View Post
    You have chosen well. (And thank you.) They “must” be fruitful and multiply or land in the genetic ashcan. They can do that by producing fertile females (resulting in swarming) or virile males (resulting in those haploid go lucky layabouts we call drones), or both. How do bees decide whether to reproduce through swarming or drone production or both?
    I've seen enough inexplicable things in beekeeping to believe there is a swarming trigger beyond the obvious seasonal impulses. Certainly a heavy spring flow and restricted room are paramount but I also believe there is something else at play that no one has really been able to pin down. There are certain years (or more accurately springs) when it just seems that, regardless of what your management techniques, its just going to happen.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  21. #380
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    I've seen enough inexplicable things in beekeeping to believe there is a swarming trigger beyond the obvious seasonal impulses. Certainly a heavy spring flow and restricted room are paramount but I also believe there is something else at play that no one has really been able to pin down.
    I’m curious if (other things being equal) bees with unfettered room for drone comb issue fewer swarms than bees with little or no room for drone comb comb. Knowing whether that is the case could shed a little light on the swarm impulse.
    David Matlock

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