Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017 - Page 18
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  1. #341
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverderwent View Post
    And another thing, we checked hives to add supers yesterday, and we only added two boxes. Two weeks of cool temperatures and rain (or at least the interruption of a little warm spell) has brought nectar gathering to a halt.
    I was chatting to a local beek yesterday about this very thing. I've personally never seen such low nectar production in my hives for this time of year. Despite that fact, the bees are doing great by all accounts. I'm up two nucs from a split yesterday and had a swarm move into a bait hive I had in the backyard. Once the weather settles in a bit, this season is looking promising barring some form of catastrophe.
    Season 5. TF.

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  3. #342
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    great to hear from you nordak. in his manuscript walt wright describes regularly observing a 'lull' in nectar storage just before the main flow hits.
    'no wise man has the power to reason away what a fool believes' - the doobies

  4. #343
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    Hey SP, good to see you, and thanks for the response. I imagine that's the case. In some ways, I feel a bit like I'm starting over this year as I was absent from the hives for so long. I'm not exactly re-learning, but I've got to get back in touch with the ebbs and flows.
    Season 5. TF.

  5. #344
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Elm, maple, redbud, "clover", tallow, dearth, goldenrod/aster. I would think that the lull before the flow is more about the amount of honey being consumed than it is about the amount of nectar coming in. Walt explained the lull; I just need someone to explain Walt's explanation.
    David Matlock

  6. #345
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    i'll have to go back and reread what walt said about it. my recollection is that he wasn't sure why the lull. i remember suggesting to him it made sense that most of what was coming in was getting turned into brood food.
    'no wise man has the power to reason away what a fool believes' - the doobies

  7. #346
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Nice to hear some good stories. All doom and gloom around here in certain places in BC. Treating beekeepers starting to blame tf beekeeping for their losses. Hoisted by their own petard I would say. Meanwhile they are determined to import the next problem from chile and new Zealand to make up for their losses. Doubling down on stupid. I have way more bees this year than last with bees not so near adapted as yours.

  8. #347
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    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i'll have to go back and reread what walt said about it. my recollection is that he wasn't sure why the lull. i remember suggesting to him it made sense that most of what was coming in was getting turned into brood food.
    Squarepeg:

    You are right concerning one of Walt's two published hypotheses concerning the lull- the other is that the foragers are 'biding their time' until the house bees are ready to store and ripen nectar.

    NECTAR MANAGEMENT - Principles and Practices (copyright 2005) Mr. Walt Wright

    pp. 24 - 25 "To continue with the lull in nectar storage during the three week period prior to the appearance of new wax: In some literature descriptions of the swarming process, the lull is attributed to scout bees turning their attention to looking for nest sites.

    On the timeline continuation sketch, note that the swarm issue season is parallel with the early part of the house-bee-rearing phase. The storing slow-down has nothing to do with scout bees not locating nectar sources. Although that’s not a bad guess, it shouldn’t be presented as fact.

    All colonies, whether they have any intent to swarm or not, have this slow-down in nectar storage. It’s the period between the “early flow” and the “main flow”. It’s very conspicuous in a colony that has been induced to store overhead nectar by beekeeper manipulation. The colony that was reversed early and given empty comb above stores nectar overhead immediately. The three-week break in storage prior to the “main flow” is more obvious.

    Locally, in Middle Tennessee, black locust blooms during this period. In seasons that black locust is very showy the bees work it to support brood rearing, but put no nectar in the supers. This would seem to indicate that the period of rearing a full brood cycle of house bees is a strain on resources. It’s all the foragers can do to support brood rearing through this period.

    One other possibility comes to mind. The existing foragers are deliberately only supporting brood rearing during this period. The bulk of the foragers are marking time.

    They are waiting for the corps of house bees to be ready to store honey. When the support troops are in place, they go after nectar in a big way.

    If you don’t like either of the above scenarios, generate one of your own.

    Your guess is as good as mine. But the lull in storage is real and predictable. We are convinced that it is associated with the internal operations of the colony in preparing to store honey.

    Note that the lull in nectar gain occurs at the peak of native nectar availability. Here, we consider the peak of nectar in the field to be the period of black locust
    and the overlapping tulip poplar. It’s also the period of no gain in the supers. The peak of nectar availability is a boon to the swarm in a new location, but the parent colony or non-swarming colony is busy with preparation to store honey."
    Last edited by Litsinger; 04-08-2019 at 07:58 AM. Reason: Italicized and referenced.
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  9. #348
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    from walt's manuscript: https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...t-s-manuscript pp. 22-24 (bold mine)

    "When we first came to the conclusion that early season worker population was primarily comprised of foragers and nurse bees, the obvious question was raised. When do they change internal operations to the familiar literature rendition of serving as house bees before becoming foragers? Looking for some clue to the answer to that question, it was observed that there was a consistent three week period prior to new wax “main flow” when nectar storage made no gain. Suspecting that period might be the transition between internal operations, we went on record with that conclusion. Nectar Management by Walt Wright Copywrite  2000 - 2005


    Supporting observations came as we experimented with nectar management for swarm prevention.
    To continue with the lull in nectar storage during the three week period prior to the appearance of new wax: In some literature descriptions of the swarming process, the lull is attributed to scout bees turning their attention to looking for nest sites. On the timeline continuation sketch, note that the swarm issue season is parallel with the early part of the house-bee-rearing phase. The storing slow-down has nothing to do with scout bees not locating nectar sources. Although that’s not a bad guess, it shouldn’t be presented as fact.

    All colonies, whether they have any intent to swarm or not, have this slow-down in nectar storage. It’s the period between the “early flow” and the “main flow”. It’s very conspicuous in a colony that has been induced to store overhead nectar by beekeeper manipulation. The colony that was reversed early and given empty comb above stores nectar overhead immediately. The three-week break in storage prior to the “main flow” is more obvious.

    Locally, in Middle Tennessee, black locust blooms during this period. In seasons that black locust is very showy the bees work it to support brood rearing, but put no nectar in the supers. This would seem to indicate that the period of rearing a full brood cycle of house bees is a strain on resources. It’s all the foragers can do to support brood rearing through this period.

    One other possibility comes to mind. The existing foragers are deliberately only supporting brood rearing during this period. The bulk of the foragers are marking time. They are waiting for the corps of house bees to be ready to store honey. When the support troops are in place, they go after nectar in a big way.

    If you don’t like either of the above scenarios, generate one of your own. Your guess is as good as mine. But the lull in storage is real and predictable. We are convinced that it is associated with the internal operations of the colony in preparing to store honey. Note that the lull in nectar gain occurs at the peak of native nectar availability. Here, we consider the peak of nectar in the field to be the period of black locust and the overlapping tulip poplar. It’s also the period of no gain in the supers. The peak of nectar availability is a boon to the swarm in a new location, but the parent colony or non-swarming colony is busy with preparation to store honey."


    i believe what walt is suggesting is that colony operations are 'focused' on brooding during the build up in preparation for swarm issue and not on honey processing and storage until the colony either swarms or 'shifts gears'. the contingency of young bees in the colony that decides not to swarm become wax makers and honey processors and the focus is shifted to putting up stores for the upcoming winter.

    now is the point on walt's timeline where he observed this lull in nectar storage. my colonies are still keeping only minimal honey around the broodnest area and not putting anything up in the empty supers overhead, but that should be changing very soon...
    'no wise man has the power to reason away what a fool believes' - the doobies

  10. #349
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    looks like you beat me to it russ.
    'no wise man has the power to reason away what a fool believes' - the doobies

  11. #350
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    Reassuring to hear the theories as to what is seemingly a very hand-to-mouth scenario regarding the brood rearing. I was worried that it might be some unseen environmental cause such as an overall lack of forage, or perhaps too much competition for what is there. Thanks for elaborating Litsinger and SP.
    Season 5. TF.

  12. #351
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    You are right concerning one of Walt's two published hypotheses concerning the lull- the other is that the foragers are 'biding their time' until the house bees are ready to store and ripen nectar.
    i'm not sure the foragers are biding their time as much as bringing in a whole lot of pollen in lieu of nectar. after 'shifting gears', there is no more expansion of the broodnest but rather some contraction instead. less pollen is needed and the focus is more on nectar and making sure we put up enough honey to make it through the next winter.
    'no wise man has the power to reason away what a fool believes' - the doobies

  13. #352
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Thank you, Russ and Square. That helps me follow what Walt was saying. I don’t buy that foragers are biding their time or pre-scouting new locations. (Now I’ve got to remember my Seeley and my Wright.) From watching the foragers, a good number are bringing in water and, presumably, nectar in addition to pollen. But I’m thinking that if we plotted a graph showing the total number of (1) foragers, (2) nurse bees, and (3) larvae over time, we’d see that the ratio of foragers to nurse bees and larvae is low during the lull.

    It make sense that resources would be poured into increasing their ranks at the beginning of the season and poured into stored food later. That would explain why the lull seems to exist in a wide variety of locations and with various breeds, and not so much based on the immediate availability of nectar sources. But that leaves the question of why is there a mini flow prior to the lull. If we had our graph, that might tell us that, although total numbers are low, the ratio of foragers to nurse bees and larvae is higher during that early flow. But I just don’t know.

    Anyway, thank you for the explanations.
    David Matlock

  14. #353
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    River’s rules:
    15) Light your smoker first.
    ...
    21) Your best resource is a few hives well observed.
    ...
    26) Paint your hive tool.
    David Matlock

  15. #354
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    good rules river. is the complete list available?
    'no wise man has the power to reason away what a fool believes' - the doobies

  16. #355
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    good rules river. is the complete list available?
    There’s only one other rule so far, I’m just not good a numbering. The other rule is 14) Varroa don’t do well in places with high humidity.
    David Matlock

  17. #356
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    21) Your best resource is a few hives well observed.
    This one is gold, and true on so many levels.
    Season 5. TF.

  18. #357
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    looks like you beat me to it russ.
    Only because I did not properly reference it like you did- thank you for including the proper quotation.

    I sincerely hope all is well in your apiary- it sounds like it is?

  19. #358
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i'm not sure the foragers are biding their time as much as bringing in a whole lot of pollen in lieu of nectar. after 'shifting gears', there is no more expansion of the broodnest but rather some contraction instead. less pollen is needed and the focus is more on nectar and making sure we put up enough honey to make it through the next winter.
    Good observation, SP. Regardless, 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.

  20. #359
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverderwent View Post
    But that leaves the question of why is there a mini flow prior to the lull. If we had our graph, that might tell us that, although total numbers are low, the ratio of foragers to nurse bees and larvae is higher during that early flow. But I just don’t know.
    Great question, River. Your hypothesis seems reasonable to me- could it possibly be tied to:

    1. Topping off their reserve?

    2. Nectar being easier to work with in making bee food instead of cured honey?

  21. #360
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    13) Don’t put up with mean hives.
    David Matlock

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