Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017 - Page 25
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  1. #481

    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    Sorry to hear, hope you get better soon.

    Your messages are like a crossword puzzle for a person not speaking english as mother language.
    I can imagine the blink in your eyes. Laughter and humor makes one live longer.
    Yes yes, heel not heal ! My bad.

    Whistle, that is what you need to learn.

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  3. #482
    Join Date
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    Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Where I am, with high capacity and high quality honey harvesting and bottling equipment and supplies, keeping twenty hives is easier, takes less time, and is more lucrative than keeping four hives with low capacity and low quality equipment and supplies. Buy once, buy right.
    David Matlock

  4. #483
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Fundamentally, pulling honey is identifying the supers that have cured honey, getting bees out of those supers, moving those supers to the extracting area, and decapping, extracting, and bottling the honey. Making each of those steps as amusing and painless as practical is important.

    Identifying the supers that have cured honey is, for me, mostly about identifying the supers that don’t have cured honey. The afternoon before the pull, smoke each hive to be checked and any nearby hives, pop the cover, smoke ‘em a little from the top and wait a few moments. Loosen the top box; feel its weight; if it’s heavy enough, pull a frame from the middle and one or two nearer a side; glance down into the super at the comb on the frames still in the super on either side of the pulled frames.

    In my hives, if the top boxes are full and capped, the lower supers above the queen excluder are ready. Smoke the bees down, put any supers from the top that aren’t ready to extract above queen excluder (that is, above the brood and food chamber), put a bee escape board on, put the boxes with cured honey above the escape board, put the inner and outer covers back on, proceed to the next hive till done, and leave ‘em overnight. As you pull away, glance back to see the outer cover that you left off and the frame grabber and hive tool that you forgot. Hopefully, we stop by the gas station and top off the truck’s tank so we don’t have to do it with the honey supers and associated bee stragglers the next day.
    Last edited by Riverderwent; 11-05-2019 at 10:33 AM.
    David Matlock

  5. #484
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Ideally, the next morning we wear double pants. (Bees like it when you are in their hive two days in a row and take boxes full of their preciously gathered honey.) We grab commercial aluminum bun/baking pans just larger than our medium bee boxes. We use five of these as bases on which to stack the supers in the back of the truck and a couple as temporary covers to keep bees out of the supers as we stack them. We take five outer covers to cover the stacks once they’re topped out. We take a (hopefully) well tuned Husqvarna leaf blower with a full tank of fresh pre-mixed, “canned” gas. We bring a smoker, smoker fuel, a propane torch with an automatic igniter, hive tools, bee brushes, BeeQuick and fume board (just in case), a couple of sodas, and ibuprofen. The smoker and the blower are kept away from each other in the back of the truck, even when the smoker’s not lit. Ideally, we dress out with cuff straps, jacket and veil, and have our gloves at hand before we head to the bee yard so we know we didn’t forget them and so we can park the truck close to the hives and shorten the distance we have to haul the supers. We try not to bring things that we don’t need.

    At the bee yard, we leave the keys in the truck ignition, light the smoker, and smoke all the hives before cranking up the leaf blower. We pull the supers quickly, blow off stragglers and cover the stacked supers with bun pans as we go. When stacks are topped off, we replace the top pans with outer covers, grab the bee escapes, double check that the covers are back on the hives and the tools are in the truck, and roll to the next yard.

    On the way back to the shop/Honey House, we text the ladies who comprise the bottling, marketing, and canteen departments of this vast enterprise. We back up close to the shop, fire up the blower to remove stragglers from the supers, stack the boxes inside, shut the doors, spray around the outside of the door with BeeQuick, move the decapping, extracting, and bottling equipment into place, change out of protective garb, and eat lunch.
    Last edited by Riverderwent; 11-05-2019 at 06:22 PM.
    David Matlock

  6. #485
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    I also use the commercial food pans, they are great.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  7. #486
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    I want frugal bees that winter well with small clusters. I don’t want to feed them in the fall to artificially cause them to produce more brood going in to winter. In order for Varroa to reproduce, they need their host bees to reproduce. If there is little or no bee brood going in to winter, then there is little or no opportunity for Varroa mites to breed. (There may also be a detrimental effect on the phoretic female mites caused by overcrowding in the few cells available for breeding.) This causes the mite population to decline as the older mites die off, hopefully (and over time due to natural selection, necessarily), at rates exceeding the rates at which the bees die off. Natural selection rewards colonies with frugal winter bees that outlive the phoretic winter mites.
    David Matlock

  8. #487
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    If you are getting ready to go do a cutout, what is something that is helpful that you are likely to forget? One for me is paper towels.
    David Matlock

  9. #488
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverderwent View Post
    Natural selection rewards colonies with frugal winter bees that outlive the phoretic winter mites.
    Good point, David. I suppose the paradox is finding bees that are not only frugal but also productive- sounds like you have found this combination within your area.
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  10. #489
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    David:

    My apologies if you have already addressed this, but do you mind to outline what (if anything) you do for swarm control with your overwintered colonies?
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  11. #490
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    David:

    My apologies if you have already addressed this, but do you mind to outline what (if anything) you do for swarm control with your overwintered colonies?
    Short answer, nothing. Long answer, in the past I would try to prevent the formation of a solid honey dome directly above the brood by checkerboarding or by undersupering/nadiring or placing a box of empty drawn comb directly above the brood over a queen excluder. I no longer do that. As for checkerboarding in the brood area itself (as opposed to the honey dome directly over the brood area), I don’t believe that has any swarm reducing effect, at least for my bees.

    I do sometimes make early spring splits, but that tends to be for husbandry purposes or “herd improvement” rather than swarm control. My funny little mutts are, surprisingly, not particularly swarmy, probably due at least in part to the effect of mites on their population.

    I have two principal beeyards these days. (I do keep a couple of hives each at a couple of other places.) At one of those principal yards, I have placed swarm traps from 200 to 400 yards away, and very rarely have I captured swarms. Those colonies do cast swarms, but not at the rate that you would expect. At the other principal yard I have a number of traps from to of a mile away, and I do catch a number of swarms, but no more than I was catching there before I began keeping bees at that yard.

    By taking an occasional early spring split, and by not treating bees and thus causing them to have to divert resources to hygienic behavior and other mite fighting efforts and considering the downward pressure that mites exert on the population in an untreated colony, I just haven’t felt the need lately to try to reduce swarming by manipulating the honey dome. You do ask perceptive questions. You should be a journalist or a panelist on What’s My Line.
    David Matlock

  12. #491
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverderwent View Post
    You should be a journalist or a panelist on What’s My Line.
    Great feedback. David. Thank you for your reply.

    If you don't mind me asking a few more questions:

    1. If your colonies are not casting reproductive swarms as a rule, have you seen any patterns as to how often they supercede?

    2. Related to (1), is it your older queens that are more apt to swarm?

    3. As you observe this competing tension between mite load and queen fecundity, do you see hives led by older queens more likely to fail?

    4. What would you estimate your average annual surplus honey yield is when you divide total honey crop by all the colonies in your yard?

    What I am trying to understand is what does an 'average' year in a successful TF apiary look like?

    You certainly do not have to address all this now, maybe this just might serve as fodder for a 'pearl of wisdom' or two every week?

    Thank you for your willingness to share your experiences.

    Russ

    p.s. 'What's My Line' went off the air in 1975 - 5 years before I was born!
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  13. #492
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    Great feedback. David. Thank you for your reply.

    If you don't mind me asking a few more questions:
    1. If your colonies are not casting reproductive swarms as a rule, have you seen any patterns as to how often they supercede? -- Not really. I use to be in every hive every week or two during the spring and early summer. These days I assiduously avoid hive inspections because, for me, they cause at least as many problems as they solve. So, if the patterns are there, I'm not seeing them because I'm no longer in the hives except to harvest. I am confidant that my fecund little homegrown queens are well mated and able to last some years. I am not losing colonies due to queen failures or problems requeening. I'm confidant that the bees are casting some swarms that I don't know about, but they are recovering quickly, and the mites are reducing some swarming by diverting resources and keeping the population down due to hygienic behavior or shortened worker average life span.

    I would add that there was a time when we caught scores of swarms, did scores of cutouts and trapouts, and made a number of nucleus hives from good colonies. I've done 200 or more cutouts. We gathered in a lot of good genetics and, I'm sure, a lot of bad genetics as well. We pushed a lot of genes into the woods as Fusion Power would say. What we have now, both in our boxes and in the surrounding river bottoms, are the survivors, some of whom were there when we started.

    2. Related to (1), is it your older queens that are more apt to swarm? -- I don't know. I do doubt that a queen that emerged after the summer solstice of the preceding summer is likely to swarm.

    3. As you observe this competing tension between mite load and queen fecundity, do you see hives led by older queens more likely to fail? -- I seldom see queen failures since I stopped doing frequent inspections and accidentally rolling or injuring queens. I do lose hives due, I'm sure, to mite problems, but typically not due to queen failure or mating flight problems. I don't see crawlers or bees with dwarf wings, but I'm not looking for them.

    4. What would you estimate your average annual surplus honey yield is when you divide total honey crop by all the colonies in your yard? -- In bad years we harvest about 65 pounds per production (established) hive. In good years we also harvest about 65 pounds per hive. I will let you guess what we harvest in average years. Our limiting factor is the amount of honey that we are willing to pull and bottle. If we wanted more honey, we would keep more production colonies. We sell bees, do our day jobs, spend time with our families, and piddle around with other hobbies. Pulling honey is for young folks and forklifts.

    What I am trying to understand is what does an 'average' year in a successful TF apiary look like? -- Fun and practicing good husbandry to improve the herd by breeding reasonably productive, mite resistant bees. Making a living, not so much.

    'What's My Line' went off the air in 1975 - 5 years before I was born! -- You kids.
    Last edited by Riverderwent; 11-18-2019 at 11:05 PM.
    David Matlock

  14. #493
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverderwent View Post
    What I am trying to understand is what does an 'average' year in a successful TF apiary look like? -- Fun and practicing good husbandry to improve the herd by breeding reasonably productive, mite resistant bees. Making a living, not so much.
    David:

    Thank you again for your detailed and helpful reply. You are an excellent writer, and I do hope you will publish a book someday.

    I do sincerely appreciate your being willing to share your results and approach and I hope you don't feel like I am trying to extract trade secrets from you .

    Ultimately, my overall goals largely mirror yours and I am trying to anticipate the challenges ahead and to hopefully glean the lessons that others who are quite a bit further down this road have already learned.

    If you don't mind, I may toss a few more questions your way from time-to-time, and do please keep posting insights from your beekeeping journey.

    Thank you again,

    Russ
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  15. #494
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    I hope you don't feel like I am trying to extract trade secrets from you .
    If someone needs my trade secrets they probably should be raising tomatoes instead of honeybees.
    David Matlock

  16. #495
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    What line from a song captures the essence of TF beekeeping?
    David Matlock

  17. #496
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverderwent View Post
    What line from a song captures the essence of TF beekeeping?
    "I can't get no satisfaction"?
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  18. #497

    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverderwent View Post
    What line from a song captures the essence of TF beekeeping?
    "Imagine all the people"
    "You may say Im a dreamer"
    "Something to live or die for"
    "But I`m not the only one"
    "I hope some day you will join us"

  19. #498
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    ”I hope some day you will join us"
    “We’re gonna do what they say can’t be done.”
    David Matlock

  20. #499
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    “Oops there goes another rubber tree.”
    David Matlock

  21. #500
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    Sep 2019
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    Jasper, Georgia, USA
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    Default Re: Riverderwent Survival Treatment Free 2017

    "If not for the courage of the fearless crew."
    "And a fist full of hope - BONANZA!"
    And on a more pessimistic note,
    "Another day older and deeper in debt."
    Though this one applies to most hobby beekeeping not just TF.

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