Michael Bush Video
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  1. #1
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    Default Michael Bush Video

    After giving up or tiring of most hobbies through my life, this gave some clarity as to why beekeeping is still as fascinating to me as it was on day one. Great video.

    https://youtu.be/MK3cmHFbWs4
    Season 5. TF.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Michael Bush Video

    Some very good thoughts. One thing Michael said is "Learn to trust the bees. Trust that the bees know what they are doing, rather than I know what I am doing...". This resonates with me given my ever growing lack of knowledge of all bee related things.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Michael Bush Video

    Absolutely. I think it's a lesson I was reminded of this year trying to push things too early against their (the bees) better instinct.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Michael Bush Video

    "Learn to trust the bees"? What does that mean?

    Does it mean when swarm season comes and they want to swarm, you let them? Does it mean when one hive starts robbing another hive, you let it? Does it mean when the bees are mad and trying to get to your face through your veil, you open it up and let them in?
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Michael Bush Video

    Lots of (smart) beekeepers use variations on this quote. Brother Adam said "Listen to the bees and let them guide you". It is a standard line in Michael Palmer's talks. Lots of beginning bee books say something along the lines of "if you don't know what to do, do nothing" because the bees' instincts are often better than the beekeeper's. The idea of working with bees' natural instincts instead of trying to suppress them is pervasive in the literature. To do that, you have to understand what the bees are doing (and hopefully why).

    But, maybe, yes... I think you should try the "if the bees are bouncing off your veil, let them in" thing and then report back to us how that works out for you.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Michael Bush Video

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarDad View Post
    Lots of (smart) beekeepers use variations on this quote. Brother Adam said "Listen to the bees and let them guide you". It is a standard line in Michael Palmer's talks. Lots of beginning bee books say something along the lines of "if you don't know what to do, do nothing" because the bees' instincts are often better than the beekeeper's. The idea of working with bees' natural instincts instead of trying to suppress them is pervasive in the literature. To do that, you have to understand what the bees are doing (and hopefully why).

    But, maybe, yes... I think you should try the "if the bees are bouncing off your veil, let them in" thing and then report back to us how that works out for you.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Michael Bush Video

    Quote Originally Posted by JeronimoJC View Post
    One thing Michael said is "Learn to trust the bees. Trust that the bees know what they are doing, rather than I know what I am doing...". This resonates with me given my ever growing lack of knowledge of all bee related things.
    +1. I use a lot of local feral mutts. I don't feed and I use relatively small entrances (4.875 square inches). I don't own a robbing screen and haven't needed one. In areas where I specifically intend to frustrate the instinct of the bees, like preventing swarming, I try to learn how to do that from them, and Walt, of course.
    David Matlock

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Michael Bush Video

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarDad View Post
    The idea of working with bees' natural instincts instead of trying to suppress them is pervasive in the literature.
    I guess I am dumb beekeeper that deserves to be stung. Please help me understand:

    Where does the line between "working with the bees' instincts" and "suppressing them" fall? How is that line known? At what point, starting from removing bees from their natural home in a hollow log, to robbing their honey, to wrapping hives in the extreme north, to influencing/controlling queen breeding, to exposing them to widespread pesticide use, to treating for diseases, or, accidently introducing diseases but not treating for them, etc., is the line crossed?




    .
    Last edited by shinbone; 03-29-2017 at 09:23 AM.
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Michael Bush Video

    Isn't the line crossed when the deleterious effects of certain beekeeping practices make themselves known?

    If the focus became honeybee and ecosystem health, how would our practices change?

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Michael Bush Video

    Quote Originally Posted by JeronimoJC View Post
    Some very good thoughts. One thing Michael said is "Learn to trust the bees. Trust that the bees know what they are doing, rather than I know what I am doing...". This resonates with me given my ever growing lack of knowledge of all bee related things.
    This is pure, content-less "guru" rap. A zen-like aphorism that makes the "sheep" nod as if being blessed by deep wisdom. This is the first step as they surrender any independent critical distance on all the other mythos being sold.

    Instead, Bush could give a short factual account about how his apiary went from 200 to 40 hives from 2014 to 2016.

    He could explain why the blog accounts of his 2016 bee camp concentrated on the expression, "Even experts lose lots of bees".

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Michael Bush Video

    Shinbone
    Where does the line between "working with the bees' instincts" and "suppressing them" fall? How is that line known? At what point, starting from removing bees from their natural home in a hollow log, to robbing their honey, to wrapping hives in the extreme north, to influencing/controlling queen breeding, to exposing them to widespread pesticide use, to treating for diseases, or, accidently introducing diseases but not treating for them, etc., is the line crossed?
    If bees are making a democratic desision on where to move and you put up a bait hive and all the scouts go out and look at all availible nesting sites and out of all of those decides to move into your trap, You are working with the bees by providing the home they liked best. If there is a big flow on and you pick this time to make a couple of queens, you are working with the bees by picking a time where the resources and thier instinct would tell them it is the right time for propogating. If you open the brood nest, you are working with the bees instinct that tells them that they are getting crowded and their natural instinct tells them they still have time. If you provide space you are working with the bees hording instincts and their need of stores for survival and lucky for you that instinct allows you some honey also.

    If you put a queen in a hive that has a queen, you are working against their instinct cause they only want one queen and so working against their instinct does not work well and leave you two queens in one open hive.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  13. #12

    Default Re: Michael Bush Video

    Quote Originally Posted by JWChesnut View Post
    Instead, Bush could give a short factual account about how his apiary went from 200 to 40 hives from 2014 to 2016.
    The only 'fact' we would get is that it was from something other than varroa.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Michael Bush Video

    jwchestnut
    Instead, Bush could give a short factual account about how his apiary went from 200 to 40 hives from 2014 to 2016.
    You mean like langstroth did in his book and like miller did in his book (50 years with bees) or like dezorian or what ever his name is where he lost down to just a couple of hives but was considered a good bee keeper because he was able to turn those hive into a couple of hundred in just a few years.

    Seems like several of the looked up to beekeepers of the past had ebbs and flows and are still looked up to for their skill. I know micheal palmer in his vidio where he took over 600 polination hives was having big repalcement issues till he started wintering nucs.

    All these guys that had some failures also had a lot of things that advanced bee keeping for lots of people. It may not all be good but it can not all be bad either.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Michael Bush Video

    I make a huge number of mistakes in my apiary, so I sympathize with others who may do the same. I think anyone who runs a large number of hives is likely going to experience a large number of losses at least once in their beekeeping career, too. It is just the nature of the endeavor.

    For better or worse, I am a pragmatic person. While "trust the bees" sounds wonderfully poetic, I can't convert that high level concept into practical guidance when working my hives. I freely admit to this personal deficit in my already-limited mental skill set. Basic things like don't put two queens in a hive and putting out swarm traps help illustrate the point, but I don't need "trust the bees" to know about those techniques.

    It is almost like "trust the bees" is too high level to help rookie and journeyman beekeepers and that you need to be a master-level beekeeper to know how to practically apply the statement, but by that point you know so much about beekeeping that the statement is a redundancy and of no practical help.




    .
    Last edited by shinbone; 03-29-2017 at 12:01 PM.
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Michael Bush Video

    Shinbone
    I don't know for sure if I am getting your point but if I am, I believe I am the same. I would be a better bee keeper if I had an abc plan that I could follow rather then having to think of things like the flow is three weeks early and so you need to do this a week before that.

    I would do much better if it was just add two supers on april the first. Split for increase on april 15. Take honey on july 4.

    If it could be broke down to a bunch of actions that need to be done at a certain time and it would then work perfectly, I would not need or probly dig into the why it works but would be happy that it does.

    That would let me be successful with out also needing to pay attention and be smart too.

    I am thinking that that would work for me. Not knowing why it works but just that it does.

    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Michael Bush Video

    Quote Originally Posted by shinbone View Post
    I make a huge number of mistakes in my apiary, so I sympathize with others who may do the same. I think anyone who runs a large number of hives is likely going to experience a large number of losses at least once in their beekeeping career, too. It is just the nature of the endeavor.

    For better or worse, I am a pragmatic person. While "trust the bees" sounds wonderfully poetic, I can't convert that high level concept into practical guidance when working my hives. I freely admit to this personal deficit in my already-limited mental skill set. Basic things like don't put two queens in a hive and putting out swarm traps help illustrate the point, but I don't need "trust the bees" to know about those techniques.

    It is almost like "trust the bees" is too high level to help rookie and journeyman beekeepers and that you need to be a master-level beekeeper to know how to practically apply the statement, but by that point you know so much about beekeeping that the statement is a redundancy and of no practical help.
    Shinbone, I like your post #14, I don't agree with all of it, but I like it. If I lived in the far north and used Georgia bees, I likely wouldn't trust 'em too much. If I was trying to get them to brood up for almonds, I would want to understand how and why they brood up when the do, but I wouldn't leave the timing up to them. You say, "While 'trust the bees' sounds wonderfully poetic, I can't convert that high level concept into practical guidance when working my hives." But I would not be surprised if you understand bees very well and use their instincts and preferences to your advantage well and often. I keep bees differently than you probably, maybe even better for my location, purposes, and circumstances. But I doubt that I know the instincts and tendencies of bees better than you do. If you believe, you'll see.
    David Matlock

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Michael Bush Video

    Its more a statement about observation rather than action. Learn to pay attention. Lots of people never learn this.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Michael Bush Video

    >>"Learn to trust the bees"? What does that mean?
    >Does it mean when swarm season comes and they want to swarm, you let them? Does it mean when one hive starts robbing another hive, you let it? Does it mean when the bees are mad and trying to get to your face through your veil, you open it up and let them in?

    It means if you want to rear queens, watch what the bees are doing to figure out when to do that. It means if you're having issues with whatever your goals are, you need to figure out what goal the bees are working towards. If means if they are wanting to start a new colony, you should help them. If they are being robbed, you should try to reduce the need for more bees by reducing the entrance or maybe also by reducing the space they have. If you figure out what they are trying to do and help them you will get a lot further than trying to make them do what you want. Certainly you can manipulate the circumstances to improve the outcome for you, such as queenrearing.

    >Instead, Bush could give a short factual account about how his apiary went from 200 to 40 hives from 2014 to 2016.

    The short and simple answer is that it did not go from 200 to 40 hives between 2014 to 2016. From 2014 to 2016 it went from about 40 hives to about 40 hives... Your time frame is totally off. The drop took place over a much longer period of time and is mostly due to me not being available to do any beekeeping for several years, in fact I was not even in the US for several of those years and the bees were completely on their own. It seems to me that the "take away" should be that after quite a few years of not only no treatments, but no beekeeping, there are still quite a few bees in my yard. I hope to have time to actually spend this year on beekeeping now that I finally got moved from the old house to the new one. Beekeeping takes a lot of time and energy. I have had very little time in recent years.

    >He could explain why the blog accounts of his 2016 bee camp concentrated on the expression, "Even experts lose lots of bees".

    Since it was not my blog account, I can only say that I don't lose a lot a bees.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Michael Bush Video

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    It means if you're having issues with whatever your goals are, you need to figure out what goal the bees are working towards.
    This is a helpful first step in a practical application of the high level concept: Align your goals with the bees' goals. Align your timing with the bees' timing.



    .
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Michael Bush Video

    >This is a helpful first step in a practical application of the high level concept: Align your goals with the bees' goals. Align your timing with the bees' timing.

    Yes. Maybe a negative example would help. If the bees are not in the mood to make queens it is probably a poor time to be rearing queens. Or if you are dead set on making 10 splits from one hive, but the bees are not really taking off yet, it is probably not a good plan to go whole hog on splits. Some years, though it might work. To answer which kind of year it is, you pay attention to the bees.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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