Do I really need to medicate? - Page 11
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  1. #201
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    OK, common Russian AMM bee variations are rather large as it is, compared to the other variants (Google will confirm).
    So the Western standards are not natural fit for the northern variants of AMM (too small).
    That, combined with the idea of "bigger bee is better for big honey harvests" results in 12mm and even 15mm "streets".

    Foundation of 5.4mm is considered a "standard" according to this - http://docs.cntd.ru/document/1200101102
    But I read of 5.6mm foundation being sold commonly too.

    Basically, the idea of "bigger bee is better bee" has been cultivated for a very long time and still stands.
    Not that I agree with the idea either - those are commercial people that are talking now (formerly the state set the BIG goals that required a big bee per the state ideology).

    Here why I have problems with this so called "TF standard" of 4.9 mm foundation considered a medication replacement.

    The Primorski bees shipped to the US for the resistant bee program have always lived on 5.4 foundation and never knew anything smaller (mb bigger). 4.9mm is not a natural fit for the Russians or AMM (I don't care if that fits bees in Arizona or New Mexico - those are smaller bees).
    So, my bees can build whatever the heck they want - 5.1-5.2mm is what they have been building so far, after the two summer observations. I also actively destroy the combs by design (C & S) and force them to rebuild this way.
    Dee Lusby talks about latitude needing to be taken into account when looking at SC.
    Is it possible that These Russian bees ARE S.C. according to their own latitude?...and yours are too?
    I dont pretend to understand how or why this might be important and need to see what my latitude is and what she says about cell size again.
    Keep talking....I'm listening

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  3. #202
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    I have measured up wild comb ( wild hives I have removed ) in my country, bee breeds italian, carniolan, and british AMM. Core broodnest is almost invariably 5.1 to 5.3. I have almost never found anything at 4.9, the only time there will be anything at that size is where 2 combs met and the bees had to fiddle things a bit to make it fit, or similar.


    A century or so ago when comb foundation was first invented, they were well aware that cell size varies throughout the hive, a size for brood, a size in the honey storage area, etc. So the problem was making a size that the bees would feel OK using throughout the hive, plus there was a debate about the ideal sized bee. Experiments were done and indicated bigger bees were better, in terms of honey production. Wether the controls and other scientific requirements for a properly run experiment were vigorously followed I don't know, but in any case they were convinced enough to decide on a size around 5.4 as a standard, although even now different manufacturers will vary a bit. Got to bear in mind also that varroa had not been introduced to our bees at that time so wasn't a factor.
    Are these really wild bees or beekeeper escapees though?
    In our country, I would naturally assume they are escapees and if so, would they not need time to work out what they really prefer?

  4. #203
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    The current situation is that they will pretty much all be escaped domestic swarms.

    However I started doing this when I was a schoolkid, almost 50 years ago and long before varroa, plenty of long term feral hives then and in fact most likely they outnumbered managed hives.

    Unfortunately when varroa arrived, their natural comb did not save them.

    Another thing to consider Mischief, is that I kept small cell bees continously for 2 years. Nobody could say they were not regressed. But when I allowed them to build natural comb, they immediately upsized, and I was surprised that some of them went straight to 5.5 core broodnest, even bigger than the 5.4 foundation I use.


    Re Dees latitude vs size thing, it is not saying that a bigger size equals small cell in some locations, she thinks 4.9 applies everywhere. Her latitude map is what she thinks the natural cell size is in certain areas of the world. I have my doubts about the accuracy I do not know how she determined it. It is wrong about NZ, and also does not allow for variations in bee breeds, I think she has come up with some formula that determines what she thinks the natural size would be, and then applied that across the globe.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  5. #204
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Thanks for that. Food for thought.

  6. #205
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by mischief View Post
    Are these really wild bees or beekeeper escapees though?
    In our country, I would naturally assume they are escapees and if so, would they not need time to work out what they really prefer?
    Even in Europe, any claim of "wild bees" is highly suspect, as bees have been kept by humans for so long that their genetics are predominantly those of escapees.

    FWIW, I've never used foundation and my bees have always built what they wanted - cell size does vary a little (even across the same comb) and appears to be in the 4.9 to 5.1 range. This I've 'measured' (for curiosity) with a 5mm twist drill - sometimes it's a sloppy fit, sometimes it's slightly too large to be inserted. That's about as much as I want to know or need to know - as it's something the bees deal with, and not me.

    Frame spacing I've played around with, with the aim of minimising attachments - 34mm is better than 35 certainly, and I keep meaning to reduce this a tad further. Apart from the attachment issue - which only ever occurs at or near the top - I'm not sure it's that critical, as the bees extend cell lengths near the top of the combs to reduce the inter-comb gap in that area to one bee-space anyway. Further down the comb it becomes two-bee-spaces, such that the inter-comb gallery has a shape rather like two saucers placed rim to rim.

    Although I do have hundreds of Hoffman frames still on site, I'm gradually moving over to frame-spacing by courtesy of small screws. As well as providing a means of adjustment, these don't suffer from propolis build-up like the Hoffmans, and bees getting squashed between the frames as they're closed-up has now become a thing of the past.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  7. #206

    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    FWIW, I've never used foundation and my bees have always built what they wanted - cell size does vary a little (even across the same comb) and appears to be in the 4.9 to 5.1 range. This I've 'measured' (for curiosity) with a 5mm twist drill - sometimes it's a sloppy fit, sometimes it's slightly too large to be inserted.
    Why not make it 10 times more accurate with a measuring tape/ruler?

    10 cells in a diagonal row

    my bees building free comb make it 5,3mm-5,4mm

  8. #207
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    Why not make it 10 times more accurate with a measuring tape/ruler?

    10 cells in a diagonal row

    my bees building free comb make it 5,3mm-5,4mm
    Quite simply because I have no need to know this.

    I was just a little curious, that's all. Why would I want to know accurately what their cell size is ? Knowing that isn't going to change anything - they build what they want to build - it's their choice, after all.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  9. #208
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    If there truly are docile, pms resistant Africanized honey bees in Puerto Rico, Id sure be curious about 1) what the cell size in the brood area is and 2) how long the pupae cells are capped.
    David. Cheerful beekeeping

  10. #209
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by mischief View Post
    Dee Lusby talks about latitude needing to be taken into account when looking at SC.
    Is it possible that These Russian bees ARE S.C. according to their own latitude?...and yours are too?
    I dont pretend to understand how or why this might be important and need to see what my latitude is and what she says about cell size again.
    Keep talking....I'm listening
    Do understand that the latitude is only very loosely has to do with this.
    The local conditions are very much shaped by lots of other factors where the latitude only explains the theoretically possible maximum radiation due to the Sun angles over the horizon (one parameter in, like, hundreds).

    Just one example for you - the winter in British Isle is much milder than here in WI, USA.
    This totally contradicts the latitudes.
    They are up north; we are down south (by a lot).
    Sure - that all about the oceanic effects and air mass movements.

    Back to the bees - the Russians are not S.C.
    They have never been S.C. (standard S.C. being 4.9).
    5.2mm is their normal sell size if left alone.

    However, the bees (when left alone) keep reusing the same comb for many years (effectively turning it into SC).
    I don't know why people ignore this fact.
    Absolutely nothing wrong with totally black old combs being reused for 20-30 years (outside of chemical pollution - the modern factor).
    The continuous turning over the combs is just a modern, industrialized approach.
    Even my Dad taught me that black combs are bad because the bees become smaller in the old, black combs.
    Small bee is bad; big bee is good - that's my Dad talking (well, I disagree with my Dad; natural, normal bee is good - either big or small, whatever it is).

    It was not that way before in pre-industrial times.

    PS: OK, I am trying to turn my own combs only to force the regression to the natural size (whatever it happens to be)
    this winter I will go around and measure a sample of my combs in more systemic way to see what I my numbers (now that some of the combs are bee-free).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  11. #210

    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Absolutely nothing wrong with totally black old combs being reused for 20-30 years (outside of chemical pollution - the modern factor).
    The continuous turning over the combs is just a modern, industrialized approach.
    It was not that way before.
    I am less sure about this. It is my understanding that the thing that makes the brood comb turn black is the wastes excreted by the developing larvae. Once the comb reaches its full ability to absorb those wastes…much less than twenty to thirty years…… they become toxic.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  12. #211
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    ..Re Dees latitude vs size thing, it is not saying that a bigger size equals small cell in some locations, she thinks 4.9 applies everywhere....
    I disagree with this idea.
    I think this generated more harm than good with pushing this ideas around.
    In fact, a bee nest is a collection of various cells of various sizes created to meet different needs (season dependent too).
    Even straight frames are messing up the colony ecosystem.
    The combs are naturally curved for a reason too.
    It is just very unpractical to have curved frames - a bit too much to ask of the keeper.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  13. #212
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    in nature combs would be far less old... the hive dies out, the wax mouths come in

    As for age.... last winter I got to chery pick threw a long abandoned commercial yard... the best of what I took made lusbys hives look pristine lol...
    owner beekeper died, no one picked up the torch... i found one colony alive in what appeared to be a stack of empty deeps at the time...
    I have bees liveing on Aluminum foundation....anyone want to guess how old those combs are?
    Last edited by msl; 11-09-2018 at 09:24 AM.

  14. #213
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    in nature combs would be far less old... the hive dies out, the wax mouths come in
    I would not say "would be".
    Could be - yes.
    Pretty much anything "could be".

    Some of them feral bees have been nesting the same place for 10-20-more years non-stop.
    Ready combs are precious for the bees too (no matter how old and how black; for as long as the cells are within ergonomic margins of a bee - it works).
    Examples are plenty.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  15. #214
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    I am less sure about this. It is my understanding that the thing that makes the brood comb turn black is the wastes excreted by the developing larvae. Once the comb reaches its full ability to absorb those wastes…much less than twenty to thirty years…… they become toxic.
    Well, it has been documented many times of feral bees nesting non-stop in the same exact place for tens of years (Google will not let me lie).
    I don't know what exactly triggers the bees to destroy and rebuild existing combs (if left alone), but general ergonomic dimensions of a cell come to mind.
    Pretty much if a worker cell is down to, say, 4.5mm due to the cocoon build-up - it is probably a time for a total rebuild.

    I do not know if bees sense toxicity build-up; but the physical dimensions of the cells - that is something the bees are very well aware of.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  16. #215
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    Even in Europe, any claim of "wild bees" is highly suspect, ...LJ
    In general this would be correct.

    However, in Russia at least, there are protected areas around populations of truly wild bees (pretty sure the degree of "wildness" has been confirmed genetically).
    Not going Goggle now to confirm; but I did read on the subject quite a bit not long ago.

    So yes - the wild AMMs do exist.
    There is even a local industry (historic craft, in fact) where people harvest wild honey in some regions from the bee trees.
    Those bee trees are of high value and are being owned and protected by the honey gatherers.
    The honey sells for $$$$$.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  17. #216
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    In general this would be correct.

    However, in Russia at least ...
    I should have been clearer - by 'Europe' I really meant developed countries of the European Union - so that's essentially Western Europe. Although western areas of Russia are indeed in Europe, with the majority of it's land mass in Asia, most people here refer to 'Russia' as being a separate entity - so there's 'Europe' and there's 'Russia'. Technically not correct, but that's what we do. This perception has it's origins dating back to the days of the USSR. I don't think many of us have yet fully adjusted to the breakaway USSR states as being in 'Europe' - although they certainly are now.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  18. #217
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    it has been documented many times of feral bees nesting non-stop in the same exact place for tens of years
    I would love a link, I am sure there are some out some outliers, but we are talking advrages
    Seeley ET AL 2017 suggests other wise

  19. #218
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    That chart is probably correct, however it is post varroa. Pre varroa as memory serves once a wild colony established somewhere they tended to be permanent. Course, this could have been different in locations with hard winters or long dearths or such.

    And yes, I am well aware of the issue of swarms replacing deadouts and fooling everybody, there is probably an element of that also.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  20. #219
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    What about the theory that pre varoa the average lifespan of a colony was 7 years and then failure mostly to due to failure to re queen, and then add varoa
    Johno

  21. #220
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    Default Re: Do I really need to medicate?

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    I would love a link,...
    I don't even need to Google.
    People already have done the work that I just have been re-using.

    All credits to one of my favorite, go-to sites - Dave Cushman:

    Once a colony had survived the first winter, I believe they would have lived for some time. I'm guessing that losses in all bar the most severe winters were very low, probably 5% or less. Even at 5% that means a colony lives 20 years on average and my guess is that the life of some natural colonies could easily have been in excess of 50 years. I know the modern view is that combs should be changed regularly for health reasons, but I have seen some very old wild combs. I suspect they are much better insulators than new comb and I have seen signs of bees chewing and rebuild them, presumably because the cells get smaller with each cocoon. I have also seen evidence of colonies in buildings move to one side and build new combs, allowing wax moth to destroy the vacated comb, so they can move back again at a later date, although this would be difficult in a tree cavity.
    http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/natbeenest.html

    But look, even in your own picture - there are colonies that have been going non-stop 4-5 years (under the Varroa, mind you).
    Surely some of these are *still* going (this is almost 2019, btw) that will add up to 7-8 years now.
    I would seriously check with T. Seeley about the current status of that exact sample.

    Btw, brood nest comb of 5 years of non-stop usage already has significant cocoon build-up to ignore the sell wall thickness.
    Typical way of measuring the cells somehow assumes the near-zero thick walls.
    Well, I have to smile about that.

    So, on one hand I do not appreciate standardization (be it up or down).
    Moreover, the variety of cells in a given colony is there by evolutionary design and is needed for reasons not understood (but I can theorize that a wide range of bee sizes in the same given colony is, in fact, beneficial - having big, and medium, and small bees at once is a good thing somehow; this is how they operate).

    I really like this picture as representative:
    SmallCell-TBH.jpg
    Source: https://resistantbees.com/blog/?page_id=1791
    Last edited by GregV; 11-09-2018 at 01:32 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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