GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees. - Page 11
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  1. #201
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    Default Re: Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    taking on more then you can handle is no excuse for livestock abuse



    now I am lost... those weaklings are the ones that need to go, just like the skep keeper of old. shake them out, take what they got, move on... they are going to (likly) be useless dinks come spring.

    As an unit, an apiary dies with out human interference.

    You don't get working dogs by catching a bunch of random dogs on the street, and penning them up in your yard and seeing what happens. You don't breed working dogs by letting a ***** in heat roam free in the neighborhood... sure you may get lucky, but the odds are not in your favor
    MSL Just offering my 2Cents as well. as a discussion, not a argument. livestock abuse is not a reasonable description for "A swarm caught and left alone" doing nothing the swarm finds a "cavity" and is left alone, or dies on the limb. Giving them a Hive and leaving them alone is not livestock abuse. As they water and feed themselves, not sure what you are driving at, If you mean not applying drugs for the Mites as abuse I would tend to disagree.

    The working dogs,, again is not an Apples to Apples comparison. As "normally" queens fly several Miles, "Sealey has confirmed well mated queens at 15 miles from the drone source" the queen is going to "Rome around until mated" and need 18 or so males, not sure a dog needs the same. Very few of us can "control the DCA" so some randomness is going to happen, allowing the survivors to survive, is somewhat what is happening in the Woods. Some crosses just do not make it, cows , horses, cats and dogs, are all in the same boat.

    We all have the way we would do the keeping. I am somewhat in the same boat as JohnO, Stay with in the law and try not to harm others. I know of folks in the north that shake the bees out on the snow and take all the honey, so to some that would be abuse , to some a waste, to some the way...it has always been done.

    GregV you some what tossed an issue out and Some may think "things" about your keeping style. I presume you have a think skin and a sense of humor or you would have done it different. I have a similar "gene pool" in My area. I have added 4-6 queens a year to my Apairy. Allowing them to swarm off in the second year., allowing lots of drone comb. In 5 years I do see an impact. I also "help" newbie keepers out with these queens, so now there are several swarms and queens out in the area that "ARE" the kind I like. If the genes keep improving, the swarms in my area should settle into a surviving mode. So It seems in time the DCA can be shifted.
    GG

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  3. #202
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    Default Re: Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    ......... If the genes keep improving, the swarms in my area should settle into a surviving mode. So It seems in time the DCA can be shifted.
    GG
    Thanks GG for the input.

    Indeed, I do believe that it is possible to alter the local population IF acting "counter-intuitively" for the most folks.
    What idiot in their right mind will propagate drones?
    Well I am such an idiot right here and am fine with it.
    Them drones will eat all my honey and all my bees will die off the mites, I guess (or how the theory goes).
    Haha! Whatever..
    Need to think a bigger picture, not just minute gains or minute losses.


    Whatever is commonly taught - it is just so skewed way way towards industrial large beekeeping/honey pumping - people lost the prospective I feel
    (.....people truly believe the cells are perfect hexagons, for bug's sake.... I don't know what to say after that..).

    Trying to keep the bees like it was done 100-200 years ago (I try doing this in many ways) - makes you to (re)learn for yourself what the real situation is.
    Just avoiding foundation alone (especially the plastic foundation) - shows how many teachings are really not relevant or incorrect or outright harmful.

    Large concentrated bee populations is another fall...
    Very, very efficient for honey pumping/queen & bee selling (as if we need more of these).
    Very, very fragile to lots of catastrophic failures and thus require industrial management methods (see cattle feed lots, to compare).

    Anyone should try running a hive or two in some natural way - just to observe and discover things for themselves.
    It is OK if you don't harvest honey from them OR they, you know, die.
    Last edited by GregV; 07-01-2019 at 09:39 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  4. #203
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    Default Re: Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    MSL Just offering my 2Cents as well. as a discussion, not a argument


    Giving them a Hive and leaving them alone is not livestock abuse
    I would argue that letting your stock die and spread pathogens by withholding medical treatment that costs just a few pennies, is abuse. To each there own, likely depends on your view of bees being wild or livestock. Ie, if I put up a bird box, am I responsible for the health of the birds that move in? Probably not...but if I keep chickens (in a bigger "box")... well I have to care for them.... some were in between there is a line


    I am somewhat in the same boat as JohnO, Stay with in the law and try not to harm others
    .
    Mite/efb/afb bombs harm others.. I find it funny to bring JohnO into the conversation, he is the other side of the spectrum crossing over to pesticide abuse, going far outside of what the law allows

    I should pause for a moment, as it may not be apparent by my posts, I really do like JohnO and Greg. They are intelligent and motivated beekeepers willing to share their experances and I have learned from both of them (usually in the form of a spirited debate ), I Just don't agree with there management philosophies and theories

  5. #204
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    Default Re: Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post



    I would argue that letting your stock die and spread pathogens by withholding medical treatment that costs just a few pennies, is abuse. To each there own, likely depends on your view of bees being wild or livestock. Ie, if I put up a bird box, am I responsible for the health of the birds that move in? Probably not...but if I keep chickens (in a bigger "box")... well I have to care for them.... some were in between there is a line


    .
    Mite/efb/afb bombs harm others.. I find it funny to bring JohnO into the conversation, he is the other side of the spectrum crossing over to pesticide abuse, going far outside of what the law allows

    I should pause for a moment, as it may not be apparent by my posts, I really do like JohnO and Greg. They are intelligent and motivated beekeepers willing to share their experiences and I have learned from both of them (usually in the form of a spirited debate ), I Just don't agree with there management philosophies and theories
    I may not agree with their management style or philosophies as well. I do think/agree the choice is theirs to pick. And I am with you on the experiences, I can learn vicariously, by the sharing of others. I have got a lot out of the forum and try to offer as well. We are likely close in the way we manage our bees.

  6. #205
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    Default Re: Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    It's all cool, guys - GG/MSL.

    Will see how the season develops in terms of sustainability build-up and such.
    As usually, I am (overly?) optimistic.
    Must be the coffee.

    PS:
    was gonna say - the swarm #1 this year (after they settled and all) started showing behavior all too familiar to me - those beekeeper-harassing bees - the captured queen must have mated with few of my drones last year...
    I am fine with them buggers - they got a decent hive now and enough honey supers on the top - no need to even go see them anymore (well, maybe will check if I can steal some basswood honey in a couple of weeks).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  7. #206
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    Default Re: Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Greg
    All i know is that I pulled up some bottom comb and have some comb being drawn and I have both wet cappings and dry cappings in the same hive.

    No promise cause I get lazy but I have not extracted yet and when I do, I will try and get a few pictures. Extracting is hard work and I may get distracted by that though.
    Cheers
    I extracted today and must have been dreaming on what I thought I saw cause all my caps were wet cap. I did hit my weak spot and get too lazy to take pictures (which would have been of nothing cause I was wrong). Extracting is hard and I am letting the bees clean everything and so still not done but am wore out like crazy.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  8. #207
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Thanks, Russ!
    I really have to say this - you are a great example how people should communicate and treat each other consistently.
    Someone to learn from (am a permanent learner in this department).
    Cheers and a Happy Holiday to you!
    G.
    GregV:

    Thank you for your kind words- I really appreciate that. Just trying to live out the Golden Rule, but like everybody I am less than perfectly consistent at it.

    I've really appreciated the wisdom I've gleaned from you and others on this forum. I've found that even if I'm not approaching things the exact same way as others (like other posts from today), I can learn a lot from you all and consider how various approaches, techniques and philosophies about beekeeping can inform my own.

    Keep up the good work, and watch those digits if you're lighting off fireworks this week- you'll need most of them to make those nucs next week.

  9. #208
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    If/when have some time to kill over the holidays, I encourage those interested to get familiar with reindeer husbandry some.

    This "bees = livestock" theme come often.
    Reindeer are a good example of very minimally managed livestock to think and research about.

    Well, are the reindeer even livestock by some western standards?
    Are the reindeer abused?
    I am sure they are abused like hell for some people - watch the videos below.

    Here are few points:
    - people have been managing reindeer for much longer than people manage honey bees
    - people do not feed or water or even shelter reindeer - now that is brutal (or is it?); people may direct the herds to better seasonal pastures sometimes (but usually the reindeer do the same just as well or better)
    - people do not select out the reindeer much if at all (outside of castrating unwanted bulls - too many bulls are just unnecessary hassle - they are fighting and such - castrated bulls are used for transportation and such);
    I guess, one can say - people are selecting the best bulls and leaving them the balls - that is some rudimentary selection for you
    - regional reindeer practices vary a lot - still, this is a very hands-down approach across the board
    - I have seen people patch up wounded deer after the wolf attacks (similar to saving bees from a fallen tree or destroyed barn)
    - I have seen the herders treat some infectious disease (varies culture by culture - similar to T/TF beeks)
    - Okay, the wolves and bear do get shot if mis-behave too much or too many of them around
    (but no one is talking of complete eradication of the wolves and bears in Siberia or Alaska - an impossible task)

    Anyway, a good fodder.
    To some it may appear as if reindeer husbandry is nothing but complete animal abuse.
    The videos below show some really brutal stuff.
    Well... that is some real animal husbandry for you.

    Here is a good starter reading:
    http://reindeerherding.org/herders/w...eer-husbandry/

    Some video material about nenets people (some sub-titles are available):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANuwdO1CLsQ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-YDuhXdHS4

    Some material about komi people (there are graphic scenes about castration/antler removal at about 10:00 - be warned; could be more, I did not completely review).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7P9SmRvBCA
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  10. #209
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    I forgot an important detail about the reindeer.

    There are wild reindeer that co-exist along side the managed reindeer.
    Often they intermix and cross-breed.
    Wild bulls often come in and mate with the managed stock.
    Managed stock sometimes leave and do not come back as it really does not matter (makes not much difference to them; well, next to people it is safer some - people have guns and dogs; some deer may like people that way).

    Very similar to the bees.
    Similar half-wild ecosystem is going with the reindeer.
    I am sure some beeks will find this reindeer case-study very educational.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  11. #210
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    I am sure some beeks will find this reindeer case-study very educational.
    GregV:

    This is really fascinating. I did a quick survey over my lunch break and this cultural practice is quite amazing. While I know little about the history and geography of Russia as a current nation-state, it was apparent quite quickly that these two ancient groups, while similar in their approach to reindeer husbandry are very different ethnically and religiously. I look forward to watching the videos through, and I am glad they have sub-titles.

    The one thing that stood out right away from the website you referenced was the following quote (which seemed very much applicable to apiculture):

    "Climate and environment have always determined the conditions by which reindeer herding is practiced, and since the development of nation states, various regulatory bodies have evolved that determine many aspects of how reindeer herding is practiced. As a result, although the practice of reindeer husbandry has more similarities than differences, the management regimes they operate under are quite different."

  12. #211
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    I would argue keeping a wild type stock in its native area and in more or less its natural densities is a far cry from most beekeeping experiences, especially here in the US with such a shallow Feral gene pool and massive over stocking rates (compared to natural) in many areas

  13. #212
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    It is a drag, but I had a short-notice to remove my bees from one of the best out-yards had.
    Unfortunately, the area got sold and new owner said - no bees. Them people......

    Every year I landed 1-2 swarms directly in the yard.
    Was a strategically good yard - pristine prairie, and yet a short drive away.
    Technically, not so good for getting to the very hives - had to slog in rubber boots through some bog the last couple hundred yards.
    Well, no more of that yard.
    All good things end eventually.

    Downsized to 6 yards; no so bad.
    But one of my yards is overloaded at the moment, with all the splitting/queen mating going on.
    And now these new-comers moved in too - 7 units at the moment - not great.

    Very little sleep during the post-4th weekend - thanks to moving the darn bees (pretty worthless bees too at the moment - all about just eating and propagating - no honey or combs from these buggers so far - but they survived the brutal winter 2019, so must be something good in them).

    The stuff that accumulated in the yard over the last three years - some drag to move too.
    We did well, but this part of the beekeeping is some hassle (especially on the short-notice).

    20190707_065536.jpg
    20190707_072335.jpg
    20190707_075052.jpg
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  14. #213
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    I would argue keeping a wild type stock in its native area and in more or less its natural densities is a far cry from most beekeeping experiences, especially here in the US with such a shallow Feral gene pool and massive over stocking rates (compared to natural) in many areas
    At the same time we have pretty well balanced areas (not over-stocked) where the "reindeer" situations are present.
    Look at the SP/FP cases right here.

    Also, I would argue that people should be looking at the Russian Far East - the same, very similar story of "shallow feral gene" pool, etc, etc.
    The same importation time frame and similar importation dynamics as in the US.
    One significant difference - no migratory pollination business/not much migratory honey business - this allows for better/faster local population developments (compared to the US).

    This particular Russian case is very much overlooked (why and how is beyond me - this case should be studied really, really hard - as a comparison case for the North American imported bees).
    In fact - those mutt Far Eastern Russian bees are now officially classified as a primitive sub-species in Russian science (basically, a new, distinct sub-species emerges as in the process of development, just as we speak).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  15. #214
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    We did well, but this part of the beekeeping is some hassle (especially on the short-notice).
    GregV:

    Sorry to hear about the apiary location set-back. I must say I am impressed with the method you devised to move the colony set-up on poles. Great idea.

    Having had to relocate a few hives, I can see how having these poles would make this a much less awkward effort.

    Looking at the set-up, I couldn't help but imagine the Israelites moving the ark of the covenant...

    Here's hoping another site opens up for you in the near future that allows you to minimize your crowding.

  16. #215
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    GregV:

    Sorry to hear about the apiary location set-back. I must say I am impressed with the method you devised to move the colony set-up on poles. Great idea.

    Having had to relocate a few hives, I can see how having these poles would make this a much less awkward effort.

    Looking at the set-up, I couldn't help but imagine the Israelites moving the ark of the covenant...

    Here's hoping another site opens up for you in the near future that allows you to minimize your crowding.
    The poles require two person team (which I have) - very ergonomic; we easily move pretty heavy rigs over the terrain.
    Moving a chest hive individually.... I would avoid if possible - some mess.
    A disadvantage there.
    But if a helper is available (most any average person can help; no qualification is necessary) - works great.

    I do have other sites (no problem) - just logistically it was hard to do everything at 100% - I will gradually re-balance.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  17. #216
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    I do have other sites (no problem) - just logistically it was hard to do everything at 100% - I will gradually re-balance.
    This I do understand! As a self-diagnosed perfectionist, it really chafes me to do something less than what I consider ideal... but I have found that beekeeping rarely allows you the opportunity to approach steady-state.

  18. #217
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    This I do understand! As a self-diagnosed perfectionist, it really chafes me to do something less than what I consider ideal... but I have found that beekeeping rarely allows you the opportunity to approach steady-state.
    Exactly, Russ.
    In beekeeping - one must be a rational compromiser.
    It is never, ever 100%.

    Last night had to leave behind few bees while moving the last nuc.
    Just was getting too late - the bees kept flying away - too bad - probably lost a hand-full foragers - not 100% moved (but somewhere in 99%, pretty sure).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  19. #218
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    At the same time we have pretty well-balanced areas (not over-stocked) where the "reindeer" situations are present.
    Look at the SP/FP cases right here.
    great example, SP did a great job documenting the natural system trying to recorect the overstocking in the area.

    going by Seeley, mean distance between hives was 850m

    ok ok I know you don’t like Seeley, so let’s go with Galton, D. (1971) Survey of a thousand years of beekeeping in Russia. In medieval Nizhny Novgorod the sournding forests had them spaced 700-1000m apart.

    meanwhile wild rain deer herds can be quite large, in the 100s of thousands of animals, so the minimal human herding isn’t realy crowing the stock vs wild conditions. There is also somthing to be said about a migtory set up that leaves the ill behind, vs bees that rob the ill

    I would argue hives at 700m apart would be much more in line with the “rain deer” example.

    sure putting 2-3 hives in a yard by them selfs insead of 850m apart isn't soo bad, if it was just one yard and miles to the next. The issue for many is there will be several such yards in the near by area.

  20. #219
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    I both like and dislike Seeley.
    While interesting reads and very many original facts and ideas documented, some conclusions are made hastily and are questionable (and yet quoted right and left as if axioms).
    I do mean to study his latest work iteration - it maybe a better one, granted he is an older, more seasoned and better informed person now.

    To be sure, I am only an informed consumer, not a content producer/competitor to Seeley and similar authors.
    But being a consumer, I have certain freedoms and use them at my will.
    Because I can.


    Anyway, the reindeer..
    I think the real point of appropriate spacing is NOT about having certain # of meters/feet between the hives.

    The real point is - to minimize random drifting to the lowest possible level (thus minimizing the horizontal spread infection/parasites).

    700-1000 meters between single hives is not mandatory or even possible most times.
    Who has the unlimited time and space? I don't.
    Distances between the distinct mini-yards can be much shorter.
    But the hive separation WITHIN the yard must be very well de-marked.

    I would say that the organization of a mini-yard itself is important (a mini-yard, to reiterate).

    A row of 10 near-identical white stacks sitting on a single stand, wall by wall, and facing the same way - about the worst possible case.
    This is what people do commonly for convenience.
    Basically, this is a case of ALL eggs put into the SAME basket to the worst possible extent.
    This setup is basically just waiting for a catastrophe to happen (only a matter of time).

    Mini-yards of 2-3 units should be similar to this picture (below).
    Probably the best case I had (until the very recent splitting/bee moves; to be refactored again due to the overcrowding now - 7 hives in the same grove - need to move away OR move within the grove for better spacing).
    The plot owner is still confused why I chose this mosquito-infested, over-grown tree grove - but I do mean to be bush-whacking
    The bees, btw, care the least; they navigate within the forest canopy very well.
    This is one concern the owner has - how is the bees will fly through the trees?
    Well, they fly the same way they always flew the last few millions of years - this is a non-issue for them.

    I got the bee jacket too - works great against the mosquitoes.
    I like the afternoon shade even better.
    A perfect location to have distinctly separate units with 5-10 meters between, clearly de-marked by the trees and under-growth, and with well defined, separate flight paths in the forest canopy.
    IMG_20190630_172846.jpg

    Of course, Seeley again, pictures this row of hives in an open space with 100 meters in between (I have seen his pictures).
    Gee, just sit them around in some scrappy bushes or woods already and forget the "Seeley spacing".
    Just one example of many that irk me.

    PS: I did not forget about the robbing (vs. random drifting);
    well - with the robbing, 1000 meter distance is no help whatsoever and is irrelevant;
    bees will deliberately come to rob 2000-3000-4000... meters away - the distance is only limited by the bee flying range (typical for any foraging flight - robbing is just a kind of foraging work);
    so, the robbing is to be dealt differently - unit strength/entrance configuration/etc, etc - but not by hive separation distances;
    Last edited by GregV; 07-09-2019 at 09:11 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    ..go with Galton, D. (1971) Survey of a thousand years of beekeeping in Russia. In medieval Nizhny Novgorod the sournding forests had them spaced 700-1000m apart..
    A very simple explanation for this spacing, btw.

    When bees swarm naturally, it is not likely the very next tree has a perfect cavity in it.
    Much more likely, a new cavity will be found within 1000 meter radius.
    Well, the primitive beekeepers kept replicating similar logic.
    They just emulated the bees when they selected the "best" trees to their liking before they spent considerable time and effort to carve hives into such trees.
    So that ends up to be around "700-1000m apart" or similar to it - they still do this in the Bashkortostan region forests just as we speak.
    Last edited by GregV; 07-09-2019 at 09:38 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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