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  1. #301
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    Neat cut-away. Did you draft that yourself? My thoughts on frames relative to Warre-style management relate to:

    1. Extraction- which may or may not be an issue depending upon what and how you plan to take from the colony.

    2. Continuous comb- the idea of having to cut boxes apart prior to removal does not appeal to me, but I can see how this might confer survival benefit.
    I stole the pic elsewhere.
    Extraction - a non-issue; the equipment should just handle frames with 15-inch bars (in addition to 19-inch bars).
    No-need to cut boxes apart...
    Small format hive operators don't cut boxes (same as Lang operators don't cut boxes).
    More on that later.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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  3. #302
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    Now that's a good idea, GregV. Throw some insulation in the interstitial space and you would have a hive assembly that would give CLong's a run for their money. Looks like a good way to re-purpose a Langstroth box in a way that would allow you to go back if your goals change.
    Right, LJ's pics represent a very good idea - internal enclosure is not by default the same as external enclosure (even though most people see that way).
    Not exactly a new idea to me, but LJ has great pics and a demo, as usually.
    Stability of the stack is very important to me (being a mobile bee-warrior).
    Overly small stack footprint results in loss of stack stability (not good in my book).
    But, the box-inside-box (again) cuts it both ways (allowing for dynamic internal volume changes while the external hive dimension are more static).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  4. #303
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    But, the box-inside-box (again) cuts it both ways (allowing for dynamic internal volume changes while the external hive dimension are more static).
    Good stuff, GregV. I look forward to hearing how your experiments with modified top bar and internal volumes turn out. There is definitely a lot one could tinker with when not constrained to a particular frame and/or box profile.

    I am trying to work up the nerve for some 'drone spread' though I am quite confident I have eaten much worse...

  5. #304
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    Good stuff, GregV. I look forward to hearing how your experiments with modified top bar and internal volumes turn out. There is definitely a lot one could tinker with when not constrained to a particular frame and/or box profile.

    I am trying to work up the nerve for some 'drone spread' though I am quite confident I have eaten much worse...
    same here I am now pondering a dual NUC box with the extra room on the outside.
    Russ try to mix it with crunchy peanut butter, PB & Drone, then the crunches are less noticeable

  6. #305
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    ....I am trying to work up the nerve for some 'drone spread' though I am quite confident I have eaten much worse...
    Give it a try.
    Regular hotdogs from a grocery store are "much worse".
    I am sure you had some; me too - recently.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  7. #306
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Regular hotdogs from a grocery store are "much worse".
    Great analogy- pretty easy to justify eating almost anything if you'll eat a hot dog... I'll have to make some PB + Drone as GG suggests.

  8. #307
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Remember these idiots from the last winter?
    20190817_164104.jpg

    So, I am really fed up with these stupid bees and I want them dead.
    Seriously...
    I want this worthless junk dead.
    They move around like zombies; they are, in fact, zombie bees.

    But NOT before they do something good for me, like pay the overdue rent, for a change.
    They have been living in my equipment for a year now - never paid the rent yet.
    Just a little honey would not hurt before this summer is over.

    Here is a full hive of zombie bees (and mites!!! the darn mites are everywhere, I got few to play with on my kitchen table - seriously).
    These zombie bees are wasting the little time I have and the precious equipment I am really hurting for.
    They don't even have drone brood when I wanted to harvest some yesterday.
    All they have is lots and lots of worker brood - wall to wall (the super in the picture is full of brood too).
    And they even have chalk brood (I have never seen it before - I now have).

    So now, today is August 18th and Goldenrod flow is in front of us.
    This is my last chance to get something out of these deadbeats.
    I want these zombies to get me just a little Goldenrod honey to repay me, before they die (hopefully, they die quickly too, so to leave the honey to me, not eat it - say 4-8 weeks).

    While I was slapping together a hive today to drop an early split into (....whole another story - turned out I was too late....), I came up with this plan:

    - having a spare trap hive set nearby the zombie hive, I want to shake ALL zombie bees into it
    ...(my goal is to really get the queen without looking for it and the young bees with her).

    - I want to give these young bees (and the queen somewhere there) few blank frames and frame of little food and I will feed them with sugar
    ...(my goal is to get these young bees to build me some comb - if I get anything from them, that would be good)

    - I presume within few hours/next day the zombie hive will be full of returned forager bees and full of brood still there (and no more laying queen).

    - I will just take all the honey and pollen, broodless frames I find in the zombie hive to myself (while doing this shake up)

    - for the last weeks of the summer, I want the zombies finally to stop raising those hordes of brood and focus on getting at least some honey put up

    - don't really care what happens to them after the flow is done and I harvest what I can (theoretically, in 6-8 weeks they should just "abscond" as often described);
    - I do care to have this good hive equipment re-allocated to some good start-up for the winter (not really worried of the chalk brood infection present in it since the fungus is wide-spread anyway; no clue why would they develop a case mid-summer anyway - that sort of a bee, I guess)

    This is sorta a cut-back split procedure I guess I wanna do.

    Anyone stop me from doing this idiocy?
    Suggest something better to get the same result?

    To be sure - I will not spend anymore time and effort on these bees.
    I just want the maximum possible proceeds from the workforce while they are still flying and before they just drop dead (which they will and I want to terminate this line and move on).

    PS: there is also a 5-frame nuc of this line, I made from the zombies few weeks ago - I also just want terminated - exact same behavior - eat and brood (like pigs of sorts)
    when doing the shake up, I will also shake the nuc into the same empty hive (mixing the bees and letting those queens to fight it out) and will drop the nuc brood into the zombie hive (more zombie brood)
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  9. #308
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    I think I came up with a change to this plan.
    I will shake up the bees into an empty log trap-hive and get it primed and hopefully filled with the combs by live bees.
    That should be useful and fun.
    Both.

    Technically, I will use a ramp with a tarp over it (similar to Taranov's) and will dump the zombies onto it.
    The log hive will be set in place of the current nuc (so the nuc bees will return to the spot due to the current orientation).
    The dumped bees should climb into the hive (especially since I will do it at the end of the light day).
    The foraging age zombies should return to their zombie home.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  10. #309
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    I think I came up with a change to this plan.
    I will shake up the bees into an empty log trap-hive and get it primed and hopefully filled with the combs by live bees.
    That should be useful and fun.
    Both.

    Technically, I will use a ramp with a tarp over it (similar to Taranov's) and will dump the zombies onto it.
    The log hive will be set in place of the current nuc (so the nuc bees will return to the spot due to the current orientation).
    The dumped bees should climb into the hive (especially since I will do it at the end of the light day).
    The foraging age zombies should return to their zombie home.
    interesting plan, Greg Are you convinced the Zombees do not have something to be left in the combs to Zombeefy the next bees? My only concern is if the funny thing they do are a Virus that can be left in comb..I had some funny bees this year as well, 2 hives, I shook in soapy water and burned the combs with brood and flamed the inside of the hive components. Carry on with caution.
    GG

  11. #310
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    interesting plan, Greg Are you convinced the Zombees do not have something to be left in the combs to Zombeefy the next bees? My only concern is if the funny thing they do are a Virus that can be left in comb..I had some funny bees this year as well, 2 hives, I shook in soapy water and burned the combs with brood and flamed the inside of the hive components. Carry on with caution.
    GG
    GG,

    Pretty sure, these are just the kind of the bees these are (a product of abnormally early mating in later April with the early season imported almond drones).
    Seen this before in captured commercial Italian-like bees (all predictably died out every single time).
    I don't want to even spend the time and a better material to re-queen these zombies.

    Since they overwintered, I decided to give them a chance - well, it seems the result turned out not great.

    They just move around as-if "sleepy" and usually are sold to the beginner beeks as "easy to manage" bees.

    In fact, one of my new "better" start-ups shows similar behavior too - sleepy, zombie bees.
    They kinda move around lazily and mostly ignore what is going on around them.
    The darn queen probably came from a commercial drone mating.
    Not liking it already.

    Pretty sure by now, if the bees appear runny and perky - they will probably still be with me the next spring.
    If they pay attention to my messing with them and require me to pay attention and be ready - this is a good sign.

    Yes - I know - many beeks hate runny and jumpy bees because they are "hard to manage" and need you to dress up and have smoke ready, etc;
    Well, these happen to be the usual survivors, like or not.

    So, yes, thinking out the details how I am going to execute the log population.
    I have done the ramp swarm populations many times before, with regular Dadant hives.
    Well, those were the true, homeless swarms and they just go right in - up and up the ramp.
    Here it will be a totally new improvisation for me (fortunately, not too afraid of these zombies; with some other bees - I might ditch this idea).
    Hopefully, will pull it off and get some lemonade of these lemons.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  12. #311
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    ......
    I had some funny bees this year as well, 2 hives, I shook in soapy water and burned the combs with brood and flamed the inside of the hive components. Carry on with caution.
    GG
    Were these very clearly sick bees?
    So sick you chose to destroy them?

    I know mine are full of mites and are pretty much doomed.
    But if I squeeze few frames of usable honey out of these and also get the log hive well primed for next season, before they croak, it would be good.
    Just need to watch them and not allow robbing in fall (probably put the preventive screen them then OR actually destroy them when already crashing).

    Yes, there is some random chalk brood that I can see; not too concerned.
    DWV is there too - also not concerned (the mite related).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  13. #312
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Were these very clearly sick bees?
    So sick you chose to destroy them?

    I gave then 2 different cells and 1 queen, 3 attempts at requeening, they had some small amount of scattered Brood, the queens ended up gone, some dead brood, just seemed in a downward spiral, Somewhat sure the dead brood (purple eye stage, drones) died to to lack of cluster size but just decided to pull the trigger on , being done with them, like you are Greg on the Zombees. I had maybe 20 comb to burn and careful inspection showed 1/2 of these to be culls. I did use them last year and had a dead out. I do some markings to know where they can from, So all in all out 10 good combs and these 2 would not make the winter any way , and I was concerned about spreading, Looked a bit like CPV, greasy looking bees, with laying worker, and bees fighting at the entrance. Too many non desirable things and just wanting it to not spread.

  14. #313
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    welp... dives home my point that "survived a winter TF" doesn't make it breeding stock..

    if you want honey i say pinch the queen, 8 days later no more open brood, no more drain of resources and frees up a bunch bees to forage. it costs you about 3 pounds of honey a deep frame to feed a larvae to the capping stage. so you should see some returns quickly... cant find her? just run the hive threw a shaker box
    From there pinch off all the queen cells and let the hive back fill with honey,pollen, and drone brood(form laying workers).. All items you like to harvest. take from them till there toast (don't forget a robbing screen ) and put them down when there is noting left.

  15. #314
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    welp... dives home my point that "survived a winter TF" doesn't make it breeding stock..

    if you want honey i say pinch the queen, 8 days later no more open brood, no more drain of resources and frees up a bunch bees to forage. it costs you about 3 pounds of honey a deep frame to feed a larvae to the capping stage. so you should see some returns quickly... cant find her? just run the hive threw a shaker box
    From there pinch off all the queen cells and let the hive back fill with honey,pollen, and drone brood(form laying workers).. All items you like to harvest. take from them till there toast (don't forget a robbing screen ) and put them down when there is noting left.
    Your point of "survived a winter TF" directed to where?
    Not relevant to my zombies at all.

    I have several lines, MSL, as I outlined several times.

    Two lines are worthwhile and will be heading into the third winter.
    Mine main splitting effort -10-15 units for the winter.

    Beyond those I got two more wintered lines - one winter - the zombies (just got butchered) and some Carni-like line I like (three units will go into the second winter).

    Additionally, this summer I got two fresh swarms in testing - a good one (Carni-like and made some honey - fingers crossed for them) and a bad one (zombie-like too - eaters and brooders - will give them a chance).

    The zombie bees by accident wintered one winter and I gave them this chance.
    Did not work out.
    Too bad.

    Home, sweet home - the nuc replacement - the log has nothing but for blank frames and a little black combs.
    The nuc foragers better get to work - should be able to feed themselves.
    20190819_194424.jpg

    By tomorrow evening I anticipate this ramp will clear out.
    Some will get into the log and get busy doing stuff.
    Some queen should get in there.
    Others will fly back to the main zombie hive.

    I will take the ramp away and shake down the stragglers.
    Both queen (from the nuc and from the "mother ship") should be somewhere on the ramp.
    Did pretty good shaking them and brushed off for a good measure.
    Not looking. Don't care.

    All frames from the zombie nuc returned to the "mother ship".
    20190819_191146.jpg

    Forager zombies returning home:
    20190819_194813.jpg

    Speaking of "pinching a queen" - 3-4 times now tried to find the "mother ship" queen so to mark - no luck.
    No way I am digging through that mess at 7 o'clock at night and bees trying to kill me.
    Even zombies get pissed at such treatment, because this treatment is brutal; too bad.
    Done my time looking for the zombie queen.

    I am done with these bees - ain't gotten no time for them.
    All I got tonight from the zombies - two honey frames.
    That's all they got for me.
    Bigger fish are to be handled.

    My losses - one sting to an ankle.
    Taping is a great idea when stomping in the dark and bees are everywhere.
    Last edited by GregV; Yesterday at 08:45 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  16. #315
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Your point of "survived a winter TF" directed to where
    general statement on stock selection (that I harp on a lot ), not aimed at you, but this line as a great example
    There are those that would have split them 4 ways comes spring as they were "survivors", and then again mid summer.. and a lot of them would make the 2nd winter do to all the spliting... Then on the 3rd winter they would have a huge crash when the hives went full sized, and they would rebuild as they had plenty of nucs split out... and then history repeats its self.
    your realizing they are junk and removeing them so they don't pollute your areas geen pool.

    You seem to have taken my post as combative... not at all, I am a big fan of you stepping up and managing the bees to give you your rent
    if you recall the advice I gave in the opening page of this thread
    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    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.
    your doing just that, not waiting for nature to deside and hoping for leftovers, but using your skill as a beekeeper to say, "this hive won't make spring, what is the best use I can make of them?"

    on a side note, I am finding I like bees that eat a little more and raise a little more brood over the winter than i "think" they should.
    an early brood rearing spurt means the old bees need to live less long and they come out of winter better..
    Last edited by msl; Yesterday at 09:47 PM.

  17. #316
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    general statement on stock selection (that I harp on a lot ), not aimed at you.
    There are those that would have split them 4 ways comes spring as they were "survivors", and then again mid summer.. and a lot of them would make the 2nd winter do to all the spliting... Then on the 3rd winter they would have a huge crash when the hives went full sized, and they would rebuild as they had plenty of nucs split out... and then history repeats its self.
    your realizing they are junk and removeing them so they don't pollute your areas geen pool.
    Totally agree.
    Even my survivors are not really TF.
    Like I harp - have to have a population.
    Do I have a population?
    No.

    You seem to have taken my post as combative...
    All good MSL.
    Honestly, hard to keep in mind who has what and when and where and what happened.
    I don't even try to remember.

    Good news, I am fortunate to NOT be panicking over every single hive.
    Heck, once you are over ten, no need to be afraid to butcher few for the experience.
    A good place to be.

    PS: to that point -
    While I was slapping together a hive today to drop an early split into (....whole another story - turned out I was too late....)
    Bad news - turned out both my early June splits swarmed on me.
    Well, I am a busy single parent this summer (Moms is way) and don't have equipment and time for all my bees.
    Those early splits trivially ran out of room and their patience ran out on me (only checking them once per month).
    With enough equipment I could have gotten a little honey from them too.
    Oh well.

    On the positive side - that's Darwinian beekeeping!
    I hope those queens found good homes not too far from me and will send out some drones next summer.
    But also, July/August queens maybe a better quality than the June queens.
    So I read.
    Fingers crossed.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  18. #317
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post

    on a side note, I am finding I like bees that eat a little more and raise a little more brood over the winter than i "think" they should.
    an early brood rearing spurt means the old bees need to live less long and they come out of winter better..
    My best queen this season exactly like this - exploded in April/May and had I to urgently split up (see my June splits above - these were nothing but counter-swarming).
    Then in July I did another round of splits from her via a fly-back - the actual planned ones so to raise July start-ups.
    She does pump lots of brood BUT also they are bringing rent (unlike the zombies).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  19. #318
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    ...pinch off all the queen cells and let the hive back fill with honey,pollen, and drone brood (form laying workers).. .
    A very good point, btw.
    I should do exactly that.
    The laying workers; if they live that long.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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