GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees. - Page 35
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  1. #681
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    GregV:

    While it is sheer speculation on my part, I would not be surprised to learn that there are either individual bees and / or genetic profiles that live significantly longer than average- part of Brother Adam's definition for vitality included longevity, which just makes sense to me.

    While I understand that your program does not require a stellar overwintering percentage, I do selfishly hope you latch on to some good bees that work well for you despite all the challenges.

    Glad to read that you've got some interesting things developing.

    Russ
    Possibility.
    Which would be amazing.

    Still somewhat sore of loosing my 3-year long project - I was patient enough for long enough.

    On the other hand, I figure maybe small format vertical hives are indeed giving just enough edge in my climate.
    Worthwhile to experiment, which I will do.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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  3. #682
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    I don't really know what this means and implies.
    >
    this
    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    I figure maybe small format vertical hives are indeed giving just enough edge in my climate.
    Worthwhile to experiment, which I will do.
    "oh well, let us stick to science. let them have their beliefs and intuitions!" -Medhat Nasr

  4. #683
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    this
    Ah, yes.
    I have been pondering on the subject and shoveled through tons of material (hence posted a lot in the "warre" sub-forum too).
    Like I said, I will try.
    Have pretty much everything drawn out on paper.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  5. #684
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Do varroa mites not survive well on taller aspect hives?
    Frank

  6. #685
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    Do varroa mites not survive well on taller aspect hives?
    I am dubious as to the aspect ratio having anything to do with the varoa mites. Was that suggested?

  7. #686
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe View Post
    I am dubious as to the aspect ratio having anything to do with the varoa mites.
    I think that was the point.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  8. #687
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe View Post
    I am dubious as to the aspect ratio having anything to do with the varoa mites. Was that suggested?
    <deleted>

    Aspect ratio has to do with general energy efficiency and micro-climate control in cold climate.
    That is all.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  9. #688
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Do varroa mites not survive well on taller aspect hives?
    less brood rearing, more swarming. Both help lower varroa levels.
    better cluster thermodynamics can't hurt either.
    Less bees to over winter means you can make more/later splits
    "oh well, let us stick to science. let them have their beliefs and intuitions!" -Medhat Nasr

  10. #689
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    less brood rearing, more swarming. Both help lower varroa levels.
    better cluster thermodynamics can't hurt either.
    Less bees to over winter means you can make more/later splits
    +1.
    I am not pursuing ~100% survival.
    ~50% survival is sufficient for me IF achieved consistently and with the least work/expense possible.

    If this ~50% goal is achieved and is sustainable, that should be sufficient for most hobbyists/small scale operators to operate in a sustainable fashion.

    This is essentially normal seasonal expansion/contraction dynamic (expand in summer/contract in winter).
    The only difference from natural expansion/contraction dynamic is higher rate of survival achieved by human intervention (e.g. by emergency feeding, colony combines/splittings where appropriate, optimal hive configuration to support smaller colony survival, rudimentary bee material selection, etc).

    Natural survival rates would be somewhere in 10-20% where human intervention should be able to push it up to ~50% rate just using normal and routine management techniques.
    The 50% is a nominal # since I have nothing to use for a better reference - have to have some # down (anywhere in 40-60% is good enough).

    Of course, I have not achieved the 50% goal so far which has been honestly reported here.
    Last edited by GregV; 05-28-2020 at 08:25 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  11. #690
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Fun no-sound video (English subs available).
    Basically, an abandoned bee yard, since about two years or so not touched.
    Old beek was no longer able to.
    Obviously, even before he could not really handle the project anymore.
    The bees and hives were to be given away (for free I guess).

    Did the bees die?
    Heck no, they did not die.
    Not all of them died, to be exact.
    They took 6 colonies with them.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK_cGYyGbws
    Last edited by GregV; 05-29-2020 at 03:17 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  12. #691
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    GregV:

    Glad to read about the swarm catches over on the 'Trapping' forum. Good for you.

    While I am no expert, I noticed that both tree colonies I trapped out last year lived in overall volumes that were much smaller than the 'ideal' volume identified as the preference by Dr. Seeley's work.

    I am in no wise suggesting that these colonies picked these voids out of many alternatives (may have been all that was available to them), but it is interesting to observe colonies that persist in cavities that are smaller than we would typically provide for them in managed settings.

    Interesting video- what is the back story? Were they called in to evaluate an abandoned apiary?
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  13. #692
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    GregV:

    Glad to read about the swarm catches over on the 'Trapping' forum. Good for you.

    While I am no expert, I noticed that both tree colonies I trapped out last year lived in overall volumes that were much smaller than the 'ideal' volume identified as the preference by Dr. Seeley's work.

    I am in no wise suggesting that these colonies picked these voids out of many alternatives (may have been all that was available to them), but it is interesting to observe colonies that persist in cavities that are smaller than we would typically provide for them in managed settings.

    Interesting video- what is the back story? Were they called in to evaluate an abandoned apiary?
    In the video - the beeks were called in to just take the bees and hives away (the family of the old beek who passed did no care to take over).
    There are few follow up videos about those salvaged survivor bees.
    The videos have one consistent theme to them - the bees are "red hot chilly peppers".
    They are so terribly hot, the new owner decided to move them to his forest yard (before the village would kick him out).
    Did not watch the updates yet.

    Speaking of the trap volumes, etc...
    I have 4 active "log" traps this year.
    If any of them are taken - leaving the bees just as-is - directly in the logs.
    Two logs are like this, maybe 30L each: 20191103_154020.jpg
    Here are the other two, maybe 40-50L each: 20170430_192522_Small.jpg
    Whatever happens.
    I hope they survive and throw swarms.

    Speaking of the routine, I got two good resource hives going now - each in a full long.
    So if I get a hold of any decent queens later in the summer, should be able to find places for them.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  14. #693
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    The videos have one consistent theme to them - the bees are "red hot chilly peppers".
    They are so terribly hot, the new owner decided to move them to his forest yard (before the village would kick him out).
    Had a colony like this last year... they swarmed and I do not miss them. In my experience it is hard to have fun and stay relaxed when working bees that are super aggressive. That said, I can appreciate why one would want to keep them around for their genetic contribution- just keep them in the back 40 .

    I do hope your log hives work out well for you and that your recent swarm additions both prove to be diamonds in the rough.

    Russ
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  15. #694
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    Had a colony like this last year... they swarmed and I do not miss them. In my experience it is hard to have fun and stay relaxed when working bees that are super aggressive. That said, I can appreciate why one would want to keep them around for their genetic contribution- just keep them in the back 40 .

    I do hope your log hives work out well for you and that your recent swarm additions both prove to be diamonds in the rough.

    Russ
    Doubt I got any diamonds, Russ.
    BUT - have to have bees before any material can be introduced.
    I got some queen material lined for the summer - need to park them somewhere.
    I also have a good mating yard selected for the summer - a Russian beekeeper is based nearby - hope is to get some Russian drones to be mating with my virgins.
    Should be a fun project - got about 20-30 foam shipping boxes pulled out of recycling bin - gonna by mating queens this summer from shipping boxes.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  16. #695
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Should be a fun project - got about 20-30 foam shipping boxes pulled out of recycling bin - gonna by mating queens this summer from shipping boxes.
    You are good at re-purposing stuff and visualizing new uses for things that other people miss. I've been keeping your approach in mind this year while looking to expand the apiary.
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  17. #696
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Just great:
    Report of a black bear destroying a pallet of bees.....
    Supposedly a mother with a cub.
    This is in the next county to us.
    Darn things are moving south.
    My yards would be very susceptible.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  18. #697
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Darn things are moving south.
    Black bears are expanding their range in Kentucky as well- moving West in our case...

    Always something to keep one's eye on in beekeeping!
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  19. #698
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Just great:

    Supposedly a mother with a cub.
    This is in the next county to us.
    Darn things are moving south.
    My yards would be very susceptible.
    yikes, bears

    been done in by bears more than once.
    Cost of total loss VRS the cost of an electric fencer, solar operated if necessary, and some posts.
    BTW barb wire works better, thick fur is not optimal for the smooth high tencel stuff, the barbs poke thru the fur to the skin.

    Was one seen a few mile from my place but alas a car hit it, I was bummed the bear got hit by a car, they are quite good on the barbie.


    GG

  20. #699
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    GregV we had a black bear, presumably from Wisconsin, this far south a couple years ago. The local news had fun tracking its daily progress. Also occasional wolves and cougars.

    In some ways the environment is much recovered since my youth 50 years ago. Heck, in those days it was a rare treat to see a deer! No local geese, beavers, coyotes. No eagles and even hawks were something to mention seeing. I remember seeing my first goldfinch.

  21. #700
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    Default Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.

    I am all for the thriving local fauna.
    Do enjoy the sandhill cranes walking on the residential lawns all across my suburbia (not very long ago the sandhill cranes were shot out very close to extinction too, as if pests).

    Just hoping the bears stay up North as we are not prepared for their destructiveness down here South.
    Yes, I know, I sound like just like one those people who would advocate for every last lab rat and suburban deer in theory BUT "not in my own backyard!"
    LOL
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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