Re: GregV's Alternative way to keep (have?) bees.
And of course, I got stuck scanning the books from the very source (like I have nothing else to do - say, do my real job).
Originally Posted by GregV
Anyway, one thing again stood out to me while scanning a chapter about Prokopovich.
Prokopovich was a loud critic of the bee-culling methods of the time (a large proportion of the colonies was culled - so to harvest the honey - due to the absence of the movable frames). He called for stopping the bee-culling methods.
OK, this is nothing new, but still....
Across Russia of the time, millions upon millions of the colonies were killed annually (the same all across the Eastern/Western Europe at large).
Let me assume, they killed 50% of the hives - at least.
And yet due to the per-annual spring expansion of the colonies - there was never any shortage of the bees.
The obvious drawback was - they kept killing off the BEST colonies so to get the most honey (very ironic).
Still, even this counter-productive and counter-intuitive methods did NOT eliminate the bees and their honey-hoarding behaviors after of several hundreds of years of such practices.
Back to my own ways, it is really trivial and obvious to me to keep letting the worst ~50% of my bees to just fail and self-terminate (and use the failures as the harvest opportunity and resource re-distribution).
Then per-annualy in spring to rebuild and expand back to the desired levels.
All the while the WORST colonies will be terminated (only a good thing); and the BEST ones will persist.
All the while, overall population should persist in the long term anyway.
Granted some catastrophic events are possible (e.g. some wide-scope, fatal pesticide applications - still mitigated by the distributed methods) - I don't really see what is the fuss with the "bees dying" and all the hysteria around the "treat them or they die".
So, really, no point in keeping the WORST bees afloat at all, at the significant expense of time, work, and materials, and artificial long-term stronger mite/weaker bee selection.
Disclaimer: this largely applies to bee-independent hobbyist/small scale beeks (vs. the bee-dependent operators).
Last edited by GregV; 12-02-2019 at 10:55 AM.
Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.