clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience - Page 8
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  1. #141
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    A short update on Piper.

    The Walt Wright checkerboarding with OSBN clearly worked. It looks like the prior queen was superceded, and the hive didn't swarm. I would love to confirm the supercedure, but I don't want to interrupt this hive while it is on its game. I wish I could thank Walt Wright, but at least I can thank squarepeg (Thanks so much!) for some great counsel on the technique.

    This is Piper on May 2nd:
    IMG_4974.jpg

    I took that as a hint it needed more room. On May 6th, Another box was added, along with a Flowhive on top.
    IMG_5018.jpg

    Yesterday, Piper gained 17 pounds from early AM to Nightfall. It usually loses 20%-50% (3-7lbs) of the day's gain each evening.

    I am very thankful for everyone's help on Beesource in getting to this point. Also to Richmond Bee Supply for a great survivor queen.

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  3. #142
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by clong View Post
    Yesterday, Piper gained 17 pounds from early AM to Nightfall. It usually loses 20%-50% (3-7lbs) of the day's gain each evening.
    Great update, CLong. I am amazed that you have such immediate and precise information about hive weights, temperatures, etc. Is all of that coming from your Broodminder?

  4. #143
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    Great update, CLong. I am amazed that you have such immediate and precise information about hive weights, temperatures, etc. Is all of that coming from your Broodminder?
    Litsinger,

    Yes. It will give you real-time data. It is interesting to see the daily changes. You can tell a lot about bee behavior: when the bees take off in the morning, when they return in the evening, when they swarm, and when the beekeeper forgot to put the brick back on top of the lid . Also, the weight gain during the day, and the weight losses at night due to evaporation.

    On a related note, have you seen this?

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...rs/description

  5. #144
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by clong View Post

    On a related note, have you seen this?

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...rs/description
    CLong:

    That is really amazing that you are able to access so much information from one device- might be worth investing in one for a trial.

    I saw the app you refer to on a Facebook forum I follow, but the crowd there was unimpressed... that said, I am of the opinion that if there is technology that makes one a better beekeeper and/or significantly improves one's management success, it is at least worth evaluating in good faith.

  6. #145
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    I agree that so much can be learned. I wish I had some devices like this.

  7. #146
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Looking good! Well done.

    So how are the other 2 older hives going?

  8. #147
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by MattDavey View Post
    Looking good! Well done.

    So how are the other 2 older hives going?
    Matt,

    Thanks. I've had much help along the way.

    Paradise is working on filling a super with honey. It is trudging along with the flow in full gear. I may get 30 lbs, if all goes well.

    Elijah has become a resource hive. It wasn't building up much. It has contributed to two splits, and now has two closed queen cells. The original queen is still laying in a three-frame nuc. She just won't quit.

    Now, I'm just hoping for one more swarm, making some nucs in June, and setting up for next year.

    How are things going for you?

  9. #148
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    We have had one of the worst droughts on record. The rain has only just started in the last few weeks.

    I have a couple of hives near farmland and they had to be fed to get ready for winter.

    I still got honey from the main hive at home. I also made a late summer Nuc from it and both doing very well. Haven't had to feed them.

    (I usually only have 4-5 hives at a time).

  10. #149
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    May 27th inspection:

    1804 Piper: A couple weeks ago, I saw two different bees pulling out small shiny white blobs. I wasn’t able to get a good look at the time, but they looked like pupae. I am hopeful that this a good sign. This hive is still eking out small gains, but it is clear that the flow is over.

    1811 Paradise: This hive was second most productive this year. It has produced 30-40 pounds of honey for harvest. I moved this queen into a nuc, and used the hive to create some queen cells from a descendent of Piper’s original queen. One of the queen cells will go into an 8-frame jumbo hive.

    1902 Bookworm: (2019 Swarm #2) Grown to 2 full 8 frame boxes. Needs a third box.

    1904: Created a nuc and placed a swarm cell from a friend’s hive. The cell spent 30 minutes wrapped loosely in tinfoil during transport before it was installed. It didn't produce a queen, and was torn down. Instead, the bees created their own queen in spite of a relatively low population. If she proves to lay well, I might let her go through the winter. Otherwise, the queen will be replaced.

    The rest of the hives are doing fine. So far, the home-grown insulated boxes are working fine, other than the loud squeaky sound when propolized boxes are pried apart.

  11. #150
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by clong View Post
    May 27th inspection:
    Enjoyed the update, CLong. Have you set-up a parametric evaluation of non-insulated versus insulated hive bodies with your broodminder to see if you can locally validate any of the hypotheses that Derek Mitchell (among others) assert with more highly-insulated assemblies? I continue to watch your efforts in this area with great interest to consider if/when I may want to dip my toes into this area.

    Are you in a dearth in your area now?

  12. #151
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    Enjoyed the update, CLong. Have you set-up a parametric evaluation of non-insulated versus insulated hive bodies with your broodminder to see if you can locally validate any of the hypotheses that Derek Mitchell (among others) assert with more highly-insulated assemblies? I continue to watch your efforts in this area with great interest to consider if/when I may want to dip my toes into this area.
    Russ,

    I would need another set of Broodminder scales and temp/humidity sensors to compare side-by-side. Right now, I don't have the means or equipment to yield results that are statistically significant. I'll have to leave that sort of experiment for others. A particular broadcast of Kiwimana Buzz reported on a commercial beekeeper who reported 30% gains in nectar production a couple years ago. I think Derek Mitchell has referred to him as well. He has hundreds of hives as I recall. He ended up switching from wooden Langs to Poly. I don't know if that was same year/same yard or across years.

    Right now, I am relying on intuition, anecdote, and Derek Mitchell's research to determine the best hive set-up at my yard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    Are you in a dearth in your area now?
    Yes, it is looking that way. The bees are still bringing in nectar, but the traffic across all hives has greatly diminished.

  13. #152
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by clong View Post
    Russ,

    I would need another set of Broodminder scales and temp/humidity sensors to compare side-by-side. Right now, I don't have the means or equipment to yield results that are statistically significant. I'll have to leave that sort of experiment for others. A particular broadcast of Kiwimana Buzz reported on a commercial beekeeper who reported 30% gains in nectar production a couple years ago. I think Derek Mitchell has referred to him as well. He has hundreds of hives as I recall. He ended up switching from wooden Langs to Poly. I don't know if that was same year/same yard or across years.

    Right now, I am relying on intuition, anecdote, and Derek Mitchell's research to determine the best hive set-up at my yard.



    Yes, it is looking that way. The bees are still bringing in nectar, but the traffic across all hives has greatly diminished.
    Hi Clong, what is the Approximate R value increase from The 3/4 pine to the Poly hive? Or about how thick is the foam on your hives. If I wanted to duplicate the R Value.

  14. #153
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    Hi Clong, what is the Approximate R value increase from The 3/4 pine to the Poly hive? Or about how thick is the foam on your hives. If I wanted to duplicate the R Value.
    GG,

    I used 1" foam with an R-value of 5. I think 3/4" wood is .75ish?

  15. #154
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by clong View Post
    GG,

    I used 1" foam with an R-value of 5. I think 3/4" wood is .75ish?
    thank you for that info. Have you ever done just the brood nest with the poly? My thoughts are make foam panels, as tall as the 2 deeps and one medium, (my somewhat typical brood nest size) fasten them to the 4 sides, (last winter I used cardboard corners and cheap ratchet straps) and then leave that be while supering and removing the honey and then for winter. do you feel it is important to insulate the supers as well? I am trying to not have to start over, use the lang gear I have, and still get the results you are seeing. I most definitely agree that with insulated brood area you would have a faster build up as the same amount of bees could cover a slightly larger brood area. But am pondering that once we start storing the honey, in the supers, the insulation may be less "critical" up in the super stack. I appreciate your input, as you are walking the walk.

  16. #155
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    thank you for that info. Have you ever done just the brood nest with the poly? My thoughts are make foam panels, as tall as the 2 deeps and one medium, (my somewhat typical brood nest size) fasten them to the 4 sides, (last winter I used cardboard corners and cheap ratchet straps) and then leave that be while supering and removing the honey and then for winter. do you feel it is important to insulate the supers as well? I am trying to not have to start over, use the lang gear I have, and still get the results you are seeing. I most definitely agree that with insulated brood area you would have a faster build up as the same amount of bees could cover a slightly larger brood area. But am pondering that once we start storing the honey, in the supers, the insulation may be less "critical" up in the super stack. I appreciate your input, as you are walking the walk.
    Gray Goose,

    I started out doing just the brood boxes, but later decided to go all in as soon as possible. I didn't like the idea of having to fool with insulation every season, and any time I went into a lower brood box. Then Derek Mitchell released his latest paper on foraging efficiency. This convinced me to stick with insulation year-round. I think insulating the supers is less important than insulating for winter survival and spring build-up.

    Your idea for foam panels that encase the entire brood area is a great approach. The following beekeeper does just that: http://www.nnjbees.org/wp-content/up...-v20151013.pdf

    In honor of Russ, here is a list of perceived benefits of insulated hives so far:

    1. Better winter survival
    2. Less use of stores
    3. Earlier brood buildup
    4. Earlier wax making
    5. Earlier nectar storage
    6. Less stress on bees?


    In honor of Riverderwent, a submission for his list of answers to beekeepers:

    86. If you want something not done right, you've got to not do it yourself.

  17. #156
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by clong View Post
    Right now, I am relying on intuition, anecdote, and Derek Mitchell's research to determine the best hive set-up at my yard.
    Nothing wrong with this, at least in my book. If nothing else, you can use Newton's Method to hone-in on what works best in your specific locale and management style. If you don't mind, remind me- your current year-round set-up is:

    1" polyiso on all four sides? Is it foil-faced?

    1" polyiso under the lid? It it foil-faced? ... and no active ventilation?

    Solid bottom boards tilted slightly forward to allow excess condensation to run out the front?

    Quote Originally Posted by clong View Post
    Yes, it is looking that way. The bees are still bringing in nectar, but the traffic across all hives has greatly diminished.
    Same here- recently received a lot of rain and a return to more seasonal temps so the white clover has made a bit of a resurgence, but not too strong.

  18. #157
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by clong View Post
    In honor of Russ, here is a list of perceived benefits of insulated hives so far:

    1. Better winter survival
    2. Less use of stores
    3. Earlier brood buildup
    4. Earlier wax making
    5. Earlier nectar storage
    6. Less stress on bees?
    Thanks for the shout-out- don't forget that I am a 'glass half empty' guy so you have to give all the perceived negatives as well .

    In seriousness (and along these lines) I have been pleasantly surprised with the Warre hives I inherited versus my Langstroth hives as follows:

    1. They are made of standard 2X stock (and anecdotal as it may be), it seems that the added insulation has yielded practical benefit in hot weather to these colonies thus far relative to the colonies in 1X Langstroth boxes.

    2. The hive set-up itself is simpler as each box has an identical 1" diameter opening in it which negates the need for a purpose-built bottom board.

    3. Related to (2), having these openings at each level gives you a crude 'at-a-glance' assessment of colony strength by judging the number of heads sticking out each hole.

    4. Ironically, I find I squish less bees when manipulating the 2X boxes versus the 1X boxes- maybe the added thickness encourages them to stage on the inside face of the box rather than on the top edge?

    Quote Originally Posted by clong View Post
    In honor of Riverderwent, a submission for his list of answers to beekeepers:

    86. If you want something not done right, you've got to not do it yourself.
    Now this is funny!

  19. #158
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    Nothing wrong with this, at least in my book. If nothing else, you can use Newton's Method to hone-in on what works best in your specific locale and management style. If you don't mind, remind me- your current year-round set-up is:

    1" polyiso on all four sides? Is it foil-faced?

    1" polyiso under the lid? It it foil-faced? ... and no active ventilation?

    Solid bottom boards tilted slightly forward to allow excess condensation to run out the front?
    Russ,

    1" poly rigid foam on all all four sides of each box, non foil-faced. The foam on the outside of the boxes is painted.

    2" rigid foam tightly wedged inside a custom-built telescoping cover. The sides of the cover are 3-4 inches high to accomodate this.

    The biggest hive was top-vented during the flow. All the rest have remained closed up top. Next year, if I have multiple bigger colonies I'll compare closed top vents to open top vents side-by-side during the flow. I'm curious to see how much nightly weight losses differ between the two set-ups.

    Solid bottom boards made of 1.5" lumber. The stands are tilted at present, but I have contemplated making bottom boards with the bottom surface pitched towards the entrance. I think I would get some burr comb on the bottom of the frames, but I don't know that that would be so bad.

  20. #159
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    In seriousness (and along these lines) I have been pleasantly surprised with the Warre hives I inherited versus my Langstroth hives as follows:

    1. They are made of standard 2X stock (and anecdotal as it may be), it seems that the added insulation has yielded practical benefit in hot weather to these colonies thus far relative to the colonies in 1X Langstroth boxes.

    2. The hive set-up itself is simpler as each box has an identical 1" diameter opening in it which negates the need for a purpose-built bottom board.

    3. Related to (2), having these openings at each level gives you a crude 'at-a-glance' assessment of colony strength by judging the number of heads sticking out each hole.
    Russ,

    1. 2x stock does help vs 1x, without a doubt. I have a few 2x 8-frame mediums. As I get older, I am loathe to heave around all the heavy lumber. I've had some acute episodes with my back in the past. That being said, I'm currently reading a book which includes simple steps to ease back pain. So far I'm impressed.

    2. This is what motivates much of my beekeeping equipment and management - simplicity. Anything that reduces the amount of equipment, and requires less management is good.

    3. This is why I like plexiglass covers. At-a-glance observation. But I can't see much of what is going on in lower boxes.

  21. #160
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    Default Re: clong 2018-2019 Treatment Free Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by clong View Post

    2. This is what motivates much of my beekeeping equipment and management - simplicity. Anything that reduces the amount of equipment, and requires less management is good.
    CLong:

    Thank you for your replies- I sincerely appreciate you clarifying your current set-up and I will be interested to see how your side-by-side comparison of vented versus non-vented tops turns out next year.

    The idea of simplicity has really hit home for me this year while bumbling my way through expanding the apiary. While having all these gadgets really appeals to my analytical bent toward optimization, the practical aspects of timely management and labor efficiency quickly becomes an important (and competing) factor.

    I see now the appeal to 10-frame deeps, solid bottoms and migratory covers- less moving parts.

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