Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc) - Page 4
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  1. #61
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    GG: one idea - since we are talking of essentially "row of hives", it also makes sense to alternate entrance height (say: low-high-low-high) OR make it configurable so you close the low/open the high - this is to make the neighboring units somewhat distinct and also give them choices - some swarms will move into the low entrance/others will prefer the upper - a consideration.... Excited about your idea already.
    yes configurable, that needs some thought. the end ones can be around the corner, so that angle of entrance would help, also I can paint something different on the entrance area. Maybe a piece or tin in between entrances, a foot /12inches would help a lot. what about making them all interconnected and just do not worry about drift? 4 eggs in 1 basket. or a combo 2 singles and a double. want to make it easy and winterable. the mice worry me, big issue here , they are everywhere.

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  3. #62
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    yes configurable, .......... the mice worry me, big issue here , they are everywhere.
    Entrances around the corner - a good idea.

    NO interconnections. NOOOO!
    Unless you are a priest - then maybe.

    Mice - I never worry of the mice and don't get the the problem - just staple 1/2 or 3/8 screen EVERYWHERE you have even a little doubt.
    I never have mice problem with 1/2 screens in all entrances and all ventilation holes and in few weak spots, for a good measure.
    Considering most all of my hives are in out-yards (woods, bush and tall grass) - varmints are a plenty - I don't get people complaining of the mice.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  4. #63
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Entrances around the corner - a good idea.

    NO interconnections. NOOOO!
    Unless you are a priest - then maybe.
    so do you have experience with connected complexes? They are wild if you like the edge. They go to the dark side somewhat easy. Turn into to robber towers. they easily figure out they are bigger and go about robbing out all the little hives. A priest is actually a good idea, "Bless this complex and take away its evil ways"
    Last edited by Gray Goose; 08-22-2019 at 03:14 PM. Reason: spellling

  5. #64
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    so do you have experience with connected complexes? ....
    No, I don't.
    I only read documented cases where bees lived in the inter-connected tree cavities.
    It was *not* documented how many actual queens were present (I suppose that would be near impossible to know).

    But, heck, you can make those interconnections configurable and give it a go just as well (beauty of the bee-wall).
    A simple hole through the stud - all you need (nothing to over-engineer there).
    Simple is always good.

    Plug it permanently with steel wool plug/wooden plug - very simple - bees will not get through.
    Plug it temporarily with a rag/paper towel - bees will chew through and unite.
    Unplug the stud hole into the empty cavity if the neighboring volume is getting overflown - extra bees will hang out in the empty volume and maybe even build into it.
    If the connection holes are done at the bottom of the each cavity (the bees will be starting at the top) - you can just keep those inter-connections opened at all times and don't worry - colonies may unite (OR not) as they grow down and reach those connections holes.

    If going crazy, then just go nuts.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  6. #65
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    The owner of a youtube channel, that I keep track of, decided - time to harvest one of his log hives (been two years and the honey must be ripe).
    Fun to watch the process.
    May just jump to ~7:00 to skip the talks (non-English anyway).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvWGhF58LWU&t=1094s
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  7. #66
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Fun to watch the process.
    This is interesting- how much surplus was he able to take off?

    It looks like he is shaking the bees off into maybe a poly brood box?

  8. #67
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    This is interesting- how much surplus was he able to take off?

    It looks like he is shaking the bees off into maybe a poly brood box?
    He estimated 20 kilos (~50 pounds).
    The bees were not disturbed since the spring 2018.
    He wanted for the honey to accumulate and cure - and it did (cure) - notice that the honey is very thick and dark liquid (no signs of crystallization).
    Of course, it is some mix of 2018 and 2019 honeys; still lots of it is 2018.

    Old and well cured honey is in low supply and high demand (he indicated the harvest log honey is NOT for sale - only family and close friends get a piece).
    It is just eaten in chunks - directly as-is - honey and bee bread all at once.

    I actually get some of these myself (though not quite 2-year old stuff) - when I go around and selectively harvest the dead-outs.
    Though I do mostly C&S on my harvest; we also just eat it as-is too (in the process of C&S).
    I will second that the generic spinned summer honey is just not it.
    Nope.
    The kids will confirm the same.

    He shook the bees off into a poly-hive with already prepared frames for wintering.
    The plan is to dump them back into the freshly robbed-out log hive the next spring and start a new 2-year cycle.
    Looks like he is running 3 logs hives (can see on the video too).
    He has several vids all centered on his log-hive projects.
    Cool stuff.

    Hehehe...
    I do have the logs hives on my own - 4 units (one in testing as we speak).
    I think the next spring I will just pop them up in and go for it too - the 2-year old honey.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  9. #68
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Cool stuff.

    ...

    I think the next spring I will just pop them up in and go for it too - the 2-year old honey.
    This is an interesting approach, GregV. I imagine you might be able to fetch a premium price for honey harvested from a log hive- it certainly makes for a good story to tell with the product.

  10. #69
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    ....
    I think the next spring I will just pop them up in and go for it too - the 2-year old honey.

    Ah, OK, it maybe no need to wait 2 years for the honey harvest either.
    The current year is fine, as I have been doing.
    Good enough.

    The longer you wait, the higher HMF concentrations are (even in raw honey if the conditions are warm enough; which they are in summer time).
    But once harvested, it can be frozen indefinitely (freezer is a better storage place vs. the toasty bee hive).
    HMFGenerationConditions.jpg
    From: https://www.tentamus.com/hmf-honey-q...?cn-reloaded=1
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  11. #70
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    Default

    Greg:

    Are you familiar with this guy?

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-c...-idUSKBN1X31CE
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  12. #71
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Not familiar, Russ.
    A good read.
    Will not get into the many details, except his honey harvest - "only take from the absconds and the dead - leave the rest alone".

    On this same note, this year I spent the time and effort extracting the honey in conventional way.
    Goota say - this spinned summer honey is "meh".
    It is a pedestrian, generic, bland honey.
    Donno - what is the fuss.
    I don't care for it.
    Everyone has it.
    Why bother with it.

    20191025_075339.jpg
    Right here, on my table they are side by side.
    The dark honey with some bee bread mixed in from the C&S - the last season harvest, half-eaten - the real deal.
    The lighter honey - pedestrian honey everyone here sells (even the grocery stores).
    Why spend the time and effort to get what everyone already sells.
    Cheaply too.
    I am done with that silly approach.
    The pressed honey from the brood nest is my favorite and will be.
    So - I better stick to that business model.

    I better save the last of my C&S batch so I can do some blind tasting trials with it.
    No more of the real honey left until something comes along.

    With that, lots and lots of hives (smaller hives is fine) - let them load up with the stores then let some of them self-kill - then harvest from the dead and the absconds - actually is a fine operating mode as for me.
    Double-bang, actually (self-weeding out the poor bee and trivial harvest from the empty hives).
    Stupid simple.
    Last edited by GregV; 10-25-2019 at 07:23 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  13. #72
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    Greg:

    Are you familiar with this guy?

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-c...-idUSKBN1X31CE
    Just was gonna say, some of the passages here sound old and annoying to me (getting tired to hear these).
    Such as:
    Honey bees are critical to the planet’s ecosystem
    The healthy and diverse insect population is critical to the planet's ecosystem.
    NOT the honey bees.
    The honey bee cultivation is not any different from any other mono-crop cultivation.
    Saving the mono-crop of the "dying honey bees" is non-sense.
    Really tired to read this media propaganda (hate to say this - but it is "fake news").

    And so on.....(no smoke; no protection; etc).
    Whatever. (go and do my bees without smoke and protection - and I will watch from a distance; hehehe....)

    At this rate, the guy better be creating some general insect preserves then - much more admirable project, actually, I feel.
    So yes - I am torn.
    Suppose if the tiresome "save-the-bees" propaganda is removed from the context - it is an OK project; an interesting project on honey bee introduction into the CA native ecosystems - for what it is.

    Where the honey bees must be preserved - the original habitats in the Old World.
    Once the original, old populations are lost - they will not come back.
    Lots of people have been doing exactly that already.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  14. #73
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    The healthy and diverse insect population is critical to the planet's ecosystem.
    Good point, GregV. It is interesting to note here in my little corner of God's green earth the variety of native pollinators, who tend to both; work things the EHB's will not, and; work when the EHB's will not. So even in this very narrow view one can see how incredibly important it is to have a healthy and diverse insect population.

  15. #74
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    MSL mentioned this movie someplace - "The Land of Honey", if I recall the title.

    Well, the entire video is now on youtube:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4uwxoYne8k
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  16. #75
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    darn you, I had things that needed to get done this evening!
    now I have to watch it before the copywrite volition is reported to YouTube
    "HoneyLand" is the US title https://honeyland.earth/

  17. #76
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    darn you, I had things that needed to get done this evening!
    now I have to watch it before the copywrite volition is reported to YouTube
    "HoneyLand" is the US title https://honeyland.earth/
    LOL!
    Indeed, drop your things and watch now!
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  18. #77
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    MSL mentioned this movie someplace - "The Land of Honey", if I recall the title.

    Well, the entire video is now on youtube:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4uwxoYne8k
    Thanks, GregV. I've watched the first 5 minutes here at work and am already hooked... looking forward to watching it at home.

    Russ
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  19. #78
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    Thanks, GregV. I've watched the first 5 minutes here at work and am already hooked... looking forward to watching it at home.

    Russ
    The audio is in Russian - works for me.

    I quickly scanned, mainly checking the English sub-titles - they are good enough.
    Did not watch yet the entire tape.

    The auto-translate technology is really a BIG DEAL.
    Should only get better.
    I imagine myself watching some Chinese video - the auto-subtitles would be huge (as opposed to nothing).
    And here you go:
    https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...9C%82%E4%B8%9A

    Good times!
    Tons of materials!

    Now days you can search for thematic videos in ANY language and then auto-translate to get enough utility from most any content.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  20. #79
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Now days you can search for thematic videos in ANY language and then auto-translate to get enough utility from most any content.
    That is amazing- I tried the auto-translate function and it was almost instant and certainly adequate to get a good sense of what is going on.

    We indeed live in amazing times.

    Thanks again for posting the video.

    Russ
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  21. #80
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Lately I have been reviewing old literature (or references to it) regarding the log hive keeping methods of the 19th century (Russia/Ukraine).
    Specifically, studying the hive-culling system and its effects.

    Here is a good overview:
    They lit up not only strong families, but also the weakest, the weakest, not prepared for the winter and unable to survive it.
    Poor families gave 2 kilograms of honey, and the best - 12-16 kilograms. According to fairly thorough calculations by N. M. Vitvitsky, about 10 million bee families were killed annually in Russia.
    With the swarm-culling system, the only way to support the apiary is swarms. Usually, as many families as the number of new ones were taken out, that is, extra families were destroyed.

    The swarm-culling system had serious flaws. The best, strong families that could make up the beekeeper were killed ................

    ...... However, there was a rational grain in the swarm-culling system. The elimination of weak unproductive “thin” families was advisable both economically and from the point of view of selection.
    The apiary got rid of families of obviously bad heredity, which could worsen the genetic basis of other families. For winter, they left "beehives of good and medium-sized seed bees." .........

    Strong honey-making families, which were lit, managed to release several swarms per season. With the first swarms left the old queen. The first swarms took part in the main flow and provided themselves with food for the winter. They avoided destruction. Old queen, the genetic basis of strong and productive families, was preserved in them. So contrary to the established opinion, the swarm system, in principle, did not lead to a deterioration in the heredity of bees and their degeneration. Honey bees have retained their excellent qualities to this day.
    From Shabarshov, 1990:
    http://paseka.su/books/item/f00/s00/...49/st005.shtml


    Why bother?
    Because the dynamics of that time period also included very high hive losses - precisely because of the "swarm-culling" system.
    The humans acted in a role of a pest.
    In fact 1)a very deadly pest and also 2)a very selective pest - killing the better performing colonies - because that's where the honey was.

    Probably, the weaker colonies were also culled, as not worthy of keeping.
    But a quote below somewhat contradicts this idea.

    Roughly 10M colonies were culled in Russia annually for the purposes of honey harvesting (per Vitvitsky - GV: I assume this is for the 19th century when Vitvitsky lived).
    I estimate at about 50% of the overall population was being culled annually (which was, of course, compensated for by the annual expansion at about the same level).

    This phenomenon is interesting and worth studying because despite the mass slaughter ongoing for roughly 200-300 years, the bees did not perish - obviously.
    Also, during this era, the concentrated bee yards become common with all the associated issues.
    Contagious infection cases, such as foul broods, became common - and still the bees did not perish.

    Will post few artifacts regarding this.

    Here is the first - "Self-studying manual for beekeeping", Bootkevich, 1926, 4th edition.
    I translate an excerpt from the book.
    BootkevichSelfStudyManual.jpg

    ...
    The swarming is over. There are a lot of young colonies hived, on the top of each other if not more.
    The main flow is soon to end, and the beekeeper is now waiting for the honey buyers.
    When a long awaited guest shows up; the host takes him to the yard and shows him the hives set aside for culling.
    These are inspected and marked. The to-be-culled hives are almost always old colonies, (some that not swarmed, but these are in small numbers in general);
    but mostly these are moderately swarmed hives that have the most honey. The swarms with little honey are of no interest to the buyer,
    unless the year is so good that that some comb honey can be harvested from the "head". However, the small honey buyers are not interested in honey types' sorting.
    The owner himself highly values the young swarms due to the new combs in them also (GV: i.e. - not interested to cull them).

    Thus, predominantly the older colonies with young, strong queens are being culled, and the younger colonies with older queens stay.
    It is obvious, but the ordinary beekeepers do not understand how important is to retain good young queens in their yards; and by the way,
    vast majority of them are sure that swarms are going away with the young queens and the old queen stays behind in the hive.
    But let me continue.

    The deal is made usually with a bottle (GV: of booze) present and the beekeeper is paid per the hive, not per the pound; and, of course, the buyer is never getting a bad deal.
    (GV: I am not getting into the technical details of the culling as described here...)
    Last edited by GregV; 12-11-2019 at 12:37 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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