Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc) - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    Greg .....
    .... this would give us a square box equivalent of 28.5cm x 28.5cm, or 11.25" x 11.25" ....
    LJ
    Meant to comment on this and forgot.

    In all, I have been running my base frame at 300mm (Standard Ukrainian OR Dadant turned 90 degrees).
    So I do appreciate the idea of the standard Warre being 300 x 300 as being ergonomic and energy efficient for the bee colony.
    This basically tells me that the idea of 300mm wide frame is a correct one and is to be exploited in the applications (not only in Warre variants, but also in long hives as I do, as well as various hybrids).

    Basically, we have a premise that the area of the artificial log hive cross-section is to be around 900 cm2 (300mm x 300mm).
    This provides approximate square that provides the most appropriate conditions for the wintering bees in cool/cold temperate climates (for warm climates this is mostly irrelevant).
    To compare, commercial frames of Lang/Dadant are too wide at 435 mm and do not provide for satisfactory energy efficiency (not going to get into the geometry and physics of it here - those are easily demonstrable).

    To this point, I want to quote my log-hive books again to show this Warry spec fits closely the observations documented in my sources.
    Translations are mine and are just "close enough":

    .....cross section area of a carved hive ~ 838 cm2
    (Petrov, 1983, p. 85)

    ... cross-section areas of the carved trees hives vary within 350-950 cm2.....
    (lyasov, 2015, p. 93)

    ... well occupied tree cavities have cross-section area of 500-800 cm2.....
    (lyasov, 2015, p. 97)

    ... when carving a hive in a living tree .... area of the hive cross-section should be 500-800 cm2.....
    (lyasov, 2015, p. 99)

    Basically, a cross section of a nominal hive of 800-900 cm2 arranged as a near-square is good for the bee (less critical so in summer time).
    Anything smaller than 800-900 cm2 becomes maybe less practical as we have to deal with out standard lumber and about standard frames.
    300mm x 300mm and its approximations is a good one.
    My typical current wintering setups are 6 frames (~300x192), 5 frames (~300x160), 7 frames (~300x224), 8 frames (~300x256 ), 10 frames (~300x320).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    ... here are few youtube refs to view the primitive beekeeping as it is practiced today.
    GregV:

    I finally had the opportunity to make my way through all the videos you posted. While they were all interesting, the first one was the most engaging due to the fact that it had the English captions and also a lot of the historical context mixed-in, which I enjoyed because I am a history buff.

    It was really fascinating to observe that there is a definite practical science to the "primitive" beekeeping (and also a fair bit of government support?)- be it harvesting honey from natural cavities, making cavities in trees or purpose-building log hives- some of which appeared to have removable frames of a type. There were a lot of things I found interesting, but a few notes I jotted down while watching the videos:

    1. They mentioned that the best wild habitats were found in linden tree stands but that they tended to have "bee trees" in pines and oaks. I wonder how the lindens there compare to the "tulip poplars" here which used to be the kings of the Eastern hardwood forest landscape.

    2. I picked-up that some of these linden stands could produce 10 kg of honey a day on a good flow but that the average harvested surplus was only 5 kg. So it makes me wonder whether the beekeepers tend to leave a significant amount of the stores for the bees and/or that the flow is intense but very short?

    3. They talked about cultivating a local bacteria in the voids- I understood to keep the wood about the hive void soft?

    4. I can't be sure, but it looked like there were a lot of leaves on the ground when they were harvesting- do they tend to harvest surplus in the early Fall?

    As always, you find and share some interesting and thought-provoking stuff- keep up the good work!

    Russ

  4. #23
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    GregV:

    1. They mentioned that the best wild habitats were found in linden tree stands but that they tended to have "bee trees" in pines and oaks. I wonder how the lindens there compare to the "tulip poplars" here which used to be the kings of the Eastern hardwood forest landscape.

    2. I picked-up that some of these linden stands could produce 10 kg of honey a day on a good flow but that the average harvested surplus was only 5 kg. So it makes me wonder whether the beekeepers tend to leave a significant amount of the stores for the bees and/or that the flow is intense but very short?

    3. They talked about cultivating a local bacteria in the voids- I understood to keep the wood about the hive void soft?

    4. I can't be sure, but it looked like there were a lot of leaves on the ground when they were harvesting- do they tend to harvest surplus in the early Fall?

    As always, you find and share some interesting and thought-provoking stuff- keep up the good work!

    Russ
    Hey Russ,

    Yes, government support is there.
    They currently run a National park in the area so to specifically preserve and protect the native and unique bee population.
    They also cultivate the way of live of the locals.
    Surely, they have problems - but overall I think this is a very good thing.

    1. Linden tree is generally does not get as big as pines/oaks.
    So, naturally, bees end up in the pines and oaks mostly as the predominant "bee trees".
    Linden, however, is responsible for 80-90% of the nectar in that area.
    Everything depends on linden (mostly true for the Russian Far East too - hence, very similar bee).
    Any other nectar sources are only useful for colony development/sustenance.

    2. The keepers leave "enough" of the honey to the bees - naturally, they do not feed their bees (no one is climbing the trees with syrup and sugar bags).
    They must leave enough to be sure having a sustainable operation.
    Linden provides a very massive but short flow - up to 2 weeks or so.
    The local bees are highly adapted to that exact condition - short and massive flow.
    This is when they have their chance to make it or break it.
    This is a typical trait with the Russian bees, in general.
    This trait often is not understood in the US and/or the Russian bees are not a good fit to many local conditions.
    So we hear complaints of poorly performing Russians; well, need to learn the original traits and go from there.
    The AMM/Russians are great at short and massive, mono-flower flows (e.g. linden) but are lousy at multi-floral, incremental flows.

    3. Unsure here; did not watch that closely.
    Important point in my book was this, however - the cavity walls must be of dry and rotten wood (the raw wood facing the bee colony is a big problem - it is moist and cold - bees do very poorly against the live wood). So this is where dead, rotten wood is important (be it soft).

    4. Yes, "twice a year" approach means honey harvest at the end of the summer (late August/early September).
    This is what you observed. This way the keepers know how much they can harvest safely, if at all.

    Overall, that particular honey is priced several times higher than the conventional - this allows the locals to continue their business.
    Last edited by GregV; 01-23-2019 at 09:30 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Overall, that particular honey is priced several times higher than the conventional - this allows the locals to continue their business.
    Good feedback, GregV. It seems like a really neat and unique cultural treasure that they can pass on to the subsequent generations, and indeed seems to be a part of the ethos of the culture itself.

    Another great reminder that beekeeping is local- genetic stock, management practices, pricing/business/regulatory realities and fundamental suitability in general.

    I enjoyed the practical and cultural lessons from this information. Thanks again for sharing.

    Russ

  6. #25
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    GregV:

    This all may be old-hat to you, but I came across an article about a recent field day in Washington state featuring Matt Somerville (https://beekindhives.uk/).

    This in turn led me to a 2016 article in the UK Telegraph which talks about the renaissance of tree beekeeping in both the UK and it Europe:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardenin...ee-beekeeping/

    A few of the interesting tidbits to me included:

    “Historical evidence includes a Russian tomb from the fifth century that was found to contain a complete set of tree beekeeping tools,” says Jonathan Powell of the Natural Beekeeping Trust (https://www.naturalbeekeepingtrust.org/) and a founder member of Tree Beekeeping International (https://www.nsbka.org/index.php?opti...83&Itemid=1264).

    “These hives [southern Ural Mountain tree hives] are left to manage themselves. Their honey stores are left intact for winter feeding, and they are not treated for mites and diseases and yet remain healthy. The bees set the density of hives, and there is no intervention to stimulate the hive or save it from failure. Evolution is determined by the bees and nature.”

    “In a wild, unmanaged situation, bee colonies are subject to the adverse pressures of natural selection, and over 20 years they have learnt how to cope with the destructive varroa mite,” says [John] Haverson (http://hampshire.naturalbees.net/). “These wild colonies will provide the genetics of varroa-resistant honeybees, which could be transferred to managed bees.”

    They also referred to Piotr Piłasiewicz’s website (traditional Polish tree beekeeping methods): http://bartnictwo.com/en/

    Again, this may all be old news- just thought I’d share if there was anything of value here relative to your efforts.

    Have a great week.

    Russ

  7. #26
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    GregV:

    This all may be old-hat to you,....

    Have a great week.

    Russ
    Some of this is new - will read; thanks.

    I gotta say, they in Russia are really behind on the treatment-free ways.
    They are, in fact, moving in the other direction - treat, treat, treat.
    They are also concerned a lot about the Bashkir bees - well, somehow I am not concerned too much about the Bashkir bees as long as they do what they have been doing.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  8. #27
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Below is the record of seasonal events specific to the said population of the Bashkortostan bees for 2006-2012.
    From Ilyason, 2015; page 109.

    I think this is a very good example of a phenological record that should exist for any more or less distinct beekeeping locale.
    Maybe BS folk could start keeping such records specific for the local communities.
    In my case it would be South Central WI, for example and the phenological events will be adjusted to that.

    I spent some time googling for such local record - zilch so far.
    Just some gardening records, pretty useless as they do not keep track of blooming weeds.
    I hope someone will correct me, otherwise this is a shame.

    Phenological Events. 2006 (day.month) 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Average
    Tentative cleansing bee flights start. 10.03 16.03 14.03 01.03 29.03 22.03 02.04 16.03
    Mass cleansing bee flights start. 12.04 20.04 28.03 29.03 15.04 14.04 08.04 09.04
    Start of nest rebuilding. 22.04 27.04 22.04 30.04 20.04 28.04 18.04 23.04
    Start of mass flight onto willow. 29.04 02.05 03.05 28.04 26.04 30.04 20.04 28.04
    Norway Maple (Acer platanoides) bloom start. 10.05 08.05 05.05 03.05 07.05 13.05 24.04 06.05
    Norway Maple (Acer platanoides) bloom stop. 16.05 19.05 14.05 18.05 20.05 23.05 09.05 17.05
    Swarming start. 11.06 15.06 02.06 30.05 28.05 30.05 28.05 02.06
    Swarming stop. 10.07 08.07 10.07 09.07 28.06 20.07 26.06 07.07
    Small-leaved linden (Tilia cordata) bloom start. 28.06 06.07 07.07 03.07 25.06 08.07 16.06 02.07
    Small-leaved linden (Tilia cordata) bloom stop. 16.07 21.07 24.07 16.07 14.07 24.07 30.06 18.07
    Drone expulsion start. 01.09 23.08 22.08 19.08 14.08 10.08 17.08 19.08
    Last round of brood (start?). 18.09 12.09 14.09 09.09 02.09 06.09 04.09 09.09
    Last edited by GregV; 02-11-2019 at 07:55 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  9. #28
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Primitive beekeeping gives zero control of bee genetics. This has obvious consequences for honey production potential. It is perhaps an ideal way to preserve genetics since the beekeeper does not exercise any selection.

    The consequences of too small a cavity for the bees include potential to starve in a colder than normal winter and much increased propensity to swarm. I'm sure you have seen and calculated the relative capacity of a square Dadant hive and know that it gives 2.3 cubic feet (65 cubic liters) as compared to a Langstroth deep with 1.5 cubic feet (42 cubic liters). It is interesting that I get as much brood space with 14 frames in my Dadant hives as in a double deep Langstroth hive with 20 frames. This suggests a question should be asked about the way bees move within a cavity as the colony goes through a normal year. Would it be better for the bees to move up and down as in a hollow tree? or is there a benefit in working from front to rear as in a modern moveable frame hive?
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  10. #29
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    Primitive beekeeping gives zero control of bee genetics.
    I will try to find appropriate answers from the two books I am reading - Petrov, 1983 and Ilyasov, 2015.
    I don't want to toss out the answers to your questions without quotable facts as I do not keep bees in the logs myself (yet).
    Pretty sure I know the answers already, but need to find the actual pages.

    Otherwise, primitive beekeeping does control bee genetics just as well.
    It just does not do it in a way commonly understood and desired as in - more honey, less stings, fewer swarm...
    Primitive beekeeping is very close to the basic Darwinian survival of the fittest for the given environment.

    The only conditions where there is NO control of the genetics - where 100% of the specimens survive due to ideal external conditions.
    Indeed, if there is no selection of the fittest, then there is no genetics control (an impossible situation).
    Nature always does the genetics control by default - there is the default selection that is always going with or without humans around.

    So, I disagree with too general of a statement - "Primitive beekeeping gives zero control of bee genetics. This has obvious consequences for honey production potential. It is perhaps an ideal way to preserve genetics since the beekeeper does not exercise any selection."

    This needs qualification.
    It is not just about "honey production potential" and "genetics preservation".
    Indeed, I believe we need to review the modern beekeeping practices and do much needed adjustment.

    As you wrote you deliberately released many swarms into your own vicinity.
    What was the design and goal of that move?

    IF I do a similar move (which I probably should do as well), my main motivation will be to establish a pseudo-feral population of the bees in my vicinity (since it does not exist).
    I want to have some default selection going near me in parallel and independently, so that I can take advantage of that via the reverse feedback into my managed bees.
    I have no idea what the default selection process would be in my vicinity - the only way to find out - establish some feral bees nearby and subject them to the default selection.
    Last edited by GregV; 02-11-2019 at 08:32 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  11. #30
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    I'm sure you have seen and calculated the relative capacity of a square Dadant hive and know that it gives 2.3 cubic feet (65 cubic liters) as compared to a Langstroth deep with 1.5 cubic feet (42 cubic liters).
    Pretty much I already posted the facts regarding the tree-hive volumes and documented feral bee volume preferences.
    The bee tree hives typically range in volumes 30L to 90L.
    Within this range, the 60L-80L is the bee preferred sub-range (which makes the single box Dadant the better choice over single box Lang in pure volume context).

    Internal volume is within 30,000-90,000 cm3,
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...11#post1691811


    The sweet spot clearly preferred by the feral bees is the range between 60 and 80 liters.
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...35#post1692135
    Last edited by GregV; 02-11-2019 at 09:32 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  12. #31
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Keep bees long enough and there is probably no need to deliberately get swarms to populate the local area. I had one spring where the flow was so heavy, my newly started nucs filled everything up then took off. Keeping bees treatment free probably is supportive (or not interfere too much) of feral populations so long as we don't bring in new problems for them to deal with. Perhaps the health of local bee populations can be evaluated by the health and persistence of feral populations of bees.

  13. #32
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by lharder View Post
    Keep bees long enough and there is probably no need to deliberately get swarms to populate the local area. Keeping bees treatment free probably is supportive (or not interfere too much) of feral populations so long as we don't bring in new problems for them to deal with.
    The "long enough" part is the unknown.
    I might croak and do not get to see it before anything comes around (and IF it comes around - remember my "almond bee" annual loads).
    That would be a real shame.

    You know, time is the most limited and valuable resource we get.
    No IFs; no BUTs.
    You get no extra shots.

    The "wait and see" approach in certain areas is not the best way, I feel.
    Undertaking some deliberate steps is a better way.

    I do not want to send swarms out - I find it ineffective in my area (they will just likely perish and be wasted).
    But, I do find it reasonable to actually set out several pseudo-feral units in the vicinity, in protected areas, and rather keep them low profile (or face prosecution, literally).
    (be it actual log hives for the fun of it - posing as "swarm traps").
    Hint, hint...
    Last edited by GregV; 02-11-2019 at 09:47 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  14. #33
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    I think this is a very good example of a phenological record that should exist for any more or less distinct beekeeping locale.
    Maybe BS folk could start keeping such records specific for the local communities. In my case it would be South Central WI, for example and the phenological events will be adjusted to that.
    GregV:

    I don’t know if this will help you, but I asked a similar question on a recent thread (https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...tering-Success), and I got some very helpful feedback from Eikel. Specifically, he forwarded me a link to greencastonline.com, where one can look up the growing degree-days for your specific locale and then cross-reference this to a GDD versus phenological cue benchmarks from a resource by The Ohio State:

    http://www.greencastonline.com/growing-degree-days/home
    https://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/gdd...w.asp?fill=all

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    I do not want to send swarms out - I find it ineffective in my area (they will just likely perish and be wasted).
    But, I do find it reasonable to actually set out several pseudo-feral units in the vicinity, in protected areas...
    I think this is a neat idea, and I am looking forward to seeing how this project develops for you.

  15. #34
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    ....This suggests a question should be asked about the way bees move within a cavity as the colony goes through a normal year. Would it be better for the bees to move up and down as in a hollow tree? or is there a benefit in working from front to rear as in a modern moveable frame hive?
    So, before getting into this discussion or even getting into it at all, consider this:
    * the wild bees I have been reporting about are located in USDA zone 3 (see attached map)
    RussiaUSDAZonesByMOBOT_Mod.jpg
    * depending on where you are exactly, it is USDA zone 7 at least.

    The requirements of the wild bees to survive are clearly much higher as the room for error is very small if they are to survive.
    To compare, zones 7-9 are very forgiving.

    In this context, the optimal hive requirements are different.
    For example, in zone 3 keeping bees in a typical TBH is pretty much insane as the bees are not likely to move much from the front to the back at all (crossing comb upon comb will end badly).
    Keeping the bees in the Dadants is somewhat forgiving as the bees will typically move along the same comb in horizontal fashion from front to the back (better than crossing the combs).
    However, moving up and up along the continuous vertical honey storage is, of course, the most forgiving setup (tree or a tree-like dwelling with vertically oriented combs).

    The kept bees in that same area (zones 2, 3) are routinely kept in various Dadant models (12/14/16 frame) rather due to post-Soviet convention (one frame size for everyone).
    However, they are wintered in sheds/controlled storage OR wintered outside in heavy hives under snow piles.
    Being the kept bees, they are also provisioned as needed so not to run out of the stores (which compensates the sub-optimal hives for the area).

    I grew in the area North-West of the Bashkortostan (still zone 3).
    We ran 12 frame, square Dadants; built double-walled for outside wintering; heavy as death.
    Initially they wintered under snow; eventually the house basement was used at the expense of moving these monsters.

    Here is a channel of a keeper from the Urals ares that I follow (USDA zone 2 - just North of Bashkortostan).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjgcj9UuDpo
    Last edited by GregV; 02-11-2019 at 08:33 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  16. #35
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Checked on the latest status of the wild/feral bees of the Bashkortostan.

    Here is my source:
    http://ylejbees.com/index.php/porody...ly-i-varroatoz

    I pulled out few significant facts (apparently some of these facts are coming back from the 80s yet - hence the 10 year window referenced):

    Varroatos in Bashkortostan was first documented in 1973.
    The existence of the boorzyan tree bees under the conditions of varroa invasion for 10 years without any prophylactic measures whatsoever and consistent increase in the bee colony numbers in 1980-1986 demonstrate that the these bees were able to adapt to the new parasite. In 1981-1982, there were many documented cases of absconding from the bee trees and non-viable swarms, but later such cases became less visible.

    At present, .............the very conditions of the primitive beekeeping in combination with the continuing improving bee survival create conditions of the boorzyan tree bees to be in equilibrium with the new parasite.

    Similar favorable condition could develop in other honey bee populations where the human impact on the natural complexes is not significant.
    In short, the Bashkortostan wild/feral bees pretty much adapted to Varroa on their own and they are not going to die off.
    These bees are doing fine and not going anywhere.
    If anything, this is just another story of the "Russian" bees that has been developing right in front of us.
    I am surprised no one is talking about it - maybe because the story is inconvenient in many ways to many invested parties.

    Large cell too - 5.4mm-5.5mm naturally.
    Last edited by GregV; 02-19-2019 at 12:01 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  17. #36
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    GregV:

    Not exactly primitive beekeeping, but thought the locale and management approaches might interest you if you were not already aware of this program?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bz7t...M26wxe9J_MgUYY

    I do wish I could get into the business of selling queens for $10,000 US apiece

  18. #37
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    GregV:

    Not exactly primitive beekeeping, but thought the locale and management approaches might interest you if you were not already aware of this program?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bz7t...M26wxe9J_MgUYY

    I do wish I could get into the business of selling queens for $10,000 US apiece
    Thanks; did not see this one.

    Jump to 7:30 and watch how an old lady buys 7 queens.
    What?
    They just handed her over $70,000 worth of queens as if these were some cucumbers????
    I did not think so.
    As often gets noticed, movie producers are either lying or uninitiated to make much sense.

    PS: they did say $10,000 apiece;
    yet they don't have any armed guards standing around while handling hundreds of thousands bucks worth of queens?
    gimme a break... I'd raid the **** place as soon as I watch his video with a plastic gun and snatch a box full those bees (a joke but see what I mean?).
    PSS: I did observe nice and old, long Dadant hives that they run; good, classic pieces
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  19. #38
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Jump to 7:30 and watch how an old lady buys 7 queens.
    What?
    They just handed her over $70,000 worth of queens as if these were some cucumbers????
    I did not think so.
    Could it be 10,000 rubles? I notice that the current exchange rate works out to about $150 US?

    I noticed that they also mentioned that the good doctor manages 35 colonies and has 200 employees- now that is a job I think I could handle... I think they meant 35 yards...

  20. #39
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    Could it be 10,000 rubles? I notice that the current exchange rate works out to about $150 US?

    I noticed that they also mentioned that the good doctor manages 35 colonies and has 200 employees- now that is a job I think I could handle... I think they meant 35 yards...
    Donno, Russ.
    Pretty soon I lost track of all the inconsistencies and just stopped following.
    Double-lost in translation.
    I often find much more utility in such videos when visually inspecting the actual video context captured (you can turn off the audio, do FF and RW - very handy).
    Lots of times audio and video contents are in brazen disagreement.
    So the makers are either lying to the uninformed OR the uninformed themselves.


    PS, heck if I figure out a way to sell queens for $150, I'd be totally content with that; hehehe.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  21. #40
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    Default Re: Primitive beekeeping (bee trees, log hives, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    Primitive beekeeping gives zero control of bee genetics. This has obvious consequences for honey production potential. It is perhaps an ideal way to preserve genetics since the beekeeper does not exercise any selection.

    The consequences of too small a cavity for the bees include potential to starve in a colder than normal winter and much increased propensity to swarm. I'm sure you have seen and calculated the relative capacity of a square Dadant hive and know that it gives 2.3 cubic feet (65 cubic liters) as compared to a Langstroth deep with 1.5 cubic feet (42 cubic liters). It is interesting that I get as much brood space with 14 frames in my Dadant hives as in a double deep Langstroth hive with 20 frames. This suggests a question should be asked about the way bees move within a cavity as the colony goes through a normal year. Would it be better for the bees to move up and down as in a hollow tree? or is there a benefit in working from front to rear as in a modern moveable frame hive?
    I did not forget of these questions and kept pulling up old and modern resources on the subject.

    A very short answer is again pointing to the origins of the bee races - hence I have bee ranting on importance of understanding of those (before anything else).
    I am attaching few maps here to visually demonstrate my points - if interested - study the maps and consider how different bee races come from different ecological zones and how they might fit into the North American situation (very very different).

    These pics give some general idea of how you try to fit situation from Eurasia into North America (the easiest way - to just ignore it all - what exactly what happens).
    russia-kazakhstan-plant-hardiness-zone-map.jpg
    Terrestrial_ecoregions_USA_CAN_MEX.svg.jpg
    RussiaUSDAZonesByMOBOT.jpg

    Important points:
    1) some Eurasian bees come from flat lands, low lands, higher lands but importantly highly forested with lots of old growth tree resources - typical Amm, probably Carpathians/Carnica
    2) other Eurasian bees come come from high altitude high lands, largely empty of the tree-bases habitat - Gray Caucasian is a typical case
    3) other Eurasian bees come from lower land locations largely free of the conventional tree-bases habitat - Yellow Caucasians, Ukrainian, Persian, probably Italian.
    4) other cases - not getting into (yet other Eurasians, Africans)

    So, the #1 bees evolutionary ways to survive was in trees - their traits formed around vertical tree cavity survival.
    Noticably, ground-based cavities are not available in these zones and not suitable to live in them (even if found).

    The #2/#3 bees formed to survival is much more dynamic and variable - we are talking of tree cavities (both vertical and horizontal on the surface) as well as ground-based cavities (caves, crevices, animal holes, vertical mountain drops, etc). Also, generally types #2 and #3 are coming from lower latitudes (meaning generally milder winters).

    So, the brief resume is this:
    * some bees by their evolution evolved to manage their survival in colder climate using vertical tree cavities
    * other bees evolved to survive in less structured ways and are good in taking advantages of many variations of horizontal dwellings

    Later the primitive beekeeping started mimicking the ways the wild bees lived as it was understood that bees required it.
    Here is very clear trend of keeping bees in vertical log hives - conventional Russian way - keeping AMM bees - see #1.
    The old Caucasian ways to keep bees are in horizontal logs and weaved baskets (skep variations) - keeping Caucasian bees - see #2/#3.
    I also posted videos of how primitive beekeepers keep their bees in horizontal clay pipes in Arabic localities.

    Notice - the primitive beekeepers simple emulate the ways wild bees live in their particular ecological localities.

    Now when we are talking of:
    Would it be better for the bees to move up and down as in a hollow tree? or is there a benefit in working from front to rear as in a modern moveable frame hive?
    And we are asking these questions in the context
    * of hodge-podge pile of mutts in the USA
    * of unknown origins
    * of uknown hybridization status
    * of ecological localities totally different from the original bee sources (in the Old World)
    * without local US clarification (WI vs. AL, very generally)


    I am scratching my head and saying - we are in undefined territory and don't even understand what is going on and don'e even know what kind of animal we have on hand.
    In case of a Russian/Italian hybrid - some part of this hybrid is looking for an empty tree and the other half is looking for a hole in a ground.
    There is no answer.

    One thing makes me smile - people complain of "chimney effect" when the get some Russian-type of the bees.
    Yes - those bees are looking of an empty tree.
    That what they evolved to live in.
    Last edited by GregV; 03-21-2019 at 11:55 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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