Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ? - Page 40
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  1. #781
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Surely you will rebuild - good timing is now.
    As long as you want to rebuild, you can do it.

    Really, if my annual fluctuations will be at about 50-60%, that is a good # for me and really should pretty normal.
    People are loosing sleep over over-wintering ~90-100%.
    I say this is outside of 80/20 rule and is not worth it (especially because people then invest too much time/resource into pulling through the not-worthy bees).

    Working towards that goal.
    Not yet at the 50-60% survival, hoping for this year.
    The law of diminishing returns! 80% of the expense and effort goes into getting the last 20% survival.

    Somewhere you need a target that suits your purpose and put your time and money on that level. A lot of things factor into our "purpose"; some of them often hidden even from ourselves. Just think of the folks who take it upon themselves to master riding a unicycle! What is that really about?

    I felt pretty comfortable at 6 to 8 colonies. That gave me a bit of insurance and a couple of hives a year to sell or give away. That was making it a paying hobby and as much as I wanted to deal with in the heat.

    My son has higher winter losses than what I usually managed but would not be willing to devote the time to achieve it. It is easier for him to run a few more colonies into winter and makes up the losses over the next summer. With something over 40 colonies a person is quite flexible. (barring an epidemic) That fits in better with all the other irons he has in the fire.

    If a person depends on bee income to rake up the rent money then he probably needs to keep his pencil sharper.
    Frank

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  3. #782
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    frank
    If a person depends on bee income to rake up the rent money then he probably needs to keep his pencil sharper.
    You definitely have to have your needs down before you jump one way or the other. I am pure hobby and figure that if I spend no money on bees at all that it can not go bad but might go good once in a while. I would not have the energy or work ethic to take up bee keeping as my lively hood. My hat is off to those that do make that their work and I would never question their methods.

    Either way, any problem that pops up is like all problems, it sucks when you have them but you won't care so much about them ten years from now.

    I am like you in that my stuff has been good to me so far but I don't know the future.

    Good luck
    gww
    zone 5b

  4. #783
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    Jun 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    its quite a story, short version.
    GG:

    It sounds to me as if you have certainly made good with the resources you had coming out of winter. I am impressed with your resourcefulness. Here's hoping you have much better overwintering success this year so next year it is an easy lift to get to 25.

  5. #784
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    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    Somewhere you need a target that suits your purpose and put your time and money on that level. A lot of things factor into our "purpose"; some of them often hidden even from ourselves.
    This is wise advice in my humble opinion. Also reminds me that we each get to define success on our own terms (at least as it concerns our beekeeping efforts) and what practical and or intrinsic benefits we hope to derive from them.

  6. #785
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    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    My hat is off to those that do make that their work and I would never question their methods
    I agree with this sentiment, GWW. I am reminded about those who live in glass houses...

  7. #786
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    Jun 2018
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    Default

    On a more ominous note, I saw the first crawler of the season emanating from #1804 this afternoon. This is on the heels of watching them forcably evict a couple otherwise healthy-looking bees a couple of days ago. So they are now going to be subjected to increased scrutiny.

    This is the hive that struggled mightily out of winter this year and appeared to be struggling with a viral problem early in the year.

    Reminded me that a low relative mite load in-and-of-itself is not a panacea. Colony struggle and potential collapse may also relate to the veracity of the virus(es) and/or the colonies' innate ability to cope with them.

  8. #787
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    On a more ominous note, I saw the first crawler of the season emanating from #1804 this afternoon. This is on the heels of watching them forcably evict a couple otherwise healthy-looking bees a couple of days ago. So they are now going to be subjected to increased scrutiny.

    This is the hive that struggled mightily out of winter this year and appeared to be struggling with a viral problem early in the year.

    Reminded me that a low relative mite load in-and-of-itself is not a panacea. Colony struggle and potential collapse may also relate to the veracity of the virus(es) and/or the colonies' innate ability to cope with them.
    Certainly not when the underlying problem is EFB! The mechanics of that disease sure knocks the mites off their game! Though I am sure that you have heard enough about that lately to be on top of the first symptoms of that.

    I have never had more than a very few crawlers which went away by itself. In my case I would say not mite related because I am very proactive on that front.

    I have seen the crawlers, with and without DWV symptoms with my sons bees and that seems in lock step with mite levels getting high. Very anecdotal observations considering locations hundreds of miles apart though. With my relative isolation I have fortunately not had to deal with many of these issues. Till EFB showed up.

    Sometimes I think location and pure luck can appear to be good management.
    Frank

  9. #788
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    Just think of the folks who take it upon themselves to master riding a unicycle! What is that really about?
    I resemble that remark! I learned to ride a unicycle in my young, conquer-the-world days. Let me tell you it took my shins a long time to return to normal.

  10. #789
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    On a more ominous note, I saw the first crawler of the season emanating from #1804 this afternoon.
    How do you identify a "crawler"? Do they look like they are hobbled? Are they bees wandering around on the ground?

  11. #790
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    Though I am sure that you have heard enough about that lately to be on top of the first symptoms of that.
    Frank:

    Thank you for your reply. Gray Goose had suggested a viral problem with this colony early in the season, and this may be further confirmation of that hypothesis. While I would hope I would recognize a significant EFB outbreak I can be honest and say that I have not been looking for it. So as I understand it, the tell-tale signs would be:

    1. Spotty brood pattern.
    2. Discolored dead larvae in open cells.
    3. Dead larvae not 'ropey' but 'rubbery'.

    I'll have to take a deep look into this hive and see if such a pattern emerges.

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    Sometimes I think location and pure luck can appear to be good management.
    I can certainly identify with this sentiment, and I only hope that with time and experience I can learn more about the underlying mechanics that might contribute to both success and failure in my area with the ultimate goal of having sustainable and fairly predictable results.

  12. #791
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by clong View Post
    I resemble that remark! I learned to ride a unicycle in my young, conquer-the-world days. Let me tell you it took my shins a long time to return to normal.
    CLong:

    You are truly a renaissance man!

  13. #792
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by clong View Post
    How do you identify a "crawler"? Do they look like they are hobbled? Are they bees wandering around on the ground?
    CLong:

    While I may not be the best person to respond to your question, I would define a 'crawler' as any bee that is incapable of flight that walks out of the hive and proceeds to walk around on the ground beside the hive. They may or may not show any visible outward deformities.

    In my case, the bee I found had the classic symptoms of Deformed Wing Virus such that she had two shriveled 'nubs' in the place where her wing pairs should have been.

    Ms. Rusty Burlew has a good write-up on this over at Honey Bee Suite:

    https://honeybeesuite.com/bees-crawling-front-hive/

  14. #793
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    CLong:

    While I may not be the best person to respond to your question, I would define a 'crawler' as any bee that is incapable of flight that walks out of the hive and proceeds to walk around on the ground beside the hive. They may or may not show any visible outward deformities.

    In my case, the bee I found had the classic symptoms of Deformed Wing Virus such that she had two shriveled 'nubs' in the place where her wing pairs should have been.

    Ms. Rusty Burlew has a good write-up on this over at Honey Bee Suite:

    https://honeybeesuite.com/bees-crawling-front-hive/
    Russ,

    Fantastic! Thanks for the link.

  15. #794
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    GG:

    It sounds to me as if you have certainly made good with the resources you had coming out of winter. I am impressed with your resourcefulness. Here's hoping you have much better overwintering success this year so next year it is an easy lift to get to 25.
    My year has been "reactive" beekeeping, I go out to apply a super and end up splitting to prevent the swarm. I advise that often the plan you have when you lite the smoker is not the one that actually happens. I have been frustrated with the queens I buy so when I find cells I do splits pick the best 2/3s after mating , combine the others into the weaker hives and continue till the combs are all back with the bees. This spring 8 dead outs times the 3 boxes was 240 combs this spring. I like by Aug to have them all back with the bees. In the shop, the ants, the moths, and mold have their way with them. So when I see the Q cells I say good using 30 more combs today. Just go with the flow so to speak. I have 1 swarm line and One Russian line that seem to make the winter, So far All my splits came from them 2 favorite lines, And I have a different swarm line this year to play with. As all the queens are open mated and I am Humble enough to know I cannot control the DCA, I am mating in 3 different Apairies. My "hope" is one of the lines mate into a local survivor stock in one of the 3 spots and I can increase my over winter odds and Varroa survival. Part of that is math, 5 q cells hatching and mating at each place is a fair test for this winter. I expect 5-10 losses. The bees will guide you if you let go of your preconceptions. Russ you ended up with some extra hives this spring, so you have somewhat been in the same mode. Be ready for the luck that comes your way. My winter goal is to build 7- 10 sets of gear,In My spare time. to be ready for next year. grow by 5 or so hives a year.
    GG

  16. #795
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    Sometimes I think location and pure luck can appear to be good management.
    Like I said - many times simple presence of a strong feral population is the real trick (not the management).

    Leo Sharashkin talks a lot of TF-style, hands-off approaches.
    Well - he is plugged into a strong feral population - that is the real deal (not the cool set-it-and-forget-it Layen's hives).

    Solomon Parker (I head most all his audio publications) talks a LOT of how he did TF beekeeping in Arkansas.
    Well - he did not talk much at all how was it really possible - he did not even discuss the feral bees much until recently - was all about "let them die" management.
    Sure, you can plug into a strong feral population and then you can do a lot of TF-type demonstrations and they will likely work.

    All in all - the local population is the major key to everything.
    You can do a lot of twicking, but the population will either sink you or keep you afloat.
    If you don't like the population - make an effort to change it.
    If there is no feral population (entirely possible), well, create a pseudo-feral population (T. Seeley's Darwinian Beekeeping is a good source of ideas).

    This is my personal position now.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame experimentation.

  17. #796
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Like I said - many times simple presence of a strong feral population is the real trick (not the management).
    my position as well.

    if there are feral wild-type colonies making it through multiple winters undisturbed and without interventions then that at least bodes for the local environment having what it needs to support it.

    then it's just a matter of making sure any beekeeper interventions and/or introductions don't get in the way.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  18. #797
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    my position as well.

    if there are feral wild-type colonies making it through multiple winters undisturbed and without interventions then that at least bodes for the local environment having what it needs to support it.

    then it's just a matter of making sure any beekeeper interventions and/or introductions don't get in the way.
    +1.

    So last year I released a lot of drones from my TF lines (rather incidentally, not by design).
    This year I am actually by design plugging drone combs that I have into my main surviving TF resource hives - the more drone the merrier.
    This is gonna be a lot drone flying around my area.
    Trying to high-jack those darn imported almond bees best I can.

    PS: yeah, this is counter-intuitive;
    people kill them drones (controlling the mites, so to speak and all power to them);
    well - I produce the drones and I like how the resource hives look this year - very good drone generators;
    haha!
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame experimentation.

  19. #798
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by clong View Post
    Russ,

    Fantastic! Thanks for the link.
    Glad to help- noticed any crawlers in your apiary?

  20. #799
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    I advise that often the plan you have when you lite the smoker is not the one that actually happens.... Just go with the flow so to speak.
    GG: I am laughing out loud as I read your post, only because I can now completely identify with this sentiment. It seems that my poking around in the hives rarely ever goes according to the plan I set-out with. One thing I have learned- it is better to simply button them up and go ask for help if you find something you were totally not expecting than to do something rash that becomes difficult (or impossible) to undo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    The bees will guide you if you let go of your preconceptions.
    I like the way you put this. It seems like beekeeping (like so much in life) is easier to progress through when we establish plans and goals but hold them in an open hand, knowing that the circumstances on the ground and/or fate may alter our course.

  21. #800
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    My year has been "reactive" beekeeping, I go out to apply a super and end up splitting to prevent the swarm. I advise that often the plan you have when you lite the smoker is not the one that actually happens. .......
    GG
    This is exactly what happened to me (as I reported in my thread).
    Haha!
    Applying some repressions to my lazy workers to get them back to work.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame experimentation.

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