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  1. #1341
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    ar1
    My first two years, I put sugar on whether they needed it or not. I was given several hundred pounds of sugar. However, I keep bees for what they can give me and not what I can give them. I would rather leave them some honey then to go buy sugar to feed them. My problem is being new enough that how they need is still hard for me to judge due to experience level. I am too cheep to have bees just so I can buy them things and too lazy to want to take a lot from them and then have to replace. In between all that is common sense and being able to notice when aberrations happen that are out of the ordinary. I would not want to lose bees due to weird things that they have to deal with but during normal times, I keep them for what I can get from them.

    With free sugar, I did not care.
    Me buying, I care.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

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  3. #1342
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    I only write this to keep me and you thinking and not that I am right in any way cause I am sure I am not.

    ...

    I look much harder in the beginning of the season then I do around harvest time and so don't guage what I am taking and leaving but am managing by the box and judging prewinter by only the status of the top box as late as I can and still have time for adjustment. IE: 1st of oct.
    GWW:

    I enjoy the opportunity to consider these ideas and you seem to be making good decisions in your apiary.

    I have always been drawn to the idea of 'management by box' and it seems like if one could hold off on harvesting any surplus until cooler weather sets-in you could strike a middle ground between the need for frame-by-frame manipulations and the need to supplementally feed (at least in unlimited broodnest applications). I recognize in saying this there will be colonies that might consume all their Spring stores during the Summer dearth, so this might not be the best approach in every circumstance.

    The advantage is that come October 1st, one could give every box the heft test and harvest any excess off the top with little concern for brood and still have time enough to provide some heavy syrup if needed. I know there are downsides to this approach but it might fit for some situations.

    I appreciate the banter. Best of success to you in the second half of Winter.

    Russ
    Last edited by Litsinger; 01-20-2020 at 09:49 PM.
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  4. #1343
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by AR1 View Post
    Between me and the weather they had a tough year. A few pounds of sugar? I owe them that much.
    AR1:

    Good post. For what it is worth, I can identify with your perspective and wasn't suggesting not feeding colonies that need it. The discussion has centered around whether to supplementally feed overwintered colonies in the Fall as a rule and considering the implications of when and how much surplus to harvest if one wishes to minimize the need for supplemental feeding.

    I sincerely hope your colonies are faring well this Winter, and good luck the rest of the way.

    Russ
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  5. #1344
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    russ
    The advantage is that come October 1st, one could give every box the heft test and harvest any excess off the top with little concern for brood and still have time enough to provide some heavy syrup if needed. I know there are downsides to this approach but it might fit for some situations.
    Call me a baby but I find harvest stressful. This year I took my last honey from hives that still had 4 boxes on in early sept. I usually get some bees killed during harvest due to stirring them up pretty good. I usually put the wets back on for a few days and then pull them for storage unless I have a smaller split or something which still needs some comb for winter. After this I am usually shy of getting very deep into hives cause the bees are more wound up due to recent action and the fact that it would be a bad time to lose a queen with no time to recover.

    So around oct I will look in the top box of the few hives that I thought had the least honey when I pulled the supers. If they have mostly filled that box, I figure good and cross my fingers and hope for spring cause I am done for the year.

    I am hoping that that is good enough.

    River is a true by the box bee keeper and I may be too if I ever get enough supers drawn where all I need to do is add a box in spring.

    My first few years I did lift every box and try and judge weight but I am always trying to cut down steps with out going over the line.

    I do change things up based on how I am feeling at the time but this is my goal of doing things till some feeling makes me think I need something more or less.
    One year I harvested on june 18 and believe every thing (flow wise) stopped from that point on. What is funny is it took me till sept last year to get the same amount of honey but apparently the flow lasted till first frost.

    So the over all plan is there but not perfect yet. River's is near perfect cause he is doing it purely by the box. IE: Nothing in the fourth box, he just takes off an empty super. He leaves the bottom brood nest alone.

    In abby warre's book, if my memory is correct, he would take the top boxes down till he hit his target volume or till he hit brood. So, also by the box beekeeping.
    Cheers
    gww
    Last edited by gww; 01-20-2020 at 10:34 PM.
    zone 5b

  6. #1345
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    So around oct I will look in the top box of the few hives that I thought had the least honey when I pulled the supers. If they have mostly filled that box, I figure good and cross my fingers and hope for spring cause I am done for the year.

    ...

    I am hoping that that is good enough.

    ...

    So the over all plan is there but not perfect yet. River's is near perfect cause he is doing it purely by the box. IE: Nothing in the fourth box, he just takes off an empty super. He leaves the bottom brood nest alone.
    Thanks, GWW. Your goal makes sense to me, and I assume you are making progress every year in getting more comb drawn out (and not destroyed by wax moths)?

    Seriously, whatever you are doing is working, so it's hard to argue against your approach.

    I still have very little practical experience at this, but in the past two years I have observed colonies which are less than consistent in filling/curing boxes from the top down such that I have had to do some late season frame/box manipulations to get stores where they need to be.

    I have also observed with very little exception (10 of 12 this year) and regardless of the overwintering volume (3,4 or 5 8-frame mediums) that most of the colonies I have start overwintering in the top box and basically stay there all Winter, moving down only as the season progresses and stores at the top are consumed.

    If only the bees would read all the good information out there about 'management by the box' and follow-it I would be in great shape!
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  7. #1346
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    russ
    I still have very little practical experience at this, but in the past two years I have observed colonies which are less than consistent in filling/curing boxes from the top down such that I have had to do some late season frame/box manipulations to get stores where they need to be.
    Not to belabor the point (or beat a dead horse) but this is why it makes very much sense for my kind of bee keeping to eventually end up with what river does (with out the queen excluder, or with). Just always take it for granted that a hive with three mediums is good enough and take anything from the fourth box on. Let the bees manage the bottom three and yours is what is above. I am pretty sure that river is confident that if there is honey above his queen excluder, the bottom is already good. Believe it or not, I am more like you in worrying about what the bees are doing below.

    I am just thinking to myself how nice it would be not to worry or think about it and just have confidence that the bees know what they are doing. Only doing it will eventually tell if the bees are consistent in having the brood nest good enough for winter and the excess above.

    So in the beginning, I have gotten in the hives quite often cause I had no basis to judge what was going on and no experience to compare what is normal and what is not. My goal in that was to get enough knowledge that I might get good enough at what was normal to be able to tell at a glance rather then having to dig and keep trying to learn and judge. I believe the goal is to get to where river is and have enough knowledge to tell the abnormal stuff that has to be addressed in special situations. In the beginning a lot of looking is required if we want to end up in the end of knowing with out having to look so hard. If that makes sense. I try and take others ways of doing things and pick the parts that make sense to me and then trying to see if it works in real life.

    I don't know why I got hooked on this particular thought pattern but will quit pushing a point that you already know the ends and outs of with out my repeating it over and over. You don't have to answer every post cause I am not trying to work your typing fingers to death. I sometimes use your thread to type up my thinking for myself as typing sometimes keeps my mind on a subject to fix my own thinking more then communicate out info.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  8. #1347
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    You don't have to answer every post cause I am not trying to work your typing fingers to death. I sometimes use your thread to type up my thinking for myself as typing sometimes keeps my mind on a subject to fix my own thinking more then communicate out info.
    GWW:

    For what it is worth, I enjoy reading your thoughts and think you have a lot of valid things to say- so please always feel welcome to communicate your input on this thread. I have learned a great deal from the discussions here on Beesource, and I appreciate everyone who is willing to take the time to share their expertise with us rank amateurs...
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  9. #1348
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Took time today to scrape and recover propolis from hive bodies and frames. I mixed it with pure grain alcohol to make a tincture. I found that the grain alcohol works much better than the isopropyl alchohol I used last year.

    I intend to utilize this solution to prime swarm traps and re-dose the two Russian Scions I made last year generally following the information contained in the following great post by DocBB:

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...-Russian-Scion

    Here is a good video by Mr. Michael Bush explaining the general principle:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18Bf6JKm_1Y

    20200125_101118.jpg 20200125_101127.jpg 20200125_101517.jpg
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  10. #1349
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    Not to belabor the point (or beat a dead horse) but this is why it makes very much sense for my kind of bee keeping to eventually end up with what river does (with out the queen excluder, or with). Just always take it for granted that a hive with three mediums is good enough and take anything from the fourth box on. Let the bees manage the bottom three and yours is what is above. I am pretty sure that river is confident that if there is honey above his queen excluder, the bottom is already good.
    Shear genius. Except every year about this time I convince myself that all my colonies must be dead because I don’t treat, and so many folks say that you have to use miticides or your bees will die. You guys make me nervous acting like I know what I’m doing.
    David Matlock

  11. #1350
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    river...
    Except every year about this time I convince myself that all my colonies must be dead because I donít treat, and so many folks say that you have to use miticides or your bees will die.
    Me too.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  12. #1351

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverderwent View Post
    Except every year about this time I convince myself that all my colonies must be dead because I don’t treat, and so many folks say that you have to use miticides or your bees will die.
    Not me. I grew past that some years ago, but I know exactly what you mean.

  13. #1352
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    Took time today to scrape and recover propolis from hive bodies and frames. I mixed it with pure grain alcohol to make a tincture. I found that the grain alcohol works much better than the isopropyl alchohol I used last year.

    I intend to utilize this solution to prime swarm traps and re-dose the two Russian Scions I made last year generally following the information contained in the following great post by DocBB:

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...-Russian-Scion

    Here is a good video by Mr. Michael Bush explaining the general principle:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18Bf6JKm_1Y

    20200125_101118.jpg 20200125_101127.jpg 20200125_101517.jpg
    Hi Russ,
    do you have a ratio of Alcohol to propolis? With Grain Alcohol one could use it as a hive coating or use for health reasons

  14. #1353
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverderwent View Post
    ou guys make me nervous acting like I know what I’m doing.
    David:

    Whatever you are doing is working and seems to be sustainable, so that makes you an expert in my book. We appreciate your contributions on Beesource.
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  15. #1354
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    Hi Russ,
    do you have a ratio of Alcohol to propolis? With Grain Alcohol one could use it as a hive coating or use for health reasons
    Good question, Gray Goose. While I didn't measure it out precisely I would estimate that I ended up with a little more than a cup of propolis (in chips and chunks) and utilized a little less than a half a cup of grain alcohol. The resultant mixture when settled ended up having all the propolis in suspension with only very little alcohol on top with a viscosity similar to 5W motor oil.

    Before application, I might cut it further to aid in the application process (still thinking through that but considering using a spray bottle).

    As you suggest, I think I might use it to prime the insides of all the new boxes I will use this season as well as dosing the scions in hopes they serve as a appealing bivouac location for a couple swarms instead of high up a tree. We'll see...

    As to it's medicinal qualities, I've never consumed it but if one can judge the benefit by the smell it has to be great for you .
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  16. #1355
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    Good question, Gray Goose. While I didn't measure it out precisely I would estimate that I ended up with a little more than a cup of propolis (in chips and chunks) and utilized a little less than a half a cup of grain alcohol. The resultant mixture when settled ended up having all the propolis in suspension with only very little alcohol on top with a viscosity similar to 5W motor oil.

    Before application, I might cut it further to aid in the application process (still thinking through that but considering using a spray bottle).

    As you suggest, I think I might use it to prime the insides of all the new boxes I will use this season as well as dosing the scions in hopes they serve as a appealing bivouac location for a couple swarms instead of high up a tree. We'll see...

    As to it's medicinal qualities, I've never consumed it but if one can judge the benefit by the smell it has to be great for you .
    As to consuming it, maybe a bit with some Jagermeister?? more I was thinking of topical, like a disinfectant similar to the mecuricome used when younger. on a skin rash or a sliver, or something.

    Ok thanks I'll start with 40 - 60 40% Grain Alcohol and 60% propolis chips, by weight and give a report back. I was looking for the consistency of thin paint. Your volume "estimate" sounded like 1/3 - 2/3 but there must be air space in the chip pile and I can always thin easier than thicken.
    GG

  17. #1356
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Ok Russ,
    First pass on the manufacturing of the interior hive coating.
    Ingrediant.jpg
    Basic list of stuff, Propolis, Grain Alcohol, scale , light measuring device (solo cup) final mix jar.

    Here is the first batch.
    I "started" at 40-60 ended up needing more liquid than one would initially think.
    So there is 12 grams Propolis and 12 grams Grain Alcohol. which is close to 1/2 a Salsa jar
    desolving.jpg

    At first it did not seem to mix, but as I had the Propolis at 25 degrees in the shop and the Grain Alcohol was in the car, I found a slight warming speeds up dissolving. first process learning.

    If I can find time I'll coad some wood tonight.
    GG

  18. #1357
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    Ok Russ,
    First pass on the manufacturing of the interior hive coating.

    ...

    If I can find time I'll coad some wood tonight.
    GG
    Looks good, GG. I'll look forward to reading about how your application goes. How are you planning on putting it on?

    You going to imbibe in some while you apply it to the boxes to help keep you warm out in the garage?
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  19. #1358
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    7. Breeding as a Means of Combating Disease
    In wrapping-up my thoughts concerning 'Breeding the Honeybee', I wanted to post three principles that Brother Adam outlined on the theme of breeding as a means of combating disease. The first is thus:

    Bees are equipped with innate mechanisms for disease resistance. He notes that, “All living creatures are provided with the capacity of protecting themselves against disease.” [p.66]

    In saying this, I accept the premise that the varroa mite is a new and novel pest to the European Honeybee and that it takes time (and maybe lots of it) for a stable host-parasite relationship to develop. The takeaway though is that EHB's are responding to this pest with whatever internal resources they have at their disposal.

    Brother Adam continues, “It is well known that in the battle against disease it is the wild forms of plants which play a decisive role.” [p. 115]

    Here he is attempting to explain the balance we walk in our selection efforts- artificial selection seeks primarily consistency in traits, but may do so at the exclusion of other traits. On the other hand, natural selection seeks primarily survival, and definitely does so at the expense of consistency.

    He finishes this thought by observing, “It is obvious that we cannot breed resistant strains in areas where there is no disease nor where there is no positive comparisons with other colonies.” [p. 75]

    Meaning a genetic population cannot develop (select for) disease resistance in the absence of disease. This is obviously a loaded statement and accepts that allowing a disease to progress unchecked may mean complete annihilation of a genetic population which cannot successfully select for resistance.

    I will deal next with Brother Adam's thoughts on whether the honeybee could be successfully bred for varroa resistance.
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  20. #1359
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Application Notes:
    Had a new stack of stuff, consisting of a double NUC base to run a resource hive Palmer style, With lid, bottom, 2- 5 frame deeps and 2 -5 frame mediums,
    And 2 innercovers.

    new stack (005).jpg

    I ended up just using a small brush.

    BrushBase(00F).jpg

    Started with the base, the rough sawn oak did suck up the sauce, I will admit.

    BrushNUCbase(00C).jpg

    Did the lid

    DoneStack01 (013).jpg

    Had enough to do the 2 deep and 2 medium NUC bodies as well, a bit lighter coat as I was getting down to the crumbs.

    EndBatch01 (011).jpg and 2 NUC lids.

    The brush took a turn south, I am hoping to "clean" it with the Grain Alcohol from batch #2 I think the evaporation of the GA left the propolis on the bristles. Also had some "chunks" in the bottom of the jar, chewing them thoroughly proved my initial suspicitation, there was some Wax in the propolis hopper.

    Also there was sufficient drippage, to warrant the painting of the outside first, as paint will likely not stick to a propolized surface. This I did not think of but was pleasantly surprised to have randomly done the correct order, Paint, then propolis tincture the interior.

    So again this was appx 12 grams of GA and 12 Grams of Propolis, it could be thicker, but coverage would be less.
    IMO this 50-50 weight ratio will sufficiently coat wood.

    I would recommend it for a Swarm Trap, has a nice oder, may wish to coat it a week prior to the hanging of the trap to have the most olfactory impact.

    Batch 01 complete.
    I thought I had lots of propolis but could easily use 50-80 Grams a year on coating new stuff. I Will need to clean the supers remaining to gain another 100 grams.

    GG

    P.S. did not have a chance to Imbibe however the Idea was in the right place. One may need to pour the mix thru a coffee filter, for chunk free imbibing, unless thick with floaters is not something that would prevent you from trying it. A good mustache may just do the trick as well.
    Last edited by Gray Goose; 01-30-2020 at 01:26 PM.

  21. #1360
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    P.S. did not have a chance to Imbibe however the Idea was in the right place. One may need to pour the mix thru a coffee filter, for chunk free imbibing, unless thick with floaters is not something that would prevent you from trying it. A good mustache may just do the trick as well.
    Gray Goose:

    Good update. I apologize for the delay in reply as I have been away from the computer. I laughed out loud as I read the above, and I do appreciate your report on your first pass at applying a propolis coating to new equipment. At least based on the visual result, I imagine this will make for better acceptance by the bees.

    As I have thought through the method of application further, I am going to attempt to strain the tincture first and then add additional grain alcohol to it to make it the consistency of hairspray and then use a spritzer bottle to apply it to the interior of hive surfaces, etc.

    Also, good advice about making sure to get the exterior painting completed first before treating the interior...
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

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