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  1. #1121
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    ar1
    The title of this thread is Treatment-free Bungling. Well, learned another lesson this week. Do not feed sugar cakes this early in the Fall. I put them on and immediately the scavengers came flying. The bees started dragging sugar granules out the front door and attracted hordes of robber bees, flies and yellow jackets. I eventually got smart and blocked the front door. Then it rained and that stopped the worst of it. I have squashed a few dozen yellow jackets.

    Opened up the hives today and of the original 4 pounds apiece one hive has eaten, stored or disposed of maybe 3 pounds. The other maybe two. I have 4 hives here at home and all four will be needing a lot of sugar. Very wet and cool and not much foraging going on this last whole month.
    I do have a question for you? What did you put in the sugar blocks besides water and sugar?

    I put had put sugar blocks on every year before now on oct first. I even put a little vinegar in some of them (not much though). The bees did carry some of the sugar out and I have posted pictures of it in years past. I have never seen interest from other bees or bugs on what was piled up in front of the hives. I also do not think they ever got rid of big amounts and am thinking they more took out the lose stuff. My blocks were big though. I never really seen bees really go to hard work on the blocks till they started raising brood in spring when they could really start going through it. I was putting 12 to 15 lbs blocks on at the beginning of oct with the knowledge that I would lose a little but confident that once done, I was good for the year. I would take the sugar blocks off around april and there was usually some left and it seemed that the bees ate the sugar block before finishing the stores that were in comb.

    I wonder if you were adding some smell that created an interest from other pest and bees that were out side the hive?

    Cheers
    gww
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    Last edited by gww; 10-03-2019 at 01:28 PM.
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  3. #1122
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Yes; you remember exactly - that "eco-floor" talk.
    No rush, but I'd be interested to hear about what you find in that 'eco-floor'.

  4. #1123
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    But he did bring up the well forgotten subject back to life - this matters.
    Good point, GregV. Sometimes it is about rediscovering things that our ancestors already knew / observed isn't it?

  5. #1124
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    ar1


    I do have a question for you? What did you put in the sugar blocks besides water and sugar?

    I wonder if you were adding some smell that created an interest from other pest and bees that were out side the hive?

    Cheers
    gww
    Sugar and a splash of vinegar. That's all.
    All the bugs here this year are extra-hungry since they are not able to forage much. I put the sugar on so early because the hives are packed with bees who have nothing to do all day but eat. I can imagine them starving out before winter even starts.

    I added sugar to the other two hives today, but made sure to tighten the entrances first. It still seems to be attracting yellow jackets, within a few minutes of the sugar going on. Next time no vinegar?

  6. #1125
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Interestingly, I have a comment very much related.

    So I am reading my recently purchased book by T. Seeley.
    This - "The Lives of Bees: The Untold Story of the Honey Bee in the Wild"

    I keep documenting his flops while I do it.
    There are flops.

    Page 216??... (from my memory; easy to double-check; I have it marked)
    .
    Page 112.

    ....I knew that beekeepers had worked for centuries to design the perfect hive, and I figured they might have looked to the natural living quarters of honey bee colonies for guidance, but evidently they had not. At the same time, finding this gap in our knowledge delighted me, for I realized then that my curiosity about the bees' natural homes had draw me to a region of uncharted territory in the biology of Apis millifera.
    20191003_220348.jpg
    ...I scream - what?...
    Last edited by GregV; 10-04-2019 at 12:56 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  7. #1126
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Ar1
    I would maybe try no vinegar. I did have a few spoon fulls in most of mine but was scared of too much smell myself.
    I have mentioned the only experience I have so far and so can only say good luck and that I still hope to hear how it goes for you.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  8. #1127
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Page 112.



    20191003_220348.jpg
    ...I scream - what?...
    Maybe TS is unfamiliar with the Warre` hive?
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  9. #1128
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Maybe TS is unfamiliar with the Warre` hive?
    Good observation- reminds me that there are many techniques and management approaches we can learn from and look to implement as they apply in our own situation.

    Speaking of Warre, I had the opportunity to do my winter preps with the seven (7) Langstroth colonies in my yard. My experiment in nadiring was largely unfruitful.

    With the exception of #1804, the remaining colonies largely ignored the empty box at the bottom of the stack. The key difference between #1804 and all the others is that I 'pyramided-down' some brood comb early in the season and this seems to have impelled them to move downward. Additionally, this is the only overwintered colony I have that did not swarm, so this might have been a factor as well. A brief summary of my findings:

    #1803- Equivalent of two boxes of stores (3 boxes total). I left two empty boxes of fully-drawn comb on the bottom of the stack and removed three boxes of empty drawn comb. I was disappointed with this result as this colony had an enormous population and significantly more stores earlier in the season and seems to have kept rearing brood to no positive effect.

    #1804- Equivalent of two and one-half boxes of stores (3 boxes total). I was pleased at their current population overwintering preparations and they seem to have made good strides this season in light of the tiny overwintered cluster they started as at the beginning of the season.

    #1907- Equivalent of two boxes of stores (3 boxes total). I was pleased with the progress of this colony as this is a #3 secondary swarm I received from my neighbor on May 2nd and I have given them no help in terms of comb nor supplemental feed. *Edit* This colony received a box of mixed open and closed feed frames earlier in the year that I had stored from last year.

    #1909- Equivalent of one and one-half boxes of stores (3 boxes total). This is a 4# swarm that was hived on May 9th. They also received no help to-date, but I have added a feeder to help augment their stores.

    #1910- Equivalent of two boxes of stores (3 boxes total). I am also well-pleased with the progress of this colony as they began as a 1.5# secondary swarm hived on May 19th. They however received a full-box of drawn comb due to their small size and late emergence. *Edit* This colony also received a box of mixed open and closed feed frames earlier in the year that I had stored from last year.

    #1911- Equivalent of one and one-half boxes of stores (3 boxes total). This is the office 'bee tree' colony which was brought home on May 23rd. They have received no comb nor supplemental feeding but I added a feeder to them as well to top them off. *Edit* This colony received a box of mixed open and closed feed frames earlier in the year that I had stored from last year.

    #1912- Left alone. This is the second trap out (brought home August 30th) which consists of two medium boxes (positions 1 and 2) and one deep box (position 3) which was employed in the trap-out procedure and thus only has four (4) frames in an eight frame volume. The remaining space is filled with an impressive amount of comb drawn from the top of the hive-top feeder and I decided prior to bringing them home to leave this comb it well enough alone given the time of year.
    Last edited by Litsinger; 10-05-2019 at 05:56 AM.
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  10. #1129
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Maybe TS is unfamiliar with the Warre` hive?
    TS is supposed to be an expert in all things "natural" internationally.
    Surely he is aware of the Warre-related subjects.
    Maybe he was not some time ago.
    But the book is applicable *now* and just came into the print recently.
    So then just say so - "oops, did not know at the time; was no Google around; my bad"....

    Here is enough evidence for me (page 228 from the same book as posted on Amazon; did not look more, no need).
    WarreReference.jpg

    Discussion on the experiments described (and the conclusions) is a entire different subject.
    No mood for it now.

    Anyway, just an opinion of a amateur "couch-reviewer".
    Last edited by GregV; 10-04-2019 at 08:50 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  11. #1130
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Greg, my response was a little tongue in cheek. I did not truly doubt that he was familiar with the the Warre'. But, was suprised by the passage you quoted since that is exactly what Warre' was attempting to do.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  12. #1131
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Hi Russ
    about the comment "Speaking of Warre, I had the opportunity to do my winter preps with the seven (7) Langstroth colonies in my yard. My experiment in nadiring was largely unfruitful."
    What was your goal and what was the fruit you expected? I nadir often and it seems to do what I need. I mostly want the pollen under the honey in the top for spring. "Supering leaves it in the bottom. did you nadir with comb or foundation or foundation-less?
    GG

  13. #1132
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    What was your goal and what was the fruit you expected? I nadir often and it seems to do what I need. I mostly want the pollen under the honey in the top for spring. "Supering leaves it in the bottom. did you nadir with comb or foundation or foundation-less?
    GG:

    Good question. My hope had been to find a surefire way to get new drawn comb built without having to resort to extensive manipulations and create a logical means of systematic comb renewal. As such, I endeavored to adapt Abby Warre's method of adding an empty box to the very bottom of the stack in hopes the colonies would draw fresh comb in there.

    While I am not yet ready to declare this effort a failure, my first attempt at nadiring in this fashion resulted in a one (1) out of seven (7) success rate, with the one (1) being augmented by pyramiding-down drawn comb from the brood nest fairly early in the season.

    As a trial, I may experiment with Tim Rowe's 'Rose Hive' method next year to see if any more consistent results can be obtained:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMcB...qj2mYGgIeNEzTu

  14. #1133
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    GG:

    Good question. My hope had been to find a surefire way to get new drawn comb built without having to resort to extensive manipulations and create a logical means of systematic comb renewal. As such, I endeavored to adapt Abby Warre's method of adding an empty box to the very bottom of the stack in hopes the colonies would draw fresh comb in there.

    While I am not yet ready to declare this effort a failure, my first attempt at nadiring in this fashion resulted in a one (1) out of seven (7) success rate, with the one (1) being augmented by pyramiding-down drawn comb from the brood nest fairly early in the season.

    As a trial, I may experiment with Tim Rowe's 'Rose Hive' method next year to see if any more consistent results can be obtained:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMcB...qj2mYGgIeNEzTu
    ok i use Nadir different. I normally add comb and do it when I'd rather have a deeper nest and open space below. Or would rather not have empty space above. For comb drawing, I have the best luck with 1 or 2 frames, put right into the brood nest. More than that and I would fear chilling the brood.
    GG

  15. #1134
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    russ
    My guess on the comb drawing. I think this is more a time of the year type thing. If the box is put on early and if the hive needs the space because they have filled what they have, they will swarm or start to use the space. If the space is baited with a comb, they might take to it better but I understand your goal of trying to just add the space and that being it.

    On some of the hives, you added some drawn comb from a dead out. Those hives probably never had the need to draw comb.

    My personal opinion would be to add the space next spring as early as possible and try it again. My bees did not draw near the comb that they did most years but they also started with more comb then I have had before. A few built past what they had and drew more and a few built up slower. In my case, it could have been that they had too much for the bee density (I had added comb of my extracted supers to my smaller hives in the fall) and they only built up to the comb. They may have also been distressed and not as healthy due to not treating them. Either way, I did not get as much comb drawn as when the hives were young.

    I think if you try it again, the bees will either swarm or move down. If the ideal is to run the hives like warre and remove one third or so of the comb every year, I am thinking that lots of the bees will play along though maybe not all of them. If you go to the extra step and get a comb or two down there, I think your odds would go up but it might be worth it to not do that. It might work just good enough. I would like my space to be on, right before the first dandelion bloom.

    You know that I don't know but I have read abbys book and do know what my year here was like as far as comb production was.

    This is my best attempt with this discussion for what it is worth.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  16. #1135
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    For comb drawing, I have the best luck with 1 or 2 frames, put right into the brood nest. More than that and I would fear chilling the brood.
    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    You know that I don't know but I have read abbys book and do know what my year here was like as far as comb production was.
    GG and GWW:

    Thank you both for the helpful feedback. I appreciate you both.

    As I was thinking about my response, I was reminded of Will Durant's quote that, "Education is a progressive discovery of our ignorance". I find that I am often confronted with that reality in many aspects of my life, but certainly in beekeeping.

    It seems there are many variables associated with comb building including but not limited to; the time of year, the available volume, the need (or lack thereof), whether the colony is overwintered or is a swarm / split, how healthy they are and annual forage and seasonal fluctuations to name a few.

    For my part, I added empty volume to the bottom of several colonies at various points throughout the season (as early as February and as late as June) and only saw comb built in the bottom box on the colony that was: overwintered, manipulated early in the season, did not swarm, was pyramided-down and likely needed the space.

    That said, I still wish to experiment with systematic comb renewal recognizing more personally now that it may never be as 'push-button simple' as I would like.

    I recognize also that this type of goal needs to be aligned with one's overall management goals rather than simply as a 'pet project' on the side.

    So what little I have learned over the past two seasons leads me to a few preferences / conclusions thus far related to drawn comb:

    1. I don't particularly like working with the big, unwieldy colonies- particularly in the 8-frame medium set-up where they get tall and hard to manipulate. Making a conscious decision to limit hive volume likely plays-into future approaches to get new comb drawn-out.

    2. I do not have near enough drawn comb- while it is hard enough to get drawn comb prepared, it is even more difficult when you are philosophically-opposed to supplemental feeding as a matter or course. So I likely need to either; temper my expectations for drawn comb and learn to be more patient or; purpose-feed a number of colonies for the expressed purpose of getting more comb drawn-out.

    3. Recognize that failed swarms and dead-outs are a part of one's drawn comb inventory.

    4. Take care of your drawn comb- I lost about a box-and-a-half of drawn comb in swarm traps that I left out too long this year. I need not repeat this same mistake twice.

  17. #1136
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Russ, as for comb, it is getting, keeping, storing, protecting, recycling, using, all of it. Because it is your "inventory" Some has stores some don't etc.
    I you use medium frames draw some as suppers, Extract. 4 or 5 a year is 40-50 frames. Realize if you grow comb count each year, you will either need to have increase, cull, or increase storage of the comb. How are you going to spend it?

  18. #1137
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    How are you going to spend it?
    Good points, GG. I appreciate your input. For now, I am way short so I have no trouble spending everything I can get my hands on, and that is before I let some get destroyed due to mismanagement!

  19. #1138
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    I still wish to experiment with systematic comb renewal recognizing more personally now that it may never be as 'push-button simple' as I would like.

    ............

    So what little I have learned over the past two seasons leads me to a few preferences / conclusions thus far related to drawn comb:

    1. I don't particularly like working with the big, unwieldy colonies- particularly in the 8-frame medium set-up where they get tall and hard to manipulate. Making a conscious decision to limit hive volume likely plays-into future approaches to get new comb drawn-out.

    2. I do not have near enough drawn comb- while it is hard enough to get drawn comb prepared, it is even more difficult when you are philosophically-opposed to supplemental feeding as a matter or course. So I likely need to either; temper my expectations for drawn comb and learn to be more patient or; purpose-feed a number of colonies for the expressed purpose of getting more comb drawn-out.

    3. Recognize that failed swarms and dead-outs are a part of one's drawn comb inventory.

    4. Take care of your drawn comb- I lost about a box-and-a-half of drawn comb in swarm traps that I left out too long this year. I need not repeat this same mistake twice.
    Speaking of comb renewal, I do this (certainly, within the context of my own) by:
    - targeted C&S directly from the brood nest from the dead-outs - conveniently, those piece-meal C&S frames will go back into the rotation next season for rebuilding
    - the bees certainly rebuild combs in smaller increments much more readily (vs. the large increments); especially this is visibly in the natural comb/no-foundation mode - because you see very obvious gaps and holes (vs. less obvious not built foundation)
    - the piece-meal C&S approach creates smaller-increment gaps in the brood combs after honey/perga harvest which then the bees quickly repair/rebuild/renew during the next build season.
    - the above result in brood comb rotation/renewal.

    I am not going to concern myself with the comb rotation being a theoretical infection transmission vector.
    This in fact applies to everyone storing/reusing the combs anyway.
    Entire comb re-usability idea is a ticking time-bomb in theory (or maybe not?)
    Fine, let us just ignore this time-bomb for the now.

    See on this frame - you should see where I cut the combs chunks out and those gaps were rebuilt:
    20190629_144209.jpg

    By this same logic, the compact format hives (CFHs) operate - the small increments.
    I keep track of one such project/vlog for my own needs.
    The vlogger/operator is very straightforward in that the decided to do away with comb storage and management altogether as not necessary.
    Outside of very small emergency comb stash, he mostly just batch melts his entire comb inventory at the season end and markets the wax.
    Conveniently, large portion of his wooden ware just gets heat treated as a part of wax melting - a good thing for a commercial operator.
    He states the bees build so well and quickly in his operation format, he is just not going worry anymore about the notorious "comb availability issue" (let the Dadant operators worry about it - his words).
    For him the issue does not exist.
    His frames - 12x4 inch.
    Talking about this format (which I like very so much):
    https://www.google.com/search?q=%D0%...iPhREqKNzvz1M:
    Last edited by GregV; 10-07-2019 at 12:20 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  20. #1139
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Greg, my response was a little tongue in cheek. I did not truly doubt that he was familiar with the the Warre'. But, was suprised by the passage you quoted since that is exactly what Warre' was attempting to do.
    Ok; now understood.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  21. #1140
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    1) New comb = powerhouse colonies and strong flows understanding that the price paid was a decreased crop. Put one box of foundation on everything you own OR dedicate a handful of hives to drawing comb and put many boxes on those few colonies. Sometimes I do both.

    2) Rotate small amounts of foundation into brood nest . But I find this primarily works for me very early in the year when certain requirements are meet.

    What I find doesnt work much for me---sticking foundation below brood nest or trying to get them to touch boxes of foundation early in the year even when pushed to point of crowding.

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