Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ? - Page 4
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  1. #61
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    Squarepeg:

    Thank you for your reply. You are likely exactly correct. My reason for questioning this move was based on:

    1. I have an upper entrance and a solid inner cover with notch turned down (screened). I decided to err to the side of too much ventilation up top.

    2. They were bringing pollen in during the middle of the week when it wasn't raining.

    It's always interesting to try to figure out what the collective hive dynamics are.

    Thank you again for your input. I do appreciate it!

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  3. #62
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    i see an occasional bee bringing in bright yellow pollen here throughout the winter on those days warm enough for flight.

    i'm guessing it is coming from ornamentals kept by neighbors and/or the stray winter dandelion.

    the first tree pollens start coming in heavily at or about mid-january here. these are usually a dirty pale yellow and i believe come from the tip tops of elms and maples.

    when going in about late february or so to checkerboard the average colony will have its first round of brood capped or sometimes just emerged with the next round of eggs laid in those cells.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #63

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    After considering it, do you see any merit in either the comb drawing aspect and/or the benefit of installing combs back in the way they came out?
    I would forget about housel position as it is part of religion/ guru talk. It has nothing to do with TF beekeeping. I find it detrimental to the whole TF beekeepers group if we stick, or even approve, any woodoo methods just because somebody sometimes used them. I leads to a situation where we all are considered lunatics.

    Putting frames back as they were is something totally different, it helps bees to maintain their order and temperature control.

  5. #64
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    Feb 2015
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    Rosebud Missouri
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Russ
    I had not heard about the purported supercedure benefits of this approach, so I'll have to explore that a bit further.
    When I wrote this part, it was suppose to convey that not keeping combs housel caused bad supercedure and it was a bad thing. I was just saying that I had not noticed this though I could miss it even looking.

    An observation from me on how to look at your year. If your bees do live through winter and you protect the comb from the dead outs, you will have a decision to make. Will you want honey or more bees? The drawn comb from the dead outs will be very helpful either way. Three years and drawn comb is still the thing that I am lacking to experiment with the true potential of what my bees might actually be able to gather if everything was perfect.

    I agree with your position of it can't hurt on the housel. I would like to get to where I can just take a quick glance by just tipping boxes and be able to tell hive status but being new have had to dig pretty deep and pretty often just to try and learn what I might be seeing. It always looks different then what reading put in my mind that it should look like. I am getting a little better at what I am seeing and will be by default more housel if I can get to where I don't have to mess much with brood nest and know enough just to glance and tell.

    I hope everything works out well for you and that I can do a little learning through what you do like I have with squarepeg and also the many others on here who have advised me on my screw ups or argued with me over just bee stuff. I think because of that, that I am a little smarter then I was three years ago. I am still pretty dumb though. This forums participates have helped me in my endeavors with bees.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  6. #65
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    Jun 2018
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    Boaz, KY, USA
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    Squarepeg:

    Thank you for your detailed and helpful reply. I do sincerely appreciate all your help and advice!

  7. #66
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    Jun 2018
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    Juhani:

    GREAT advice about avoiding voodoo and gnosticism. Stick with the scientific method. This is why I really appreciate this forum- folks like me can learn from folks like you who are really doing it and are not afraid to share both your successes and failures in your efforts to be sustainably treatment-free.

    Thanks again for all your help and advice. I've already learned much from you.

    Russ

  8. #67
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    GWW:

    Your reply brought a smile to my face because I completely identify with most everything you said- I too have been quite humbled when actually inspecting the inner workings of a colony and being bewildered by both the process and what I see (the book said the bees weren't supposed to do this)!

    It has helped me appreciate the distinction between "bee owning" and "bee keeping".

    I appreciate your question about considering my goals for next year. I hope to distill my thoughts in a cohesive post, but the overarching goal will be a proof-of-concept that TF is sustainable with captured swarms in my specific area (I'll flesh this thought out later).

    To be honest, I was not prepared to see two regressed packages collapse so spectacularly, particularly when I felt like I did everything "right" (though I know I did quite a lot wrong).

    It opened my eyes to the fact (which I understood conceptually) that there is MUCH more to TF beekeeping than 4.9 mm bees.

    So, to answer your question my main goal next year will be to hive as much swarm stock that I can and see what happens!

    Beyond that, my limited experience does not allow me to see much farther ahead.

    I really appreciate your advice and encouragement- please feel welcome to share your insights or squash my off-target grandiose plans anytime!

  9. #68

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post

    Thanks again for all your help and advice. I've already learned much from you.
    Thank you very much!
    One thing we Finns really need to learn, is the thanking, sending compliments and wishing well sort of thing. When it comes to that we are crap. But we mean all good, it is just against our nature to speak that way. Sort of a problem, or used to be, to our exporting industry too.

  10. #69
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    Thank you, Juhani. You Finns gave us Jean Sibelius, so that is certainly a very important contribution to the world.

  11. #70
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    Apr 2015
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    woodland, wa usa
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Juhani, As to the mattering of the Y being right side up or upside down, all I know is I don't care at all whatever direction they are, and as long as my comb is the fairly flat 1" thickness all the way across, I then am able to place any one of them any where I desire. (And I'm sure the odds are greatly against me to be placing frames totally at random, yet continuing to "always" get the Y's proper). And my bees have never ever given me any indication that it matters one whit to them either which way the Y goes, like ignoring a frame(s) that did indeed be Y turned around wrong.

  12. #71
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    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    I have not examined much natural comb to see which way the Y goes, but on this piece it is sideways.

    034.jpg

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  13. #72
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    Jun 2018
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    jnqpblk and Alex:

    Thank you both for your feedback. I sincerely appreciate your input and experience. While I won't presume to speak for Juhani, I think the position we both may share is that we are not focused on making sure the 'Y' is going a certain way (given that many have not been able to substantiate this phenomena in foundationless frames) as much as making an effort to put the frame back in the same orientation when removed for inspection.

    At least personally, I am using the Housel markings which are currently on my frames strictly as a visual cue to install any removed frames in the same direction they were removed.

    I do appreciate you both sharing your thoughts, and please always feel welcome to share your experiences here.

    Thank you again, and Merry Christmas.

    Russ

  14. #73
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    Jan 2017
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    South Waikato New Zealand
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Hi,
    Yes, I am here down under.

    The last two years have been a learning curve, thankfully, I still have live bees.

    The last inspection showed lovely brood and that they have made a start on drone brood- I actually already knew that cos I could see three cells being made in the gaps of the plastic frames. I'm hoping to get my timing right so I get to watch them hatch.
    That will be a first. Having a window on the side has taught me alot.

    I noticed alot of the built out frames full of nectar so I did spread them apart rather than wait til next time. Heaps of lovely pollen too.

    I dont think you speak old, but then I read alot of different things too.

    One more week then its the big family day.
    Wishing you a wonderful Xmas too.

  15. #74
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    Jun 2018
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    Mischief:

    Thank you for your reply. Summer is but a distant memory here. I am glad to hear your season is going well. You mentioned having a view window- are you using a garden-type hive set-up, or do you have standard 10 frame boxes with view windows cut in (or something else)?

    You also mentioned spreading out your frames- are you running extra spacing in both your brood boxes and your honey supers or only in the supers?

    Here's to a healthy and prosperous New Year for you and your family.

    Russ

  16. #75
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    Twenty things I learned this year (in no particular order):

    1. Beekeeping is hard (but rewarding) work.

    2. Varroa mites are a scourage.

    3. Small hive beetles aren't far behind.

    4. A table saw is an absolute necessity.

    5. Too little room for a colony is a bad thing.

    6. Too much room for a colony is a really bad thing.

    7. Foundationless really works- particularly when you introduce the frames in the right place at the right time.

    8. Robbing screens are a must if you're going to make nucs in a dearth.

    9. Don't make nucs in a dearth.

    10. Bees are highly resilient and are able to overcome many (but not all) bee keeper errors.

    11. Swarm traps really work.

    12. A little smoke is your friend.

    13. Don't do hive inspections in the dark.

    14. Bees don't like lawnmowers.

    15. You can apply Stockholm Syndrome on would-be robbers.

    16. There are ways around moving hives more than 2 feet but less than 2 miles.

    17. Bees do crazy, inexplicable things sometimes.

    18. Their keepers do crazy, inexplicable things sometimes too.

    19. People are always interested when they hear you keep bees.

    20. Beekeeping is equal parts enjoyable, stimulating, maddening and humbling- often all at once.

  17. #76
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    Apr 2015
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    woodland, wa usa
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    43

    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Litsinger
    #4 Tablesaw, or money to buy retail.
    #5 & #6 Inside or out side the hive? Inside, bees will deal with it appropriately (in the manner they were designed to do). In winter, they really do not heat that "extra space" much more than penguins heat the air of the Antarctic over winter.
    #8 Robbing screens are generally not necessary provided a hive is healthy and has enough sense or enough of the defensive genes to do the job required to protect themselves from marauders. Not my job.
    #9 But if you do, and 1 out of of the 4 nucs (as was my case during the latter part of the 5 month dearth this year) not only defended itself against robbers, (yes, 3 were crashed) but the 1 also requeened, so if that happens, ya may just consider that one a keeper, and do your darnedest to winter her over and get daughter queens.
    #19 But once they realize that is all you ever talk about, they may avoid you like the plague.

  18. #77
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    Jun 2018
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    Boaz, KY, USA
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    jnqpblk:

    Great reply. I'm afraid people already cringe when they ask me, "What have you been up to?"

    When you make nucs, are you letting them raise their own queens or making them queenright? My limited nuc building experience from this year suggested they got significantly more heart after they had raised a queen.

    Thanks again for your input. I sincerely appreciate it!

    Russ

  19. #78
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Give this a watch when you have some time...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yxrawVF0Oc
    add in the bees chew down poorer cells
    57% of the cells -Tarpy 2015
    53% of the cells- Hatch 1999
    the take home (GWW cliff note)is when left as a full hive they are fine but breaking in to nucs can lead to a lot of poor queens as the bees are left to deal with the hand they are dealt and don't chose the cells. The end result is grafted/swarm cells lead to 50% better queens.
    Sam comfort talks about this a bit in one of his latest videos, he was seeing even intercast queens at times.. He has switched his recommendation to what people some times call pauper spilts... frame of young brood, frame of food, maby a shake of bees and put on new stand.
    As the name indicates many people don't think highly of them, but Sam has been sending queens to the Tarpy lab and they are scoring almost as good as grafted queens.

    With out any sort of proof, I suspect part of the problems some TF keepers have is poor queens made with poor methods...

    Some of these package colonies barely made winter stores, but a few did pretty well, producing 150 to 250 pounds above winter requirements. But one breeder consistently produced queens that developed colonies producing 250 to 450 pounds of honey over winter requirements.
    Madison's Farrar, and other government beemen then spent time visiting and making observations of that particular queen breeder, and methodology developed in his queen-rearing operation. The conclusion was the stock was no better than available anywhere else. That's right! When we reared queens from that stock or from stock obtained from the poorly performing groups, we turned out very high-performance queens. So it wasn't the stock that was good -- it was the queen breeder.
    -Steve Tabor Breeding Super Bees

  20. #79
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    Today's high of 59 degrees F, sunny skies and virtually no wind had bees out in force. I noticed significant pollen being brought back to hive #4 whereas hive #3 was largely at stasis, suggesting that SP's opinion about hive #4 moving up to the top of the stack suggests no brood rearing yet is likely correct, and conversely hive #3 being anchored low in the stack and bringing in significant pollen might suggest they are rearing a little clutch of brood. If I were braver, I would have dug through the stack to confirm. Pollen was mainly orange-yellow but there was quite a bit of deep red (almost maroon) pollen coming in- not sure what that is...

  21. #80
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Treatment-Free Bungling 2018 - ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    ...but there was quite a bit of deep red (almost maroon) pollen coming in- not sure what that is...
    probably henbit. i have a little blooming here and there down here.

    it was wise that you resisted digging into the hive. if most of the bees were coming home with pollen then you are likely correct about them having a little brood in the works.

    i would prefer they didn't. if we get a protracted stretch of cold weather they can become 'stuck' on the brood, use up the stores just around the nest, fail to move on to adjacent stores, and ultimately starve and freeze.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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