According To This, I've Done Everything Wrong, & My Plans Are Not Good - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Monroe County, Alabama, USA
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    10

    Default Re: According To This, I've Done Everything Wrong, & My Plans Are Not Good

    >>> those are untreated bees, and I don't treat. I have never lost a hive to disease.
    <><><> I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade but for years I was a treatment free beekeeper as well. After eight to ten years of beeing treatment free, i got bit in the butt two years in a row. Lost better than 1/2 my colonies in late winter even though I was feeding to build up population for an early spring honey flow. I now treat with OA (oxalic acid) which is as close to natural as I can get. NOTE: I did have another beekeeper located within two miles of my yard who collected swarms from all over the place. Not sure of what his losses were each year but I do know that he lost hives. End of tale - - Was treatment free, now use OA.

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
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    1,481

    Default Re: According To This, I've Done Everything Wrong, & My Plans Are Not Good

    Quote Originally Posted by BumblingBeek View Post

    The VSH behavior I was talking about the Caucasians displaying is both ejecting the pupae prior to full development, and that mite that had its legs chewed off. I read that that is VSH behavior when they chew their legs off. If these two things are not evidence of VSH behavior, then I appreciate the correction ).
    I am wondering if you checked the ejected pupae for mites. The reason I ask is because I often find Drone pupae on the landing boards of my hives the next day after inspections. My bees build Drone comb in every available space in the Spring. When I inspect, I inadvertently destroy a lot of it, which the bees drag out. I rarely find mites on them, but if I do, I keep a close watch on that hive.

    Alex

    Edit; My point being, if you don't find mites on them, it isn't VSH.
    Last edited by AHudd; 06-19-2019 at 09:35 PM.
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    912

    Default Re: According To This, I've Done Everything Wrong, & My Plans Are Not Good

    Because what you need is more advice (I know, not really)...
    Here's the thing with TF. Very few, if any, TF beekeepers have two hives. Most TF beekeepers, Michael Bush included, have dozens and dozens of hives and nucs, live in an insanely remote area, or both. What this means is that even if they have a very bad year, say 60% loss, they won't be beeless. They'll still have hives coming out of winter that they can then aggressively split in order to get their numbers back up to where they want to be. And those splits will be from the bees that survived that past season and winter helping to strengthen the genetics in their operations.

    If you have two hives and each hive has a reasonably high chance of dying off over the winter because you didn't treat, your chance of being beeless come spring is very high. If you're beeless, you're back to square one, buying bees and just crossing your fingers that the bees you buy are in some way decent and will survive. The key to TF is to never be beeless, and so I just don't think you can ever, ever do it with two hives unless you live in some crazy remote location. Even then I'd doubt it with two.
    Last edited by libhart; 06-20-2019 at 07:57 AM.
    License not replace eyes, ears, and brain.
    - Mr. Miyagi

  5. #24
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    144

    Default Re: According To This, I've Done Everything Wrong, & My Plans Are Not Good

    Quote Originally Posted by AHudd View Post
    I am wondering if you checked the ejected pupae for mites. The reason I ask is because I often find Drone pupae on the landing boards of my hives the next day after inspections. My bees build Drone comb in every available space in the Spring. When I inspect, I inadvertently destroy a lot of it, which the bees drag out. I rarely find mites on them, but if I do, I keep a close watch on that hive.

    Alex

    Edit; My point being, if you don't find mites on them, it isn't VSH.
    I did look them over for mites, and didn't find any.

  6. #25
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    144

    Default Re: According To This, I've Done Everything Wrong, & My Plans Are Not Good

    Quote Originally Posted by libhart View Post
    Because what you need is more advice (I know, not really)...
    Here's the thing with TF. Very few, if any, TF beekeepers have two hives. Most TF beekeepers, Michael Bush included, have dozens and dozens of hives and nucs, live in an insanely remote area, or both. What this means is that even if they have a very bad year, say 60% loss, they won't be beeless. They'll still have hives coming out of winter that they can then aggressively split in order to get their numbers back up to where they want to be. And those splits will be from the bees that survived that past season and winter helping to strengthen the genetics in their operations.

    If you have two hives and each hive has a reasonably high chance of dying off over the winter because you didn't treat, your chance of being beeless come spring is very high. If you're beeless, you're back to square one, buying bees and just crossing your fingers that the bees you buy are in some way decent and will survive. The key to TF is to never be beeless, and so I just don't think you can ever, ever do it with two hives unless you live in some crazy remote location. Even then I'd doubt it with two.
    I think I just don't have the space/access to remote location to have the number of hives I'd need and strong feral genes to be a TF Beek. It's too bad, but it is what it is. Thanks for taking the time to respond!

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    912

    Default Re: According To This, I've Done Everything Wrong, & My Plans Are Not Good

    Quote Originally Posted by BumblingBeek View Post
    I did look them over for mites, and didn't find any.
    In a decent queenright hive, by the time you actually see phoretic mites just by looking, they're far down the road of being overwhelmed. The only way to know how many mites you have is a sugar roll or alcohol wash. You'll very rarely just see them with your eyes when looking.
    License not replace eyes, ears, and brain.
    - Mr. Miyagi

  8. #27
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    144

    Default Re: According To This, I've Done Everything Wrong, & My Plans Are Not Good

    Quote Originally Posted by libhart View Post
    In a decent queenright hive, by the time you actually see phoretic mites just by looking, they're far down the road of being overwhelmed. The only way to know how many mites you have is a sugar roll or alcohol wash. You'll very rarely just see them with your eyes when looking.
    So, it could be the VSH the breeder told me he selected his daughter queens for?

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    912

    Default Re: According To This, I've Done Everything Wrong, & My Plans Are Not Good

    Quote Originally Posted by BumblingBeek View Post
    So, it could be the VSH the breeder told me he selected his daughter queens for?
    Oh not disputing that the hive may have low mites and be very good at keeping them under control. Just don't trust your eyes to tell you by looking at bees on frames. Need to do the roll/wash to really know.
    License not replace eyes, ears, and brain.
    - Mr. Miyagi

  10. #29
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
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    144

    Default Re: According To This, I've Done Everything Wrong, & My Plans Are Not Good

    Quote Originally Posted by libhart View Post
    Oh not disputing that the hive may have low mites and be very good at keeping them under control. Just don't trust your eyes to tell you by looking at bees on frames. Need to do the roll/wash to really know.
    I'm asking because I have been told twice in this thread that simply uncapping and ejecting underdeveloped brood doesn't indicate VSH. I know there was mites in that hive, because when my Mentor & I did our inspection a few weeks ago, I found a mite on my finger missing its legs after putting the frames back. This is also the hive that I found some deformed wings in.

  11. #30
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    221

    Default Re: According To This, I've Done Everything Wrong, & My Plans Are Not Good

    I concur with BB, the hive does certainly have mites, we saw them, and there are the deformed wings. We neither looked for, nor saw, phoretic mites. We did see mites on the bottom board of the adjacent hive.

    Concerning the pupae laying on the bottom board, we believed it was hygenic behavoir, but as others have suggested, maybe drone culling by a weak hive. I looked for mites on the carcasses, but didn't see them. But I wonder if mites would have stayed attached anyway. I have looked for mites on dead bees before, and did alcohol washes on them, and always came up negative.

    Nice seeing you at the meeting tonight BB. I bought 6 more hives of bees tonight, picking up on Saturday :-)

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,850

    Default Re: According To This, I've Done Everything Wrong, & My Plans Are Not Good

    If you look it it statistically you want five or more hives to have a really good chance of always having a surviving hive. Your odds fall a lot below that and no matter how many you have after that you are simply approaching 100% chance but never getting there... If you have five hives and a few nucs going into winter your odds are even better...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  13. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
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    3,128

    Default Re: According To This, I've Done Everything Wrong, & My Plans Are Not Good

    I have been targeting to send between 10 and 20 hives across several locations into the winter.
    These numbers work for me (for peasant/homesteader-type bee operation).
    Will continue the program.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  14. #33
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    144

    Default Re: According To This, I've Done Everything Wrong, & My Plans Are Not Good

    Quote Originally Posted by bushpilot View Post

    Nice seeing you at the meeting tonight BB. I bought 6 more hives of bees tonight, picking up on Saturday :-)
    6!?!? NICE!!!

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,170

    Default Re: According To This, I've Done Everything Wrong, & My Plans Are Not Good

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    I have been targeting to send between 10 and 20 hives across several locations into the winter.
    These numbers work for me (for peasant/homesteader-type bee operation).
    Will continue the program.
    similar plan here greg, setting the yards up 'darwinian' style.

    good thread bb, thanks for starting it!
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  16. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,128

    Default Re: According To This, I've Done Everything Wrong, & My Plans Are Not Good

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    similar plan here greg, setting the yards up 'darwinian' style....
    Yep.
    Obvious draw-back - takes some moving about to visit every unit (but hey - we have roads and cars now days; not like the forefathers who had to slog by foot through the woods and carry their wears - bee tree to a bee tree to a bee tree and so on ...).
    Obvious benefit - your operation becomes much more robust (a catastrophic yard loss is contained within that yard only; if I loose entire yard that is 3-4 colonies at most).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  17. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,128

    Default Re: According To This, I've Done Everything Wrong, & My Plans Are Not Good

    Quote Originally Posted by BumblingBeek View Post
    6!?!? NICE!!!
    Some chunk of change.
    I don't have that kinda budget for the bees.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  18. #37
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,170

    Default Re: According To This, I've Done Everything Wrong, & My Plans Are Not Good

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Obvious benefit - your operation becomes much more robust (a catastrophic yard loss is contained within that yard only; if I loose entire yard that is 3-4 colonies at most).
    yep. and with darwinian spacing cutting down drift the chance of catastrophic yard loss should go way down as well. jmho.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  19. #38
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    221

    Default Re: According To This, I've Done Everything Wrong, & My Plans Are Not Good

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Some chunk of change.
    I don't have that kinda budget for the bees.
    Well, I didn't say how much I paid ...

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