Hands off Beekeeping.....for the most part. - Page 2
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 60
  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    10,210

    Default Re: Hands off Beekeeping.....for the most part.

    A rule that tends to be true in most human endeavors is <minimal effort ='s minimal results>.

    This rule also applies to beekeeping except under a certain circumstance. That circumstance, is that the beekeeper is uneducated in the ways of bees, and on average does more harm when he opens the hive, than good.

    So, how does the beekeeper become educated in the ways of bees? By spending time with the bees of course!! Opening the hive, seeing what bees do, learning. In the beginning will probably make a few screw ups. But it's learning.

    Leave it alone beekeeping works, until it doesn't work. Which will bite nearly every leave it alone beekeeper eventually.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,495

    Default Re: Hands off Beekeeping.....for the most part.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    A rule that tends to be true in most human endeavors is <minimal effort ='s minimal results>.....
    OT, disagreed.
    You here talk of the absolute terms.
    Really should always factor everything in relation to the time spent per unit of something - the ultimate factor.

    What does anything matter if tomorrow one to goes to the hospital and never comes back out?
    Appreciate your time first.
    All else is secondary.

    So, if spending no time on your bee maintenance generates you a bucket of honey - that is plenty.

    IF spending your time with your bees IS the priority, who cares of the honey then?

    Again, making living by making honey/selling bees is not compatible to making living by writing computer programs (and having few bees alongside).
    Unsure why oil and water are kept being compared to each other.....
    These are different chemicals.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  4. #23
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    North Liberty, IN
    Posts
    418

    Default Re: Hands off Beekeeping.....for the most part.

    Quote Originally Posted by fadder View Post
    IIs there anyone else out there
    that operates on the principal of just
    leave them alone?.
    Yes!!! I just make sure they have plenty of room and keep supers cleared. Once colonies are setup the same fairly close average of what they do. Anything below average I'll tear down to see why, very low percentage.
    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds" Albert Einstein

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    10,210

    Default Re: Hands off Beekeeping.....for the most part.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    OT, disagreed.
    You here talk of the absolute terms.
    Really should always factor everything in relation to the time spent per unit of something - the ultimate factor.
    Good point Greg, time vs assetts is the critical ratio, something all commercial beekeepers think about and factor in, in order to get the maximum returns against investment, of both time, and assetts.

    Me, I'm retired now and only have 320 hives as a retirement hobby. So i can afford the time to manage them pretty intensively, which I do. It certainly worked out last season, when i saw what some of the more or less leave it alone beekeepers in my area were harvesting, compared to what I was harvesting. Big difference and a good return on my investment.

    If you look at some of the better commercial beekeepers like say, Michael Palmer, you will find they manage their hives pretty intensively. Course, they know how to do that fast, and they also know what is, and is not, needed. So they will not be wasting any time on anything not necessary. But what is needed, or what is going to get the beekeeper a better return, they will do.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Tehachapi, California, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Hands off Beekeeping.....for the most part.

    Such an interesting thread. I find there is no "one way" to work with bees. I belong to 2 beekeeper's clubs. As secretary of one, I have an advantage of recording and transcribing the meetings. It's amazing what I have learned from other beekeepers who are experienced. One was a pig farmer, another is a farmer multiple varieties of peaches in his orchard, a president who has been beekeeping for 40 or more years.

    Personally I can't recall anyone advocating hands off beekeeping in the 5 years involved with honey bees and clubs. Observation, listening and hands-on beekeeping are all essential to maintain healthy hives. These aren't field bees living in clusters of rocks or old hollow trees but bees in boxes made by humans that require care and year around maintenance. Bee behavior can be established by the equinoxes. Days get longer, shorter, weather changes. In the winter they cluster and there is maintenance to assure they have ample stores to survive, spring is when they begin multiplying and foraging, summer is when they create honey and fall they begin preparing for winter. In today's world there are pesticides to deal with, varroa mites and all the diseases they carry. Untreated bees in the fall will be a dead hive in the spring.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    North Liberty, IN
    Posts
    418

    Default Re: Hands off Beekeeping.....for the most part.

    Quote Originally Posted by TehachapiGal View Post
    Untreated bees in the fall will be a dead hive in the spring.
    Really? Haven't treated since starting in 2001, and haven't bought bees since I stopped feeding in 2006.

    SMH!!
    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds" Albert Einstein

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,922

    Default Re: Hands off Beekeeping.....for the most part.

    >Untreated bees in the fall will be a dead hive in the spring.

    And yet I haven't treated my bees since 2003 and they are not all dead by spring. Pesticides in July are my problem...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Tehachapi, California, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Hands off Beekeeping.....for the most part.

    As far as I understand, the Varroa Destructor has spread throughout the U.S. Here in central California most colonies are treated. If not, they don't survive. I prefer to use oxalic acid and an unapproved yet to be acknowledged shop towel method. After opening a hive in early spring a few years ago and seeing my girls with deformed wing virus they're monitored and treated as needed.

    Mites are prevalent everywhere. Is there a reason why your hives are mite free?

    Certainly you are by far much more knowledgeable than most beekeepers. I'm one of your fans and followers and a better beekeeper by following your advise.

    http://www.stoppinginvasives.org/hom...roa-destructor

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,495

    Default Re: Hands off Beekeeping.....for the most part.

    Quote Originally Posted by TehachapiGal View Post

    Mites are prevalent everywhere. Is there a reason why your hives are mite free?
    Virtually no hives are mite-free.
    No one claims to have mite-free bees.
    They just don't die (not all of bees die).
    Very old subject by now.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    10,210

    Default Re: Hands off Beekeeping.....for the most part.

    Just to fully explain TehachapiGal, in some areas people are keeping bees without treating for mites, in other areas they must be treated or as you say, they will die.

    Nobody quite knows why, there has been much discussion over the years about if it is the kind of mites in the area, the kind of viruses in the area, the kind of bees, the climate, the kind of comb, or whatever. Of course, some of the beekeepers who found their bees can survive untreated like to think it is because they personally, are a bit smarter than everyone else. Ha ha.

    All these theories have been tested and no one answer has been found to hold true, recent beekeeping history is littered with dead hives of people who followed the advice given by people with treatment free ( TF ) bees, but it didn't work in a different place. And there are even TF beekeepers who moved their hives to a different area, then lost them all. It does seem TF beekeeping is location specific but again, nobody knows why, even if they like to think they do.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 10-25-2019 at 03:11 PM.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Tehachapi, California, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Hands off Beekeeping.....for the most part.

    The discussion here is a topic related to hands-off beekeeping. Bee diseases do not fall into the category of an old subject.They represent a cause of colony collapse along with other factors like herbicide and pesticide use.

    I live close to a freeway where hundreds of semi's loaded with bee hives pass through on their way to almond groves in late January to Arvin, Bakersfield and the surrounding cities, north to groves up that way where queen, bee package sellers are located like Oliveras Bee Company. Every year there are reported swarms at the local truck stops where the semi's gas up. Some of them almost certainly carry diseases and Africanized. I've met at least 1 family that embrace Africanized bees and rent them out to commercial pollinator companies. If an apiary has mites and refuses to treat them then they are part of the problem not part of the solution.

    With this said some of us work at controlling swarming through inspections and splits, queen replacement, etc. However, there is nothing to stop field bees from making their way into hives. It happens. A hive welcomes a bee carrying lots of pollen. It's altogether possible for them to harbor diseases.

  13. #32
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    North Liberty, IN
    Posts
    418

    Default Re: Hands off Beekeeping.....for the most part.

    Quote Originally Posted by TehachapiGal View Post
    As far as I understand, the Varroa Destructor has spread throughout the U.S. Here in central California most colonies are treated. If not, they don't survive. I prefer to use oxalic acid and an unapproved yet to be acknowledged shop towel method. After opening a hive in early spring a few years ago and seeing my girls with deformed wing virus they're monitored and treated as needed.

    Mites are prevalent everywhere. Is there a reason why your hives are mite free?

    Certainly you are by far much more knowledgeable than most beekeepers. I'm one of your fans and followers and a better beekeeper by following your advise.

    http://www.stoppinginvasives.org/hom...roa-destructor
    Look at my FB post on 10/18/19. Colonies are keeping mites below threshold.
    Varrao don't kill bees, the viruses associated with Varrao kills bees. Which I do not have! So, the Billion dollar question is why dont the bees have the virures? Nutrition difference of not feeding?
    Whom else can I buy bees or Queens from that' has not been raised on any kind of syrup for 10+ years? Surely cannot get Southern raised Queens to perform the same, even the TF ones.
    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds" Albert Einstein

  14. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    2,640

    Default Re: Hands off Beekeeping.....for the most part.

    Until you KNOW that your bees have the traits, such as mite biting, required to survive the mites and the diseases that the bees are exposed to in recent decades, "Hands-Off" beekeeping is just cruelty to animals - sacrificing bees to the mites.

    Responsible beekeepers are using IPM - Integrated Pest Management methods until they can be sure that the bees can make it on their own. This basically means that we admit that the mites are here, they are here to stay, but we are going to torture them and never let them get a foothold! We economize a regimen of light, moderate, firm, and occasionally a heavy treatment (usually formic acid about August 15th) instead of going "treatment-free". This approach has been documented to deliver more bees each Spring.

    No doubt that in the long run, "Treatment-Free" beekeeping will be better, but until you have bees (and beekeepers who are fully armed with the know-how) that can handle today's stresses, both man-made and natural, IPM is the best approach.

    To learn more about IPM, check out www.scientificbeekeeping.com

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    5,219

    Default Re: Hands off Beekeeping.....for the most part.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post

    And yet I haven't treated my bees since 2003 and they are not all dead by spring.
    Mike,
    Would you credit your location for the major reason you need not treat?
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the ProVap 110
    OA Vaporizer. The fastest vaporizer on the market!

  16. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Northern Il, USA
    Posts
    433

    Default Re: Hands off Beekeeping.....for the most part.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Just to fully explain TehachapiGal, in some areas people are keeping bees without treating for mites, in other areas they must be treated or as you say, they will die.

    Nobody quite knows why, there has been much discussion over the years about if it is the kind of mites in the area, the kind of viruses in the area, the kind of bees, the climate, the kind of comb, or whatever. Of course, some of the beekeepers who found their bees can survive untreated like to think it is because they personally, are a bit smarter than everyone else. Ha ha.

    All these theories have been tested and no one answer has been found to hold true, recent beekeeping history is littered with dead hives of people who followed the advice given by people with treatment free ( TF ) bees, but it didn't work in a different place. And there are even TF beekeepers who moved their hives to a different area, then lost them all. It does seem TF beekeeping is location specific but again, nobody knows why, even if they like to think they do.
    I have been reading a lot of papers recently where studies were done with bees that had survived without treatment for years. They transported some of these hives to other regions and found they died just as fast as local bees. It's odd. We know that there are several races of bees that have developed resistance, Africanized for example, and apparently Russian Far Eastern bees. If there are any genetic causes of resistance it should spread very rapidly into feral bees.

    Something else is going on. I suspect that something else is a combination of flooding the landscape with commercially produced, heavily treated queens every year, and, migratory beekeepers bringing loads of severely infected bees back form Cali every year. I doubt either one of those two things will change soon.

    Hopefully people like Randy Oliver will succeed in producing queens that are commercially useful and also more resistant. If they change the queen equation, so that commercial queen producers are mailing out resistant queens instead of mite-bombs-in-waiting, we might see some progress.

  17. #36
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    10,210

    Default Re: Hands off Beekeeping.....for the most part.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Ives View Post
    So, the Billion dollar question is why dont the bees have the virures? Nutrition difference of not feeding?
    Whom else can I buy bees or Queens from that' has not been raised on any kind of syrup for 10+ years? Surely cannot get Southern raised Queens to perform the same, even the TF ones.
    Oh i forgot to add that to the list. Some people think the secret is not feeding sugar.

    But they forgot all those wild hives that died of mites didn't get fed sugar LOL
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  18. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Lilburn, GA, USA
    Posts
    748

    Default Re: Hands off Beekeeping.....for the most part.

    Last internal inspection June 29, 2019. We'll see. I'm not pretending this is the best way. It is experimental and I am making observations about different hive designs and entrances.

    Quote Originally Posted by fadder View Post
    I see people talking about weekly inspections, about rotating boxes
    and it makes me wonder, does everyone
    do this? Is there anyone else out there
    that operates on the principal of just
    leave them alone?
    What I mean is I treat mine with Formic Pro in the fall and in the spring. I might go in them once a month the check the supers.
    I never rotate the boxes as I figure they have
    been raising bees a longer than I have. I just let them be bees.
    I also will not cut comb , I figure they lose
    honey production when they are replacing comb.
    My grandfather and great-uncle kept bees and my fiancée's grandfather, too. I want to pass this tradition along.

  19. #38
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    North Liberty, IN
    Posts
    418

    Default Re: Hands off Beekeeping.....for the most part.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Oh i forgot to add that to the list. Some people think the secret is not feeding sugar.

    But they forgot all those wild hives that died of mites didn't get fed sugar LOL
    They didn't all die, wild swarms is where my bees originated from. Lol
    "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds" Albert Einstein

  20. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    10,210

    Default Re: Hands off Beekeeping.....for the most part.

    Sure, but that 99% of them died despite having natural comb and not being fed sugar, demonstrates there is more to it than that.

    My own reading indicates that a large part of it is genetics. Not the whole story either, which we know because of the way they die when moved to another area. But there is so much anecdotal evidence people report of good results once they get the right genetics, seems to me it must be an important factor.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  21. #40
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,707

    Default Re: Hands off Beekeeping.....for the most part.

    It wouldn't surprise me if diet isn't playing some kind of role. The type of forage differs markedly from one area to another, and is implicated in disease resistance generally. Mono-floral diets are probably none too healthy.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •