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Hi Greg, just thought I would let you know that some of your ideas are rubbing off on me. This year I have delayed treating and am practicing a sort of soft bond on the hives. I lost 8 of the 20 early on, but as of this weekend have 11 strong hives and 2 nucs remaining with no feeding or treatments. I plan to start treating soon as the hives should be broodless in another week or two. Started feeding last weekend but seveval hives, not all, are pretty loaded already. Those that survive should do well next season and will be used for splits and breeding. Thanks for the encouragement by posting your own trials.
 

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Well, I just like the alternative life-style.
Fair enuff answer , I ran in to a group of people lately who are dead set against using OAV or dribble OA as its "chemicals" but jumped all over rhubarb leaves because they have OA in them(plus some other stuff that is bad for humans to eat, its not the OA that is toxic in the leaves rhubarb leaves have 1/2 the OA of spinach ) so that "natural" not "chemical" :scratch:
So I was just wanting in site in to your rational (not wanting to set off a "what's right" kinda thing walk in the weeds)

So unprincipled of me!
Well, I kinda liked selling few queens to cover the expenses.
as usual it fun watching you grow as a beekeeper
Did you harvest the walking dead's honey 1st to avoid possible contamination ? Aside from bad tasteing honey it breaks down in to Hydrogen cyanide when burned so experiment with care
 

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Discussion Starter #823 (Edited)
Hi Greg, just thought I would let you know that some of your ideas are rubbing off on me. This year I have delayed treating and am practicing a sort of soft bond on the hives. I lost 8 of the 20 early on, but as of this weekend have 11 strong hives and 2 nucs remaining with no feeding or treatments. I plan to start treating soon as the hives should be broodless in another week or two. Started feeding last weekend but seveval hives, not all, are pretty loaded already. Those that survive should do well next season and will be used for splits and breeding. Thanks for the encouragement by posting your own trials.
JW, I don't know if you do counts or not...

If not, I recommend trying out those sugar rolls and get a feel for it.
Even if only few hives.
Even without being hard ***** about the precision and stuff - the difference between 5-6% and 15-16% is so large that is hard to miss that.
But yet 15% is pretty much a dead out; and yet 5% can very much survive as is.
Even if you treat, the 5% colony can be worthwhile for keeping forward (and the 15% not).

I only meant to check my hygienic line initially - to see if they ARE what was promised.
And they basically ARE for this season.

Along the way, I went ahead and tested the nearby random hives too.
Then I even tested more hives on the remote yards (while feeding them anyway, IF time was permitting).
I got 12 hives out of 15 tested - but that is where I am going to stop; just no time.

Also nice thing to double-check your gut feeling.
Some bees I was spot on - I felt they were crap (the eat-eat-eat bees) - and nailed that.
But yet, some other bees (e.g. my #1) I felt good about them - and completely missed.
Sure enough, #1 is even shedding DW bees, I just noticed today.

Unfortunately, this is looking less and less the "lazy beekeeping" style.
It is what it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #824
Fair enuff answer , I ran in to a group of people lately who are dead set against using OAV or dribble OA as its "chemicals" but jumped all over rhubarb leaves because they have OA in them(plus some other stuff that is bad for humans to eat, its not the OA that is toxic in the leaves rhubarb leaves have 1/2 the OA of spinach ) so that "natural" not "chemical" :scratch:
So I was just wanting in site in to your rational (not wanting to set off a "what's right" kinda thing walk in the weeds)


as usual it fun watching you grow as a beekeeper
Did you harvest the walking dead's honey 1st to avoid possible contamination ? Aside from bad tasteing honey it breaks down in to Hydrogen cyanide when burned so experiment with care
I don't really mean to get onto this "treat-treat" regiment either for many reasons.
That in itself is a dead-end.

I kind of like the approach my queen seller does.
Out of his ~100 hives this season (he says) - he did not treat 60 as this was not needed - that is his selection program.
But the rest he either treated (just to pull them through the winter and then re-queen/use up for resources) OR he culled them straight up as hopeless mite dumps.

So I find his a reasonable approach.
Of course, he is testing and re-testing like crazy and does the alcohol.
But he depends on his bees money-wise (and I don't).

Hydrogen cyanide - I hope I did not screw up my honey because I did not remove from #1 (meant to do it; looked at it; left as is).
But whatever is capped is most likely OK and I am not concerned.
The uncapped I will try and taste when I can, just to see.
But hey, I like horseradish as a go-to spice too - this is not changing!

Still, better google up on the subject, thanks for the search terms.

I guess most any good foods are full of toxicity at minute amounts:
Cabbage, radish, cauliflower, mustard, and horseradish are full of isothiocyanates, which can be metabolized to mutagens, and also to cyanide derivatives
http://www.nmfrc.org/pdf/psf2001/01may98.pdf
 

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I

Still, better google up on the subject, thanks for the search terms.

I guess most any good foods are full of toxicity at minute amounts:

http://www.nmfrc.org/pdf/psf2001/01may98.pdf
Interesting! Just found a similar list which includes broccoli, and the side bar in your link shows wild cherry leaves as having lots of isothiocyanate. Both of these would be easy and cheap to experiment with.
 

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Discussion Starter #826 (Edited)
Interesting! Just found a similar list which includes broccoli, and the side bar in your link shows wild cherry leaves as having lots of isothiocyanate. Both of these would be easy and cheap to experiment with.
Horseradish is just so very easy to cultivate - once you get it going, it will be a per-annual, maintenance-free bed for the rest of your life. In fact, you must harvest it periodically to just control the spreading.
Also very easy to prepare and administer - dig just as much you need; dry; put in to your smoker.

I read some more about Hydrogen cyanide.
So it turned out, I already consumed so much of it, it is no joke - a passive tobacco smoker for many years.
Basically, give yourself a favor and don't smoke (actively or passively).

Habitual smoking is the real deal, as far as the cyanide compounds are concerned (some people use straight tobacco leaves too in the smokers - the same deal).
 

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My horseradish has not expanded in over 10 years. Two plants the whole time. Saw one small new one this year. The soil is a very hard, compacted clay, so that may be why. I have never tried to harvest it, but it might be a good idea to dig it up and split it. Maybe plant some in my garden with better soil.
 

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Discussion Starter #828
My horseradish has not expanded in over 10 years. Two plants the whole time. Saw one small new one this year. The soil is a very hard, compacted clay, so that may be why. I have never tried to harvest it, but it might be a good idea to dig it up and split it. Maybe plant some in my garden with better soil.
For sure - most any root vegetable does not like hard, compacted clay.
From my experience, horseradish is rather a quickly spreading, hard to kill, nuisance weed, IF in favorable setting and left unchecked.
 

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For sure - most any root vegetable does not like hard, compacted clay.
From my experience, horseradish is rather a quickly spreading, hard to kill, nuisance weed, IF in favorable setting and left unchecked.
Most of my garden stuff is like that. Self-seeding or I just scatter seeds. Corn, melons and a few other exceptions.
 

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Discussion Starter #830
Most of my garden stuff is like that. Self-seeding or I just scatter seeds. Corn, melons and a few other exceptions.
Hey, AR, any experience with cold-frame usage?

I got two cold-frames built several years ago.
The usage was a mixed bag - some successes/some failures.

But every fall when I don't setup the cold frames for a potential late crop (radishes and some greens) - I later regret I did not go for it.
I might just setup my cold frames for 2020!
Never know here - might just harvest a nice crop yet.

This evening I will go out and harvest my last green beans and call them done (the weather is turning).
Still plenty of green onions and beets are in the ground thou!
 

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Thanks for the encouragement by posting your own trials.
JW:

FWIW I appreciate the detailed and helpful way in which you respond to a good many of the posts here on Beesource. Just a suggestion, but I would certainly appreciate reading your chronicles if you would be willing to start your own thread.

Thanks for the help and advice you have afforded me along the way.

Russ
 

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For my needs, a rough eye ball estimates done in September/October tell me all I need to know.
GregV:

Good posting- I have enjoyed and appreciated the recent conversations about mite count evaluations and 'natural' miticide options.

While I will readily admit that I am no expert, I would concur that you are right that the mite count in the Fall is the only one that really matters, and that it does not have to be all that sophisticated nor overly precise to be valuable.

I have taken to heart MSL's point (as originally postulated by Glenn Apiaries and now dutifully carried forward by Randy Oliver) that at the end of the day all that really matters in terms of resistance breeding is consistently low mite population growth and adequate winter bee populations at the end of the year- all the rest of the diagnostics and management techniques are just (helpful perhaps) details.

Keep up the good work- and best of success to your overwintering preparations.

Russ
 

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Hey, AR, any experience with cold-frame usage?
Something I always want to try but am too lazy to get around to. Now that I am graduated from school however, I may find the energy. I do plan to toss some plastic sheets over the garden tomorrow. The next three nights are predicted to get frosty, but then warm up again. Hope to keep the tomatoes going a while longer. Of the stuff I have left, mostly it is frost-tolerant greens, except the tomatoes.

It's the season for gathering seeds. Picked a few Okra this week, sweet corn, beans, melons, zucchini, and various flowers. Some stuff, like tobacco, got planted too late so may frost before I can get many seeds. I thought of something new this year. I saw at work many flowers going to seed, so when they started to dry out picked off a bunch of seed heads, also at the local library. Keeping eyes open for free seeds. I wonder what people thought I was doing...
 

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I thought of something new this year. I saw at work many flowers going to seed, so when they started to dry out picked off a bunch of seed heads, also at the local library. Keeping eyes open for free seeds. I wonder what people thought I was doing...
Me too, AR1. I've been collecting summer and fall wildflower seeds to augment my pollinator habitat. This season I've collected Common Milkweed, Wild Burgamot, Joe Pye Weed, Ironweed and Illinois Bundleflower.

Recently, my wife was approached by a friend who remarked, "I would have sworn I saw your husband out in a field on my way home." She was right...

Later in the year I plan to collect and distribute some Redbud, Sumac and Elderberry seeds along to fence lines to help eventually augment understory foraging opportunities.
 

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Discussion Starter #835
...... Keeping eyes open for free seeds. I wonder what people thought I was doing...
Hey, one thing I always do in the fall season - collect seeds.
For example, I will collect seeds from sweet clover/golden rod/asters along the running trail.
I got just a perfect spot for these seeds in the new subdivision - the new water drainage canal.
A short flying distance from my two bee yards!
 

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Discussion Starter #837
Since some of my units are already "walking dead", I want to experiment on them.
This season it will be dry horseradish root using the regular smoker.

Smoked the #1 last night - closed all entrances but one - pumped it until I heard the bees roaring.
Unfortunately, I was not able to put greased paper under them to capture any fall out - did not work out and the bees got agitated.
Bees are flying normally this morning.
Should repeat in a week.
Then need to re-count, ideally.

Probably smoke a couple more units, time permitting.
I, basically, smoked a couple more of the virtual dead colonies (as they most certainly die anyway).
Just to ensure the bees did not die of the smoke - they did not.

I also pulled out of the #1 that scrambled piece of greased paper - there are few mites on it (could be just a natural attrition) - but it was a botched effort to consider in any way.

The honey is fine; not horseradish taste or funny smell to it after a single application; not concerned.
I am not really concerned honey-wise.

I suppose one outcome of this run was - the bees will NOT die after 40-50 puffs of horseradish smoke into the hive.
I basically puffed the smoke until it was coming out all over the hives.

Too cold now to do the mite recounts in the smoked hives. That'd be the ideal setup.
In the future I will redo this experiment in a more organized fashion with the before/after counts.
 

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Too cold now to do the mite recounts in the smoked hives. That'd be the ideal setup.
In the future I will redo this experiment in a more organized fashion with the before/after counts.
Good post, GregV. Interesting stuff. Sounds like you need a few screened bottom boards with trays so you can experiment to your heart's content!
 

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Discussion Starter #839
Good post, GregV. Interesting stuff. Sounds like you need a few screened bottom boards with trays so you can experiment to your heart's content!
Sounds like a complicated pieced of equipment that is too advanced for me. :)

With the long hives, no built-in trays are needed. Any retired piece of cookware works just as well.

The real issue was - this experiment was an after-thought - so I failed to clear the under-frame space BEFORE I decided to this experiment.
There is a collapsed comb down there that has gotten in the way for the greased paper.

OK, I could have stolen a baking tray from home and tried ramming that through the under-frame comb.
Well, with the "surgery" in progress and bees mad at me, was not the greatest timing.
The next time will be smarter.
 

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Sounds like a complicated pieced of equipment that is too advanced for me. :)

With the long hives, no built-in trays are needed. Any retired piece of cookware works just as well.
No argument from me- my only point was that with a dedicated means to slide-in a tray (or an old cookie sheet), you could perform the evaluations even during inclement conditions. May not be too big of an issue for you, but I find it handy around here, especially during those cold, rainy days that seem to always land on the day that I need to be evaluating 48 hour drops.
 
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