Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1121 - 1140 of 1161 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,991 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1,121 ·
I think you're better with brood less dribble, as the media may be a clean summer, not just a clean start
Yes, thinking the same.
Long term release may be masking the bee-side mite handling (IF they can do it).
Like the idea of giving every one queen a clean and fair start but then letting them to express themselves (as a way to select out worthwhile queens).

If I recall you have some bees that only take a single OA dribble per season to stay afloat.
For my location that would be a very good grade bee.

Media maybe OK to keep afloat almond bee resource unit(s) used up for the bulk bees.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,905 Posts
yes in yards that don't take strong out side mite pressure (bombs) i
to be fair the spring fly back split, then all the mites in the brood being divided 4 ways in to nucs that then go threw a brood break wile the queen develops and mates has a very, very strong impact as well
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,586 Posts
Going forward there will be one change - clean startups*.
GregV:

I've apologized to GWW and now I'll apologize to you for asking the question and then leaving you hanging. I can certainly appreciate the benefit and logic behind a 'clean start-up'. My memory is a bit foggy, but I think this idea is part of the 'Black Box' breeding method?

Either way, it seems like a good way to at least attenuate one variable in an attempt to develop a reasonable comparative benchmark for mite population growth.

Thanks again for your reply, and have a great week.

Russ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,991 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1,124 ·
GregV:
....... a 'clean start-up'. My memory is a bit foggy, but I think this idea is part of the 'Black Box' breeding method?

Russ
Russ, indeed, the "Black Box".
I will still do the mite counts at the season end to estimate what is to come.
 

·
Registered
6a 4th yr 7 colonies inc. resource hive
Joined
·
635 Posts
Hey there GregV- In my opinion TF is an advanced skill. Some of my fave beekeepers manage to do it but usually under ideal conditions and away from other beekeepers.

But I just have to ask. If you only have an average of 15% winter survival rate over 5 years I just have to ask- is this experiment still viable? It would too depressing for me to continue without changing tactics.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,991 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1,127 · (Edited)
Hey there GregV- In my opinion TF is an advanced skill. Some of my fave beekeepers manage to do it but usually under ideal conditions and away from other beekeepers.

But I just have to ask. If you only have an average of 15% winter survival rate over 5 years I just have to ask- is this experiment still viable? It would too depressing for me to continue without changing tactics.
See:

I have demonstrated by this experiment that the beekeeping (including TF beekeeing) is a very much location-depending undertaking (DOH!). What's new?

Btw, I also shared my 5-year summary in my local community so that locals know what we have going on the ground here. We don't need to hear references to the "small cell" based on some Arizona-findings and some other phenomenon based on anecdotes from elsewhere. I got some hard data from my own backyard collected over the last 5 years and I let everyone know what it is.

I want people to read this and stop blindly copying "just don't treat" philosophy preached by some (this is disservice on their part and should be called for what it is - IMO).
BTW - the "just don't treat" approach would probably work if we had Stalin-era like conditions when everyone is to obey the rules... or else. But we don't have that.

Instead - study your particular situation and understand what is possible at your place.
Clearly, some people can care less and just keep bees as in old times and still do it in sustainable fashion. We have many examples of the same.
But yet some other people will not be able to do the same (these include me).
And yet some people could probably be doing TF or at least IPM at their places (but they don't - and this is opportunity lost).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,991 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1,128 ·
..........In my opinion TF is an advanced skill.........
And to elaborate - TF is NOT an advanced skill as a global definition.
There are places where one needs no TF skills whatsoever.
People don't even know and don't care what "TF" (tm) is - like in Honduras.
Like here:

Or ask GWW about his "elaborate TF procedures"... LOL
Well, he has none - he just keeps bees and gets his honey - that's about it.
So here you go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,586 Posts
part of most resistance breeding programs
Thanks for the clarification, MSL. After sleeping on this, I was reminded I had received feedback on this from Juhani who had communicated with Dr. Spivak directly who is quoted as saying:

"In fact, we did not treat the nucs. I did not listen to my talk, but I'm sorry that was not clear. We ... treat the swarms (with the parent queen), but we do not treat the daughter nucs. My goal is to follow the bees' lead through survival stock of the nucs, but to try to understand where the nucs are leading me by keeping the parents and understanding the characters the parent colonies have that might allow the nucs to survive."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,550 Posts
greg
Or ask GWW about his "elaborate TF procedures"... LOL
Well, he has none - he just keeps bees and gets his honey - that's about it.
So here you go.
More true now then it was my first few years though even then, really close. Then, I did make a couple splits with an ideal of where the mite would end up. Then just quit cause I did not want more hives. :)
Cheers
gww
Still might bite me harder than it has so far and so I don't tell futures.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,991 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1,131 · (Edited)
greg

More true now then it was my first few years though even then, really close. Then, I did make a couple splits with an ideal of where the mite would end up. Then just quit cause I did not want more hives. :)
Cheers
gww
Still might bite me harder than it has so far and so I don't tell futures.
Heck, I wish I had a fraction of your good luck, gww.
I wish I cared less about all the TF(tm) talk and just kept the bees and got my honey once a year.
That was the original idea when I built all my long hives - thinking the peasant-style beekeeping would be perfect for me.
Well, turned out I could never replicate the Leo Sharashkin's premise.
Location, location, location - something that "natural" beekeeping theorists forget to mention.

Anyway, now onto more advanced IPM gymnastics for me.... Something to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
I was trying to gather what I could from the videos. The oiled paper was simply to hold the dead mites in place as a means of tracking the effectiveness of the treatment? Also, youtube translation leaves a bit to be desired and I do not speak russian. The translation says he's using red pepper. Is that just a bad translation? Is it dried horseradish root? He's smoking with this multiple times a year or just in fall?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,991 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1,133 ·
I was trying to gather what I could from the videos. The oiled paper was simply to hold the dead mites in place as a means of tracking the effectiveness of the treatment? Also, youtube translation leaves a bit to be desired and I do not speak russian. The translation says he's using red pepper. Is that just a bad translation? Is it dried horseradish root? He's smoking with this multiple times a year or just in fall?
bjorn, it would be useful if you quoted exact post (the next time).
I have lots of videos referenced to discern which one you are talking about.

But let me try..
Oil paper - sure, you stick it under prior to your treatment administration;
Then you kinda estimate from the fall how bad the infestation was OR how we well the prep is working (this can be very misleading! - be warned and think logically - only cases where lots of mite fall is observed and the efficacy of your prep is known one can conclude something useful).
Yes - they use red pepper and/or horseradish and even swear by them.
However, I have little trust in their methods and/or reporting.
First of all, they omit most all specifics - go figure.
I have heard testimonials that some people just do it through the season.
BUT in the end (as I often find accidentally) - they still use amitraz for a good measure and just to be sure (LOL!) So that's the kind of "science" we are talking about.
So that is that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,991 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1,134 · (Edited)
5 year wintering survival records outcomes are now final.

(NOTE: this is the final record for 2020/2021 as of yesterday - it is even worse as the projected #s done two months ago; a unit still alive in March also perished; only the VSH unit survived the season).
---------------------
2016/2017 - 1/2 (50%)
2017/2018 - 2/11 (18%)
2018/2019 - 4/13 (31%)
2019/2020 - 0/19 (0%)
2020/2021 - 1/15 (7%)

Total units attempted to winter: 2 + 11 + 13 + 19 + 15 = 60
Total units survived a winter: 1 + 2 + 4 + 0 + 1 = 8
Simple average: 8/60 = 0.13

Assigned weights to each year:
2/60 = 0.03
11/60 = 0.18
13/60 = 0.22
19/60 = 0.32
15/60 = 0.25
------------
60/60 = 1.00

Weighted average:
0.5*0.03 + 0.18*0.18 + 0.31*0.22 + 0.0*0.32 + 0.07*0.25 = 0.13

Conclusion: expected 5 year TF survival probability at my place is 13%.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,991 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1,135 · (Edited)
And another clear conclusion - any conclusions and statements without the proper attached contexts are meaningless and misleading (and really are harmful).

The "just don't treat" approach in my particular situation will consistently result in the numbers I posted here (based on the 5 year chem-free observation).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
389 Posts
Sorry to hear how it went for you this winter.
I just viewed the Honduras site and found it very interesting. On the one hand, the beekeeper is fully suited up which suggests Africanized as does the mention of swarms as though they are a regular occurence. Also the site seems to be well removed to avoid human contact...again suggesting Africanized.
On the other hand there is the picture of the cow very close to the hives. My cows and donkey and dog all know not to get to near my very gentle hives. Go figure.
In spite of that I would suggest that the African aspect of these bees is what allows them to survive without all of the 'help' we in the states seem to need to give the bees for their survival.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,991 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1,137 ·
I would suggest that the African aspect of these bees is what allows them to survive without all of the 'help'
Maybe.
For sure, all the hoopla about "small cell miracle" that used to come out of Arizona failed to simply denote the strong Africanised nature of their desert bees.
That was the true context of the "miracle".

Up here the Africanised trends (if anything gets imported) are quickly weeded out by the very next winter - for better or for worse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
389 Posts
Sorry to hear how it went for you this winter.
I just viewed the Honduras site and found it very interesting. [QUOTE

I'd like to ad that the 'madreado' tree is a very valuable permaculture tree used for fuel and fodder and shade. It's only limitation is that is loses it's leaves during the winter. I have some on my 'ranch', although it is not well known on my island. I also knew it as 'madre de cacao', rather than madreado,,,fwiw. I imagine it would grow in southern California and elsewhere. Adequate moisture.
and frosts would be the limiting factors.

And I will state that my bees, without treatment, would be long gone also. In fact, even with treatments, I still have an obscene amount of die outs. Fortunately, I have a long season where I am able to replace my losses via splits and queen rearing.
 

·
Registered
5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
Joined
·
2,522 Posts
5 year wintering survival records outcomes are now final.

(NOTE: this is the final record for 2020/2021 as of yesterday - it is even worse as the projected #s done two months ago; a unit still alive in March also perished; only the VSH unit survived the season).
---------------------
2016/2017 - 1/2 (50%)
2017/2018 - 2/11 (18%)
2018/2019 - 4/13 (31%)
2019/2020 - 0/19 (0%)
2020/2021 - 1/15 (7%)

Total units attempted to winter: 2 + 11 + 13 + 19 + 15 = 60
Total units survived a winter: 1 + 2 + 4 + 0 + 1 = 8
Simple average: 8/60 = 0.13

Assigned weights to each year:
2/60 = 0.03
11/60 = 0.18
13/60 = 0.22
19/60 = 0.32
15/60 = 0.25
------------
60/60 = 1.00

Weighted average:
0.5*0.03 + 0.18*0.18 + 0.31*0.22 + 0.0*0.32 + 0.07*0.25 = 0.13

Conclusion: expected 5 year TF survival probability at my place is 13%.
Hi greg not good looking numbers.
IMO it is a lot like real estate , 3 most important things.
location location location.
good forage, good water, few imported issues from large bee drops.

mine is 26 hives into winter 12 losses, just added one more this past week found queen less. So close to 50 % but I did OA in fall Me thinks a bit too late. I do have 10 split out there now from swarm control actions.

I think your clean starts will help.
did you have any starve out or winter queen failures, I did have a couple of those in the far yard, was too busy to do a good fall setup, my bad,, hope to fix that this year. At least I have some bees to work with, 7 of the survivors are 3 box and 1 -4 box hives, often have 30 frames (lang frames) of bees and Queen cells on the inspections last week.

did get 10 new hives built this winter hoping for 40 going into this winter. I am treating the splits as they get to brood less, then an Aug treatment as well. Be wild if 40 survived. I'd need 100 supers and I am a bit short of that.
I would have sent bees, to morph, but the pure ones did not make it and the couple that did have different queens oddly several of my hives superseded in late fall. black queen in fall yellow queen in spring.

I try to get the "suspected" breeders up to big size 3 deep ish for winter, seems they winter better and come out stronger than the smallish ones. I do have 4 of the side by side Palmer style NUCs to try for this winter as well.
Making them in late June. from the best of the best.

good luck this year.

GG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,991 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1,140 · (Edited)
Hi greg not good looking numbers.
IMO it is a lot like real estate , 3 most important things.
location location location.
good forage, good water, few imported issues from large bee drops.

mine is 26 hives into winter 12 losses, just added one more this past week found queen less. So close to 50 % but I did OA in fall Me thinks a bit too late. I do have 10 split out there now from swarm control actions.

I think your clean starts will help.
did you have any starve out or winter queen failures, .......

good luck this year.

GG
Hey GG.
These are terrible numbers.
BUT - I am glad I held the line and ran this show for 5 years.
No one will say now that I did not do it long enough (never say never, but I hope).
:)
At this point also there is not point to hold out longer - this has been long enough.
Something needs changed.
I hope people quote my thread; it is fine by me.

I have done it all or so about:
  • June splits
  • July splits (aka OTS)
  • natural comb and only natural comb
  • distributed hives (am running 7 yards now with no more than 2-3 units per a yard - no congestion)
  • horizontal, low stress hives (Sharashkin style)
  • last year I sent into the winter my first CVH; a modified Warre (they still died, why wouldn't they)
  • insulation - enough said
  • fly back splits (to create brood-less resets)
  • fed to ensure that starvation was never an issue (it never was)
  • imported feral queens (though made mistakes - should really do this via a clean start)
  • tried out Russian queens (though made mistakes - same issue with dirty starts)
  • tried to catch "feral" bees which just don't exist here, to be honest
  • removed drone comb (which I harvest anyway).
  • build a wintering box for nucs (see insulation)
  • made heaters to winter weak nucs and tried using them - useless if the bees are no good
  • raised daughters from my (still-alive) VSH queen last year - they all died anyway (even though the mite counts were promising)
  • created brood-less splits for new queens and countless brood-breaks
  • seeked out and gotten myself out yards with excellent foraging - all those poor foraging talks - not here; my forage is excellent (and I enjoy the honey)
  • I am forgetting what else I have done....

NO - Not a single starvation case.
I have never had starvation (if anything different I had - once was a cluster frozen in place during the Arctic blast a couple of years ago; ironically the frozen bees were from a promising line).
Not to mention I always practice pro-active dry sugar/fondant on the top anyway.
Every single cluster just when through abnormally large and fast attrition and collapsed - some sooner; some later.
Around here once a cluster becomes too small - it will freeze and no way back.

Pretty much compromised and short-lived winter bees caused by the mite infestation is the issue that remains.
So now is onto the OA dribble/clean (re)starts.
Still combined with selecting out the queens that show the best mite counts.
Even though the mite infestation levels here are high, some of the bees do show much better mite counts while others show terrible mite counts.
So, hopefully, with the additional help the most resistant bees will be able to hold out.
Without help chances are slim to none.
 
1121 - 1140 of 1161 Posts
Top