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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Going to no chemicals saves a lot of work and trouble. All the frames are "clean" so you don't have to worry about residue. If you only feed honey, it's all honey and you don't have to worry what might be syrup instead. You can harvest honey from where ever you find it. And of course you don't have to put in (and pull out) strips, mix up Fumidil syrup and dust with Terramycin, treat with menthol, make grease patties, fog with FGMO, make up cords, evaporate Oxalic acid. Just think of all the spare time you'll have. And how clean your honey will be.

Of course, I've found natural cell size a prerequisite at least for dropping the Varroa mite treatments.
 

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I carry my fishing pole and tackle in my truck with bee veil/smoker and other necessary stuff. More than once I have left the house to work bees and came home with supper
 

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certan? OK, we'll give you that one....But Mr. Bush, you are on fire man, ON FIRE I SAY! Keep it up....I halfway expect you to say "and stop cleaning between your toes. saves time and headaches."
 

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>"and stop cleaning between your toes. saves time and headaches."

Er.. that's cleaning between your boxes, Lazy Beekeeping #10


>Multiple, competing addictions, Now why didn't I think of that!

Wax moth larvae make great fishing bait Joel..

Clearly, attaining this particular Lazy Beekeeping idea is crucial, but it also involves a lot... I mean, Not Doing chemicals means D0 Doing a lot of other things. I don't think that came out right..

George-
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've found pollen stimulates them more than syrup.

I'd rather just leave them honey. I do feed them if they are light because brood rearing can lead to starvation in the early spring. I actually usually end up using 2:1 syrup in the spring so it won't spoil so easily or 1:2 so it will stimulate them better. I usually don't mess with 1:1.

G.M. Doolittle, who always had record crops of honey, didn't believe in feeding to stimulate. He would save honey back and give them some in the spring so they would feel prosperous enough to start rearing brood. I generally just use the honey from dead outs or the really small clusters that hardly touched their stores to do that in the spring. Of course I have less of them now that the mice can't get in, so I might have to start saving some back.
The problem is where to keep it. I'd need to make it mouse and bee proof and that's always difficult.

I keep trying to find better ways to feed them, but frankly I don't like any of them.
The Rapid feeder is my favorite, but it's expensive. Probably a mason jar with holes over the inner cover (or better yet an inner cover with a screened mason jar hole) is cheap and leads to the least robbing and headaches, but that's still work. I've done open feeding. Sometimes it works well, sometimes it sets off a frenzy.

Open DRY pollen in a hive with a lid to keep the rain off, seems to help with stimulation and giving them some early pollen. Once the trees start blooming they stop using it.

This year, I'm taking Jim Fischer's advice and putting patties on really early. Actually, since I saw brood in my observation hive that was layed back at the end of Novemeber and was obvious by the 3rd of December, I put them on the heated nucs two weeks ago.
 

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are you putting the pollen patties on your hives that outdoors right now that would seem really early. also do you think that bees go eat more corn sryup than if they had honey in there hive?

We Do not take any honey outof the brood nest but we still put 2gal of sryup on the hives and will probably need some more in the early spring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
>are you putting the pollen patties on your hives that outdoors right now that would seem really early.

Yes it does. But the nucs are actually heated and the observation hive is rearing brood, so I thought maybe they would.

>also do you think that bees go eat more corn sryup than if they had honey in there hive?

That would depend on the time of year, how warm it is, how full the hive is and the current goal of the hive. But usually they will take anything with sugar in it. In my experience, they will take Honey with more enthusiasm than liquid syrup and sugar syrup with more enthusiasm than corn syrup and any liquid syrup with more enthusiasm than crystalized sugar.

>We Do not take any honey outof the brood nest but we still put 2gal of sryup on the hives and will probably need some more in the early spring.

If they need it I'd feed them.
 

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> In my experience, they will take Honey with
> more enthusiasm than liquid syrup and sugar
> syrup with more enthusiasm than corn syrup and
> any liquid syrup with more enthusiasm than
> crystalized sugar.

OK, let's test this statement with some simple
facts about bees, and some minimal logic:

</font>
  1. Honey must be diluted before it can be
    utilized as food by bees.</font>
  2. Crystallized honey must be both converted
    from a semi-solid to a liquid and diluted
    before it can be utilized as food by bees.</font>
  3. Sugar syrup can be made up with different
    dilution rates, everything from "nectar strength"
    (ready to eat) to "same as HFCS-55" or even
    larger sugar/water ratios.</font>
  4. HFCS, when properly prepared (adding at least
    15% water to HFCS-55 for fall feeding, and 20%-25%
    water for spring) offers the same options as
    sugar syrup in regard to flexibility.</font>
What can we conclude? That Mike's bees
somehow "prefer" a food source that requires
more work to utilize? No, that would be
silly.

The conclusion has to be that multiple types
of feed have never been offered by Mike to
the same colony at the same time, and the
rates of consumption compared in a "bake-off".

There's been a bunch to formal studies on this
(in Canada), and there is simply no difference
at all between the various options available for
"overwintering" bees (HFCS-55, Cane Sugar syrup,
Beet Sugar syrup, and honey).

So, while it is true that crystallization of ANY
food source will make it less attractive to bees,
adding even 10% water to HFCS will keep it from
granulating for at least a full season under
non-climate-controlled conditions, so the
problems experienced with HFCS by hobby
beekeepers are simply due to a lack of familiarity
with "the basics" of how to store and handle
HFCS.

So, which feed choice introduces the risk of
crystallization to a fairly competent and
reasonably well-read beekeeper? Only honey.

And which one costs the most? Only honey, by
at least "triple".

And which one is the one that can inoculate
a colony with diseases from another colony
in the case that frames are swapped around to
"spread the wealth"? Only honey.

But, it clearly is the one approach that allows
you to avoid some work, so it truly ISthe
"Lazy Beekeeper's Way".

Lord protect us all from lazy beekeepers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
>Honey must be diluted before it can be
utilized as food by bees.

And syrup must be evaporated before it can be stores and takes more trips to move the same number of calories of food. And honey is a more appealing smell and is easier to recruit others to come get it.

>Crystallized honey must be both converted
from a semi-solid to a liquid and diluted
before it can be utilized as food by bees.

Or even moved.

>What can we conclude? That Mike's bees
somehow "prefer" a food source that requires
more work to utilize? No, that would be
silly.

So your conclusions based on what you PRESUME the bees will prefer based on what you BELIEVE they are looking for, hold more weight than my observations on what they DID prefer? If you have a contrary observation, feel free to share it.

Personally I've had a lot of theories about bees and what they would prefer. The bees usually disproved them.
 

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> And syrup must be evaporated before it can be
> stores

You can make any ratio sugar/water or HFCS/water
you'd like. Its not easy to mix, but with
power tools, it certainly can be done. For
spring feeding applications, much of the (thin)
syrup would be directly consumed. For fall, one
wants a much thicker syrup, easier to obtain by
diluting HFCS than by trying to mix sugar with
water, but to each his own.

> And honey is a more appealing smell

To humans, perhaps.

> and is easier to recruit others to come get it.

I wish you could help me then, as I have
consistently failed since the 1990s to
reliably "attract" bees to a feeder with any
combination of honey, warmed wax, honey-b-healthy,
essential oils, etc.

A reliable method of attracting bees with
ANYTHING, one that would work consistently
from spring to fall, would be a big enhancement
in "bee-lining technology".

The most recent failure was at the TN state
beekeeper meeting last October. Two feeders
were set up for 48 hours before the workshop,
and 8 hives were no more than 75 yards away.
As usual, a petri dish of pure honey was
placed on each feeding station "just in case".
No customers after 48 hours, even though there
was little or no forage available, and the
flight conditions were excellent.

We ended up capturing bees as they left the
hive just to get enough bee-lining boxes
pre-loaded with bees for the workshop
participants, which meant that less than 100%
of the bees captured were actual foragers.
Many were novice fliers, proving their
inexperience by orienting to the bee-lining
box once released.

> So your conclusions based on what you PRESUME
> the bees will prefer

No, the actual data shows that the bees have
"no preference" in terms of early spring
colony expansion and strength or survival rate.

My conclusions are that whatever is easiest
and cheapest and SAFEST to feed is what
one should use, a refutation of YOUR
presumptions about what specific hives of bees
might have preferred at one time or another, as
best you can recall, not that you measured
anything or took any notes, of course.


> If you have a contrary observation, feel free
> to share it.

Of course I have contrary observations, all it
took was putting multiple "frame feeders" in
a hive, and tracking the amount taken from
each every few days. Better than that, you
can refer to the Canadian studies I mentioned.
(As I recall, there were at least 3 different
ones, all prompted by concerns over the use
of beet sugar in overwintering.)

> Personally I've had a lot of theories about
> bees and what they would prefer. The bees
> usually disproved them.

Sorry to hear that.
Better luck this spring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
>> And honey is a more appealing smell
>To humans, perhaps.

In my experience it is to bees.

>>and is easier to recruit others to come get it.
>I wish you could help me then, as I have
consistently failed since the 1990s to
reliably "attract" bees to a feeder with any
combination of honey, warmed wax, honey-b-healthy,
essential oils, etc.

I'd have to admit I've found the bees in a frenzy over the HBH even in preference to honey. But then your bees seem to be quite different than mine.

>A reliable method of attracting bees with
ANYTHING, one that would work consistently
from spring to fall, would be a big enhancement
in "bee-lining technology".

I suppose you've read the Foxfire recipe. ;) I haven't tried it. Maybe you should put out some nasty water or, even better, some chlorinated water. Bees always seem to find the swimming pools and the runoff from the feedlot.

> So your conclusions based on what you PRESUME
> the bees will prefer
>No, the actual data shows that the bees have
"no preference" in terms of early spring
colony expansion and strength or survival rate.

You already told me they prefer syrup. Now you say they have "no Preference". Which is it?

I'm not sure what you mean by "the actual data" nor am I sure an experiment with your bees (since they can't find syrup, HBH or honey) would help, but I've had syrup and honey out and have observed their preference.

>My conclusions are that whatever is easiest
and cheapest and SAFEST to feed is what
one should use, a refutation of YOUR
presumptions about what specific hives of bees
might have preferred at one time or another, as
best you can recall, not that you measured
anything or took any notes, of course.

How is it that you can say you "refute" something I observed by something you have not observed or even tried?

It's not too hard to put out some honey and syrup and watch where the bees go. It would be difficult to actually count each bee, but it also seems totally unnecessary. Of course it's easy enough to just see which container empties first. And dramatic differences do not require detailed measurements to assess.

>Of course I have contrary observations, all it
took was putting multiple "frame feeders" in
a hive, and tracking the amount taken from
each every few days.

Which, I am assuming, you did? If you saw different results, then I'd say it's quite possible that the preferred food would depend on the what the bees were currently trying to do. Putting away stores, or feeding brood or just looking for food. I've only done this experiment with multiple food types. I haven't done a detailed experiment that included the season, the current activities of the hive AND multiple food types available. Have you?

I said: "In my experience, they will take Honey with more enthusiasm..."

It seems that the polite and proper response to that, if you have contrary observations, would be "In my experience they have no preference" or whatever your observations are. Even a little detail of any experiment you have done. And certainly references to studies are nice.

You seem to presume that others are not entitled to share what they have observed if it disagrees with what you have either read or observed. I've learned that a lot of my initial observations on things in beekeeping were not entirely correct, but also not wrong, but instead were in a narrow frame of reference at a particular time of year or a particular state in a hive. Quite often by hearing other's observations I do learn that these things are not contradictions, just complications.
 

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> You already told me they prefer syrup.
> Now you say they have "no Preference".
> Which is it?

I thought I was clear enough to be understood,
that for OVERWINTERING, there's no difference
in terms of the bees' preference, but there
are multiple advantages (as listed) to NOT
trying to overwinter on honey.

In Spring, honey is clearly not preferred
over anything thinner, as can be seen by feeding
syrup to a colony that still has more-than
adequate honey stores. Regardless of the use of
HFCS or sugar syrup, the bees "take" the syrup rapidly.

If they "preferred" honey, they wouldn't touch
the syrup, but would instead utilize the stored
honey.

They don't, so they don't.

> I'm not sure what you mean by "the actual data"

The data from the Canadian studies I mentioned.

> How is it that you can say you "refute"

Because the statement proposes that bees
somehow care how they get their carbohydrates,
a position that is refuted by every hive onto
which a feeder is slapped in early spring, and
by every early flower that blooms before the
bees run out of stored honey. If the bees
"preferred honey", feeders would be ignored,
and early flowers would also be ignored.

> It seems that the polite and proper response
> to that, if you have contrary observations,
> would be "In my experience they have no
> preference" or whatever your observations are.

OK, I'll play along:

In my experience, and in yours, if you stop
and think about it, statements that bees
"prefer" honey are laughable examples of
wishful thinking and anthropomorphism that
come close to denying the entire body of
what we call "science" as applied to bees,
not to mention common sense. Further, this
issue is of great interest to many beekeepers,
such great interest that it has been
studied to DEATH as applied to
overwintering (where the only difference
found was the usual risks inherent in
"feeding honey" associated with things like
spreading AFB between colonies by swapping
frames around), and spring feeding, where
honey was the LAST food source exploited by
bees who were given a choice.

> You seem to presume that others are not
> entitled to share what they have observed
> if it disagrees with what you have either
> read or observed.

No, I am simply sharing my own views and
observations. If it causes you any discomfort
or embarrassment, don't blame me. Its not a
"flame", its just an insightful and well-reasoned
argument that is both difficult to argue with, and
directly contradicts your over-simplified flat
statement about a set of "decisions" that come
in at least 3 very different seasonal contexts.

Note that I objected ONLY to your flat statement,
not your observations, unusual though they are.
 

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Anthropomorphism here anthropromorphism there.....
Don't you think that bees prefer the sugar syrup in the spring because it offers more variety? Variety is always good. Honey all winter long I'd be sick of it as well. For a bee, honey may compare with saurkraut.It keeps well without spoiling but is hard to digest. The stench in those bee hives must be awful after a winter on the same diet. If only we could smell it like a bee we would surely know.
I don't care how much science you throw at this anthromorphic comparison we won't find out if bees like honey more than we like saurkraut.
 

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I would think it would make sense that the bee's would gather supplies from outside the hive when they are available rather than consume their own stores.
It would be a very poor survival strategy to consume all your stores and then hope new food supplies would be available

Dave

[ December 21, 2005, 08:01 PM: Message edited by: drobbins ]
 

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Anthropomorphism here anthropromorphism there.....
Don't you think that bees prefer the sugar syrup in the spring because it offers more variety? Variety is always good. Honey all winter long I'd be sick of it as well. For a bee, honey may compare with saurkraut.It keeps well without spoiling but is hard to digest. The stench in those bee hives must be awful after a winter on the same diet. If only we could smell it like a bee we would surely know.
I don't care how much science you throw at this anthromorphic comparison we won't find out if bees like honey more than we like saurkraut.
 

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> more than we like saurkraut

What, you mean you actually EAT that stuff?


I'm German, so I should let you in on a secret.
During WWII, Nazi propaganda gave the impression
that Germans liked sauerkraut, just to intimidate
the Allies. Any group of people that could stand
such noxious stuff would clearly be too tough to
beat.

Knackwurst, Bratwurst, and all the other
"wurst" dining experiences you can imagine
were nothing but disinformation.

Well, at least the French bought it...
 

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>Any group of people that could stand such noxious stuff would clearly be too tough to beat.

Hm.. Kim Chee... very popular in southeast asia.. and we all know how well we've faired over there! I love it myself, especially the really spicy stuff. It's gotta be good for you
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
>Note that I objected ONLY to your flat statement,

My "flat statement" was prefaced as "In my experience". I would not call that a flat statement, but rather a personal observation. If I had said "Bees prefer honey." That would have been a flat statement and wide open for you to disagree with since you, obviously, do not believe that.
 
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