Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

81 - 100 of 124 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,524 Posts
Nice find !

This phenomenon is interesting and worth studying because despite the mass slaughter ongoing for roughly 200-300 years, the bees did not perish - obviously.
Also, during this era, the concentrated bee yards become common with all the associated issues.
Contagious infection cases, such as foul broods, became common - and still the bees did not perish.
and this is the case with any domestic live stock
I think the killing of "the best" is a missguided view
merely they killed the ripe and the ones that would take up inputs to over winter...
I think of hogs as they were managed very similar
"By feeding on the crop of oak acorns or, in some areas beechnuts, the young pigs would be ready for slaughter in December. Because pigs quickly loose weight if food sources are depleted, owners would not want to keep them over the lean winter months unless they were breeding stock or still too small to be worth killing that year."
Jørgensen 2013 Pigs and Pollards: Medieval Insights for UK Wood
Pasture Restoration
Sustainability 2013, 5, 387-399; doi:10.3390/su5020387

your auther makes the point I have made several times
swarm beekeeping selects for a line that can swarm 2x and build up enuf to over winter (at least was the case in Europe with late flows)
as he says
". The apiary got rid of families of obviously bad heredity, which could worsen the genetic basis of other families. In winter, they left "beehives of good and medium seed bees." The methods of breeding available to the bee were deliberately applied."

but as he says "Strong honey-making families, which were lit, managed to release several swarms per season. With the first swarms left the old queen"
he uses this rational about keeping the old queen... but as practiced swarm beekeeping was often manged to cause the swarms to swarm with the volume just a little less then a 5F deep nuc

1757 : One old hive: the first swarm 7 June, the second swarm 20 June; swarm out of the first swarm 8 July, second swarm from the first 22 July.
Owen Thomas, a Denbighshire beekeeper and skep maker in the eighteenth century
LINNARD and CRANE 1989 https://www.evacranetrust.org/uploads/document/9cb7fced9e5db46beb810b8cc3f9f1797e2c5995.pdf

One overwintered Skep became 5! this artical is a gold mine for looking in to what keeping of the era was like as Tomas kept good records and we see what his increase was like, honey/ wax production etc over a 20 or so year time span depending on the record type !!!
"In a good season, a prime swarm may develop strongly enough to send out a prime swarm of its own before the summer is over, and possibly even afterswarms as well"

He averaged 13 pounds of honey per overwintered hive and 1.13 pounds of wax with wax selling at 7x+ the price of honey, the the wax could make up a large posrtion of the income

"Owen Thomas sold his beeswax at the local markets, the price ranging from 14 to 18 pence per pound. In 1772 at Chester he got his best price (18 pence), 'thanks be to God' (i Dduw y bo'r diolch). The notebooks contain no details of the prices he received for his honey. In 1787, honey sold for 2d. a pound in Hampshire and Essex"

I think your interpretation below may be incorect and is based on modern preferences
The owner himself highly values the young swarms due to the new combs in them also (GV: i.e. - not interested to cull them).
I would suggest they may have been very interested in culling them for the wax. The swam beekeeper didn't have the modern fascination with drawn comb as it was highly valuable, harvested hives were scraped clean, ready for a swarm to do what it does best, draw wax. More swarms, more wax.. and a little more honey... That was the point of the swarm beekeeping system and likely why it lasted so long in to the Lang era.. that and high priced cut comb of thick flows (read very hard to extract) like heather

moveing on to more E Crane, Early English beekeeping: the evidence from local
records up to the end of the Norman period https://www.evacranetrust.org/uploads/document/400fe90f27902b22bd24552c495914998fc978c5.pdf

Sometimes the parent colony produced one or more further swarms, and the first swarm might itself later produce a swarm. At the end of summer the beekeeper killed the bees in some hives to harvest the honey and wax in them. He overwintered others as 'stock' hives (like stock cattle); he left all their honey and might give them extra honey combs as well. In late summer he could thus have two or three times as many occupied hives as during the winter and early spring
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,044 Posts
Discussion Starter #82
Nice find !

I think the killing of "the best" is a missguided view
merely they killed the ripe and the ones that would take up inputs to over winter...
.........
your auther makes the point I have made several times
swarm beekeeping selects for a line that can swarm 2x and build up enuf to over winter (at least was the case in Europe with late flows)
as he says
". The apiary got rid of families of obviously bad heredity, which could worsen the genetic basis of other families. In winter, they left "beehives of good and medium seed bees." The methods of breeding available to the bee were deliberately applied."
..........
but as he says "Strong honey-making families, which were lit, managed to release several swarms per season. With the first swarms left the old queen"
he uses this rational about keeping the old queen... but as practiced swarm beekeeping was often manged to cause the swarms to swarm with the volume just a little less then a 5F deep nuc
.............
I think your interpretation below may be incorect and is based on modern preferences
...............
I would suggest they may have been very interested in culling them for the wax. The swam beekeeper didn't have the modern fascination with drawn comb as it was highly valuable, harvested hives were scraped clean, ready for a swarm to do what it does best, draw wax. More swarms, more wax.. and a little more honey... That was the point of the swarm beekeeping system and likely why it lasted so long in to the Lang era.. that and high priced cut comb of thick flows (read very hard to extract) like heather
.........
All good points, MSL.

But down my alley - I don't intentionally kill the bees - thanks to more modern equipment, no need for the killing.
I prefer to split, not push the swarms out (just so to catch them back if lucky) - another obvious difference.

Otherwise, the "swarm-culling" method is a great method (adjusted for the modern situation).
Lots of little hives plus annual contraction/expansion - all it is to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,524 Posts
Probably no chems.
pehaps.. but given the hundreds of langs showed lined up at the end I wonder :kn:
IIRR walnut leafs in the smoker was a thing in turkey
We are talking about a country 8% the size of the US with 6.3 million migratory hives.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,759 Posts
Another fun vid - a bee-wall in Turkey.
Probably no chems.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFC4TJAHulw
Interesting Vid greg, A person could make a double high Long Lang, or a deep frame hive like yours and have a "back door" put in 6-8 frames up front with the entrance, and leave the back empty. perhaps a 20 frame in length, In the fall cut out a comb or 2 or 3. can Still do splits by taking out a couple comb from the front and placing in empties. Makes me want to experiment..... you need to quit teasing me with these ideas..
GG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,243 Posts
Another fun vid - a bee-wall in Turkey.
Probably no chems.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFC4TJAHulw
GregV:

Awesome video. While watching it, I was reminded of Brother Adam's book, 'In Search of the Best Strain of Bees' where he describes the use of cylindrical hives in great detail when outlining his visit to Egypt. In this section he notes that bees kept in this arrangement display much better than average orientation abilities and also outlines the various metal tools (as shown in the video) for extracting the honey.

While the video does not appear to outline the specific area in Turkey where it is filmed, Brother Adam utilized an Anatolian strain from Turkey extensively in improving his Buckfast strain. He notes, "... the area north and north-east of Ankara appears to harbour the most valuable strains of the Anatolian bee, both form the economic and cross-breeding point of view." (p. 121).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,524 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,243 Posts
Absolutely fascinating read, thanks!
I agree, MSL. Thank you for posting this research. It is amazing to consider their finding 3,000 year old material that was suitable for biometric analysis. Brings new meaning to 'Primative Beekeeping'.

Thanks again for sharing the excellent paper. I sincerely hope you and your family have a Healthy and Prosperous 2020.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,044 Posts
Discussion Starter #91 (Edited)
From my recent readings of Julian Lubieniecki, 1859....

Why relevant?
Because the so-called primitive techniques of swarm-culling management (I'd call it "the numbers game") has a real application in the current environment.
No need to kill the bees (which is disagreeable), but consolidating the units or letting the bees to self-select should end in similar results - where the excess resources can be released and harvested.
As has been demonstrated, a colony of most any size (when configured properly) will generate sufficient harvest-able crop, proportionally to the size (see the 6-frame hive topic).
This is my opinion, of course.

Now to the book excerpts.
(Little bit about Julian Lubieniecki - a significant beekeeper of his time from the area which is now Western Ukraine;
kept his bees in Dziersion hives and some other hives also, but I did not quite nail more details, there were many designs used at the time, all way down to the skeps and logs
his book "A complete practical Guide for Beekeepers" only was published in Polish in 1859 and subsequently republished in Russian in 1867 and 1976)

Julian Lubieniecki
A complete practical Guide for Beekeepers
1859
(GregV's free-hand translation).

............
Volume 1
Part 2
Apiary practices.

Paragraph 20.
Dual apiary management: swarm-oriented and honey-oriented.

Swarm-oriented management.
Beekeeper tries his best to have as many swarms as possible during the entire summer.
From those he then leaves a set number of the colonies into the winter and the rest are culled - this is his income...

Honey-oriented management.
Beekeeper manages in the opposite way to the above. He does not want any swarms but prefers the bees staying in a bunch and using the undivided force to bring in as much honey as possible...

Question - which of these two approaches should a beekeeper follow?
This is answered by the local conditions which define the local flows.

<GV: I omit a discussion of the local conditions that in turn define the beekeeping management decisions - kind of long>.

In short:
- short flow favors the honey-oriented management
- long and continuous flow favors the swarm-oriented management
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,524 Posts
yes, and maybe more importantly, Late flows
We see the commercial skep keeper videos form the late 1970s, likely still around do to the heather's late bloom

As has been demonstrated, a colony of most any size (when configured properly) will generate sufficient harvest-able crop, proportionally to the size (see the 6-frame hive topic).
disagree, its not proportional plenty of study's on it, Farrar 1937 come to mind
The standardized production factors per unit of bees may be interpreted to mean that one colony with 60,000 bees will probably produce 1.54
times as much honey as four colonies each with 15,000 bees;
one colony with 45,000 bees will probably produce 1.48 times as much honey as three colonies each with 15,000 bees;
one colony with 30,000 bees will probably produce 1.36 times as much honey as two colonies each with 15,000 bees
so it takes 6 hives with 15,000 bees each to = a single hive of 60,000

not trying to discount local effects like a stock that can't fully use a larger hives do to flow or genetics etc, but nectar collection goes hand in hand with pop size.

The answer would then seem to be a 6 frame dadant has enuf space that brood rearing ins't restricted.
at a spit ball 50,100 cells and 21 days layed till emerged the queen would have 2385 open cells a day to lay in... lose 25-30% of that to nectar and pollen storage and it feels like your in the right ball park
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,044 Posts
Discussion Starter #94 (Edited)
not trying to discount local effects like a stock that can't fully use a larger hives do to flow or genetics etc, but nectar collection goes hand in hand with pop size.
MSL, this is true for the identical and large equipment configurations.
Of course, granted the same equipment, 30K bees have higher house maintenance overhead over 60K bees - in large footprint configurations.

BUT, IF you proportionally reduce the population requirement for the brood rearing (the 6-framers run on SIX frames of brood through the entire summer) - suddenly you have lots of idle bees as the brood rearing minimized.
Like I said, think of TWO 6-framers (2 queens) sitting on a footprints of one 12-framer (1 queen).
Idle population the 6-framers will pump out will be higher - guarantied - that is your forage force boost on the same footprint.

So, it is not just about absolute #s (a single parameter).
There is the second parameter too - the proportional overhead cost in labor needed for the housekeeping.
This is how the "bunch of little hives" can actually produce something worthwhile.

PS: i did study the 6-frame methods pretty well as were presented on the video series;
there is one-time expansion up to 10 brood frames;
after that the hive is coasting on 6 brood frames only - specifically to boost nectar foraging productivity/reduce overhead - the brood rearing costs are really low
(yes - requires QX).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,524 Posts
This is how the "bunch of little hives" can actually produce something worthwhile.
while I am sure the spring explanation is timed to create the largest field work force and least brood peak flow, these are well populated hives. I don't see little hives, as you say
On average he is running one set of 6 Dadant frames (the excluded brood nest) and 7 honey supers.
.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,044 Posts
Discussion Starter #96
while I am sure the spring explanation is timed to create the largest field work force and least brood peak flow, these are well populated hives. I don't see little hives, as you say
Well, for many people running 6 brood frames means - a little hive.
A very little hive.
Say, for many on this very forum this is very little.

Little hive == little brood production, if you think about it.
Little hive == little box increments also.
Little hive <> number of boxes (little boxes at that).

People here are running 10-12 frame equipment and have the open nests - imagine the amount of brood to be incubated - huge overheads.
Of course the populations need to be huge to produce anything worthwhile (on top of the household work).

Now, I can actually understand people running one-box brood chambers.
Makes total sense to me - for honey production.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,524 Posts
Well, for many people running 6 brood frames means - a little hive.
Now, I can actually understand people running one-box brood chambers.
actually I think your missing it
"However, returning to Nolan and Harris’s actual measurements, strong colonies appear to typically top out at about 16,000 cells of sealed brood at any one time, which works out (accounting for eggs and open brood) to about 4¼ solid frames of brood. I know—I see better colonies than this each year, but I’m not talking about the exceptions."
http://scientificbeekeeping.com/understanding-colony-buildup-and-decline-part-4/
6 Dadants is like 7.5 lang deeps well in excess of the queens needs
single brood chamber management is all about the bees (and the keeper) putting the resorcse (and some times brood)above the excluder so the queen has enuff space to lay in a compact space. but its not about small populations
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,759 Posts
actually I think your missing it
"However, returning to Nolan and Harris’s actual measurements, strong colonies appear to typically top out at about 16,000 cells of sealed brood at any one time, which works out (accounting for eggs and open brood) to about 4¼ solid frames of brood. I know—I see better colonies than this each year, but I’m not talking about the exceptions."
http://scientificbeekeeping.com/understanding-colony-buildup-and-decline-part-4/
6 Dadants is like 7.5 lang deeps well in excess of the queens needs
single brood chamber management is all about the bees (and the keeper) putting the resorcse (and some times brood)above the excluder so the queen has enuff space to lay in a compact space. but its not about small populations
so we are talking about the time during the flow. I use some 8 frame lang Wooden ware. there is no way they winter on 1 8 frame box. I prefer 3, top one 100% full of honey , the bottom one has maybe 30% pollen, they somewhat start winter in the middle or lower middle, and the "Hope" is they do not run out of honey prior to spring when the local bloom starts. Close inspection in the spring shows that not 100% of the cells are open in the bottom box so When you talk frames of open space, for me I need 16 frames in the hive to have 8 frames of open cells worth of laying space. If you want to discuss "max" production then a dead hive in the spring has little to contribute. Hopefully the folks reading this understand the Open cells vrs total cells. For Me IMO 1 box, keeping is not optimal. Maybe you can pull it off in Denver but I cannot. Any 1 box 8 or 10 frame I have tried to winter has like a less than 50% chance of making the winter. Locality has a vector in the equation as well. My best for the "Apiary" is 3 deeps. Rarely need to feed, normally has overhead stores. Often can make 6-8 frame splits in the spring, which can make a crop and be increase. And best of all + 80% over winter rate. So Maybe I am in the weeds with management somewhere, but I trend toward what works. I like the stores left over in the spring, sure I could push it a bit and do fairly well with 2 deeps and 50% more queens, but once in a while we get a early fall and crappy spring and I would need to feed or loose hives.
Since I began thinking about winter prep in June, I have had better outcomes. For me tearing off the top honey box and extracting and then feeding would be a little more work in the fall and a lot more time to get them feed up. Also in the spring when they move up honey to make room for the brood nest, I am convinced some "syrup" ends up in supers.
Could I make 1 box brood chamber work, probably, do I want to , Not so much.
GG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,075 Posts
I too enjoyed reading about the apiary found in northern Israel.

There are advantages and disadvantages to having a huge brood chamber like the square Dadant. IMO, it simplifies management significantly as compared with a double brood chamber Langstroth hive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,524 Posts
Maybe you can pull it off in Denver but I cannot. Any 1 box 8 or 10 frame I have tried to winter has like a less than 50% chance of making the winter. Locality has a vector in the equation as well
single 10f, 5f, 4x4, and plamers have shown good survival in your area http://www.rrbeekeepers.com/Meghan/Sustainable-Fall-Nucs.pdf
management and stock likely makes the difference.. I am going to go out on a limb and say there is a good reason people much more north of you keep in singles

obulisy there IS a reason why dubble/triple stack are the "standard", my guess is simplicity, bigger margin of error (safety net), and a stock that over winters in a large cluster
Single box management would seem to be an advanced skill for honey production. As I under stand it from friends keeping up in the mountains (8300' zone 4) they have a very short bloom season (last frost June 23, 1st frost sept 3) and with out single management they don't get a crop. The more compact nest alows for better spring build up (heat related) and to push the max in to the supers to be harvested, when the nest retracts they feed, this keeps fall flows(with there indejustabuls) out of the brood nest limiting the need for cleansing flights and improving overwintering.

Also in the spring when they move up honey to make room for the brood nest, I am convinced some "syrup" ends up in supers.
absulty, I know people who plug up dubble deeps early spring feeding and then super and "magically" make huge crops. This is another argument used for single brood chambers

I don't care who does what, I just like to know the how/why something works or doesn't compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages so I can make an informed choice
 
81 - 100 of 124 Posts
Top