Here is to continue with the idea of primitive beekeeping.
I wrote about this guy before (too lazy to be looking for the exact posts).
This year he posted a couple of vids just to remind the viewers - he is still at it, just at a lesser scale (cutting back because he is pushing 50 and things are a bit heavier now).
He has been practicing the same exact model - set the traps out/check existing hives in spring - harvest the honey in fall. The true twice-per-year, primitive model.
As far as I am concerned, an entirely valid model of honey enterprising.
That's the primitive beekeeping.
Visiting the remote homestead in fall so to collect the honey (use auto-translated captions).
Brought a trap full of honey home and harvesting it all.
What happens to the bees after they have been completely robbed out?
He dumps them into one of the active hives in the backyard and lets the bees to settle it all out.
Such a shame - an excellent hollow tree broke apart (it was subsequently taken down completely).
The cavity was at least 10 feed deep and at least 12 inch in diameter (see my lunch box for scale).
It also shows how the entrance was way up, not below as was commonly preached earlier.
Really, most often the natural tree cavities develop downward, not upward.
This is a good example.
This could be a great bee tree - in an old park with many more old trees full of holes.
I know at least two more hollow trees there.
So indeed, uncultured forests do develop lots of good bee habitat when left alone.
I did not read this whole thread, but I can tell you from past experience that bringing a bee tree back to your yard is a big mistake. I guess After the SHB showed up I have brought some 20+ bee trees (intact) back to my home yard. They are a haven for small hive beetles. nothing but a breeding ground. As you said the entrance is usually on the top, but not always, even so it is a fact that the bees can not and will not clean out all of the trash that falls to the bottom of the hollow tree. All of this trash turns to a black mushy mud that SHB love to pupate in. I have even had the hollow opened on the bottom and stand the tree up on cinder blocks, trash still fall to the ground and beetles pupate there too. Beetle larva only have to fall off of the comb into this and beetles are right back out on the comb. I brought my last bee tree home this year and will never bring another into my yard. They will go to the pasture or hay field several miles away and cut open.
Greg I know you are up north and you get some very hard freezes, do you think this might play a role in the number of SHB you see? I would think so.
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