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Discussion Starter · #124 · (Edited)
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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #125 ·
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.
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #127 ·
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 did not bring a tree to my yard.
I simply took some pictures.
The thing was huge.

The SHB:
  • SHB pretty much does not survive here continuously.
  • however, the annual packages/nucs from down South bring the SHB up here every spring; then we have some reports over the course of the summer, but in winter they mostly perish again.
  • agree - these tree hollows are ideal SHB breeding ground if bees take a hollow over
 

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Greg, glad the SHB can't survive your winters, they are a real pain for us in the warmer climates. If you get to needing some I will ship for free!!;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #132 ·
Here is a video of the most classic way to make a brood-less, shook swarm.

Although I don't use the log hives like pictured (have them but only for trapping) - this is essentially what I have done this season when splitting my bees.
Well, I cheated some because there were plenty of ready, empty combs laying around, so I went ahead and use them too (either that OR wax moths will eat them anyway).

 

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Discussion Starter · #134 ·
He made that look easy...
It really is easy; basically what I have been doing this summer.

This traditional way of splitting (brood, stores and all) - is really another thing that needed to be challenged for some time now.
Contrary to the traditional teachings, no resources are necessary during the prime swarming/prime flow season - just bees and a queen in a box - this is sufficient.

People are afraid of shocking the bees as if they gonna die, gee... :)
The old saying indeed works in this instance - "what does not kill you - makes you stronger".
It works.
 

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Sugar water in that spay bottle?

How did he hollow out the logs? What tool?

Did he flame the insides? Looks like it.

Much enjoyed the video. One, he doesn't talk too much and two, there wasn't much wasted time. I wish there were English subtitles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #136 ·
Sugar water in that spay bottle?

How did he hollow out the logs? What tool?

Did he flame the insides? Looks like it.

Much enjoyed the video. One, he doesn't talk too much and two, there wasn't much wasted time. I wish there were English subtitles.
Just water in the bottle I imagine, did not say (to wet the bees and keep them down).
Dunno about the log carving, did not say; but the anything goes.
Torched the insides with wax so get the walls wax saturaged; but that is not critical.
 

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Discussion Starter · #139 ·
BTW, if you look carefully, there two different logs are shown.
Bees build their nests totally different in each.
Some disorganized mess in one (the first one, with bark still on the logs).
Rather well organized the other (the second one, no bark).
Technically, these would be so called "bee gums" (horizontal logs).
Look pretty functional to me even in colder climate (very energy efficient cylinder profile).
 
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