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“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato”.
"I allude to the wealth of general ideas scattered through them”.

"Just as bees make honey from thyme, the strongest and driest of herbs, so do the wise profit from the most difficult of experiences."
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Russ, thank you for sharing that quote from Plato. I had not heard it before, yet espouse it's tenents.
 

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Discussion Starter #589
We use three eight frame medium boxes for brood and food. Everything above the third box that is capped is harvested in spring and again in mid-summer. We put a queen excluder above the third box and leave anything below the excluder for the bees. We don’t feed. These days, anything the bees add in the fall from goldenrod or aster they keep over winter regardless of whether it is above the third box. So the bees may winter in three, four, or, occasionally, five, eight frame medium boxes.
 

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Discussion Starter #593
I don't see marked queens in the swarms that we catch in swarm traps. I catch more swarms in areas where there are relatively fewer managed hives. For example, I just pulled two empty traps from otherwise good locations that are within half a mile of at least forty managed colonies, including a dozen or so of my hives with little feral mutts. I have not caught swarm in that area in several years despite reasonable and repeated efforts. Other swarm traps of mine in areas with fewer managed hives within a mile or so of the traps produce multiple colonies per year per trap.
 

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David,
At least someone is having it good - you.
Clearly, fully hands-off operations are really possible in some places.
That much has been demonstrated, no IFs, no BUTs.
 

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Discussion Starter #595
Take steady light handed care of each hive you have. Split when swarm avoidance warrants it. Don’t work your bees to make increase; work with your bees to make increase. Your real stock in trade is your experience and the equipment that remains after you’ve gotten rid of what doesn’t work for you. Take care of your bees, and they will take care of you.
 

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A viable location is necessary, but not sufficient.
Of course not sufficient.
What I mean is - a certain population of some specific resistant bees attached to a locality is the key.
Certainly you seem to enjoy a scenario similar to this.
I don't.

I feel the local population is what will make or break you.
 
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