So Correct me If I am reading this incorrect. The large harvest was due to taking honey more often. So this suggests the bees work toward a "perceived" need and then "may slack off raise less brood etc. By Taking some early they perceive they need to up the effort and raise more brood to get to the perceived stores threshold.. Would this not work for any hive system? I do not think the hive shape would change the way the bees operate. Would taking honey 3 times a year get you to a larger harvest for the year? I ask for several reasons but primary less supers is less work and less storage. Splitting the harvest would make 2 smaller jobs instead of 1 big one. And I can beat the rest of the Beeks to market with fresh honey. Add wet supers back during flow not dearth. this may be something to ponder..Hi Trish - I think that's a fair summary. However, after checking 'Gleanings' for the following 3 years I was very surprised to learn that no-one had seized upon the potential of this procedure. I was also curious about Doolittle's own lack of enthusiasm for it:
I've since learned that Doolittle's article was in fact the final salvo in an argument which had started the previous year, with Doolittle initially expressing a very negative opinion of Long Hives in general (which I'm sad to say demonstrates that even Doolittle was guilty of both ignorance and prejudice - more on that in another post) but even so, in regard to this particular issue all is not quite as rosy as might first appear.
I think it's fair to assume that the removal of honey causes brood-rearing to be stimulated due to the colony recognising (somehow) that the existing number of bees is insufficient to provide enough stores for winter survival - and so more bees are duly generated. Which is great news for a bee-farmer, and dispells the myth that you can't produce both honey AND bees at the same time. BUT - think about the season ...
Honey is being removed during the flow (obviously), and the bees' response to this is to then generate more brood to create roughly double the number of bees - but this enlarged number of bees will result towards the end, or even after the flow. So, you've then got double the number of mouths to feed, with most of them sitting around idle, as at that time there will be nothing much in the way of nectar coming into the hive. Bags of bees - but at the wrong time of the season (unless you happen to be a bee-farmer).
This of course is a recipe for swarming, which Doolittle completely fails to mention in the above source - but - in a much earlier tirade against the 'Long-idea' beehive (which was quickly countered by those with more experience and expertise with them than Doolittle) he cites both excessive swarming and the hive's inability to over-winter as being core features of horizontal hives.
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Now that Horizontal Hives (in general) have a suitable home for discussion, I think it might be useful to examine the early experiences of the Long-idea Hive in America, contrasting these with those of the broadly similar hive styles of Eastern Europe.
I'm currently delving into American Long Hive history as revealed in 'Gleanings' 1873 onwards, and will post relevant articles as they emerge. I'm hoping that Greg will be able to supply the Eastern European perspective.