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Author Topic: Why honeybees do differently than books suggest.  (Read 415 times)

Offline van from Arkansas

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Why honeybees do differently than books suggest.
« on: April 02, 2021, 03:16:37 pm »
HoneyBees are so adaptable: from Canada to Florida, from the Sahara (Sahariensis) to Russia; deserts to bogs, Mountains to Plains the HoneyBees survive.  This adaptability secures the reasoning of the old joke about beekeepers: ask 2 beeks one question and receive 3 opinions.

To elucidate; The adaptability skew scientist in the pursuit of knowledge of the bees.  Often, very often, I have studied the well performed scientific studies that lead one to a direct answer such as: isolation (100 feet) of a drone hive prevents drone drift.  Well, that is not what I experienced.  But why the difference of my own observation as well as others with controlled well documented data regarding honeybees?  I believe the individual strain of a given bee such as:Lingustica, Carnica, Cecropia, Caucasica with many more, contributes to different attributes such as: honey produced, gentleness, swarming, natural parasitic control, wintering, Spring build up, queen rearing/acceptance thus altering the science data that was based on a particular strain.

Therefore beeks developed experience, opinions on a given strain that can vary from another beekeeper thus resulting in 1 question ask of 2 beeks and receive 3 opinions.  It is not that we beeks are wrong rather the matter is the adaptability of the bees themselves that can vary from apiary to apiary.

I saw this adaptability of bees or lack thereof in my own apiary last year when my breeder queen was superseded at 4 years 2 months of age.  My varroa control method of the past 4 years works great until I lost my hygienic breeder queen and replacement queens were common, not subject to natural control of Varroa.  I lost hives as a result.  In short, my apiary had a change of genetics although some would argue my terminology and suggest change in Family or Type, species instead of genetics.  I would admit to my poor nomenclature. 

The point remains: we beeks can differ in opinion and be correct, also the science data although correct can be corrected based on a given Species or family, strain of honeybees.

Look up queen rearing on YouTube and discover many methods as each author states the best method is...

Cold today, 32 this AM, so I am stuck inside and no bee or garden work so I thought I would some thoughts regarding:

1.  Why so many different opinions.
2.  Contrary to the latest data...
3.  But the book says... one of my favorites.

Health to your bees.
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Why honeybees do differently than books suggest.
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2021, 03:37:17 pm »
I agree Mr. Van.

> The point remains: we beeks can differ in opinion and be correct, also the science data although correct can be corrected
    based on a given Species or family, strain of honeybees.

    Look up queen rearing on YouTube and discover many methods as each author states the best method is...


So true. The very same can be found right here at beemaster. Something that our moderator has pointed out time and time again is location matters. I will give you a for instance. I recently posted a video by Bob Binnie who was featured by Joe May both of whom I have great respect. During the conversation varroa was brought up in the discussion. Mr Binnie told of his partnership study with the University Of Georgia. Mr Binnie donated 200 hives to the study. The study was of the shop towel method that has been closely studied by Randy Oliver, The results there in Georgia were totally reversed from the findings of Mr Oliver in California. Though Mr Binnie lost many of these hives to varroa, (which gets quite expensive!), he graciously stated basically what you just stated. There are variables in location. Climate being one of these variables. Mr Binnie has the wisdom and foresight to understand and proclaim as much. Together we all learn.

Adding this is one of the reasons I posted that video here. Along with a lot of other VALUABLE information on that same video. 





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« Last Edit: April 03, 2021, 11:48:52 am by Ben Framed »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Why honeybees do differently than books suggest.
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2021, 06:54:48 am »
The variation that is produced by the management techniques of the bee keeper will distort the so called "norm".
We have a low tolerance for fizzy bees, no special smoke techniques, sorry Jim, same smoke as every other hive. If the bees are fizzy then they get a fizzy note with date on the lid, two dates and the queen gets changed.
Are our Italian based bees quiet, yes but it is due to selection pressure of the Bee keeper.
Like Mr Van, breeding from a 4 year old queen, who has not swarmed, is this line of bees less likely to swarm. Breed of bees or management.

Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Why honeybees do differently than books suggest.
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2021, 09:12:53 pm »
Mr. Beavo, I breed against swarming.  Bees swarming to a tree do me no good.  If a queen builds swarm cells, she is not a breeder quality to me and she becomes support quality.  Brother Adam is to be given credit, I just follow his lead.

Health to your bees, all your bees, across the continent to down under.
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline guitarstitch

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Re: Why honeybees do differently than books suggest.
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2021, 03:04:57 pm »
I've always assumed bees don't do what the books suggest because of all the things bees can do, they can't read.
-Matthew Pence/Stitch

Offline Acebird

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Re: Why honeybees do differently than books suggest.
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2021, 09:18:28 am »
Mr. Beavo, I breed against swarming.  Bees swarming to a tree do me no good.  If a queen builds swarm cells, she is not a breeder quality to me and she becomes support quality.  Brother Adam is to be given credit, I just follow his lead.

I agree.  I don't think you should put a lot of faith into a caught swarm until you see some results.  I don't think you should sell a swarm  and keep that information from the buyer.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline BAHBEEs

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Re: Why honeybees do differently than books suggest.
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2021, 04:28:39 pm »
I guess I have a different view.  To me splits and packages and the like are all poor imitations of the real deal, a full up swarm.  I have trees surrounding my bee yard and catch the vast majority of the swarms they create.  I have found over the years that my swarm started hives get going far faster and produce my most vigorous hives.  Does that also introduce non-Russian genetics?  Sure, but I don't necessarily view or know that will be a bad or good thing.  It may just mean they are more adjusted to the area I am in.  5 years in and who know how much Russian is left anyway.

Like has been stated above.  There are so many different ways to play the bee game!

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Why honeybees do differently than books suggest.
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2021, 07:27:46 am »
A full swarm may be 25,000 bees, they take up house with no baggage, no brood to look after until the queen gets laying, then it is a slow increase to full larvae before capping.
These 25,000 bees are collecting like mad and build a lot of stores, and so the swarm booms.
A split it a couple of frames of brood and 5-8,000 bees, they form a queen cell while the frames of brood will be hatching but there are still larvae to feed until they are capped. Throw in a 25-30 day no egg laying until the new queen starts. This is now day 1 of the swarm with less bees.
Swarm of unknown quality versus a split from our bees, in the long run i will take the split.
Commercially we do not catch many swams of our own bees as they are away from home.
We requeen about 80% of swarms that are not our own, due to poor temperament or not good producers.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Why honeybees do differently than books suggest.
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2021, 08:25:41 am »

We requeen about 80% of swarms that are not our own, due to poor temperament or not good producers.
And this is why I think it is unfair to sell a caught swarm to a newbee without divulging so.
Brian Cardinal
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