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Offline SiWolKe

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Updating
« on: December 23, 2018, 04:48:22 am »
Hi all,
is there anyone like me practising treatment free beekeeping or on his way to do so who likes to update about results and sucess?

Success in my eyes is not to go back to treatments and still have colonies left or to start again after gaining experience.

I would like to exchange ideas to improve health and survivability by a kind of mind mapping.

Sibylle

Offline cao

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Re: Updating
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2018, 11:20:21 am »
Success in my eyes is not to go back to treatments and still have colonies left or to start again after gaining experience.

I guess I have been successful by that definition.  This spring will be 6 years that I've had bees.  Started with 3 nucs.  Increased hive numbers every year.  Went into this winter with 60 hives.  Down to about 55 now.  Expect to loose a few more that weren't as big as I would have liked before winter.  Never treated.  Never done any mite counts.  Actually I rarely look for them.  The only thing that would be close to treating, would be I have screen bottoms with oil pans under some of my hives to kill small hive beetles.  I only feed sugar when absolutely necessary.  Typically in the fall to get the smaller hives up to weight for winter.  Most hives don't get fed.  I've been slowly switching over to foundationless using starter strips.  And after experimenting with all different sizes of boxes, I am probably going to standardize with 8 frame medium boxes eventually.  Although I really like shallow frames.  I also have 5 long hives(4 started this year, 1 the year before) that I really like also. 

I believe that bees live and die and a beekeeper needs to realize that.  The number of hives one has will change often.  Depending on the time of year and how much equipment one has, you could have 30 hives(which is what I started out with last spring) or 70(which is where I was at in the middle of summer).  I could of had more but, ran out of equipment.  I am not the new beekeeper with 2 hives that is desperately trying to keep both alive or the commercial beekeeper that is relying on the bees to make a living.  So not treating is a very good option for me.

I hope that that update is what you were looking for.



Offline Acebird

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Re: Updating
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2018, 11:30:06 am »
I think doubling the size of your apiary in one year is a good plan for treatment free.  At some point you will max out and have to go to multiple location if you aren't there already.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Updating
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2018, 12:07:43 pm »
Hi cao, what is your location like? Are you isolated?
Your story sounds good to me. Why are you keeping bees? For self providing? Just for not letting honeybees go extinct?
What are your motives after 6 years? Did they change from when you started?

Hi Acebird, I agree. I have 3 locations now and I?m offered two more.
Having over ten hives makes me sleep better. Right now it?s 15 colonies.
Chances to have survivors rise.

Does anyone here improve his hive configuration by insulating or providing a place for microorganisms? How then?

Anyone changes to another kind of multiplying?

Offline cao

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Re: Updating
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2018, 01:16:27 pm »
SiWolKe, I live out in the country, mostly small to medium farms around me. 

>Are you isolated?

If you are asking if there are other beekeepers around, I know of at least 3 or 4 people that have bees within flying distance of my hives.  There are probably more that I don't know about.

>Why are you keeping bees?

That's kind of a loaded question.  I've always been interested in honeybees.  Probably because my grandpa raised bees.  As a child I would watch the bees fly in and out of his hives anytime we went to visit him.  I also noticed that there were not as many bees around as there was when I was a kid.  I also do woodworking as a hobby and was thinking about building a hive or two just as a woodworker.  The final thing that made me take the leap, was that my cousin was thinking about getting some bees.  So we decided to take the leap together.

>What are your motives after 6 years? Did they change from when you started?

Originally my motives was just to have bees, provide them with a place to live and learn what to do with them.  If I got a little honey for my efforts, that would be a bonus.  Now, I look at the honey as a way to help pay for this expensive hobby.  Although at times it can almost be more trouble than its worth.  I don't know whether I want to make it a full time job.  The bees are still teaching me things every time I go out to my beeyards.  So there is still the motivation to learn about them.  The one thing that I enjoy the most is making and working with nucs.  With less bees and boxes you can learn a lot from them.  That probably explains the increases in hive numbers that I have had over the years. 

>At some point you will max out and have to go to multiple location if you aren't there already.

I do have a second yard that contains about 20 of my hives.  The rest are at my house.  After this summer, I have realized that I'm probably getting close to maximum hives at my house.  I will probably need to get another yard this year If I don't sell any nucs.

>Does anyone here improve his hive configuration by insulating or providing a place for microorganisms? How then?

The only insulating that I do is I put a foam board between inner and outer covers over winter.

>Anyone changes to another kind of multiplying?

The only way I have split hives so far is with pulling frames with queen cells, or pulling the queen and letting them raise there own.  Or by catching swarms.  At some point I would like to experiment with grafting to raise queens.  There is always something to learn with the bees. :wink:



Offline SiWolKe

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Re: Updating
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2018, 01:29:14 pm »
cao,
that?s pretty cool.

I hope some more chime in to share their experience.

Now that we can?t look into our hives it?s wonderful to talk about ideas and improvements, feelings and plans.
Please feel free to post.
 :happy:

Offline yes2matt

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Re: Updating
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2019, 10:22:13 pm »
cao,
that?s pretty cool.

I hope some more chime in to share their experience.

Now that we can?t look into our hives it?s wonderful to talk about ideas and improvements, feelings and plans.
Please feel free to post.
 :happy:
I think surviving year to year is not enough to be "success." I would like to have equivalent production of honey/wax/propolis/etc out of a similarly situated apiary (size and location). I think that "treatment free" will not be taken seriously unless it is economically competitive. So I'm intending to give the chemical dependent beeks a run for their money. :) Better bees, better methods.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Updating
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2019, 06:31:49 pm »
I think that "treatment free" will not be taken seriously unless it is economically competitive. So I'm intending to give the chemical dependent beeks a run for their money. :) Better bees, better methods.

Competitive Matt?  That would be like an organic farmer trying to take on big Ag.  I don't want to shoot your hopes and dreams but I don't think the two are competitive.  They are different markets.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it