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Author Topic: For those who think treating with sugar is "Non-Chemical"  (Read 30765 times)
Bee Happy
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« Reply #80 on: January 02, 2011, 10:36:57 PM »


As for bees, the very act of being a beekeeper has put you into the "intervention" category. If you believe bees survive best in nature, let them be.

I just find robbing them much easier on both of us if I can trick them into putting their honey in easily stolen frames.
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T Beek
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« Reply #81 on: January 03, 2011, 06:53:53 AM »

As I've read and said many times before;  Keeping bees implies "keeping them alive" and its pretty hard to keep them alive without diligent study and observation, which includes "at least" some minimal internal inspection (and lots of reading grin). 

One (or many) can argue back and forth forever on exactly how much or often.  With "sustainable" beekeeping an open mind is required, as the only permenant is change.

For now, there are few substitutes for just leaving bees enough honey to survive winters, and whether one agrees or not, sugar remains as one that WILL keep your bees alive.

thomas
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BjornBee
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« Reply #82 on: January 03, 2011, 08:46:50 AM »

For now, there are few substitutes for just leaving bees enough honey to survive winters, and whether one agrees or not, sugar remains as one that WILL keep your bees alive.
thomas

And there lies the problem.

In nature, bees would thrive in areas with vast nectar varieties, coupled with several flows lasting a good part of the year.

However, beekeepers keep bees where they live, and some parts of the country just does not produce well timed flows for stimulating fall brood, as well as other aspects for a colony to thrive. (ie. little spring buildup prior to flow, etc.) And in some areas, if the beekeeper ever wanted honey (And I suspect many do), you may not get any due to lack of flow and excess honey production. This idea that one should never feed artificial feeds is many times at odds with keeping bees alive and actually producing a honey crop.

So what one hears, is beekeepers taking this "I'm not feeding my bees anything but their own honey" which is an empty promise to the bees since the beekeeper does not have any to feed anyways.

January 2011 ABJ page 16, advertisement for the "4th organic beekeepers chemical free conference" includes in their advertisement the wording "Getting off the artificial feeds" as one of their topics and goals. Yes, it's nice to think you can always leave enough honey for bees to survive, but that is not always the case. And for many beekeepers, especially for those starting out, it's a pipe dream shoved their way, oftentimes resulting in death of a colony by some line drawn in the sand.

Beekeepers may want to assess their location, flow, and other aspects of keeping bees before assuming because a bunch of others suggest or promote not feeding your bees (or feeding with something you don't have) that this would be a good thing.
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Acebird
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« Reply #83 on: January 03, 2011, 09:49:35 AM »

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However, beekeepers keep bees where they live, and some parts of the country just does not produce well timed flows for stimulating fall brood


That is why we invested $500 in wild flower seeds and better than $900 in compost to establish a field and vegetable garden over the waste land that the sign people left us before we ever got our first colony of bees.  There are also 6 other gardens with a host of flowers that bloom in succession.  You don’t what to know how many backbreaking hours were required to establish these tasks.  That is probably more than most people would do to “take care” of their bees.


http://i697.photobucket.com/albums/vv333/acebird1/Garden/Picture508.jpg

http://i697.photobucket.com/albums/vv333/acebird1/Garden/Wild006.jpg

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So what one hears, is beekeepers taking this "I'm not feeding my bees anything but their own honey" which is an empty promise to the bees since the beekeeper does not have any to feed anyways.


Why would assume that?  We have plenty of honey to feed our bees.  If you are nice I will let you borrow some.

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deknow
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« Reply #84 on: January 03, 2011, 09:58:22 AM »

Keeping bees implies "keeping them alive" and its pretty hard to keep them alive without diligent study and observation, which includes "at least" some minimal internal inspection
i'm willing to bet that on balance, most first year beekeepers do the bees more harm than good when they inspect the hive.

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For now, there are few substitutes for just leaving bees enough honey to survive winters, and whether one agrees or not, sugar remains as one that WILL keep your bees alive.
lots of bees that are fed (even ones that are fed properly) die.  don't assume that feeding sugar (or honey for that matter) "keeps bees alive"...it can, but it doesn't necessarily.

deknow
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Robo
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« Reply #85 on: January 03, 2011, 10:08:38 AM »


That is why we invested $500 in wild flower seeds and better than $900 in compost to establish a field and vegetable garden over the waste land that the sign people left us before we ever got our first colony of bees.  There are also 6 other gardens with a host of flowers that bloom in succession.  You don’t what to know how many backbreaking hours were required to establish these tasks.  That is probably more than most people would do to “take care” of their bees.

That is all well and good, but I hope you have a plan B when we hit a few drought years.
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #86 on: January 03, 2011, 10:10:18 AM »

Don't assume that a few acres of flowers that you plant will necessarily do anything to keep the bees alive either.  It may help a little, but bees need many many acres or a lot of trees.

And a vegetable garden, while it may benefit from the bees, is worthless to the bees unless you plant all brassica family plants and let them go to flower, or all sunflowers.

a hot month without rain will make all that completely worthless and the hives empty.  At that point, in that year, it's either feed them or let all the hard work with genetics and breeding go to waste.  You can be a purist and hope that a few survive, or you can protect them and keep what good you have already.

Then there's always the question of how much to take when.  I usually harvest in the beginning of August, that leaves 2.5 months for them to collect.  Some years they'll put a ton away after that, last year they did squat, so I had to feed sugar.  Sure is hard predicting the future, especially after a perfect sunny, wet enough summer.  If I collect the honey too soon I'll have packed hives swarming by the end of august some years, some years not. 
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Rick
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« Reply #87 on: January 03, 2011, 10:13:05 AM »

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i'm willing to bet that on balance, most first year beekeepers do the bees more harm than good when they inspect the hive.

That's it.  You've convinced me to give up right now.  I  will just buy the hive and hire you to come look at my bees say once a week.  Is that frequent enough?   What did you say your rate was?  I need to factor that in for next years budget. grin grin
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Acebird
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« Reply #88 on: January 03, 2011, 10:43:27 AM »

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but I hope you have a plan B when we hit a few drought years.

Drought?  Drought here is when you have to set the point down another 10 ft ( go from 15 ft to 25 ft).

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And a vegetable garden, while it may benefit from the bees, is worthless to the bees unless you plant all brassica family plants and let them go to flower, or all sunflowers.

They worked the broccoli clear into November this year.  Sun flowers, black eyed susans, and a host of other flowering plants I don't know the name of.  Ask my wife.

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Don't assume that a few acres of flowers that you plant will necessarily do anything to keep the bees alive either.  It may help a little, but bees need many many acres or a lot of trees.

There are still 4 acres of trees left on this commercial property and a raging creek.  The bees have plenty without our help, we just don't want them to go to parts unknown, especially the apple orchards and golf courses near by.
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deknow
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« Reply #89 on: January 03, 2011, 11:05:52 AM »

...you are greatly overestimating the impact a few acres has on bee forage.

deknow
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T Beek
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« Reply #90 on: January 03, 2011, 11:23:02 AM »

Experinced forager bees may (will?) pretty much ignore planted plots of wildflowers and will often lead those less experinced foragers miles away.  We can "help" (them or us?) with local plantings but that's all, as they decide where to go and what to bring back to the hive.  

The only exception "I've" found around here is with Mexican Bamboo.  They love the stuff and since its the last plant with any flowers, our patches of it are always loaded with bees in the Fall.  Its our last flow of the year and I've  been telling beeks to plant it around their property for years.  I've recently heard there is a variety that blooms in the Spring, I gotta get me some of that.

thomas
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« Reply #91 on: January 03, 2011, 11:25:17 AM »

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...you are greatly overestimating the impact a few acres has on bee forage.

I was hoping you were going to say that.

When you do your next research project I would like you to find (maybe others would too) out how many flowering plants per acre is required to sustain 1000 bees.

Once you find out this number we can calculate how many hives we can have in a bee yard before competitions creates starvation or exhaustion in the bees because they have to burn up more energy flying to a food source than what they can bring back.

One more question:  If I mow down the gardens and burn the woods will it help or hinder my bees?
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« Reply #92 on: January 03, 2011, 11:32:39 AM »

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The only exception "I've" found around here is with Mexican Bamboo.

For zone 4 Borage is a bee magnet.  I would say broccoli is a good second.  Actually, these gardens, wild and cultivated is a good way to get over your fears of bees because the bees will be all around you wearing no protection at all.  When you brush through they just jump off buzz around and return almost instantly when you go by.
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« Reply #93 on: January 03, 2011, 11:37:23 AM »

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...you are greatly overestimating the impact a few acres has on bee forage.

I was hoping you were going to say that.

When you do your next research project....

i've been more than patient and helpful here.  go do your own research.  if your tactic here is to make questionable statements for others to critique and correct you, it gets tired fast, and it fills the the forum with a bunch of posts full of untrue statements and assumptions that are confusing for other new beekeepers.

go spend some of your own time.  you seem to have plenty of time to post here, your time would be better served by reading a few books, and searching the archives (here and elsewhere) for the answers to some of your questions.  ...this isn't to say that you have to spend any money....there are lots of good beekeeping books (older ones) online, and your local library can get anything via interlibrary loan.

deknow
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Acebird
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« Reply #94 on: January 03, 2011, 11:40:16 AM »

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Experinced forager bees may (will?) pretty much ignore planted plots of wildflowers and will often lead those less experinced foragers miles away.  We can "help" (them or us?) with local plantings but that's all, as they decide where to go and what to bring back to the hive.


Yeah, and they are not idiots either.  If there is a closer source of nectar the word gets back to the hive and the garden and the bees win.  The forger that ignores the source close by will not last as long as the one that brings back the most nectar.
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« Reply #95 on: January 03, 2011, 11:46:27 AM »

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and it fills the the forum with a bunch of posts full of untrue statements and assumptions that are confusing for other new beekeepers.

That is the one common denominator about bee keeping in general, whether it is a book, a forum or a local club.  Go figure.

Thank you for the time you have spent by the way.  I appreciate it.
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« Reply #96 on: January 03, 2011, 11:48:49 AM »

Yeah, and they are not idiots either.  If there is a closer source of nectar the word gets back to the hive and the garden and the bees win.  The forger that ignores the source close by will not last as long as the one that brings back the most nectar.

wrong again.  please stop and do some reading.

deknow
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« Reply #97 on: January 03, 2011, 11:57:53 AM »

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and it fills the the forum with a bunch of posts full of untrue statements and assumptions that are confusing for other new beekeepers.

That is the one common denominator about bee keeping in general, whether it is a book, a forum or a local club.  Go figure.

...the difference here is that you know you don't know what you are talking about.  you seem to be willfully spreading your ignorance in order to draw information out of those that have more knowledge and experience than you.  it is a manipulative tactic, and it especially frustrating coming from someone that states outright that they don't want to read any books.

i'm happy to tutor you for a price...i'm basing my price on the fact that you spent $900 on compost.

deknow
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T Beek
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« Reply #98 on: January 03, 2011, 12:15:46 PM »

Yeah, and they are not idiots either.  If there is a closer source of nectar the word gets back to the hive and the garden and the bees win.  The forger that ignores the source close by will not last as long as the one that brings back the most nectar.

wrong again.  please stop and do some reading.

deknow

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Acebird
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« Reply #99 on: January 03, 2011, 12:18:46 PM »

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i'm basing my price on the fact that you spent $900 on compost.

Is it cheaper in Mass?  I wished I knew that.  What do they get for a yard of compost delivered.  We needed 60 yards in a hurry.
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