Need Bees Removed?
International
Beekeeping Forums
September 21, 2014, 08:51:11 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: ATTENTION ALL NEW MEMBERS
PLEASE READ THIS OR YOUR ACCOUNT MAY BE DELETED - CLICK HERE
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar bee removal Login Register Chat  

Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Carana & Mellifera management differences  (Read 4784 times)
beecanbee
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 294

Location: Kamogawa, Chiba Japan


« on: September 10, 2009, 01:33:49 AM »

A few differences in management.  But a caveat too.  Since I am new to and just learning about mellifera, some of this may not be a difference.

Apis Cerana are wont to abscond.  This means limiting inspections.  I open my hives only a few times a year – for Spring a cleaning, about once a month during summer, for a fall harvest & cleaning, and a winter feeding.  When I harvest, about 50% of the time they will nearly-abscond.  That is the workers will all depart the entrance and gather somewhere on the outside.  If the queen has also left, find her and put her back.  To know if she has left, inspect the gathering for shape, and if symmetrical she is out, but if it looks like massive bearding you are probably OK to ignore it.  Generally I will scoop globs of bees with my hands and shake them off at the entrance and then observe if they enter or not.

You don't smoke them – as they will only get angry.  If you want them to move, you breath on them – or tap with a hive tool, and they will move down into the hive and off of the frame that you are handling.  Do this too much and they will abscond.

Cerana do not get diseases – so no medications of any sort in the hive.  I only use a chemical outside of the hive to ward off ants.

When they swarm – it will be to the same spot in the apiary.  This means that you can place a swarm-catcher, attached to a rope, and easily catch swarms for re-hiving.  I use a 1/2 box, cut on the diagonal such that it looks like an A-frame.  The inside is lined with the bark of cherry trees and has a small cherry branch in the top for them to attach to.  I lower the box with the swarm and jolt the bees free – directly into a new hive.

They prefer logs to box hives.  Their comb is long and narrow, so if you harvest you generally need to re-frame the lower portion as it contains the brood.  In a log, I drill from the outside and run a skewer thru the log and brood comb that I am reattaching.

They are smaller and produce less honey – so less work in harvest (and unfortunately, less honey for me when I do harvest). Their honey is runny – even the capped stuff, though I am unsure of the water percentage.  Since you only harvest once (or twice if very lucky), the honey by definition is multi-floral.

One reason their honey is runny, is that they fan at the entrance with their butt to the entrance (not their head) - pushing humid air into the hive.  Hence a top vent is very important to allow humidity to escape.  You always tilt the bottom board slightly down toward the entrance to allow for condensed water to run out. 

Cerana do better with forage in totally forested areas than do Mellifera, so you have more apiary placement options.

Frames hang 90 degrees to the opening, not parallel to it. 

Since your bees are fewer, and you do not want uncovered comb available for wax moths, you use a hive reducer (a solid board that hangs like a frame does) in front of and in back of the bee-covered frames to define the hive area within the hive box.  You move these as you add frames.  During buildup, adding two frames during a the Spring/summer inspection does it.  That is, they are slower to build out comb or put to use empty comb.

You don't use supers (well I do on a very strong hive, but I only know of a couple of us that do so.)  If you use a super, you move a frame with greater than 50% capped honey from the hive into the top box (your super - which is the same size as your original hive since it must take the frame from the hive body).  You do not place empty comb on top and expect that they will use it.  You can place empty comb, or even foundation in the lower box as a replacement.  If you add a frame to the hive body, you place it second from front, or second from back (or both at the same time).

Cerana do not produce a detectable amount of propolis – so no sticky messes.

Logged

Paul

“I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me."  Duncan Vandiver

A boy can do half the work of a man, but two boys do less, and three boys get nothing done at all. Smiley

(False) Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.  - Samuel Johnson
bee-nuts
Queen Bee
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1101


Location: Northwest Wisconsin


WWW
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2009, 01:57:55 AM »

Interesting.

How about varroa mites?

I have heard/read that they only reproduce in the drone cells, never worker cells, and that drone cells are very few so the mites do not reproduce to critical levels.
Logged

The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory

Thomas Jefferson
beecanbee
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 294

Location: Kamogawa, Chiba Japan


« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2009, 02:16:57 AM »

How about varroa mites?

I have never taken any action nor given them much thought.  My understanding is that Cerana do a better job of grooming themselves and rid the hive of them themselves.  (From my limited experience with Mellifera) I agree that there are fewer drone with Cerana (from observation), and agree that this could also account for the lack of a need to take action.
Logged

Paul

“I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me."  Duncan Vandiver

A boy can do half the work of a man, but two boys do less, and three boys get nothing done at all. Smiley

(False) Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.  - Samuel Johnson
charlotte
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 140


Location: WI


« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2009, 02:29:30 AM »

Very interesting....thanks for posting!   grin
Logged

Sleep is overrated!
kathyp
Universal Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 15151


Location: boring, oregon


« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2009, 10:05:51 AM »

sounds like they are more work in some ways, but lots less in inspections and disease.

they would be the same bees as the Thai tend?  my husband brought me some honey from his last trip to Thailand and it was a little thinner, and sweeter.  i don't know how you can  tell honey is sweeter, but that was the impression smiley
Logged

.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
beecanbee
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 294

Location: Kamogawa, Chiba Japan


« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2009, 03:35:55 AM »

the same bees as the Thai tend?  … a little thinner, and sweeter. 

My taste tests come out ahead....  and yes, I believe that the same bees would be in Thailand, etc.  I am told that there are 7 sub specie if I (recall correctly).
Logged

Paul

“I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me."  Duncan Vandiver

A boy can do half the work of a man, but two boys do less, and three boys get nothing done at all. Smiley

(False) Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.  - Samuel Johnson
heaflaw
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 217

Location: lincolnton, nc


« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2009, 11:12:54 PM »

Very interesting.  It is amazing how differently they behave.  Tell us more.
Logged
beecanbee
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 294

Location: Kamogawa, Chiba Japan


« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2009, 03:14:40 PM »

sounds like they are more work in some ways, but lots less in inspections and disease.

If you were comparing work effort vs harvest results - then indeed you would conclude that they are more work.  But from a hobbyist standpoint - they give the same enjoyment, if not the same volume of honey.

There is a certain pleasure in beating nature - or learning from it and working within the bounds of what this bee will tolerate without absconding.

I believe that most cerana keepers are a`bee havers`(to borrow a phrase) - meaning that they place a hive and walk away.  If they have done this correctly, they have mimicked a natural feral hive (log, open to the earth, defensible opening), and all that is left to do is harvest.

There are many types of log hives - some in Viet Nam (Hmong Black Thai) that I saw were horizontal logs, while here in Japan I have seen short-fat, and tall-thin logs.  I have heard (but not seen) a harvest method that takes advantage of absconding.  That is, the bees are intentionally driven off of the hive, but captured and put back once the harvest is completed.  Apparently the trick is to prepare an abscond box in advance, and place it on the hive spot while moving the log a few yards away.

Since there is no trade in queens, it takes a bit more learning to keep them in hive boxes year to year, learn how to do splits, keep out the wax moths, manage their bee space (with restricter boards), etc. - without excessive absconding.
Logged

Paul

“I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me."  Duncan Vandiver

A boy can do half the work of a man, but two boys do less, and three boys get nothing done at all. Smiley

(False) Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.  - Samuel Johnson
Lone
Queen Bee
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 1066


Location: North Queensland


« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2009, 12:39:38 AM »

Hello Beecanbee,

This is fascinating.  The authorities and beekeepers are in a panic because several colonies of apis cerana (or asian honeybees as we call them) have been found in Australia, now 500km from where I am.  They were in PNG for a while and I guess they must have island-hopped over here.  We are sent photos in order to distinguish the variety of bee, so that any asian bees can be destroyed.  That must make you sad, but the varroa mite is the main concern.  Australia and Antartica must be the only countries free from it.  So far they say they haven't found any varroa on the bees they have destroyed.  So eventually we might have to learn how to keep apis cerana!

I read somewhere that they can swarm up to 20 times a year.  I assumed this is how they spread so quickly.  But if the colony is wont to up and leave, do they merely find another home without splitting the hive?  Or do they make new queens frequently and start new colonies?

If they do become established here, can they cross breed with apis mellifera, and what are they like if they do?

Thanks for your insights into how you keep them.  I wasn't sure before whether they had been domesticated or not.

Lone

Logged
beecanbee
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 294

Location: Kamogawa, Chiba Japan


« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2009, 09:53:35 PM »

  I read somewhere that they can swarm up to 20 times a year. 

I wish it were true - but I have seen 5 swarms from one hive across 2 days.  Cerana seek out smaller nest sites, and this can cause multiple swarms.  One beek I know keeps small log hives for just this purpose - to create swarms in lieu of being able to obtain queens. 

Quote
   do they merely find another home without splitting the hive?  Or do they make new queens frequently and start new colonies?   

An abscond is simply an abandonment - and they will seek out a new hive.  I keep at least a third new hives boxes available to take on any absconds as well as any swarms, increasing the number of empty hives as necessary.  May thru July (northern hemisphere) swarms as they produce new queens most probably mirrors the action of mellifera.

Quote
  can they cross breed with apis mellifera, and what are they like if they do? 

The research results thru artificial insemination - is that they cannot cross breed.  They do share the same sex pheromone - and this means that you can obtain sterile (but bred) queens - both mellifera and cerana (my understanding here).  So I am told that one should not keep them in the same apiary.  This said, I know a researcher that keeps both separated only by hundreds of meters.

In my apiary with mellifera close by, my own cerana died out this summer with virgin queens who failed to start laying eggs.  One of these was a supercedure, and the other was an artificial swarm (where I moved the frame with a queen cell to a new hive).  Both queens were there on inspection.  One new mellifera Queen also failed to lay any eggs that I could detect.
 
Quote
  I wasn't sure before whether they had been domesticated or not. 

I am not sure domesticated describes what we do with cerana - since we do not breed them - maybe we only "keep feral".
Logged

Paul

“I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me."  Duncan Vandiver

A boy can do half the work of a man, but two boys do less, and three boys get nothing done at all. Smiley

(False) Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.  - Samuel Johnson
bee-nuts
Queen Bee
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1101


Location: Northwest Wisconsin


WWW
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2009, 02:18:28 AM »

You say there is not trade in queens.

Why is this.  Is it impossible to introduce new queens to a hive?  Are you unable to manipulate them into rearing queens for you?
Logged

The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory

Thomas Jefferson
beecanbee
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 294

Location: Kamogawa, Chiba Japan


« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2009, 02:43:08 AM »

You say there is not trade in queens.  Why is this.  Is it impossible to introduce new queens to a hive?  Are you unable to manipulate them into rearing queens for you? 

Not sure - so I will ask a researcher on this and report back later.  But my guess is that there does not need to be a trade in queens - that is, they come free (for the provision of a suitable hive.) to anyone who waits.  And by breeding - what would you obtain?  Cerana are already disease free and gentle.  (I did have one hive some years back that required gloves.)

As for introducing a queen - I have passed on queen cells, which were placed in queenless hives, and successfully re-queened the hive.  I have never heard of anyone introducing a mated or virgin queen to a hive.  Also, I don't believe that anyone has yet been successful in cerana artificial insemination - although they have tried.  Some of my queen cells were used for this purpose.

There are cerana beeks that will sell you a hive (bees included), and a new beek either is given a hive, or buys one.  I give them away to anyone who seems legitimately interested.  (But unfortunately, I often wind up managing that hive.)
Logged

Paul

“I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me."  Duncan Vandiver

A boy can do half the work of a man, but two boys do less, and three boys get nothing done at all. Smiley

(False) Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.  - Samuel Johnson
bee-nuts
Queen Bee
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1101


Location: Northwest Wisconsin


WWW
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2009, 03:58:07 AM »

"Cerana are already disease free"

I don't belie this.  I think hardly anything alive is disease free.  Our bees were once much easier to keep and had much less disease.  spreading them through out, mixing races, and huge commercial applications, then adding treatments weekend the bees.  If we never treated the bees with medicine I think we would be much farther ahead today then we are now.

Varroa mites which are not a disease but a pest is an example of a problem.  However they have evolved to live together with cerana.  For instance if we did not treat for the mites, either the mites would change so they would not kill the bees, or the bees would change to keep the mites to a tolerable level or both would vanish.  

The worst thing that people in your part of the world can do for Cerana in my opinion is probably to have mellifera living near by.  They are close cousins and there diseases could spread to cerana.  Diseases mutate to hop from one specie to another.  It happens all the time.  I am not suggesting that you don't, I'm just stating what I believe the effect of the whole may be upon your native race of be there because of man.

Leaving cerana to evolve on there own has probably work in your favor.  Our breeding programs may be our own worst enemy when it comes to diseases and pest problems.

I mean no disrespect in any way.  I only mean to express my opinions as they are.

Thanks for the info you provide.  It is very interesting to learn about our mellifera's cousins.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2009, 04:25:15 AM by bee-nuts » Logged

The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory

Thomas Jefferson
beecanbee
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 294

Location: Kamogawa, Chiba Japan


« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2009, 04:17:57 AM »

"Cerana are already disease free"

Yes of course - I accept all that you wrote...  What I meant was that cerana beeks do not use any medications, nor do cerana get afflicted with any of the mellifera diseases (to our knowledge).  No foul brood, chalk brood, etc.   Cerana here get a "pass" on the obligatory inspections that mellifera hives undergo - precisely because not a single hive has been shown to have one of these common mellifera diseases.

Mellifera is the bee of choice for honey production and pollination here - the same as in other parts of the world. So there is no way to absolutely keep them apart.  Hence there is a risk that cerana could become infected with the same diseases at some future point.

Logged

Paul

“I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me."  Duncan Vandiver

A boy can do half the work of a man, but two boys do less, and three boys get nothing done at all. Smiley

(False) Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.  - Samuel Johnson
Lone
Queen Bee
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 1066


Location: North Queensland


« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2009, 07:41:58 AM »

Thanks for all the information, Beecanbee.

Lone
Logged
beecanbee
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 294

Location: Kamogawa, Chiba Japan


« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2009, 09:41:43 PM »

As an example of how touchy Cerana can be – last week when inspecting, the queen flew off of her frame and was now in the tall grass alongside her hive.  Luckily I saw her do this and was able to grab her ever so gently and put her on top of the frame she had just flown from.  She quickly walked back down into her hive.

This is the third such event I have encountered over the years.   On another less successful occasion, I lost a hive to the queen flying off and leaving her daughters behind.
Logged

Paul

“I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me."  Duncan Vandiver

A boy can do half the work of a man, but two boys do less, and three boys get nothing done at all. Smiley

(False) Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.  - Samuel Johnson
beecanbee
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 294

Location: Kamogawa, Chiba Japan


« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2009, 08:24:14 PM »

As an update – on cerana queens and their not being a sales market for them…  I now understand that cerana artificial insemination is successful at a rate of approximately 80% - whereas for mellifera, the rate approaches 100%.  This low success rate combined with success of the “build-it and they will come” approach of simply placing hive boxes around, is enough to make it uneconomical.  If the rate improves we could well see a market develop as improved stock became available.

Interestingly, at our annual cerana beek BBQ this past Saturday - we had 10 or so new members - of which 7 or 8  were mellifera beeks of 10+ years, so there is a lot of interest in cerana - in part because of the CCD issue.
Logged

Paul

“I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me."  Duncan Vandiver

A boy can do half the work of a man, but two boys do less, and three boys get nothing done at all. Smiley

(False) Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.  - Samuel Johnson
bee-nuts
Queen Bee
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1101


Location: Northwest Wisconsin


WWW
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2009, 04:05:02 AM »

What is your weather like now. 

Keep up with what you are doing with these bees from time to time if you would. or weather allows.

Thanks

bee-nuts
Logged

The moment a person forms a theory, his imagination sees in every object only the traits which favor that theory

Thomas Jefferson
beecanbee
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 294

Location: Kamogawa, Chiba Japan


« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2009, 09:16:35 PM »

An update….  The weather here in central Japan has just turned colder – with frost at higher elevations, and down to 8c near the coast.  The goldenrod bloom is over and any feeding should have been completed by now.

The giant hornets and the smaller yellow hornets (maybe Yellow Jackets in the US?) still have a few weeks left to attack honeybees.  The Cerana will ball the hornet and kill it thru heat – if the attack does not overwhelm them, but if it does they will abscond even at this late stage of the season.  This season I saw many such balls of bees.

At my home, I have lost all three Mellifera and two Cerana (all but one of my Cerana) hives this season.  But a neighbor whom I am mentoring had two Cerana absconds take up residence in his Langstroth hives on the 1st of November.  No doubt they were attacked by hornets and took shelter in his empty boxes.  The hives had been primed for Spring with some frames of honey and sugar that were left after one of my Mellifera hives succumbed to whatever it was that killed them off.  We will wait for a warm spell and see if we can get in a day of feeding.  A dilemma here – since the Mellifera comb cells are larger than the Cerana cells – what to do?  When we inspect and feed, I am considering inserting some Cerana comb in the center, and hope that they take the hint and use it for their brood.  Then come Spring – take out the Mellifera comb and put in all Cerana comb/foundation.  This is going to be awkward, since the hive boxes and frames are different sizes and orientation.

As for my now empty Cerana boxes and logs – not to fear, as I know that come Spring natural swarms will come again.  Maybe next year I will be more successful in protecting and caring for them.
Logged

Paul

“I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me."  Duncan Vandiver

A boy can do half the work of a man, but two boys do less, and three boys get nothing done at all. Smiley

(False) Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.  - Samuel Johnson
fermentedhiker
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 514


Location: Midcoast Maine


« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2009, 10:21:00 PM »

You might consider inserting frames in the boxes without foundation.  The cerana will draw their own comb and you won't need to worry about modifying any of your equipment.  When you inspect you could simply cut out the center of the comb of any frame that the cerana haven't actively started using.  They'll use the "large" cells around the outside for honey storage and draw out the center of the frames as they would in nature.  Just a thought.

Adam
Logged

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
--Douglas Adams
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Beemaster's Beekeeping Ring
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Sitemap Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.468 seconds with 21 queries.

Google visited last this page September 18, 2014, 09:12:12 PM
anything