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Author Topic: killing the bees in the fall  (Read 5636 times)
ciely1
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« on: May 10, 2005, 09:43:23 PM »

I have been beekeeping for about  5 yrs now and have suffered  several losses another beekeeper was telling me that you could buy packaged bees  every spring then rob all the honeyin the fall  then shake the bees out. Does anyone else keep bees this way.   what do you think of keeping bees this way ?
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Blackbird
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2005, 10:40:04 PM »

I personally would not feel good about keeping bees this way though I know it is done in some areas with hard winters where it's difficult to keep the bees alive through winter.
To me it seems counter productive to keeping the bee population going. There is also the cost of buying new bees every spring and getting a potentially later start than if you overwintered your bees. A certain amount of loss is expected each year. I would look into better ways to winter your bees as well as making sure I had good pest management going on.

My  opinion only. Good luck.

Stacie
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Horns Pure Honey
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2005, 10:54:57 PM »

It was mostly done in Canada but now it is cheaper to keep your bee hives in a large heated shed. Cheesy
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Ryan Horn
ciely1
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2005, 11:27:59 PM »

I know i have alot to learn about beekeeping . it is very discourging to lose hives over  the winter  thinking of the honey i could have had if i would  have just dumped them in the fall.  You are right about the late start of the hives if done this way. But wouldnt this still yeild more honey in the fall because you are keeping what would have been the bees winter storage. you would also save on apistan strips. wouldnt it be about the same amount of  honey.  I still want to keep bees over winter.  I  just have quite an investment in equipment right now and exploring different options.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2005, 11:33:06 PM »

I'm in Nebraska.  When you get ready to shake out your bees, let me know, I'll bring some equipment and honey and take them home.

BTW  on Saturday June 11th from 6-8 pm at my house there will be a meeting of the Nebraska Beekeepers Association that will include a potluck dinner and some speakers, including me. I will show some of my alternative equipment, long hives, Top Bar Hives etc.

Anyone is welcome. If anyone is interested in coming, email me or PM me and I'll get you the directions to get here from wherever you are.

My email address is now:

bees at bushfarms dot com
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Lesli
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2005, 06:28:37 AM »

Quote from: ciely1
... another beekeeper was telling me that you could buy packaged bees  every spring then rob all the honeyin the fall  then shake the bees out.


I don't keep bees that way, but it's what Kim Flottum suggests in the May Bee Culture. Rather than spend money on meds, research into genetics, and so on, why not just have package suppliers raise bees where there are no varroa and beeks just rob, kill, and buy new every year. I'm not sure he's actually serious, but it certainly is something to think about--not because I'd consider it, but why I wouldn't do it. They're just bugs, right?

Yeees, but...
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Lesli
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Miss Chick-a-BEE
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« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2005, 07:12:13 AM »

My first year with a 2 pound package offered hardly any honey. They spent that first year building up their colony, and getting the wax on the frames.
If I had killed them in the winter, it would have been nearly a waste. It cost me somewhere around $50-$60 for that package, and really all I received was almost two boxes of finished comb. If I had started the next year with a new package (and this comb) I can't see that THAT year would be all that great either. Considering you can't even GET bees until April at the earliest, and it would take a couple months for the hive to build up to a strong colony, I can't see that I'd receive much honey AGAIN. I just don't see how it works out to be any sort of gain for a small beekeeper. Maybe it can be for large beekeeping businesses, who probably get a discount on packages anyway because they buy in the hundreds.

We've had this talk before, and even though many people in the world do this sort of thing, I think it's more of a waste than a plus. But I see this kind of thing all the time here in the country. Many farmers get rid of much of their livestock before winter so they don't have to worry about the cost of feed during the winter - horses sold off to auction / only to go back out in the spring and buy a new one, chickens butchered / and new chicks started in the spring. But I don't really see how it saves them money......
They sell the horse for $500, to save feeding it $200 in feed - but then go out and buy a horse in the spring, and spending $1000 because the prices are back to normal. Same with chickens...... 25 hens might cost $30-$50 to feed over the winter, but so what. It's gonna cost more than that to feed baby chicks till they get to laying age if you restart in the spring, plus the additional cost of the chicks themselves.

Ignore me.... I'm rambling. Smiley
Beth
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Lesli
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« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2005, 07:33:06 AM »

No, it makes sense. A strong, overwintered colony probably can do better.

Besides that, though, I don't think I would want to be dependent on package producers. How much do you think they'd charge for packages if most beekeepers depended on them.
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Lesli
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Finsky
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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2005, 07:38:01 AM »

Quote from: ciely1
I have been beekeeping for about  5 yrs now and have suffered  several losses another beekeeper was telling me that you could buy packaged bees  every spring then rob all the honeyin the fall  then shake the bees out. Does anyone else keep bees this way.   what do you think of keeping bees this way ?


You can rob all honey and then you give  40 lbs sugar for winterfood. And you have good hives at spring. It is cheaper than start every year from Zero.
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Finsky
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« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2005, 07:50:47 AM »

Quote from: ciely1
it is very discourging to lose hives over  the winter  thinking of the honey i could have had if i would  have just dumped them in the fall.  .


In Finland I loose about 0,5 hives per year from 20 hives. More I lose when hives weaken for nosema.  Varroa is not a problem.

If queen will be sick from nosema, it is asme like hive had died.

10-20% losses are normal in our country. Cure for that is that you keep 20% extra hives that you need not to cry for all.

People cry a lot for winter loses, but they do not care many issues how they could get better  yield.  Overcroded pasture are common. Too much bees in one place. Too long distance to fly to flower fields.  

When you put hives in different places, you can find that there are 100-200 % differencies in yields.

If your hives get honey  over 1 km distance, yield will drop 50%. It is like 50% winter losses.
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burny
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« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2005, 08:02:22 AM »

we kind of took the middle road last winter and it worked.
    instead of a deep for food storage we used a shallow super and come mid /late winter on warm day wich happened to coincide with cleansing flight which was cool to observe,we installed a gallon jar feeder in an empty deep. they didnt even use it all and made it fine.
     the only thing i would like to have done different would have been to have fed them pollen in april to jump start queen production.
                       franks right, bees take care of themselves most of the time.gotta go. i think im gonna check on the bees.
                             god bless
                                    burny
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ciely1
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« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2005, 11:44:09 AM »

Thanks for all the good information.  craig
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taw
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« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2005, 06:27:46 PM »

Quote from: ciely1
I have been beekeeping for about  5 yrs now and have suffered  several losses another beekeeper was telling me that you could buy packaged bees  every spring then rob all the honeyin the fall  then shake the bees out. Does anyone else keep bees this way.   what do you think of keeping bees this way ?


Personally, I think it is a waste. If they're a factory farmer and that is more economical for them, then... that's up to them, but I don't really see them as beekeepers. I try to show respect for the animal as best as I can. I know that to some though it is all about the product. *shrug*

In the end though it seems easy enough to simply feed them over the winter and deal with the loses you are bound to have. Dunno.

My 2 to 3 cents.
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fuzzybeekeeper
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« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2005, 10:31:20 AM »

As a former farmer, I thought a lot about this last night and I realized that the difference in destroying the bees and raising other farm livestock for food is that it is a waste of the bees themselves.

If you raise chickens for eggs, you don't just go out and shoot the chickens when they are through laying eggs.  You still sell them for their meat.  The same with cows for milk or sheep for wool.  The animal itself still serves a purpose.

I guess we need to find a use for bees' bodies.  If we could turn these bees into.....(?) fertilizer or food for the packages next spring or even "bee pie" for us to eat, I wouldn't be so opposed to it.  

I know we are "using" bees for our good (as has been discussed in this forum with comments from PETA) but I refuse to do everything I can to help the bees out all summer and then turn downright cruel overnight and not just abondon them for the winter but go a step further and just blow them out to all die in a couple of days.

I'm with Michael Bush.....Let me know when you are ready and I will be there to gather up your bees to make some new hives for myself.

I guess I appreciate Gods world too much to do that to His creatures without a purpose.

Fuzzybeekeeper
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Barny
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« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2005, 05:31:20 PM »

I think it is an unjustified practice.  I agree with those of you who "respect" or "value" the life of the hive.  To sum it up I think it would bring bad karma.
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Lesli
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« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2005, 07:46:05 PM »

For those of us who believe in karma, yes, it is. For me, it would also take some of the wonder out of it. I don't think of my bees as a commodity to be used up and replaced. A commercial beekeeper might need to accede to more pratical needs, but even from a practical standpoint, killing every fall doesn't seem beneficial.
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Lesli
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Horns Pure Honey
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« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2005, 08:16:47 PM »

I wouldnt do it, I respect my bees to much. Cheesy
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Ryan Horn
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« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2005, 11:58:00 PM »

I agree with Ryan-thats why we are called beekeepers NOT honeymakers. In my opinion its the bees not the honey that attracts me to this on a hobby level.
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ciely1
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« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2005, 01:01:46 AM »

well this topic sure looks like it struck some nerves . All I am looking at is the posibilty of keeping cost down  when I have had a run of bad luck $2000.
spent and 6 dead hives anyway.  when the hog market went south i heard they were knocking pigs in the head because it cost to much  to feed them out .   first thing in my opinion  peta freaks are so far in left feild  they probibly think a bee has a soul and go to heaven. much less to eat one. lol
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Horns Pure Honey
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« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2005, 08:33:09 AM »

Well every animal does have feelings and should be respected even if it is to eat. I respected my roosters even though we where going to eat them and they never gave us any problems. My friend raises chickens, they show the chickens no restpect, the roosters attack them every time they go out there.
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Ryan Horn
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