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Author Topic: More dumb questions...  (Read 3820 times)
Acebird
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« on: December 09, 2010, 02:53:14 PM »

I read somewhere or someone said if you leave uncapped comb in the hive the bees will chew it up and use it somewhere else.  If bees can recycle the wax can I leave my cappings out by the hive for them to recycle into a new foundation?  I know I can but will it work?  If so how big a chunk can they use?  I assume they have small teeth. grin
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2010, 06:15:45 PM »

I'm fairly positive the bees are not going to gather the cappings from outside the hive and bring them inside.  If you were able to place the wax into the hive then I would think they would use it when they needed it.
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2010, 07:47:13 AM »

I have not had them reuse any cappings I've left anywhere to any extent that is noticeable.  They will just haul it out of the hive as trash and make their own.  Bees have little interest in wax.  They will move some comb around by tearing down and rebuilding, but they don't gather wax to any noticeable extent.

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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2010, 08:37:28 AM »

I have not had them reuse any cappings I've left anywhere to any extent that is noticeable.  They will just haul it out of the hive as trash and make their own.  Bees have little interest in wax.  They will move some comb around by tearing down and rebuilding, but they don't gather wax to any noticeable extent.



I was wondering how someone would know what the bees did with wax.  It is easy to see that they tear it down and make new but that doesn't prove that the old was used for the new.

OK so my next question:
I have these capping's saved with a mixture of honey that I intend to let the bees feed off the honey in the spring which should clean off the wax.  What is the best way to do that?
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2010, 08:57:08 AM »

I was wondering how someone would know what the bees did with wax.  It is easy to see that they tear it down and make new but that doesn't prove that the old was used for the new.
When the weather is not advantageous for wax production and comb/foundation is torn down and comb is built in other places is a good indication they are reusing it.     I have seen bees collect propolis off of unused equipment and reuse it, but not wax.

Quote
OK so my next question:
I have these capping's saved with a mixture of honey that I intend to let the bees feed off the honey in the spring which should clean off the wax.  What is the best way to do that?

Either on top of the inner cover with an empty hive body (this helps eliminate the danger of starting robbing,  and it also guarantees the honey goes into your hive and not to other insects/hives) or far away from your hives to prevent robbing.

BTW,  don't be surprised if it goes ignored.  If there is a good nectar flow,  the bees prefer nectar than honey.
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2010, 10:02:00 AM »

I was thinking underneath the inner cover in the empty box space.  There is not much nectar flow up here when there is still snow on the ground.
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2010, 03:14:30 PM »

I have these capping's saved with a mixture of honey that I intend to let the bees feed off the honey in the spring which should clean off the wax.  What is the best way to do that?[/quote]

What I do for that is have a 2 inch shim (like a really short empty super) and put it on the inner cover.  I pour the capping mixture on there (not over the hole) and put the outer cover on top of the shim.  The bees will come up and remove the honey.  They might haul off the wax as trash though so if you want the wax I'd recommend getting out as much of the wax as you can before you do this.  Sometimes they'll form it into bur comb too.
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« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2010, 04:14:41 PM »

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They might haul off the wax as trash though so if you want the wax I'd recommend getting out as much of the wax as you can before you do this.

I don't need the wax.  I was hoping they could reuse it to draw new comb on new foundation.  Someone told me it takes 10 pounds of nectar to produce the drawn comb.  I am not sure if I got that right but if reuse could help they can have it back.

I got to look up bur comb.
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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2010, 05:32:00 PM »

10kg of honey to make 1kg of wax !

The best way to help your bees to draw new comb is to reduce ventilation in the hive so it is warmer and they start to sweat/secret wax.
This will only happen if they have space to build , and a steady flow of nectar or sugar or syrup.

mvh edward  tongue
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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2010, 08:54:17 PM »

Considering the bees attitude toward cappings wax I've offered them, I think the bees disagree with the "10 or 8 or 16 pounds"  rules so often quoted.  They seem to prefer to make new wax.
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2010, 10:43:25 AM »

10kg of honey to make 1kg of wax !

The best way to help your bees to draw new comb is to reduce ventilation in the hive so it is warmer and they start to sweat/secret wax.
This will only happen if they have space to build , and a steady flow of nectar or sugar or syrup.

mvh edward  tongue

Is this for real?  I am not saying you are wrong but after loosing our hive to moisture we propped up the cover for the whole season and they didn't have an issue building out the frames from clean foundation.  We are gunshy about closing up the ventilation.  Sugar or syrup is not an option for us.
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2010, 11:12:33 AM »

It is a fact that it takes heat to make wax/comb.  Now whether it is natural heat or the added consumption of nectar to create heat that makes it impossible to say x amount of nectar needed to make y wax. How many feral hives have you seen with abundant ventilation?   I've seen none (other than the occasional open air nest which is not the norm for this area).   

It is also a fact that it takes heat to raise brood.  Give the queen a warm spot in the hive and she will lay there.

I understand your desire to be "all natural",  but on one hand you will not assist them with supplemental feed, but on the other,  you are not allowing them to retain their heat causing the added consumption of feed.  Are you really helping them or stressing them?
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2010, 11:49:39 AM »

Quote
I understand your desire to be "all natural",  but on one hand you will not assist them with supplemental feed, but on the other,  you are not allowing them to retain their heat causing the added consumption of feed.  Are you really helping them or stressing them?

I don't know the answer to that. Sad

If you can define a way for me to tell I am all ears.  As a new bee keeper you know nothing so you join a club and listen to all the varied ways to do things.  When you ask questions even the most prominent bee keepers will say, " well this is what I do".  It isn't long before some of the "this is what I do" becomes conflicting.  And it isn't any different on this forum.  I am here with eyes and ears wide open.  I will listen to everyone and then I got to make a choice and see what happens.  We lost a hive all ready.  I suspect we will lose another one sooner or later.  Eventually we will learn the ropes.

I am sorry for the bees that don't make it because of what we have done or not done.  We what to be their friends.
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« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2010, 08:08:15 PM »

10kg of honey to make 1kg of wax !The best way to help your bees to draw new comb is to reduce ventilation in the hive so it is warmer and they start to sweat/secret wax.This will only happen if they have space to build , and a steady flow of nectar or sugar or syrup.mvh edward  tongue

Is this for real?  I am not saying you are wrong but after loosing our hive to moisture we propped up the cover for the whole season and they didn't have an issue building out the frames from clean foundation.  We are gunshy about closing up the ventilation.  Sugar or syrup is not an option for us.
As I am expanding my bee hives so I have a shortage of drawn out comb , You can buy bees , bee hives but it is hard to find anyone who is willing to sell drawn out comb.
If you do find someone , the price is usually horrendous or there are no guarantees that the wax is free from disease .

I have gone from 7 hives to 35 this year , drawn out comb = gold !!
10kg to 1kg well known fact

Ventilation , I suppose it depends on your climate , temp ? humidity.?

Also the style of bee keeping , On your side of the pond I understand that lots of ventilation is popular
 
On my side we like to keep them warm on top in the winter with a draft over the floor , helps ventilate out moisture , also our winters are very dry , lots of snow but dry air.

By seasoned bee keeper(S) I was recommended to reduce the ventilation under spring and summer = brood and egg laying can start earlier , also it takes less energy/bees to warm the hive = easier to sweat wax.

But come winter , the need to ventilate  moisture is key to survival .

until we can ask the bees how they would like to have it we will have to keep guessing  rolleyes

mvh edward  tongue
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« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2010, 09:44:48 PM »

You can have ventilation and still preserve heat.  It's a matter of how big the openings are and convection.  Obviously if you have large openings and a lot of convection (both top and bottom openings  of large size) then the bees may have trouble maintaining the temperature.  If you have no convection and only a small opening at the bottom then moisture tends to accumulate at the top, especially when the bees are in a cluster and therefore have less control over the ventilation.  In hot weather there would be a lot of bees working on ventilation.  In cold weather they are trying to stay warm instead.  It only takes a small top and bottom opening to allow moisture out.  Any larger is causing more stress with more heat required.
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« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2010, 02:03:02 AM »

You can have ventilation and still preserve heat.  It's a matter of how big the openings are and convection.  Obviously if you have large openings and a lot of convection (both top and bottom openings  of large size) then the bees may have trouble maintaining the temperature.  If you have no convection and only a small opening at the bottom then moisture tends to accumulate at the top, especially when the bees are in a cluster and therefore have less control over the ventilation.  In hot weather there would be a lot of bees working on ventilation.  In cold weather they are trying to stay warm instead.  It only takes a small top and bottom opening to allow moisture out.  Any larger is causing more stress with more heat required.

Interesting !

How big or small is your summer/winter ventilation ?  Width , height ,, diameter ?

I would assume that if you had a small ventilation hole/gap in the roof area , and if the bees din not think it was a good idea they would fill it with propolis.

Most of the bee keepers I know have no ventilation up top and a lot of ventilation in the bottom in wintertime.

Under their active season the bees should bee able to ventilate the hive to the climate they seem fit.

When they have gone into winter hibernation  and are in a cluster it is not possible for them to adjust there in hive climate as effectively.

mvh edward  tongue
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« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2010, 10:03:48 AM »

If you can define a way for me to tell I am all ears.  As a new bee keeper you know nothing so you join a club and listen to all the varied ways to do things.  When you ask questions even the most prominent bee keepers will say, " well this is what I do".  It isn't long before some of the "this is what I do" becomes conflicting.  And it isn't any different on this forum.  I am here with eyes and ears wide open.  I will listen to everyone and then I got to make a choice and see what happens.  We lost a hive all ready.  I suspect we will lose another one sooner or later.  Eventually we will learn the ropes.

Welcome to the lovely art of beekeeping.  Ask 10 beekeepers a question and you will get 11 answers.  There are a lot of variables involved, and there is no perfect answer.  Climate is a big factor that is often forgotten about when talking on the forum.  Bees are also very adaptable,  so not everything that we do that appears to work, may be in the best interest of the bees.  My advice is to keep researching and seeking knowledge for others, but you need to analyze and determine which is best for you and your bees.  Never stop evaluating your own methods and also keep in mind that what works for others may not work for you and vice versa.  We see far to many folks telling others that they are wrong, when in reality, it all comes down to what works best for you. There is a difference between sharing ones opinions/methods/experiences for others to evaluate and being abstinent that your method is "the way".  You will quickly learn who fits in each category.

Personally,  I do a lot of feral removals and take note of what bees do when they are entirely in control. 

I know you are struggling with ventilation concerns.  There is a short book by Ed Clark called "Constructive Beekeeping" that gives a total different perspective on it and goes through the mathematics that shows bees can not rely on evaporation but more likely rely on condensation.  It is in total opposition to today's norm of the more ventilation the better.   Once again, take it for what it is worth,  but I still struggle getting past the fact that every feral colony I find has all the cracks and crevices sealed up with propolis.

I also know there is the old wives tale that cold doesn't kill bees, moisture does.  That may be true,  but heat sure does help them and they do prefer it.  I have done some experiments with heat,  and the queens will move right to the heat source to lay her eggs and raise brood.
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« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2010, 04:38:41 PM »

Quote
I have gone from 7 hives to 35 this year , drawn out comb = gold !!
10kg to 1kg well known fact
This is the automation engineer talking now.
Aside from contamination in the wax there is no reason why the comb could not be mass-produced.  You could even mold a plastic comb and spray coat it with wax like the foundation is.

Quote
Ventilation , I suppose it depends on your climate , temp ? humidity.?
Yes, winter here is the driest but never is it dry.  We can get 2 inches or rain or 3 feet of snow on a weekend.  What we lack is sun.  There have been years where we have only seen the sun for 70 days out of 365.


Quote
It only takes a small top and bottom opening to allow moisture out.


That is what we had and it was decided that it wasn’t enough.

So now I am going to ask more questions.  How exactly does the moisture kill the bees?  It’s obvious to me how the cold can do it but short of creating a mold condition it is not clear to me how the moisture kills the bees.
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« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2010, 05:08:38 PM »

Damp, humid and cold, is Pneumonia weather for humans, also has it's affect on bees !

That's what mama taught any way.

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« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2010, 09:45:16 PM »



  Sugar or syrup is not an option for us.

I'm about afraid to ask, but why is sugar or syrup not an option?
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« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2010, 08:48:14 AM »

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I'm about afraid to ask, but why is sugar or syrup not an option?

Sugar is processed either from cane which is not grown in this country or beets which are well on their way to be GMO.  Syrup is corn which is predominately GMO right now.  GMO is another word for Monsanto,  Monsanto is a mega corporation who owns our law makers and is doing it's damnedest to make farming illegal.  "Farming" as defined as you and me along with the single family farm whereas agriculture is defined as them.  Anyone that fights that hard to stamp out the little guy is criminal in my book.  Once Monsanto stamps out the farmer it won't be long before they, through our trusted law makers, make it illgal to have a bee hive in your back yard because it affects their agriculture.  They will be controlling what you can do or can't do to your own bee hive.  Of course this will appear to be enforced by our government not the puppeteer behind the curtain.  Look behind the curtain.

You are what you eat.  That holds true for the bees also.
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« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2010, 09:24:12 AM »

Seriously?  For someone who started the post with "More dumb questions" you seem to have all the answers.  You don't think some of the losses you're already having could be directly related to not feeding your bees?

If a bee is what it eats, if it has nothing to eat, it will end up as nothing I guess.  Let them perish if you wish, but you might need to look in the morror to see who's responsible.
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« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2010, 09:26:22 AM »

 
"cane which is not grown in this country "

Certainly proves we are talking Yankee talk.  Ever been to Lousiana ? Also drop by Hawiai !

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« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2010, 09:42:20 AM »

Ace, I agree with you about the intentions of agribusiness.  But I would point out that unless you have found a hive of feral bees in a tree and moved them and their honey to your hive box, you are starting out with an artificial system.  And even having bees in a box is not really natural either.  It takes time to migrate your hive to more natural conditions.  If I recall, you are a first year beek, so your bees haven't had a full year cycle yet.  If that is the case, I think it would be reasonable to use foreign-derived cane sugar to get them through their first winter.  After that, you can leave them with enough flower-derived honey to survive future winters.... but if they die this year, you will have to start over and will have made no progress toward natural.

We are having the same debate over ventilation.  This winter, we are trying one long hive with an open SBB.   It's a complicated issue.  My instinct tells me that it makes more sense to restrict ventilation.  But again, a hive box is not a  tree. a hollow tree has thick walls and lots of top insulation.  It's got to be less susceptible to condensation than a box with thin walls.  It's true that moisture kills.  The reason is that water has lot's more heat capacity (or in this case, cold capacity  grin) than air.  Cold water dripping on a bee takes all the heat out of her immediately, and that is not a survivable situation.   I don't know how to calculate the optimum rate of volume exchanges, so we will just have to try different amounts of ventilation and see what happens.
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« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2010, 09:45:32 AM »

Not that I dont agree with parts of what you are saying, but I think a person can take this stuff a little too far.  Do you not buy hive components because the trees were cut with non-epa approved chainsaws and hauled out with skidders burning petro diesel instead of bio-diesel? Bees were an investment for me and until I have some comb drawn and honey in reserve for them to over winter on, I am throwing the sugar on them for their survival. To buy a package and not to feed is neglect in my eyes. I understand what you are trying to do but your bees need a foundation before you can leave them to fend for themselves. I would love not to have to feed them up for winter, but until they get there, its sugar for me. As MB stated in another post, (paraphrasing) genetics doesnt mean much if your bees have starved to death. So far I haven't used any miticides or antibiotics in my hives and do not plan on it, but I will continue to feed.
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« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2010, 09:54:27 AM »


"cane which is not grown in this country "

Certainly proves we are talking Yankee talk.  Ever been to Lousiana ? Also drop by Hawiai !

Bee-Bop
I think Ace is saying that you can't easily buy cane sugar from Louisiana or Hawaii.  Or if you could, it would be very expensive.  Do you know a reasonably priced source for US cane sugar.
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« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2010, 10:22:49 AM »

This is the automation engineer talking now.
Aside from contamination in the wax there is no reason why the comb could not be mass-produced.  You could even mold a plastic comb and spray coat it with wax like the foundation is.


FYI it is already.  Unfortunately it is very expensive and a little patience can save that cost.  There may or may not be contamination, but there is plenty of contamination from pine wood, who knows what that stuff does....

Good luck with that sugar argument rolleyes .
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« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2010, 10:31:38 AM »

I also wrestled with feeding sugar (anything), but soon decided feeding was better than letting them starve.  I take very little honey from August on willing to wait till Spring for "my" honey.  But try as they/I might sometimes they just don't put up enough to survive.  So I feed.  Not always and not every hive.  Do I like feeding sugar, NO.  But Starved/Dead bees are worse.  As said above dead bees means starting over.  Our job is to help "keep" them alive (my opinion).

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« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2010, 10:47:31 AM »

About the only sugar available here is "pure Florida cane sugar".

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« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2010, 10:48:10 AM »

there   You could even mold a plastic comb and spray coat it with wax like the foundation is.
FYI it is already.  Unfortunately it is very expensive and a little patience can save that cost. 

Do you have any links to sites where it is available ?
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« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2010, 10:53:29 AM »

Do you have any links to sites where it is available ?


http://www.honeysupercell.com/

or


Permacomb Systems
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John Seets, National/International Distributor
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Ph: (orders) 800-915-4469
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« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2010, 11:45:33 AM »

Quote
Seriously?  For someone who started the post with "More dumb questions" you seem to have all the answers.  You don't think some of the losses you're already having could be directly related to not feeding your bees?

Have all the answers?  huh 
If I had all the answers why would I even be here?  Yes, I tend to blast off my ideas and beliefs on a public forum and see who agrees with me or disagrees with me.  Depending on how they support what they say I may change my ideas and beliefs.  Of course some things I will never change.

I am very certain that we did not loose the hive last year due to starvation.  The hive was full of honey so the local bee experts (including the one we bought the nuc from) suggested very strongly it was too much moisture.  This guy has 50 years experience and is the local guru for the commercial beeks.  Last year the hive progressed very slowly for a number of reasons and we did not get one drop of honey.  We took the honey when we discovered the hive was dead at the advice of the guru.
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« Reply #32 on: December 13, 2010, 12:14:34 PM »

 
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But try as they/I might sometimes they just don't put up enough to survive.

To a new beek it is not obvious as to how much that is.  On another topic someone made the comment that the hive needs 60-80 lbs to make it through the winter.  I have no idea if that number is right.  Intuition makes me think that Fl requirements would be considerable less than Upstate NY.

Another thing discussed under another topic was wintering over with two deeps vs. two deeps and a super.  If we find the bees starved next spring you can be sure we will leave the super on next year.  Last years evidence suggested that we don’t need the additional super.

I have been an Engineer for a long time.  It is not my nature to wing it when you are in unfamiliar territory but it seems to be a common practice for new beeks and not by choice.
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« Reply #33 on: December 13, 2010, 12:34:13 PM »



"I have been an Engineer for a long time."

Sorry to say, nature just don't work very good with a slide rule. { you'll tell your age if you know how to use one, or even have one }

Hey, the beekeeping Hobby is supposed to be FUN, and remember the age old statement - Ask ten beekeepers a question and get 11 different answers !

Bee-Bop
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« Reply #34 on: December 13, 2010, 01:15:18 PM »

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nature just don't work very good with a slide rule.

You would be surprised how close it does.  Knowing how to apply it is the ticket though.

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Ask ten beekeepers a question and get 11 different answers !

This is just proof that bees can adapt to so may different enviroments that man will throw at them.  That is pretty much why mankind will never win a war on insects in general. 
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« Reply #35 on: December 13, 2010, 02:41:57 PM »

Yes, I tend to blast off my ideas and beliefs on a public forum and see who agrees with me or disagrees with me.

Try not doing that, you'll get a whole lot farther.  It's counter productive otherwise.
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« Reply #36 on: December 13, 2010, 03:39:16 PM »

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Try not doing that, you'll get a whole lot farther. It's counter productive otherwise.



I am sorry if my method does not meet with your approval but it has been my experience through life that you can gather information in a much shorter period of time if you are willing to sound foolish from time to time.  Many times especially on forums like this one other people have the same foolish thoughts but are not as enthusiastic about making them public as I am.  I have no fear what so ever of make a fool of myself.  It has worked for me in the past so I am sorry I can’t honor your wish.

We have been in a local bee club now for our second season and the amount of information that I have gathered in the short time I have been on this forum is ten fold what we got from the club.

Interesting reading on sugar in FL:

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/sc032

Force it to grow in sand in the same place over and over, graft it because you can’t use the seeds.  Add fertilizer, pesticides, chemicals, have the government control the price.  Yup makes me feel the better sweetener is honey and maple syrup.  And you want me to give it to my bees?  Then why not just eat the sugar.  I don’t get it.
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« Reply #37 on: December 13, 2010, 06:41:19 PM »

WOW, this is fun. Hey Ace, I got me a 140 IQ here, for what that's worth, and I've found that in most company it's better to play dumb and let the grown ups talk. I learn more that way.
If your that dead set against modern society and agrarian practices I darn sur hope you ain't got those bees in a wooden box. I'm a timber producer as well (small time with 270 acres) and it would blow the top off that noggin of yours if you knew all the nasty stuff we dump on them to get them to grow. Heck we go in and poison everything before we even put the first bareroot tree in the ground. That's followed by either more poison (herbicide) and/or burning (nasty greenhouse gasses) plus many do aerial applications of synthetic fertilzers.
I won't even get into all the things that go on at the mill to keep the nasties from eating the wood before it gets to you.
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« Reply #38 on: December 13, 2010, 09:17:54 PM »

 pop

And don't forget what we sometimes do to the trees genetics before the improved seed goes into the ground.  I'll give you a hint, there's lab coats involved!  Mu ha ha... evil
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« Reply #39 on: December 13, 2010, 09:53:50 PM »

Bet you don't know what my male hounds do to trees ?    

Matter of fact I sometimes ---Naw I won't say.  rolleyes

Bee-Bop
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« Reply #40 on: December 13, 2010, 10:03:35 PM »

Thanks, Hemlock. I forgot that the stuff I got now is five or so complete generations of improvements. I love that mutant loblolly pine, I guess it's my capitalistic greedy side. Funny though in spite of all the land raping evil timber practices we have more deer and turkey on the place than when we began, go figure.
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« Reply #41 on: December 13, 2010, 10:16:25 PM »

The NCSTIC Co-Op is in the 3 cycle now but it's mostly MCP.  Your trees are going to be fairly straight & fly out of the ground, even if they're open pollinated.
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« Reply #42 on: December 13, 2010, 10:19:45 PM »

Chip n Saw at the 12 year mark if planted right.
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