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Author Topic: No Dead-Outs For New Splits/Packages  (Read 3538 times)
NWIN Beekeeper
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« on: February 13, 2007, 08:52:29 AM »

I had an opportunity to see a very popular speaker this weekend, Dr. Larry Connor.
He is on the Northeast coast, and his weather is very similar to mine.
The season seem particularly short, and everyone tends to do what appears to speed things up.
He hade it a strong point to advise us not to use dead out equipment.

His reasons were very sensible.
If a hive dies there is usually a reason, and many times its disease or pest related.
The old combs have the ability to retain a great number of chemicals and infectious agents.
It was therefore advised to clean the non-consumable parts of the hive (covers/bottom boards).
It was also recommended to dispose of the old combs.
He also asked to group to begin marking frames for a culling program.
If we worked off the 5 color queen program, we would rotate combs out every 5 years or so.
This could be accomplished with replacing 2 brood combs each year.
It was also suggested that new studies are showing that this may improve general hive health too.

This is what I have thought along.
I just found it interesting that someone was finally testing what seems like common sense.

This is just something to think about as we await spring.
Perhaps we might just want to build a few more frames for exchange or new splits.
 
But more important is to think about how we will manage dead out equipment as we find them.

-Jeff
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imabkpr
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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2007, 11:43:04 AM »

nwin
beekeeper;    Sounds like Mr Connor works for a company that makes foundation. We have been told for years that comb should be replaced every 5 years. Due to the fact that the cell is made smaller by the cacoons left in them. Now we are being told, by some that small cell regression is the way to go. We are now  being told to replace the comb every 5 years because of chemical contamination. Do you think it takes 5 years to contaminate comb?

I would think it matters what your bees died from. If you do not use chemicals there is no need to rotate out the old comb. Die out from starvation, varroa or small hive beetle is not always a reason to replace good brood comb.   Charlie
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2007, 12:48:09 PM »

>Do you think it takes 5 years to contaminate comb?

I'm sure you can contaminate it in a much shorter time with no trouble at all.  Smiley

The foundation is already contaminated.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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NWIN Beekeeper
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2007, 02:22:02 PM »

Question:
[Do you think it takes 5 years to contaminate comb?]
Answer:
[The foundation is already contaminated.]
My Take:
Unless you are making your own foundation, you have have no idea what is in the wax.
When you startout with nothing you may have to buy someone elses wax.
"Its a bit like unprotected sex, you get what you get."

Statement:
[I would think it matters what your bees died from.]
My Take:
Charlie, I agree, this isn't a hard and fast rule for every situation.
You have to be the beekeeper and do what in your bees best interests.
And that might be saving drawn comb, especially if the comb is from the same season.
I suggest replacement should be considered for frames 3 years+ or with signs of disease or pests.
I like to actually do it sooner because I render wax from my brood combs.
Older comb have more cacoons that "wick" up wax for a poorer yeild.
And if I used any chemcials, I'd not reuse rendered wax, you just concentrate the chemicals.

Statement:
[If you do not use chemicals there is no need to rotate out the old comb.]
My Take:
That's not entirely true. There are bacteria and fungus that naturally occur in the environment.
Just because chemicals aren't being used doesn't mean that these agents aren't fouling the comb.
The longer that combs stay in, the the more dirty they get, the faster these agents grow and replicate.

I look at the natural cycle that occurs in trees.
The same bees don't stay in the same hive for very long, this is a natural cleansing.
When they leave, mice and moths eat the old combs.
The bees return and start over again.

Comb rotation serves that same natural life cycle, without introducing wax moths of course.

Statement:
[Sounds like Mr Connor works for a company that makes foundation.]

Hehe- Actually it does a lot for us beekeepers. 
He runs a publishing company that re-prints some hard to titles.
Take a look at: http://www.wicwas.com/page3.html

-Jeff
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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2007, 06:50:47 PM »

Hmmm,

I just gotta be me.

Which means I do things differently.
1. No chemicals (except for powdered sugar) and I haven't had to use it in over 6 months.
2. Permacomb or natural comb (sans foundation).
3. I rotate as I need to when I am pulling honey frames. As it is looking right now I rotate out a hive box after two years. Depending on the flow.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2007, 07:45:25 PM »

>As it is looking right now I rotate out a hive box after two years.

A box?  The combs in the box?  I'm not clear what you mean.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2007, 08:21:23 PM »

Yes, That is what I had planned. I would roate frames within the hive box as needed and then rotate the box out after two years. The box rotated out would be the oldest one. However after reading more from your site I am probably going to rethink it. My concern is if the comb becomes hard or brittle. I realize with the permacomb that is probably not an issue but I figure it would be good to clean it up after a while.

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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NWIN Beekeeper
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2007, 09:04:19 PM »


Not the hive body!

I mean the box worth of comb. 

I'd probably even keep the frames if they stayed in nice enough shape!!
(They're cheap enough if not)
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2007, 09:40:39 PM »

>then rotate the box out after two years. The box rotated out would be the oldest one

I have boxes that are 32 years old and still have bees in them.  Why would I want to rotate them out?  I have frames with A.I. Root's stamp on them that still look very good.  I'm sure they are MORE than 40 years old.  A lot of my frames are 30 or more years old.  I had a lot of brood combs in 1999 that were first drawn in 1974.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
imabkpr
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« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2007, 10:02:05 PM »

nwin
beekeeper; > there are bacteria and fungus that naturally occur in the environment.

We have no problem with the above as we use vinegar vapor in our honeybee colonies to control in hive parasites.
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NWIN Beekeeper
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2007, 09:42:30 AM »

[...we use vinegar vapor]

You've got my curiousity, how'd you do that?
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Kirk-o
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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2007, 05:22:11 PM »

I think the older they get the better the bees like them.I bought some non-standard size
hives in the 70's they had been out in the field for 40 years frames in excelent condition box's no real bad
kirk-o
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Finsky
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« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2007, 11:40:08 PM »

If we worked off the 5 color queen program, we would rotate combs out every 5 years or so.
This could be accomplished with replacing 2 brood combs each year.

Hmm. We have in Scandinavia much more shorter summers and so brood cycles are much few. Still we rotate brood combs every 2-3 years.
'
I have seen in pictures that combs in USA are very dark. I do not blaim you. You are leading beekeeping country in the world.

I renew 1-2 boxes per hive every year. When light do not come through comb I take it off from usage.

Much new foundation combs are needed because much happnes to combs during one year. Some goes broken in extracting, some has too much drone cells, mouse has chewed some and plenty are spoiled after winter.


Of course bees renew combs but I prefer to give foundation than make then renew combs them selves.

Here foundation cost is 3$/langstroth box when I bring same amount  melted clean wax to the retailer. It is not much for rich beekeeper. And we all are rich, aren't we!

.
.

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NWIN Beekeeper
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« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2007, 12:56:39 AM »

[You are leading beekeeping country in the world.]

We may have more colonies, or produce more honey, but when it comes down to it we are all beekeepers, and we all get judged by the same standard, "Do our bees survive in the quantities that we desire?"
If the answer is YES, then we are good beekeepers, if NO we revise our plans and try again.

I have bought equipment and made equipment from scrap lumber.
The bought hive died last fall, the scrap hive lives on.
Often what is inside of a Hive (or beekeeper) is more important than it (he/she) looks on the outside.

What I also say is, even in being a rich country, if your managament isn't good, your bees will still die.
Money does not equal skill. [Thank God, otherwise all my bees would be dead!]

-Jeff


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