Another Ob Hive.

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by PerryBee, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    With apologies to Eddy (not wanting to "off topic" his thread).

    I was out to a good friend I made a little over a year ago (through bees naturally). :mrgreen:
    Henry and his wife Linda have a beautiful spot on the North Mountain of the Annapolis Valley. Everything they have planted over the years has been with pollinators (all wildlife to some degree) in mind.
    It is absolutely amazing.
    henry 017.jpg henry 018.jpg henry 020.jpg

    Anyway, I first got involved with Henry when I heard of him and his Observation hive. I had heard about him through a customer at Blueberry Acres where I worked part-time. I eventually made contact and have been up to visit him several times since. He had an outdoor hive last fall that was struggling with a massive mite load and despite my using vapourized Oxalic acid twice on it , it succumbed.
    What really intrigued me however was an indoor observation hive Henry had set up. It was of a design I had never encountered before. It had 10 frames (5 over 5) of shallows, over top of a single deep and a shallow frame. Quite reverse to what you see in a lot of other Ob hives.
    henry 021.jpg henry 023.jpg henry 024.jpg

    Of particular interest though, was the fact that this hive has been there for 4 years, with it's original queen, and with absolutely no treatment what so ever! :shock: This despite the fact that an outdoor colony about 100 feet away had been completely over run with mites. Henry says he has never seen any mite damage of any kind at any point in the Ob hive.
    During one of our visits we came to the conclusion that this was in all likelihood going to be the old ladies last season. We decided to see if we could try and raise some queens from her before she was lost.
    Henry removed the excluder which prevented her from going up into the storage area and allowed her unrestricted access until the point where the hive was looking overly congested. We then removed the hive to the outside and went through it. Sure enough, we found 4 perfect frames with brood of all stages.
    I had prepared a mating nuc with 4 - 2 frame compartments and one of each of those frames with all adhering bees was placed into each compartment. All these frames were replaced with either empty comb or foundation.
    henry 026.jpg henry 031.jpg
    The hive was cleaned up and returned to its fantastic setting and I have whisked the mating nucs off to one of my populous yards.
    henry 030.jpg henry 032.jpg
    We decide to leave the original queen alone in the original colony, rather than letting it re-queen itself at that point. We both felt that she had earned that right.

    Thanks Henry, for allowing me access to what is a remarkable colony.
     
  2. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    How do you explain the lack of mites?
    Could it be that the mites don't want to lay eggs in a frame that's exposed to light?
    Could it be that the slower rate of egg-laying (due to there being only one frame in the broodnest) allows the bees to overcome the mites and keep them under control?
    Could it be that the queen has the genetic make-up all bee-keepers have been searching for since varroa appeared on the scene?

    ​You've got an exciting opportunity to do some very important research. Try to personally take advantage of your good fortune or see if you can get someone/some agency/some school to get involved.
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hey Ef.
    I don't think the light thing comes into play as the sides are almost always on the hive unless Henry is looking at it or showing it to someone.
    Your next point is very valid and it is something Henry and I have I discussed to some length. Is the varroa kept in check simply because of the restricted brood area and possibly hygienic bees?
    Your third point is something that we hope may be possible to some degree, hence the attempt to continue the line.
    I am excited about the possibilities. The open mating will throw a bit of a wrench in things, but hey, you have to start somewhere. :mrgreen:
     
  4. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

    Messages:
    5,162
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    With a very limited brood area, one deep and one shallow, the queen could lay all of that in short order and then there would be a break in the brood production. If it took the queen 3 to 5 days to lay the deep and shallow solid with brood and she was out of room to lay then there had to be 18 to 16 days she could not lay eggs.

    Did you find brood in every stage, eggs to emerging bees? if so that kind of blows that theory.

    Maybe it had to do with the hive always being very crowded and the bees running out of something to do so more attention to grooming and housekeeping came into play.


    Just a thought.
     
  5. jb63

    jb63 New Member

    Messages:
    588
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That's cool Perry,keep us posted.
     
  6. ziffa

    ziffa New Member

    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That is an incredibly cool hive. Some day I want an ob hive.

    Thanks for posting it Perry.
     
  7. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

    Messages:
    3,708
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Perry and G3, I was just trying to play the role of a would-be scientist, thinking aloud and asking questions, presenting some possible hypotheses for testing.
    Is there anyone in your region, Perry, who practices artificial insemination of queens? If you find someone, maybe you could get her/him to cooperate and provide you with a queen or two inseminated from drones from her hive....? Just thinking aloud. :roll:
     
  8. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

    Messages:
    2,683
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    How much drone brood did you find. Less drone brood equals less mite problems.
     
  9. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

    Messages:
    5,162
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ef and Perry, that is all I was doing, just thinking out loud about what could have been some other possibilities.

    Riverrat hits on another good point about the drones, no host for them to breed on then numbers wold be way down.
     
  10. bamabww

    bamabww New Member

    Messages:
    1,016
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Great pictures Perry. Thanks for the explanation and photos.
     
  11. ndm678

    ndm678 Member

    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Nice pics! :thumbsup:
    I like you nuc box as well, I'm going try that for future nucs.
     
  12. HisPalette

    HisPalette New Member

    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    very interesting post :thumbsup: