Beekeeping by Rotation System

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Daniel Y, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gKTvp1lupHY

    This video was posted on another discussion, on another beekeeping site. that discussion was completely unrelated. But I thought the video um... interesting.

    There is a whole lot included in it. I would not necessarily agree with everything that is in it. It seems like a whole lot of work to treat bees for Varroa, but it does seem it would be powerfully effective.

    There also seems to be one huge advantage in that you actually have two queens producing brood through most of the season that will end up being one hive in the fall.

    For those that don't have an hour to watch the video here are the highlights as I recall them.

    Early spring. inspect hives and make sure they have what is needed for build up. add honey supers above queen excluder.

    Late Spring (1st Honey harvest) remove all supers above excluder, shake bees from frame into nuc box. Bees are taken to a building and dribble treated for varroa then placed in a new hive box and located in a separate apiary, a queen is added. this hive will be managed to build up winter stores.

    Original hive is continued to be managed for any further honey production. You now have the bees from one hive split and two queens per original hive.

    Late summer early fall (when brood should be at a minimum) The second half of every hive. the part that was left behind is then treated just as the first. any brood from the hives in combined into one hive, all honey or empty frames are harvested, the bees are shaken into a nuc and will be treated just as the first had been. These bees once treated are thin combined with the first half of each hive via a newspaper combine.

    The last hive that was left behind will be shaken treated an combined in a couple of weeks.

    The overall effect is that every frame of honey form the original hives is harvested. Every frame in the hive is eventually removed when it is in a bloodless condition. Every individual bee is treated for varroa and the separated from any possible infected comb or brood. Each hive actually has two queens during the season producing brood in two separate locations in two separate hives. this allows location of hives for maximum advantage. the brood and winter production part of the hive is located for best pollen and nectar production while the other half of the hive is located for best honey

    Assuming all the boxes where full of honey at one point it indicates as much as 1400 lbs of honey came off of 10 hives. And that was just the early harvest.I have no idea how much honey they got from the late summer early fall harvest. I woudl venture a guess at close to half that for a grand total of 2100 lbs of honey from ten hives (split to 20 with 20 queens for the summer) in one year.

    Anyway I see a lot of details in this video that woudl be great topics of discussion.

    What I don't like.
    1. the use of no sort of safety equipment. this entire video sort of has a "this is for a super human sort of method".
    2. the amount of work and facilities required. That honey house is nicer than my kitchen. But maybe with 210 lbs of honey a hive I could have one to.
    3. the need for multiple locations.
    4. the entire method is a major disruption. just strikes me as to much harassment to the bees. Eh I'm still new to this. I think an inspection is to disruptive.
    5. I think this method lands in a nitch. To much for a large producer and not worth it for to small of an apiary. I mean really who is going to go to all this trouble for a couple of hives? Unless a second location with ideal conditions pretty much lands in your lap. And even then you have the moving hives issues. So I don't know. if you are already in the habit of moving hive around. then it might not matter.

    One thing I can say is that gal has working the bees down to a fine art. And as far as I can tell yes she is getting stung. many times. she only reacts to a sting once that I can tell. maybe twice. But i have sen at least a dozen times I am pretty sure she is getting stung and never even removes the stinger. In the late fall protion she has to be getting nailed. I just can't imagine her shaking frames of honey from a hive going into winter and not getting eaten up.

    But for everyone that has ever said. " I would like to see someone work a hive in September with no jacket and veil" Well here it is.
     
  2. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    No, only the worker bees that are shaken from frames are treated. Most of the foragers are out foraging, and probably don't get shaken and treated much at all in that system.

    I agree with you though- seems like an endless series of major disruptions for the bees. I wouldn't want any part of that karma. :???:
     

  3. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    Omie, I would have to think it through carefully but for now it does appear all bees (Still alive) do get treated. some in the spring that are put in a separate hive in a separate location. this half of the hive is meant to build up for winter.

    The second half of hive is treated in the late summer early fall or at least that is how I am following the video. Yet still one hive is left behind to gather up any foragers. This last hive is then shaken out and treated also. All these bees are then added to the hives made in early spring. I suppose any foragers left behind from that last hive are simply lost.

    So if I am on the right track. Here is my further thinking.
    One hive is split basically. half of it is treated in teh spring. the other half is treated in the fall. For clarity I will call these hives spring and fall hives.

    So the spring hive is treated and moved to a separate location where it has all summer to be reinvested with Varroa. The fall hive is then treated in the fall and added to the spring hive where freshly treated bees are reinvested immediately with whatever varroa is in the spring hive.

    In thinking about this in detail I might have sen a reason they are now resorting to such disruption for varroa treatment. It could be they are seeing quite a bit of infestation and not really aware they may be contributing to it. At least to some degree.

    At any rate I have seen comments about the work involved in adding mite strips to a hive. I am not sure any system involving this much labor is ever goign to gain much popularity. It might be something you want to keep in your bag of tools if you have a hive in such bad shape you are going to loose it anyway though. You can double your queens for a faster build up etc.

    I also wonder if there is any better kill of the varroa with this method than simply treating the hives in a more traditional manner.

    I am also not real sure I could get the first half of the hive to be able to put on that much honey during the summer. My bees seem to have shut down much hive building even in late June early July. I hived a small swarm in mid june that has nto done much more than make enough comb to perch on. I cannot seem to get them interested in making any more even though they have been getting fed quite a bit. they just fill the comb they have then stop. I don't know that I have any place near here that is prime for keeping the bees going into late June early July.
     
  4. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    All these things seem like so much work to me!-
    Moving and shaking all those frames, thousands of bees...buying treatments, moving, shaking, treating, moving... yikes!
    Why not just 'de-mite' an entire hive in either the Spring or Fall by removing the queen and letting the hive make a new queen? During that month, BOOM goes the mite population. And you can use the old queen to make a new nuc (with almost no mites too). ...then go into the winter with few mites and a young vigorous queen.