"Natural Beekeeping" - Am I wrong?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by PerryBee, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    djdhays, I'm starting a new thread under Beekeeping 101. Check it out.
     
  2. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Maybe I don't say this often enuf, but, my way is the right way for me. It isn't the right way. It isn't how everyone should do it. It is the right way for me. Just like my religion and politics and points of view on life. It's what fit me and my way.

    That is not to say that I am not astounded at some of the things other beekeepers do that is so antithetical to the way I do things or the way I learned how to do what I do. When it comes down to it, what you do in your bees, short of maintaining a source of AFB, has little to no effect on me and my bees. So, practice the Bond Method if you want or treat for mites and nosema if you want. No skin off of my nose.

    The point of this Thread was that perry was amazed at the huberous of the beekeepers in the article. As if they had the answer4s to all our problems. They may have. But being 2nd year beekeepers the chances are they don't. It's just statistically improbable.

    But, they are the definition of a bee expert. If you want to know everythying about beekeeping, ask a 2nd year beekeeper. Randy Olivers' Maxim.
     

  3. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm Active Member

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    :goodpost: sqkcrk. I think alot has to do with your location. Northern beekeepers do alot of things different than Southern beekeepers, and vise,versa,( also E.& W. beekeepers) but the basics are the same. For me it's the challenge of doing something i think is right, :thumbsup: Jack
     
  4. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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  5. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    The thought that upsets me in this regard is people who might be open feeding syrup during a nectar flow a couple miles away from me. They may be open feeding their new package hives and nucs all through Spring and summer, following the oft-repeated advise "feed feed feed til they won't take any more". Why? because open feeding is just easier than fussing with individual feeders inside the hives. Or maybe because they're weekenders- away during the week and don't want their hives to run out of syrup. Thus, my bees will be thrilled to visit their free open buffet and my honey supers are going to be contaminated with their sugar syrup, maybe even their medicated syrup, and I'll be eating that and putting it in my tea. In that respect my neighboring beekeepers will very much effect me. Sorry, had to mini-rant!
     
  6. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    :goodpost:

    Good mini-rant, Omie.

    I hadn't even thought about that aspect of it.
     
  7. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Omie, does this really happen? Neighbors open feeding during a nectar flow? If there were a nectar flow I wouldn't expect bees to forage at an open feeder.
     
  8. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I dunno Mark, I've seen some crazy stuff done, and in hindsight I've even done some myself a time or two! :lol: :lol:
     
  9. djdhays

    djdhays New Member

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    Don't open feed during a nectar flow. Check.
     
  10. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    I bet you have.

    Uh, I mean. Me too. I've just lived thru so much I don't worry about things not under my control as much as I used to. omie, I know unnecassary misbehavior and lackadaisical beekeeping is irrespobsible, but, do you know this is happeneing or is it just a fear?

    Serenity Prayer time I believe.
     
  11. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm Active Member

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    Puts a new meaning to Hot To Trott doesn't it. :lol: :lol: Jack
     
  12. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    I know lots of new beekeepers do feed syrup to their new packages all summer long- going by the advise that they need to continue feeding until the bees have drawn two full deeps (here up north) of comb. Feed feed feed they say. I also know that some new BKrs like to open feed because it's easier for them. I know one couple who open fed by the gallons all Spring because they lived in the city all week and only came to their country home here on the weekends- they didn't live right near me though. I have to assume there are some who 'might' open feed during the Spring nectar flow and 'might' be within my bees' range at some point.

    I do have a hive at a friend's house 1/2 mile down the road and he has his hive too...and he complained to me during the first summer that our hives were growing- that all our bees were taking over his hummingbird feeder. I explained to him that he was basically putting up a bee feeder, not a hummingbird feeder now, and that I would rather he took it down if it was loaded with my bees all day- since I had my supers on and there was plenty of nectar to be collected. It hadn't occurred to him that his hummingbird feeder was going to adulterate my honey...and this was a new beekeeper. He wasn't too pleased- he said he'd been feeding hummingbirds all spring summer and fall for years and hated to have to take it down. But he did because it was just mobbed by all our bees every day, and there I was 1/2 mile away with my honey supers on. We both wound up getting a little honey last year, so he's probably glad to keep his feeder put away now.
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    mark writes:
    Maybe I don't say this often enuf, but, my way is the right way for me. It isn't the right way. It isn't how everyone should do it. It is the right way for me. Just like my religion and politics and points of view on life. It's what fit me and my way.

    tecumseh:
    yep can't argue with that, matter of fact I could have written that about my self..... a most excellent post....

    and to omie... I myself never open feed*.. it is likely the most wasteful and often time best method to shoot yourself in the foot as far as almost any bee keeper is concerned <one would wonder if some newbeeker would even recognize the down side of doing things in this manner???? however the contents of a hummingbird feeder or someone feeding a mile away is quite unlikely to contribute one iota to diluting your own honey crop. for one thing once the bees have ingested and process the sugar it would be very difficult to discern this from 'real honey'... some would argue it actually is real honey. also once there is a nectar flow of any content I also suspect you would have a difficult time getting a honeybee interested in a hummingbird feeder.

    *at one time I did do this in a very much commercial setting and did get to witness the negative aspects of open feeding. one of my customers feeds quite a bit and also does the absentee owner thing... he is also a machinist by profession and has determined that a 3 gallon plastic pail with (3) one thirty second inch holes drilled in the top and placed upside down in an empty shell directly over the brood nest is an excellent mass volume feeding device (it took him several attempts at using other sizes and number of holes before determining the proper number and sizes of holes).
     
  14. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    I'm a little late getting to this conversation, but I'd like to respond to the original post theme about natural beekeeping and whatnot. When I began making the leap from hobbyist to sideliner I had to make some tough choices because my wife keeps my beekeeping on a shoestring budget (truth be told, I think she'd rather I just gave it up), I'm talking about around $200-300 a year plus whatever I could earn from the bees shoestring budget. Can you imagine trying to expand from one hive to enough to run pollination contracts with on $200-300 per year? The only way I could do it was if I could find ways to do it on the cheap. So I had to carefully plan out my operation to find ways to keep bees for pennies on the dollar of what other people were spending to keep them. In short, I was forced into natural beekeeping, but it's worked out really well for me so far. I credit survivor genetics for the successes though... because I couldn't afford to buy bees on my budget, I actively sought swarms, cutouts and trapouts, anything to get free bees, or better yet, to get free bees and a removal fee that I could use to cover my costs of getting them and pay for the equipment to put them in. While some of those bees swarmed from managed colonies, I found that many of the bees I was getting were coming from unmanaged colonies, some of which had survived for 5 or more years without any management or interference from beekeepers. These bees proved that they were capable of surviving without my help already, they just had the genetic disposition to survive despite all odds. Not counting swarms that absconded within 2 weeks of being hived (I don't count those as losses because they never got started), and not counting bear attacks, I've lost a grand total of only three hives that I can recall... one that starved, and two that absconded for an unknown reason. All the bees I lost, including the bear attack, I lost in the same year... so that was a pretty discouraging year for me. But I'm a stubborn fool so I kept at it and I have every piece of equipment filled with bees right now, have a pollination contract for apples this year, and I got enough revenue from the bees last year to put a lot more into it this year.

    So basically what I'm trying to say is that natural beekeeping can have good results. I can't tell you how many times I've heard from others that bees just can't survive without mite treatments, and fumigillian treatments and all this, but someone must have forgotten to tell my bees that. I've heard they won't build comb on unwaxed plastic foundation either, someone forgot to tell my bees that, too. I think that for the most part, almost any method of keeping bees can work in certain situations, and that no method works for everyone.
     
  15. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a bens bees snip..
    But I'm a stubborn fool so I kept at it

    tecumseh:
    likely an essential quality for a great number of bee keepers... if you have ever read '50 Years Among the Bees' by CC Milller you get the idea he had this quality by the buck loads... me by the train car load.

    another bens bees snip...
    I can't tell you how many times I've heard from others that bees just can't survive without mite treatments, and fumigillian treatments and all this, but someone must have forgotten to tell my bees that.

    tecumseh:
    even with mite treatments and fumigillian treatments I have noticed (over a number of years) that ALL bee die from what ever is the newest flavor of disease or pathogen. how many times have you also hear 'my bees died of wax moth' or 'my bees died from small hive beetles'?

    I am not really big on treatments besides experimenting at certain times of year (all 'organic' kinds of treatments... like sucromid for example or oxylic). I do feed a bit of fumigillian to a very defined group of hives since in selling a queens I think this is beneficial for the buyer (old studies suggest this will act to limit early superscedure of queens).

    oh yea... nice post Ben... some post just give you some insight into how others are doing things that you didn't have previously. the above is just such a post...