Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 48

Thread: Time to start this one off!

  1. #11
    Senior Member POPZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Isle of Mull
    Posts
    138
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Gerry, yea that sounds pretty depressing, understand what you say and makes sense. I will have to give it a go though just to find out for myself. The problem is though, we all pretty short of colonies and I don't want to risk too much. I guess it will all depend on this seasons build up and so will have to assess during the season.

    I think that Mr.Chandler was talking about developing a method of feeding over the top bars which seems to make sense, but probably making alterations to the roof space?

    Thanks for your input. maybe we might hear more about this from others?
    POPZ

  2. #12

    Default

    Popz - don't mean to depress you. What I'm describing is purely my experience. But I feel sometimes that there's a lot of perhaps overly positive portrayals of what actually having TBHs is like. It's not a cure-all for the bees and doesn't fully address the disadvantages of conventional hives. And I'm not convinced they are particularly well suited to the Scottish climate - but like I said I have only one year's experience of using them.

    I didn't find feeding the bees particularly difficult. I created a chamber for them at one end of the hive which they could access and which contained a plastic feeder. So they built up their stores for the winter just fine. That they couldn't manage to access them (as a winter cluster) was the main problem. Perhaps Warre hives might be a better option for those seeking a hive with a natural broodnest as they go up the way (which conforms more with the bees natural instincts) rather than lengthwise as is the case with TBHs.

    I doubt I'll be entrusting any more colonies to TBHs as they are too rare and precious a commodity to risk losing in this day and age.

    Cheers

    Gerry
    Last edited by drumgerry; 22-03-2010 at 09:01 PM. Reason: clarification

  3. #13
    Administrator gavin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Tayside
    Posts
    4,398
    Blog Entries
    41

    Default

    The big thing about Warres is that you can't inspect comb. I've been spending time going around telling people to look at their comb very carefully for obvious reasons, and I'm hoping that we will all be getting to know our bee inspectors soon if we don't know them already.

    The Warre enthusiasts say not to worry, our way of beekeeping gives you healthy bees which never come down with foulbrood. We've no way of knowing if that is true or not and I don't think that they do either. Even if it gives the bees some advantages I doubt that it will make them immune to disease - just almost immune to having that disease spotted.

    I once tried natural drawn comb (from a 5.1mm Thornes small cell starter strip) in National frames. I don't think that it made much difference. The main thing I was hoping for was a degree of Varroa tolerance but there was no sign of that.

    The 'natural beekeeping' tag is a powerful one, but just how natural is keeping bees in a wooden cradle with moveable wooden strips for the bees to build comb from? The Warre (and similar vertical designs, including the Scottish Stewarton) seem a more natural shape mimicing the hollow tree that you'd naturally find bees in, but then a National, Smith, Commercial, Wormit, Langstroth does that for you too and allows you to manage your bees sensibly ...

    Despite all that I may try a TBH one day. I'll not expect too much from it though.

  4. #14
    Banned Stromnessbees's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Orkney
    Posts
    456
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gavin View Post
    I once tried natural drawn comb (from a 5.1mm Thornes small cell starter strip) in National frames. I don't think that it made much difference. The main thing I was hoping for was a degree of Varroa tolerance but there was no sign of that.
    Hi Gavin

    Your mini-trial with natural cells for varroa resistance couldn't show quick results, as you were starting with big bees which will most likely build rather big cells, as they base their cell size on their own dimensions. In order to get them to build smaller cells you might have to have several generations of bees building cells which gradually reduce in size.

    It would be great if we could try these things out, but resources (bees) are in very short supply and it would be a shame to lose colonies through experimmenting with them.

    But we can browse around and see what others are up to, like Michael Bush: http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm, I find his site very inspiring.

    Doris

  5. #15
    Banned Stromnessbees's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Orkney
    Posts
    456
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gavin View Post
    The Warre (and similar vertical designs, including the Scottish Stewarton) seem a more natural shape mimicing the hollow tree that you'd naturally find bees in, but then a National, Smith, Commercial, Wormit, Langstroth does that for you too and allows you to manage your bees sensibly ...
    The Stewarton hive has been metioned a few times already, but I can't imagine what it looks like. Does anybody have a picture of one?

    Cheers, Doris

  6. #16

  7. #17
    Banned Stromnessbees's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Orkney
    Posts
    456
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Wow, Gavin, that was quick!

    Does anybody use such a thing nowadays?

    Doris

  8. #18
    Administrator gavin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Tayside
    Posts
    4,398
    Blog Entries
    41

    Default

    Ben Bellamy said that someone was selling them (for 5k perhaps?), and so I passed this news on to a local group that are thinking of making hives in case they want to try their hand at Stewartons.

    G.

  9. #19
    Senior Member POPZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Isle of Mull
    Posts
    138
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Back from the wild north to see I have been missing out on lots of chat here. Interesting stuff, particularly the Stewarton. Never heard of it before, but obviously has worked well in the past - or is that sort of honey production a beexageration?

    Quote Originally Posted by gavin View Post
    The 'natural beekeeping' tag is a powerful one, but just how natural is keeping bees in a wooden cradle with moveable wooden strips for the bees to build comb from? The Warre (and similar vertical designs, including the Scottish Stewarton) seem a more natural shape mimicing the hollow tree that you'd naturally find bees in, but then a National, Smith, Commercial, Wormit, Langstroth does that for you too and allows you to manage your bees sensibly ...Despite all that I may try a TBH one day. I'll not expect too much from it though.
    Ok Gavin, I hear what you say about the natural way is to build in tree trunks vertically, but I believe they also build in fallen trees laterally. I wonder whether this is a case of man determining what is right or wrong rather than letting the subjects choose for themselves. TBH's are used with much success in many parts of the world, albeit kinder climates, but that has little to do with whether they build vertically or laterally.

    I am getting rather boring here by trying to score a trite point, so will go out to the garage to complete another bait hive - tiddleypoops all.

  10. #20
    Administrator gavin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Tayside
    Posts
    4,398
    Blog Entries
    41

    Default

    And maybe I was point-scoring by pointing out that claims of being 'natural' are really rather shaky.

    However the bees do prefer vertical rather than horizontal. If you give your 6 active frame brood box early spring colony three supers of foundation now you would find that they would instantly stop spreading outwards and move up instead to create a chimney of brood and stores up the middle. It makes sense to get them to fill their brood box first, and so there is a narrow period for the ideal timing of adding the first super as they approach the edge of the brood box but before they feel cramped.

    Maybe in warmer places the tendency to work upwards is less?

    best wishes

    Gavin

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •