tel jetson

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since May 17, 2007

zone 7? 8?: woodland, washington and portland, oregon. grower, builder, beekeeper, engineer.
woodland, washington
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Recent posts by tel jetson

that sure depends. on how you measure (e.g. per hive, per hour of work, per money spent). on what sort of hive you're using. on your management practices. on the provenance of the bees.

given those variables and others, I would guess a range of 0% to 250%.
1 week ago

Mike Barkley wrote:The honeybees weren't wiping out any other bees at that time.

I wouldn't be so sure. that there aren't records of that happening only means that there aren't records of that happening. could be because all the bees were getting along just fine, but it could also be because nobody bothered (or had the resources) to look into it.

bumblebees, alkali bees, and other less well-known pollinating insects are also relatively new to the commercial/industrial pollination game, so their impacts on ecosystems are less likely to have reached anything resembling a steady state or dynamic equilibrium. that makes those impacts a lot easier to understand because they can be observed in real time. the consequences of honeybees spreading through the Americas, in contrast, are largely a case of forensics by this point, though modern beekeeping methods are no doubt causing a whole new wave of ecosystem changes.
2 weeks ago

Marci Sudlow wrote:Wasn't successful then, I take it?

I suppose that depends on how you define success.
3 weeks ago

Marci Sudlow wrote:I wonder how long it will be before humans attempt to domesticate and exploit the bumblebee.

that ship sailed a while back.
3 weeks ago
discussions along these lines have come up on the site before, so you're not alone in wondering. my short answer would be that there are thoughtful, conscientious, and beneficial ways to use many technologies, and there are harmful and destruction ways to use those same technologies. used as a prop for industrial agriculture, the technology of keeping honey bees is probably a net harm. used in a way that complements and benefits existing ecosystems and supports other regenerative practices, that technology can be entirely positive.

of course, that nuance is not easily captured in a short sound bite or slogan, and the concerned public is not likely to take the time to dig deeper than sensational headlines. I have already observed opinion beginning to swing away from "save the honeybees" among non-beekeepers. and these folks aren't wrong, they just don't grasp the whole picture. I wouldn't be so bold as to claim that I do grasp the whole picture, by the way.
3 weeks ago
my guess would be that they've already set up shop in your stack of hive bodies. if that's the case, you could just move the hive body or bodies they're in to a better spot, but they might fly back to the shed if you don't do something to let them know things have changed. David Heaf recommends laying some leaves or a branch across the entrance so they will re-orient to the new location.
3 weeks ago
if you don't have any frames, which direction the comb is oriented doesn't really matter. you won't be able to harvest individual combs very easily, but you can just wait until you're ready to take the whole box.
1 month ago
opening a hive in the winter is not generally a good idea unless it's an emergency.

your second option, leaving more in than you think they'll need, is a good one. unless your livelihood depends on it (and probably not even then), there's no good reason to cut it close. weather and nectar timing is too unpredictable, so leave extra.
2 months ago
what are you trying to accomplish?
2 months ago
it depends on:
-severity and length of winter
-size of colony
-style of hive
-materials used
-location relative to massive objects (the thermal mass Joshua mentioned)
-location relative to daily sun/shade
-probably several other things that don't immediately come to mind
2 months ago