Saturday, March 29, 2014

Jim Tew - Making Colony Splits, an Inexact Procedure - NEOBA Big Bee Buzz

Jim started out by talking about how he came to be working in Ohio while being from Alabama.

Jim talked a bit about being a young beekeeper and finding out that one day he was old and didn't know so much as he did when he was younger.

Jim repeated the fact that the days of yore are over, the old days of beekeeping with no diseases and no mites are gone and aren't coming back.  Old guys like him just need to step back out of the way and stop comparing now to then.  It's not coming back.  It doesn't work that way anymore.

Splitting is completely unnatural.  Need to learn to speak bee.  We can pick up where they would be had they done it on their own.

It's better to get or raise local queens.  Southern producers used to bring down northern queens, but he's pretty sure they don't do it anymore.

It's not as bad as you think to keep dead bees.  No requeening, no losses, no swarming.

Sugar syrup, no where near as good as comb honey for packages.

Modern bees require a lot of babysitting.  [I disagree.]

The bees haven't read the book, so they're going to be a bit confused when you do all your splits.

They're not bird feeders, they're animal feeders.

If you have a hive you can't control, leave town for a few days, it will resolve itself.  (Swarming)

You  can divide a colony to nothing, it just depends how many hives you want.

All sorts of things can go wrong, robbing caused by a pheromone field.  You're taking big colonies and make them weak, splitting them up an dconvusing them.

50 days from splitting day is when you get your first workers emerge.  The hive is losing bees that entire time, and will require feeding.  Splitting with pre-made queens gets things going much much quicker.  Feeding leads to robbing.

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