Why do swarm prevention?

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yesbut

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Mischief you give the impression of being inclined toward a non-intervention style beeking. Why don't you stand back, let the bees do their thing over the next couple of months, and find the answer to your original question yourself. you could tell us how it turns out ..in my own case swarmed hives always survive but are always basket cases and only just produce their own winter needs. This approach might save a bit of angst.
 
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In the more than 50 years I have been beekeeping scientific research has changed a lot of what with thought we knew about bees and lead to some fascinating discoveries but if you exclude varoa there have not been any major changes to bee husbandry in this time period.
Every hive in New Zealand is different. Every apiary is different and every area is different. Every beekeeper has different ideas and different ways of doing things but if they have a good understanding of basic bee husbandry they will have healthy happy hives most of the time and good bee husbandry includes swarm control.
New ideas and new ways of doing things are important and I have tried my fair share of these over the years but I have always drifted back to what I was taught by grandfather for no other reason than what he did worked and still does.
 
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You and I have history that most here do not know about.
Just to remind you of that last post that only you, I and Lil' John know about.....what would have happened if instead of rolling on the floor screaming with laughter, clutching my sides cos they hurt so much.....I had quietly reached over and hit the report button.

OH! didnt think about that ay? nor did I.....at the time.
It would have been game over, lil 'm' KO'd BIG AL.
If I ever see you pull a stunt like that to anyone else I will come down like the proverbial ton of bricks.

This thread is about swarming, not you. Leave the field.
Mischief are you talking to me or Alistair as far as I know I don’t know u from a bar of soap,
 
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I was asking (politely, under trying circumstances) was your (assumed) answer from personal experience or from a personal experience that you had been told about.....not questioning your experience/level of expertise.

My main point of interest here is- what effect does allowing a hive to swarm have on The 'parent' colony.. .. I am fully aware that swarms do not always survive- plenty of anecdotal evidence on that score.
I replied polity under trying circumstances and thought you would understand that perhaps with over 20 years experience I would of seen a swarm or two in that time, so yes from my personal experience and from others personal experience collected from over 20yrs experience is the answer that I gave. With all my best wishes let your hive swarm.
 

Dansar

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Wow….
A whole lot of misinterpretation based on reading the written word without the inflections and subtle changes of pitch of the vocal chords.
Ahh the joys of social media. If you read the OP as a person honestly seeking clarification or answers, but with a tinge of what beekeeping calls “controversial ideological thinking” to make the conversation interesting and also understand the reasoning on that train of thought too. Some of you would soon realise you answered-

a. Before you had a beer at the end of Friday work
b. You were already well involved with said relaxation techniques and your inhibitions were loosening up
c. It’s Saturday morning and you didn’t sleep well, and have a hangover
c. It’s Saturday morning and you haven’t had a caffeine fix yet, or, still hung over
d. You’re just a grumpy old #### and that will never change

So those of you that gave constructive. well toned and moderated answers thanks.
 

Alastair

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a. Before you had a beer at the end of Friday work
b. You were already well involved with said relaxation techniques and your inhibitions were loosening up
c. It’s Saturday morning and you didn’t sleep well, and have a hangover
c. It’s Saturday morning and you haven’t had a caffeine fix yet, or, still hung over
d. You’re just a grumpy old #### and that will never change

Based on what was said to me, I know who was suffering from that.
 
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Mummzie

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Alastair

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I think Mischiefs question is based on a misunderstanding.

First off, we farm animals and are in control of them. If the farmers bull wants to get among the cows in the next paddock does that mean he should just let it?
Or if your dog wants to take the head off the cat next door should you just let it?

I would say no to both, cos bottom line, we use animals to our own advantage and with our superior intelligence, control them, which is usually to their advantage as well as our own.

So bees. If they want to swarm, they will swarm. If a beekeeper wants to prevent that, the skill is not in forceably stopping them against their will, but in changing the environment so that now they don't want to swarm. Cos if they want to swarm, they will.

As to the other question, why do we treat them for varroa mites? It's cos we do not enjoy seeing the little munchkins suffer.
 

mischief

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Okay, having taken a chill pill or 10, I'll start again.

My understanding is that swarming is a natural reproductive behaviour under certain conditions.
After reviewing everything, a few points did occur to me.
Traditionally, people keep bees usually for either profit or put food on the table and under these conditions, swarming is completely detrimental simply because it reduces production.
The factor for the spread of disease is a valid point, but not something I have come across/read about and so, know nothing about.

In hind sight, I should have left out the 'controlling' aspect out of the original post, I now see that this has come across as a derogatory reprimand and set your teeth on edge and did not come across as was intended. Being in control of things is just what we do, for good or bad but, feel it is sometimes to the detriment of other species.

Because I became aware of the fact that we do tend to do things in the way we do, simply because that is the way its always been done. I tend to try to step off to the side and look at things with fresh eyes. Hence my comment on constantly checking things out, questioning everything. Its not a point of finding what is wrong about something, but finding missing links that may in fact be key factors.

I dont keep bees just for their honey and dont mind if they dont have enough for me. My hive is there for many reasons.
1 I always wanted to keep bees and then found a method that would make that possible.
2. Its also my schoolroom where I can learn from them.
3. Its another layer to my permaculture back yard= I work to create a balanced mini-eco system rather than, for example, have fence to fence grass that other do seem to enjoy. I enjoy studying what I call the intricate orchestrated randomness of nature.
 
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Mummzie

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Traditionally, people keep bees usually for either profit or put food on the table
True, but also there are those whose primary reason for bees is pollinating their garden, and addiction to the lessons the bees can teach us.
Post varroa, with the collapse of the feral bee population was when my beekeeping began. Amongst other things they have taught me to change my gardening style.
But to be able to keep bees in an urban environment, I cannot allow their natural instincts. I have to protect them from the other inhabitants of the neighborhood, and attempt to keep them in the best health they can be. I have to learn beekeeping styles from those who have have successfully kept bees- and mostly its those who keep bees for profit.
Lets face it- bees didn't evolve for an urban environment, but they make a pretty good effort at adapting to it.
Learn and adapt to your own circumstances is my modus operandi.

Nice post BTW. Credit to you.
 

Alastair

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I tend to try to step off to the side and look at things with fresh eyes.

We all do.

And your own journey has been the same as many here, who started out trying left of feild methods. But eventually discovered that the mainstream is not evil, but is simply the accumulated wisdom of many beekeepers who tried many things over many years, learning the hard way what does and does not work. So ended up going mainstream themselves, utilizing things such as treating for mites.
 
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mischief

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We all do.

And your own journey has been the same as many here, who started out trying left of feild methods. But eventually discovered that the mainstream is not evil, but is simply the accumulated wisdom of many beekeepers who tried many things over many years, learning the hard way what does and does not work. So ended up going mainstream themselves, utilizing things such as treating for mites.
At no point have I said or implied that mainstream is evil and have always treated for mites.....they simply would not have survived for the last 41/2-5 years if I hadnt.
I've been pondering on whether or not genetic bottleneck could be a contributing factor as has been discovered with other species, does swarming lead to a healthier and or wider gene pool for example.

Yesbut suggested I let mine swarm and find out for myself....I may well do, but before I take any radical action, I like to check things out first and always have done, thats just the way I am.
 
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At no point have I said or implied that mainstream is evil and have always treated for mites.....they simply would not have survived for the last 41/2-5 years if I hadnt.
I've been pondering on whether or not genetic bottleneck could be a contributing factor as has been discovered with other species, does swarming lead to a healthier and or wider gene pool for example.

Yesbut suggested I let mine swarm and find out for myself....I may well do, but before I take any radical action, I like to check things out first and always have done, thats just the way I am.
When varroa was first here in NZ we suggested (tounge in cheek)to MAF to give us the $94million they earmarked for varroa eradication and we would let it run its course and learn about it then rebuild from the surviving hives, each beekeeper would of got about $93000 we reckoned, but a lot of hort based companies didn't want to risk their pollination, and MAF had/to keep its people employed.so here we are.
 

Otto

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I've been pondering on whether or not genetic bottleneck could be a contributing factor as has been discovered with other species, does swarming lead to a healthier and or wider gene pool for example.
May have not read something previously but a contributing factor to what?
In NZ we have the mixed blessing/curse that wherever you keep bees there is someone else keeping bees relatively nearby, so unless you are instrumentally inseminating your queens genetic bottle necks are very unlikely to cause issues. While we have unquestionably lost some gene content with the introduction of Varroa we still have plenty of genetic variation in our bees.
 

mischief

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May have not read something previously but a contributing factor to what?
In NZ we have the mixed blessing/curse that wherever you keep bees there is someone else keeping bees relatively nearby, so unless you are instrumentally inseminating your queens genetic bottle necks are very unlikely to cause issues. While we have unquestionably lost some gene content with the introduction of Varroa we still have plenty of genetic variation in our bees.
To ill health and the inability to adapt behaviourisms to cope with varroa.

Having gone back over Thomas Seeleys "Honeybee Ecology" to see if this is where I got the idea, (only half way through at the moment), he made mention of work done by Roethenbuhler and colleagues in regards to hygienic behaviour and that they found two genes related to this.
One for uncapping cells and one for brood removal, but also stated that each of the two controlling genes has a dominant allele which blocks the associated behaviour...
This section is talking about this behaviour in relation to AFB though, not varroa. page 136.
...and so I keep reading.
 


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