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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Reflections and solicitations for help

My real job has been keeping me busy about 60 hours a week one so not much bee keeping has been done lately. I remember reading something way back when, it really put some perspective to my hive design and was from a prominent beekeeper in the late 1700s I think it was around 1780 who said something to the effect that if you were to get a room full of beekeepers you would find that everyone of them had a different idea on the best hive design and best way to keep bees. So I took that to mean that for as long as man has been keeping bees each one has had the best hive design ever. I therefore figure I am in good company.

The biggest rush this spring was mostly due to timing, I didn't want another year to go by without putting my design in use. I wanted to have them across a large climate range but that is all gone now. This year is almost over for starting new hives.

So maybe in the winter when people are building new hives for next year someone will ask and I will share and we can start this project again.

Another website last spring posted a request for hive designs in conjunction with a conservation project. So I designed another little hive I called B cubed or B3. This was nothing like "The Best Hive EVER!" The B3 was just something I put together to trying to conform to the requirements of that project. In areas where you want a strong wild bee population I think it is a wonderful idea. "The conservation Hive" should do just that, increase the wild bee population. The biggest problem with the project here is that the law makers and general population are trying their best to reduce the wild bee population in fear of the AHB (Africanized Honey Bee). The local beekeepers are trying to keep a low profile because they know that the AHB is hybridizing the total bee population and they are not as big of a threat as the general population fears. If there were several of these conservation hives around that were discovered or worse someone got hurt by a hive that had been taken by AHB then there would be a public outcry and it would become open season on bee keepers.

It is too early to really say but I think my "The Best Hive EVER!" will address many of the issues surrounding AHB and keeping them. So in the long run if the AHB does adapt and move further north, people will be able to keep them with similar risk factors as the current breeds. I don't think they will ever get as passive as our current bees but with proper management and continual breeding they will calm down and better suited to deal with the common ailments of today. This is an area that really needs study from research types.

It is not that I think my design is the last word nor will it turn out to be an overwhelming success. In fact I don't think I have any part that is completely revolutionary by its own merits. I do think the combination is unique and should be enough to make a nice profit if produced in mass. Plus I think that the bees will at least as healthy if not more so than with any other designs that has been put forward. In the end it is really about enabling the bees to be healthier and more productive. Being able to mange them and harvest honey is a bonus and making a profit in addition to honey sales would be tops.

The two main issues I face have not changed.
1) I don't have the skills to easily turn my ideas into reality and my hives suffer from poor workmanship. The good here is this means even ppl who have little skill can still make something from these plans that will actually work. Maybe not as good as what a professional can build but good none the less.
2) I don't have much experience with keeping Honeybees so many of my mistakes are associated with this and not the hive design. It is hard to sort out the differences sometimes but there are many good sources that help keep me from totally messing things up.

I am doing the best I can with what I have to work with. I sure wish I could talk someone into helping.