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Beekeeping 357 -Sustainable keeping with 5 hives

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  • Beekeeping 357 -Sustainable keeping with 5 hives

    I found this so helpful before I started keeping bees. A mathematical explanation behind the magic numbers 3,5,7 for sustainable beekeeping. I’d love to hear what you all think. I don’t recall any mentions of treating in this video, but my apologies if it’s inferred. It’s about nucs and splits and the math to have successful wins each year only.

    Kalispell, Montana Zone 4a
    Certified Master Beekeeper

  • #2
    Nice presentation.
    Nehawka, Nebraska. My website: en espanol: auf deutsche: em portugues: My book:
    -----"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin-----


    • #3
      So 5 is the new 2!


      • #4
        Originally posted by zabadoh View Post
        So 5 is the new 2!
        well 12 is the new 2. 5 hives and 7 nucleus hives...


        • #5
          I have this video in my 'must watch list' but still didn't get around to it. I hope to do so thanks to your post here in the near future. But I find myself always making new plans and forgetting about my old plans...
          Waregem - West-Vlaanderen - België (Flemish/Dutch)
          Waregem - West-Flanders - Belgium (English)
          My Blog


          • Absinthe
            Absinthe commented
            Editing a comment
            Well this is the same guy that did 2.5 saying that you should have 2 hives and a nuc. Then he came out with 357 that you had to follow 3 rules, and have 5 hives and 7 nucs... Perhaps he sells nucs Well, I think he wants you to MAKE nucs. So there's that. But he wants you to keep 5 hives.

            Then the 3, 5, 7 thing is
            3 = 1. Control Varroa, 2. Requeening, 3. Feed

            Not sure if his stuff counts as TF even if you believe in feeding as part of your TF protocol, he still seems to want to treat for varroa.

            He talks about math and says Overwinter 7 and if you lose 3 you still have 4. But doesn't deal with if you lose 7... then you have 0

            You know, when you play the penny slots in the casino, you can play One Line, One Bet and only lose a penny each press of the button. Or you can play 9 lines, max bet and you have 45 chances to show a penny win, or the chance to lose $4.50 on one button press. So, yes I get it that if you have 12 colonies going in to the winter, you have more chances of getting one of them to come through, but at worst you can lose whatever you have invested into 12 colonies....

            I get the shotgun approach, and if I could catch 12 swarms or split a single nuc into 12 colonies... It makes sense. However, if I have to buy 12 nucs then ... not so much.

          • atollerson
            atollerson commented
            Editing a comment
            Absinthe, I did post a disclaimer on my original post "I don’t recall any mentions of treating in this video, but my apologies if it’s inferred. It’s about nucs and splits and the math to have successful wins each year only." The intent was ignore anything but the math. So don't take this video as created by a TF person.
            You don't have to buy 12 nucs. Let's assume you do buy your bees completely (which I don't, haven't since year one). If you did, you would purchase 6 nucs to start. Let them all build up to 2 deeps and then in August while you still have drones you would pick one and move the queen and 2 frames of brood (one frame of honey, 2 empty frames) into a Nuc box:Nuc 1. The remaining colony will make several queen cells. After 1 week and confirmed queen cells you would split the remainder of that hive up into 6 more Nuc boxes, each getting a frame with a queen cell on it. If the bees did not accommodate you with the 6 cells you needed, you can purchase a virgin or mated queen, graft, try again by giving the Nuc a nice frame of open brood from another hive...etc. Those are your 7 nucs going in to winter. not something you maintain all summer. and you are back down to your 5 full hives.

        • #6
          sorry atollerson, I didn't mean to sound like it was a call out against TF or anything like that. Where I was feeling the crazy was in the maths. Granted I came off of a bunch of years trying to keep SWIMBO happy with here idea that we were only going to have exactly 1 pretty copper topped garden hive and there would be no more. I gave that idea a good solid 4 year run. Now I am leaning towards the AFNP theory (Thank you Grace Hopper ... we all need heroes) and actually do splits and other increases ultimately maintaining a number larger than 1. But the thought of buying 6 nucs at a time is not really palatable to me as a way of getting there. Especially since they are in the neighborhood of $200 (give or take $35-$70 .. mostly give) in my area. I will have to come up with a more magical methodology to end up at multiple hives, whether it takes 2 or 4 years to get to 3,5,7, or 12 along with the locations and friends that are willing to let me put some of them in their properties. But such a discussion should probably be a thread unto itself. In the TF topically, I am still trying to figure out how to buy commercial bees and get them through winter and spring without some kind of mite treatment and lots of feeding. Seemed this might be the community with some good answers. Since the more commercial communities are basically telling me feel a lot, and treat thoroughly. Which might be the right answer, since I am guessing they are the most familiar with these types of bees that I would be buying. It seems the TF bees are magical and come only from other TF keepers, and you need to know a handshake, password, and the right incantation to get started. Or something like that.