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Living in a bee house
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ingo50
Scout Bee


Joined: 30 May 2014
Posts: 311
Location: Newport, Gwent, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations as well. Ich wuensche Ihrer Tochter ein langes, gesundes und glueckliches Leben.
Best wishes, Ingo
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all very much for your wishes. I pass them to my daughter with a kiss. Thanks.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1738
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopefully not one of your "bee kisses" Bernhard Wink I think she is maybe a little young to be experiencing those yet!
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, no worries. Smile
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Checked my TBH today. Queen, brood, all OK. Still have enough food. Moved the brood combs to the front where the entrance is. The divider board has warped like mad, I made a new one.

I also made a queen excluder since the hive is close to a canola field. Placed it between the last comb (honey) and the broodnest. Towards the entrance there are two emty topbars, all the other empty bars go behind the excluder.



Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNfgjMB67-E
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biobee
Site Admin


Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1058
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work, Bernhard!

I make my followers from 18-22mm exterior ply sealed with shellac varnish, as that does not warp.

What is the width of your bars these days?
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1738
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use 1/4 inch MDF for followers and I give it a good coat of beeswax to seal it. That works very well for me.
It just happened to be something that I had lying around that someone else had been going to throw out and sent my way. I am guessing the stuff will be 10+ years old, so unlikely to off gas much now anyway.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I expected some warping of the follower board and choose a 3 cm thick wood. As it turns out, wood can warp even if it is really thick.

Forgot what topbar width I choose, must be some 36-38 mm or so. Need to cut some spare topbars anyway, will report the actual size.

Distributed honey supers today.




Big Lizzy transports up to 95 honey supers in one go.


Drawn comb from last year.




Brood extends into the upper brood box.


Capped brood, open brood, pollen, open honey in the corners. Just like it has to be.


Open brood with eggs, and larvae swimming in their liquid food.


There is more food left in the outer combs of the broodnest.


Pictures without and with bees.


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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everything strapped down, the bees go on a journey.


I put the pallets on top, they help to secure the cargo safely.


Arrived ...


The next day.


Elsewhere the honey already is abundant, the honeycomb of the first honey supers are full.




Wonderful to look at this location is a carpet of ground ivy. The carpet is almost an acre in size. (Is an industrial wasteland.)


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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1551
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its amazing that your bees have filled one super with new honey. It seems your "industrial nature" is a bit better than my "mono crop nature". We have only at the moment hedges with Mirabelle Plums and Willow blooming now and those are only not so wide hedges be reminded Smile

I tried to find some more out apiaries but no luck. I think it has something to do with me being a foreigner here and country side people are very much against foreigners yet they dont mind killing their own nature with poisons and mono-crops. Maybe they lack compassion for both foreigners and the natural world.

But even if I could move the bees closer to only one large forest area that forest is man made and has mostly the European Beech trees there for forestry.

I think I will have to reduce my hives to max 6 hives where I am + splits and keep only hard core survivors. " of my hives had no last years pollen when I inspected them this year and could not raise any new brood until the Willow kicked in. Because they lacked old/last years pollen they could not build up early as the other colonies I keep resulting in less bees. One such colony got robbed last week and now they are gonners. They did have a small patch of brood going and a beautiful queen but the robbers were many. I tried to reduce the entrance and all but that did not help. My strongest hive robbed them I could see that perfectly clear.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it sad and a tragedy for the people (who are unemployed now, the unemployment rate is high persistently) - but surely nature profits from the end of the coal and steel industry era.

There are huge industrial wasteland areas and nature is fighting it's way back onto that land. There are lots of wild plants and therefore forage. Because there is a lot of detrital, pebbles and sand, therefore the soil is very meagre. Oligotrophic plants and wild herbs really do profit from this - quite the opposite to the overfed, highly fertilized farmland, where most wild species can't live. So there is a high diversity both in plants and wildlife on such wastelands. If you keep on searching - you are the scout bee Wink - you'll find those spots in between that hell we are living in. I asked the big companies for permission to place my bees there and it is an excellent wintering place, too. Very sunny, dry and calm. And it has a high fence all around that area. (Sadly this is getting more important since more and more beehives get stolen here.)

Willows can make a huge nectar crop, but you need to super very early to get it and of course, they need some source of early pollen to get the brood nest up and running.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
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Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Timed to the nectar flow that starts right now, the ideal setup of a Gatineau hive is reached: the upper brood box is filled with capped brood, the lower brood box is filled with young larvae and eggs. There are one comb of pollen and one comb of nectar per box, too. Makes 12 Gatineau frames worth of brood. Equals 6 Dadant frames full of brood.


The division of capped and open brood between the boxes is pretty much typical for a Gatineau hive. (Warré hive, too.) In one to two weeks, you find the brood distributed the other way round. Open brood in the upper box, capped brood in the lower box. That rotates now during the season (as long as you keep supering! So the broodnest doesn't fill with nectar.)

Some fresh pollen and nectar on each of the broodcombs is alright.




You feel the heat of the hive, when you put your hands onto the inner cover, the bees are in a nectar fever. And there is a lot of nectar out there right now!

Bernhard
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2015 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like the TBH is up and running now. Opened the lower bottom entrances today, since the night temps will not be as cold as have been the past week.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzIRWUgmEvA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KI26I2xHiyw
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is in bloom right now...

Clematis


Aronia


Spyreen


Kiwi




Another Kiwi.


Clematis.


Fig.


Rosmary.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quince.


Tulips..


Horse chestnut.


Syringa..


White deadnettle.


Apple trees and hawthorn.




Dandelions.


Apple.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hawthorn is a good nectar source.




Common daisies are not, but they are a nice sight.
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1551
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok mate now I see your locality totally being at least 1-2 weeks before me Smile We have no apples nor chestnut blooming just yet, nor is the quince or clematis in bloom. Maybe I have supered a bit too early this year following your example. My wife's father (beekeeper) was here this weekend and he told me that I have supered too early for Denmark. I hope I didn't cause too much problems to my bees doing it early.
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Supering at the flow is a big mistake. Supering is done at least a month before the first flow in Spring. You want those early wax makers and comb builders up in the supers and not making comb below the broodnest or somewhere else.

So as I said, you are a little late. I supered in March and have two supers drawn and nearly full of nectar. That's the way to read the bees and treat accordingly.
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1551
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok so beekeepers in Denmark do it wrong since they are waiting with supering until the flow. Do German beeks generally also wait for the flow to start before they super (except you of course)?
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zaunreiter
Moderator Bee


Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 3097
Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends. The hobbyists in Germany do wait until the flow starts. Usually they have half the honey and the double amount of swarms and half the number of bees. (Broodnest floods and that suppresses the brood activity and harmony of the broodnest!)

It is all about the harmony of the broodnest in a beehive. One could say, it is not natural to super that early, but that is against the beeology. In nature bees populate a tree and usually it takes five years until the nest is established, has sufficient comb and all. This is why in the Middle Ages - described by Nicol Jacobi as early as 1579 - beekeepers waited five years before they harvested the first honey of a log hive!

Nowadays most expect a harvest in the second year at least. And what they do is, they start the hive all over year after year. So instead of having comb, maybe 1 Meter/3 foot long, the hive has only a limited amount of comb available. The harmony of the broodnest is disturbed by that, the incoming pollen and nectar, a real flush that is!, is scattered all over the broodnest. If you have more comb, the bees scatter brood, pollen and nectar all over the combs. There is no ball shape of the broodnest, the bees really quick get into an angry sort of mood and this is why they want to get rid of their queen. => Swarm.

If you can keep the broodnest tight and compact, keep it free from nectar and pollen, so the queen can lay her eggs in a nice circular and spiral paatern, she really is attractive to the worker bees and they do not want to swarm, no matter how much nectar is coming in. And there is a lot of nectar coming in! Even smaller hives do a lot of honey, if the bees are in a good enlighted mood!

Most hobbyist beekeepers and some commercials too, also do the mistake to give too much drawn comb or drawn comb only in the supers. Don't do that. Use two or four drawn combs in the center of the super, so the bees can climb up on them, use empty bars/frames/frames+foundation for the rest of the super. Get those early waxmakers up in the supers and you have a lot of harmony in the broodnest. You can imagine a nice broodcomb? A nice circular pattern of brood, almost solid. A nice ring of pollen around it. That's the way it should look like the whole season. By supering very early, be restricting the broodnest even more earlier (as early as February) you can keep the warmth of the broodnest and the compactness. The bees are in a very good mood. You'll see, give it a try.

Oscar Perone had a good intuition on the right size of the broodnest. His Perone hive is a good design. Sadly, one should have told people, that it takes several swarms to establish the hive, and it needs five years to do so. After that initial phase, the hive should be up and running and you'll see the harmony I describe above in such a hive. Whenever you choose a smaller hive and a year by year renewal of the hive, as is common with most hives nowadays, you can help the broodnest harmony by early restricting and supering.
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zaunreiter
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
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Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look at how each and every single box looks like, boiling with bees. That is beekeeping. Thriving hives.


Working till dusk - it is swarm season. It is 15 degrees Celsius. A very nice temperature to work. I love those warm Spring nights.
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1551
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Oscar Perone had a good intuition on the right size of the broodnest. His Perone hive is a good design.


I wonder what do you think of Seeley's study on swarms choosing 40 litres cavity as their body size? If bees are, as you state, more harmonious in a larger spaces with especially empty space above the nest, then why didnt bees choose larger cavities offered to them by Seeley. Lets also remember that most wild swarms found by Seeley were in similar size hollow tree cavities.

Or maybe you are more focused on honey production rather than actual bee biology and make your conclusions from that aspect? At the end of the day Honeybees are not Beekeeping.
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zaunreiter
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
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Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Che Guebuddha wrote:
At the end of the day Honeybees are not Beekeeping.


At the end of the day, bees and humans live for millions of years on this earth and I don't think they met only hundred years ago. This Earth is a small place and there is no chance they didn't met until recently...For me, humans and bees are closely working together since we developed a brain that we can wash with alcohol made from mead/honey wine.

Yeah, whatever. I have strong colonies in any sort of hive. TBH, Bienenkiste, frames or not. If you understand the beeology, you can work with it. If you insist on treating your bees bad, and if you insist on not taking any advice from me, so be it. Anyone can try those things and see yourself.

Of course honey is a bad thing, so go on and cut-off the honey part of the honey bees. Wink
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zaunreiter
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
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Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love my bees. When I close my eyes, I see queens. Really. When dreaming, I dream of comb and brood patterns. No joke. So I am truely in love with those bugs. Don't tell me, I am only after the honey. Which is plain BS, my friend.

I don't know what you are making a living from but I have bills to pay at the end of the month, don't you have to as well? I don't see why beekeeping should be a worse enterprise as any other office work.

I am shaping the landscape - together with my family - since I can walk and that was more than 30 years go. Now I have to excuse myself for being and living with bees. What's wrong with this world?
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 1551
Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My apologies Bernhard, my intent was not to come about as rude or insult. Sorry.

What I was after is this;
I often have conversations with beekeepers here in Scandinavia and most of the time they seem to talk about bees through their manipulation. They try to understand the bees through their practice of manipulating to get honey and then they say: the hive should be this big or should be this wide, or ...

It happens always that beekeepers talk about bees through sociology/psychology (if neighbours treat you should treat otherwise they get angry at you) or economy (I paid so much for my equipment I must make some honey), or egoism (I made more honey than all the beeks in my local club). I am yet to find one who talks about bees through the down to earth actual bee biology.

I came to realise that not all talk about bees as they are (independent biology we call Bien) but rather from their private or "politically correct" agendas. Which is all fine with me really but I simply need to filtrate out who makes conclusions based on actual bee biology and who on private agendas. Thats all-

Not saying one is wrong the other is right they are simply different and will give different conclusions.

For an example; I told a biologist in the University of Copenhagen that she will not get real results about bee hygienic behavior if she uses only one cell size of 5,4mm and if she is constantly supering the hive as the conventional beeks do. Those conditions are NOT NATURAL to bees. We get same size bees nd we give them more work over head instead of letting them have time and less space and various size bees so they can do what they do actually.

So I didnt try to say that focusing on honey is a bad thing, hell Im supering this year as well Smile . I wanted your opinion on Seeley's conclusions about the bees choosing 40 litres cavities.
Because you mentioned that Perone is the perfect size hive for the brood nest harmony bees are after.

I hope I was clear enough.
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zaunreiter
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
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Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Che Guebuddha wrote:
I wanted your opinion on Seeley's conclusions about the bees choosing 40 litres cavities.


He is right, bees prefer a home that they can control, hence the perfect hive adapts to the size of the Bien.

But: what do you guess the bees would prefer if in experiments there were tree hollows of 120 litres offered, that contain drawn comb from top to bottom?

My wild guess (well, I know for sure...) that the bees would prefer the cavity with already drawn comb in it. Lots of comb!

I reckon in nature bees need several years and several swarms (!) to establish a nest in a cavity. The old Middle ages-beekeepers did wait five years for a reason. They wanted the bees to establish a healthy nest and stable environment (think of all the critters and creatures and microbes!) before they started to harvest the honey from that hive.

I don't know if that approach would be recommendable nowadays, because the environment in some regions became very harsh on the bees. I think, the bees are better off with smaller cavities but with some management by the beekeeper. Beewise management! And beewise means, it should benefit the bees. Let the broodnest grow to a good size first (first year), keep it free from honey and pollen the other years and thus keeping the harmony of a spiralling queen laying path. As long the queen spirals through the nest, the bees are in a very very good mood. Once the queen is disturbed in her laying path, the trouble making starts.

That's my view of the matter today and summarizes what I've seen so far.
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Che Guebuddha
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 Jan 2012
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Location: Hårlev, Stevns Kommune, Denmark

PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply.
I see.

I wonder if you look at the backfilling of the brood nest at this time of the year as Bien's biological clock. The very aspect of setting off swarm behaviour?

If 40 litres is preferred by the (if) then the Bien will quickly backfill brood nest and already swarm now or in the next week or so. In my environment they could build up new nest in Jun and even fill up with some honey. Maybe this first colony would die because of less stores but the next years early swarm could stock well before winter in the old comb.

Just to make clear Smile I'm not talking beekeeping here but non manipulated bee biology which is more fascinating to me than manipulation (which might be necessary to some extent in Agro environment).
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zaunreiter
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote













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zaunreiter
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Joined: 26 Nov 2007
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Location: Germany, NorthWest

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The chooks love the heat of the wax cooker. Especially in rain and winter, but also on nice sunny days they really enjoy the warmth. Well, warmth...it is really hot, but they love it.



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imkeer
Foraging Bee


Joined: 03 Oct 2011
Posts: 203
Location: Belgium, Antwerpen, Schilde

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

About the test of different sizes of swarm traps: In the test it is written (if I remember good) that when they gave the bees the choice between 10, 40 and 100 liter bait hives, there was a slight preference for the 40 liter cavities. The 10 liter was never preferred. When they gave the choice between 40 and 100 liter there was no preference.
To conclude from this rather small test that bees always prefer to live in 40 liter hives or hollows, everywhere and with all races, is a bit wrong in my opinion. (Please don't take it personal if you have another opinion. Just a general forum disclaimer...) 40 liter is not even a minimal size because sometimes bees accept smaller...
The Seeley research about the swarm traps gave some answers, and a lot more questions. How do we know which size they really prefer? How can we be sure they all have the same preferences?
We can trust research and we can trust our own experience...

Luc P. (BE)
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