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Old 03-11-2015, 11:29 AM   #1
Gravdigr
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For Our Beekeepers

I don't know if you guys (I think we have more than one apiarist here) have seen this, or not.

It's a different kind of hive. To get the honey, you just turn a tap, and ya got honey.

Sounds kinda cool, honey, on tap.

The guys behind it have raised almost $5,000,000, twelve days into their Indiegogo campaign.

Here's the story.
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Old 03-11-2015, 11:31 AM   #2
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Very interesting!
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:09 PM   #3
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I want one. Or five. Planning to set up in beekeeping in the next couple of years, so ... yes!
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Old 03-12-2015, 07:18 AM   #4
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Personally, I think it's a gimmick. If honey is thin enough to flow, the moisture content is probably too high, which would promote fermentation. Honey reads around 18% on a refractometer, down from the 80+% moisture of nectar. Extraction is done by either cutting off the cappings and spinning the frames in an extractor or by "crush-and-strain", whereby the combs are cut from the frame and either hung to drain or crushed with something resembling a potato masher. I also don't see what happens to the bees on the frames that are pierced - do they get pierced as well? Interesting concept, but something for those with extra cash to play with. Rev. Langsroth (developer of the currently used 10 frame hives and discoverer of "bee space") had it right.
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Old 03-12-2015, 05:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by nowhereman View Post
Personally, I think it's a gimmick. If honey is thin enough to flow, the moisture content is probably too high, which would promote fermentation. Honey reads around 18% on a refractometer, down from the 80+% moisture of nectar.
So the honey that's consumer ready, honey in the jar at the supermarket, reads 18% moisture? I know for sure it flows, sometimes slower than molasses in January, but it flows... usually when I think, Oh, that will stay on the knife while I grab another piece of bread.
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Extraction is done by either cutting off the cappings and spinning the frames in an extractor or by "crush-and-strain", whereby the combs are cut from the frame and either hung to drain or crushed with something resembling a potato masher.
But isn't all that labor because people and bears are impatient? Want honey now!

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I also don't see what happens to the bees on the frames that are pierced - do they get pierced as well?
Took me awhile to figure out how this works. They provide frames with partially formed cells the bees finish, fill, and cap. This assures the filled cells back up to both sides of the back wall. Then turning the crank somehow splits that wall allowing the honey to leak down to the drain tube. That will take time, especially without air coming into the cells from the capped side. But since it doesn't have to be watched, eventually it'll drain most of the honey and the bees don't know, we wuz robbed.

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Interesting concept, but something for those with extra cash to play with. Rev. Langsroth (developer of the currently used 10 frame hives and discoverer of "bee space") had it right.
I have some skepticism also. Seems the bees thinking the combs are still full are going to have a hard time planning their retirement, like when Wall street steals your IRA. Don't full combs promote the hive to split and half move out? Isn't it empty combs that spur them to be busy little bees?

In order to keep things healthy the drained frame will have to be replaced with an empty frame, so why drain it in the hive when you can do it outside after the swap? Granted it may be a neat and easy way to drain the frame after it's out.

It seems a lot of old hippies, young hipsters, and tree huggers of all ages, have taken an interest in bee keeping. This is good for the bees, for nature, and helps keep healthy stocks for the pros to draw from which we so desperately depend on. I read without the bees, humans would last four years.
But even if it's a gimmick and not fully kink-free, there seems to be enough people interested for smart people to work them out.
If only bees were toilet trainable.
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Old 03-13-2015, 06:25 AM   #6
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This may be flawed, I have doubts about flow unless it's wicked hot, but I do think we can do a lot better than a design patented in 1852. It was absolute genius in its time but we've come a long way in our knowledge of the honeybee, materials development, and design in the intervening 163 years. This is likely the opening salvo in a total remake.
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gravdigr View Post
...
The guys behind it have raised almost $5,000,000, twelve days into their Indiegogo campaign.
...
It looks as tho this gimmick has already fulfilled it's purpose
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:27 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Griff View Post
It was absolute genius in its time but we've come a long way in our knowledge of the honeybee, materials development, and design in the intervening 163 years. This is likely the opening salvo in a total remake.
Every time I work in the hives, I'm reminded that the bees know more about beekeeping than I do.
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Old 03-14-2015, 05:52 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by nowhereman View Post
Every time I work in the hives, I'm reminded that the bees know more about beekeeping than I do.
That makes me wonder who's keeping whom...
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Old 03-15-2015, 09:24 AM   #10
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Exactly
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Old 03-15-2015, 11:26 AM   #11
Griff
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Oh, the bees definitely have the upper hand in this relationship. Their willingness to walk fly off whenever they feel the clover is higher somewhere else ensures that.
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Old 04-24-2015, 02:08 PM   #12
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How the Internet of Things Could Save the Bees

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Itís a concept thatís both simple and terrifying. For years, scientists have known that honeybees are disappearing at an alarming rate. Fewer honeybees means less pollination, which could lead to a rapid drop in food supplies. If the bee die-off continues, the entire human race will be threatened. We need bees.

Fortunately, researchers at the University of Minnesota may have come up with an Internet of Things device that could help prevent the bee-pocalypse.

One theory behind the massive bee collapse involves the Varroa destructor mite, a tiny, vampirelike parasite that lives inside honeybee colonies and literally sucks the life out of them, infecting them with a virus that contributes to colony collapse disorder.

The Eltopia MiteNot can wipe out the mites using a circuit board camouflaged to blend in with a traditional honeycomb frame made from cornstarch wax and other renewable materials. Beekeepers install one MiteNot frame inside the hive; the boardís embedded sensors detect temperature fluctuations and other environmental data, then transmit it via a 3G cellular connection to Eltopiaís cloud-based BeeSafe application.

Based on sensor data, BeeSafe can detect the optimal moment when female mites have laid their eggs, but before the male mites have fertilized them. It then sends a command back to the MiteNot frame to heat up just enough to sterilize the male mites without harming the bees.

When covered in wax, the frame with MiteNot installed becomes indistinguishable from any other part of the hive and can be reused as needed. Its great advantage is that it can fight the mites without the use of pesticides, which could also harm the bees.

The Eltopia MiteNot is still being tested, but it may be available as early as fall 2015. Hopefully weíll all still bee around by then.
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:28 AM   #13
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I'm ... kind of skeptical that "based on sensor data" it can be determined at what moment female mites lay their eggs. Heating the hive, sure. Sterilizing the male mites, I can get that too. Why not just periodically heat the hive to such a temperature as a regular practice? Sterile males are sterile males, regardless if eggs have been laid. Something just doesn't add up for me in that story.

I'm a big bee fan, yay bees, but I can't quite buy this system.
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:36 AM   #14
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As any former fertility patient knows, there is a very measurable spike in basal body temperature during the 24 hours surrounding ovulation. Or at least there is for mammals, I don't know for sure about mites, but the article did say they were measuring temperature among other environmental factors. That would still require the bulk of the female mite population to be on the same cycle, but maybe they have a natural tendency to sync up, like ladies in an office.
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Old 04-27-2015, 12:32 PM   #15
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A spike in body temperature does not necessarily correlate with a spike in room temperature.
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