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Apiarisnt 

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No, quite the opposite - it would be pretty unwise, that has been proven by quite a few people over the years, it has never been the case that a roaring gale through the hive is beneficial to the bees, that was just some untested fantastical theory (using fabricated data) pushed forward by Wedmore in the 1940's
Now here is an interesting question for DerekM.

Edmund Basil Wedmore was both MIEE and F.InstP, indeed he avoided military service in the first world war on the gounds that working for the British Thompson Houston Coporation was a reserved occupation. So he should have known better.

Derek, where did he go wrong?


When he published The Ventilation of Beehives in 1947 he had turned 71. Should we blame early onset dementia?


 

Swinton apiaries 

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Honey production in the British Isles by manly mentions about lifting the roof on lats for ventilation in 1936 so can’t just blame wedmore
 

pnkemp 

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Now here is an interesting question for DerekM.

Edmund Basil Wedmore was both MIEE and F.InstP, indeed he avoided military service in the first world war on the gounds that working for the British Thompson Houston Coporation was a reserved occupation. So he should have known better.
Perhaps being an electrical engineer isn't that useful as a basis for beekeeping theory or the fluid dynamics of airflow?
 

derekm 

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Matters are evidently different up north: Wintering bees
Ventilation is a bit political up there with two very distinct factions... I got a very frosty reception up when I went to talk, and something strange happened where I got suddenly moved to the last spot of the convention with my "introducer" spoke for 15 minutes, so my talk was cut short only one question was allowed which was a questioner reading from a prepared notes about "Brother Adam" has proved me wrong.
 

derekm 

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Now here is an interesting question for DerekM.

Edmund Basil Wedmore was both MIEE and F.InstP, indeed he avoided military service in the first world war on the gounds that working for the British Thompson Houston Coporation was a reserved occupation. So he should have known better.

Derek, where did he go wrong?


When he published The Ventilation of Beehives in 1947 he had turned 71. Should we blame early onset dementia?
Curiously earlier he was an advocate of insulation.
 

Beebe 

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How can you talk sense to people with clowns like that on the web
At least that "clown" has given beekeeping advice in a way that respects the intelligence of the reader.
Taken as a whole, that is a concise and very well written piece of general advice, covering a range of considerations for winter beekeeping and which encourages the reader to research further.
I don't get the impression that we, in Scotland, are any less variable in our attitude to ventilation and insulation than beekeepers in the other united kingdoms.
 

pargyle 

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At least that "clown" has given beekeeping advice in a way that respects the intelligence of the reader.
Taken as a whole, that is a concise and very well written piece of general advice, covering a range of considerations for winter beekeeping and which encourages the reader to research further.
I don't get the impression that we, in Scotland, are any less variable in our attitude to ventilation and insulation than beekeepers in the other united kingdoms.
But ...the problem is that some of it is lousy advice given in a palatable and authoratative way .... I don't know how many times I've heard the mantra about providing ventilation and keeping bees cold in winters is good for them but it seems almost impossible to eradicate these erroneous ideas from beekeeping folkore.

It has been disproved so many times since Wedmore et. al put the idea forward and yet it still gets propogated by the ignorant leading the unthinking.

Derek M has done the science to death .,.,. he may wrap it up in some technical jargon but it just confirms very basic schoolboy physics on the laws of energy.

How many more years is the mythology going to continue ? Whilst ever clowns ... and they are clowns .. perpetuate it then new beekeepers and unthinking beekeepers will think it's gospel ... and it AIN'T !
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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It has been disproved so many times since Wedmore et. al put the idea forward and yet it still gets propogated by the ignorant
Apparently the book was slated by his contemporaries/betters before the ink had dried properly on the first print run - unfortunately the BBKA fell in love with it from the outset and kept reviving its sorry corpus when, in other circles it would have had a quiet demise and drifted into obscurity.
 

derekm 

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Apparently the book was slated by his contemporaries/betters before the ink had dried properly on the first print run - unfortunately the BBKA fell in love with it from the outset and kept reviving its sorry corpus when, in other circles it would have had a quiet demise and drifted into obscurity.
He was just jumping on a bandwagon, In the Americas, C.L Farrar was far worse, described by one of his students , who rose to eminence, as "not a Scientist" had "difficulty with scientific methods".
From him we get such things as "Packing [insulation] fails to conserve energy as the Winter cluster makes no attempt to heat the hive" and "heat is not lost through an upper entrance", "damp kills not cold"
These are still taken as gospel by some current and very eminent apidologists across the pond and are repeated in their recent books and publications. These views are entrenched and are not really up for discussion, especially with an Engineer/Physicist.
 

Beebe 

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But ...the problem is that some of it is lousy advice given in a palatable and authoratative way ....
There's plenty of lousy advice about; it's only by reading around a wide range of views that I have developed my current approach to keeping bees. So it's inevitable that I have read some c**p and had to decide where the truth lies. My approach actually includes heavy insulation, no matchsticks and even much less bottom ventilation than many people would advocate. But it can't be said that bees don't need and get some ventilation in any case.

It's good that people question what seem like bad practises in beekeeping, but unfair and quite negative to infer that everything someone says is invalidated by the fact that they are "wrong" over one matter.
 

pargyle 

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There's plenty of lousy advice about; it's only by reading around a wide range of views that I have developed my current approach to keeping bees.

It's good that people question what seem like bad practises in beekeeping, but unfair and quite negative to infer that everything someone says is invalidated by the fact that they are "wrong" over one matter.
I agree about wide ranging reading and investigation ... and trying different things. The issue I have is that a large number of erstwhile beekeepers are not in that mould - they do what their mentor tells them ad-infinitum and without actually thinking about what they are inflicting on their bees. It's a number of ideas that are perpetuated and all of them do a disservice to their honeybees, many of them regurgitated every time a 'new' guide to keeping bees is published by yet another recognised 'expert beekeeper'.

The major issue I have is that, when reading the tomes of so called 'experts', if just one part of their diatribe is total rubbish it is difficult for those unthinking beekeepers to sort out the wheat from the chaff. In my opinion, (I accept that I am biased) if they include one thing in their writings that has been disproved as being beneficial then it calls into question their ability and credence to pontificate on anything ...

I have many wayward ideas in my beekeeping ... some based on proven principles, some experimental - but, I would be reluctant to put forward, with any sense of authority, some of the things I do as, taken out of the context of my beekeeping, they may not work in isolation. The fact that Wedmore et.,al (including Yates - which is terrible in places) are still pushed by some beekeepers in entirety as the Holy Grail of beekeeping is a travesty ... read them - yes - accept all they say ? NO ...

I value the archive of this forum as it regularly debunks some spurious ideas ... and the questions are raised time and again and we are fortunate that there are people on here prepared to take the time to repeat the cautions of following bad advice from those who seek to perpetuate the myths and fantasies.
 
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Sayle 

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He was just jumping on a bandwagon, In the Americas, C.L Farrar was far worse, described by one of his students , who rose to eminence, as "not a Scientist" had "difficulty with scientific methods".
From him we get such things as "Packing [insulation] fails to conserve energy as the Winter cluster makes no attempt to heat the hive" and "heat is not lost through an upper entrance", "damp kills not cold"
These are still taken as gospel by some current and very eminent apidologists across the pond and are repeated in their recent books and publications. These views are entrenched and are not really up for discussion, especially with an Engineer/Physicist.
I would argue that while beekeeping is an activity passed on by oral and written tradition rather than one based on research that the same fallacies will keep springing up like weeds. Unfortunately human nature has it that we don't like being told we've been doing something wrong the whole time, and so you'll get instinctive backlash. I'd argue that the (bluntly excessive) tribalism in beekeeping circles about the issues and flavours of ventilation makes it even more challenging because somebody with a different opinion likely has no more basis than personal experience for their "I know the best way" assertions.

Sometimes you can change minds. Sometimes you can't. Unfortunately there are times when the person you are trying to convince values their own experience over fact or think that facts aren't equal. See the people who insist that condensation of any kind means that the hive isn't ventilated properly - you can appeal to the native habitats of honey bees providing condensation, you can point out that warm water isn't harmful like cold water, and you can even go in-depth about how the necessary airflow to remove condensation would necessitate a harmful temperature drop because of moisture from respiration - but if Condensation is Bad is the bible they've laid their hand on, you can't do anything. Their bees are kept like they say and they do fine.

That said, the wheels of change do turn. Hopefully as more people do earnest and useful scientific research on beekeeping we'll get more and more useful information that proliferates through the community to change attitudes. I know your work on the insulative qualities of the honeybees' natural habitat completely changed my approach to hives - and my weak swarm colony (of less than two seams of bees!) only ever loosely clustered even on the coldest days of winter, and you can be sure they weren't generating nearly as much heat in the box as the average colony would! They practically exploded out last week the moment temperatures climbed and seem very active indeed.
 

Beebe 

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They practically exploded out last week the moment temperatures climbed and seem very active indeed.
⬆❤........100% agree with what that man said....INSULATION not VENTILATION:)
 

Hebeegeebee 

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In 2019 a question was asked in the BBKA magazine, letters page, why the annual survey could not ask how beekeepers overwintered bees. Then, it was thought, we could have potentially thousands of responses and a clear answer as to what works better. A response was made that it would be done. A questionairre was sent out (seemed a bit muddled from memory). A small winter loss survey was published last year in the magazine but the data on overwintering has not been made available to my knowledge. (It might be on the BBKA website but I never look at it as it's an "Investor Relations" site now rather than to help it's members). If the data was made available, I am sure someone here would crunch the numbers. If the winter loss survey was repeated this year, there would be two years' of data available to members by summer. Then the message could be got out as to how to overwinter, based on a good sized study. (Maybe even the biggest one in the world comparing overwintering techniques - something for the BBKA to crow about).
Correct me if I'm wrong.
 

derekm 

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I would argue that while beekeeping is an activity passed on by oral and written tradition rather than one based on research that the same fallacies will keep springing up like weeds. ...
While an oral tradition spread by lay beekeepers is going to have an understandable essence of faith, however these "traditions" have been and are being promoted by at least three current well respected Professors of Entomology , and there is no research funding available for this subject. Thus the status quo. If you wish to learn a bit more about what really is going on with ventilation I do zoom talks based on the engineering in hive ventilation.
 

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