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  2. you could try to place a piece of plastic or a piece of board over the middle of the excluder leaving say 2-3 inch gap around the sides so bees can come through the sides. That can slow/stop the amount of pollen placed in that area.
  3. Please take some time to read through the oxalic acid thread, the journey from start up until now is fairly well documented along with pics and the odd hiccup here and there along the way. Attempting to know everything and run eyes closed full throttle into it may result in some tears.
  4. Some guys in my area winter in singles. I've noticed it is normal for them to be out feeding constantly through spring.
  5. Yeah I have always wintered as singles. There’s been a change in my work load through late winter when I would normally be doing checks for feed stores. That caught me unprepared last season and a number of hives starved. That won’t happen next season. I’ll just be trying to control swarming instead!🤣
  6. Just print your own copy/ies and laminate the pages. Bind it or hole punch the corner and spin on a key ring loop. Simple..
  7. Big queens do mate better, my years working for a commercial queen breeder showed me that. And after that, running queens in hives that make a decent honey crop. You can have your runty queens, I'll stick with big fat ones. 😉 Do you take all supers off and winter them in singles Dan? The clogging with pollen is because they think that area is for brood raising and they stock it accordingly, just, no larvae show up to eat those stores. Maybe just leave that second box on for the winter?
  8. Because Ive looked enough of them. Whats more bigger queens that "might" have a larger spermetha would also need to mate better to fill that spermetha which adds another layer of multiplication to the probabilities
  9. The frustration I have with most of my sites in spring and early summer is that if I run single broods the bees fill 1/4 - 1/2 of the honey super above the excluder with Broome and blackberry pollen. It’s hard to get that 1st honey super clean with only honey and then that becomes my wax moth box....😬
  10. How would you know? In my experience, the bigger and better the queen, the longer the lifespan. On average of course.
  11. I've got a hive here in Remuera that is blazing along. I put a 3rd FD super, undrawn plastic frames on in late Nov, checked it on 4th Dec, almost full, put on a 3/4 super 7th Dec (undrawn plastic frames again), and a couple of days ago it was filling up fast. With all the pohutukawas now coming into blossom, things seem to be going well. Hopefully no wet, windy storms will come along and put a stop to things...
  12. A Super Queen probably doesnt have a super spermetha and this is one reason why given a choice would not want lots of these Queens.
  13. Carol you will find most of them pretty helpful. 🙂
  14. From Stoney "As mentioned in oxalic thread.. 4 per brood. DRY, on alternate frames , 2-4-6-8 and alternate ends on the edge of the brood. Our bees winter well.. pics posted.. usually 2-3 boxes of bees, 6-8 brood. Higher altitude a bit smaller.. wintered with oxalic. Randomly some hives take a hit. First treatment for my hives end of July- early aug. (bush flow. No sugar) work hives on the flat, treated aug fed sugar. Work hives treatment replaced continuous til main Manuka flow- dec, my hives this season almost zero chewing so spring I chewed treatment removed as prepped/ harvested for Manuka end of Nov." Hello Stoney .This is a huge help to me. To have this from an active commercial beekeeper is wonderful confirmation for me . Many thanks and best wishes
  15. Agreed, the star performers are identified in a poor season, or a poor location.
  16. what i have seen is a super queen can fill two FD brood boxes. most decent queens will do a FD and 3/4. hence the shape in the top FD. a single FD even when fully utilised is a bit to small hence swarmy. that can be overcome to a degree with manipulation. bumper crops is often about timing. having the right amount of bees peak at the right time. however what also matters is what happens in a poor season.
  17. Yesterday
  18. Interesting comment Tristan. What I noticed going to singles was a lot less labour in queen finding, swarm control as in finding queen cells, that kind of thing. But on the other hand, you are forcing the bees to be more swarm minded, thereby requiring more beekeeper intervention. All up though, probably less work and definately less equipment. But yes, if you want monthly visits in spring don't bother with single brood boxes. 😳 Honey harvest, I've been surprised, a properly run single brood box hive can yeild about as big of a harvest as a double. My old boss from way back told me a queen actually only lays enough eggs to completely fill a single box, but in the doubles we ran then, the bees could shape it naturally plus have food stores accessable. With that principle in mind I have got my own methods to where at peak breeding season the bees will have brood in most all of the cells in the bottom box. And the hives that accomplish that are also the ones that make the bumper crops.
  19. Putting an excluder between the two broods is our current method. Hive runs as double brood in spring, the singled during/after pollination. Easy to requeen. Gives us a good food store box. Avoids having a double full of brood and a heavy third. No surplus at harvest. Less feeding. A lot of work to single, it's a turd job. Especially during pollination. We usually pull the excluder in autumn. Someone nearby left excluder in all winter and spring. Worked very well. Though not a very swarmy spring this season. He set a brood frame count, say 3 beginning of October, pulled rest to fix deads.
  20. yes thats quite possible. but its probably more about running the same number of hives with less staff and doubles are less swarm prone so can handle longer round times. some of the crowds only visit the hives once a month.
  21. Thus the wise hobbiest's use of double 3/4 brood......good for the bees, easy on the back....
  22. Back when i started, all beekeeping was done with 2 box brood nests. It suits the bees natural urges, and we can tell that by the way that in one box brood nests, the bees keep a clear queen laying space, in a circular shape, bottom middle of the second box. Clearly they see that as what should be used for brood raising, just, we are preventing them with a queen excluder. The so called jumbo box was designed to give the bees what they see as the correct sized brood nest, but in one box. A few things happened all about the same time that brought about the popularity of single box brood nests. They were varroa mites, the cost of treatment can be halved if you only have to treat one box. The high price of honey, a single brood box allows all honey to be harvested instead of leaving 1/2 or more of a box on as was done with double brood boxes. ( Removed honey has to be replaced with sugar of course, but that was an economic no brainer when honey prices were high). Increased migratory beekeeping, easier with one brood box. Me, I was a 2 brood box advocate until i did a season working for a 1 brood box beekeeper, I did see the advantages, so now i have joined the dark side. Interesting though how now with lower honey prices, we are seeing the return of 2 box brood nests. I think though that other than breeders (of which there will currently be very few), most commercials are sticking with single brood boxes.
  23. i think it depends a lot on your local conditions. doubles can run more brood but can get over populated and swarm before main flow starts. doubles tend to pack honey into the brood boxes when flow is patchy which is fairly typical. in a poor year all your crop is in the brood boxes (especially when you can only get one box in the flow). doubles take a lot more to go brood check however they can be less swarmy and can suitcase check. fairly common practise to run doubles to build up bee numbers then drop the excluder down and convert them to single broods for the crop. thats a fair bit of work and not always successful which means wasting huge amounts of time fixing it and often annoying the hell out of the extraction guy.
  24. I paint my swarm and SS queens fluro pink so I can identify them later (anything I didn’t graft). The paint doesn’t last very long and often ends up looking like that. It’s unlikely, but not impossible, that any of them reswarmed... but... are the bees pictured between lincoln and Prebleton?
  25. I cant stress talking to your neighbors enough. Get ahead of this. As said above ... give them a date. Educate about the difficulty of moving hives even a small distance..etc People can be reasonable if they understand .. and if they aren't.. my commiserations... stroppy neighbors moving in have ruined many a happy home and neighborhood. People who move in and complain about prior stuff are rife in nz
  26. Well I’ve taken off some honey from a few sites for friends and family , and as usual some hives have foraged completely different nectar sources from the same site . At one site the bees have access to two dairy farms , so can either be nice Manuka , clover and blackberry , or a mix of the above . This year it’s still Manuka like in taste , but a lot paler in colour . Super tasty though so passes the most important test in my view . My next site has a big block of Manuka and this year it was as white as snow , so I thought it would yield the mother load , but again quite pale and with hundreds of ha of carrot weed nearby , they are starting to pull that in unfortunately. The strong hives have capped a full depth and well into their second , so they are going well . Rainfall has been hit and miss here . Had 50mm at home last weekend , while my mate 10 km down the road had nothing . Was down at @M4tt neck of the woods at the time and a huge thunderstorm tracked through just to the east . Looks like more rain coming this week so good for those that need it .
  27. Amen to that sister. But as noted somewhere, every site is different and what works in one place might yield a different result just up the road. And some guys are more diligent than others. I don't mind sharing what worked and what did'nt ,as for sure as the eggs are eggs, last years primo site may well be this years flop. And this late summer O/A treatments might well be a success. The place to be working collabaratively is in the marketing of the stuff we have been gifted by the bees !
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