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I am ready to.put staples in my hives but I can not open them up untill we have a super strong westerly and sunny day .

This morning my drive was a river of bees as they swarmed up from the migrants hives to rob mine .

It is the first time this season this has happened .

The day was calm and cloudy then a shower of rain .

I reduced the entrances on the hives .

Suddenly the bees went away . From my hives and all around the house at lunch time .

They were back at about 5 pm , in the light rain .

I am not sure what was going on .

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Hi All, I don't have time to follow every chat group, but I got a notification about this one.  I'm interested in your experiences with OA/gly in NZ, so please feel free to contact me directly at

You are obviously still young . I try and leave the bathroom before the steam has cleared .

This is an issue that comes up often There tends to be two ways that Beeks place Staples and one way results in less Brood damage. Some Beeks remove an edge frame, spread the remaining frames o

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Could be a sign of high mite levels. It's pretty unusual for robbing to start up like that when the hives have not been opened unless something is wrong with the bees.

 

Unless there was some honey left open somewhere that got the robbers started?

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15 minutes ago, Alastair said:

Could be a sign of high mite levels. It's pretty unusual for robbing to start up like that when the hives have not been opened unless something is wrong with the bees.

 

Unless there was some honey left open somewhere that got the robbers started?

The flow has pretty much just stopped and the wind stopped blowing .

It happens every yr about now .

But I normally get warning and the weather was not great  today .

I have some flowering gums near the house , maybe the bees were coming for that and because it wasnt flowing with the drizzle they went for the hives instead .

Something must have started flowing in the middle of the day to stop the robbing, I can not think what .

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On 18/09/2019 at 8:47 PM, olbe said:

food contact board , this can be obtained here in the Waikato at Attwoods in hamilton and they will get it cut to size

Olbe, and others, what are the average/common dimensions when cutting dry board? I've heard 400x35mm. If correct I presume this allows for a bit of expansion when soaked?

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On 2/03/2020 at 11:58 PM, kaihoka said:

The flow has pretty much just stopped and the wind stopped blowing .

It happens every yr about now .

But I normally get warning and the weather was not great  today .

I have some flowering gums near the house , maybe the bees were coming for that and because it wasnt flowing with the drizzle they went for the hives instead .

Something must have started flowing in the middle of the day to stop the robbing, I can not think what .

Any red rata vine flowering,white rata,koromiko, lotus major. Any of these produce a flow.

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On 22/02/2020 at 7:31 PM, jamesc said:

Suddenly the penny is starting to drop .... reading through  posts of overheating the O/A mix ....  

I wonder if that was the issue we had last autumn with the staples ..... some yards worked some didn't ..... three people making mixes , different quality control .... what seemed like a real simple recipe is actually quite detailed in it's concoction and the success is in the attention to detail.

 

It would be interesting to do a wider spread efficacy trial with a standard soaked staple .....

I could never understand why Stoney was having so much success and we were in the depths of desperation. The answer was possibly that  he got his pre soaked from Taupo. 

I also had presoaked staples from Phil and had them stored in a sealed bucket in the garage, didnt use them for a good 4 months and when I did my losses were up to 50% over summer, mainly what seems to be overload and Queen losses - worst season ever for me and I was treating regularly,  in some cases strips were removed quickly and in others hardly touched, no correlation between the two when it came to losses 

 

I suspect 4 months is too long and fresh is best so probably my fault however I have been off the forum for a while so have some questions, hope you don't mind 

 

How long is too long to store treated staples in people's opinion and should it be in a fridge or freezer? 

 

When the thread started we all tried shop towels etc but moved away due to them either being a barrier to movement or stripped out too fast, however those towels were fairly moist originally and seemed to work really well (for me anyway) 

 

The current thinking seems to be have the medium whatever it is fairly dry, I am sure this has been answered but 173 pages is hard to wade through, but why now dry over moist / slightly wet staples, tape or 2 whatever is being used? 

 

Thanks 

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1 hour ago, ikwezinz said:

I suspect 4 months is too long and fresh is best so probably my fault however I have been off the forum for a while so have some questions, hope you don't mind 

 

How long is too long to store treated staples in people's opinion and should it be in a fridge or freezer? 

 

The staples you get pre mixed from Phil have a use by date written on the bucket in felt pen. When I got staples from him the use by date was a couple of months after getting them. I have no idea how this date was calculated. However over time the OA breaks down, so if anything there would be less harm to the bees if they were left too long, rather than more harm. Buried in the thread somewhere are some posts that people used the strips a long time after getting them and they still worked.

 

1 hour ago, ikwezinz said:

When the thread started we all tried shop towels etc but moved away due to them either being a barrier to movement or stripped out too fast, however those towels were fairly moist originally and seemed to work really well (for me anyway) 

 

The current thinking seems to be have the medium whatever it is fairly dry, I am sure this has been answered but 173 pages is hard to wade through, but why now dry over moist / slightly wet staples, tape or 2 whatever is being used? 

 

Yes, dry is the current thinking.

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40 minutes ago, ikwezinz said:

again sorry as I am sure this is covered, why dry over wet.

Has someone done a trial of one vs the other -? Maybe that's my new project as I rebuild 

assorted anecdotal observations that excessively wet tapes didn't have high success.

If following philbee instructions to the letter, then excessively wet tapes would not be possible; the way I interpret instructions.

Some have made drying racks, but there is no water, its not paint and I don't think evaporation is likely.

To me, it is about soaking in through all the layers of tape and giving that process time and opportunity.

Then if excess solution was poured in to start with, to allow some draining of the excess.

Some have wiped or scraped the excess, but I find that too much work/time/effort/cost/ and also unreliable/inconsistent human input.

Drying racks are also too much extra work for me, but at least that ends up being consistent if they drain dry. (Draining rack not a drying rack).

I prefer to weigh tapes and put in mixture that is 100% absorbed with no surplus, but each to their own.

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 Good answer. Just to add to it, years ago when OA / GL soaked towels were first being researched most of the work was done by an American researcher and commercial beekeeper, Randy Oliver.  At first no water was added. Then for some reason which i don't remember, Randy experimented with adding some water. I think it was something to do with the rate that the OA can break down, but not 100% sure on that. Then Randy decided there were more cons than pros with adding water so went back to a non water solution. It was about that time that NZ followers of Randy started discussing OA mix here on NZBees.

 

The full answers to all these questions will be in the writings of Randy Oliver but it goes back years and there is a lot to trawl through. Not for me I'm sorry, but if you are keen enough, you will find Randy's writings very interesting.

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Been out this morning and finally found what I've been looking for, a sorry little hive in a very bad way with a heavy mite infestation, for me to experiment on.


As shown in the pic, bees with malformed wings, and PMS. Without treatment this hive would not have long to live at all.

 

 

 

 

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 Did a mite count, get a different answer every time i count them 😮, but it's within cooey of 70 mites from a 300 bee sample.


 

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So i wanted such a hive because it will be a great test of my low dose oxalic strips with only 6 grams per strip. Have installed the strips as per the pic, will be interesting to check this hive in a month or so and see if it has cleaned up at all. If it has, will be a great result for low dose strips.

 

 

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All the hives at this site have a reasonably high mite level, so some of them i have also treated with ultra low dose strips, 3 grams per strip. This may be pushing my luck but will be good to test the limits, and know what can be done and what cannot be done. These hives will also get looked at and reported back on in around a month. My gut feel is the dose will be too low and the hives will have suiffered, but it will be good to find out for sure.

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1 hour ago, Alastair said:

Been out this morning and finally found what I've been looking for, a sorry little hive in a very bad way with a heavy mite infestation, for me to experiment on.

Without treatment this hive would not have long to live at all.

 

While I don't doubt that you're right, more experienced and that the experiment is interesting, I have this nagging feeling that you need to add a couple of frames of capped brood from a healthy hive to provide the necessary support to give the treatment (any treatment) time to take effect. In the short term the hive will only get worse and if it dies at that point you might not learn about what you really wanted to know.

 

If you also gave a similarly collapsing hive two brood frames BUT you didn't treat it (a control hive) that hive would get better too in the short term but would eventually shut up shop for good.

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Totally agree Chris, and in fact if the only object was to save the hive, I would have added at least one good brood comb, exactly as you advise.

 

But I'm more interested in seeing if 6 gram strips are enough, if a hive this bad does clean up, I can be sure that 6 gram strips are sufficient.

 

In the same site are other badly affected hives although not as bad as the one pictured, all of them got treated today, so let's say the one in the pic is past the point of no return, there are still the others to look at. But I'd like to see how a very sick hive goes, that would be very good evidence of the low dose strips being fit for purpose.

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Alastair, it would be good if you were able to do a mite check every seven days , that way you may get an earlier idea of whether this will work or not.

 

When I first experimented with oxalic strips I used about ten hives in my home apiary and did alcohol washes every seven days and what I found was mite levels fell by approx half every seven days until they dropped to zero.

one of the hives had a greater mite load than yours has and had lots of deformed wing , it survived and was even split in the spring. The strips which were put in around mid april 

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Good tip Olbe. I will try to, I'm a little concerned about bee numbers in the hive, but if it looks safe to do a weekly wash, I will, and will report back.

 

That's pretty handy info about mite numbers halving every week, that will give me an early indicator how things are going.

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21 minutes ago, Alastair said:

I'm a little concerned about bee numbers in the hive

What about going a sugar shake. Yes, probably a dirty word/method but at least the bees will survive.

In my near to death Kenyan I don't think I have 300 nurse bees to do a sugar shake let alone sacrificing them for a wash.

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You guys could try the CO2 method , you don't have to buy the fancy gizmo just get one of the bike CO2 pumps and with a few mods you will be able to make it work 

I have not used CO2 myself but Trevor has a video somewhere I think.

 

 

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True enough Olbe I've seen it done and nearly set up a Co2 set, but already had the wash setup so in the end did not, I rarely test so not a great issue. Once I've figured out the effectiveness of the type of strips I'm making, might be a long time till i do another test. 

 

Did think of that Stephen, and good thought. Just, what is of interest now is trends and comparisons. The sugar shake is likely to get a different % of mites off the bees than an alcohol wash would, so now I've started with alcohol, would need to continue the same. 

 

Although i may seem a bit slack in the testing department, believe it or not I am actually an MPI approved varroa tester LOL, had to get that for sending bees to Canada.

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2 hours ago, Alastair said:

 

 

That's pretty handy info about mite numbers halving every week, that will give me an early indicator how things are going.

You could also slip a vented base under it and get a sticky board in there to count mite drop or lack of it whatever the case may be.. Alistair do you have any particular reason for the sites heavy mite loads?

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I've done drop boards but they can be very imprecise. They will give trends though. But too much work, I'm lazy.

 

Re the heavy mite loads, I have deliberately left treating that site till now for the very purpose of getting some decent mite levels to give my strips a good test. Have checked it a couple of times but mite levels were not up where i wanted them so have hung back until they are. All other sites have been done and dusted for a while.

 

Surprising thing, only 3 weeks ago I checked the site and things weren't looking too bad. Just shows how quickly things can spiral downhill this time of year. To anyone in Auckland who still has untreated hives, I would say get it done ASAP.

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Yes it’s still not known the reasons for the varied results... very frustrating.. 

For me I’ve had great results with the staples, it’s now rare to see a bee with wing rot, I have seen mites on bees this autumn as I placed treatments following harvest, they’ve had 2 treatments since then and will get another dose next month for the winter shut down. I requeened a few hives 2 days after treatment recently and was stoked to see dead crawlies  on the floor board.. 

my approach is to keep on top of them and keep my foot on the throat. 

 

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