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jamesc

October 2017 Apiary Diary

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You're onto it :5_smiley:   

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 What a glorious day to be out amongst the bees. 

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18 minutes ago, Rob Stockley said:

 What a glorious day to be out amongst the bees. 

Yesterday was glorious here. Bees were out everywhere.

But today they are in the hive thinking , same old same old  :D

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Got around ten hives before the weather turned cold. One supercedure in progress. All ten washed with zero mites. One queen slowing down and will be replaced. None looking like a big  swarming risk. 

 

It's nice having all the hives at home. The old Fergie makes a good bee wagon.

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checked the hives at home.

both going ok a small amount of honey has come in but way behind compared to recent years. its cold enough i had three layers on, then a sprinkle of rain as i packed up.

 

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6 hours ago, jamesc said:

Hobbyist mate ....!

Lol So its you

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Weather for the last week has been primo...so my second lot of nucs needed inspection.3 out of 3,open mated queens all laying eggs now and signs of new comb being drawn.

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Getting a tad frustrated as FD hives are coming along real well but iv run out of gear as I'm converting to all 3/4.

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Funny story....to me as a beginner anyway,opened first nuc to check for mating etc,Queenie was on the frame so I tried picking her up...she buzzed outs my hand into the long grass.Being careful I found her and as I picked her up again,she buzzed off to the neighbouring hive ...or so I thought.So I ripped into this hive trying to find her...no luck.Brassed off I reassembled this hive and then went back to her nuc,picked out a frame and whaallaa!! There she was....happy camper I put them back together and thought...no more fluffing around trying to get pics!!

Anyway,possibly  8 single box FD hives for sale in near future!

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Anyway,after that cafuffle...some of the best fish n chips in the BOP was had down the local fishing hole.

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We lost a Queen once and gave up looking for her.

We drove 100 meters and parked the truck.

She must have hitched a ride on the truck because as we walked to the house she flew past and my Son snatched her out of the air.

One in a Million I reckon

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Things aren't looking too bad here but I suspect were in for a real dearth over the next two or three weeks especially in the pasture areas. The bees were sniffing foundation boxes the other day which is a sure sign there is nothing happening. The plastic excluders I use are much better than the old wire ones . I gave my wire ones away years ago. I generally lift the two oldest looking brood frames from the second box above the excluder and replace with new foundation (wooden).

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Went through a site today that ide split about a month ago most of the queens have been mated but the ones that didnt have been bound up with honey. I havnt had it this bad before. Think theyre guna get a make over with drawn comb when i go requeen them.

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Finished my hives this afternoon. 100% success with Apivar this spring. Zero washes all round. Very pleased. 

 

Four queens marked for replacement. Three laying way too slow and a fourth has instructed her daughters to be kamikaze dive bombers.  Heaps of drones and weather is kind. I'll do a round of cells next week. 

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3 minutes ago, Rob Stockley said:

Zero washes all round

What's the margin of error with your wash regime?

Edited by yesbut

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1 minute ago, yesbut said:

What's the margin of error with your wash regime?

Zero is a wonderful concept

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1 minute ago, Philbee said:

Zero is a wonderful concept

zero in the bank balance is not a wonderful concept ....

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3 minutes ago, yesbut said:

What's the margin of error with your wash regime?

I've never found more than one mite among the washed bees. My method is consistent and repeatable. I'm comfortable that all my hives are one or fewer mites per 300 bees.

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4 minutes ago, Philbee said:

Zero is a wonderful concept

Zero in a wash means fewer than 1 mite per 300 bees. 

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11 minutes ago, Rob Stockley said:

My method is consistent and repeatable

Maybe so, but how accurate is it ?

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2 minutes ago, yesbut said:

Maybe so, but how accurate is it ?

Well, all the sample bees are dead, so I would say 100% accurate.

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2 minutes ago, yesbut said:

Maybe so, but how accurate is it ?

Its a good question. An unanswerable one without killing a hive.

 

I try to select a brood frame with about half uncapped brood and covered in bees. The colonies look healthy so I'm inclined to accept the result.

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if i remember right randy oliver has data on the efficiency of the alcohol wash (and other methods). by mem its not perfect and can vary depending on time of year and whats happening in the hive. but i think its good enough and reliable enough. 

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The margin of error would be relative to the number of bees being tested. If I get 0 from a sugar shake after treating, the numbers of mites in the hive are from none to few. Varroa are a problem as their development is exponential (yes) but you probably know that. So re treating after a 0 test will only promote resistance to the miticide.

 

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14 minutes ago, Apihappy said:

So re treating after a 0 test will only promote resistance to the miticide.

I don't think anyone was suggesting this. The question was what does a zero count mean and how accurate or reliable is that result. 

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The question actually was how can you be sure of a zero count when the most accurate wash is still only something like 98% affective.

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6 minutes ago, yesbut said:

The question actually was how can you be sure of a zero count when the most accurate wash is still only something like 98% affective.

Hmmm you must have a strange relationship with your washes! I'm stoked to think that my washes could be 98% Effective. To me that is high confidence indeed. 

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First batch of hives into G3 kiwi’s last night, thought I’d better double check my second batch as some of them hadn’t had a check since I prepped them about 2-3 weeks ago, assuming of course they’d go in tonight.

 

Man was I surprised, considering I gave them a right womping then, had myself a whole lot more work to do ?

 

Ended up having to make 8 frankensplits to knock them back to standard to stop them hanging in the kiwifruit vines, and I’ll still have to cell check them in 10 days!

 

Cracker bee day. And don’t have to move hives tonight wooooooooop woop.

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