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Jezza

I disappeared, sorry

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Not sure if anyone remembers me, but I was a beginning beekeeper who posted a lot a couple of years ago.

 

I thought I'd rely what happened to me and my hive for any other beginners.

 

The short version is a thought I'd done a great job and my bees were set for winter. However...

 

Once we got to Spring, a lady from MPI (I think it was) responsible for AFB checks asked if she could come around and go through my hive. I invited her around for my first opening after winter. When we did there was only a Queen and about a cup full of bees, they didn't even touch the entire box of honey I left from them. Probably too late on my varroa treatment, but the real kicker was when she did the AFB check: POSITIVE! ropy bast*rds everywhere. Turns out my productive girls were nothing but thieves robbing every collapsing and AFB hive in all of West Auckland.

 

Suffice it to say burning your first hive after having it only 6 months is not cool, especially if you left every last drop of honey on there for your girls! Lol

 

About the same time in April '16 I started a business, which miraculously has been going great guns and we are up to a few employees now. I've been busier than a one armed wallpaper hanger but things are starting to stabilise. We just moved to a new house much more suitable for multiple hives and has a bigger garage as well so my thoughts have turned agin to bees.

 

Anyway I really appreciate all the help, advice and genuinely impressive selflessness everyone showed to me at the time. I'll be lurking around again and may even comment from time to time.

 

All the best, Jeremy

Edited by Jezza
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47 minutes ago, Jezza said:

Not sure if anyone remembers me, but I was a beginning beekeeper who posted a lot a couple of years ago.

 

I thought I'd rely what happened to me and my hive for any other beginners.

 

The short version is a thought I'd done a great job and my bees were set for winter. However...

 

Once we got to Spring, a lady from MPI (I think it was) responsible for AFB checks asked if she could come around and go through my hive. I invited her around for my first opening after winter. When we did there was only a Queen and about a cup full of bees, they didn't even touch the entire box of honey I left from them. Probably too late on my varroa treatment, but the real kicker was when she did the AFB check: POSITIVE! ropy bast*rds everywhere. Turns out my productive girls were nothing but thieves robbing every collapsing and AFB hive in all of West Auckland.

 

Suffice it to say burning your first hive after having it only 6 months is not cool, especially if you left every last drop of honey on there for your girls! Lol

 

About the same time in April '16 I started a business, which miraculously has been going great guns and we are up to a few employees now. I've been busier than a one armed wallpaper hanger but things are starting to stabilise. We just moved to a new house much more suitable for multiple hives and has a bigger garage as well so my thoughts have turned agin to bees.

 

Anyway I really appreciate all the help, advice and genuinely impressive selflessness everyone showed to me at the time. I'll be lurking around again and may even comment from time to time.

 

All the best, Jeremy

 

Glad you are back @Jezza, as a new beek also, I can only imagine how gut wrenching it would be to have to burn a hive.  However, what I have learnt by reading the posts on this site is that even the best bee keepers in the world can get AFB ...no matter how good their work practices are.  Hard not to take it personally though I guess.  

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@Rewi1973, yeah West Auckland was pretty much ground zero for AFB at the time. Not really sure what I could have done to try and prevent it, except an earlier autumn varroa treatment might have helped.

Edited by Jezza

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Nothing you can do to prevent it.

 

Lucky it was discovered before the hive died completely though, or the honey could have been robbed and passed the disease on to others.

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Welcome back . Yep I remember you ?

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Welcome back.  Sorry for the loss.  Learn from the loss and move on.  Thanks for reporting that.  You have proven by this act that you are not the reason for getting AFB.  Every one can get it.

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Where abouts in the Waitakeres are you Jezza?

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4 hours ago, M4tt said:

Welcome back . Yep I remember you ?

Me too

I think I joined the forum shortly after you :)

Look forward to more of your posts

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5 hours ago, Apihappy said:

Where abouts in the Waitakeres are you Jezza?

 

In Massey. You?

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Hmmm there are a few issues here.

If west Auck was Ground Zero then it still is now and that may be why the lady visited
The hive may even have had the infection last summer
Were the treatments very late?
I tell everyone that the time to worry about Varroa is when the hive appears to be indestructible.
Its so easy to think everything is fine when in fact disaster is just around the corner
Hey we all learn some lessons the hard way

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4 minutes ago, Philbee said:

Hmmm there are a few issues here.

If west Auck was Ground Zero then it still is now and that may be why the lady visited
The hive may even have had the infection last summer
Were the treatments very late?
I tell everyone that the time to worry about Varroa is when the hive appears to be indestructible.
Its so easy to think everything is fine when in fact disaster is just around the corner
Hey we all learn some lessons the hard way

 

It may well have done, however I posted photos of all the frames of each inspection I did and experienced beekeepers didn't notice a problem, the brood seemed healthy all the way until I closed up the hide, it looked nothing like the infected brood when we opened it up.

 

Yes, in hindsight I was about a month late with the Apistan, the nuc it came from was treated with Bayvarol in the Spring, so it could well have had a really high varroa load going in to winter. I didn't do any alcohol washes etc.

 

In retrospect it would have died without the AFB, I made too many mistakes.

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Just now, Jezza said:

 

 

In retrospect it would have died without the AFB, I made too many mistakes.

Not necessarily. Death from varroa is different than death from AFB.

 

 Robber Bees don’t come from some psychopath beehive as you’d imagine . My best hive going into winter last year was a robber , and quite successful too , which is why it was my best hive . I’m in an AFB red zone , like most these days , so my AFB checks are thorough and often . I was lucky and they haven’t got AFB

In fact it’s one of my favourite hives and I’ve reared queens from it because they are so quiet to work . 

 

Anyway, for beginners , get your varroa treatment in around mid February and go for one that’s covers more than two rounds of brood . Strong hives crash fast going into winter if you don’t get the varroa under control and keep numbers low . 

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19 hours ago, Jezza said:

 

In Massey. You?

 

We are over in Titirangi, red zone for AFB here too. Are you looking to get started up this season or are you waiting till next spring?

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5 hours ago, Apihappy said:

 

We are over in Titirangi, red zone for AFB here too. Are you looking to get started up this season or are you waiting till next spring?

 

I'll probably make some new hive wear over winter and buy 2 x nucs in Spring '18.

 

My current plan at least. Our boy will be 3 then and he already loves looking at various bugs in the backyard. A couple of hives should blow his mind methinks. :-)

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I went into Winter with strong hives, so left them all the honey, because my Winter here can be long. 

Well.... all but one hive died out. My varroa was too high, despite treating in Autumn. Hence, I have a lot of boxes of crystalized honey and drawn comb with some dead unhatched bees.

Bee keeping is not easy.,But, bee keeping is something that strangely makes me very happy.:IMG_0386:

Edited by Wildflower
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On 12/20/2017 at 2:40 PM, Jezza said:

 

I'll probably make some new hive wear over winter and buy 2 x nucs in Spring '18.

 

My current plan at least. Our boy will be 3 then and he already loves looking at various bugs in the backyard. A couple of hives should blow his mind methinks. :-)

I have a 2 year old who loves inspecting the hives with me. It’s highlight of the week, putting in his suit and asking to look at every frame I pull out. It slows the process down a bit but it’s worth it. 6692BAEB-BE41-4BAB-90D2-E4FAAFB31995.jpeg.8242fc1a1d2a874efdee1252ed71f9d0.jpeg

There are a few more photos on my wife’s Instagram @the_planter_ 

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1 hour ago, Wildflower said:

I went into Winter with strong hives, so left them all the honey, because my Winter here can be long. 

Well.... all but one hive died out. My varroa was too high, despite treating in Autumn. Hence, I have a lot of boxes of crystalized honey and drawn comb with some dead unhatched bees.

Bee keeping is not easy.,But, bee keeping is something that strangely makes me very happy.:IMG_0386:

You’re also very cold there too in winter time . 

A couple of winter checks may help and you’ll need to reduce the size of the hives as their populations drop .

Cold Bees with to much room don’t  do very well 

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2 hours ago, M4tt said:

You’re also very cold there too in winter time . 

A couple of winter checks may help and you’ll need to reduce the size of the hives as their populations drop .

Cold Bees with to much room don’t  do very well 

And that is what I did wrong. I left big hives with far too much space. Plus the varroa was not properly sorted. 

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15 hours ago, Wildflower said:

And that is what I did wrong. I left big hives with far too much space. Plus the varroa was not properly sorted. 

 

Its probably not the space that was the problem it’s the varroa load and the affect that has on the production of your winter bees.

Winter bees are vitally important to a colony’s survival if that’s stuffed up so is your hive.

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On 22/12/2017 at 6:00 PM, Dave Aky said:

I have a 2 year old who loves inspecting the hives with me.

 

I’m not sure if you have extracted with the young one yet, but letting them open the honey gate is well worth it. 

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4 minutes ago, cBank said:

letting them open the honey gate is well worth it. 

And what about shutting it in time ?

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8 minutes ago, yesbut said:

And what about shutting it in time ?

It turn out that this is quite critical.

Edited by cBank

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