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51 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

logically the best course of action is to let all the hives in nz die out then wait five years then reintroduce bees.

It would be interesting to do the math, work out the payback period for several gazillion $$ industry compensation.

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6 hours ago, kaihoka said:

logically the best course of action is to let all the hives in nz die out then wait five years then reintroduce bees.

Ah, like a buy off
MPI have already valued our hives at $1000 each so we could run with that figure for starters
 

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2 minutes ago, Philbee said:

MPI have already valued our hives at $1000 each so we could run with that figure for starters

Add to it 5 years wages for the entire beeking industry...

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1 minute ago, yesbut said:

Add to it 5 years wages for the entire beeking industry...

Nah, you wouldn't need any employees.  They would all go on the dole so it would be Work and Incomes problem.

 

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27 minutes ago, yesbut said:

Add to it 5 years wages for the entire beeking industry...

I forgot about the collapse of the Hort industry and Clover pollination etc
 

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8 hours ago, yesbut said:

You could look at it another way of course, and consider that Varroa Destructor is an "unnatural" parasite, given that it kills it's host, and once it's killed all the bees it will itself die out, and maybe will logically require an unnatural treatment ...

 

It is true that most parasites don't kill their host, but, the difference I think with varroa and bees is that varroa mites are so readily transferred to the bees that come to rob the failing hive - so killing off the original host is (usually) irrelevant to its ongoing survival.  

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2 hours ago, Philbee said:

Ah, like a buy off
MPI have already valued our hives at $1000 each so we could run with that figure for starters
 

And how many hives are there in NZ x $1000 ?

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1 hour ago, Philbee said:

I forgot about the collapse of the Hort industry and Clover pollination etc
 

In China there are areas with no bees so people hand pollinate pears.

If we had no bees we could use freedom campers and rse workers .

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8 hours ago, kaihoka said:

And how many hives are there in NZ x $1000 ?

Over 800 000 registered at present.  Probably actually over 1 million hives.

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9 hours ago, kaihoka said:

In China there are areas with no bees so people hand pollinate pears.

If we had no bees we could use freedom campers and rse workers .

Of course you are joking.
If all the bees died over the next 2 years I very much doubt that the country could even import Bees fast enough to stay ahead of the domino chain of collapse.
It would be catastrophic 

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42 minutes ago, Philbee said:

Of course you are joking.
If all the bees died over the next 2 years I very much doubt that the country could even import Bees fast enough to stay ahead of the domino chain of collapse.
It would be catastrophic 

Yes I do not think the native pollinators and bubble bees could keep up.

I live in an area without any bees except my own  for most of the year.

I have fruit trees and berry crops and can see the difference now I have bees .

Esp to berry crops .

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In early 2000 around varroa time, there was a rough calculation done by governtment that the bee industry helped or added $5 billion to NZ inc, in hort pollination and honey products etc. The figure today we are guessing is closer to $8 billion. Other industries had a say in wether we should have got rid of varroa by killing hives, expect the same response today.

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On 2/16/2018 at 2:47 PM, Matthew Brajkovich said:

Yep, cleans wax, and wax processing is something I am working on. I make all my own small cell foundation from all my own wax. Do mainly foundationless honey so I get the wax. Aggressively change frames and still adding in new frames for wintering over. Do this on all hives. Hygiene is so important.

Matthew some of us are actually interested in what you are doing and would like to learn from your experiences.

Do you have a wax mill or how are you making small cell?

Are your bees regressed and building small cell in your foundationless frames?

How long would you expect to keep a drawn frame before culling it?

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23 hours ago, eMpTy said:

Matthew some of us are actually interested in what you are doing and would like to learn from your experiences.

Do you have a wax mill or how are you making small cell?

Are your bees regressed and building small cell in your foundationless frames?

How long would you expect to keep a drawn frame before culling it?

No Wax mill, incast all small cell and cool really slowly.

bee build small cell on small cell and sometimes build smaller cell than 5.1mm on foundationless.

i keep frames for as long as I deem them ok, but generally less than a season, spring brood frames are gone by Xmas and I still place new frames in the brood up until early March, if needed, but most hives no new frames after beginning of February. More photos next, took these the other day approx two weeks ago. Normal cell over small cell.

IMG_3451.JPG

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Small cell drawn frame. Damage in middle is me dropping the phone in it.

IMG_3449.JPG

Edited by Matthew Brajkovich
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Good news and bad news. These two hives got robbed, tried to rescue them but to late, good thing is no diseases, no pms, no AFB.

Other good news I have two other TF hives going into year two. Generally robbing was not as bad this season for me, but was very intense for a couple of weeks, in some cases, robbing would start then stop, two days later was on again etc. mostly the larger hives being attacked. Also lost two treated hives, one of which I lost to a TF hive, so go figure. No PMS in any hives this year, good, so all I can say is maybe the small cell slows the viruses, maybe, or the fact I make all my own foundation. Will keep trying to improve results and perfect the new splitting technique for a few more years and just maybe I might see some results. What I can say is the other beepers in the area have really struggled the last two years with alsorts of issues, one even doing my inspections for me and was amazed with the bees I have and the results so far. Most of which got next to no honey and lost bees during the summer.

 

plan to change more hives back to normal cell and make my own foundation and see the difference. Already have six on plastic changed last year, all are going well.

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So you have not treated at all,is that correct? Do you have any varroa in your hives at all? I bought 2 nucs in December, 1 died due to queen failure.The surviving hive produced 10 frames of brood.I spit this and as at the moment I have not seen any varroa or viruses or even deformed wing virus which I expected to see.I used small cell size as well as normal cell size.I have not bothered to measure the cell size as these hives are alive and healthy.That is the most important thing.I am lucky as these hives are isolated.Nearest beekeeper is over 10 kms away as the crow flys.Will keep you all informed as to my results.

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On ‎5‎/‎04‎/‎2018 at 9:54 PM, Matthew Brajkovich said:

No Wax mill, incast all small cell and cool really slowly.

bee build small cell on small cell and sometimes build smaller cell than 5.1mm on foundationless.

Hi Matthew

Thanks at having a go at something different and bravely sharing the results. Curiosity, inventiveness and challenging the status quo are part of the kiwi innovation and number eight wire problem solving attitude. How are your hives going so far this season.

RE: "incast all small cell and cool really slowly". Are you using a silicon mold for that?

I agree that frequent new comb in the brood area should lead to better colony health. However if you are doing brood comb why are you bothering to make the foundation?

Choosing to use frames with foundation and wires in theory give you reinforced comb that a) will not fly apart in a centrifuge, and b) more forgiving of rough handling when full of brood and stores on a hot day and being held at an angle for inspecting. If the frame is to be only used for brood and not honey harvest then you can skip the foundation, and even the wires. Whether you want to regress the cell size or not the bees can draw beautiful comb in a frame without the foundation. Insert a thin strip of wood snugly into the slot of the top bar (where the top of the wax foundation would normally go) and have it protrude 2-3 mm. The bees will draw comb of that and can fill a frame in a similar time as they can draw out the foundation. If you insert the 'regression' frame in the centre of the brood area they will draw worker comb. If you insert it at the edge of the brood in spring you will get a full frame of drone brood; desirable only if you are breeding your own queens or if you plan to cull drones as a natural varroa strategy. So here the other advantage of using foundation becomes apparent; bees will draw it as worker comb even at the edge of the hive.

Several times I have been inspecting a 'regression' frame of worker brood and only part way through the inspection realzed there was no wires on the frame or noticed the R marked on the top bar. In a good hive a fully drawn foundationless worker brood frame is hard to tell apart from the foundation frames.

The advantages of this foundationless method I have noticed after two seasons of trying them: important to note these are intersperced with existing foundation frames in our hives so this is not complete immersion of this method.

  1. Clean brood comb free of any recycled wax based chemical residues (you cannot eliminate what chemicals foraging bees may bring back to the brood nest).
  2. Removal of the moth larvae hiding spot in the slot of the top bar. If (less frequently) moth or other damage occurs at the top edge of the comb the bees will just rebuild new cells off the wood strip and repair the comb rather than making a lot of little communication tunnels below the top bar.
  3. Low cost.
  4. Less work wiring and embedding foundation.
  5. No heat damage, moth damage, or breakage to embedded foundation (or the wires) in storage and transit before getting them into a hive.

The disadvantages of this foundationless method.

  1. The result of the comb depends on the flow, unless the hive is going well a partial drawn comb might be there for some time and the comb is weaker and rather susceptible to damage until the bees have drawn right to the bottom of the frame.
  2. If there is insufficient drone comb in the hive you will find the bottom corners or even half the frame drawn as drone comb. Its not a biggie.

I have not seen any evidence yet that varroa management was improved, or if the cells ended up being significantly smaller - I never measured them to check.

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On 24/05/2018 at 3:46 PM, Matthew Brajkovich said:

Good news and bad news. These two hives got robbed, tried to rescue them but to late, good thing is no diseases, no pms, no AFB.

Just catching up on this. Great reporting. Very interesting reading. 

 

Just a thought regards robbing. You described these hives as strong and yet they were robbed. Strong hives don't tend to get robbed. If you were inexperienced I'd suggest you had over estimated their strength. You're not inexperienced so perhaps something else is going on. 

 

Maybe the defining trait in these bees is low aggression. If they are less inclined to rob other hives then their opportunity to bring varroa back to the colony is also less. With fewer new varroa arriving the viral load on the colony should be more stable and the bees' better able to fight off infection. Lower agression might also mean less likely to defend themselves and consequently more likely to be robbed.

 

Just thoughts. Unqualified thoughts at that. 

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On 8/03/2018 at 11:06 PM, kaihoka said:

In China there are areas with no bees so people hand pollinate pears.

If we had no bees we could use freedom campers and rse workers .

Or unemployed beeks ?

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On ‎8‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 3:11 PM, yesbut said:

It would be interesting to do the math, work out the payback period for several gazillion $$ industry compensation.

 

On ‎8‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 2:17 PM, kaihoka said:

logically the best course of action is to let all the hives in nz die out then wait five years then reintroduce bees.

I'm wondering if we look at it logically perhaps the best course of action is to calculate whether bees are indeed the problem and perhaps we need to restrain beekeepers who have more than 10 hives in some sort of rehabilitation facility. I hear the government can help with all kinds of addictions and perhaps the Brain Injury Trust and services of this specialist nature could also prove helpful. Perhaps after 5 years we could reintroduce beekeepers back into the general populace in a controlled way with appropriate social supports such as family who are well aware of the special needs of beekeepers and the unique problems they bring. I'm sure many could find alternative employ in areas where having a strong opinion in subjects they know nothing about is useful such as politics, education and public service. In this way they can repay their debt to society. Just a thought.

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On 24/05/2018 at 5:46 PM, Matthew Brajkovich said:

Good news and bad news. These two hives got robbed, tried to rescue them but to late, good thing is no diseases, no pms, no AFB.

Why did they get robbed?

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Hi,

just wondering how things are going for you.

 

I have had a mixed bag of a year with minimal/negligible mite counts  even after doing  Apilife and OAV treatments ,which has made me feel quietly excited..... but then had a probable case of deliberate poisoning, which has set the hive back but not necessarily killed it. time will tell, but so far it looks good.

 

 

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10 hours ago, mischief said:

Hi,

just wondering how things are going for you.

 

I have had a mixed bag of a year with minimal/negligible mite counts  even after doing  Apilife and OAV treatments ,which has made me feel quietly excited..... but then had a probable case of deliberate poisoning, which has set the hive back but not necessarily killed it. time will tell, but so far it looks good.

 

 

Probable poisoning
In my early days of OAV and other alternative ways of combating mites I had cases that appeared to be the result of poisoning.

Thats Hives with rivers of dead Bees out front or hives with layers of dead bees on the floor.
I was certain that they were being poisoned.

There were always some hives though that didnt seem to suffer and it was this anomaly that caused much confusion.

I was sugar shaking in the spring /summer and seeing very few mites but by the time May came around and the Hives were poorly it was a matter of trying to save the 4 or 5 frames of Bees that were left so it didnt occur to me to open the hive up and start shaking Bees.
Overall it was about inexperience.
 

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I'm pretty sure it wasnt the Apilife that caused my Bay tree, Grape vine and Runner beans by the hive to all of a sudden start dying shortly after I was seeing dead and dying bees all around the hive, along the path and even down in the courtyard below the hive. The part of the grape vine on the other side of the shed is still green.

The only part of the Bay tree that has started to green up again, is a small lower branch that look like they had been protected by the upper ones.

 

I dont use two treatments at the same time so hadnt used the OAV.

 

Inexperience definitely doesnt help

 

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