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February 2018 Beekeeping Diary


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36 minutes ago, DuncanCook said:

I was going to do an alcohol wash and then treat as soon as it arrives but then thought why wash and kill 300 per hive since I wil treat regardless so does it make sense to just do the wash at the end of treatment and then act (or not) according to what I find at that time?

 

 

I think it is good to know your mite load before treatment so you can monitor the effectiveness at the end. 

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Spent the last day of January harvesting honey in the back of nowhere, 6 staff, 3 trucks, 1 for foundy and blowing gear 2 for honey, left the shed at 5am ( to beat the heat) finished the last site fee

Just a little FYI (because I am quite proud of it!) The photograph on the banner is one I took a couple of seasons ago in my garden. The bees were out fairly late in the evening and the sun was low in

My clever daughter has made me a spectacular cake

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39 minutes ago, DuncanCook said:

I am expecting a delivery of Apivar this week (ordered last Wednesday), I was going to do an alcohol wash and then treat as soon as it arrives but then thought why wash and kill 300 per hive since I wil treat regardless so does it make sense to just do the wash at the end of treatment and then act (or not) according to what I find at that time?

Unrelated to that I went to get some veg for dinner today, the bees live next to the veggie patch and I noticed a little pile, I am guessing about 100, dead bees at the entrance. It has been raining for 3 days solid now and they are still trying to fly so can I assume they have just been caught out by the weather?

The dead bees may have been caught out front too long in the  rain . They usually recover when it’s dries out , but not after 3 days .

 

So yes , the only reason to wash before and after treatment is to make sure it worked 

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24 minutes ago, M4tt said:

So yes , the only reason to wash before and after treatment is to make sure it worked 

 

27 minutes ago, John Russell said:

 

I think it is good to know your mite load before treatment so you can monitor the effectiveness at the end. 

I guess I may be a bit obtuse here, the way I am looking at it is that even if I wash and get a completely negative result I would still treat rather than take a chance.

At the end of treatment I will get a good result in which case I will be happy and just monitor or I will get a bad result in which case I will have to think of alternatives pretty fast, those two scenarios remain the same whether I wash prior to treatment or not.

Not being argumentative but don't want to kill bees if I don't have to.

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1 hour ago, DuncanCook said:

I am expecting a delivery of Apivar this week (ordered last Wednesday), I was going to do an alcohol wash and then treat as soon as it arrives but then thought why wash and kill 300 per hive since I wil treat regardless so does it make sense to just do the wash at the end of treatment and then act (or not) according to what I find at that time?

Unrelated to that I went to get some veg for dinner today, the bees live next to the veggie patch and I noticed a little pile, I am guessing about 100, dead bees at the entrance. It has been raining for 3 days solid now and they are still trying to fly so can I assume they have just been caught out by the weather?

 

The reason for doing an alcohol wash or sugar shake is to establish mite levels.  If mite levels are below the treatment thresh-hold you don't need to treat immediately.  Also, if you establish mite levels and you treat then you can do a test later to see if your treatment I working.  I do sugar shakes, they're not as accurate as an alcohol wash, but accurate enough for me at least.

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18 minutes ago, CraBee said:

The reason for doing an alcohol wash or sugar shake is to establish mite levels.  If mite levels are below the treatment thresh-hold you don't need to treat immediately.  Also, if you establish mite levels and you treat then you can do a test later to see if your treatment I working.  I do sugar shakes, they're not as accurate as an alcohol wash, but accurate enough for me at least.

I am not very good at getting consistent results from sugar shakes which is why I wash but if I delay treatment it means I have to keep testing, probably weekly which means more dead bees, seems the consensus is to test before and after though so that is probably what I will do. Thanks for the feedback guys, more rain tomorrow apparently so it won't be soon.

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1 hour ago, DuncanCook said:

 

 I would still treat rather than take a chance.

At the end of treatment I will get a good result in which case I will be happy and just monitor or I will get a bad result in which case I will have to think of alternatives pretty fast, those two scenarios remain the same whether I wash prior to treatment or not.

Not being argumentative but don't want to kill bees if I don't have to.

I completely agree with you . In fact I’m doing the same as you on this occasion . Reason is, all my hives get blanket treated with Apivar right now , regardless of mite levels . 

 

Monitoring is more important before and after if you’re playing around with organic or alternative treatments . 

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Watched the the migrants beeks on my place put escape boards on .

And I saw them throwing  varroa strips out .

I mentioned that I did not think that was best practice to leave them in over the honey flow on many different levels .

I received some  clover cut comb today . It was nice to get real clover to compare with my runny yellow honey which I know now is definitely not clover.

And neither is comvita  expensive pure clover honey  pure clover.

A guest had a small jar . Comvita  clover honey is a blend with buttercup or something similar .

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On 2/11/2018 at 1:21 AM, John Russell said:

Having hives next to a river with heavy rain & king tides is always a concern. The past 2 days the river has been close to flooding. I have been lucky not having to relocate them. I didn't see any sign of the commercial beek with pallets of hives on the other side not far from being lost. Digger wasn't as lucky with a fault with the track but was recovered later.

Riverside beehives.jpg

Digger swamped.jpg

 

One of the good sides of beecontainers shown in link below - video is not mine, I accidentally saw it on internet. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7AbKz1UtM8

 

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did the autumn check, all seems ok except the storage is lower than expected, I'm preaparing the feeder to put on. 2 sugar shakes yielded zero varroa - treatment went in regardless. loads of capped brood still, low number of eggs. consolidated the frames in the super, one box removed, bees did a poor job in that anyway, the flow disappeared, I hope this humid and hot weather helps a bit. No suspicious cells, no deformed wings, so far so good.

vine hopper numbers are great (i usually check their numbers on the rapsberry, good indicator) and seen the first vasp around the hive. 

 

I'm not sure should I put 1:1 syrup in the feeder and change it 1:2 later or start 1:2?  

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9 hours ago, Stoney said:

Same thoughts here.. not enough rain? 

Theres plenty on offer here.. 

still getting plastics drawn out. 

I tried 3 plastics and my bees never drew them properly .

I think I should melt all the wax off and start again .

They drew all the was foundation pretty quick .

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13 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

I tried 3 plastics and my bees never drew them properly .

I think I should melt all the wax off and start again .

They drew all the was foundation pretty quick .

I find wax foundation gets drawn way quicker than plastic anyway.. by far, 

couple possible reasons for your poor drawn  plastic frames..... 

not enough wax rolled on them or very unevenly rolled (missed corners or gaps) 

bees not on a strong enough flow or an interrupted flow...or... not enough bees, 

too many boxes added at once ( given too much room for trying to build wax cools things down. 

I find especially with my honeydew bees if there's regular rain or cold spells the wax get drawn out in waves so frames look a bit like the girls have been smoking something and lost the plot for a bit.. 

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14 hours ago, Stoney said:

Same thoughts here.. not enough rain? 

Theres plenty on offer here.. 

still getting plastics drawn out. 

Plastics getting drawn fast now ......on syrup . 

Its been three years since I had any wax drawn from a flow . 

So I make use of late summer/ Autumn Bees to draw wax , then all the bees need to do on a flow is fill it 

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7 hours ago, Stoney said:

I find wax foundation gets drawn way quicker than plastic anyway.. by far, 

couple possible reasons for your poor drawn  plastic frames..... 

not enough wax rolled on them or very unevenly rolled (missed corners or gaps) 

bees not on a strong enough flow or an interrupted flow...or... not enough bees, 

too many boxes added at once ( given too much room for trying to build wax cools things down. 

I find especially with my honeydew bees if there's regular rain or cold spells the wax get drawn out in waves so frames look a bit like the girls have been smoking something and lost the plot for a bit.. 

maybe thats the problem with my bees.

belonging to an old hippie and all that.:6_smile:

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Created a robbing hell zone with an extraction on Saturday. Was being careful and had it all planned out but the moment I opened up there were bees tearing in from everwhere. It got so bad that I finished extracting early, put the boxes back on and turned sprinklers on (which worked surprisingly well). There are still robbers scouring the garden, house, car etc. Scared me a bit.

Honey was covered, I was clean and tidy and was as fast as I could be.

Probably made a bad choice starting at 9am rather than 8pm, but I’m at a bit of a loss as to what I did so very very wrong.

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15 minutes ago, cBank said:

Probably made a bad choice starting at 9am rather than 8pm, but I’m at a bit of a loss as to what I did so very very wrong.

I prefer to do my harvesting early, while there's still a bit of flow. The sheila's stay a bit sweeter. And it minimizes tutin risk.

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21 minutes ago, yesbut said:

I prefer to do my harvesting early, while there's still a bit of flow. The sheila's stay a bit sweeter. And it minimizes tutin risk.

 

Your method of extracting is probably good for keeping robbers are bay too (as you are in, then out quite fast presumably?).

 

Though having honey outside yesterday  any form was crazy - everything I’d touched was covered in bees and my hands were fairly clean. 

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