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Trevor Gillbanks

March 2018 Beekeeping Diary

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3 hours ago, mischief said:

Both

Unfortunately you can not have both 

 

3 hours ago, yesbut said:

I too am more into natives than diversity. You need a pond then you'll get dragonflies.

 

Or lots of still/ stagnant water . We have lots of dragonflies and Mossies.

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2 hours ago, CraBee said:

 

It takes a new nuc a week or so to sort itself out defence wise, but are you feeding them syrup as that will bring the robbers in?  If so consider using raw sugar - I just had a pallet of raw sugar arrive for this purpose.

I would never have a nuc at this time of year. 

As it is when I put some wets back on a hive it was surrounded by robbers.

But I was not concerned , there was no fighting , just a lot of try hard bees trying to get in .

I have strong hives that can defend themselves .

A nuc would have no show .

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4 hours ago, mischief said:

Think diversity.

Dont kill it if you dont have to, but check it out first and do a risk management assessment and strategy.

It saves money and stress.

Na mate, the more available food the more wasps

In your case they get a substantial varied diet.
Oh to be a wasp at your place

Edited by Philbee
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On 3/8/2018 at 7:55 AM, dansar said:

I wish this was 1000kg of honey coming off my hives, not 1000 of sugar to put in them.?CC68E0B9-7A3C-44FB-ACC8-EF3502744798.thumb.jpeg.92211662515a3a1f48df084cbc4ec3bf.jpeg

 

That's a very impressive load on the Lux  ..... have you beefed the backend up ?

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8 hours ago, jamesc said:

That's a very impressive load on the Lux  ..... have you beefed the backend up ?

 Already had the beefier suspension when I bought it. It is a kidney rattler without a load on it.

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A window somehow broke and coincidentally the piece of glass in my very-ugly-but-very-effective wax melter fit exactly. Stroke of luck.

However I didn’t clean it properly first and now there is propolis and wax all over the outside, it’s 2 stories up in an area that’s very hard to place a ladder.

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My strongest hive, which was happily bringing in pollen the other day before I put MAQS in, has been getting robbed blind by wasps and nasty black-bottomed  bees since. The wasps are not taking the Vespex I put out for them. Today I reduced the entrance even though the MAQS strips are in but it doesn't look good.

Meanwhile, the smaller hive next door is buzzing along as normal. Strips in, no robbing.

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1 hour ago, Janice said:

My strongest hive, which was happily bringing in pollen the other day before I put MAQS in, has been getting robbed blind by wasps and nasty black-bottomed  bees since. The wasps are not taking the Vespex I put out for them. Today I reduced the entrance even though the MAQS strips are in but it doesn't look good.

Meanwhile, the smaller hive next door is buzzing along as normal. Strips in, no robbing.

Why do you think this is.

Did the stronger hive have fresh uncapped honey because it was stronger and when you opened it all and sundry smelt that .

Did you do the vespex test.

I can not get the wasps at home towith take any sort of protein bait .

But my home made soda bottle traps have been catching heaps of wasps.

I put a tsp of raw meat in the bottom and then juice and smear honey around the entrance to the trap.

Have got no bees but got flies 

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I didn't do the test because the wasps were flying off with bits of squashed wasp and I figured that was protein. I think the strong hive was open too long and word got around.

I think I  will try the juice trap - I have to do something

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15 minutes ago, Janice said:

 I think the strong hive was open too long and word got around.

I think I  will try the juice trap - I have to do something

big strong hives take longer to inspect, when things are a bit robby i take boxes off fast, have the hive mat on the stack i've taken off, and try and get through each box in a couple of minutes tops. An easy way to get a hive robbed out is to let a lot of robbers in during an inspection.

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@Janice where did you put the vespex?

 

if the wasps are right in front of the hive and picking up dead insect parts from the ground you can put it just under the bottom board close to the front on the sunny side and they will be into it almost instantly 

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1 hour ago, frazzledfozzle said:

@Janice where did you put the vespex?

 

if the wasps are right in front of the hive and picking up dead insect parts from the ground you can put it just under the bottom board close to the front on the sunny side and they will be into it almost instantly 

OK, I will move it there

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11 hours ago, Janice said:

I didn't do the test because the wasps were flying off with bits of squashed wasp and I figured that was protein. I think the strong hive was open too long and word got around.

I think I  will try the juice trap - I have to do something

They are so cheap to make I have lots hung in grapes and fig trees etc.

Every 3 or 4 days I empty and refresh them .

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1 hour ago, kaihoka said:

They are so cheap to make I have lots hung in grapes and fig trees etc.

Every 3 or 4 days I empty and refresh them .

I went down earlyish this morning to sort things out but I was too late. The lovely productive gentle hive has been robbed to death in just a few days. The small hive seems fine but I reduced its entrance. Vespex is out, a juice trap is out and dead hive gear moved away. It's got to be war on wasps for the rest of the season.

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Seems to be a very patchy flow this summer in the upper North Island from reading the diary notes here.

 

I took 4 heavy boxes off two city hives (Remuera, Auckland) prior to New Year and now think that may be it for the season. I have other hives at Point Wells, Matakana and there will no honey for the beekeeper there either. Very slim pickings - in fact for the first time I am contemplating feeding if there's no flow through autumn. Most unusual for each of these hive locations. 

 

Interested in what others are experiencing in both those areas - and elsewhere. 

 

Cheers

 

Roger

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18 hours ago, Roger said:

in fact for the first time I am contemplating feeding if there's no flow through autumn. Most unusual for each of these hive locations. 

 

Interested in what others are experiencing in both those areas - and elsewhere. 

 

my bees are taking the feed, I assume there is not a lot out there. After the january flow stop there was two good weeks and it's down again. (although keep in mind I have only one hive, not a good source of statistics :)

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On 12/03/2018 at 9:57 AM, Janice said:

I went down earlyish this morning to sort things out but I was too late. The lovely productive gentle hive has been robbed to death in just a few days. The small hive seems fine but I reduced its entrance. Vespex is out, a juice trap is out and dead hive gear moved away. It's got to be war on wasps for the rest of the season.

My juice trap

Easy to take apart 

IMG_20180313_125229.jpg

IMG_20180313_125147.jpg

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Just now, Sailabee said:

@Janice, I know you are real dark on any traps with sugar in, but now, like me you have sadly lost a hive to wasps, perhaps you will be prepared to use the recipe we have been using for at least 10 years.

One cup sugar dissolved in one cup water, half cup any type vinegar, and most importantly one chopped up banana skin. Put in capped 1.5 to 2 litre bottles with a hole about 8 cms from top, approx 2 cms in diameter - double mix does about three bottles, put outside and it will take a couple of days for the smell of the skins to really get going and start collecting wasps. Last June/July I got over 6 cms of deads in one bottle alone because of the mild winter. By using a sugar phase trap, you don't have to sit and wait while they breed like rabbits waiting on they to hit the protein phase. The banana skin is the critical thing - bees hate the smell of them.

and tsp raw meat.

bees hate that too

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1 hour ago, Sailabee said:

@Janice, I know you are real dark on any traps with sugar in, but now, like me you have sadly lost a hive to wasps, perhaps you will be prepared to use the recipe we have been using for at least 10 years.

One cup sugar dissolved in one cup water, half cup any type vinegar, and most importantly one chopped up banana skin. Put in capped 1.5 to 2 litre bottles with a hole about 8 cms from top, approx 2 cms in diameter - double mix does about three bottles, put outside and it will take a couple of days for the smell of the skins to really get going and start collecting wasps. Last June/July I got over 6 cms of deads in one bottle alone because of the mild winter. By using a sugar phase trap, you don't have to sit and wait while they breed like rabbits waiting on they to hit the protein phase. The banana skin is the critical thing - bees hate the smell of them.

Thanks for the recipe. I will do it tomorrow or maybe even tonight when I get home.  
I know banana skin smells like alarm pheromone.
 @kaihoka  my juice trap has so far caught two bees and no wasps. One of my Vespex baits has been cleaned out but I suspect not by wasps as they are not taking anything from the other two. 

Edited by Janice

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Had two reports of poisoned bees hives, Rotorua and Raetihi two different beekeepers and areas 230 miles apart, keep an eye open out there. At this stage only small amounts of hives but still a ######.

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Last Graft of 40 cells today. There is still Drone brood and Drones in my hives so making the most of that’s and hopefully get a minimum of 20 mated queens. Added a dollop of protein patty and added contact feeder jar as well. 

The feed I have been giving the bees is being used up pretty quickly. My home hives have had 10 litres fed over the last 5 days and having a look today there wouldn’t even be a full frame of feed in them. 

 

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2 hours ago, Janice said:

 my juice trap has so far caught two bees and no wasps. One of my Vespex baits has been cleaned out but I suspect not by wasps as they are not taking anything from the other two. 

even with raw meat in.?

i saw some wasps hanging around my hives today.

 they were mostly on the ground and under the hives.  occasionally one would sit on the edge of the landing board.

one wasp got to close to the entrance and was immediately set upon by half a dozen bees.

my wasps numbers are not great but great enough to have ruined all my grapes

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