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9 hours ago, kaihoka said:

A green desert ?

What's in the pasture.?

Are urban areas pretty reliable for honey flow.

 

It is just an area that doesn't seem to yield well at all.  Parts of it are underlain by limestone and I'm not sure if this contributes to infertility.  What that limestone also does is create an impermeable surface so water gets caught there so it can be quite damp and boggy.  Before my time this worked well as Penny Royal through most of the area apparently always gave a couple of boxes in Autumn, but the Penny Royal doesn't seem so prominent now. 

 

Urban area's are great through Spring and to get a good reliable crop from.   There are some many different type of flowers the bees can access all year round for nectar and pollen.  It is typically warmer than rural as concrete is heated and radiates heat, and people water their gardens when it is dry to keep the plants going.  The downside with urban areas is you can't have too many hives in one location, or bee poo becomes a problem on adjoining properties - and in fairness it can be a real issue.  Some people are also just scared to have hives/bees around. 

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Pulled in at my favorite cafe today to pick up some 20 litre containers, and immediately got approached by a young lady who says Hi Alastair which way you going I got a vehicle problem can you give me

A complicated story to explain why a young lady was in your truck, but I believe you.

Stoked for you! See some times nice guys for the win. Doing happy dance for you

2 hours ago, Alastair said:

 

Yes a few years ago when I used formic via nassenheider it was very effective it's a great treatment. But a few months later the nails in the boxes started rusting out, so I haven't done it again. If I switched over to a formic resistant nail it would be viable but for now I don't want to destroy all the boxes. Yes Apivar will do it this time around, turns out the rest of the sites I've been to are not so badly affected, but still quite a few sites to go.

 

But will have to formic proof my hives longer term, really do need to be alternating more kinds of treatments, and as we all know, try to get away from synthetics completely.

would stainless steel nails work

or titanium

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2 hours ago, CraBee said:

 

It is just an area that doesn't seem to yield well at all.  Parts of it are underlain by limestone and I'm not sure if this contributes to infertility.  What that limestone also does is create an impermeable surface so water gets caught there so it can be quite damp and boggy.  Before my time this worked well as Penny Royal through most of the area apparently always gave a couple of boxes in Autumn, but the Penny Royal doesn't seem so prominent now. 

 

Urban area's are great through Spring and to get a good reliable crop from.   There are some many different type of flowers the bees can access all year round for nectar and pollen.  It is typically warmer than rural as concrete is heated and radiates heat, and people water their gardens when it is dry to keep the plants going.  The downside with urban areas is you can't have too many hives in one location, or bee poo becomes a problem on adjoining properties - and in fairness it can be a real issue.  Some people are also just scared to have hives/bees around. 

in my area in a good year we get a continuous bush flow from sep to march.

but a bad year is pretty bad.

this year was a good year, but two of my 4 years of bee keeping were really bad  years according to local beeks.

all the migrants have gone and i now have the place to myself.

there are two other small hobby apiaries about 6klm away in two directions, but thats it.

it makes opening hives easy and if one hive is weak i just move it a couple of kilometres away onto a power pole access rd for a while.

 

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14 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

would stainless steel nails work

or titanium

Unlikely, when I scored decking ss nails with annular rings, found the sodding things had no grip on the wood, and work their way out - still are doing that - have to keep hammering back in. Also, even marine ss will rust on yachts unless kept polished. Dip galv is rough, and gets a better grip, but hates acid.

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I’ve only used Formic for two years but I don’t recall seeing any rusting out as a result of it. I notice some rusting under lids but that may be due to unused syrup in top feeders.  If I do have hives/nucs with rust I will just swap them out and staple again, easy enough to do.  

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5 hours ago, Alastair said:

 

Api Life Var. Totally different product to Apivar. It's a pity the names are similar and confuse people.

 

Just wondering Ctm how you place the strips in the hives? Apivar, for example normally works well and no further treatment is required, but the strips must be placed mid brood area. I see so many people (even yesterday) put the strips outside edge of the brood nest, or end of the frames. Then quite often it doesn't work.

Apivar/Bayverol or Apistan I always place  them in between brood  and even move when brood moves. With Api Life Var (sorry for the confusion) I break strip in 4 pieces and place them 5 cm from the edge on top of the fourth frame (taken from the outside edge) in between first and second brood box. I used Apivar only once in yr15-16 and according to my records no mitefall after treatment so it worked well. Api Life Var is thymol based and won't add to the resistance mites built up, so it has its merits.

 

3 hours ago, Alastair said:

 

Yes a few years ago when I used formic via nassenheider it was very effective it's a great treatment. But a few months later the nails in the boxes started rusting out, so I haven't done it again. If I switched over to a formic resistant nail it would be viable but for now I don't want to destroy all the boxes. Yes Apivar will do it this time around, turns out the rest of the sites I've been to are not so badly affected, but still quite a few sites to go.

 

But will have to formic proof my hives longer term, really do need to be alternating more kinds of treatments, and as we all know, try to get away from synthetics completely.

 

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5 hours ago, Alastair said:

 

Well problem is it's not really urban. It's blocks of a hectare or maybe up to 3 or 4 hectares, some of them get mowed and some have some token livestock, but either way there is little in the pasture for bees. One year there was a late pennyroyal flowering which made about a box a hive but that hasn't happened again. A lot of these folks don't decorate their gardens with flowers like city dwelling folks, from a bees perspective it is pretty barren.

 

Dairy Flat is also used as a dumping ground by several migratory beekeepers and I'm not sure but think that may be part of the problem. They dump large apiaries up to 200 hives, and expect to feed their bees sugar through the time they are there as the beekeepers have no expectation the bees will get anything naturally.

 

A few weeks back I was asked to AFB check 2 hobby hives in Dairy Flat. All looked calm when I arrived but within seconds of opening the first hive I noticed robbers starting. Which quickly became so intense I had to really hurry to get the two hives done, then reduced the hive entrances down to a couple of bees and gave the owner who was with me instructions for the next few days. Drove out and on the road maybe 100 meters away from the hives there was now a swarm like activity of bees. Later found out from a commercial beekeeper there was a 200 hive apiary been dropped just a few hundred meters away but out of sight.

Interesting..... I think you are the Alistair that came around for the check! You picked up the mite overload (taking care off .... almost, and many thanks) but I was unaware of the robbing taking place (I was away and you talked to my husband). However, previous year there was an incident march/april where there was suddenly an immense amount of bees in our house and even the neighbors started complaining to us (lasted for a week). I thought because I was feeding my bees, at that time, I had made them all exited again to go foraging, because I couldn't understand it. It might well be I have many hungry visitors with mites that are somehow getting into my hives.

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5 hours ago, frazzledfozzle said:

 

Bayvarol is 8 weeks Apivar 10 weeks. 

High mite fall at 4 weeks is to be expected because you have a lot of mites emerging with the bees from the brood area.

Hi Frazzledfozzle..... you are right about the 8 weeks. Package says 6-8 weeks. I take 6 for the chance the strips will loose their

killing dose. So maybe I am a bit on the safe side there and can go for longer.

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Hmm it was probably me, but I'm not sure who you are Ctm, i looked at quite a few hives around Dairy Flat. However the ones with the robbing danger the man who was with me was definately the beekeeper. The 200 hive apiary had been dropped there over several weeks, then all but a handful of the hives disappeared again a few weeks later.

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38 minutes ago, Alastair said:

Hmm it was probably me, but I'm not sure who you are Ctm, i looked at quite a few hives around Dairy Flat. However the ones with the robbing danger the man who was with me was definately the beekeeper. The 200 hive apiary had been dropped there over several weeks, then all but a handful of the hives disappeared again a few weeks later.

Chances are you have been here second week of  February for an AFB check. My husband is the tall (Dutch :)) guy, house on top of the hill.  I am sure the bee entrance was not reduced when I came back. My husband beeks with me, but I am in charge to check they get all their health checks. However, the fact that there might be an overload of hives in Dairy Flat is something to consider. I saw hives in Riverhead forest, what is there to forage? I know a neighbor got asked to carry hives but I thought she said it would cost her 80 dollars. I see bucket loads of hives on some properties but they look empty. Anyway..... I will just carry on and  ignore the crazy and hope for a more productive year next season.

Edited by ctm
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Yes, the Riverhead forest is a dumping ground for commercial beekeepers there are 3 commercials each with permission to use a section of the forest. The bees collect little to nothing but are fed syrup. I have hives of my own next to the forest that years ago gave me 2 or 3 solid boxes of honey per hive, this has reduced each of the last 3 years to maybe 1/2 a box per hive.

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On ‎30‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 6:20 PM, ctm said:

 My husband is the tall (Dutch :)) guy, house on top of the hill. 

 

Ah, I think I know who you are, the house with the interesting prehistoric looking skeleton outside? If so, that was not the site with the robbing.

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