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CraBee

February 2019 diary

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Saw two unique things today.

 

One was Chalkbrood in a hive, which I wouldn't have seen since early Spring 2017.  The Queen was sent

on her way....

 

And upon opening another hive on the first frame I pulled out I saw a mite on a bee!  So the mite was dispatched

off the bee, and, I was immediately thinking I had a problem, but, not at all, I found only one mite in about 50-100 mashed up

drone brood and the sugar shake was zero.

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11 hours ago, CraBee said:

 

And upon opening another hive on the first frame I pulled out I saw a mite on a bee!  

I know the feeling.

It gives you the horrors these days doesn't it.......

 

I had the same thing and overreacted straight away and put the autumn Staples in ?

 

Blimmen hitchhikers 

Edited by M4tt
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Been cruising around shifting bees and saw an impressive dump site just north of Wairakei. Didn't stop for a photo but wish I had. Any one know who's they are?

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These guys had a rough ride home last night

interesting though looking at the chewed out staples.... they only been in two weeks...

0B9AD3F2-165C-4208-BC72-3B37A33871CF.jpeg

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I keep top feeders on all year round these days as I learned from learned people on this forum that they are good for scraping burr comb into for the bees to clean up the wax. 

Today was the day to go around and retrieve all the wax out of the feeders.

 

Over a week ago,  mite treatment went in. 

 

Those with  staples are carrying on business as usual  building fresh burr comb and calmly wandering around frames looking busy.

Those with ApiLife Var (thymol based, not Apivar which is Amitraz to be clear) have dead bees in the dry feeders, they’ve abandoned brood and the queens stopped laying . I guess putting the wafers in just before a week of 30 degree highs was not ideal. 

The treatment wafers have almost gone now and the queens are just starting laying . There have been no queen losses but the hives do not look good. Lack of bees, dead brood and hive disorganisation . There is no new burr comb. 

 

You live  and learn aye.

 

 Note to self.........

 

STAPLES ??

 

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1 hour ago, M4tt said:

STAPLES ??

Lol

I hear ya brother:3_grin:

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1 hour ago, M4tt said:

I keep top feeders on all year round these days as I learned from learned people on this forum that they are good for scraping burr comb into for the bees to clean up the wax. 

Today was the day to go around and retrieve all the wax out of the feeders.

 

Over a week ago,  mite treatment went in. 

 

Those with  staples are carrying on business as usual  building fresh burr comb and calmly wandering around frames looking busy.

Those with ApiLife Var (thymol based, not Apivar which is Amitraz to be clear) have dead bees in the dry feeders, they’ve abandoned brood and the queens stopped laying . I guess putting the wafers in just before a week of 30 degree highs was not ideal. 

The treatment wafers have almost gone now and the queens are just starting laying . There have been no queen losses but the hives do not look good. Lack of bees, dead brood and hive disorganisation . There is no new burr comb. 

 

You live  and learn aye.

 

 Note to self.........

 

STAPLES ??

 

A prominent Scientist has been engaged to take them through registration

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No photos tonight. I probably should but it's all a bit tricky on the cell.

 

I've had this nagging feeling for a week or so  that we should visit a site that was cranking before Christmas. Such was the flow we rushed back the day after supering in early December with more foundation "to give them something to think about".

I took one of our woofers over there ten days to crack some lids, and was a little disappointed that the bees had'nt touched the foundation.

So Main Man and I went back this afternoon with staples  for the bees and water bottles for ourselves.

We opened up pallet after pallet, and they were all the same ...... five or six frames of brood, a box of honey and no bees...... or at least enough bees to cover the brood.

I commented to Main Man that it looked suspiciously like spray damage ..... even more so as we sheltered from the hot sun under the front bumper of  the Cruiser and surveyed  a couple of hillsides with dead and browning gorse.

 

On the way out we met the farm manager. He commented that the bees should be cranking. 

 

It has been on my mind for a few months to have a chat with the manager about his gorse, and how usefull it is to the bees who pollinate his clover hillsides.

I remarked that the bees looked like garbage. The populations were 60,000 workers short...... to which he admitted that two weeks before Christmas he had had a helicopter in for a day doing gorse control.

"Take the bees away if you don't like it".

 

I could say that that is probably why we should be making more use of Lawyers  ..... or just get over it !

 

 

 

 

 

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James did they use Metsulfuron on the gorse? 

 

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Just now, Stoney said:

James did they use Metsulfuron on the gorse? 

 

Met plus sticker..... meanwhile the other hillside had a cocktail of Glyphosate and Lorsban prior to direct drilling. Wonderfull !

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5 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Met plus sticker..... meanwhile the other hillside had a cocktail of Glyphosate and Lorsban prior to direct drilling. Wonderfull !

I had bees sprayed a couple yrs ago during pollination with an "organic oil" they took a lot of love and attention and time to come right... spoke to that cocky this arvo.. he mentioned spraying- I mentioned shifting out... we reached an arrangement. 

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4 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Met plus sticker..... meanwhile the other hillside had a cocktail of Glyphosate and Lorsban prior to direct drilling. Wonderfull !

 

I'd pull the bees out, give the guy a wave, and not go back.

 

You don't need to be dealing with someone who didn't even have the common decency to let you know about the spraying, and then couldn't give a toss if your

bees were affected by it.  Live is too short for that....

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It's unlikely the herbicides had any effect on your bees. My guess is they used an organo- silicate  sticker which is deadly to bees wet or dry. I had 50 hives killed dead with this a few years ago. This is not a product that needs research, the research was done years ago. What we need is the government to take action on banning this product where it might come into contact with bees. Because it's not an insecticide it doesn't even have toxic to bees on the label.

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Where da bees go?

AA12417B-8E74-4C33-8248-F63908C19D77.jpeg

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And the next question.... shall we eat the honey?

F840EF02-0AC3-4372-8D8B-FACB3A319329.jpeg

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11 hours ago, jamesc said:

And the next question.... shall we eat the honey?

F840EF02-0AC3-4372-8D8B-FACB3A319329.jpeg

Maybe if you got the farmer to come and have a look.
It may have an effect on him.

Cockies generally dont like to see sick and suffering livestock and this is just that

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That sucks @jamesc . My money would be on either the lorsban or organo . I do a bit of heli loading , beekeeping and look after a beef unit , so guess I have a foot in multiple camps from a spray point of view . Avoiding spraying flowering weeds , especially with bees within flying distance is a good start . Spraying early before the bees start flying can’t hurt but the biggest thing is communicating with the land owners from the start . Most farmers I talk to are pretty keen to have a healthy population of bees nearby ,so a few minutes spent educating them about spray damage might pay dividends later . Of course there’s always going to be a few who don’t give a stuff , but hopefully they are the minority . 

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Yep we stumbled on 5 sites like this only crop around is fodder beat??

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The farmer may feel between a rock and a hard place. Cos he can't just let the gorse go rampant, plus he would have paid good money to have it sprayed.

 

So rather than move the bees out permanently or threaten to, which he may just agree too, suggest to him he use a spray that doesn't have the harmful ingredients to bees. At this stage he may think that his spray didn't cause the damage, or if it did, there isn't much he can do to change that. 

 

But if he knows of a bee safe (or safer) product he may just use it. Something without a surfactant would be a good start.

 

Or if none of that is viable, could he spray at a time of year the bees are not there? Long as things are kept gentlemanly i am sure a solution can be found that works for both.

Edited by Alastair
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Just to get the ball rolling on a suitable product, a herbicide called Associate (which is a cheap knock off of Escort) is effective at killing gorse, doesn't kill the grass, and doesn't hurt the bees long as they don't put a penetrant in it.

 

I know it doesn't kill the bees because I have used it around the hives even getting it on flying bees and the landing boards, with no ill effect noticed.

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12 minutes ago, Alastair said:

Just to get the ball rolling on a suitable product, a herbicide called Associate (which is a cheap knock off of Escort) is effective at killing gorse, doesn't kill the grass, and doesn't hurt the bees long as they don't put a penetrant in it.

 

I know it doesn't kill the bees because I have used it around the hives even getting it on flying bees and the landing boards, with no ill effect noticed.

I have been using just glyphosate .

It is effective on most things if sprayed in the warm dry weather. 

Will not kill wandering jew , need grazon for that .

I will look out for Associate .

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If you use Associate just a couple things to be aware of different mode of action to Glyphosate. Associate is a selective herbicide that does not kill certain things such as grass and some crops. it is a lot more effective on gorse than Glyphosate. Unlike Glyphosate which does not remain active in the soil, Associate does remain active in the soil, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. But for gorse it is a good thing, because after the initial kill, it will remain active in the soil and kill new gorse seedlings that pop up. How long it remains active depends how heavy the application was.

 

For prepping a new bee site, if it has thick gorse, blackberry, or other weeds, what I do is mix Glyphosate plus Associate plus a surfactant, which is a brew that will kill just about everything. Spray with that, wait a month or so then go in and crush everything down with the truck to a point I can put the bees in. The material will rot down over the next year or so and the site stay weed free long enough to allow easy control of it.

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Sounds good Alistair ..... I wonder if Associate is cheaper than Met.   We had Ecan out the other day pestering us to get on top of our gorse  on the farm. They suggested a budget of 40k.

I wonder if we can access Shane Jones's piggy bank to help out ?

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17 hours ago, Philbee said:

Maybe if you got the farmer to come and have a look.
It may have an effect on him.

Cockies generally dont like to see sick and suffering livestock and this is just that

Yeah Nah ..... the manger is a bit different. He had a cow stuck in a swamp for a week and was pretty blase about it ..... Asked for more bees to help his clover, which we did'nt oblige with, and then trashed the existing ones. 

After Karen Kos's article in the FarmLander    ( Farmlands monthly shareholder publication )..... I thought I'd write an article about the responsibilities of hosting bees on one's land.  Too much info is never enough. 

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I’m a bit gobsmacked by the honey volumes this year. I’ve extracted 155kgs of honey from 4 hives and have another 6 or 7 boxes to go. About half the honey was from one hive. 4 hives is too many for a hobby.

 

Not sure why the next step is, because I’d like to work with more hives but don’t want to deal with more honey in the home. What have others done? Selling it would be nice but what company want to dealt with volumes so small?

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