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March 2019 Apiary Diary


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Well that's interesting, all that swarming. This would not be typical, i wonder if the crazy weather we have been having is to blame.

Also Trevor, maybe the bee discomfort is a massive mite infestation, and that actually led them to swarm? I didn't consider that as a possibility in my last post because normally such swarms are a last ditch survival attempt and when there's not a lot of bees left. But, may be worth testing for mites, or, treating, at the least.

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One respected ( late) beekeeper said over here: " Beekeeping isn't hobby, beekeeping isn't occupation, beekeeping is diagnosis"..

It’s been a while since I posted.. However like our bees I have just been getting on with it.   So, this is what keeping bees is about, for a hobbyist. I hesitate to call myself a Beeke

Makes a change to be the one in the naughty spot. Hopefully it will encourage some people to move their hives away from mine.

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4 hours ago, Alastair said:

Well that's interesting, all that swarming. This would not be typical, i wonder if the crazy weather we have been having is to blame.

Also Trevor, maybe the bee discomfort is a massive mite infestation, and that actually led them to swarm? I didn't consider that as a possibility in my last post because normally such swarms are a last ditch survival attempt and when there's not a lot of bees left. But, may be worth testing for mites, or, treating, at the least.

Yes.  I will be treating with Staples as soon as possible.  Possibly 1000 plus bees dead jus now when I checked, many still alive but lying on their side and writhing.  All those sick ones have spat out their nectar gut.

I will leave them 2 days before I open them up and treat them.  Another couple of days is not going to make much difference to them.

 

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3 minutes ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

Yes.  I will be treating with Staples as soon as possible.  Possibly 1000 plus bees dead jus now when I checked, many still alive but lying on their side and writhing.  All those sick ones have spat out their nectar gut.

I will leave them 2 days before I open them up and treat them.  Another couple of days is not going to make much difference to them.

 

Whats causing this Trevor?

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38 minutes ago, Philbee said:

Whats causing this Trevor?

I don't know.  New swarm caught this morning.  I was told about it yesterday.

I collected it and it did not seem to act normally. (aggressive and then not homing to the caught swarm).  Then when I marched the swarm into a nuc there were a lot of writhing and dying bees.  I have never had this with a swarm before.

I suspect that someone may have given it a does of fly spray before I picked it up and they are slowly collapsing.  (Just my theory)

 

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24 minutes ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

I don't know.  New swarm caught this morning.  I was told about it yesterday.

I collected it and it did not seem to act normally. (aggressive and then not homing to the caught swarm).  Then when I marched the swarm into a nuc there were a lot of writhing and dying bees.  I have never had this with a swarm before.

I suspect that someone may have given it a does of fly spray before I picked it up and they are slowly collapsing.  (Just my theory)

 

 

From two experiences, this matches my spray swarms. What with people? They call you, then spray the swarm.

 

@Dennis Crowley, alcohol made in barrels from other alcohol is apparently better. What is sugar syrup honey collected from Manuka honey boxes worth?

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8 minutes ago, Adam O'Sullivan said:

Has anyone seen Shaun...the fellow from Kapiti with the jumbo brood boxes? I enjoyed reading his posts and recently realised I hadn't seen him on here. Thanks.

No not for a good long while 

 

We seemed to lose a few contributing members after a major site upgrade a couple of years ago 

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@Trevor Gillbanksdo the dead bees have their tongues out? That will be definitely poisoning then.

Also I will give it a one  dose of OA fumigation within 2-3 days. That will kill all the mites they have on them and since there is no brood they will be clean as.

See what happens in a month and combine the swarm with another hive.

 

@Stoneywhat is the varroa treatment out there? Can you make a connection between the treatment and swarming?

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19 hours ago, Stoney said:

one of our teams run is through a mecca area of North Canterbury they have colonies with 9 frames of brood slabs and are currently battling swarming on a few sites, Tuesdays swarm filled 2 FD boxes, i agree its unusual but hey... if the stars align and conditions are right ...Boom.

There has been a couple of them this week now. fun times.

We live in interesting times !

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10 hours ago, Adam O'Sullivan said:

Has anyone seen Shaun...the fellow from Kapiti with the jumbo brood boxes? I enjoyed reading his posts and recently realised I hadn't seen him on here. Thanks.

I saw @Shaun at the CD Field days last week.  He is well and very busy with his bees.

He has just sold his house and is also now looking to buy another property that is better suited to the bees.

I also miss his contributions.

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22 hours ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

I don't know.  New swarm caught this morning.  I was told about it yesterday.

I collected it and it did not seem to act normally. (aggressive and then not homing to the caught swarm).  Then when I marched the swarm into a nuc there were a lot of writhing and dying bees.  I have never had this with a swarm before.

I suspect that someone may have given it a does of fly spray before I picked it up and they are slowly collapsing.  (Just my theory)

 

I checked the swarm today. (I would normally wait for about 4 or 5 days.)

Apart from the previously mentioned dead bees. Everything inside the NUC box was normal.

Bees were doing what bees normally do and at normal speed.

I don't usually give swarms drawn comb, but in this case (being so late in the season) I gave the bees 3 combs with pollen and 1 comb with fresh nectar and 1 dry clean drawn comb.

I saw the queen and she has already started laying.

I treated the NUC with 3 x Oxalic/Glycerine staples.

I will be monitoring this colony very closely for disease. 

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8 minutes ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

I checked the swarm today. (I would normally wait for about 4 or 5 days.)

Apart from the previously mentioned dead bees. Everything inside the NUC box was normal.

Bees were doing what bees normally do and at normal speed.

I don't usually give swarms drawn comb, but in this case (being so late in the season) I gave the bees 3 combs with pollen and 1 comb with fresh nectar and 1 dry clean drawn comb.

I saw the queen and she has already started laying.

I treated the NUC with 3 x Oxalic/Glycerine staples.

I will be monitoring this colony very closely for disease. 

I would do similar, and in fact I had drawn frames in the car yesterday for the swarm I was going to catch. I don't believe they'd be very successful establishing this time of the year, BUT the catch is, they would be under an extended period of quarantine 

1 hour ago, Shaun said:

Yep that was exactly what happened. I got tired of having to relearn the forum as the management seemed to be making upgrade changes faster than I could cope with.

Yes as @Trevor  mentioned I'm keeping busy with full time beekeeping and life.

Nice to have you back @Shaun😊😊

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the two dunedin hives got a look today. Last week i got a text about a forthcoming exotic disease check, messaged back and suggested that he hold off a few days if he wanted to make life lighter/easier. Pulled a bit of honey. Extracted some today, rest tomorrow. Strips went in, although no sign of varroa anywhere (didn't do a shake).

 

hives_23_march.PNG

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26 minutes ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

I checked the swarm today. (I would normally wait for about 4 or 5 days.)

Apart from the previously mentioned dead bees. Everything inside the NUC box was normal.

Bees were doing what bees normally do and at normal speed.

I don't usually give swarms drawn comb, but in this case (being so late in the season) I gave the bees 3 combs with pollen and 1 comb with fresh nectar and 1 dry clean drawn comb.

I saw the queen and she has already started laying.

I treated the NUC with 3 x Oxalic/Glycerine staples.

I will be monitoring this colony very closely for disease. 

 

My theory is that it was a coincidence with the timing of the swarm leaving the parent hive. The bees had got on to a nectar source that had been sprayed and messed them up. Only that thousand bees had been feeding on the poisonous nectar. Actually, it was probably closer to tow or three thousand and the others didn’t even make it to your apiary. 

 

Don’t know why they are swarming at this time of year, other than varroa. 

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