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Trevor Gillbanks

April 2019 Apiary Diary

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2 hours ago, jamesc said:

gorse spray ...??

No 

I think they starved like at @frazzledfozzle said .

The queen wasnt very good , a bit of a drone layer , and they were constantly being robbed.

There were no stores in the hive .

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9 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

No 

I think they starved like at @frazzledfozzle said .

The queen wasnt very good , a bit of a drone layer , and they were constantly being robbed.

There were no stores in the hive .

######.

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5 minutes ago, jamesc said:

######.

I could have looked earlier but I wanted to wait till the migrants had gone in case when I opened the hive it got robbed .

But I think it was my hive that was doing the robbing .

What do you do with a hive thats an incorrigible robber .?

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12 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

I could have looked earlier but I wanted to wait till the migrants had gone in case when I opened the hive it got robbed .

But I think it was my hive that was doing the robbing .

What do you do with a hive thats an incorrigible robber .?

Life sentence.

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51 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

No 

I think they starved like at @frazzledfozzle said .

The queen wasnt very good , a bit of a drone layer , and they were constantly being robbed.

There were no stores in the hive .

Bit of a drone layer?????

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3 minutes ago, Ted said:

Bit of a drone layer?????

She was starting to lay to many drones and her brood pattern was patchy 

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Posted (edited)

Found a bit of an odd one today . 

About 6 weeks ago it was queenless. This hive did not respond well to being cooked with Apilife Var in it in late January in the plus 30 degree days . 

It got retreated with staples sometime in Feb , but had suffered major losses .

 

Anyway, six weeks ago I gave it a frame of eggs and left it to it . 

 

Today, I opened it up . It felt light . In the top box were wax moth and a few bees .

Next box there was one frame of emerging patchy spotty horrible drone brood , along with worker bees with DWV

 

There was no worker brood there , so I can’t explain that , but the queen had laid away from the staples (silly girl ).

 

Timing seemed a bit off too . Too quick from eggs to queen to emerging brood .

 

Then.... on the next frame was the old queen . Green dot . She was new in November . 

 

She was promptly released from duties and the bees got banged out and the hive taken home .

 

This is the second time I’ve seen wax moth under staples and proof , in my mind , the staples need contact with the brood . That said , I did not check for varroa so perhaps the DWV was being transmitted another way.

 

 

( Still can’t fathom where the DWV bees came from with the absence of worker brood ). 

 

I’m also seeing more shiny bees than I would like to (CPBV) so my guess is that OA has no part in controlling that particular virus 

 

 

Edited by M4tt
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10 hours ago, M4tt said:

Found a bit of an odd one today . 

About 6 weeks ago it was queenless. This hive did not respond well to being cooked with Apilife Var in it in late January in the plus 30 degree days . 

It got retreated with staples sometime in Feb , but had suffered major losses .

 

Anyway, six weeks ago I gave it a frame of eggs and left it to it . 

 

Today, I opened it up . It felt light . In the top box were wax moth and a few bees .

Next box there was one frame of emerging patchy spotty horrible drone brood , along with worker bees with DWV

 

There was no worker brood there , so I can’t explain that , but the queen had laid away from the staples (silly girl ).

 

Timing seemed a bit off too . Too quick from eggs to queen to emerging brood .

 

Then.... on the next frame was the old queen . Green dot . She was new in November . 

 

She was promptly released from duties and the bees got banged out and the hive taken home .

 

This is the second time I’ve seen wax moth under staples and proof , in my mind , the staples need contact with the brood . That said , I did not check for varroa so perhaps the DWV was being transmitted another way.

 

 

( Still can’t fathom where the DWV bees came from with the absence of worker brood ). 

 

I’m also seeing more shiny bees than I would like to (CPBV) so my guess is that OA has no part in controlling that particular virus 

 

 

I 'am having a senor moment, CPBV is what ?

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5 minutes ago, kevin moore said:

I 'am having a senor moment, CPBV is what ?

 

Chronic bee paralysis virus 

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3 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

 

Chronic bee paralysis virus 

Yep that's it, thanks

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We received a phone call from Assure quality to advise we had been randomly selected for exotic disease testing...and they would set traps on the hives. Did we still have 3 hives and would Monday 16th be ok?

Wednesday would have suited me better as I would have liked to be on site.

 

I arrived home to a notice on one of the hives...initial panic ( I always think worse case scenario). On checking it was information that strips and sticky boards had been placed in the hives and would be removed in 24 hrs. Contact names, an email address and phone numbers.

 

Himself, had arrived home as they were working the 2nd hive. Curious, I asked what the beeks had said. The only comment they made was in regard to one of the hives. “ There are supersedure  cells in the bottom box on the 3rd frame, you’ll need to get onto that/deal with it” 

This had been noted in my Bee diary on the 5th April and I had seen fresh eggs, larva and capped brood. I hadn’t looked very hard to find the new queen, as I considered the hive knew what it was up to. I had left the cells intact and reduced the entrance down.

Puzzled by the comment I checked with @M4tt for reassurance . Is there anything I should be doing? Do you tear down the empty hatched queen cells? 

 

I took a photo the notice and have since searched for more information. Assure quality has very little information about exotic disease testing on their web site. There was more to be gleaned from old forum threads found on this site.

 

I welcome having our hives thoroughly checked and ideally would have liked to have been home. If I hadn’t taken a photo with the contact information I would have no record of the visit. The ‘traps’ were removed in 24 hrs and no further information left. The hives were left very tidy and looked as though they had been undisturbed. I presume no news is good news? 

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6 hours ago, Beefriendly said:

 I presume no news is good news? 

If there was a nasty found you would be told. I get these inspections every year.

Zillions of I think  Harlequin Ladybirds descended upon the house this afternoon....hopefully that equals bad news for the Willow aphid !

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Posted (edited)

I’m going through my hives to replace chewed out staples , and put them back in the middle of the brood . I don’t bother taking the old ones out . 

Hives are strong .

There is one exception . One hive  I cracked in the middle of January had a small number of varroa in the brood . It got treated straight away . Today it is half a box of bees while the rest in the apiary are 3 X 3/4 boxes , choka, and still bringing in nectar . 

 

CB4D63F6-3BCC-4B48-B937-C5FDC1E1D4A2.jpeg

 

 

AE5E5F4A-9B46-4357-9440-A00186722915.jpeg

Edited by M4tt
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On 23/04/2019 at 4:14 PM, yesbut said:

If there was a nasty found you would be told. I get these inspections every year.

Zillions of I think  Harlequin Ladybirds descended upon the house this afternoon....hopefully that equals bad news for the Willow aphid !

We have the same level of Harlequin ladybirds all looking for a place to stay

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It's been an interesting day.

 

 Yesterday  I walked away in anger and disgust from a yard where I opened so many hives decimated by varroa issues. The end tally was that out of a yard of eighty ..... 70% are dead.  I came home and had a cup of coffee in a mug a young lady gave me years ago. It's one of those cups that tells you that  you are "The  World's Greatest beekeeper ".

Yeah right!

So anyway, I went back this morning.   I sat in the truck absorbing the early morning sun with a cup of black tea and bolstered myself.  'It's only a job mate, what is done is done, just clean the mess up and move on'.

So I slaved away, cracking lids, putting more staples in the survivors, placing the feeder of the deadouts  on the base and stacking the two boxes on top of the mat to tone down the robbing ..... and as I slaved I had the buds plugged in listening to country ....."Rock me mama like the wind and the rain, rock me mama like a southbound train ..... heey mama rock me ..."

And as I slaved and rocked , cracking lids, saying a blessing ... DOA ... collateral damage, OK Jimmy, close her up, move on, crack that lid and greet  ..... Oh sweet mama, you is alive .... you is a keeper ...... an the tunes rolled .....  "Caught a trucker out of Philly 'an had a good long Toke "

 

I did two yards today .... 160 hives. Music makes the world rock ..... Hey Mama .... they were only two hundred metres apart, but from different parts of the country, and like chalk and cheese.  The second yard I worked four pallets before coming a across a dead out.

 

What the ... ?

 

So I had a delve in my hive book. The first yard came up from the East coast cropping sites.  We always have issues out of the cropping sites. Whether it's too many neighbouring  un loved bees, too much spray compromising hive health .... I dunno.

The second yard came from the West Coast .... rain forest up the back of beyond ... 

 

And I came up with a battle plan ..... for  varroa is our   major battle.

Jimmy C's two point battle plan. Hives need to washed in alchohol in the yard  at honey pull. Beekeepers get washed in the alchohol of their choice  at the end of the day.

High mite counts go business class and  get dosed with synthetic, as they are long acting and have high knockdown.

Low mite counts go economy  with  O/A.

 

The battle plan is a work in progress.

 

I had another cup of coffee when  I got home  in the mug telling me I am the  ' World's Greatest Beekeeper' ..... and took Spot and Shep and Clown up the hill for a pig hunt, seeing as mama is'nt here to rock me.  Clown 'aint home yet .   ######.

 

 

 

 

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@jamesc we are always grateful for those drawn frames of the deadouts in spring.

im pretty sure you will be glad of them too. 

Seems bad now but they have done you some good quantities of honey and now you won’t need to look after them through winter.

 

If Spring is a ball buster those empty frames will be full of brood and bees again by October ready for splitting and bang you are back up in numbers again.

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Aah words of wisdom ..... the survivors get trucked into a swarming location so they is popping out of their boxes by the end of September.  Having said that, with two years crop in the shed, do I really need more honey ?

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, jamesc said:

.  Having said that, with two years crop in the shed, do I really need more honey ?

 

Get hunting for some good Manuka sites ?

Edited by frazzledfozzle

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

 

Get hunting for some good Manuka sites ?

Aaaaaaaah ..... Nah ............. been there , done that. Don't get wrong .... it was a blast and life lived to the full . But it was really hard on the family and Whanua is everything ... Right. Don't get me wrong .... I'd love to crank up that Big Rig again and feel the adrenalin course though my veins as me and my mate Pete buzzed that champion Hughie 500 through those tight gullies and dropped bees into warm little pozzies. The good old days eh.

I tell ya what though ..... the only thing I don't miss is his bills !

Nah ..... I think we've moved on ..... learning to use the brain and present a smart product to the world in a little glass jar.

 

Edited by jamesc
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48 minutes ago, jamesc said:

and took Spot and Shep and Clown up the hill for a pig hunt, 

Had three appaloosa suckers snuffling in the grass 300m from my lounge all afternoon

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9 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Aaaaaaaah ..... Nah ............. been there , done that. Don't get wrong .... it was a blast and life lived to the full . But it was really hard on the family and Whanua is everything ... Right. Don't get me wrong .... I'd love to crank up that Big Rig again and feel the adrenalin course though my veins as me and my mate Pete buzzed that champion Hughie 500 through those tight gullies and dropped bees into warm little pozzies. The good old days eh.

I tell ya what though ..... the only thing I don't miss is his bills !

Nah ..... I think we've moved on ..... learning to use the brain and present a smart product to the world in a little glass jar.

 

 

I don’t know if you were keeping bees before Manuka .

We were and it was tough .

We worked really hard and didn’t get a lot of honey and got paid stuff all for it but at least we could sell it.

Thats the difference right now...we can’t sell the honey we produce.

It’s like demand has dried up overnight.

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Honey .... we was making clover honey when it was sold for  $1.20/kg.  We started carting bees up in to Kaikoura and produced Manuka that sold for $4.80/kg bulk . We were in heaven.... but were getting abusive phone calls from Canterbury beekeepers chastising us for paying site rentals .  But without the site rental the cocky could'nt afford to upgrade his tracks so we could get our bees in.

We started putting it into jars and flicking it into the UK and were making $20/kg.

We had three bad years and pulled out of Kaikoura ... putting our energy into comb honey that was making us $400/hive ..... then that collapsed and we went back to Kaikoura, but some  lowlife had stolen all our sites [ I say that tongue in cheek] .... at about that time Babies started appearing and so  we clipped our wings and nestled in  for the important things in life.... after which  we loaded the bees onto trucks and hauled them up north and opened the can of worms. Abusive emails ..... Death threats ..... yup, from respectable NBA members who will always remain nameless out of PC .... but who won't be forgotten.

We sold out of there for a very good price ..... thank goodness we did .... and regrouped back home.

So, we've come full circle. Back home .... raising a family, putting  real honey into jars .... the world is round .... and every Rainbow does'nt come with a pot of gold under it.

 

Dogs home .... dunno about the pig .

Why the sad face  Goran ..... I think the pig was smarter than the dog, she's not called Clown for nothing !

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Today I saw the fullest, strongest hives yet, bayv out staples In

IMG_20190425_103355-1560x2080.jpg

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22 minutes ago, Maru Hoani said:

Today I saw the fullest, strongest hives yet, bayv out staples In

IMG_20190425_103355-1560x2080.jpg

nice ... my lucky number is 145 !!

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