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Jeff Ashby

honey in the hive

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Hi, We have had a very strong hive on our property in Kapiti for a couple of years.

Have taken one small amount of honey out but they have been left to do their own thing as pollinators.

The bees have gone in the last couple of weeks.

Naturally swarmed ? .... Hive full ? ... AFB ? ... not sure why.

I don't want to pull the hive apart in case it is full of AFB, so will leave it until I can get someone up who knows what to look for.

 

Given that the hive might be full of very nice honey, how long can I leave it before the honey will start deteriorating with no bees about?

 

Cheers JEFF

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Posted (edited)

What has been your treatment regime, ie when and what ? Welcome to the forum btw ! With no bees to defend it, robbers will empty that hive quickly. And you really really need to look at it or get it looked at urgently. 

And please seal any entrances up so robbers can't get access..

Edited by yesbut

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We have emplaced varroa strips a few times over the last couple of years ... as far as robbers go there does not appear to be any activity but I will cover the entrance tonight.

Any idea how long the honey will be good for ? 

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15 minutes ago, Jeff Ashby said:

Any idea how long the honey will be good for ? 

Until it get stolen

 

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36 minutes ago, Jeff Ashby said:

We have emplaced varroa strips a few times over the last couple of years ... as far as robbers go there does not appear to be any activity but I will cover the entrance tonight.

Any idea how long the honey will be good for ? 

I'm going with some very general comments, hope you don't mind!

 

It sounds like the bees have been beaten by varroa.

Strips, in general, should go in at a minimum twice a year. Once in spring, then removed after the treatment period has completed. Then again in late summer/early autumn, and again removed after the treatment period has completed. Other approaches are likely to result in problems for your bees.

 

For now, open it up quickly to check the bees are confirmed gone. If they are gone, seal up all entrances until someone has come to take a look at it.

Capped honey doesn't go off so that's not going to be a problem for you.

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Minor addition - if you do have a peep in there, take a few photos, especially if someone expert is a week or 2 away. Wax moth can mess things up very fast and making a good call on what caused the damage gets harder the longer you leave it.

It’s always impressive what people here can spot on a good photo of a brood frame.

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Awesome replies everyone. You have moderated yourselves very well😁👍

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I wish there was a basic course for beginner aspiring beekeepers prior to receiving their registration number. 

Like a drivers licence. 

A beehive is a little like a snowball rolling down a hill, the beekeeper steers it around obstacles until it gathers enough size to trim a bit off before it gets to big and breaks apart. 

They also ensure it doesn’t get all out of shape and wobbly and smash out all the neighbours snowballs.. 

moderate enough reply I hope. 

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1 hour ago, frazzledfozzle said:

Tbh I didn’t trust myself to reply.

I still don’t 

youd have gone into cardiac arrest if you'd got the email i got yesterday then. afb notification some outfit had 32% afb... and it wasnt a small business either

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5 hours ago, lexy said:

youd have gone into cardiac arrest if you'd got the email i got yesterday then. afb notification some outfit had 32% afb... and it wasnt a small business either

there is a photo doing the rounds on facebook showing what I think you are talking about covering a massive area, not sure if it is discussed in another thread.

 

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1 hour ago, ChrisM said:

there is a photo doing the rounds on facebook showing what I think you are talking about covering a massive area, not sure if it is discussed in another thread.

 

if its not on another thread I'm sure it will be soon enough - its pretty astounding stuff... 275 afb hives

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it Would be interesting to know what kind of beekeeper these guys with massive outbreaks are. 

New to commercial beekeeping ? Old hands ? Hands on or staff doing all the bee work ?

that kind of problem doesn’t happen over night 

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Jeff. The best case scenario is that you're hive has died  from being queenless.. The most likely scenario is that it has died from varroa and there is a reasonable chance that it has died from American foulbrood. You need to urgently remove the hive to an environment where bees cannot gain access . Unfortunately when a hive dies it has the potential to impact on beekeepers for many kilometres around. Even if it was varoa it will still have a bad effect on surrounding hives and a robbed out AFB will mean the destruction by fire of a lot of hives belong to a lot of beekeepers.Worry about your neighbours hives before you worry about a bit of honey.

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29 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

it Would be interesting to know what kind of beekeeper these guys with massive outbreaks are. 

New to commercial beekeeping ? Old hands ? Hands on or staff doing all the bee work ?

that kind of problem doesn’t happen over night 

detail on the most recent find in the Wairarapa is embedded in the thread linked above. The reply from the AFB agency is heartening.

I believe the guy down south wasn't inexperienced, but apparently naming people in these situations isn't ok so i'll leave that to someone else in some other channel/medium

 

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Had someone I work with telling about this. I felt sorry for the inspectors as legal action was being threatened and it was all sounding deeply acrimonious. Trusting 2nd hand stories is always risky, so I can hope it’s a misinterpretation.

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