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Question for the group, how long can we lock down the hive ie shut the hive Dr doors while we try to eradicate a wasp issue?

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At this time of the year.  All day.  Summer time.  maybe 30 minutes.

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Even with a vented bottom? We think the hive is too far gone, but looking at how to protect the bees while destroying the wasps (if possible)

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32 minutes ago, TaiTapHoney said:

Even with a vented bottom? We think the hive is too far gone, but looking at how to protect the bees while destroying the wasps (if possible)

Grab one of those wasp guard devices from Sean Monica  

Even if your current Hive dies use it on the next one.
One Hint

If a hive is sick from Varroa etc the wasps will get it no matter what you do

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The only reason for blocking the hive in when trying to destroy wasps would be if you were using a poison bait that was attractive to bees as well is wasps and that would be a threat to every hive in the area and illegal. Get some vespex which is a ready mixed bait and Safe to use around bees.

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How about explain what you are doing TaiTapHoney

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Hey @Tai Tapu Beekeeping, how strong is this hive? The challenge for you now is that the wasps are still active, especially on the warmer winter days but the bees are struggling with their activity. So making the assumption that your hive is strong enough, like at least more than 2 frames of bees, then you will have enough of them to effectively defend themselves against the wasps, and again, assuming you have enough bees they will completely cover up the entrance into the hive during their largely dormant cold winter temperatures: but only if you fit the HiveGate, and that this is placed, correctly,  directly under the cluster. This may not all make sense unless you have a look at our website with the installation and research videos. Have a look at www.beeiq.solutions.  you are more than welcome to message or contact me directly to talk through.

Sean 

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Thanks @SeanMonica unfortunately we wintered down the hives (just 2) and went overseas for 2 weeks. When we came back yesterday one of the hives had been absolutely obliterated. It's down to a frame of bees, two would be being generous. They had been Varroa treated per schedule and had strips in when we left. The other hive is being shown some light interest, but so far the wasps are just going for the one.

 

Your product looks great. We are thinking we will order one for each hive regardless the outcome.

 

Our current plan is to lock down both hives, use the Vespex, see if the remaining bees make it, consider a nuc rebuild if they do, otherwise just get rid of the wasps and go again in Spring with the hive gates.

 

Does this sound sensible?

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You may be better to combine the two hives and split off again in spring. Better to have one strong hive than two weak ones. Also if you used synthetic strips that were still in the hives yeasterday you may have treated too late. 

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Iv gone back to hives that had bayvarol in second week December to second week of Feb and lost 12 from 12 by april

Mite washes are essential with treating now days. 

I alc washed my last site while putting staples in this season and came back with 51 mites from 600 bees, and that was after using bayvarol twice through the flow and apivar in August

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Maru Hoani said:

I alc washed my last site while putting staples in this season and came back with 51 mites from 600 bees, and that was after using bayvarol twice through the flow and apivar in August

I've changed my mind about moving my operation north. 😆

Edited by yesbut
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37 minutes ago, TaiTapHoney said:

Thanks @SeanMonica unfortunately we wintered down the hives (just 2) and went overseas for 2 weeks. When we came back yesterday one of the hives had been absolutely obliterated. It's down to a frame of bees, two would be being generous. They had been Varroa treated per schedule and had strips in when we left. The other hive is being shown some light interest, but so far the wasps are just going for the one.

 

Your product looks great. We are thinking we will order one for each hive regardless the outcome.

 

Our current plan is to lock down both hives, use the Vespex, see if the remaining bees make it, consider a nuc rebuild if they do, otherwise just get rid of the wasps and go again in Spring with the hive gates.

 

Does this sound sensible?

@TaiTapHoney that is the challenge with robbing, and also the reality that few can check their hives twice a week to see if a disaster is looming. I have no experience with Vespex but for sure would recommend that a coordinated approach to your wasp problem would be to use Vespex plus HiveGates. Others may know if Vespex will work for you now in your area, but I suspect you could be in the wrong season. As you may be aware, it will only work if you can get the wasps to feed on your treated bait. I would not be waiting a day longer with the HiveGates. If you go online you can order directly. They are not expensive and will last you 10+ years as long as you don't drive over them :). That way, irrespective of what is going on out there, your hives will be protected. Sounds like your weakest one may be too weak to save, but I would still install as you now have nothing to lose.

Cheers Sean

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There are a few things that encourage wasp invasion. Two of the biggies are varroa mites, and overfeeding.

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Thanks all. @SeanMonica will order today. I guess a final question, we're at high altitude (400m elevation) and dont suffer frosts etc. Too late to try to combine the existing bees into a new nuc or attempting to move them to the stronger hive?

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@TaiTapHoneywithout being there and seeing your hive I am not confident on making that call unfortunately. I can suggest fitting the HiveGate to your weak hive and make a decision within 24hours if the bees are working effectively in controlling the wasps. If not then you need to consider the other options, but for sure that weak hive will be history, so anything you can save is just a bonus.

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Just another opinion, personally i would not combine.

 

Couple of reasons, firstly, with proper care the smaller hive can still survive the winter, it may need moving a few Km's to a buddies house to get it away from the wasps, after a month or two it could be brought back.

 

But the main reason, if the hive is weak there could be a reason for that as in some type of infection. If that is the case, you don't want to dump it into the good hive. Me, I never dump struggling hives into good ones.

 

If anything, I would add some brood and bees from a good hive to a small one that needs it, but not the other way around.

 

However, that's just one opinion of many, so go with whatever works.

Just some encouragement, a friend asked me to look at their hive as it was being attacked by wasps. Went there, took the lid off, and immediately a horde of wasps flew out. There were 100 or 200 bees left, scattered around, and the queen running around by herself. 

 

So i took the hive home and left it overnight so the bees could find each other and cluster. Also took a 1 kilo package of bees from another hive and left them queenless overnight. Next day sugar watered them and dumped them in. Had a look a week later and queen still alive, eggs being layed, bees cleaning out dead brood, things moving the right direction. Suspected possible varroa problem so put strips in. This hive will be ready to give back to the owner once brood starts hatching, so even the hopeless looking cases can be done.

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Would the above care strategy work if the weak hive is currently queenless? We can't spot her running around so suspect she is gone. I am fully aware I'm flogging a dead dog here but I'm also thinking it's all good learning :( We were also thinking the same about putting a couple of frames of brood and frame in with the weak hive, but wondered if at this time of year they would raise a new queen, and again if it was too late in the season. By the way, all of this advice is REALLY appreciated!

Sorry, @SeanMonica can you also confirm, does your hivegate work on hive doctor bases?

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If it's queenless, then it's all over for that hive. There are insufficient drones at this time of year for a new queen to get mated, so no point trying to get them to make a new queen, it is just wasting resources from the good hive.

 

And you are right about learning, beekeeping is complex to learn and we all have to deal with these issues to get experience.

 

Best option, take good care of your good hive, and once it has built up a good population in spring, take a split from it then to re populate the other hive, plus taking the split then will help it not to swarm.

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2 hours ago, SeanMonica said:

@TaiTapHoneywithout being there and seeing your hive I am not confident on making that call unfortunately. I can suggest fitting the HiveGate to your weak hive and make a decision within 24hours if the bees are working effectively in controlling the wasps. If not then you need to consider the other options, but for sure that weak hive will be history, so anything you can save is just a bonus.

 

How quickly could you get a hive gate to Christchurch assuming it fits into hive doctor base?

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Posted (edited)

Have you had a look around for the wasp nest/s ?  In the early morning or evening if you can strategically locate yourself with your head in the shade but wasp flightlines silhoueted against the low angle sunlight they can often be located surprisingly easily.

Edited by yesbut
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1 hour ago, TaiTapHoney said:

 

How quickly could you get a hive gate to Christchurch assuming it fits into hive doctor base?

 

1 hour ago, yesbut said:

Have you had a look around for the wasp nest/s ?  In the early morning or evening if you can strategically locate yourself with your head in the shade but wasp flightlines silhoueted against the low angle sunlight they can often be located surprisingly easily.

@TaiTapHoney we use NZPost. They will next collect Monday morning, so all going well you should receive Tuesday,  but if you are rural it will take a few days longer. sean

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Ok thanks @SeanMonica do I order online on your website? Can you just confirm it will fit with the hive doctor base board?

1 hour ago, yesbut said:

Have you had a look around for the wasp nest/s ?  In the early morning or evening if you can strategically locate yourself with your head in the shade but wasp flightlines silhoueted against the low angle sunlight they can often be located surprisingly easily.

 

Yes have had a really good look but no luck. It's amazing the number that were heading straight in yesterday. They've obviously all got the message that the hive is available and the amount of damage they've already done is quite incredible. Sad to watch :(

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10 hours ago, yesbut said:

I've changed my mind about moving my operation north. 😆

Only cost 20 grand for the treatments, and another 20 putting them in, taking them out and moving them around lol

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Quick update - the lady's are still fighting back so we're on 'wait and see' while we protect the hive as best we can. Thanks for all the advise

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27 minutes ago, TaiTapHoney said:

Quick update - the lady's are still fighting back so we're on 'wait and see' while we protect the hive as best we can. Thanks for all the advise

If you cant stop the wasps, move the hive somewhere else, have had to move some yards sometimes in the past because wasps so bad. Rule number 1, look after the hive.

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