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Trevor Gillbanks

August 2019 Apiary Diary

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I'm not. Haven't measured for years.

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1 hour ago, Dennis Crowley said:

Are any of you guys/gals that are replacing winter/autumn ox strips with another set, checking mite levels first?

No I’m not , only because visually I see no varroa related issues , but that has come from experience . 

Certainly , a sugar shake is a very good idea , either for newer beekeepers , or if a varroa related issue is found , or for interest . 

The sugar shaker is in my tool box if needed ......

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if you seeing varroa related issues i think you are getting your treatment in to late, but putting treatment in without knowing if you need to or not is also problematic.

As time goes on it is taking less and less varroa to cause problems, so being smarter with treatment is needed.

 

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, Dennis Crowley said:

As time goes on it is taking less and less varroa to cause problems, so being smarter with treatment is needed.

From the bulk of what I've read the supposition is that resistance to oxalic is less likely to become an issue than with the synthetics. Something to do with the modus operandi and the fact that it's part of most creatures diets/metabolism.

If resistance becomes an issue, I'll be one of the ones you can blame Dennis. With all the other pressing worldly issues I'm afraid resistance to OA in varroa is well down my list of worries.

Edited by yesbut
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Dennis Crowley said:

Are any of you guys/gals that are replacing winter/autumn ox strips with another set, checking mite levels first?

I’ve been washing flat out.. lots of 0-4 mites the odd 5-8 had a nice full box of bees this arvo washed a zero, while another threw 24! 

There is definitely a pattern for me... we ran 1xfd 1x 3/4 broods overwinter, the cleanest bees wintered as single fd  with staples, the higher loads came from colonies that moved up into the top box which was all stores in autumn and have brooded above the treatment. 

Overall the colonies are smaller than this time last year and also much cleaner of mites.. it has been much colder here in the 2nd half of winter than last winter.. 

i believe oxalic affects the mites In many ways such as affecting their feet and also thinning their shell and am not concerned at all about resistance anytime this century..

as the pink cat says.. there’s plenty of more pressing things to worry about.. 

5 minutes ago, Stoney said:

I’ve been washing flat out.. lots of 0-4 mites the odd 5-8 had a nice full box of bees this arvo washed a zero, while another threw 24! 

There is definitely a pattern for me... we ran 1xfd 1x 3/4 broods overwinter, the cleanest bees wintered as single fd  with staples, the higher loads came from colonies that moved up into the top box which was all stores in autumn and have brooded above the treatment. 

Overall the colonies are smaller than this time last year and also much cleaner of mites.. it has been much colder here in the 2nd half of winter than last winter.. 

i believe oxalic affects the mites In many ways such as affecting their feet and also thinning their shell and am not concerned at all about resistance anytime this century..

as the pink cat says.. there’s plenty of more pressing things to worry about.. 

I also believe beekeepers treating only twice a season should become a thing of the past.. 

Edited by Stoney
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Kinda done with the rain 😣.

 

Worked a site yesterday just slopping around in mud, really draining lifting boxes around and trying to keep your balance, plus working against suction to lift your foot, really miserable. Ended up with a sore back.

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Taupo Five finger flower is getting smashed by this weather.
As for Mites their is a common theme that Beeks are seeing.

This mild winter has helped  Mites multiply  in operations that just do one post Harvest treatment.

However there are probably more outfits out there than most realize that treat at least 3 times a season

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, yesbut said:

From the bulk of what I've read the supposition is that resistance to oxalic is less likely to become an issue than with the synthetics. Something to do with the modus operandi and the fact that it's part of most creatures diets/metabolism.

If resistance becomes an issue, I'll be one of the ones you can blame Dennis. With all the other pressing worldly issues I'm afraid resistance to OA in varroa is well down my list of worries.

I understand about how ox works, its more about what affects the other ingredients may have when hives are exposed to long term use, glycerine is something that spreads thinly over everything, and can set off the test for fermentation if honey tested with enough residue to be picked up. Just a cautionary thought.

1 hour ago, Stoney said:

I also believe beekeepers treating only twice a season should become a thing of the past.. 

Yes we need to test/treat more. But let's do it with knowledge.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Dennis Crowley said:

 set off the test for fermentation if honey tested with enough residue to be picked up

In such a case, where does the problem lay,

With the Glycerin or with the test for fermentation?

I have a hive that has been continuously and substantially overdosed with glycerin for coming up 3 years this summer.

The answer to this issue is in that hive


 

Edited by Philbee

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9 hours ago, Dennis Crowley said:

 

Yes we need to test/treat more. But let's do it with knowledge.

really don’t mind being one of the test pilots on the use of this new ish delivery system and really feel we are making headway with every turn in the road we take.

usually our first round following winter is met with heavy mite loads and associated viruses putting us on the back foot at the first step... following the “old” spring / autumn treatment plan.. 

Positive knowledge is being gained each and every lid we crack and every alc wash we record in this battle. 

We now have a nice handle on the effects on our bees on our sites but there are also still many questions I’d like to find answers for. 

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Posted (edited)

Our first round we zipped around, cracked lids and gave the live bees an o/a syrup squirt.

Second round they have been having a real light sugar feed with 30ml seaweed/litre. Five seconds on the hose nozzle which equates to about a litre and a half.

We have also done some sugar shaking, but can't find any mites, but have seen dead ones on the floor board ..... perhaps the result of the initial o/a dribble.

Most of the bees have moved up into the top box ..... away from the staples.

We have pulled the staples from the boxes , refolded them into orange buckets and plan to resoak and re use as most are untouched with chewing.

 

Most of the bees have been moved out of the Dew onto warm willow sites and are buzzing with anticipation.

 

We have advertised two crane trucks For Hire in the local rag, as I anticipate we will have quite a lot of time on our hands this year. 

 

Edited by jamesc
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1 hour ago, jamesc said:

 

Most of the bees have moved up into the top box ..... away from the staples.

 

 

This was an issue for us also, we used to winter them as a single ,excluder and top feeder, but evolved into a 2nd 3/4 for stores.. as winters have been so mild recently they were very large populations of bees ... and mites.. 

thinking the single may be the way forward - no escaping the treatment. 

We didn’t place staples in the top in autumn as the box was 100% feed.

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Finished my spring round yesterday.

Total losses just under 5% made up of 50% queenless   25% robbed out in autumn   15% drone layer   10% wasps  .

Still only treating twice a year and losses to varoa over winter were zero. One or two mites seen on some early drone brood but no PMS or deformed wings. Hives generally in reasonable order but a bit backwards.  The flowering season here is at least one week behind normal. Feed consumption over winter was mostly normal or  below normal with only a couple of hungrier sites.

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37 minutes ago, john berry said:

The flowering season here is at least one week behind normal.

why do you think that is. ?

we have had a lot of nasty wet west/souwest lately.

i thought that meant dry sunny weather for your area on NZ.

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5 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

why do you think that is. ?

we have had a lot of nasty wet west/souwest lately.

i thought that meant dry sunny weather for your area on NZ.

We have had a lot of typical cold, showery and windy weather. Not a lot of rain but not many nice days either.

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46 minutes ago, john berry said:

We have had a lot of typical cold, showery and windy weather. Not a lot of rain but not many nice days either.

 

The rain records show we've had rain every day this month and that we're almost at double the historical August monthly average.  A great swarm prevention tool.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, jamesc said:

Most of the bees have moved up into the top box ..... away from the staples.

 

Re that. For some years now i have been wintering in a brood box with an excluder on it and a honey box on top of that. Using staples experimentally this spring but up to now have done a traditional spring and autumn treatment using synthetic strips in the brood box only, which most of the time other than a few hiccups, has worked fine.

 

Come spring treatment time, quite a few hives will have a lot of bees in the top box, away from the treatment. However in my view the reason the treatment works anyway, is because although there will obviously be mites on the bees in the top box, the ultimate goal of all those mites is to get down into the brood area and breed. So one way or another they all head down there, where the treatment can get them.

 

That's how i see things anyway.

 

This spring though, I am doing quite a few hives with Phils staples, again, bottom box only. So far, the hives have been stronger than normal with a lot of bees in the second box. So what will be interesting is the effect of the staples. I'm thinking the OA could have a repellant effect and make those mites in the top box, less likely to go down into the brood area. Might not have that effect either, but i don't know.

 

So for now, I'm running with that system, and only time will tell how good it's worked. Will know in February i guess. 🙂

17 minutes ago, CraBee said:

 

The rain records show we've had rain every day this month and that we're almost at double the historical August monthly average.  A great swarm prevention tool.

 

Agreed it's been lousy, and for more than a month also. Even at this early stage of the season, I am behind schedule, just can't get out and do the number of hives i should be doing. 🤔

 

Even now, i am sitting at my computer idling away time, and listening to pounding rain on the roof. 😳

Edited by Alastair
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Well here’s some sun for ya

we’ve shed the thermals

4C9EE08D-1B05-4456-8089-32DD6BEC3233.jpeg

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Nice!! 

 

Is that thing watering already? 😮

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The Irritator.... not yet

AC10A7AE-C248-4F1E-AC3E-91E698EA5E40.thumb.png.25414e2d432dbe411b1381650ae2b0c9.png

Oh dear

12F6DA96-E6B8-4D46-8E2E-B4F95885069D.jpeg

Here another hive i just sampled

shok it after ten minutes

Time for Apitrsz i think

00F7D7BA-6A28-456F-8E60-D15F04C4AB2D.jpeg

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2 hours ago, Alastair said:

 

Re that. For some years now i have been wintering in a brood box with an excluder on it and a honey box on top of that. Using staples experimentally this spring but up to now have done a traditional spring and autumn treatment using synthetic strips in the brood box only, which most of the time other than a few hiccups, has worked fine.

 

Come spring treatment time, quite a few hives will have a lot of bees in the top box, away from the treatment. However in my view the reason the treatment works anyway, is because although there will obviously be mites on the bees in the top box, the ultimate goal of all those mites is to get down into the brood area and breed. So one way or another they all head down there, where the treatment can get them.

 

That's how i see things anyway.

 

This spring though, I am doing quite a few hives with Phils staples, again, bottom box only. So far, the hives have been stronger than normal with a lot of bees in the second box. So what will be interesting is the effect of the staples. I'm thinking the OA could have a repellant effect and make those mites in the top box, less likely to go down into the brood area. Might not have that effect either, but i don't know.

 

So for now, I'm running with that system, and only time will tell how good it's worked. Will know in February i guess. 🙂

 

Agreed it's been lousy, and for more than a month also. Even at this early stage of the season, I am behind schedule, just can't get out and do the number of hives i should be doing. 🤔

 

Even now, i am sitting at my computer idling away time, and listening to pounding rain on the roof. 😳

 

I've got the same rain on my roof...

 

I've given up going out when it is like this.  No sooner do you get underway and into the hives than you have to close up and scuttle back to the vehicle, wet and uncomfortable, then the sun comes streaming in and you get through another couple of hives, then back to the wagon and so it repeats, so frustrating.  I'm spending my time fixing things so I can break them again.  

 

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Interestingly, I found a hive that I’d put staples in , incorrectly , a couple of weeks ago. I had in mind to follow @Stoney‘a lead and put one leg down each seam and at the end of the brood.

Well , I hadn’t done that . I’d put two legs down each seam and fenced the brood in . The bees most certainly did not like it , abandoned all brood, and moved to one edge of the box and started again . 

 

Conversely, where I’d placed them properly, the bees are expanding nicely, so I’ve moved the staples further to the outside of the frames so they are just missing the edge of the brood. I’m going to run with this approach and see how it goes

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I've just been putting mine smack through the middle of the brood nest, haven't been back to check any yet, is that going to work?

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5 minutes ago, Alastair said:

I've just been putting mine smack through the middle of the brood nest, haven't been back to check any yet, is that going to work?

That’s what I’ve always done too .

Using @Stoney‘s method , there is no loss of brood from either killing brood under staples , or forming a barrier the queen won’t lay past . 

I will keep a very close eye on them , but at this stage with the info I have , I think they will still work . 

Best to have a go yourself with a few hives and see what you think 

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Thanks Matt, i haven't really spent the time reading all the staple information so it's good to get some advice, give me another season and I'll hopefully have a better understanding.

 

 

1 hour ago, CraBee said:

I've given up going out when it is like this.  No sooner do you get underway and into the hives than you have to close up and scuttle back to the vehicle, wet and uncomfortable, then the sun comes streaming in and you get through another couple of hives, then back to the wagon and so it repeats, so frustrating.  I'm spending my time fixing things so I can break them again.  

 

LOL, 2 days ago I just got out of a yard at around 3 pm just as it started raining, and decided I'm not getting wet doing another yard and headed for home. Then on the way drove past the site of a large commercial. By this time it was hosing down, and there were 2 bedraggled looking beekeepers in full white suits working the yard, must have been horribly miserable for them. At that moment i just gave quiet thanks that I am now my own boss calling my own shots, not working for someone else.

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