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Trevor Gillbanks

October 2019 Apiary Diary

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Prior to least season's harvesting I asked our extractor if they could put frames back into the same box they came from.  "No" was the answer, but it would have been easy enough to do, all they'd need to do is stack the frames in order in the extractor, mark the first frame, and then frames back into boxes 1, 2 and 3.  This was one of a bunch of reasons why we've ended up deciding to extract and process it ourselves this coming season.  More control over the process.

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19 minutes ago, CraBee said:

Prior to least season's harvesting I asked our extractor if they could put frames back into the same box they came from.  "No" was the answer, but it would have been easy enough to do, all they'd need to do is stack the frames in order in the extractor, mark the first frame, and then frames back into boxes 1, 2 and 3.  This was one of a bunch of reasons why we've ended up deciding to extract and process it ourselves this coming season.  More control over the process.

easy enough to do in small scale, it gets difficult in large scale, and unless frames are marked you have no idea even if they did keep them in order. they could very easily say "sure no problem thats $ extra" and extract as per normal and you have no way to know if they did it or not.

all it takes is broken frames and it all gets out of order and i usually deal with piles of broken frames.

even for our medium setup it has something like 10-12 boxes worth in the machines at a time.

 

the way i've seen it done is they mark all frames and boxes, so you can easily see which frames go with which box.

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It's been a funny old day .

We bought a new extractor a couple of years ago.  It still works well, but we bought another one last week and today I picked it up.

She's a doozey ..... a two framer, hand cranker for when we run out of power ..... A Roots Automatic  Extractor.

 

Small Boy and  I went into town to pick her up this morning  , and had a good old  chat with the vendor. He had bees all around his home and garden, and as you do, we got talking.

Like us ,he'd lost a lot of hives this spring. Out of 25 hives he only had five left. Those in the  know told him it was the mite ..... but we both agreed that it was more than that.

We'll be sending samples up to John F to put through his machinery next week for a second opinion.   It's like when you go to the Doc ..... you always go to another for a second opinion ..... right ??

 

And then the icing on the day was a  stranger walking up the path to the front door. No one ever uses the front door here.

The stranger was  looking for my neighbour. The stranger   had brought a mare over the 'Hill' to run with  my neighbours  stallion, and  had been guaranteed a live foal.

It turned out that the mare was barren and no foal had eventuated. That was  three  years ago.

So the stranger had come over for a refund, but  said the gate was locked and the neighbour not  home. 

'Indeed ' I said ' we lost Mr T  two years ago'.

 

Rare breed them  Coasters !

 

The stranger looked at the ground a little bit flustered .   " Oh Crud ...... that was a bit of a waste of 800 bucks then "

 

It was after starting time, so he came in and had a beer and we agreed to honour Mr T's deal. We had bought the stallion off the estate  and  told  the Stranger from  the Coast the offer was still there and  to bring another mare over for a second go.

Dead or alive .... Mates are still mates..... Right ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uy

47026AD5-FF6B-40D5-B2D1-1952A3FA23D4.jpeg

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I have 4 frame manual extractor. For 50-60 colonies I usually keep is sufficient. Always think of putting motor on it, but always went nah.. One year even I had over 2 tons extracted, wasn't problem.. Since these climate changes strike badly, it is more than sufficient.. It is inox, and new cost around 300 nzd, also is wide and stable ( not narrow as on your pic), can extract dadant/jumbo frames also.. Only one horse power needed.. 

 

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There are major advantages to feeding frames of honey rather than sugar especially early in the spring. Done properly there is very little risk. If you don't do things properly then there is a considerable risk but if you're not doing things properly you will already have a problem whether your feeding honey or not.

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Like I said before .... funny ole day.

After we had done the deal on the extractor  I dug out out a couple of jars of honey to add as a sweetner.

My new found mate  collapsed in laughter .....  

"Nah Nah mate , it was a good trade ....... tell yah what, do ya a swap".

And he went in to his Whare and came out with two jars of his own honey.

Good trade Eh .

 

And as I climbed into the truck  I looked at one of the jars. It had our label on it ..... packed as  fund raiser for the local school camp funds a few years ago.

The world is round and recycling works !!

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On 11/10/2019 at 5:10 PM, tristan said:

 

feel free to ask @AFB PMP Management Agency their thoughts on it.

 

its a bad practise because its easy to slip up and cause a massive problem.

 

reusing wet honey boxes imho is a lesser risk. thats down to quantity of honey left in it. its very easy for bees to clean those boxes up and consume everything, and not feed it to the young which is where the afb infection takes place. thats with low level afb which may not have any symptoms, which is the most likely case of you missing it during inspection.. with high levels then the risk is the same.

if you need to feed honey, the easy way (which we did when honey dropped to $2/kg) is to simply leave it on the hive. that way your not spreading anything.

You can't leave honey on when using apivar or apitraz and in my opinion the treatments don't work as well with supers on the hive

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10 hours ago, Maru Hoani said:

You can't leave honey on when using apivar or apitraz and in my opinion the treatments don't work as well with supers on the hive

Depends on what you wanting to do with the honey.

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12 hours ago, Maru Hoani said:

You can't leave honey on when using apivar or apitraz and in my opinion the treatments don't work as well with supers on the hive

not an issue if the honey is left on all the time. ran hives like for years when honey price was rock bottom. feed dry sugar and they will consume all the honey before touching the sugar and when flow turns on they ignore the dry sugar.

treatment works fine with two boxes. after all there is tons of people who run double supers. the only problems arise is when the hive is very very weak and there is ways around that.

 

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2 hours ago, Dennis Crowley said:

Depends on what you wanting to do with the honey.

 

Sell it on TradeMe as spring feed😜

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39 minutes ago, tristan said:

not an issue if the honey is left on all the time. ran hives like for years when honey price was rock bottom. feed dry sugar and they will consume all the honey before touching the sugar and when flow turns on they ignore the dry sugar.

treatment works fine with two boxes. after all there is tons of people who run double supers. the only problems arise is when the hive is very very weak and there is ways around that.

 

I used to think the same thing.

I don’t feed syrup other than in pollination but I use dry raw sugar often on hard to reach hives as a cheap insurance policy, if you put it on when you take the honey off, it works very well, as long as the colony is strong enough to work it.

It will only save them from starving if they get it well before they are actually starving.

 

Normally they don’t touch it if they don’t need it.

However this spring I noticed on one yard they had hardly touched their honey stores I had left on, but they gone through all of their raw sugar, and it looked to me as if they had worked it and stored it in the comb.

Very unusual, they certainly didn’t need to use their sugar but they did anyway.

2 minutes ago, Josh said:

 

Sell it on TradeMe as spring feed😜

Yikes 😬

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1 hour ago, Daley said:

However this spring I noticed on one yard they had hardly touched their honey stores I had left on, but they gone through all of their raw sugar, and it looked to me as if they had worked it and stored it in the comb.

Very unusual, they certainly didn’t need to use their sugar but they did anyway.

could be it got wet. condensation, rain blow in etc.

we used to put a bit of water with it to start them off.

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1 minute ago, tristan said:

could be it got wet. condensation, rain blow in etc.

we used to put a bit of water with it to start them off.

Don’t think so. I have seen it get wet before and they haven’t touched it, usually it goes all crunchy so you can easily tell it’s been wet.

Pretty strange behaviour, first time I’ve ever seen it.

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1 hour ago, Daley said:

Don’t think so. I have seen it get wet before and they haven’t touched it, usually it goes all crunchy so you can easily tell it’s been wet.

Pretty strange behaviour, first time I’ve ever seen it.

 

Raw sugar do you put it in a feeder (frame or top) or supply it some other way?

2 hours ago, Daley said:

Yikes 😬

 

I know! I couldn't believe it, now they're listing lots of jarred up honey. Obviously decided to extract it after all.

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4 hours ago, tristan said:

not an issue if the honey is left on all the time. ran hives like for years when honey price was rock bottom. feed dry sugar and they will consume all the honey before touching the sugar and when flow turns on they ignore the dry sugar.

treatment works fine with two boxes. after all there is tons of people who run double supers. the only problems arise is when the hive is very very weak and there is ways around that.

 

So wax contamination obviously wasn't regarded as an issue.

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1 hour ago, Josh said:

 

Raw sugar do you put it in a feeder (frame or top) or supply it some other way?

 

I know! I couldn't believe it, now they're listing lots of jarred up honey. Obviously decided to extract it after all.

In a top feeder.

 

If they aren’t certified to sell jars of honey they will likely find themselves in hot water.

As for buying other people’s honey for spring feed, you’d have to be out of your mind.

Edited by Daley
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I had a look at some weather predictions for the coming season this afternoon .....  one comment was that it could well  be  a cooler summer, hindering grass growth and crop development.

Last year Tony at Blueskies sent me a three month outlook in October, which proved surprisingly correct. 

I think we'll sign up with him  and make an informed decision as to where to place hives again this year.

I bit the bullet today and did our first graft. It's a month later than normal. The day was cold and grey with  the easterley wind keeping the temperature down to 7*c.

It did'nt really inspire confidence, but I guess one has to make a start and trust that in two weeks we might get a few warmer days.

Edited by jamesc
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On 11/10/2019 at 8:38 PM, Daley said:

Your right, and obviously it’s less work, handling, and honey keeps better on the hive.

However it’s easy enough to miscalculate how much you need to leave with each winter varying.

And you can end up with a significant problem in spring if you leave too much honey on, it needs to come off and go somewhere, and it’s had varroa treatment.

What do you do? I wouldn’t want it mixed in with my new season crop.

 

This past season I paid to have all my honey extracted and thermalised so I have future proofed now.

 

But I had some honey from the season before which I’d extracted myself and jarred that had fermented in the jars, faced with the task of having to scrape it all out to waste into a hole, I chucked it in the feeders of some hungry hives and man it took all the work out of it, jars came out beautifully clean and minimum effort.

Would I do it again? No.

Would I recommend anyone else do it? No.

However I think the risk is fairly minimal knowing that none of the hives it came from have had AFB.

 

Personally I think it’s a much bigger risk buying secondhand gear and there’s no shortage of people that do that without being chastised.

 

Thermalised, now thats a new one i've not heard about, what is it and how is it done and what is the purpose of it pls

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1 hour ago, kevin moore said:

Thermalised, now thats a new one i've not heard about, what is it and how is it done and what is the purpose of it pls

It’s dried to prevent fermentation.

Its quite a new thing but it’s picking up traction.

Basically my honey is guaranteed to be stable in storage over time.

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4 hours ago, jamesc said:

had a look at some weather predictions for the coming season this afternoon .....  one comment was that it could well  be  a cooler summer, hindering grass growth and crop development.

Is this for the whole NZ or the east coast

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Have been busy pulling brood and making splits with queen cells. When we use cell we always do the rock test to see if they "shake". Anyhow found a cell that didn't so pulled it apart and it had pupated but was dead. There was one lone mite in the cell.

So question time, has anyone else found a mite in a queen cell? This is the first time I have.

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9 hours ago, kaihoka said:

Is this for the whole NZ or the east coast

The thought is colder and wetter for the next six weeks  all over the place...... nice..... but there maybe a window of opportunity for queen mating in the last ten days of this month then after that significantly colder.

I think we might crank out the cells and make polys rather than pulling hives apart for nucs  and watch them languish ..... at this stage.

But then of course, it's only the weather and that's fickler than a virgin in the willows.

Edited by jamesc

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9 minutes ago, jamesc said:

The thought is colder and wetter for the next six weeks  all over the place...... nice..... but there maybe a window of opportunity for queen mating in the last ten days of this month then after that significantly colder.

I think we might crank out the cells and make polys rather than pulling hives apart for nucs  and watch them languish ..... at this stage.

But then of course, it's only the weather and that's fickler than a virgin in the willows.

 2016/2017 was an exceptionaly cold summer for us but the following ones have been good .

I am hoping global warming does not let me down and this summer will be better than they predict.

I have to split my hives in 3 for mating in spring.

One for the old queen .

One for a cell left on the hive

One for a cell to take away and mate .

The tricky one is the cell left in the hive . Trying to find and dispatch a virgin queen is always hard .

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3 hours ago, kaihoka said:

 2016/2017 was an exceptionaly cold summer for us but the following ones have been good .

I am hoping global warming does not let me down and this summer will be better than they predict.

I have to split my hives in 3 for mating in spring.

One for the old queen .

One for a cell left on the hive

One for a cell to take away and mate .

The tricky one is the cell left in the hive . Trying to find and dispatch a virgin queen is always hard .

Been very wet here on the coast but thats not that unusual for winter/spring. Nice and sunny today and looks ok for rest of this week. My hives (10 ) were building up strong and had young drones and swarm cells started on the 15 sept so took nucs with old queens off those hives and now have virgins in them now. Only left one big cell in when i checked on 26th. If things dont work out i still have old queens. Had couple swarm last year and hope for none this year. Just need good weather.

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12 hours ago, Jamo said:

So question time, has anyone else found a mite in a queen cell? This is the first time I have.

 

Yes. When I've got spare cells that i can't use i sometimes open them for a look, I have found varroa inside several times.

 

According to the internet, varroa do not go into queen cells. But the internet is incorrect on this occasion. 😉

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