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Hi.

 

Wanted to say hi as a new member and also ask a couple of questions.

 

1. Hi. Im a newbie keeper...got my hive late autumn and so am experiencing the joys of new parenthood. The hive is a full depth wooden longstroth but i also have a flow hive assembled to try a second colony with at some stage. Im based in chch, bishopdale, and have the hive in our rented back yard. 

 

Within a couple of weeks of getting the nuc it had bees outside the hive with chewed wing syndrome. Possibly the first round of brood hatching. Treated with baverol and no recurrence.

 

I fed through winter with raw sugar and put on a plastic feeder tray as got a lot of sugar exiting the hive when feeding on the bottom board.

 

The last two weeks have seen a big increase in activity with a lot of drones flying in and out so thats healthy. A lot of bearding this week and oddly a lot tonight just before 8pm...well after sun is off the hive.

 

Am about to have first decca inspection so will see how well im doing. The activity seen makes me think a second box will be needed shortly. Ill no for certain when the inspection happens this week.

 

2. Does any one know bee keepers around chch who might like an occaisional day of free and novice help? Im pretty strong and have my own suit etc. I could use the experience and am happy to trade labour for learning for a few days.

 

Has anyone used a flow hive in chch. Im told they might not be warm enough ... but they were tested in canada..and its cold there.

 

3. Is there anyone in chch who would like to put a hive in a school. The local intermediate is thinking about it. Alternatively im happy to provide a flow hive if some one has bees for the s hool to get them going.

 

Any way. Hi. 

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Welcome to the forum :)

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Thanks. Ive waited 7 or more years to get stared so am glad to be on my way. Im hoping next year might also be my first foray into mead making. I also help with community gardens so might end up with 2 or 3 apiarys and one day be helpful to others.

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15 hours ago, WebKiwiNZ said:

Hi.

 

Wanted to say hi as a new member and also ask a couple of questions.

 

1. Hi. Im a newbie keeper...got my hive late autumn and so am experiencing the joys of new parenthood. The hive is a full depth wooden longstroth but i also have a flow hive assembled to try a second colony with at some stage. Im based in chch, bishopdale, and have the hive in our rented back yard. 

 

Within a couple of weeks of getting the nuc it had bees outside the hive with chewed wing syndrome. Possibly the first round of brood hatching. Treated with baverol and no recurrence.

 

I fed through winter with raw sugar and put on a plastic feeder tray as got a lot of sugar exiting the hive when feeding on the bottom board.

 

The last two weeks have seen a big increase in activity with a lot of drones flying in and out so thats healthy. A lot of bearding this week and oddly a lot tonight just before 8pm...well after sun is off the hive.

 

Am about to have first decca inspection so will see how well im doing. The activity seen makes me think a second box will be needed shortly. Ill no for certain when the inspection happens this week.

 

2. Does any one know bee keepers around chch who might like an occaisional day of free and novice help? Im pretty strong and have my own suit etc. I could use the experience and am happy to trade labour for learning for a few days.

 

Has anyone used a flow hive in chch. Im told they might not be warm enough ... but they were tested in canada..and its cold there.

 

3. Is there anyone in chch who would like to put a hive in a school. The local intermediate is thinking about it. Alternatively im happy to provide a flow hive if some one has bees for the s hool to get them going.

 

Any way. Hi. 

Sounds like it needs a second box, assuming it’s a single.

If the bees are right across all the frames in the box then put another one on.

It just means they have a little more area to keep warm but it usually doesn’t hurt at this time of year 🙂

Welcome to the forum!

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22 hours ago, WebKiwiNZ said:

Thanks. Ive waited 7 or more years to get stared so am glad to be on my way. Im hoping next year might also be my first foray into mead making. I also help with community gardens so might end up with 2 or 3 apiarys and one day be helpful to others.

What took you so long to get started ...?

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Welcome!

 

chch club is good if you can make Saturday mornings (family commitments meant I’ve stopped going)

 

Definitely have two hives, my preference is ¾, it makes a massive difference to learning curves and strategies you can employ. 

 

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Welcome to the forum @WebKiwiNZ  well done for getting a sick hive through winter. Make sure you treat them again this spring (now). Varroa control is a key to happy and productive beekeeping. 

 

As has been said above... it sounds like you need another box on top to give them room and something to do. I’ve just put a third FD honey box on one of mine, many others have a super, and they’re drawing out all new wax, so there is plenty of food over my side of town (Port Hills). A few wanting to swarm too...

 

I’ve used a couple of flow hives and they do work but I think the two keys to successful use is to have access to a steady and heavy flow and a REALLY strong hive. This last point is hardest for new beeks to achieve. 

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On 9/10/2019 at 12:08 PM, Daley said:

Sounds like it needs a second box, assuming it’s a single.

If the bees are right across all the frames in the box then put another one on.

It just means they have a little more area to keep warm but it usually doesn’t hurt at this time of year 🙂

Welcome to the forum!

Hi @Daley, @CHCHPaul @Josh @jamesc and @yesbut  

 

I appreciate the welcome and advice. To answer all the questions:

 

1 - Why wait Seven years? Earthquakes, business, kids, massive accident, debt, work, money, location etc. I've owned a flow hive from when they started as wanted to support them - it looked like a great product. We rent - the earthquakes wiped our savings out,  I had a really bad accident etc. Finally this year, debt free, a willing landlord, my wife's blessings and the time to go to the course at Papanui High all coincided to make it a reality.

 

2 - I did put on a second box, then saw your advice so must be doing something right :)   I cracked the lid and all frames are full of bees and there is even honey on top of the frames. Added a second box with six frames with foundation. I was holding off as I am due a Decca inspection and didn't want to crack the hive open twice too close together.  The inspector still hasn't arrived and no reply as to when - after blowing off the arrangements made.   If anyone knows a willing Decca inspector in Chch who will visit Bishopdale I could use a recommendation. I've been working through the list published online but most are out of town or too busy or dont turn up.... I am happy to pay - I'm not looking for charity.

 

Today we had a second 'swarm like' event. Thousands of bees pouring out of the hive, flying in a swirling type pattern, landing on local bushes, and dozens of 'scout' like bees heading to the neighbours and coming back.

 

I put a NUC with five frames near them, there is a second box at the front of the house with frames - which got found. However 30 minutes later they all seemed to pour back into the hive.

 

When is a 'swarm' not a swarm?

 

Videos and a quick recap here: https://hollis.org.nz/to-swarm-or-not-…r-something-else/    The videos are phone shot so a bit shaky but show the swarm behaviour and the return. They are now all inside the hive with only a few at the door. Not many dead in front - maybe 10 if that.

 

I think I'm going to have to pull the hive to pieces and inspect - and risk having it happen again soon with the DECCA inspection. I suspect I might find swarm cone / queen cells as they were pretty crowded a week ago. However, why the swarm like behaviour then return?

 

Didn't see any signs of aggression of fighting.  The day isn't particularly hot. There is water available. We were out so nothing to disturb them ...

 

Again thanks for the welcome.

 

 

 

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Hey,

 

I'm happy to help with your DECA inspection.  But I'm not very available except on weekends (and weather windows depending). The earliest I could hope for is November 9/10th. But, if you get stuck let me know

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1 hour ago, Josh said:

Hey,

 

I'm happy to help with your DECA inspection.  But I'm not very available except on weekends (and weather windows depending). The earliest I could hope for is November 9/10th. But, if you get stuck let me know

@Josh   Thanks. I'll keep that in mind. I do appreciate it. Unfortunately my Nov weekends are getting horribly filled with work but if I get stuck I'll take you up on that offer. I suspect I need before end of Oct to be compliant.

 

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41 minutes ago, WebKiwiNZ said:

@Josh   Thanks. I'll keep that in mind. I do appreciate it. Unfortunately my Nov weekends are getting horribly filled with work but if I get stuck I'll take you up on that offer. I suspect I need before end of Oct to be compliant.

 

 

Returned before 30th of November, so would be cutting it fine.

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3 hours ago, WebKiwiNZ said:

Hi @Daley, @CHCHPaul @Josh @jamesc and @yesbut  

 

I appreciate the welcome and advice. To answer all the questions:

 

1 - Why wait Seven years? Earthquakes, business, kids, massive accident, debt, work, money, location etc. I've owned a flow hive from when they started as wanted to support them - it looked like a great product. We rent - the earthquakes wiped our savings out,  I had a really bad accident etc. Finally this year, debt free, a willing landlord, my wife's blessings and the time to go to the course at Papanui High all coincided to make it a reality.

 

2 - I did put on a second box, then saw your advice so must be doing something right :)   I cracked the lid and all frames are full of bees and there is even honey on top of the frames. Added a second box with six frames with foundation. I was holding off as I am due a Decca inspection and didn't want to crack the hive open twice too close together.  The inspector still hasn't arrived and no reply as to when - after blowing off the arrangements made.   If anyone knows a willing Decca inspector in Chch who will visit Bishopdale I could use a recommendation. I've been working through the list published online but most are out of town or too busy or dont turn up.... I am happy to pay - I'm not looking for charity.

 

Today we had a second 'swarm like' event. Thousands of bees pouring out of the hive, flying in a swirling type pattern, landing on local bushes, and dozens of 'scout' like bees heading to the neighbours and coming back.

 

I put a NUC with five frames near them, there is a second box at the front of the house with frames - which got found. However 30 minutes later they all seemed to pour back into the hive.

 

When is a 'swarm' not a swarm?

 

Videos and a quick recap here: https://hollis.org.nz/to-swarm-or-not-…r-something-else/    The videos are phone shot so a bit shaky but show the swarm behaviour and the return. They are now all inside the hive with only a few at the door. Not many dead in front - maybe 10 if that.

 

I think I'm going to have to pull the hive to pieces and inspect - and risk having it happen again soon with the DECCA inspection. I suspect I might find swarm cone / queen cells as they were pretty crowded a week ago. However, why the swarm like behaviour then return?

 

Didn't see any signs of aggression of fighting.  The day isn't particularly hot. There is water available. We were out so nothing to disturb them ...

 

Again thanks for the welcome.

 

 

 

Good on you for waiting for the right time for you to get bees.

I don’t know how much you know so I will make suggestions pretty basic and detailed, I’m not trying to be patronising 🙂

 

Don’t be shy to look at your bees in nice warm sunny weather, swarm season is upon us and checking them every 7-10 days is not excessive.

Check them too infrequently and they can develop Queen cells and swarm on you.

There are a few exceptions to this rule, the main one being you don’t want to be in the hive when you have a virgin queen running around as they can be quite flighty and may fly away and not return leaving the hive queenless.

You also don’t want to disturb them too early, or too late in the day, or when the weather feels changeable. This can make them quite grumpy.

Use smoke and be as gentle as possible, if your squashing bees they won’t be happy.

 

Spring is the perfect time to get familiar with your bees and learn what normal looks like.

The main things you want to check for are that you have honey/nectar, pollen, and eggs, if you have eggs then you should have a queen.

And that your bees have room to expand.

 

It sounds as though it is possible that your hive may have swarmed, or that your queen may have superseded and could have been on a mating flight.

You will need to establish what has happened.

Open the hive, check for eggs. If you see eggs your probably good and there is a mated Queen, no need to worry if that’s the case, have a look around and see if you can find her, she’s usually towards the centre of the colony near fresh eggs.

 

If you don’t have eggs you may be between queens, you want to see if you have small grubs(larvae) and uncapped brood, that will tell you how long she’s been gone.

Then you will want to look for cells, if any of the cells you find are hatched then you likely have a virgin or maybe even more than one, if there are plenty of bees and young grubs then I would carefully close it up and check it again in 2 weeks to see if there are eggs and therefore a mated Queen.

If there is no uncapped brood and you suspect there is a virgin (you find a hatched cell) then check again in week. It’s likely if there is no uncapped brood that your new queen may have mated but not be laying just yet, next time you look only look for eggs and if there are none close it and check again in another week.

If you don’t have a new queen laying in about a month you will need to find a cell or another queen from somewhere else.

 

Remember that a DECA holder is only to inspect for disease(AFB) and sign you off, the day to day running of the hive and health for the most part is up to you and you will need to learn and be confident keeping your bees yourself.

This is a great place to come for help and advice, most people here will be able to offer you a lot of help just from a couple of photos.

We all started knowing very little and the best way to learn is to look at your bees, watch their behaviour and inspect their brood even if your not too sure what your looking at for a start.

 

@WebKiwiNZ

Ok, so I watched your videos.

It is hard to say what is going on from the outside of the hive, you will definitely need to take a look ASAP.

It looks good and strong from the outside.

 

Where you have your hive placed looks like a good hot spot.

Is it on a solid base?

I would remove your entrance reducer to give the bees more room to get in and out and make it easier to ventilate their hive.

Edited by Daley
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@Daley thanks for the advice. I was holding off to not disturb them too much but will take your advice and use the good weather. 

Its a solid base. I will open the entrance. I closed it when they first started 4 or 5 months ago ... they were getting robbed or visitors.

I generally try to work them without gear ... it keeps me calm and careful ... but i think this trip might be the exception. 

 

Ill take photos and report back.

 

Again thanks.

@Daley thanks for the advice. I was holding off to not disturb them too much but will take your advice and use the good weather. 

Its a solid base. I will open the entrance. I closed it when they first started 4 or 5 months ago ... they were getting robbed or visitors.

I generally try to work them without gear ... it keeps me calm and careful ... but i think this trip might be the exception. 

 

Ill take photos and report back.

 

Again thanks.

I opened the hive today. On thursday last week i had added a second box with 6 frames. 5 of those are being drawn out. All had lots of bees on the frames. 

Base box heaving with bees on all frames. Butt loads of honey. 

Found uncapoed  brood on fourth frame in. Looka like eggs and larvae. See photo.

 

Found swarm cells. Capped.  

 

I didnt see a queen. It was evening, windy, been raining and there were tons of bees .. all fairly grumpy from the moment i open the hive. Glad was wearing my bee suit. Im crap at queen finding so will try when i have more time and a better day.

 

I think i have two options.

1. Find queen, drop her in a new hive, transfer some brood and honey frames and walk some worker bees through the front door. A fake swarm.

2. Find queen. Kill all swarm cells and hope that settles her.

 

Any third options?

 

Ive added more frames so now 10 in the second box.

I'll do a better check for veroa in a few days and check if there are any eggs or uncapped brood still. That should confirm if i have a queen or if the eggs were from a queen exiting yesterday.

 

Maybe i should proactively baverol them before putting a third box on for honey in 6 weeks time.

 

Photo attached and more photos on front page of hollis.org.nz from todays inspection.

 

Any advice welcome. Does anyone collect or use swarm cells?

 

 

 

 

 

20191014_215305.jpg

Put photos from the inspection here: https://hollis.org.nz/checking-for-swarm-cells/

 

I opened the hive today. On thursday last week i had added a second box with 6 frames. 5 of those are being drawn out. All had lots of bees on the frames. 

Base box heaving with bees on all frames. Butt loads of honey. 

Found uncapoed  brood on fourth frame in. Looka like eggs and larvae. See photo.

 

Found swarm cells. Capped.  

 

I didnt see a queen. It was evening, windy, been raining and there were tons of bees .. all fairly grumpy from the moment i open the hive. Glad was wearing my bee suit. Im crap at queen finding so will try when i have more time and a better day.

 

I think i have two options.

1. Find queen, drop her in a new hive, transfer some brood and honey frames and walk some worker bees through the front door. A fake swarm.

2. Find queen. Kill all swarm cells and hope that settles her.

 

Any third options?

 

Ive added more frames so now 10 in the second box.

I'll do a better check for veroa in a few days and check if there are any eggs or uncapped brood still. That should confirm if i have a queen or if the eggs were from a queen exiting yesterday.

 

Maybe i should proactively baverol them before putting a third box on for honey in 6 weeks time.

 

Photo attached and more photos on front page of hollis.org.nz from todays inspection.

 

Any advice welcome. Does anyone collect or use swarm cells?

 

 

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Hi @WebKiwiNZ, I could do your inspection on a week day if that suits. Call me and we’ll try to get it organised. Cell number in profile. 

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3 minutes ago, CHCHPaul said:

Hi @WebKiwiNZ, I could do your inspection on a week day if that suits. Call me and we’ll try to get it organised. Cell number in profile. 

Thanks - that would be awesome. I can generally do Tuesdays after 3.30, thursday afternoon or any time friday.

 

If you could give me a time frame - I'll know whether to crack the girls open for the second look for the queen or hold off. Really appreciated. Again - I expect to get charged for this :)

 

If you need heavy lifiting help or labour some time let me know - Im looking for experience.

 

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8 hours ago, WebKiwiNZ said:

Im looking for experience

 

 

A good way of experience is joining a local bee club.  Most clubs have their own education programmes, and also you might buddy up with someone the same level as yourself, and you can grow your bee knowledge together. 

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