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Alastair

The Oxalic Staple Info Processing Thread

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Many thanks folks. When I 1st used them the brood was totally lacking ( along with wax ) under the staples but as anything in my mind was worth killing mites I didn’t mind . Now the queens are laying right under the staple and not a broodless strip to be seen . I so loath mites as I am certain they introduce diseases etc I can hardly bring myself to pull the staples out but I will. What are the really big comnericals with literally 000’s of hives doing? Are they using staples ? Are they leaving them in 24/712 ? I hazard a guess that they are doing both 

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5 minutes ago, Carol2 said:

Many thanks folks. When I 1st used them the brood was totally lacking ( along with wax ) under the staples but as anything in my mind was worth killing mites I didn’t mind . Now the queens are laying right under the staple and not a broodless strip to be seen . I so loath mites as I am certain they introduce diseases etc I can hardly bring myself to pull the staples out but I will. What are the really big comnericals with literally 000’s of hives doing? Are they using staples ? Are they leaving them in 24/712 ? I hazard a guess that they are doing both 

Lol

Carol

What the big guys do is their business and they arnt going to let on.
The important thing is what "you" do and how the system works for you.

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On 7/12/2019 at 9:08 AM, Markypoo said:

Here are some pictures from my topbars. I use trimmed plastic frames as starters. as you can see, one hive's queen wouldn't lay eggs next to the staple so the bees put down capped honey. The other one shows are topbar I put down in the brood nest. The girls wouldn't draw comb next the the staple.

topbar strips 2.jpg

topbar strips.jpg

Nice to see some honey around the brood !

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Found a swarm at a site yesterday, believe it or not this is only the second swarm i have found this season. Other than that, still finding hives superseded or in the process of superseding. Yesterday found 2 hives with a hatched queen cell and a virgin, but the "old" queen was young and healthy looking.

 

A pleasant surprise, my worst site, where the hives had been reduced to 3 or 4 frames of bees, which looked listless, and pathogen levels tested high, i took another look. Previously I had left them in 2 boxes and decided that if by seasons end they had filled those 2 boxes and were ready for winter, that was the best i could expect, i had written them of for any harvest this season.

So went there, immediately noticed good activity at the entrances. Opened them up, and chocablock!! I had a truckload of wets so have put 2 boxes on each hive, pretty sure they will fill them before flows end.

 

This site has been left to requeen themselves for several seasons and has gone black like the surrounding bees. I'm thinking maybe this is why some beekeepers swear by blacks. You can get away with extreme abuse, but they can bounce back very quickly.

 

I am certain that had i not killed most of them with oxalic acid, they would have had little option but fill the surrounding trees with many swarms.

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1 hour ago, Alastair said:

 Other than that, still finding hives superseded or in the process of superseding. Yesterday found 2 hives with a hatched queen cell and a virgin, but the "old" queen was young and healthy looking.

 

A pleasant surprise, my worst site, where the hives had been reduced to 3 or 4 frames of bees, which looked listless, and pathogen levels tested high, i took another look. Previously I had left them in 2 boxes and decided that if by seasons end they had filled those 2 boxes and were ready for winter, that was the best i could expect, i had written them of for any harvest this season.

So went there, immediately noticed good activity at the entrances. Opened them up, and chocablock!! I had a truckload of wets so have put 2 boxes on each hive, pretty sure they will fill them before flows end.

 

This site has been left to requeen themselves for several seasons and has gone black like the surrounding bees. I'm thinking maybe this is why some beekeepers swear by blacks. You can get away with extreme abuse, but they can bounce back very quickly.

 

 

Your comments are interesting to me.  As I note that you put strips in for 4 weeks then removed them and put another round in then removed them , then you removed all strips.

I put strips in for over 8 weeks renewed the few that got eaten,  and had strips left in far longer than you,  weak hives still have them in.   We only have started taking them out where we have been having requeening issues.

 

We both have used strips but our protocols are different.  However we are noticing queen issues and I am wondering if it is the year and not totally the strips, (although I do think the strips do have some effect on some queens and some requeening)  but not all and not the greater number just a substantial number.   Some hives have requeened with no issues.

 

So wondering what we are missing.  

Could be merit in someones comments about oxyalic effecting queens feet.  However this is all conjecture.

 

 

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3 hours ago, fieldbee said:

However we are noticing queen issues and I am wondering if it is the year and not totally the strips, (although I do think the strips do have some effect on some queens and some requeening)  but not all and not the greater number just a substantial number.   Some hives have requeened with no issues.

I think its the yr .

For me it is the first spring I have ever been able to mate a queen at home .

And I have only had one small swarm .

Last yr my hives were very strong swarm factories.

This yr I have weaker hives that are now full of honey .probably because they have only superceded and have not put all their energy into making cells.

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Guest

'Lol

Carol

What the big guys do is their business and they arnt going to let on.
The important thing is what "you" do and how the system works for you.'

 

Umm --I don't accept this. . So are you saying  a big NZ livestock farmer makes a breakthrough discovery in regards to animal husbandry/stock welfare and keeps it a secret from other NZ farmers?   I have never seen that in livestock farming in NZ where we  have farm visits, Field days, discussion groups, farm advisors, training days , young farmer improvement meetings. NZQA training  etc etc , Beekeeping by your statement must be a closed ,secretive and unfriendly business then? 

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On 12/12/2019 at 8:41 AM, Alastair said:

 

A pleasant surprise, my worst site, where the hives had been reduced to 3 or 4 frames of bees, which looked listless, and pathogen levels tested high, i took another look. Previously I had left them in 2 boxes and decided that if by seasons end they had filled those 2 boxes and were ready for winter, that was the best i could expect, i had written them of for any harvest this season.

So went there, immediately noticed good activity at the entrances. Opened them up, and chocablock!! I had a truckload of wets so have put 2 boxes on each hive, pretty sure they will fill them before flows end.

 

This site has been left to requeen themselves for several seasons and has gone black like the surrounding bees. I'm thinking maybe this is why some beekeepers swear by blacks. You can get away with extreme abuse, but they can bounce back very quickly.

 

I am certain that had i not killed most of them with oxalic acid, they would have had little option but fill the surrounding trees with many swarms.

Glad to hear your bees have bounced back quickly just like a few of ours did when knocked back by the acid. 

It is a shock to open the lid and see half the bees gone and I guess not panicking and swinging into overdrive letting things take course although as a good beekeeper instinct screams otherwise. 

It would be helpful for your future experiments to know where the pathogen and mite levels are at now with those sick and recovered colonies. 

This season so far for me has been VERY different to last....

big honeyflows, very Little chewing of treatments, terrible swarm tendencies meaning 10 day cell cutting repeatedly.. very very different to last season with chewing of treatments across the board sometimes inside 3 weeks completely removed and bees were very settled as far as swarming goes. 

 

What id like to know is how different bees in different areas in different seasons react to the same compound in very different ways. 

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1 hour ago, Stoney said:

What id like to know is how different bees in different areas in different seasons react to the same compound in very different ways. 

I was talking to a local friend who kept bees before varroa .

He said in all his years he never saw a queen .

Each winter  there would be heaps of dead bees outside his hives but they would build up again in spring.

And he always had plenty of honey .

If the strips sucessfully supress varroa a lot of other factors of bee behaviour that have been distorted by varroa will emerge.

I saw this working in the packing shed after the new targeted sprays were introduced into orchards .

Changing one or two insect controls changed the whole ecosytem .

Like when they remove or introduce a top predator .

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9 hours ago, Carol2 said:

Beekeeping by your statement must be a closed ,secretive and unfriendly business then?

 

Loose lips sink ships!

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I think some of the differences between beekeeping and large animal farming is that with bees what works with your bees in your location with your style of beekeeping doesn’t necessarily work for others. This tread is a prime example of that.

 

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2 hours ago, Stoney said:

It would be helpful for your future experiments to know where the pathogen and mite levels are at now with those sick and recovered colonies. 

 

My suspicion is OA has weakened the bees and made pathogen levels worse.

 

To be honest, the last pathogen tests were done because Phil insisted, over and over. Which gave the impression that once i had it done and produced the results, he would have something useful to say about it. But he had nothing. So why would i waste my time doing more. 

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27 minutes ago, nikki watts said:

I think some of the differences between beekeeping and large animal farming is that with bees what works with your bees in your location with your style of beekeeping doesn’t necessarily work for others. This tread is a prime example of that.

 

Bee keeping is more like whitebaiting and goldmining with secret spots .

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1 hour ago, Bron said:

 

Loose lips sink ships!

 

Agreed but.

 

A beekeeper who is so up themselves they cannot even share some basic info like how to treat mites, has a personality disorder.

 

It has always amused me these beekeepers who think they have special knowledge nobody else does, and most of the time they are the most ignorant.

 

I'm not going to share my secret spot, no.

 

But help somebody be a better beekeeper, I'm all in. 

 

Edited by Alastair
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@Alastair I thought having a personality disorder was a pre-requisite for a beekeeper

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52 minutes ago, Pinnacle said:

@Alastair I thought having a personality disorder was a pre-requisite for a beekeeper

I think that historically that was  at the top in the job description requirement .

But lately it has been knocked down the list by  short term greed syndrome .

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9 hours ago, Stoney said:

Glad to hear your bees have bounced back quickly just like a few of ours did when knocked back by the acid.

 

About these bees that have "bounced back quickly".

 

I shared this in the interests of giving fair and balanced information, good and bad, about my observations.

 

But please don't get the idea that all is good, no harm done. That is not the case. A lot of financial damage is already done, because these recovering hives are already 2 boxes of honey behind the eight ball.

 

Then a layer of financial pain below that, are the hives that are still not recovering.

Edited by Alastair
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6 hours ago, Alastair said:

 

About these bees that have "bounced back quickly".

 

I shared this in the interests of giving fair and balanced information, good and bad, about my observations.

 

But please don't get the idea that all is good, no harm done. That is not the case. A lot of financial damage is already done, because these recovering hives are already 2 boxes of honey behind the eight ball.

 

Then a layer of financial pain below that, are the hives that are still not recovering.

I understand..

but bear in mind we treat our bees well early starting in August not close to the main flow .. so we have time for anything knocked back to recover and recover they do.. still in time to produce the goods. 

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Good thought. Might be one change i could make in the search for a way to be successful with staples. When do you remove them, and when does your flow start.

 

Also, i imagine where you are your clusters would be very small in August, how many staples do you put in?

Edited by Alastair

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As mentioned in oxalic thread.. 4 per brood. DRY, on alternate frames , 2-4-6-8 and alternate ends on the edge of the brood. 

Our bees winter well.. pics posted.. usually 2-3 boxes of bees, 6-8 brood. 

Higher altitude a bit smaller.. wintered with oxalic. 

Randomly some hives take a hit. 

First treatment for my hives end of July- early aug. (bush flow. No sugar) 

work hives on the flat, treated aug fed sugar. 

Work hives treatment replaced continuous til main Manuka flow- dec, 

my hives this season almost zero chewing so spring I chewed treatment removed as prepped/ harvested for Manuka end of Nov. 

Edited by Stoney
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On 13/12/2019 at 10:54 PM, Carol2 said:

'Lol

Carol

What the big guys do is their business and they arnt going to let on.
The important thing is what "you" do and how the system works for you.'

 

Umm --I don't accept this. . So are you saying  a big NZ livestock farmer makes a breakthrough discovery in regards to animal husbandry/stock welfare and keeps it a secret from other NZ farmers?   I have never seen that in livestock farming in NZ where we  have farm visits, Field days, discussion groups, farm advisors, training days , young farmer improvement meetings. NZQA training  etc etc , Beekeeping by your statement must be a closed ,secretive and unfriendly business then? 

Amen to that sister.  But as noted somewhere, every  site is different and what works in one place might yield a different result just up the road. And some guys are more diligent than others.

I don't mind sharing what worked and what did'nt ,as for sure as the eggs are eggs, last years  primo site may well be this years flop. And this late summer O/A treatments might well be a success.

The place to be working collabaratively is in the marketing  of the stuff we have been gifted by the bees !

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From Stoney 

"As mentioned in oxalic thread.. 4 per brood. DRY, on alternate frames , 2-4-6-8 and alternate ends on the edge of the brood. 

Our bees winter well.. pics posted.. usually 2-3 boxes of bees, 6-8 brood. 

Higher altitude a bit smaller.. wintered with oxalic. 

Randomly some hives take a hit. 

First treatment for my hives end of July- early aug. (bush flow. No sugar) 

work hives on the flat, treated aug fed sugar. 

Work hives treatment replaced continuous til main Manuka flow- dec, 

my hives this season almost zero chewing so spring I chewed treatment removed as prepped/ harvested for Manuka end of Nov."

 

Hello Stoney .This is a huge help to me. To have this from an active commercial beekeeper is wonderful confirmation for me . Many thanks and best wishes

Edited by Guest

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Carol you will find most of them pretty helpful. 🙂

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8 hours ago, Carol2 said:

 

Hello Stoney .This is a huge help to me. To have this from an active commercial beekeeper is wonderful confirmation for me . Many thanks and best wishes

Please take some time to read through the oxalic acid thread, the journey from start up until now is fairly well documented along with pics and the odd hiccup here and there along the way. 

Attempting to know everything and run eyes closed full throttle into it may result in some tears. 

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Let me assure you Stoney I have paid enormous attention to every page over 2 years. Let me also assure you about the only thing I know is that V mites are THE scourge of NZ beekeepers.  It was at least 2 years reading etc until I hesitantly made my decision to move to ox staples. I know very little i can assure you even further but I know my mite counts are currently zero as is drone lavae I have dissected (not many but some)  although my aging eyes don't find them say to see. However booming hive populations and scarcely a damaged bee to be seen at present give me heart that while I know little I am doing just ok at present. I didn't do so well with my apivar/ bavoural regime. Why I entered this forum was solely to seek Commercial feedback as i have enormous respect for a full time person who has his money up, his labour involved and his professional wits about him..... unlike me!

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