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I HAVE  BEEs  IN THE FENCE FOE AT LEAST 4 YEARS THAT I CANNOT REMOVE AND THEREFORE WILL NEED TO PUT THE HIVE DOWN, WHAT IS THE BEST WAY OF DOING THIS?

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Have had a chat with Peter.  Apparently the brood box was supplied by a beekeeper last time he enquired what to do on the forum and this person never came back.

 

I have explained that post varroa mite, honey bee colonies cannot survive without human intervention and I suspect that the hive is dying out in winter/early spring leaving drawn out wax and honey stores in the fence, and when a nearby hive is getting ready to swarm, its scout bees identify this fence as a great place to live in, and I must admit if I was a scout bee that's where I would be heading for!   Because this is such a protected hive, with what could be a large space behind the fence there could be a large amount of stores.  I suspect that this problem could recur most years if stores not removed. 

 

Suggested he block all entrances with newspaper, except the main one, and then in the evening in temperatures that the bees are not flying, petrol the main entrance and block.  Then the next day if no activity, remove part of the fence and see what space is behind it (a fact that neither he nor his neighbour know), then scrape out all wax and honey, dig a pit and burn.  Also explained the safest way to light this. 

 

Also explained about AFB in honey stores, as well as brood frames, and the economic impact on commercial beekeepers, and the impact on a hobbyist that only has 1 or 2 hives losing 50-100% of their operation.  Have sent the following link to Peter https://afb.org.nz/beekeeping-and-the-law/

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also recommended burning of the brood box and frames; left by a previous beekeeper. 

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NZ beekeepers not NZ fencing forum, so the best way to do this job is to dismantle the fence. 

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21 minutes ago, Peter Bruell said:

I HAVE  BEEs  IN THE FENCE FOE AT LEAST 4 YEARS THAT I CANNOT REMOVE AND THEREFORE WILL NEED TO PUT THE HIVE DOWN, WHAT IS THE BEST WAY OF DOING THIS?

 

Are you certain they are bees and not wasps - often non-beekeepers find it difficult to spot the difference - wasps are yellow and black with definite stripes, whereas bees are more hairy buff and dark brownish.

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What sort of entrance are they using, just one hole, or do they come & go all over the place ?

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At stores like bunnings or garden centres you can buy wasp powder. Or, any other insecticidal powder will do. Just go to the nest at night and puff some into the entrance. If it doesn't get a complete kill the first day, repeat nightly until job done.

Edited by Alastair
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if its a four year old hive with no intervention from humans, then I would think the beekeeping farternity would have more to gain by having a closer look than by destroying this hive. One of you north auckland forumites should have a closer look and report back, better still, cage that queen up and send her up to me.

Edited by Bee Good

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My immediate thought was why does someone without bees have an account with 6 posts, so i did some looking and oh, same thing 2 years ago. What was the result of this 

 

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2 hours ago, Bee Good said:

if its a four year old hive with no intervention from humans, 

 

It won't be. I have heard this about various hives up for removal more times than i can even remember.

 

They die, they get restocked.

 

.

Let's throw some light on this from a different angle. Imagine hypothetically that 4 years ago, a swarm that was totally varroa resistant set up in the fence. Any unmanaged hive that is healthy, will swarm at least once a year. But more likely more than that.

 

So at year one the queen leaves with a swarm and replaced by a her daughter. She mates with other drones so the genetics of the bees she produces is diluted 50%. Next year the hive swarms again the original genetics is reduced to 25%, and the following year to 12.5%, ie, even if they only swarmed once a year it does not take too long for the genetics of that hive to become very similar to that of the other hives in the area.

 

So unless all the surrounding hives are also varroa resistant, we have by year 4 a hive that is not varroa resistant. Even if it started out as such. Which it almost certainly did not.

 

Hard reality sorry, but it is the reality.

Edited by Alastair
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21 minutes ago, Alastair said:

 

It won't be. I have heard this about various hives up for removal more times than i can even remember.

 

They die, they get restocked.

 

.

Let's throw some light on this from a different angle. Imagine hypothetically that 4 years ago, a swarm that was totally varroa resistant set up in the fence. Any unmanaged hive that is healthy, will swarm at least once a year. But more likely more than that.

 

So at year one the queen leaves with a swarm and replaced by a her daughter. She mates with other drones so the genetics of the bees she produces is diluted 50%. Next year the hive swarms again the original genetics is reduced to 25%, and the following year to 12.5%, ie, even if they only swarmed once a year it does not take too long for the genetics of that hive to become very similar to that of the other hives in the area.

 

So unless all the surrounding hives are also varroa resistant, we have by year 4 a hive that is not varroa resistant. Even if it started out as such. Which it almost certainly did not.

 

Hard reality sorry, but it is the reality.

I considered that before I posted thats why I used the word  "If" as in cautiously optmistic.

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Non beekeepers see bees in a hive, then some years later see bees in the same place. Without any other knowledge they just assume it is the same hive. Natural assumption.

 

Having been led down this rabbit hole many times by people wanting a removal, my gut is that Peter had bees in the fence 2 or perhaps 4 years ago depending on his memory. He enquired here 2 years ago without success but did not pursue the matter again because the bees died out, and out of sight out of mind, they were forgotten. But recently a new swarm moved in as they often do to previously occupied sites, which has reignited the issue so Peter has enquired again.

 

No offense to you at all Peter, what you report is what seems completely logical to a non beekeeper without experience in the lifespan of wild hives subject to varroa mites.

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Thanks everyone for the comments.

First of all they are definitely bees. As winter approaches the hive becomes less and less active until you see no activity at all. I assume the bees have left or taken a winter nap. Each year as the weather gets warmer we see a swarm around our property and then themes make a B line for the hive which becomes active again. This year one swarm was removed from my neighbours property across the road but our lot stayed. This year the activity has been greater and the wall of the fence is often covered with bees coming and going. There are multiple entrances to the hive and we tried blocking these up except for one which we set up leading to a brood box. The bees refused to use that entrance and found new entrances to access the hive. They also became agitated and angry. One passer by being stung. That prompted me to remove the brood box.

Thanks again, Peter

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What part of Auckland are you in Peter? If you are near me i would be happy to do it but if you are an hours round trip away somebody closer may do it.

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Hi Alistair,

 

We live in St Heliers. 36 Auckland Road.Ph 021-660-486 or 09-575-7305

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OK well a bit far from me but there are beekeepers over there.

 

If no response in the next few days just get some powder from a hardware store or garden centre.

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Peter, if you are going to kill the colony, it would be a good idea to remove all the wax from inside the fence.  It sounds like there is drawn out wax comb in this nest, and this will be attracting swarms on a regular basis.  No doubt the previous colony has died from varroa, and the next swarm susses out what sounds like a very cosy place with existing drawn out wax to build their colony. 

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Hi Maggie, If we could get into the hive we could address removing the queen or the wax but all we can get access to is the entrances to the hive. The rest is somewhere in the neighbours fence with no obvious point of entry.

Would petrol fumes kill off the hive rather than poison?

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1 minute ago, Peter Bruell said:

Would petrol fumes kill off the hive rather than poison?

 

Yes, but getting good enough penetration in this situation will be difficult. It will also kill part of the hedge.

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Petrol fumes will kill a hive.  But if you don't know where the bulk of the colony is, this could certainly decrease impact.  What type of fence is it?  Maybe you can post a photo of the fence and colony entrance/s. 

 

Just don't go using fly spray.  The alcohol in the spray will make them go feral! 

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Hi Maggie,

 

The fence on our property is a timber slat fence. 150 wide slats with about a 15-20 mm gap between slats. It butts against our neighbours fence at right angles to ours which is a fibre board fence covering wooden frame. The bees have gone through the gap in our fence into the neighbours fence. I have photos but can't see how to post them on the site as it keeps saying you can only post 2 mb. The photos are much more than that. I could email them to you if you like.

 

Thanks Peter.

 

Hi Maggie, If we could get into the hive we could address removing the queen or the wax but all we can get access to is the entrances to the hive. The rest is somewhere in the neighbours fence with no obvious point of entry.

Would petrol fumes kill off the hive rather than poison?

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Hi Peter - It is a bit hard to envisage how big this colony is.

 

Do you know how to use the cut and snip function to get photos down to 2 MB? If so, post and you will get more than just my opinion.  Otherwise my em is on my profile.  It wasn't there when you looked before haha! Look forward to seeing your pics. 

Edited by Maggie James

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1 hour ago, Maggie James said:

 

Do you know how to use the cut and snip function to get photos down to 2 MB? 

Better to use windows resize function if you can ...right click on the image,  resize....

I suppose I could be the last PC dinosaur though...

Edited by yesbut

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4 hours ago, Maggie James said:

Petrol fumes will kill a hive.  But if you don't know where the bulk of the colony is, this could certainly decrease impact.  What type of fence is it?  Maybe you can post a photo of the fence and colony entrance/s. 

 

Just don't go using fly spray.  The alcohol in the spray will make them go feral! 

Other topic has photos

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19 minutes ago, yesbut said:

I suppose I could be the last PC dinosaur though...

Nothing wrong with being a dinosaur, as long as it is efficient!  I have a number of functions in my beekeeping operation that are dinousaur-esque - quite simply because it's the most efficient way of that procedure!

Quote

 

I will have a look at the photos that Peter sends me (which I must admit looks like a complicated neighbour fencing issue), and I will have a chat with him sometime tomorrow, and I will get back to the forum as to what I think the solution is.  Cheers.  Maggie

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