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Trevor Gillbanks

Apiary Diary. March 2020

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Agree.. have seen brood boxes left on dead’s infested with boxes of foundation on top as spacers and even the foundation has been destroyed.. holes bored through the wooden foundation frames and insides of boxes scalloped out where the cocoons have been. 

 

The honey extracted from those infested honeyframes Tristan surely has extremely high microbe counts as the grubs get munched into the honey.. 

 

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Posted (edited)

I have seen the same so will have to agree.

 

I don't think i explained properly, I was talking about dry whites with no honey or whatever, and not near darks. If whites or even foundation are stacked on a box of darks, they may get eaten. Thought i covered that but obviously not.

 

For me anyway, if i can stack clean dry white combs, they'll last years, whatever island I'm in. They'd probably have to be stacked in clean boxes also, dirty boxes might provide moths with a bit of nutrition. I'm not saying you will never find a wax moth in a box of whites, you might. But what you won't find, is a box of whites turned into an unusable ball of web. Any damage to a box of whites will be minor and easily repaired by the bees, long as it was not stored near darks or pollen. Cocoons embedded in wood though are best removed by the beekeeper.

 

Re the eaten out wood, I don't think they use it for nutrition, it's just to create a safe place to pupate.

Edited by Alastair

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Since I have all three hives it is easy for me to store frames .

I have a  spare small chest freezer .

All frames to be stored are frozen first .

Clean empty  white frames are then stored in a super sealed in a plastic bag.

Anything with pollen or dark is left frozen over winter .

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We often have a small store of empty brood comb over the off season that is perfectly ok. We don't have freezer space.

 

We set up rails along the joists in the shed above head height. The top bars hang on these. The combs are separated by 1 to 2 widths. So there is air all around the combs and they are in the light. Ventilation, light and combs spaced apart can defeat wax moth. It is possible to store them in boxes too, but only 4 or 5 frames to a box and boxes need to be spaced apart with chocks so light can get into all the boxes not just the top one. Ideally it is outside in the prevailing wind, in direct sunshine but with rain cover overhead from eaves, verandah or lean to and not in boxes at all.

 

I've also been refreshing that kind of comb with glacial acetic acid described in other threads if they are in good condition, else they get melted down.

It is easy with white virgin comb.

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13 hours ago, Stoney said:

 

The honey extracted from those infested honeyframes Tristan surely has extremely high microbe counts as the grubs get munched into the honey..

i havn't seen the lab results from wax moth boxes, but certainly it would raise CFU's. but having said that i have seen plenty of non-wax moth honey fail CFU counts. i think poor removal of bees and taking honey out of the brood box are the big issues.

i have seen perfectly clean frames, no brood and no left over bees, massively fail the CFU count.

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Well, did I get a wonderful find on the side of the Leeston Road early a.m. today.  Within 1 km strewn along the grass verge were six 70 kg size heavy three striper sacks in absolutely pristine condition, not used for seeds, so not lined with any coating chemicals. This should keep me going a little bit.  I am on my last sack from a retired seed cropping farmer, and was thinking I needed to get on the blower to track down some more.  I had enquired at the local seed company but they have stopped using hessian or jute sacks.  

 

Last time in Mitre 10, I noticed they had some of the 40 kg size for $15 each.   Incredible - once upon a time these things just stockpiled in farm barns often to rot or birds & rodents to poo on.  

 

Lovely warm day in Leeston, unusually still, should be good for matings.  

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Used to be common as mud, especially in Leeston.

 

Maggie if you ask some of the Bray & Gossett old timers who are still around such as perhaps Baza, they may tell you of a guy nicknamed Midnight. Early 70's when i was in Leeston, he was an old man by that time, and a recluse. I only saw him once, a remarkable sight. His clothes were made entirely of sack, but intricately and skillfully sewn together into rather functional and beautiful looking garments, kind of Eskimo'ish. 

 

He was called Midnight because he only ever went out in the middle of the night, he did not have a car, just a bicycle.

 

One day some (kinda) friends showed up at my place with a sack of potatoes for me, I asked where they got it they wouldn't say. I found out a long time later there had been an accident, midnight had been on his bike middle of the night with a sack of potatoes and got hit by a car. He was taken away to hospital, and the sack of potatoes was later picked up by someone else. They didn't tell me where it came from so i would not try to return it.

 

A farmer friend told me a story, he had been in a tractor dealership when Midnight walked in, dressed in his sacks. Another guy walked in and the salesman brushed Midnight aside and started talking to the other guy. Midnight just retreated to a corner and waited. After a very long time the salesman failed to sell to the guy, who left. The salesman then had little option but talk to Midnight. Midnight talked a little about tractors then asked what the best price was he could get a particular tractor. The salesman was rolling his eyes, but named a price. Midnight pulled out a massive wad of cash and handed it over, buying the tractor there and then.

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3 hours ago, Alastair said:

Used to be common as mud, especially in Leeston.

 

Maggie if you ask some of the Bray & Gossett old timers who are still around such as perhaps Baza, they may tell you of a guy nicknamed Midnight. Early 70's when i was in Leeston, he was an old man by that time, and a recluse. I only saw him once, a remarkable sight. His clothes were made entirely of sack, but intricately and skillfully sewn together into rather functional and beautiful looking garments, kind of Eskimo'ish. 

 

He was called Midnight because he only ever went out in the middle of the night, he did not have a car, just a bicycle.

 

One day some (kinda) friends showed up at my place with a sack of potatoes for me, I asked where they got it they wouldn't say. I found out a long time later there had been an accident, midnight had been on his bike middle of the night with a sack of potatoes and got hit by a car. He was taken away to hospital, and the sack of potatoes was later picked up by someone else. They didn't tell me where it came from so i would not try to return it.

 

A farmer friend told me a story, he had been in a tractor dealership when Midnight walked in, dressed in his sacks. Another guy walked in and the salesman brushed Midnight aside and started talking to the other guy. Midnight just retreated to a corner and waited. After a very long time the salesman failed to sell to the guy, who left. The salesman then had little option but talk to Midnight. Midnight talked a little about tractors then asked what the best price was he could get a particular tractor. The salesman was rolling his eyes, but named a price. Midnight pulled out a massive wad of cash and handed it over, buying the tractor there and then.

Hard and versatile blokes those old farmers, my father knew a couple of brothers that lived together on their farm, one was blind and he did all the house chores while the other did the farm work. They had string running to cow shed, chook shed, pig pens etc so the blind one could move about. He used to sew jerseys out of their socks when they got holes in them, dad wore one one day and reckon it was the warmest jersy he had tried. His mother used sow sacks together as their carpet in their house. His dad was a roadman at ohakune and had 3 beehives, I didnt meet him that much he died when i was young, but the one thing he taught me was how to roll his smokes and would give me one for my effort, i was 7yrs and yes I tried it.

Been putting in varroa strips this week, and have had a young fellow helping me.This fellow has been beekeeping for about five years so he knows what to do.

My sites are in groups of 24 hives on six pallets, and i have never taken any notice before about how some hold their hive tools. But even if I take my longer time in the game, this guy is no slouch, I was always quicker by a couple of hives on each site and noticed how he handled his hive tool. I hold my tool like picture 1 and it stays in my hand the whole time while working the site, this guy holds his like pic 2 and is always changing ends so has to putt it down to switch ends, so making him slightly slower. Not complaining just an observation.

hold hive tool 1.jpg

hold hive tool 2.jpg

Tev my post were merged but are different topics/days why does that happen?

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@Dennis Crowley I also hold my hive tool like you .

 I never use the other end ever.

@Alastair it will be interesting to see how you go selling it , whether it’s easy or hard , interest or not so much.

would be great if you could update us on how it goes without the commercially sensitive detail of course 

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My extractor / packer owns 5 shops in China and has already said they will "use" the honey which I assume means "buy". 👍

 

Just waiting on some more comprehensive tests to determine actual price.

 

I've always wanted my own line of manuka honey though, so may get a couple tons or so packed into my own line of jars for selling in the shops that currently sell my bush honey. 🙂

.

On 9/03/2020 at 4:12 PM, Dennis Crowley said:

 this guy holds his like pic 2 and is always changing ends so has to putt it down to switch ends, so making him slightly slower. 

 

I once ran a business employing around 25 people, low paid manual labour.

 

I micro managed the training of the newbys, cos they can get bad techniques then it's near impossible to re train them (nobody likes change), and they are less efficient from then on. Little things probably equivalent to how a hive tool is held, I tried to get people to do right, from day one.

 

Dennis your guy probably needs retraining, but 5 years down the track that's probably impossible, his methods will be ingrained. Pity his first boss didn't sort the issue. 

 

The first beekeeping boss i had (Jasper Bray) absolutely insisted i do every little thing exactly the way he wanted. I'm glad now he did.

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On 9/03/2020 at 4:12 PM, Dennis Crowley said:

Trev my post were merged but are different topics/days why does that happen?

That is a feature of the software that the forum runs on.

I you make a post and then do another post in that thread and no one has posted before your second post then they are amalgamated.

Most times it works pretty well but sometimes it screws it and the posts that are unrelated can end up quite disjointed.

I actually missed the second part of your post because I read the first part and then moved elsewhere in the forum.  That way the second part did not show as an unread post.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Alastair said:

Well my circumstances just took a turn for the better, my crop which i thought was bush and unsaleable, but had 3 in 1 tested anyway, has turned out to have a good UMF and good DHA. Not just some of it, but the entire crop.

glad to hear some good news.

Now debating, again, testing some honey from an apiary with a lot of bush and manuka around the place. Too late this year, would be eye-opening if i've given away a drum-worth of mono though. Would have to consider another few hives there.

 

re holding the hive tool, funny, i'd never even thought about holding it any way other than Dennis does - it's a shame, no easy solution to address my place through the hives ;) edit, i started with a j-tool, which influences the way it's held a bit, could be relevant here?

Edited by tommy dave
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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, tommy dave said:

i started with a j-tool, which influences the way it's held a bit, could be relevant here?

For the grafting yard, I prefer the J tool, because I am constantly manipulating frames.  But on honey production, with the super and brood boxes, prefer the curved tool to crack hives.  You can crack the boxes and then thump the curved end of the tool with your fist giving it a fair whack to aid separation of the boxes.  

Edited by Maggie James
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Uhhuh Dennis ... 

I think your man needs a few lessons on how to hold his tool ....

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Over here all the beeks I know use J tool.. Of course from China, but when I found one which is stainless steel, good angle hook and remove propolis easily I don't change.. It cost me about 4-4.5 nzd a piece.. I bought some more cause to avoid chasing around where I put it..

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Posted (edited)
On 9/03/2020 at 4:12 PM, Dennis Crowley said:

I hold my tool like picture 1 and it stays in my hand the whole time while working the site, this guy holds his like pic 2 and is always changing ends so has to putt it down to switch ends, so making him slightly slower. Not complaining just an observation.

hold hive tool 1.jpg

hold hive tool 2.jpg

 

edit: sorry tired.

i see what you mean.

thats pencil or axe. that tends to be personal preference. some people simply can't do it the other way. use whatever way your comfortable with is often the best.

Edited by tristan

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4 hours ago, tommy dave said:

Now debating, again, testing some honey from an apiary with a lot of bush and manuka around the place. 

 

Do it do it! 🙂

 

3 in 1 test gives you a rough idea without costing too much.

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21 hours ago, jamesc said:

Uhhuh Dennis ... 

I think your man needs a few lessons on how to hold his tool ....

well he'd have to buy me dinner first---I ain't no cheap hussy

23 hours ago, Alastair said:

Dennis your guy probably needs retraining, but 5 years down the track that's probably impossible, his methods will be ingrained. Pity his first boss didn't sort the issue.

Yeah his dad was his trainer, I stopped using him for help a few years ago as i had to go after him to "tidy up". But the jobs done now and back to just me.

It was just interesting to compare, you don't know what you don't know.

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1 hour ago, Dennis Crowley said:

well he'd have to buy me dinner first---I ain't no cheap hussy

Yeah his dad was his trainer, I stopped using him for help a few years ago as i had to go after him to "tidy up". But the jobs done now and back to just me.

It was just interesting to compare, you don't know what you don't know.

Crikey - Had a bit of Canterbury dust in me eye.  Thought for a nano second I was reading you ain't fussy

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0A25B7E2-8D55-4AA6-A2A2-8BEA14F0F07E.jpeg

Well there ya go .... looks like Fish'n'chips won't cut it with Dennis for a lesson in hive  tool management....

 

But anyway , it's been a stunningly beautiful afternoon down here in the Valley. We took the last of the white honey  off the hives and put the last of the Apivar strips in.  We had two strips left over.

And as The Main Man and I were slaving way I had this thought.

And It runs like this.

 

My small boys great granny lived to six months short of a century. She liked to smoke, and she drank every night .... GlenMorangie whisky .... until a couple of months before her passing.

She was a tough old boot. I even heard the F word come from her mouth once when the scones failed to rise properly.

She lived through crises and chaos , sickness and health , and always had a few marbles to joke and laugh at the unfairness of life.

 

After I took up the profession of the Bees I would supply her with honey ..... airfreighted at regular intervals.

 After the nightly whisky, she used to mix my honey with hot water and lemon as a nightcap.

 

She wrote me once saying the Honey was beautiful ..... it soothed her throat and quite possibly was  the reason she never succumbed to the flu.

 

Hmmm.

 

 

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Bro it's the sterilising affect of booze and smoke going down the gullet. 

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11 minutes ago, jamesc said:

We took the last of the white honey  off the hives and put the last of the Apivar strips in. 

on some facebook group (not one i manage or admin or anything!) someone was asking for pasture supply. Said they filled the 100 tonne order within a day. No idea on details, could screenshot the details of the buyer if that's of interest? ben priestly

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Details would be good .... 0224130602 ....😛

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Details would be good .... 0224130602 ....😛

if you're on facebook - search out the commercial beekeeping nz page. If not, you ok with me sending him a message linking to your post (saves a middle-man, then he can contact you direct if he wants to etc etc). Mods - i hope this is ok!!

edit, i messaged him your number and linked this post.

 

Edited by tommy dave

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