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I don't believe it will become any more than damp. And I don't believe air movement through the top structure will be very significant. It'll act more like a permeable layer than chimney. What logic I can muster up tells me that it will have to be better than a solid waxed/propolised impervious roof dripping with water.

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This morning was a multi tasking day.. a prep day for Monday.. I shifted some new double Nuc boxes to a site ready for Monday’s job of transferring .. time to cut the cold core flute Nuc box from my o

I think if the AFB was found and reported by a beekeeper then they are far from a useless beekeeper and jn fact are very good beekeepers first for finding it and second for reporting it.   I

Hives are absolutely pumping, still 4 weeks left before my bayvarols due out, just wondering if I'm gonna need to super a few weeks early. Doubles are almost ready for splitting and queen rearing

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I don't suppose insulation and bottom ventilation does any great harm but I'm not sure it does any great good either. I have plywood inner covers now but for donkeys years we had tin inner covers and before that we  had the telescopic lid sitting straight on top.

I believe in doing everything necessary but no more than that.

It saves time and money. If  hives get a bit damp around the edges they will soon clean it up as they get stronger in the spring.

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I like the apiaries nice & dry, hives facing north east for all day sun.  And use a division board with the notch facing down on the box immediately underneath. For those that don't know, a division board (which I use for top splits) is a hive mat with a notch cut out of the wooden edge at one end usually about 10 mm deep by 30 mm wide.  

 

I was incredibly lazy in autumn and had a surplus of division boards, so used them underneath the bottom box as an entrance, instead of a mouse guard.  Has worked a treat, although I understand a commercial beekeeper would  regard this as an extra piece of equipment.  

 

 

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7 hours ago, yesbut said:

Noted how wet on top mine were.  Stapled wire netting across bottom of empty super, laid sacking on top of that, filled box up with  shavings, stuck it on top of hive under ventilated lid....a Warre "quilt" in other words...should have done it in March.

I would appreciate a report of how well this works. Its been suggested to me recently and reported to work well. I think theres a limit to how much moisture should be running down the walls . The polystyrene on top makes a difference, but not enough.

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1 hour ago, Maggie James said:

 

I was incredibly lazy in autumn and had a surplus of division boards, so used them underneath the bottom box as an entrance, instead of a mouse guard.  Has worked a treat, although I understand a commercial beekeeper would  regard this as an extra piece of equipment.  

 

 

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You are not alone Maggie, every colony where I used to work has a “split board” or division board  under the lid to be used as required, also another large outfit that used to be based out eyrewell ways also ran them under the brood box over winter. 

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My understanding, from what I read years ago, about the "Ware quilt" is that the shaving has to be replaced every year.

Also with the polystyrene you have to replace it after a while(not every year - but depends how fast gets damaged by the ants).

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It's interesting to watch here.

The gully has quite a bit of broom that is succumbing to an invasive parasite and dying. under the boom in small cracks and crevices are small seedlings of coprosma and five finger, matagouri and broad leaf.

Where the grass is the mat is too thick , and whatever comes up gets nibbled by horses, deer and cattle.

 

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I find broom to be a bit of a two sided sword. It is an unbelievably productive source of high quality pollen and does yield honey if it is wet enough but it also causes a lot of late season swarming just before the main honey flow.

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2 hours ago, jamesc said:

under the boom in small cracks and crevices are small seedlings of coprosma and five finger, matagouri and broad leaf.

It has been many years since I worked bees in the South Island, and I'd forgotten completely about matagouri.  I remember one vicious spike that led to me having an infected thumb.  I do not like matagouri...

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Interestingly enough I've had to go to great lengths to get Matagouri seeds to germinate at home...acid & months of refrigeration, and so far 20% germination. Had one out of about 20 germinate last year, but I discovered too late when the thing was about 15mm high it had gossamer fine  roots like a six inch umbrella, and of course they all disintegrated under manipulation...  go on, ask the obvious question someone..

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I brought some Matagouri seedlings home with me last winter . Turned out they were  porcupine shrub which is a small leafed relative of Mahoe.

They are growing nicely but I still don't have any Matagouri .

You might get better germination if you feed the fruit to birds(I assume it has fruit).

A lot of people know the bigger more showy trees but New Zealand also has a huge range of small leaved shrubs which are absolutely fascinating.

 Matagouri is not only good for bees but it also doesn't succumb to the first sheep that gets through the fence.

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2 hours ago, NickWallingford said:

It has been many years since I worked bees in the South Island, and I'd forgotten completely about matagouri.  I remember one vicious spike that led to me having an infected thumb.  I do not like matagouri...

Bees love it in October

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51 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Bees love it in October

Don't get me wrong.  I can certainly appreciate the nectar secretion - I remember the bees working it quite avidly.  And it (as I remember from 40 years on) was a pretty bush (apart from the spikes).  Nice (white?) flowers - but that one encounter kind of soured me on it.  Sort of like the purple lolly water that made me sick when I was about 9 years old - I'll never be able to drink that stuff again...   Maybe I'm just a 'speciest' - is that politically incorrect now?

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The station next door to my summer sites had a wee burn off on the Matagouri recently.. the cocky explained how it “got away a bit” and burnt a bit of the Manuka and Beech as well. We saw the thick smoke from home.. he explained how the old boy that used to own the place would race round out the back lighting small fires then disappear to the chch show for a couple days before returning to see how it had gone.. 

it grows pretty thick in places with the wild pigs camping up in it but by crikey it smells good in flower and the splits can build well on it. 

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I’m heading out for a hunt this week into matagouri land. Taking the kids, who I’m sure won’t like crawling through it, but if you want to get a deer in this part of the country you have to learn to like matagouri 😀

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13 minutes ago, CHCHPaul said:

I’m heading out for a hunt this week into matagouri land. Taking the kids, who I’m sure won’t like crawling through it, but if you want to get a deer in this part of the country you have to learn to like matagouri 😀

No matagouri experience required to hunt deer out of cuzzy bros freezer!

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On 10/08/2020 at 4:20 PM, Dennis Crowley said:

Expensive strips depends on how many hives you loose without them I guess.

For the last 5 yrs, after watching someone else do this,every spring and autumn,(except last Autumn where I tried O/X staples) I have been using a combo of Bayvarol and Apivar at the same time. I haven't seen any varroa in my hives, or at least very very very low levels, that I don't stress to much about them. I always treat during kiwi pollination as a preventative and Autumn as a winter treatment. Some times in July August I have used a ox dribble.

I run double 3/4 brood boxes, in each brood box I place 2 bayvarol and 1 Apivar strip, so total strips in 2 brood boxes are 4 Bayvarol and 2 Apivar which is a complete treatment for each box. 

Last Autumn I ran ox staples and lost a few hives and had a few that dwindled away to ###### all, the money I saved was well and truly spent on queens and cells to replace what I lost, not blaming all that on the staples, but I believe they had a big impact. The trouble with ox staples is that they still hit and miss and a lot more research needs to be done before they will have the ability to say" just put this many in here and you will get this results".

Not promising anything just letting you know.

 

 

Starting a new season, I've come to the end of my 5yr experiment above and I say it works.

I'm trying/experimenting another way this season, still using chem strips and ox, see you in another 5yrs.

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I have just finished putting the last of my treatments in except for two hives I have at home for experimental purposes. I did an alcohol wash on them today and one had 21 mites while the other which showed quite a lot of resistance last year had five. Neither hive showed any obvious mite damage but the one with 21 was definitely behind the five.

I will leave both these hives for 3 to 4 weeks to see how they progress and then if necessary treat with formic acid Mite away pads which is not something I have used before. I am not all that keen to use formic but I have a friend in Canada who has use nothing else for many years .

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