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On 1/10/2020 at 7:29 PM, Alastair said:

 

One day, when, or if, I ever get to fully master the use of oxalic staples, I may use them even if I need good bee numbers. But this time around I took the safe option.

 

Bit like Stoney I guess.

Not me Mr McGee my Staples have been in since August.. Bees looking good, Replacing chewed out ones at each inspection, overall not much chewing going on this season so far. 
I’m currently splitting for increase leaving only 5 frames of brood in the parent. 
new season queens are managing to get out and find love despite the constant Norwesters... fingers crossed  for a good solid honeyflow at Christmas 
 

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Nope. I’m still exclusively using staples. Very happy with the results on the whole. Splitting hives because they are bursting and putting supers on some just to give more space. 

Seeing as we are talking about skating cheap .....business is all about cashflow.... spending fifty cents to make a dollar. We toyed with the idea of using Bayvarol this spring, but with limited

Yup, it's hard making those tough decisions, that just a few years ago would have been a no brainer.    Leaving honey on not only saves buying sugar, it saves the costs of taking the honey o

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Shoulda been clearer and said a bit like Stoney last autumn. But I thought you would have realised that, since you have been quite open about how you spent the extra money to use Apivar instead of staples for your winter treatment, cos of the way staples have knocked your bees around.

 

And then this spring you were quite open about how unusually strong your bees came through. You had so many more bees than you are used to, you even wondered aloud if you should kill some of them.

 

Well, that's why I didn't use staples this spring, I had a market for live bees and wanted the hives strong.

 

If you think about it Stoney, we are both on the same page.

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Kind of, I used Bayvarol as Autumn treatment, I don’t like how some colonies on some sites shrink and move to the warmest part of the box, avoiding treatment and also the dampness soaking the tape on the empty side of the box. It’s not all hives and sometimes it’s not on the sites I think it will happen on. It’s random. 
I like knowing the crawlers are dying or dead going into winter and not so keen on surprises. 
ive got a decent chunk of skin missing off my knuckle at the moment and everytime I reach into my oxalic soaked pocket I get a nice reminder of what makes these things effective, no wonder the larvae under them take one for the team. 

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To be clear Spring strength for me is certainly not related to use of bayvarol last autumn, it’s sites and winter weather.

past spring pics of hives have been posted openly here. 

last spring following wintering with staples I had big colonies which was fantastic as I more than doubled hive numbers pre flow. 
This spring however the bees on their wintering sites looked awesome first round early August but the colonies left overwinter on their summer  sites suffered the cold of the mountain pulling through as 3-4 frames of bees in a wet box.. which meant a lot of shifting and equalising required to patch up.. something I’m not a huge fan of but didn’t have much choice. 
This season I have the time to run double mating nucs which I’m also treating with bayvarol while my production hives are 40% OX stapled.. Ive used staples in nucs over the last 3 seasons but this time round am going with synthetic. 

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OK my apologies. I thought that back in August when you said "I ran Ox staples full time since 2017 but last autumn used Bayvarol as found ox over winter had a hit and miss result", you meant that you used Bayvarol as found ox over winter had a hit and miss result. 

 

Guess I may not have been sure what you meant by "hit and miss result", and maybe wrongly said "knocked your bees around".

 

As I was clearly mistaken, I will have to correct my statement from "I thought you would have realised that, since you have been quite open about how you spent the extra money to use Apivar instead of staples for your winter treatment, cos of the way staples have knocked your bees around", to "I thought you would have realised that, since you have been quite open about how you spent the extra money to use Bayvarol instead of staples for your winter treatment, cos of the way staples have had a hit and miss result".

 

Hope that fixes everything.

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I haven't mastered how to edit ..... so pic first from phone .....

This round we are making up duds. Went around at the beginning of the week and slid queen excluders in between two strong brood boxes, then cam back after three or four days and split ......  very simple ..... box with eggs gets moved to dead out. No eggs box stays on bottom board to catch drift.

Generally the no egg box will have two or three frames and the egg box four.

We then insert a protected cell ..... wrapped in masking tape. The cells were due to hatch Friday, but I still like to wrap as extra protection from chewing.

Leave for two weeks or so, mindful of the fact that they all have enough feed to see out the lean times of howling Nor'Westers.

 

I am putting our good-looking bees down to the Apivar autumn treatment ..... and the box of honey left on.

The mite loading this year is minimal, so far, but they are getting two  second hand O/A  Staples.

As we go around we replace any that are chewed out.

Four staples in the early spring seemed to wreak havoc on the weak hives.

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8 hours ago, Alastair said:

 

Guess I may not have been sure what you meant by "hit and miss result", and maybe wrongly said "knocked your bees around".

Thanks Alistair.. I wouldn’t want to give the wrong idea as they both imply very different results.
 

seems a fair bit of staple hate getting around here these days I must be almost the only one using them now.. 

@jamescwhat made you decide to resoak used staples then only give out 2? Will be interesting seeing how this goes for you.. your bees are looking mint. 

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@Stoney..... I guess I am a cheap skate ..... we pulled the staples from the bees 18 months ago when we lost so many and they have been sat in the shed since then ..... dry and almost like new. I just mixed up a new brew and re soaked them.

Not very scientific ..... except that I like recycling ifs I can.

We started off putting four staples in on the first round in early September, but noticed lotsa dead bees at the front doors the day after and the weak hives had died  .... so halved the number .... resulting in no dead bees at the front door.

Science in action .....?

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Staple hate Stoney?

 

No hate was involved, what really happened as I previously said, was I simply did my sums, and was going to make more money by not using staples. I went with the more profitable option that's all. Just business.

 

You have yourself said that like a lot of beekeepers you are experiencing hard financial times recently. Even having to work a second job as a stone mason. But despite that, last autumn you chose to spend thousands of dollars more, to treat your hives with bayvarol instead of staples. I can only assume you did your math, and chose the option that would in the end get you more money. 

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Yup, it's hard making those tough decisions, that just a few years ago would have been a no brainer. 

 

Leaving honey on not only saves buying sugar, it saves the costs of taking the honey off, extracting it, storing the boxes, etc..

 

I surprised myself how much work I saved myself by taking a more cheapskate approach last year.

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40 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Seeing as we are talking about skating cheap .....business is all about cashflow.... spending fifty cents to make a dollar.

Cutting costs and skating cheap keeps it interesting I recon, feels like a win everytime and it really can be.. a bit like using that brood frame with a juicy swarm cell on it.. popping it into a Nuc then harvesting the mated Q next visit.. free. Good for the soul. 
I too left HoneyDew on the girls, but then that’s pretty normal just this time they had an extra 3/4.. as they’ve grown.. and the norwesters blown they’ve really tucked into it.. I’m just happy to have the honey removed from the frames for free to be dropped back on them for the good stuff at Xmas. 

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2 hours ago, jamesc said:

What's the  plan for when the ice gets a bit thin for skating .....

Going by how much I have to pay for a leg of lamb, I'd say quit the bees & grow sheep !

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1 hour ago, CHCHPaul said:


Nope. I’m still exclusively using staples. Very happy with the results on the whole. Splitting hives because they are bursting and putting supers on some just to give more space. 

 

Not meaning to be cheeky or anything, but that sounds exactly like Stoney a year or so ago.

 

Before he decided to bite the bullet, spend a lot more money, and go bayvarol.

 

Do I judge a man by what he says on the internet, or by what he does.

 

just saying..

Edited by Alastair
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OK ..... from what I am noticing ..... it seems like if you are in the bees quite often, you pick up the anomalies and ill health issues early . So, perhaps  spring use of O/A works because we are keen and always cracking the lids. Come late summer we have tired backs and  are busy extracting and it's every bee for itself. We become focused on honey in the drum, and hive health tends to take a back seat ..... which is why we'll go Apivar as we take honey off this year.

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Fair bit of judging going on.. I’d say judging by your plan @jamesc that’s a good step in the right direction.. as we all know, healthy disease and pest free winter bees rear healthy spring bees.. which gives us the healthy summer bees to add the zeros to the bank account. 
now that we’ve sorted that out.. just the small issue of selling the stuff!. 
 

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22 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Only problem is we turned the sheepshed into a bee shed years ago.

My beeshed is an old shearing shed, complete with machines, grinder etc.. times sure have changed.. funny enough the Old farm owner laughed when I told him I’d moved in there, he said as they’d muster the sheep from out the back they’d light a “wee” fire to help get rid of the cursed manuka scrub.. here I am growing the stuff at home to plant out in the retired spots next winter.. 

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