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john berry

Karaka poisoning photographs

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@Stu any chance you could find a few minutes to comment - any feedback from your area?
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@Stu any chance you could find a few minutes to comment - any feedback from your area?

I'm scratching my head with regards to all this. Much better hive health than last year and very few losses but hives in general are not as perky as they could be.

The season started with early swarming and I'm seeing cells in most hives but more for replacement of queen rather than swarming? I have put new queens in almost all hives, fed them well, isolated the bees from the general population, treated with FGMO fogger, Apivar and some thymol pads and yet I am still getting massive variations in hive health and more importantly in queen laying rates. Have heard some comments of people re-queening twice a year to help this? Is this a fertility issue?

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@Stu what was the mite load, post treatment, in the weaker colonies? What were the temperatures like during treatment?

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@Stu what was the mite load, post treatment, in the weaker colonies? What were the temperatures like during treatment?

Good point..Bayvarol did not seem to work as effectively as it has in the past so it's possible mite loadings were a bit higher going into winter and I also ran out of my amino boost which was brilliant at getting a large amount of varroa free bees into the hive post treatment going into winter...did this for the previous few years and found the more young varroa free bees going into winter the easier the hive managed. Temps not an issue.

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Note also that Apivar is less effective at low temps. The bees are less active so they make less contact with the strips.

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Anyone keep any samples of bees identified with karaka poisoning. Last season Hills was looking for samples

to test their identification of the karakin toxin in bees. If we have some frozen samples, they may test them for free.

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Wish I had collected a sample now . I didnt know a test was available but it would have been interesting to eliminate karaka from the list of culprits . With soo much kowhai flowering at the time , I'm fairly sure that was the culprit , but it would be nice to confirm it with a test .

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Good point..Bayvarol did not seem to work as effectively as it has in the past so it's possible mite loadings were a bit higher going into winter . . . .

 

Any chance of Bayvarol resistance @Stu ?

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hard to tell (!) whether possible resistance @Jezza - or maybe if used to Apistan (2 strips?) then only half the amount of Bayvarol per brood box was used? Of course also a good way to drive the appearance of resistance!

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Wish I had collected a sample now . I didnt know a test was available but it would have been interesting to eliminate karaka from the list of culprits . With soo much kowhai flowering at the time , I'm fairly sure that was the culprit , but it would be nice to confirm it with a test .

 

Jaz, we need beekeepers to keep samples of what is happening to their bees - then if required testing can be conducted. Just to need to place 20 dead bees in a 100 gram honey jar or ziplock bag, document date, time and place of discovery and freeze. Karakin poisoning is one that there is very limited knowledge. As for the toxin in some species of Kowhai - even less is known.

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I supered up the apiary that had the Karaka poisoning today. 25%were really good, 50% were reasonable and the rest were very substandard having lost two thirds of their bees. I built up the weak ones with brood and bees that I brought with me. The main problem with these hives at the moment is they are very short of pollen which is partly from where they are but also probably a result of losing a lot of field bees. The coastal Karaka has been finished for about two weeks but trees in Havelock North and Waipawa are still in full flower. If I had known samples were wanted I would have saved some but there is no doubt that this was Karaka poisoning. There seems to be the odd suggestion that kowhai poisoning might be similar but this is not the case. The hives were all fairly similar in strength before the poisoning so I wonder if there is a genetic element. I think I will try breeding from one or two of the best.

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Have a new site hit hard with presumably karaka poisoning . 14 hives , all with clumps of bees spread out 3-4 m in front of each hive . Its exactly 2 weeks later than last year , when I had the same thing at a different site . It's just a little heart breaking after working hard to get them up to strength , to see the carnage .

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Seven days ago I had hives on a good flow and just the slightest signs of Karaka poisoning. Four days later there was reasonably bad poisoning and I went back today to feed them some sugar and there was no visible signs of poisoning but I reckon the worse hives had lost about 25% of their bees. They had certainly gone from booming hives to fairly lacklustre in a week. Once again this seemed to be a genetic component with some hives unaffected although it could be that they just didn't find the source which isn't that close to the hives. All the same I will mark the best two and breed from them if they produce a good crop.

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Seven days ago I had hives on a good flow and just the slightest signs of Karaka poisoning. Four days later there was reasonably bad poisoning and I went back today to feed them some sugar and there was no visible signs of poisoning but I reckon the worse hives had lost about 25% of their bees. They had certainly gone from booming hives to fairly lacklustre in a week. Once again this seemed to be a genetic component with some hives unaffected although it could be that they just didn't find the source which isn't that close to the hives. All the same I will mark the best two and breed from them if they produce a good crop.

Sounds like they went into a netted kiwifurit orchard for a few weeks....

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With this karaka poisoning. What effect does it have on brood. Do larvae die and pupae ect... I had the same problem a month back. And had brood die wether it wad from poisoning or chilling. ?. Recovering now .but going miss out on a fair bit of honey.

 

 

not the first time i saw this at this site.

one year they took a real hit in strings.

never thought it was karaka and always thought it was nosema related cos there was also some :crap: happening around the same time.

it is pollen shortage time on some coromandel bush sites that time of the season, too.

 

the day before i had taken the photo it looked twice as bad.

this is 2 weeks ago now and the hives are back to normal.

i supered most of them yesterday.

 

as far as tests go, i'm happy to supply samples but refuse to pay for testing as a matter of principle.

What did your brood look like sounds very similar to mine. And the pollen.been a big learning this manuka honey for me.

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It has to be pretty bad to affect the brood. As far as I know the brood does not get poisoned but it can get chilled. I did an apiary today with moderate poisoning and they are definitely short of field bees. Whether it affects the Queen or not I don't know but there was very little pollen in the hives and the worst affected had very little young brood. There definitely seems to be a genetic component as some hives are a lot more affected.

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It has to be pretty bad to affect the brood. As far as I know the brood does not get poisoned but it can get chilled. I did an apiary today with moderate poisoning and they are definitely short of field bees. Whether it affects the Queen or not I don't know but there was very little pollen in the hives and the worst affected had very little young brood. There definitely seems to be a genetic component as some hives are a lot more affected.

By genetic you are meaning carnolian or Italian. Or lines of either strains

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Went through the hives on my apiary affected by karaka poisoning . Of 14 hives , 11 have been reduced from strong single fd to nuc size . Interestingly , the site that was hit hard last year is going well , with no signs of being affected . Will need to come up with a strategy to reduce the risk next year . It might be best to shift the hives out , then bring them back after the karaka has finished flowering .

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Went through the hives on my apiary affected by karaka poisoning . Of 14 hives , 11 have been reduced from strong single fd to nuc size . Interestingly , the site that was hit hard last year is going well , with no signs of being affected . Will need to come up with a strategy to reduce the risk next year . It might be best to shift the hives out , then bring them back after the karaka has finished flowering .

Ditto

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