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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/14/19 in all areas

  1. 6 points
    So this year I got no honey at all... But ive learnt about swarming, queen failure, varoa and wasp pressure. I’ve also rediscovered the fun of local honey, yum. Nothing better than going out for a coffee and leaving with an extra treat for later. Or being given a sympathy jar from a more successful colleague at work Get out out there and buy local.
  2. 4 points
    There will be a lot who disagree with me but I have always processed wax with water, never boil it or it will emulsify and the longer it takes to cool and settle (ideally several days) the cleaner the wax will be. It should be poured into moulds just as it is starting to skin on top. Pressing wax (from old combs) will always be darker than cappings wax. Cappings wax is necessary for making thin super foundation which is used for comb honey but personally I prefer pressing wax when it comes to foundation. I have seen foundation made commercially but have never tried it myself. The leftover wax from the distilling of propolis is not suitable for foundation. New Zealand beeswax foundation is sought after because of its quality and purity compared to the rest of the world. Adulteration with paraffin wax is something there must never be allowed to happen.
  3. 2 points
    Synchronised treatment on a grand scale will only work if the treatment works , and with unusual treatment methods ( lack of money , half dosing , incorrect placement etc) and product failure in the mix ( discussion about what works and what doesn’t , and arguments about if and when a hive needs treatment, organic versus chemicals ) that’s a lot of bottles to line up in a row . It just is not possible
  4. 2 points
    It was yummy 'cos it actually had real butter rather than a passing spray of milk fat...
  5. 2 points
    Basically there is an overpopulation of hives in most areas This leads to competition for forage and the spread of mites and other health issues from one Beekeeper's Hives to others. If all the Hives in an area are treated at the same time then the issue of re invasion becomes less of a problem from the point of view of the Beek who has spent thousands of dollars early in a particular treatment period only to be re invaded by Mites from a neighboring Beekeeper who might plan to treat a bit later . My comments about the market relate to the fact that its highly likely the world economies just tipped into the beginnings of a significant slide which could negatively impact our industry, in which case over crowding will correct itself. If we get through this period intact then the overcrowding and it's negative effects may still be an ongoing problem which will need to be addressed An industry body would be an ideal entity to consult on a system of coordinated treatments. Remember that even if the industry shrinks considerably, one day it will recover and the same old problems will arise again so it makes sense to implement systems while the industry is at a low ebb rather than Bullish
  6. 2 points
    My daughter bought me some shortbread for mother’s day . it cost $25 for 390 grams. It was from a local company that specialises in top shelf confectionary . The profit on that box of shortbread would have been pretty high considering there wouldn’t have been a lot of extras in the shortbread compared to shortbread from pacnsav . It was very yummy and a perfect gift for a special occasion but was it worth $22 more than the $3 packet on the supermarket shelf ? To me it was because it was more than just a box of biscuits. If we market our NZ honeys as being special in some way then that’s going to be a good start.
  7. 2 points
    It's the dryest iv ever seen for May in Northland, I'm still getting in on the ute withought making a mess.
  8. 2 points
    I used bayvarol twice and apivar going into the flow with a bit of oxalic vapour to the bad mite sites aswel where I was loosing hives. I got my last small site to do today then off to check out one of my mite bomb sites. Staples have been put in with pest checking trays on for a few weeks now so I'll check the fall and do a alc wash on a average to strong hive and see how they're going.
  9. 2 points
    Well well, you just described a similar scenario to the area i occupy, except i have at few apiaries next to these so an so's. They reduce there work load by not maintaining the health of there hives, but my work load increases. when sping arrives they,ll replace their dead outs with live hives. And so the cycle begins again.
  10. 2 points
    sounds like i'll wait a week
  11. 1 point
    @ctm @cBank Starting a new topic so to not hijack the broodless conversation Have you considered a foundation press? There are quite a few on Alibaba- quality unknown If you want to search European sites- foundation is called middle-wall (Mittelwand in German) www.alfranseder.com- not remotely cost effective but fun to play with over winter. (could be cheaper to bring your wax down here and play with mine!)
  12. 1 point
    Contrary to what seems to be the norm, my mite count this year has been worryingly low, all year. The Ad- "Dont trust 'em boss!", has been at the back of my mind for most of the year. After yet another OAV, mite count after 24hours is...again, 2.....I check every day and clear the boards after every four days, when I do it all over again. After almost losing my hive last spring, I have been vigilent to the point of paranoia, recognising that organic treatments my need to be done more frequently to stay on top of things. I would like to say it is because I have partially regressed my hive down to small cell, but they only have 5 shaved down frames out of 15 in the brood area, so that doesnt work. As I said somewhere earlier- they have been a puzzle all year. I simply watch and learn.
  13. 1 point
    To explain why Vespex is not working in area’s where there is more than enough other "life prey" for wasps and therefor wasps won’t touch vespex. I found this article: “In non beech forest where there are no high popuation of wasps, wasps preferred preying on inver-tebrates to scavenging on sardine cat-food. When scaveng-ing on sardine cat-food bait increased it may indicate that the supply of invertebrates was insufficient to meet the demands of the wasp population at that time, and may explain why poisoning operations using sardinecat-food for bait are most successful from January to April, when wasp density is highest .” https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03014223.1995.9518043
  14. 1 point
    In the crowded Greater Auckland area, unless all are on the same page, it will do little to dent the re-infestation. Personally I try and leave my own treatments a bit later to deal to the high level of re-infestation.
  15. 1 point
    Could someone translate, I,m not fluent in Phil.
  16. 1 point
    We have used bayvarol and Apivar up till this season when we swapped to @Philbee staples. we have never seen a problem with the effectiveness of either of the synthetics and treated with Apivar in spring and bayvarol in Autumn as per Mark Goodwin’s recommendation. It makes me think it’s not resistance to these products you guys are seeing its other problems. I think using bayvarol in Autumn is imperative to getting a good over winter survival and those using Apivar will be fighting a battle.
  17. 1 point
    @cBank and @ctm just go completely foundationless. It will save a lot of time over making smooth foundation. During a flow or feeding light syrup they will build comb regardless. However, you will get lots of drone comb built with both methods.
  18. 1 point
    Many thanks @John T. Dave Cushmans site has good info on wax and mostly what you have described, but you added a few good tips. I pour the clarified wax into silicone cup cake containers as they cool quickly, peel off easily and they are smaller block to re-melt when using. For the first melt (solar melter), I have some nylon mesh bags designed to be put over fruit to protect them from birds and insects. Its pretty good at separating the rubbish and bodies, and the gunk peels off easily into the compost. Not much wax remains on the bags.
  19. 1 point
    Cheaper will never apply- unless there is a secondary driver like your wax being organic and when you send it for processing you cant be guaranteed to get your own wax back. Anyone who needs more than hobbiest amounts of foundation will have enough wax to send for processing. Home processed wax is not as purified as commercial wax- I would love to know the process it undergoes, but that will be commercially sensitive. At the very least it will go thru finer filters than chux cloths. Other than that- its been a fun challenge to work out- even if in reality it is back engineering already vastly superior processes. I get adequate foundation which the girls seem to respond positively to. Besides-what else do you do on wet winter weekends? The girls don't want to play.
  20. 1 point
    If you send the cleaned wax to NZ Beeswax - preferably with several other hobby beeks, you can just pay the processing on foundation. Even before I started to do this, I bought 15 kg cartons from them, and found no trouble finding others who would buy any surplus. By sending wax, the finished product comes down to about $7/kg, as against nearly $30.
  21. 1 point
    So saturday, bee check day, yay finally! its been a bit hard to get time to get into the hives the last while, but I managed it. I have been checking mite drops and tapping and hefting the hives every few days... tapping to get a a wee buzz back LOL... no buzz usually means no bees. ...and the first hive I checked has no buzz for a couple of weeks at least now. This is the hive I was not holding out much hope for: definately dead, no bees, not a speck of brood alive or dead, no honey, lots of pollen though (this was a swarm from spring rehomed along with an older last season swarm ). They had started laying but were doing very little. A couple of checks ago i gave them some brood but they just capped it and carried on. So I wasnt overly concerned...meh... 4 hives is plenty for me now. Next three hives, loads of bees still (probably too many really), quite a few frames of brood (whats happened to winter?), plenty of honey, even fresh nectar... not sure where thats from. One hive still had a few drones in it. Redistributed OA strips to the brood, the ones that hadnt been chewed out, quite a few were, updated some. Mite fall had been steady with these, not huge but enough to warrant keeping strips in through winter. Last hive, not looking so brilliant, smaller than the others but actually probably about where I would expect winter bees to be TBH, a small amount of brood, plenty of stores, but also a couple of DWV bees as well... UGH! This one has also had the highest mite drop by far, it also had had the largest bee population over the season and the nicest chilled nature, and gave me at least 3 boxes of honey on it own. So it got some new strips and I will be watching it closely... dont really want to lose it cos its my fav hive. so another check next month now..
  22. 1 point
    This is probably my last in this series of pictures and posts for these small cell foundation I made. Working so well, I do not feed anything to the bees, only just spring and already laid up two frames both side since Tuesday last week, last 6 days one hive laid up four sides, 20 000 cells give or take Plus other frames. The plastic frames is picture of queen.
  23. 1 point
    Installed some last week to expand the hives three hives, six days and all built in a two box hive not feed, amazed to be honest for August. Some more pictures Last picture is of the plastic small cell, outer brood frame.
  24. 1 point
    We have run all our nucs for several years with 3 queens and communal honey box/boxes. It works well as long as there are no gaps that the queens can get through. We pile on the honey boxes as needed and we over winter queens like this with a honey box and a feeder on top. There are lots of advantages to running nucs like this, for example, if one compartment fails there is no need to go to another hive to replace brood, therefore the risk of spreading disease is reduced. We get plenty of honey off them and the queens are well fed as there is a bigger colony looking after them. We use metal division boards in the boxes and a plastic queen excluder that fits flat over the top of the box and excluder. We put small strips of wood on the queen excluder across the division boards so the frames of the top box press down to stop the excluder from warping. 3 entrances on different sides of the base have butterflies so we can control the size of the entrance according to season. The queens don't seem to have any problems finding their own. We do not use a queen pheromone.
  25. 0 points
    Im not sure that a 2 mite drop is the same as a 2 mite wash. Dont trust em Boss
  26. 0 points
    You could always add icing sugar and whip it up . That would make it white .
  27. 0 points
    what we really need is a time machine..
  28. 0 points
    What it looks like obvious comb will not be mixed into the propolis scrapping.
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