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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/24/19 in all areas

  1. 5 points
    I thought you got yours later on in the season james? We also don’t mix our own brew, they come ready to use. We had a big learning curve in our year of staples.. from colonies bleeding bees half a metre out the front door to mite ridden DWV affected colonies losing half their population in one foul swoop... nowhere to be seen.. very alarming to see .. and followed by many sleepless nights thinking about 3500 colonies we may have killed.. we have been trialing different placement methods and numbers of staples all last season, this is still in my view a rather large self trialed experiment.. theres no instructions or rules.. I have placed them into crashing colonies with 2 mites per bee visible. we have placed 2 per box of bees.. to find mites building up.. then 3 then 4 then 6-7., checking discussing, tweaking methods etc , really keeping an eye on things. these things do work but ya gotta do some grunt work as well. The old synthetic treatment mentality doesn’t work with these. My view is these things are absolutely perfect for suppressing mite invasion in colonies with light infestation to begin with, they will turn around heavy infestation but are much slower than say Bayvarol and also may reduce some population also slowing the eventual turn around.. once the bees are fairly “ clean” these really come into there own maintaining very low single digit mite numbers per 300 bees washed. Reinvasion on some sites becomes alarmingly obvious with regular washing also. If I find a small colony now that has visible varroa damage I place synthetic treatment first, give it some love, let it come away nicely then switch it over to the staple.. just my thoughts anyway.. if our experiences with staples can help one beekeeper deal with mites better than they were then it’s all been worthwhile.
  2. 3 points
    Went back to this site today, bit of a shock after the other hives i've been looking at which are boiling with bees, this site the hives are pretty miserable, some hives not even one full box of bees. I pulled out the last few remaining shreds of the Varroa Death Strips, I'm thinking OA based strips might not be good for bees to overwinter on. Course i don't know what else might be in the death strips but by appearance and taste they seem pretty much OA. Had been planning to put in Phil's staples today but didn't like the look of putting in more OA, so put bayvarol in them all. Hoping the bees will bounce back, we'll see.
  3. 3 points
    Don’t loose hope, I lost my first hive over winter due to thinking all summer about it. With no other hive to borrow brood from it’s hard to recover. Get a mentor/Join a club. And when you restart this spring get two hives. Watch all @Trevor Gillbanks videos. There’s a good British one too (?kent). And learn learn learn learn. Register and also also do the AFB course, even if you don’t want to get DECA the course is good. Good luck, everyone on here is very helpful too & tolerant of us beginners
  4. 3 points
    I am only using narrows now and over winter. Albeit home made... not the philbee pros. I make four layer gib tape staples. No fold because I like to make one side of the strip of gib wider than the other so that I can have slightly wider staples for full hives and slightly narrower ones for my 3 frame and five frame nucs. When positioned across the middle of the box they still stop the Q crossing over and you end up with brood on one side and stores on the other... even in a three frame wintered nuc. I am now going with the Stoney method of placing them around the edge of the brood and the M4tt method of only putting enough staples in for the amount of brood. I had lots of dead bees out the front door when I started replacing staples a month ago because I think I was putting too many in and still straight across the middle. My 30 hives are looking amazing now (how they bounce back!)... whole boxes of frames being drawn out. This time last year CHCH was like up north with rain rain rain and the bees couldn't get to all the flowers - but not this year!
  5. 3 points
    We have ALOT of wasps going in and out of some of our hives, they have robbed out quite a few too. We put some raw meat out to see if they will take it, and they ate it like it was cake. So will be putting some vespex out tomorrow - hopefully they will take that too.
  6. 3 points
    For some time now I have felt that there should be just one form and combine the COI and the ADR together and get EVERY beekeepers to state that all hives have been checked for AFB by the beekeeper if he has a DECA or a qualified DECA holder if the beekeeper is new and has not had the experience or training to recognise AFB. This would save all the confusion about who should and who does not need to submit which form and give the AFB authorities a clear picture of who is checking hives!
  7. 3 points
    I am pretty sure that more than one leg of a staple per seam of bees is doing something very counterproductive to a hive . Perhaps @Philbeecould comment , but this may not have helped your bees @jamesc. The action of both fencing them in and creating a toxic centre in the hive . You won’t get that with only one leg per seam. Ive also found 5 per box too many . The one on the outside frame is wasteful . I also suspect the 40% staples are less forgiving on a hive than the previous lower strength brew . It seems to me that the management of applying staples needs to work alongside the beekeepers intuition . Read each hive as a separate unit . This means erring in the side of caution and starting with one or two staples on the small clusters , and adding more as they build up . This probably means more regular visits than with synthetics . My bees have been pretty quick to expand the brood to the next couple of frames where there was none the previous visit , but I have definitely negatively affected hives by putting in 7 over two boxes in one hit . Its a a learning game and I believe with our open communication we are making really good progress
  8. 3 points
    Thanks Matt, i haven't really spent the time reading all the staple information so it's good to get some advice, give me another season and I'll hopefully have a better understanding. LOL, 2 days ago I just got out of a yard at around 3 pm just as it started raining, and decided I'm not getting wet doing another yard and headed for home. Then on the way drove past the site of a large commercial. By this time it was hosing down, and there were 2 bedraggled looking beekeepers in full white suits working the yard, must have been horribly miserable for them. At that moment i just gave quiet thanks that I am now my own boss calling my own shots, not working for someone else.
  9. 2 points
    Pulled a Queen Excluder off today and saw my first play cup of the season..... And in the second photo was rearranging the bottom boxes, and discovered now into the third season the remains of oxalic strips, including my original cardboard versions and through @Philbee's various versions. Was like an oxalic acid / glycerine time capsule 🙂 If I recall it correctly Randy Oliver said the optimal dose was 20g per FD box of bees, so that would be three staples at 40% (six legs) per box of bees.
  10. 2 points
    I’m adding staples slowly primarily based on my own user error of adding too many at once , at the start of spring treatment . What I found was where there were plenty of bees and not much brood , too many staples has ‘stopped ‘ those hives moving forward . For example , 7 staples over two boxes of bees has seen no expansion of brood , and I suspect , a drop in bee numbers , to the point I’m pulling staples back out . It ‘feels’ to me like I’ve done wrong by them . Whereas , the hives with less bees and one or two staples are building up and look better . Regarding the older staples losing power , I guess I’ll keep my eye on them , but I expect the bees to give them a real good chewing out before that happens . No bees have started chewing yet, but they will .... with a vengeance
  11. 2 points
    I would normally expect at least some brood by this time of year but it is considerably colder in Southland and it's possible that the Queen is not laying yet. I had one hive yesterday that had just started to lay .How many bees were there, i.e. how me frames were completely covered in bees. It is possible to tell a queenless hive from a queenright hive with experience but it is not one of the easier beekeeping tasks. If the hive is queenless then given the time of year there is not really much you can do to save it other than joining it on to another hive.If the hive are still reason is strong with at least four or five frames of bees you could try giving it a litre or two of warm sugar syrup. If that doesn't make it lay within one week then you have a queenless hive.
  12. 2 points
    You may not have drones in your hive but there will be drones around
  13. 2 points
    It’s a very long time since I had a Ute . Now I have one again . I love it
  14. 1 point
    If you are a registered beekeeper but do not have a DECA, you will have recieved in the mail a yellow form to fill in, called a Certificate Of Inspection (COI). Every year some beekeepers do not fill it in, which will now bring a financial penalty so I am posting here as a reminder, plus some explanation. The reason for it is this. - AFB is a serious disease that requires an affected hive be burned if your bees get it. Hives should be regularly inspected to ensure they do not have it, because if they do have it and it kills them, other bees come and steal the honey from the dead hive, which spreads the infection. If we go back in time, this happened a lot, because some beekeepers did not know how to recognise the disease, so they just watched as their hives died, and the disease was spread to other beekeepers. So a scheme was introduced to train people to recognise and deal with AFB, and once someone has attended this course and passed a written exam, they can become a DECA holder (Disease Elimination Conformity Agreement) Because in the past some hives were never checked by someone who knew how to recognise AFB, now by law, every hive in NZ must be checked at least once each year by somebody trained, ie, a DECA holder. So for people who have not yet become a DECA holder, you have to get someone who is a DECA holder, to check your hive. That is what the yellow form is for. It is signed by the DECA holder and is written proof that you have had your bees checked by a DECA holder, and this form once completed must be sent in the return envelope by the end of November. I should add, that the COI is different from the ADR (Annual Disease Return), which can be completed online and must be filled in by every beekeeper, both DECA holders and non DECA holders. The ADR is a very easy form to fill in, to say if any of your hives had AFB or not, and also if you bought or sold any hives and who to. This has to be done in June. So simply- Non DECA holders must get a DECA holder to check their hives for AFB, and fill in, sign, and return the yellow COI form by end of November. DECA holders do not have to fill in a COI form for their own bees. All beekeepers must complete their ADR, which can be done online, in June. So for non DECA holders there are two things to do each year, for DECA holders there is one thing to do each year.
  15. 1 point
    That depends if any of the admin wants to move it. Its also quite topical for August so it’s not a bad thing discussing here
  16. 1 point
    Lots of bees is good. It gives you more options to fix it, should you need to , as in , even queenless they will carry on for a while doing their thing . A small colony is much harder to pull through . All the best 😊
  17. 1 point
    Thanks everyone for your responses - it's great to know that the beekeeping community is so helpful. In regards to bee numbers, every frame was well covered in bees on both sides. I also forgot to mention that I saw some amounts of uncapped honey on a few frames. I'll make up a warm mixture of sugar tomorrow, as suggested, and then check again in a week's time to see if there is any sign of laying *fingers crossed*. I'll also get on to watching some Trevor Gillbanks videos and school up. Thanks again!
  18. 1 point
    It might be worth putting my situation in context . This is heading in to my second season with the only treatment being staples . My Feb treatments stayed in , and were replaced and moved with the cluster every few weeks through winter , all the way through until they were all pulled out and replaced with new staples in late July, early August . The very important thing to remember is at the start of Spring treatment , there were no mites in my hives. This slow but steady application of staples as the brood grows my not work with a mite loading , in which case , staples placed in a line through the brood may be the best option to get them under control , initially
  19. 1 point
    I also found that “over stapling” has had an adverse affect on those hives. And the ones that I considered the size of the brood first and stapled last are booming now, only a few weeks later.
  20. 1 point
    @M4tt I read before you are just adding a staple as the brood and bees expand. Do you think there is a risk though that eg your first two staples are used up after a month, and then by adding an extra staple that it may not be enough OA for the amount of brood/bees. You'll know if it works...just curious really. I've also always put them through the middle, or the middle to edge of the brood, but am going to give @Stoney method a go. Seems the Ox/Gly staples continue to do the job for 99% of us, if they don't work I think it is likely due to very high mite levels at treatment (and so the hive is doomed) or user error.
  21. 1 point
    I don't know what the weather was like when you inspected but it might have been a bit cool to do so. For a novice, your report is useful and you have asked the right questions. :) You report that there was only capped honey which would indicate that the bees are not foraging in any amount and they can't brood if there's no food to do so. The colony may well come good - it's not always easy to see the queen in any case. I would not worry too much.
  22. 1 point
    I’ve just pulled all the staples out of he middle of the brood and placed the whole lot as per the @Stoney method. I’m really liking the ‘no brood damage’ that I’m seeing . They are starting to build pretty quick with most having new brood on two more frames than last visit, so in with another staple .
  23. 1 point
    Hi Anna Winter is the hardest season to get beee through alive . Im not sure what bees do in Southland at this time of the year, but I believe they should have brood , or very close to it . I imagine your observations are correct and your hive is queenless How many bees are in there ? As in , when you open it and look down on the frames , what do you see . Bees covering 2 frames , 5, or 10
  24. 1 point
    Let them do what they are doing , then once the new queen is laying , check the brood caps to see if they are worker or drones . You can then deal with it if you need to
  25. 1 point
    Yes, I believe there is enough food. I dont see any drones around so I dont see how having a virgin queen in the hive would be useful. Should I try hold out until there are caged queens available and replace the virgin?
  26. 1 point
    Thanks is Alistair. I’ve just finished looking it up as it’s not particularly easy to find and the below might help someone. To be able to inspect a hive for someone without a DECA, a beekeeper must have had hives for 2 years, done the AFB course, sat and passed the test then applied for and obtained their own DECA and had it for at least a year. I believe you can get an exemption of sorts on the “had hives for 2 years” bit (presumably by being a beekeeper for an organisation for that duration?). I’m not sure of the wisdom in getting someone with just 2 years experience to sign off ones hives, but it’s allowed and better than nothing. Please point out any inaccuracies in the above!
  27. 1 point
    Couldn’t agree more on the communication Matt. These are all our own experiments on our own terms and we know some are having very different results to others. Weeding out the differences in the trials can only be positive. However... we probably should be doing it over in the Ox /GL thread ..... 🤔.
  28. 1 point
    This was how we ran them at the start this time last season and later found we had cut the brood nest in half .. a small percentage of them layed past staples but majority didn’t which affected expansion of the nest. We now run a leg in every seam and alternate ends of the frames. Works for us. Always placed on outside edge of the brood, like say half on the brood and half on the pollen/stores band surrounding brood. For us that is most effective. A full box of bees gets 4, a double brood both boxes full of bees with brood gets 7 . A box of bees containing only 5 frames bees and couple small patches of brood I give 1... adding more as they expand up to a max of 4 in one box. Always wiping excess liquid off before placing. This works for us on our sites. We have done a full year ox staples only. First time we used them we lost bees but so far things appear fine this season. They MUST be with the brood and don’t appear anywhere near as effective if brood is away in the corner of the box post winter.
  29. 1 point
    Interestingly, I found a hive that I’d put staples in , incorrectly , a couple of weeks ago. I had in mind to follow @Stoney‘a lead and put one leg down each seam and at the end of the brood. Well , I hadn’t done that . I’d put two legs down each seam and fenced the brood in . The bees most certainly did not like it , abandoned all brood, and moved to one edge of the box and started again . Conversely, where I’d placed them properly, the bees are expanding nicely, so I’ve moved the staples further to the outside of the frames so they are just missing the edge of the brood. I’m going to run with this approach and see how it goes
  30. 1 point
    I've got the same rain on my roof... I've given up going out when it is like this. No sooner do you get underway and into the hives than you have to close up and scuttle back to the vehicle, wet and uncomfortable, then the sun comes streaming in and you get through another couple of hives, then back to the wagon and so it repeats, so frustrating. I'm spending my time fixing things so I can break them again.
  31. 1 point
    Well here’s some sun for ya we’ve shed the thermals
  32. 1 point
    Re that. For some years now i have been wintering in a brood box with an excluder on it and a honey box on top of that. Using staples experimentally this spring but up to now have done a traditional spring and autumn treatment using synthetic strips in the brood box only, which most of the time other than a few hiccups, has worked fine. Come spring treatment time, quite a few hives will have a lot of bees in the top box, away from the treatment. However in my view the reason the treatment works anyway, is because although there will obviously be mites on the bees in the top box, the ultimate goal of all those mites is to get down into the brood area and breed. So one way or another they all head down there, where the treatment can get them. That's how i see things anyway. This spring though, I am doing quite a few hives with Phils staples, again, bottom box only. So far, the hives have been stronger than normal with a lot of bees in the second box. So what will be interesting is the effect of the staples. I'm thinking the OA could have a repellant effect and make those mites in the top box, less likely to go down into the brood area. Might not have that effect either, but i don't know. So for now, I'm running with that system, and only time will tell how good it's worked. Will know in February i guess. 🙂 Agreed it's been lousy, and for more than a month also. Even at this early stage of the season, I am behind schedule, just can't get out and do the number of hives i should be doing. 🤔 Even now, i am sitting at my computer idling away time, and listening to pounding rain on the roof. 😳
  33. 1 point
    We are coping with temps over 30C and at least next week also.. Really dry and hot.. Bees strong ( too strong), not rarely with 10 frames of brood.. Now I can see starting of making honey arches.. There will be quite an army to feed overwinter.. But I believe they know what are doing.. Some queens failed and I will merge mostly with others, since I am motivated to reduce the colony numbers.. The hazelnuts are now in focus for me..
  34. 0 points
    I got some quite sophisticated technology ..... but we are not really allowed to talk about it anymore.
  35. 0 points
    Waikato Drought 😜
  36. 0 points
    Especially when the rear door latch aint working!! Ive got a 5 door Prado atm,so having to tow my trailer around on the bigger missions,otherwise like you say Matt,in an out of the rear.
  37. 0 points
    Your teeth must be incredibly white if you been sippin outta the OX/GL tap...
  38. 0 points
    Who mixed up your brew ? You didn't by any chance soak them in Speights by accident ?
  39. -1 points
    Well today it got worse. Another 32 hives stolen overnight !!!!! Our sites are in the local Forest behind locked gates but unfortunately this week contractors have been working in there and have been leaving the gates open. The police and Forest Security have been advised but we are putting more cameras out incase they come back. They had blocked up the entrance with a rubber matting material so we have kept that as evidence. Our Registration number is D0871. It's really disheartening as they were bursting with bees getting ready for splitting and pollination .
  40. -1 points
    The Irritator.... not yet Oh dear Here another hive i just sampled shok it after ten minutes Time for Apitrsz i think
  41. -2 points
    The Spring weather forecast is making for chilly reading: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12261051
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