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Showing content with the highest reputation on 11/07/19 in all areas

  1. 5 points
    Alastair and others - I think the reason you are not getting answers is possibly because no one has those answers. This is still kinda new, we can all hypothesise reasons for what we’re seeing until the cows come home, but unless someone is prepared to spend serious cash on lab research to look at mechanisms for bee effects, we’re probably not going to get an accurate answer. as I’ve already said - I’m not at all convinced this is a straight bee tox issue. Reason being that once hives have had OA strips for awhile, it seems you can hit them really hard and they no longer have those adverse impacts. I’ve put 10 fresh strips in a double box hive This spring in an effort to slow them down, with zero apparent effect. However like you say, I put 6 in some boxes in winter and had a major bee kill as I reported somewhere back up this thread. could be due to bee health (Sick bees die scenario) could be due to bee numbers (large hive less OA per bee or some bee deaths not as apparent scenario) could be the acidification thing you mention (maybe they “get used to it” scenario) could be a food supply thing - someone commented above along these lines (during a flow bees cope fine scenario) hell, I’ve even been thinking there could be some gene expression or up regulation effects, with whatever that means for how bees react... there will be other suggestions but like I say, I’m not sure we’ll ever have hard answers, certainly not in the short term. ive played a lot with formic and pretty much all of the above applies to that acid as well. Using formic at the rates I do, on a small colony in say august, means they only just recover in time for our flow in late November! Same or even heavier dose at the start of the flow or if they are on the brink of swarming has almost zero bee impact at a colony scale plenty of ideas and it still beats all those little plastic strips I’ve had to dump in the past
  2. 4 points
    For the record to date There is currently a 45 Hive licenced trial in progress for the use of 40% Oxalic Acid / 60% Heavy food grade Glycerine for the control of Varroa Mite This trial started on 04-04-19. This trial therefore covers the Autumn and spring period. The trial Hives were choosen randomly and have random aged Queens. Due to poor weather the Spring portion of the trial which uses the same trial group as the Autumn period, was late starting. This saw 10 Hives treated 20th Sept 2019 and the balance treated in the first few days of November 2019. The Autumn period demonstrated efficacy but it was also important to look at the Laminate's ability to withstand the Spring Hive environment given that past experience had shown that the Bees were inclined to be far more Hygienic during the Spring period. The ability to withstand the Bees hygienic activities is an important part of efficacy and or effectiveness. The results of the trial to date show that OA/GL is a highly effective Varroa control method and that at the trial dosages which are high, have not damaged the trial Hives. Of the 45 Hives that started the trial (there was a double up of numbers so there is a 32 and a 32a Hive), 39 hives are alive currently and participating in the ongoing trial. Deaths relate to accidental damage, Drone layers, culling of a control hive and an unexplained. If there was a tendency for OA/GL to dwindle hives it would have shown up in the trial and or on my own use of the system in production Hives and it has not. On the matter of superceedure I have seen this trial hives this season, as the treatments went in this week so it is probably unrelated to treatment. One of the trial sites (Site 2) which was chosen randomly, had a significant die off when treated last spring and also what Id view as the poorest Autumn trial results, now has outstanding spring results and no adverse reaction to treatment this Spring. The methods for the trial include full photographic and white board records which means that all the data can be checked. It is a very robust trial.
  3. 4 points
    @Alastair if you go right back early in this thread somewhere you might remember some comment/discussion or musings on treated hives losing some bee numbers After treatment due to pms or maybe virus load or whatever. The thought being that there was some issue with those bees that wasn’t obvious visually but became expressed after exposure to strips. I still have no idea what the mechanism is but I’m not convinced it’s straight OA toxicity, because I’ve only seen the symptoms you describe in hives treated for the first time. it seems when I follow staples with staples there is zero obvious impact on bees. I commented to Phil is is almost as though they have a “memory” and once they’ve dealt with it before it is much easier next time around. I know that’s not the right term, but once the hives are running on staples it seems I can stick any old number in and I’m not too precious about how wet they are or whether they’re covered in crystals or whatever, the bees seem to cope fine.
  4. 3 points
    I think we need to be careful that while Oa/Gl has worked well for a number of bk's that it is also conceivable that OA/Gl has not worked well for other bk's in other situations. That's not to say that either side is right or wrong just that their experience has been different. We know O/G works, but equally we don't know the full extent of the effects they have on the bees / larvae when fed / residue in wax / Queen viability etc etc as this is a new application and detailed, broad rigorous scientific work has not been undertaken, that work is only just beginning.
  5. 3 points
    The problem is nobody wants to pay for journalism, let alone news, especially not Stuff as they can't figure out how to turn a buck from it. A well known adage is that, if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys and that really sums up almost all NZL news gathering these days. A further example is that nightly TV news will tell us about the latest NBA games, so I guess it costs too much to give us NZ news.
  6. 3 points
    I would second your observations , but would add ... The first time I used staples was out of desperation . Hives had already collapsed mid winter after already having three other treatments since mid Feb , all of which left the hives full of mites and DWV. They were down to a cluster of bees and a queen . Remarkably, these severely compromised hives did not suffer mass bee deaths with the staples, but instead slowly but surely geared up and gained momentum, helped along by syrup to get the queens nourished and laying . The turn around was immediate . From memory , I only had one hive that wintered strongly that year , so it was a major . Before staples , I had never successfully wintered all my hives any where near satisfactorily . Before varroa , I had no trouble getting hives through winter , but I only had 3 Hives way back then . I have certainly seen dead bees outside hives after staples are put in , but it was only temporary and never lead to the hives going backwards , and none reacted that way in the past year . I’d certainly look at Cororapa for those having problems . I have not been able to get staples to negatively affect bee populations long term
  7. 3 points
    Do not Panic Mr @M4tt I cannot see how a web discussion thread on a novel idea can be constructed as advertising......but some people may try. Here are 3 facts to help you & MPI sleep tonight. Predating this thread is the Varroa Contol Booklet by Goodwin & Taylor, published by MPI (MAF for early editions) - the green one we all own. And it specifically gives a beekeeper own use method for using oxalic acid and formic acid. So is the book advertising - no way, it was a guidance document. The use of oxalic acid + glycerine was in a published scientific paper by Argentine scientists looking at a new Varroa treatment. Are published scientific papers advertising? I doubt if MPI can suggest that is credible with any validity. Note even Randy Oliver writes up and self publishes his results in a scientific format - full transparency of his results is his methodology - not advertising or a testimonial in my book. There is no law against being transparent with the reporting of results and experience - that is called free speech. Please read Section 4(4) on page 5 of the MPI guidance document. It requires a beekeeper user to ensure they have the knowledge and capability to safely ensure the fitness for use of their own use product. That means they have to get that knowledge for a 'good understanding' of the product from somewhere. Looks like a specific MPI instruction to me. That is self education and it is done by researching the scientific literature, published books (including MPIs Varroa Book and Practical Beekeeping) and asking questions or reporting on results on a forum such as this. True when the Regulations were first written, no one in MPI was visioning the place of websites and on line forums to provide the education source and give beekeepers the required understanding for safe and proper use.. The big question is the reporting of results and experience on a forum such as this a testimonial? My personal opinion (Has not been run past a lawyer) is that a discussion on results and experiences, whether verbal or on an internet forum is not a testimonial when a person is endeavouring to share an understanding and knowledge about the methodology. that is an education process in compliance with 4(4) page 5. Example: "I treated my 4 hives with oxalic staples I made myself. 3 hives had excellent varroa control +90% kill based on mite counts and the 4th hive collapsed and I am investigating why the colony died out." This is a report in my opinion and not a testimonial. But I am not sure if there is a legal beagle in MPI who wants to bet his future legal promotion on making a case to the NZ Courts on what is exactly a testimonial or advertising. My thinking he has a lot more easier meat to snaffle such as a bee nutrition and health tonic supplements promoting disease control in bees than the use of oxalic and glycerine. I think MPI have done a good job making sure they have informed beekeepers to comply with the law they administer which has provisions for own use.
  8. 3 points
    An update on the Waipa beekeeping consent process for Te Awamutu and Cambridge. I asked for the number of existing consents for Te Awamutu urban area, and was sent a list of 7 Current consents, all for Rural delivery addresses around Te Awamutu, and NONE within the town boundary. We have it on good authority that there are more than 66 hives within Te Awamutu. We have also managed to get the Council to put a hold on what seems like the first beehive consent application since 2014, as the RMA process of amending/removing the beekeeping rules are up for review early next year. So if anyone gets approached by Waipa District Council to apply for a consent for their TA hives, please let me know. They have no idea how many hives exist, and haven't been looking. Proves their rules are pointless, as they focus on complaints (which there have not been any for years). The current application was only initiated by a query by a prospective buyer for a neighbouring property. They saw hives over the fence and called the Council. No complaint has been laid. Hamilton has had only 21 complaints in the last 6 years, plus 1 about a swarm. They related to were resolved amicably, through re-positioning, reducing numbers, and general advice and education.
  9. 2 points
    Might I wade in here ? We know that synthetics are more or less non toxic to bees , therefore the dosing tolerance is high . In other words , overdosing won’t affect bees . We also know that the tolerance of bees to organic acids is low , ie , the dose rate to kill mites is getting quite close to being toxic to bees . It is realistic to expect , armed with this info , that OA will kill bees that are not in full health , and bayvarol probably won’t . The theory fits the observations at least . We actually need to get some uniformity with our experiments and actually collect and test the dead bees that are excessive , to either rule a cause out , or confirm it . They would also be best tested at the same place @JohnF would be the most obvious candidate for doing the job and collating data, to me
  10. 2 points
    No I'm not. I said that hives that not so long ago were strong enough for me to take 2 kg packages of bees from, have now dwindled to a fistful of bees. You ask me to be more clear and concise? Exactly how? Thing is, I'm having problems with the staples. I am looking for solutions. To solve a problem, a person first has to believe the problem exists. Then he can work on solving it. Denying it doesn't solve it. Unfortunately in this thread, if I mention a problem, it is met with denials, I am asked to produce scientific studies to prove it (which i had the courtesy to do), and it is even inferred that beekeepers having problems are not the best of beekeepers. I have also been asked to give a full rundown of all my work and various methods i have trialled with oxalic acid in the past. This is rather a lot of work, so, just exactly what is it you would like to know? I'm dissappointed. I was kinda hoping i could say, I'm having this problem, what can I do about it? And then somebody would tell me. And please nobody make the vulgar mistake of thinking this is a personal attack. I'm just wanting a useful discussion that can be of help to me, that's all.
  11. 2 points
    Manuka flowering well at the Hamilton Gardens. We saw 1 lonely bee on these (ornamental) flowers.
  12. 2 points
    dont tell watsons. they might dump 100 hives on the boundary.
  13. 2 points
  14. 2 points
    No i haven't. Yes i'm guessing. However it would be a remarkable coincidence statistically, if over the several hundred hives I am experimenting on, the majority of staple treated ones had N Cerana, and none of the bayvarol treated ones had it. In fact it would be such a stretch, that I'm not even going to bother with tests for it. Yes i have read that thought. Like you say, it was a thought that's all. No proof has been presented. Some years back (before Phil had bees), i did some experimentation with OA, i worked with OA for several years, there is even a video somewhere on this site of me doing it. I've trialled a few different methods of application and do know the effects it has on bees and brood, and what I'm seeing now is typical. Most people, Phil included, appear unaware of how OA affects brood if it enters the food supply. Because of what some are saying that bees <get used> to staples, I will continue using them, I would very much like them to work. All I'm doing here is giving a balanced reporting of my results.
  15. 2 points
    @Alastair have you analysed those bees left in the hive for nosema ceranae. If the hive has shrunk rapidly to a Queen and a handful of bees you are looking at the same symptoms of Coromandel Colony Collapse. There has been reports of a number of hives experiencing nosema ceranae this season in the North Island and the only way to find out is to have the bees analysed by a Lab. If you are not measuring and monitoring with all the tool boxes available to a beekeeper, you are only guessing.
  16. 2 points
    Its entirely possible that MPI have been put in a difficult position and my advice would be dont poke the Bear
  17. 2 points
    This whole thing sits in the outrageously typical beaureacratic crapola pile. MPI is far happier dictating don'ts than actually being helpful. Ggrrrr. We'll all have to have a permit to fart soon.
  18. 1 point
    Two tiered honey industry apparently... Nothing new that those in the business don't already know, but great to get it out in the public domain that beekeepers don't all drive Ferrari's and fly helicopters. http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/116984265/mnuka-plantations-to-replace-wild-capture-as-honey-sector-faces-twospeed-market?cid=app-android
  19. 1 point
    If i get them tested, then what? Frankly i don't think you will be able to give any further useful information. I already know what the issue is, toxicity of OA to bees. Blaming it on the bees being sick is a red herring, and one you have no evidence for, it's something somebody thought up. You won't run tests for it yourself, just ask me to run tests. As the vendor, you should be running tests. In fact, I am wasting my time here. I'll contact JohnF about getting some bees tested but the way this discussion has gone, I'm pretty certain that when the results are in, i will still get zero useful advice here. The tests are a waste of time but i'll just do it anyway. And because you seem to be taking this as a war of words, rather than an attempt on my part to get help, I'll be leaving the conversation for now, I'll come back once I have test results.
  20. 1 point
    Why no comparisons to bayvarol? Well as long as this knowledge is privy only to you, it is no help to me. Why no comparisons to bayvarol? . I am constantly comparing one method with another, and attempting to do what's best. It's my job to do that.
  21. 1 point
    Phil how about you run some tests. It is you claiming that OA killing bees is the result of sick bees. How about some evidence?
  22. 1 point
    Ha, we were there a week ago . The gardens look amazing these days I reckon . Well worth a look
  23. 1 point
    Rangiora, great plant when in a hurry
  24. 1 point
    I’ve never seen bees on it. “Bush mans toilet paper”. Usually found on the edge of Bush.
  25. 1 point
    Great work on this @PhilEvans thanks for keeping us updated
  26. 1 point
    Yes i put staples in the extra boxes so probably overdosed for the amount of actual bees. Today i checked a site that a while back had big strong hives that were good enough to take packages off at a couple of kilos a hive, today the hives have shrunk to a fistful of bees, and I'm writing that site off for any honey production this season i'll be happy just to get them in good shape for winter. I think i overdosed plus had treatment in too long, I'm now convinced oxalic can hurt the bees and it's super important not to overdose.
  27. 1 point
    I was down the local garden shop today and they had some amazing manuka plants in full flower. I assume they are some sort of Australian hybrid and they come in a multitude of colours with flowers close to a centimetre acrooss. They were covered in bees.
  28. 1 point
    It was 32 degrees here yesterday! I didn’t really care!
  29. 1 point
    I worked a site of 22 today that I was a week late to last round and they had started the process, I usually cut all cells (shake frames) and leave eggs and remove queen.. if they’re beyond the point of no return.. because I am doubling numbers aiming for a December flow this yr I left them with 2 half built cells.. (to save some build up time)... two hives side by side.. one has a huge population with a golden new Q the other had swarmed on the first cell hatch which I caught, and had a broad VQ present.. roll of the dice really but it sure is fun using various techniques to retain workforce.
  30. 1 point
    There is no8 wire attached to the pallets and i used a drive shaft to twist a loop in the wire. There are two pieces of no8 wire that are attached to either side of the pallet, so where they cross I had a hook in the shed set at a certain height that I hooked through there. I would then stand on the pallet and poke the drive shaft through the gap and twist, you have to twist it about 5 turns, when we first stand on pallet it would be on the ground but after twisting it would lift off the ground a bit, but be nice and tight.any less turns than 5 and it can unwind when a heavy load comes on. Ill take photo and give you my measurements tomorrow.
  31. 1 point
    One for the day. Good Size Swarm. Filled a 10 frame box easily. Will add another box tomorrow.
  32. 0 points
    I wonder if the cat is now having an identity crises?
  33. 0 points
    Instead of queen bee for guys, perhaps we could have honey!
  34. 0 points
    I am trying not to. That is why I try not to get involved with too many threads.
  35. 0 points
    Soon there will be two queens in the hive by the looks.( @Dave Aky, this has nothing to do with your swarm )
  36. 0 points
    BTW pink cat. I see that you have lost field bee status and have now become our Queen Bee. Maybe it is time you swarmed. Or do we need to super you up.
  37. -2 points
    Update: WDC have refused to put a hold on consents for beekeeping in Te Awamutu. A requirement is for a beekeeper to get signed consent to allow the hives, but the form states the neighbour gives away all and every right to everything to do with bees from that point on, so should the bees be an issue to them at a later date, they cannot do anything about it. I probably wouldn't sign it either. A standard consent costs $2100, but a notified consent when a neighbour doesn't sign costs a staggering $7,165.... for 2 hives. In this case they have been there for 2 years already with zero complaints from any neighbour. No wonder there have been no approved consents in Te Awamutu. This is quite staggering and nonsensical, and shows the absurdity of some aspects of bureaucracy. You've heard of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut... this is using a planet to squish a bee.
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