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Everything posted by AdamD

  1. Once you have identified which box the queen is in, you can move that to one side so the flyers return to the old site; this will make it easier to find the queen with some of the bees gone.
  2. Bayvarol and Apistan are quite old treatments and were used extensively in the UK for a number of years which was fine until colonies started to suffer from varroa again and winter losses increased - as the mite had built up a resistance to the chemicals in them. Thymol based treatments have been used in the UK for a number of years and I would guess, more or less took over from the Bayvarol/Apistan treatments - Amitraz based treatments (Apivar and Apitraz) have not been licenced in the UK for that long - I don't know whether resistance will build up to those as well. It's good to have choic
  3. If you use Apiguard - or another strong thymol based varroa treatment in the hives, they can look like they are being robbed as the bees behave differently. And I have had silent robbing - where I was putting in sugar syrup in the autumn and not uderstanding why the colony was not gaining weight. Until I noticed activity late in the day at the entrances of two hives. The robbers and the robbed, as it turned out. The robbing hive was unliftable! If you are not sure which hive is the robbing hive, if you have a quick eye you can shake icing sugar (old books suggest flour) on the leaving bees - a
  4. If there's no forage, robbing bees can follow you around the apiary as you do inspections; and sometimes you just have to stop and come back later if you need to. And I once thought I'd get an inspection in before it was due to rain. However the rain was more of a storm with a big low (pressure) and the bees knew! (Miserable sods they were!).
  5. It's difficult to be sure of the dose with home made remedies. A small colony may be due to other factors than mites (failing queen?) although mites are something that has to be managed well. Last summer I had a couple of colonies that suffered from chronic bee paralysis virus with thousands dead outside those two hives - they were just walking/staggering out to fall on the pile of corpses underneath. Both colonies did survive though. CBPV is increasing in the UK, I understand, although it is not associated with varroa - although some paralasys issues are. And of course some bees j
  6. One suggestion is to clear the bees from the supers and them put them on another hive for safe-keeping. Then you can treat with colony without worrying about contaminating the honey. Is there mite resistance to Bayvarol yet in NZ? It was one of the treatments of choice in the UK (along with Apistan) for a while until resistance built up - the reisitance wasn't really noticed until winter losses started to increase and people figured out why.. Thymol based treatments are used in the UK, and MAQS is also used for a quick (1 week) treatment as it penetrates the brood cappings if it's available i
  7. Are they definitely not coming back or are they returning to the wrong hives and get killed perhaps?
  8. My main apiary is about 600 metres from my home. I keep just a few hives at home - mainly due to bee poo issues and the danger of death if my wife continued to be unable to hang the washing outdoors! If I need to move colonies from one site to the other I move them around 3 miles away (to where I work) for a couple of weeks first. The poo issue tends to come in waves - depending on the forage available and the time of year - for me it's spring that's the worst time. If the odd colony needs to be split due to swarming, or a swarm could be hived elsewhere, that could be an opportunity
  9. Apologies for the (very) late reply.. Yes I have done it a number of times, No top entrance needed as it's still one colony. It'spretty standard practice in some parts of the world.
  10. Look up Demaree:- Queen on one frame in lower brood box, space filled with comb/foundation. Excluder. Super(s). Excluder. Brood box with all the brood on top. The hive stays together as one with no loss of foragers as the flyers return to the hive entrance and forage as normal. Any queencells can be cut out of the top brood box after a week. The idea is that you seperate the brood from the queen to minimise any swarming instinct. You can swap the brood boxes later.
  11. For me, queens will do a couple of seasons although the colony is smaller in the second season and there's a greater chance of swarming. Supercedure queens can be good; If the colony starts to supercede too early in the season, you may be lucky and delay it a couple of weeks if you remove the queencells which will then be late enough for the new queen to mate - if there are no drones in hives, then it's too early in the season.
  12. Do they have enough space inside the hive? Colonies could be expanding quickly - and a frame of brood is apparently 3 frames of bees.....
  13. The moths like old comb that has been bred in - it's the cocoons they like to eat. Once you have killed the moth eggs/larvae, you need to stop the moths from getting at the comb again.
  14. If you can get them in a smaller or preferably polystyrene hive, they will conserve heat better and grow faster. In the UK, varroa developed a resistance to Apistan and Bayvarol in some parts of the country.
  15. I use an old fridge as a cheap insulated wipe-clean box with a slow cooker inside as the heater. I have a thermostat which I took from an old water boiler.
  16. Of course we are; We're beekeepers!
  17. Bananas are supposed to be similar in smell to the alarm pheremone given off by guard bees from their mandibular glands. I would also be worried about dark colours. De-sensitizing programmes DO work - so stick with it!
  18. 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.
  19. Do I have to wait for that long; can't I start now? ++++++ There is a bee gym which is supposed to help bees rid themselves of mites. https://www.vita-europe.com/beehealth/products/bee-gym/
  20. I am impressed by the biosecurity in NZ. I came to Wellington a few years ago with my bags going to Christchurch. When I got them, they had been opened and my shoes had been steam cleaned. Just in case! In the UK anything can come in.
  21. Now there's a challenge for someone to develop a home test kit! Unfortunately if I tried to send honey to NZ for testing I would probably be flogged!
  22. Is there a way someone could do it themselves or does "sending it away" mean that they use loads of clever (expensive) stuff to do the job?
  23. You beat me to it. Markypoo, your black bee doesn't have the shineyness I would expect to see from a sick girl - it looks healthy from the photo. Bees walking away from the hive is a tell-tale sign of a problem. For me, there seems to be a co-incidence with high varroa load late summer, so I would treat for varroa as soon as possible if I saw signs of CBPV. Although the CBPV is not vectored by varroa, I wonder if by removing the varroa and the viruses assoicated with them, it allows the colony to recover as there are just less viruses for the bees to deal with?
  24. The amount of HMF increases with time and temperature so if you want to keep it a LONG time, then cool will be better. There is a maximum limit for HMF in the UK, but it's not easy to measure it. Or is there?
  25. Hairless shiny bees can be a sign of Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus. (!)
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