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Pinnacle

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Pinnacle last won the day on October 2

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About Pinnacle

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    House Bee

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  • Business name
    Pinnacle Bees
  • DECA Holder
    Yes
  • Beekeeping Experience
    Commercial Beekeeper
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    Richard@pinnaclebees.com
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    Pinnaclebees

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    Hawkes Bay

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  1. Matt the question is whether they’ll stay that way. my plan is to maintain OA strips until the flow, to ensure hives are clean to the last minute. Remove them for the flow then immediately put new ones in at harvest. for us that means no strips in hive from late nov/early dec through to mid/late feb, depending on site. not saying at all that this is the beat way to approach it - just my plan at this point 😁
  2. MH thankfully they’re their mats, I didn’t pay for them. But even though they’re full (admittedly a mix of propolis/wax) the process of removing them all, packaging and palletisation, organise uplift then wait 3 months for a few hundred bucks? No thanks. would rather spend my time elsewhere!
  3. Mine are still on hives and I can’t be bothered removing them. not sure what to do with them now, barely seems worth the effort.
  4. This is a price equation. Most beekeepers don’t supply propolis as buyers don’t pay enough for it. If they paid more, more would be supplied. But it is cheaper to import - like most things in life. i don’t have any sympathy for buyers - if they created a big market that can’t support the price needed to motivate suppliers to supply the product, then that’s their own doing. i have no idea what the bio security risk is around imported propolis but, if it is truly being imported dissolved in alcohol I imagine the risk would be low. Having said that I would be interested to hear whether anyone actually knows if it is in alcohol - being highly flammable I can imagine that being a nightmare for shipping and storage.
  5. ‘‘Twas me, I did it 😁 65% formic in water, bricks placed on top bars. No plastic bags involved - I’m trying to eliminate plastic from our hives which is one of the drivers for using gib tape from Phil, as I was getting pissed off with all the single use plastic strips, wrappers and tubs (the last from MAQs). i like formic - it is effective and once you learn how to operate around it, there is little risk to the user. Penetrates caps so reaches into the cells hunting out varroa. Generally I’ve used it as a flash treatment rather than slow release (different to the MAQs concept) but in talking with Phil we thought that gib bricks may be a way of slowing release down to give some length of control. anecdotally these bricks seem to work better than the flash treatments I was using, but not as long lasting as OA strips (as you would expect). Certainly raised my interest and I’ll play around with them again this season. They’re far from a finished product at this stage. Regards reusing - Phil not so keen on this as I am. I found the bricks are more robust than strips and bees can’t pull them apart. A well functioning hive will keep them dry, so apart from being nibbles around the edge and having a little propolis on them, they come out similar to when they went in. So I re-soaked and re-used some, which seemed to work fine. I don’t believe the AFB risk doing this is any different to switching frames or anything else between hives - we’re looking for it all the time anyway and if there was any doubt the strips would be burned along with the rest of the hive.
  6. The way I see it, it's just like any other business. Relationships are everything. How well do you really know your customer? What do you do for your customer that delivers extra value? Do you always do what you promise? Can you help add more value to their business than anyone else? If you can truly tick all those boxes you'll be fine. And if the customer doesn't see value in what you're offering, you either need to lift your game so they do, or forget them and move on.
  7. @Wildflower I use HBH at times in commercial quantities - it has some pros and cons. I posted some stuff on this forum a year or two back which is essentially unchanged - search it up and have a read. Lemongrass is a particularly strong bee attractant - you’ll see it also mentioned at times for luring swarms. Spearmint I’m not sure. Lavender also gets added - it is quite aggressive towards mites, so I like to think it is doing something in that regard. Maybe it’s not, who really knows. My bees are healthy and I’d like to keep them that way. As honey prices have fallen off, so has my sugar usage (probably like many commercials). But I still use it in particular situations - for me strong hives early for pollination is one such use. cheers
  8. @Matt I’m the same, I’ve stopped worrying about crystals on the staples, I just leave them on and the bees seem to deal with it. OA staples are a very different proposition to synthetic strips. Strips we just banged in at a set time and walked away. The staples we take account of hive strength, food availability, stage of the season and as always we want young strong queens, low disease/varroa pressure and healthy living conditions. At times I’ve come across hives that I know the staples are going to hit hard - say the hive already has issues with varroa or disease or the queen is not as strong as she should be. Even if I give them fewer staples around the edge of the brood instead of straight though the middle I expect they’re going to struggle. I mark these for replacement (queen or nuc or whatever) next visit - if I turn up next time and they’ve bounced back, that’s great, if they haven’t I replace them and move on. My hope is that over time I end up with hives that have settled at low varroa/disease incidence and uniformly handle the staples well. I also still have formic in the arsenal for use between now and the flow, if I need to go for the nuclear option.
  9. Here’s mine. I even got up and took a photo for ya’s. But of course it’s too big to load. clark products by the 20L apparently they decant it themselves (possibly even make it?) My OA was from them too I think in a 25Kg sack
  10. These nucs have thin walls almost zero insulation- I over winter bees in them a lot and they manage just fine, but water is an issue for sure and I assume it all comes from condensation. Can’t stop this without putting insulation around them somehow to stop condensation forming on the cold inside wall. As far as I am aware, because it is likely condensation as the cause, roofs/covers aren’t going to help. However I ignore it, set them up so they have a slight fall towards the door and any condensation runs out. Any that have damp or trash sitting on the floor in first spring round late August get replaced, cleaned and sterilised as a matter of course. the bees, as always, are fairly tolerant of our meddling. Cheers
  11. @Philbee we’ve finished our second spring round on most of our hives, except for the high altitude stuff. I’ve commented before about some of the hives taking a bit of a hit when staples were introduced and we had a few come through winter looking a little “quiet”. also had the usual array of winter dead outs - haven’t run the numbers, but <10%, which is good considering the state they went into winter as I had a bung leg at the time. Anyway - second round complete and what is really pleasing is how the OA treated hives are taking off - very strong in many cases and we have cells coming on to start splitting shortly. They look really clean, healthy, nice bees and nothing to complain about. Even after the shabby weather we’re just coming out of, some hives I opened today we’re a little light on food but the brood looks fantastic. I’m still a fan of your staples, check your email inbox for my next order 👍🏻
  12. I imagine once it is flattened they wouldn’t reuse it but would probably build afresh on top of it - so over time you would have a very thick base to the frame and decreasing room between frames to actually draw new cells?
  13. Its a no brainier and an open source design effort would nail it in 12 months @Philbee your next project perhaps 😁
  14. So a week ago I put some OA strips in single box hives that hadn’t been treated since last spring - only left them because I wanted to know what would happen with winter OA strips. All were 10 frame, healthy looking (!) and with good foodstores. Winter has been pretty mild for us so far so they’re actively foraging. 4 of Philbees wide strips non EP well drained, 40% OA, per hive. All on hive doc bases. No pre or post treatment mite wash. 5 hives look perfect, quite impressed, the 6th one photos are below. first pic shows dead bees out the front. It was so bad after only a couple days I cracked the whole front of the hive open to make sure they could still get in/out. second pic shows dead bees on the base - many adults, plus some larvae pulled. third pic shows hive put together after cleaning the base and active foragers returning. hive remains ok but has clearly had a large shock. No sign of disease (incl DWV interestingly) when the strips were put in. I didn’t pull the frames apart today, but suspect the hive has reduced from probably 7-8 frames of adult bees to 4-5, so I wouldnt be surprised if there was some dead brood in there from chill. assessing the hive, I’m comfortable it will recover ok and push along into spring. I’ve carried out a whole lot of different scenarios with these strips over the past year or so, a lot of it pushing the envelope and outside recommendation, just so I can get a true handle on them. I’m pretty confident in then now, I think there is more comfort zone with them than people realise, although I can see hobbiests getting the odd shock when they get it wrong and have a result like this one... from now on I’m running these strips, with FA treatments held in reserve. No synthetic strips. Kudos to Phil for all the work to date. Cheers Pics 1 and 2 Pic 3 - have a close look you may pick up something (I just did!) @Philbee do you supply strips in cardboard cartons? The pails are good but I think I’ve got enough of them now, if we could get the strips in cartons we can just keep reusing the pails we have. cheers
  15. Guys - any chance you could take the whole mobile extraction discussion to another thread? 😁
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