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Otto last won the day on November 16 2019

Otto had the most liked content!

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About Otto

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  1. Don't believe so no and don't see it as necessary. Can't say I've exhaustively read this whole thread but I'm pretty sure the stitching came about once Gib papertape was decided on as a medium for holding the oxalic/glycerine mix. As multiple layers were required the layers needed to be held together...
  2. @Don Mac Sorry, was obviously not very clear with my previous post. My disagreement with your post was only with regards to using this particular example to support the need to rewrite the rules as this was not a gene editing approach but quite a substantial genetic modification of a gut endosymbiont. I have no issues at all with using genetic modifications in research. It is an invaluable tool without which we would still know very little about how biological systems work. I utilised it extensively when I did my PhD and as part of subsequent research projects I was involved in but that was all in containment and using laboratory strains of organisms. I know that this is an area in science where new techniques and technologies are changing the way things can be done very quickly. Rules written >20 years ago will not necessarily fit with the tools available today and I am all for the these rules being overhauled. Ideally how well the rules fit with new technologies needs to be looked at quite regularly. With respect to market development, my opinion is that our understanding of biological systems is not complete enough for us to be releasing genetically modified organisms into the environment (although I do realise that there are already multiple examples where this has happened).
  3. @Don Mac Not sure I completely agree with you here. Other than it being a different bacterium that got genetically modified I don't think this is really a "new genetic technique". This is clearly an example of genetic modification and not one of gene editing. They have introduced DNA that does not naturally occur in the gut symbiont to constitutively express RNA that also does not naturally occur in it. While I like the idea of utilising RNA interference, as it can be made to specifically interfere with a single species (in this case Varroa), I really don't like the idea of introducing genetically modified bacteria into the environment. It certainly raises a few pretty big ethical questions. Once something like this is allowed out of containment there would be no controlling where it ends up. I am not sure about not being able to undertake this sort of research in NZ - pretty sure if you can meet the containment requirements then it would be fine.
  4. February is a great time to get queens mated down here. Usually plenty of warm and settled weather and drones are still being tolerated. Down here (Dunedin) hives can start kicking their drones out in March, although this is often only some hives and not all.
  5. Is the honey just for personal use? There is always much emphasis placed on only harvesting capped honey, which for commercial beekeepers that potentially need to be able to store their honey for decent periods of time can be important. For a hobby beekeeper wanting to harvest and eat their own honey it really doesn't matter at all. Just be aware that if it isn't capped the moisture content will likely be a bit higher and therefore the honey can be prone to fermenting if stored for longer periods of time. To reduce the likelihood of this storing it in a cool place helps.
  6. Why would this need to be expensive? Could surely be done electronically now...
  7. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/07/honeybees-deaths-almonds-hives-aoe Nothing particularly new but gives perspective to the joys of beekeeping in the US of A.
  8. Will try to find some time to read the actual paper but this quote from the article doesn't inspire confidence: "The study also showed that the bumblebee colonies close to the thiacloprid-treated red clover fields grew larger in comparison with bumblebee colonies in landscapes without red clover fields." I fail to see how a landscape without a red clover field is a valid control for a landscape with a thiacloprid-treated red clover field!
  9. @Alastair Do you know what kind of ants these are? If not, can you collect some and either send them my way or to your local museum for identification?
  10. Beekeepers have stated that they see increased superseding of queens when using the oxalic staples. I claimed earlier in this thread that I have not seen this and at that point in time this was correct. I have had more unexplained turnover of queens in my colonies over the last 5-6 weeks than what I usually see and I am struggling to understand why. Seemingly healthy queens in strong colonies suddenly disappear and get replaced. They are not particularly old and the cases I refer to here the hive hasn't swarmed. My question is: When you've had supersedures does this coincide with putting the oxalic staples in? In my case it seems to be happening a couple of months down the track. I am not convinced that it is the oxalic that is causing it but would like a bit more detail from others to try and work it out.
  11. I mark queens whenever I come across an unmarked one as it makes them easier to find again. I make splits for various reason quite often throughout the season so finding queens is essential. Anything that makes them easier to find is worth doing in my opinion. I also supply nucleus colonies and some queens to hobbyists, often people new to beekeeping and marked queens makes it easier for them to spot their queen/s. I mark queens by picking them up and holding their thorax between my thumb and index finger, then putting a dot of paint on the thorax. Handling queens can be quite daunting and takes a bit of getting used to. To work out how much pressure to use the easiest thing is to practice on drones. No big deal if you accidentally squash one and they cannot sting.
  12. Yes, oil based paint. Doesn't have any negative impact on queens. Have plenty of queens where it never wears off, some where it does...
  13. I use these paint pens to mark my queens. I get them from a local art shop. I also know a couple of beekeepers that use the CRC ones available at Repco, Bunnings, mitre 10 etc and they also work well. I have not noticed marks disappearing more since using oxalic but will be more conscious to check now.
  14. Also just realised I haven't mentioned anything with regards to actually putting the strips in the hives. I shake as close to all the bees off the frames as I can when putting the staples in place. This includes the frames beside the ones with the staples. I hate squashing bees and creating situations inside the hive that result in dead bees. I shake off the bees, put the staple in place and then push the frames together before the bees have started moving back up onto the frames. I also have no evidence from my application of staples for it causing some superseding of queens (which from reading comments is somethings others do find).
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