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Otto

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Posts posted by Otto

  1. When we go down the organic path I think for us Oxalic dribble would be first choice.

     

    I think its something we could use in our queen raising with a dribble each time we caged a queen and replaced with a cell. Thats around once every three weeks which would mean we we get the phoretic mites initially and then as the brood hatches it would get those ######s as well.

     

    That would be done from about now till november.

    I think this has potential to work extremely well. The timing of the dribble is everything though. You would need to do it 3 weeks after taking the laying queen out (rather than when you're taking them out). Chances are most of the mating nucs will not have sealed brood in them at that point so all mites in the hive will be phoretic.

    • Like 1
  2. Yes I'd be pretty interested in some pics, plus a rundown on what you do to the cells between uses, ie, cleaning etc, plus where they can be bought.

     

    Cheers :)

    We only use them for getting the eggs - not for cell raising so my familiarity is only with the frame/cage unit of the system. I was going to have a go at some of my own cell raising this season but was just planning to graft from the EziQueen plugs into regular cell cups. Should be easier than fishing the larvae out of cells. When not in use it is best to store the frames somewhere where waxmoth cannot get to them (e.g. freezer). You can 'store' them in a hive but they're not really designed to extract honey from...

  3. @Barry @Alastair

     

    I routinely use EziQueen frames at work. For some of our research we need eggs that are not more than 6 hours old. When we're doing work this work I cage up 3 or 4 queens every morning and take the frames out 5-6 hours later. A bit of variation from queen to queen but usually get from 50-200 or so eggs per frame.

     

    The queens are in nuc boxes (4 frames + single frame feeder). When putting the EziQueen frame into a nuc I remove the feeder and move the two frames next to it to the side so that the EziQueen frame goes in the middle. It works best if the EziQueen frame goes in the day before (with the cage on it so the queen has no access). That way the bees have had a chance to warm it up, clean it etc.

     

    If interested I can take a few photos of how I have them set up.

    • Like 3
  4. I've never fed dry sugar. I heat my syrup in the presence of a little acid (citric or oxalic) to do a partial invert (breakdown sucrose into fructose and glucose).

    I try to make sure my hives have enough going into winter but tend to overwinter a number of nucs. Often good to top these up. To do this I keep an eye on the weather forecast and hope for a run of at least a few milder days. I'd much rather check and feed as necessary on a mild July day than have hives starve. If you feed with a few milder days in the forecast after feeding it gives them enough time to empty the feeder before it gets cold again.

    • Like 1
  5. So frazz what other equipment is needed

    1) Centrifuge

    Hard to get one of these cheap. If you're only looking at small amounts (up to 2ml total volume) you can get something like this:

    http://www.alphatech.co.nz/content.asp?syscmd=dl&ID=829869DD10D944418E8319A7AB35EFE3

     

    Cheaper ones are available but they tend to be single speed (which might be okay for pollen). For centrifuging larger volumes you're looking well into the thousands (over $10,000 for a good one).

     

    2) Pipettes

    Good to have but probably not absolutely essential. These allow you to accurately measure small amounts of liquids.

     

    Some consumables such as plastic tubes that fit in the centrifuge etc but these don't cost too much.

    • Like 1
  6. so i see they say a 320-450 x and a 800-1000 x mangnicfication microscope. I haven't read though yet but now im confused i wasn't intending to get anything that grunty. perhaps i need to read a bit more.

    The most common magnification levels achieved with a compound microscope are 40x, 100x, 400x and 1000x. The eyepiece/s of the microscope have 10x magnification lenses and the common objective lenses are 4x, 10x, 40x and 100x (you multiply the magnification of the eyepiece with that of the objective to get total magnification). The 100x objective lens needs immersion oil to work properly and wouldn't have thought this necessary for either pollen or Nosema (400x is plenty).

     

    If what you want to achieve is a better understanding of how pollen analysis works, what different pollens look like etc then go for it - lots to learn, fun and interesting. From a commercial perspective though I am a little unsure at what you might be wanting to achieve by doing this. To sell honey as a monofloral, it needs to meet certain criteria (including pollen count analysis). This has to be done in an accredited laboratory (as far as I know).

     

    Heres a link to one that randy oliver recomends for nossema, he belives the optics of this particular one makes nossema stand out better, weather it would be good enough for pollen i'm not sure?

     

    This microscope should be ideal for looking at pollen as well.

    • Like 1
  7. The bayvarol goes into the broodnest and not into the honey supers. While it is always better to treat after the honey has been harvested it is fine to use it with the supers still on the hive. If the hives need treating then treat them. Flumethrin (active ingredient in Bayvarol strips) does not get readily absorbed into honey so it is pretty safe to do.

    • Like 4
  8. Wax moth: Achroia grisella, lesser wax moth; Galleria mellonella, greater wax moth

    The greater wax moth apparently has a 30-40mm wingspang, so I am guessing we only have the lesser wax-moth here in NZ. Does anyone know?

    We have both.

    • Like 1
  9. The Chatham Island bee population is pretty much BettaBees genetics. From what I've been told it is a pretty marginal place to keep bees and BettaBees have taken their bees there (prior to Varroa arriving here in Dunedin) to help out their population and as a back-up for their own in case the breeding programme falls over for some unknown reason.

    Not sure about Stewart Island. Apparently there used to be a commercial beekeeper there but not sure if they're still going.

    I doubt there would be any benefit to bringing bees from either of these places into your own population.

  10. Sounds good. Did he put an empty box and lid over it to stop the jars overheating.

    Yes - a 3/4 or FD box depending on how tall jars are (needs to be taller than the jars) and then a roof as per normal. Looks like a normal super from outside. Be sure to have a queen excluder in place - you don't want brood in the jars and the bees will very happily use the space for drone brood if given half a chance.

    • Like 4
  11. If you look at the numbers in that abstract (decrease in resistance from 19-66% to 1.3-7.8%) in 3 years reintroducing apistan/bayvarol as a treatment might work successfully once (ie you can use it as a treatment once every 3 years at most). Using it will immediately result in a very high percentage of resistant mites and these will be the ones breeding in the hive from that point on.

     

    For example, a hive has 500 mites in it of which 1% (5 mites) are resistant. Treat with Apistan and you have 5 or 6 mites left in the hive. 5 of these are resistant and one happened to sneak through the treatment. You now have 83% resistant mites in the hive. If this figure drops 10-fold in 3 years (as mentioned in the same abstract) you'd still be sitting at around 8% resistant mites 3 years after the treatment.

     

    This stacks up pretty well with what the likes of Randy Oliver has written - that Apistan can work as a one-off treatment to knock mite levels back if it hasn't been used for a long time. It cannot be part of any on-going mite treatment regime.

     

    At this stage there is no evidence that we have this particular point mutation in NZ varroa.

    • Like 2
  12. thanks Jean - however I really need some scientific clinical research carried out in humans rather than anecdotes or laboratory testing. And feeling good is good but no basis for eating expensive medicalised honey, in my opinion.

    Couldn't agree more. I'd be surprised if you could find clinical data though. Not necessarily because the product doesn't work but because it is not a new, patentable product. No potential patent means no one will put the funds in to do a clinical trial.

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