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Everything posted by Otto

  1. Hi Wayne, Awesome! Will forward this link to the teacher in charge of the enviroschool side of things here. Thanks for the links.
  2. Hi, I have just installed my observation hive in a classroom at my son's primary school. We will be starting a school hive in the spring (my intention was to do it during the NBA's 'bee week', 20-24 August). We want the kids to get as hands on as possible - get them putting frames together, going through the hive regularly to see how it's going, harvesting honey etc. Is anyone involved with a school beehive? I would love to hear what the major issues that might come up are, what works well and generally how positively such a project is received. Cheers, Otto
  3. And here's the paper... Honeybee kin recognition.pdf
  4. I agree - quite natural for some workers to start activating their ovaries while there is no queen in the hive. You might want to have a look at the attached paper from Nature, 1989 though. Shows that selection of larvae for making swarm cells shows some genetic bias, which in turn suggests that workers may have a mechanism for recognising kin (larvae with the same mum AND dad). This very topic came up in an informal chat with a couple of genetics researchers at a research symposium I was at late last year but after doing some reading found it had been looked at already.
  5. In turns out that I didn't have all the information before making the above comment as in both these cases the landowner was asked for permission before the hives were inspected - so apologies to the inspector.
  6. I've only had my own hives to look after for around 3 years but my grew up with my parents being commercial beekeepers so I've been doing beekeeping work for at least 20 years.
  7. I find it very surprising that any inspection is allowed to take place without the knowledge of the beekeeper and/or landowner. Beekeepers generally have an understanding with landowners with regards to access to hives but this does not usually include anyone else and as a beekeeper I would always ask the landowner if it is okay for other people to come and look at the bees with me, let alone without me. I'm all for the exotic disease screening programme around ports but beekeepers need to be notified in advance. In the last day I've heard from two beekeepers in Dunedin whose hives have bee
  8. Hi Trevor, I grow orchids as a hobby - have quite a few Masdevallia, Odonts etc. A friend who also grows them and I are starting to play with hybridising, hard to find the time to do it properly though with work and 3 young kids! This is one I got from Ron Maunder - Paradise Sunrise, one of my favourites. Getting a little off the varroa topic here so if you want to talk orchids please email me at otto dot hyink at xtra etc. Do you still have some or are you not doing it anymore? We're always looking for places to find more plants - especially species in the pleurothallid alliance. Ot
  9. Hi all, I have a few small apiaries around Dunedin. I have done some screening using Bayvarol strips and sticky boards. I have found mites in my hives on Pigeon Flat, Glenleith and Roslyn. Of ten sticky boards checked 4 had 1 or 2 mites while 1 had around 30 mites (this hive was on Pigeon Flat but was only moved up there from down in Dunedin in Feb). The article in the ODT saying a mite was found at the University was also me - found it while dissecting bees for an experiment we were doing. Make sure you all treat your hives in Spring. Otto
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