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Otto

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Posts posted by Otto

  1. Hi Otto,

    Love the flower. I imagine they're a challenge to grow there.

    Oturu school up here has beehives and as you can see from the links achieved a bit more than just keeping bees.

    http://oturuschool.org/

    http://oturuschool.org/future-problem-solvers/

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/northland/northern-news/6269854/Oturus-magical-garden

    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. what a load of #######s. :rolleyes:

     

    The only thing they got right is that it is a fundamental change in the worker's biology. Completely wrong reason though. It's natural in the interval between a swarm queen leaving and a daughter starting to lay that the queen pheremone load in the hive drops. That drop lowers the suppression of the worker's laying ability and some laying workers may develop. Once the new queen's pheremone load rebalances in the hive, the workers fall back into line.

     

    There have been studies done that show there is no nepotism in rearing of brood by worker bees - they don't give any preferential treatment to those larvae produced from fully related eggs (ie, sharing sperm from the same drones as themselves as opposed to half sisters. Nor, I believe, do they show nepotism to related larvae versus a frame introduced of completely unrelated larvae.

    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.

  4. 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 been inspected - in both cases there happened to be someone home at the property who asked what was going on. For me this is only going to upset people. I actually look after the bees for one of these beekeepers and had screened them for Varroa using Bayvarol and sticky boards last week. A courtesy phone call would also give the inspector valuable information with regards to hive history and checks that the beekeeper has performed recently.

    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.

    • Like 3
  5. 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 been inspected - in both cases there happened to be someone home at the property who asked what was going on. For me this is only going to upset people. I actually look after the bees for one of these beekeepers and had screened them for Varroa using Bayvarol and sticky boards last week. A courtesy phone call would also give the inspector valuable information with regards to hive history and checks that the beekeeper has performed recently.

  6. 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.

    Otto

  7. 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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