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Christopher J

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Christopher J last won the day on July 31 2013

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About Christopher J

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    Nu Bee
  1. I got them from a Hobbyist in Hamilton area. Its ok I am a pretty practical thinker I will find a way to get this hive/s back to good health! I am going to make my own vaporizer tomorrow after work, should help lower the stress on some of the bees having a treatment done this weekend. Oxalic acid is quite cheap only $5 per 100 grams so will get some tomorrow.
  2. Hmmm what would you recommend deejaycee? I thought of Apistan because it says it can kill mite's both in and outside of capped cells. but if it is slower to act due to it needing to be physically transferred from the movement of bees walking over the strips would it be better to use somthing like oxalic acid to lower mite levels outside of the capped cells to ease the stress off the hive? What is Bayvarol like compared to Apistan
  3. Check out this link. I can't remember exactly where in the U.S.A this guy is based but I read this article and plans on his page months ago and was pretty impressed with his results. So much so that I had to try it for myself and the results are pretty amazing I have to say, compared to most modern hive temperature and humidity trends in hives during all seasons this THSCU (Temperature Humidity Self Control Unit) does actually work and after having a probe thermometer and hydrometer reading humidity in the hive at various points, the levels at which the wool can keep the hive at during still cold DAMP nights is awsome. I totally recommend reading and if you are keen try make one for yourself. Having some trend Data of your area or maybe recordings of Temperature and humidity from your own hive from previous seasons is a great help with comparison. I think the wool takes a lot of work load off the bees during winter esp since the wool will help draw moisture away from the inner hive area and help expel it using the hives inner positive air pressure. I can take the outer and inner cover off my hive at anytime day or night with the THSCU unit on and it won't affect the hives inner temp or humidity. Last night was a very still damp night 3 degrees was the lowest point, you could feel the moisture in the air and yet the warmth from the hive combined with the absorption properties of the wool wrapped in a layer of cotton you could feel the cotton and wool where dry with no visible moisture that you could feel with the touch of your hands present, and you would think that having cotton out exposed to the open air during winter nights would draw moisture into the hive like a wick but it works in the exact opposite due to the positive air pressure in the hive. Before I put the THSCU unit on I could see moisture in the air condensing on the tin surface of the over hanging outer cover as it was being forced out the ventilation notch in the inner coverand I noticed even with notched hole's in the inner cover to allow moisture to escape, the rear left and right areas of the inner cover where getting damp and forming visible moisture dripping down into the hive. rather than prop up the inner cover I added the THSCU to the top of the hive and took off the inner cover and I haven't put the inner cover back on since. Temperature Humidity Self Control Unit, THSCU, bees Totally recommend checking this site out, I will post pics of the THSCU unit I built.
  4. Haha yea I did the same thing, went through my band saw with a nail in it, ouch 30 bucks every time.
  5. Thanks yesbut I will take the honey supers off during treatment, If I do need room in the hive if it does get over crowded during the apistan treatment would putting an empty 3/4 box on top be a ok? mabe add some lengths of timber inplace instead of frames to accommodate extra bees?
  6. Thanks for the great feed back David Great to hear that tracheal mites haven't showed up here in New Zealand! will let you know how the dissections go.
  7. Thanks Alastair I will put the strips in as soon as I have them.(y) My hive has brood as far up as the third full depth super, above that there is 2 3/4 honey supers, stupid setup I know. should I put 6 strips in, that is two per brood box and should I remove the two 3/4 supers or just one in case the honey is to be harvested later in summer? Kind of a selfish question to ask at the moment to take the honey super/s off since the colonies health is far more important than future honey extraction but I just had to ask in case.:sick:
  8. True I heard that as well, something to do with heating the timber for a given length of time to dry out the sugars in the timber that any fungi and bacteria live on thus helping to prevent future mold growth and premature breakdown from inside the hive's unpainted surfaces. probably the timber that i would worry about the most is the exotic timbers that grow in such quick succession over in countries like Malaysia, New Zealand has stricter import policies than a lot of other countries, so much so they some times reject pellet wood from certain parts of Malaysia unless they are H2 treated and upwards. Would hate to use timber in a hive that could be harmful to the bees health, even if it is free, wish there was more info on pellet wood, I have searched for ages on the subject, even rung around some of the distribution plants and it still feels like a grey area to me. hmmmm
  9. Yea would have but the strips are up north in Auckland, can't get to them till Saturday and won't be back till Tuesday. So that is 5 more days they will go without any treatment, Oxalic acid is the only treatment I can get locally but I don't have access to a vaporiser.I can get other treatments over the net but they won't arrive till Monday anyways so Apistan it is. plus it kills mites in capped cells as well so it would make more sense to use Apistan first and foremost, at least I think that would be a good approach. Oxalic acid would treat mites outside of the capped cells so would give some relief till then, has anyone tried to vaporise Oxalic crystals with another type of apparatus with good results? I have heard if the Oxalic crystals aren't heated within the correct temperature they can be harm full to the bees health as well.?
  10. Has anyone used reclaimed pellet wood in there bee hives, for both bottom boards, boxes and inner covers? I am curious if anyone has made complete hives out of the stuff with no problems arising. I made a full depth box out of 25mm thick pallet wood and an inner cover and added it to my hive to see how they would accept it and so far it has worked great, was a little worried about any treatments that mite have been added to the timber like those used to treat bora or other wood eating insects that may be present in the timber before it is shipped over to New Zealand or if the timber originated in our country would they still treat it at all? Chrisy
  11. Finished work early today and took a brief look inside the hive and there is a visible amount of Varroa on both adult worker bees and emerging worker bees, some as many as 3 mite's per adult bee,if I am correct from the pages, photo's and video's I have viewed on the subject the Larvae are emerging with DWV as a result. There is also on average between 2-5 Varroa mites in each of the Drone cells, both capped and uncapped and that's not counting the male Varroa mite which is white it's entire life span and never leaves the cell so seeing them is hard as well but doesn't mean they aren't hiding in the cells...grrr little #%$#%$. I will treat them A.S.A.P. I have a pack of Apistan strips, brand new, haven't been opened and haven't been exposed to the direct sun. Has anyone used Apistan before? I would love to hear any feed back or tips from beekeepers who have used it before... Activity outside of the hive today at 2pm when there was plenty of sunshine and it was warm, the bees cleared out a good 80+ bodies off the landing board which on my hive is a little longer than most hives, after the bodies where removed there behaviour of hovering around the front of the hive in numbers of 100+ came to a abrupt halt and only worker bees with pollen and nectar where seen flying in and out of the hive, so far since then (3 hours ago) hive activity seems pretty normal which is definitely a change from there behaviour of the last 4 weeks. Will keep an eye on them this weekend. Another thing which also raises questions as to what is causing them to crawl out of the hive and die on the ground away from the hive is that pretty much all of the dead bees have what I read, is described as K wing where the upper wing's stick out almost 90 degrees from the body's abdomen and the lower hind wings stick out 45 -60 degrees from the body's abdomen as well forming the shape of the K wing as described. Funny thing is though this symptom is related to a number of viruses and build up bacterium like Nosema so making a direct conclusion is miss leading, 95% of the bees also have died with there Proboscis sticking out of there mouth parts which I read could be a sign of poisoning...? Further more I have counted 10 dead drone bees that where able to emerge and make it out of the hive but they all have deformed wings as well. Looking through the glass windows on the hive boxes and checking top and bottom areas of the hive, there clustering pattern seems to be normal with diagrams of similar sized hives I have seem so I don't think it could be tracheal mites which cause some bees to cluster away in smaller groups away from the main cluster with the queen in the middle due to there air ways being obstructed and or scarred, I saw a easy step by step method for examining dead bees air ways under a dissection microscope using rubbing alcohol, has anyone tried this before with any results? my neighbour is a biology teacher and has access to a dissection microscope so thought it wouldn't hurt to give it a try.
  12. Thank you for the advise Tom Sayn, It could be very possible that a my hive is robbing a feral hive, there is a family that owns a small block of 10 acre's no more than 4 kms away from where I live that let there hive's swarm naturally last year which is a nice thought but the bees won't last long in the wild without a bee keeper looking after them, so it is a good theory. Yea that makes total seance deejaycee if they where robbing and beating each other up in the same hive, then there wouldn't be much of a hive left by now after that amount of time. I was reading some post on some other beekeeping forums even some over in the states to see how there experience differs and from what I read and see through posted pictures of the exact same thing the closet conclusion I can think of is mites and or insecticide poisoning. My bees are in a built up urban area probably why they are doing well with honey production because of all the local gardens and orchards around the area. Which is also a problem because I see on frequent occasions both neighbours and people in distant property's spray regularly, what they are using at the time I don't know, they mostly look like they are spraying weeds and pest plants, but any poison that bees come in contact with weather its directly or through plants holding on to and distributing it through its pollen and nectar is never a good thing! I will treat the hive for Varroa mite's and keep a close eye on there progress, Most of the evidence points towards mites being the cause. fingers crossed. Thank you for your feed back.
  13. Hi deejaycee Thank you for the reply. The drone cells are being built were worker bees have constructed burr comb joining the bottom bars with the top bars of the top and bottom brood box. There is enough room in this hive to construct rows of comb in this area. And the funny thing is there isn't a single drone cell amongst the worker cells, its only in this area that the drone cells are present. And when the bees come out of the hive when the sun hits it in the morning they fly around in the robbing type of stance with there legs braced backwards unlike a worker bee which has its legs braced forward when returning to the hive. That could just be me over thinking things though. Yes I will recheck mite levels and treat accordingly, it has been at least 6 weeks since I tested for Varroa levels and I have read how there reproductive cycle can increase faster with the presence of drone brood. I did think about other hives in the area being the ones robbing mine but I blocked up the entrance at night and waited till 11am the next day to open and there wasn't a single bee around, until I opened the entrance up then straight away they started hovering in the same stance for the entire day, activity was the same as all the other days so it can't be other robbing hives.
  14. It was my very naughty 2 year old malamute. loves honey, she tongues the entrance to the hive hoping to get a taste and gets stung...soooo funny to watch her run back to house after a bee sting to the face. still does it almost everyday.
  15. Hi all I read that bees don't really draw out comb in winter but I replaced a full depth frame from there winter stores 4 weeks ago that got eaten by my dog during an inspection when it was left outside on the table grrr bag dog. After 5 days of having the empty frame in there with only a wax coating over the plastic they had drawn it out to a width of 200mmx100mm and a depth of each cell at 8mm, is this normal for winter? I have put glass windows on the sides of my boxes so my niece can see them and they don't show any signs that they are stopping the building of wax comb and burr comb. is this normal winter activity? Thanks Chris
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