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Simon Brackstone

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  1. And if you live down south the syryp has to be thick enough so as not to freeze! Hence important to get the mix right.
  2. I have also deliberated about feeding my hives. Normally I try to let the bees do ther own thing but I had a very wet Autumn and the food sotres going into winter were low. Plus central Otago has been bitter this winter with minus 10 nights and max 5 degree days. So naturally not much outside activity. I eventually decided to feed sugar syryp (top dish feeders) and am intersted to note that some bees come up to feed and some don't. Looks like they are self regulating themselves if they need food or not. Last week was a sunny day (still only 7 degrees though) and I saw bees coming out of every
  3. Hi Rex, I did my splits just on November 7th and introduced 3 day old Virgin Queen. On the 16th I actually saw the queen returning to the hive. I have it on video which I will show you sometime or I may post on the forum. So 9 days after I introduced the queen it looks like she was off on a mating flight. So will see how that transpires into laying. Happy for you to come over one day for a chat and a look. Regards Simon
  4. I heard about a swarm in Queenstown today, First one in Wueenstown I have heard about. When I got there there was only a small bunch of bees left around the queen so placed her and the small bunch in a box and will go back tonight to see if the rest of the swarm came back. Checked my other hives and bees are busy filling the first supers I put on 2 weeks ago. (theses we hives that I decided not to treat as no Varro)
  5. Hi M4tt, Thanks for the comment. There were still normal worker brood and worker grubs in the hive so it was on that basis that I decided to leave them to it.
  6. Hi Alastair, I have a similar situation where it looks like the queen is failing, There are drones and the bees have made supersedure cells. I decided to leave the bees to do their thing and raise a new queen at their leisure, as all other signs in the hive indicated it was reasonably strong.
  7. Hi Frazzledfozzle - yes its wonderful but does have its challenges with Alpine weather. we get a massive Spring bloom and then solid wild time on the hills so thats my main source of honey, but its a short sharp summer flow. If your back through this way again in Gibston valley call by to say hi.
  8. Hi David, Thanks and yes I will also try sugar shake this weekend as well and make a decision then.
  9. Hi all, Spring time in Central Otago and the bees are just getting busy with blossom just about to burst out. So I did a sticky board test for Varroa and ready to do spring treatment but to my surprise no mites on sticky board. The two hives I tested were from a split hive last summer and had a good treatment of Bayvarol in Autumn and have wintered over well. So my question is - Do I not treat this Spring given no evidence of Varroa, or wait a few weeks and test again? Does not seem logical to introduce a chemical if not needed. Responses or advise from those more learned than I?
  10. I have just spun off 2 supers and made the mistake of putting the wet frames outside late evening for a bit while I cleaned up. That bit of time was enough to start a feeding frenzy and ended up with a pile of dead bees. Lesson learnt! Interesting to hear mixed reports of honey volumes. I am targeting well over 40 Kgs of honey from 2 hives so I am happy.
  11. Hi All, Thanks for the comments and feedback to my original post. Interesting comments and appreciate responses. So to wrap up this thread I thought I would let you know the outcome. I went to the doctor to seek advise and what I had was and allergic reaction as opposed to an anaphylactic reaction. The next sting will determine if I have built immunity or am at risk of worse reaction. Comforting information that. I dont intend to give up bee keeping (agree with Vincent comments) so have a plan in place to manage outcomes. (Agree with Gary.) 1) avoid getting stung in critical places !! So now
  12. Thanks - this is Kerry his wife typing- I appreciate your advice. All comments and exp from others is knowledge Worth having!
  13. Hello all, Recently a bee got under my glasses when not wearing my veil. The sting lodged under my eye which I got my wife to scrape out. I then had a rather severe reaction almost immediately breathing got tighter, numbness of lips and I had itchy skin all over my body. I also had pale and puffy hands and feet and face was red. The wife got some antihistamines into me and I took Ventolin as I am an Asthmatic my situation did not worsen. But it too about an hour and a half to feel normal and my face is still swollen the next day. My wife wanted me to check that my reaction was not showing too
  14. First Inspection was memorable for me. I have become more confident now after 4 months and dont use gloves or a veil. But I got too confident the other day and made the mistake of having the hive open too long and late in the day so inevitably got stung, so I learnt my lesson!!!. Do inspections on a fine warm day and keep them short!!
  15. Central Otago has had a good but short run on wild tyme. My best hive put on 3 supers and they filled the lot in 4 weeks, so happy with that. Vipers Bugloss just starting to flower so that may be the next flow. Just around the corner from me I was surprised to find a collection of 200 hives in one location all with 5 or more boxes. Obviously a commercial operation and on to the tyme and other food sources in the valley. hopefully too far away to come and rob mine but Perchance a swarm will come my way in time.
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