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Bonsbees last won the day on January 28 2014

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  1. As yet Beekeepers in New Zealand are not signed up to any form of GIA, we need to make the decision on weather or not we wish to be included in discussions with Govt. when or if the next biosecurity incursion, that may have an effect on our industry, actually happens. If we are not members of a proposed GIA it is suggested Govt. will do what ever is required to perhaps eliminate the pest. Then still pass the cost of this elimination onto NZ Beekeepers. We would have no say in how the incursion would be controlled - like varroa. Those that were keeping bees in 2000 when varroa arr
  2. I have used a concrete mixer for many years, started mixing in 1982! Take the internal parts out so you just have a bowl. Add all dry ingredients and when machine is operating add the liquid. Once liquid is all added and the ingredients are starting to mix we would start to bring the mixer forward gradually to a more horizontal position to attain a better mix, this was done by adding chocks under the wheel to bring the bowl forward. Care needs to be taken or the mixer will topple forward, creates a bit of a mess on the ground when this happens. Once mixed you will end up with a large c
  3. In spring and early summer we push a hole through the candy so the bees have a tunnel to clear out, we want very quick acceptance this time of year, always out within 24 hours. Autumn is very different as we try to prolong a broodless period so will place up to 6 sheets of newspaper across the hole preventing the hive from having access to the candy so release time is extended to several days or even a couple of weeks,
  4. Hi Courtney, as Tristan posted, molasses is a no go, that includes Golden syrup. Many years ago when sugar became acceptable as a feed source for bees, beekeepers in Canterbury would lift the front of hives and shovel white sugar onto the floors. Seems extreme but that was the beginning of sugar feeding. We have evolved somewhat over the proceeding 60 odd years. White dry is excellent as an autumn feed supplement, we use it every year. Gives the old bees something to do once the honey flow has subsided. The honey is removed and feeder goes on with 5-7 kg dry sugar, most of this will b
  5. There is one problem with all plastic frames I have seen. There is always a very slight bow in the frame. They are just never totally vertical like a natural wax frame. The bow is not significant but if two frames together have the bow on opposing sides the bee space is compromised. When nine or ten frames are used in a box and the bows are facing each other the bees will start to remove the wax on either frame to allow for the correct bee space. In the brood nest this reduces the available area for brood production. The damaged parts of these frames that have been re designed! by the bees
  6. We do substantial pollination of carrot crops within this area. Stocking rates are 8 per hectare, most of the farms we deal with have requirements in excess of 100 hives per crop. Highest we have had has been 440 in one field. Bees get very little from carrots due to the high stocking rates, very similar to Kiwi fruit I have been told. Hives required at mid to end of December. They go into the crops at three box strength, and are then decimated to half that by the time pollination is over. Caused mainly by over head water systems, no pollen and very little nectar. If we used nucs for doin
  7. Not sure about this! A full hive is several times stronger than a nuc, as a result there would be significantly more young bees that have no "learned" navigation strategy within each hive. I accept there could be a significant depopulation in these hives of the older bees due to the netting, and their confusion with the new environment that they have been placed in, however once these older bees are gone the younger bees within the hive would take over this foraging roll. They would be no different to the 'naive' bees in a nuc, but there would be a far greater number of 'naive' foragers avai
  8. Sieve it. Only takes a few minutes and job done.
  9. There are many different cultivars of clover. Not all produce nectar. Environment has no influence on this situation, it is the way the plant has been propagated. Usual focus has been on the available dry weight per hectare. In some cases farmers have applied Boron to the flowering crop as this has, sometimes, encouraged the plant to yield nectar. Unfortunately this has, on occasion, resulted in bee damage though burning the bees as the product was applied during daylight hours. The product was not seen as detrimental to bees. Nobody asked the bees! We have had extensive experience with th
  10. Yes have seen that. We destroy any cell that does not look right. Not worth the time playing around with them. But would be interesting to know if the queen you have mates and starts laying. I suspect the cells like this are a result of rough treatment at a crucial time in their development.
  11. In the 1970s to 1980s the ratio accepted was 1 hive per 5 acres to receive good pollination, so that would be about half a hive to 1 hectare. This depends on what you define a hive as! single queen or two queen, single or double broodnest. etc. Hives at that time of year I would expect to see three full boxes of bees when delivered to the crop. Be aware that some cultivars do not provide a honey crop. There has been a very steady decline in available nectar from seed clovers for the past twenty years. There is no way we can produce the product that was available in the 1960s to 1990
  12. Two points I would like to raise. 1st - I think your time frame is very narrow. That is, treated on the 15th August, retested today 19th August. When treating with Fumigillin we required 2 brood cycles to get a clean hive? 6 weeks. I feel your magnification is way too high at 1000. The accepted value is 400. This will give a greater area to view, you also need to be careful to take bees from the same area as the original, ie. entrance, edge of brood or further from brood area. This is vital.
  13. Try aliExpress for Hemocytometers. Great value. You don't need real top end units to do Nosema spore counts. Not unlike blood counts. Same goes for other stuff needed, or of some benefit, in undertaking spore counts. Started doing this sort of work many years back when exporting Queens to England. Requirement then was for Nosema free escorts, hence the start of microscope testing. We used Fumidyl B then to ensure hives producing escorts for cages were clear of Nosema, still required microscope testing to make sure hives were clear of Nosema before sending samples to MAF for approval.
  14. Yes it is a good photo of nosema, however it does not represent the possible infection level within the hive from which these bees came from. You really do need to do a 'count' to give you some idea if the infection is past the threshold where the infection is going to cause damage to the hive. A relatively simple procedure, but does take a little time to achieve. The Honeybee Society presented a Field Day in Matangi, Hamilton, earlier this year. Nosema testing was available at that meeting.
  15. Honeybee Society Field Day, Lincoln, Christchurch, Saturday 27th August. We will be using a microscope to test bees for Nosema, good opportunity to learn how this is done. Anyone is capable of undertaking this procedure. It is not difficult. Registration for the day is available through the Honeybee Web site.
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