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neil miller

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Everything posted by neil miller

  1. I have made up a mesh screen that nails over a full width entrance for moving hives. Then four short battens nailed/screwed to the hive base and brood box. A friction tie down or bungy to keep the lid secure. I try to move hives half an hour before dawn.
  2. I set the trap today. The hive may be more established than I hoped for, the guard bees were rabid and were bouncing of the wagons' windows when I left.
  3. Thanks Sarah that hogan looks like the business. Trevor, I will explore the use of bee quick. After the last marathon extraction I didn't think I would bother again, but this is such a cool 1950's piece of architecture I'm keen to help with minimum damage to the original structure.
  4. I've been asked to help get a swarm / established hive out of a narrow roof cavity. The home owner doesn't want the roof or ceiling opened up so the only way in is through the barge board. So we are trying a trap out. I have closed up the gaps the bees are using for an entrance and drilled a hole for some tube that will fit into the back of a hive that we will place on the roof. I'm giving the bees a day to get used to the new entrance and then a few days without a 'non return valve'. I am hoping that the queen will naturally come up to lay in the hive and that the brood will hatch over time and also come up. That is the best case scenario. Has anyone tried a trap out? Any suggestions please.
  5. Only hive carnolians and do more extractions than your neighbour.
  6. I agree that a note would just alert the beekeeper to your presence and make a time to discuss the situation. If there are two landowners involved you could both move your apiaries as far apart as necessary, if the new keeper can move 2k all to the good,but if it's just the one landowner he/she might just introduce a third beekeeper into the gap. So the landowners need to be involved in the negotiation and made aware of maximum stocking numbers. If it is the one landowner you could negotiate your hive rental down in advance of decreasing honey yield.
  7. I had a very droney hive at the beginning of the month and I thought I would have to requeen. I started the process by slaughtering the rows of drone comb, what a mess. Then I tried the trick of knocking the bees off the frames some way from the hive, it's a trick for drone laying workers but the hive was probably 40% drone, so far so drastic. It's a fd + 3/4 brood boxes and it had an empty super. I checked yesterday, expecting mutant comb and angry bees but it had eight fd frames of brood and a regular amount of drone brood. Worker - drone ratio is normal and the bees were happy as, the bottom 3/4 had four frames of honey, the rest being brood and honey mix. I put the honey into the super and replaced the spaces with undrawn comb and put the 3/4 above the fd for more laying space.
  8. Hi Bazz. Could be a bit hot on top of the black plastic.
  9. From what you say in your first post suz, you tried artificial swarms but left the queen in the swarmy hive. Next time you could try moving the queen out with some brood and food and no queen cells. Then you can stand back and see what happens knowing you have a non swarming viable hive as back up.
  10. I got one of those today as well. 15m up a kahikatea. My plan bee is to put out an empty hive with some drawn combs in it. Just wondering if it's better next to the original hive or some distance away. I think I will swipe the virgin queen out of the swarm hive and replace it with the old queen in the split I did to avoid this in the first place. I recon the flow is going to be over by Christmas.
  11. There seem to be more Manuka flowers than ever but the bees are eating what they are bringing in with the patchy weather and all. The most productive hive had some drone comb under the excluder and spotted a couple of mites when I skimmed them off. Sugar shake next week. At home the swarm / split that was united is firing. I left a frame out of the top box by mistake and the bees made a beautiful arc of comb off the top cover. A 50 mm strip of honey and the rest brood that got tied into a fresh frame with builders string. First jar of honey for the season. Cordyline has all but finished, rewa rewa still going strong and the first kanuka is flowering at the top of the north slope of the valley.
  12. I can only think that the ethics of the situation hinge on having good information about infection levels in your hives. Evidently it's the subclinical threat that is at issue, as the disease may not be obvious for many months and if you have bought a diseased hive, you not only have a financial loss but have potentially spread the disease further. A simple, cheap, on site test would be good. Otherwise selling, or passing on bees, should be licensed and that license dependent on having proven clean bees. Any counter argument about increasing costs are a bit out of date considering how much hives are selling for. Otherwise commercial selling of questionable bee stocks may result in a percentage increase in the disease and that may bring reactive legislation similar to the response to foot and mouth disease for cattle or scrapie for sheep. I don't think we want that.
  13. John, to clarify please. Are you saying there is a commercial outfit knowingly selling AFB infected hives? Or just that they had an outbreak of AFB a few years ago and are back in business?
  14. JP Beeman if you are swarm hunting, he's so chilled and the Southern accent is great.
  15. Flow is good in the Waitakeres, cordyline, rewa rewa, Manuka and all of those lovely weeds. Pohutukawa next and flax then the big kanuka through January. It sounds like we are very lucky. My best hive, made up of three cast swarms from last year, which repeatedly suprceeded and is quite nasty to work, just got its third super. Worst hive has solid brood pattern but maybe 30% drones and no spare honey. I have a couple of nucleus hives if this queen is putu . I have put four of the weaker hives together to bring them up to speed and reduce the need for extra hiveware this year.
  16. If you have a lot of hives you get to understand what the bees are doing by repetitive observation but as a hobbyist with just a few hives it takes a long time to get the same level of experience. My old mentors philosophy allows observation of the hive by default, so if there is something odd or interesting going on, get in and have a look. I guess it's down to what you are after, bees, honey or knowledge.
  17. Spot on, I should have said unpredictable routine.
  18. My mentor says as often as you like. Any longer than a week in late spring, ie now, can produce predictable surprises.
  19. http://www.airborne.co.nz/information/manuka-whats-in-a-(common)-name.shtml Worth a read, especially for the Northland dialect variation of manuka being kaihikatoa.
  20. Gone the full Rastafarian with the home hive. The super was light at the start of the week but cordyline and rewa rewa are flowering so now it's full. Bees thought now would be a good time to leave so queen cells. Had to go through the booming brood boxes three times to find her. The two fd's in the back are a split and a swarm, neither queen right, if / when they do come right I will unite them for the kanuka flow.
  21. From the rumour mill, can anyone confirm or deny that Oravida is selling Manuka seedlings to China? it will be interesting to see what kind of UMF Manuka honey gets from overseas planting. It may be that it's just dark sticky slightly bitter honey or it could be an amazing remedy. I do feel a bit uneasy about the use of the name though, I think the Aussies should stick to 'jellybush' as it's a better name anyway and the poms 'teatree' obvs.
  22. Took a mainlanders up to see the ridge site today and was surprised at how much Manuka has come into flower since last week. Up till today I thought it was mainly kanuka and the Manuka was nearly over anyway. And the bees are on it. Is it as horrible as I have heard to extract? Is it just a case of whipping the supers off as early as possible to stop the honey from crystallising?
  23. I caught a few this size last year and combined them to a decent hive. I hope it goes well.
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