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neil miller

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Everything posted by neil miller

  1. Checked the ridge apiary yesterday and gave the four remaining hives ( out of five ) some tucker. Didn't spot any queens in the first three but plenty of eggs so no worries. Hive four and no sign of queenie by frame eight, and she walks across my veil. I put my hand up and she climbs on and I lower her to the hive and she hops in. I thought I should pack up there and then after nearly losing her. I only realised that it may not have been her hive after I got home. How soon would an emergency queen be raised? And how long should I leave the hives alone to give it the best chance to grow a new queen and reestablish if I have inadvertently transplanted a queen?
  2. Thanks for that, I didn't recognise this version of it. Apparently the 'capsules' are flower buds waiting to open. I'll have a look in a few days to see if there are even more bees when they open.
  3. Hi I was out at Karamatura today and heard the hum of busy bees they were in this tree with really odd flowers. No petals just the capsule and a couple of stamen and a smear of nectar which was drawing the bees. Any clues as I'd like to plant a few at our place.
  4. I use apivar, I've been doing it wrong!
  5. Got my strips in yesterday and today, some DWV, The strongest hive has four frames of brood and some drone cells. The weakest, that has been nursed from last spring, died off. The sunny spot they were in is newly shaded in winter, so I took the hive to the other apiary and I think they got robbed. I have nailed up the hive till the season improves and I have a few more bees. I have changed all of my sprung lids to riveted ones but two of these still leak like an old boat. Homemade timber, ply and roofing iron seems to be the most watertight. All of the hives have food brood and laying queens but are in varying states of health and strength. Beekeeping certainly isn't easy or predictable.
  6. 2014/ 2015 was a mast year in NZ, in Waitakere we had a two month kanuka bloom. 2015 /2016 was a very quiet year, which apparently is typical for the year after a mast. 2016 / 2017 should be average or better than average.
  7. Does anybody know if the wasps are just snacking on the wing when they are eating protein in Autumn? Rather than taking the bait back to the nest to feed the wasp larvae. The vespex instructions indicate a March cut off but I've never seen so many wasps and they are eating protein.
  8. Hi Chris, I agree that messing around with instructions is skating on thin ice, however this hive is one of three in the apiary and has visible mites and a degree of visible DWV, the other two are visibly mite and virus free (at the moment) the treatments went in at the same time. So I have put an extra strip of the same treatment into the middle of the brood area, and this will come out with the other two at the end of the week. I will sugar shake all three in a week and re treat if necessary. Our first hive a few years back was neglected and became overrun with varroa, the sight of hundreds of wingless bees dying on the ground is something I never want to see again.
  9. I have just been reading that the relationship between apistan and DWV is complicated by the chemical weakening the bees resistance to the virus. The varroa count with one week to go is +1% just from a visual inspection so I will be anticipating a swap over from apistan to apivar at the end of the week. That said I will do a sugar shake then to get some hard numbers.
  10. Thanks Gary, I am guessing that the mite count will be above 1% at the end of the six week treatment period as I can see a lot of mites on the bees, but I will hope for the best. If it comes to the worst do you have a recommendation for a follow up treatment? Thanks Tristan, the posts must have crossed at the same time. If the mite count is bad I will give the apivar a go.
  11. Hi all. I have a single brood box langstroth hive with plenty of bees and about a frame of brood. It has had varroa treatment (apistan strips x2 correctly positioned in the brood box) it's been in for five of the six weeks. There is evidence of deformed wing virus (12 bees) and looking harder with my reading glasses on, I could see varroa mites on some of the bees. As an emergency measure I replaced the strips with fresh ones from my beebox for the final week of treatment but it looks like this may be grasping at straws. Does anybody have experience of this situation and have any suggestions?
  12. 40m away, toward a stand of bamboo. It was the direction I saw a lot of wasps coming from last year.
  13. Tudor, I put the bait out for eight days, the length of our camping trip up north, and the wasps were gone in that time.
  14. I baited our neck of the woods in early January. I didn't do the cat food test as wasps were just monstering my hives. Flying in stinging the bees, cutting them up and back to their nest with the thorax. I put out 20 traps using a hand gridded map printed from google earth, it was a good way to meet neighbors I didn't know. Everybody was very happy to have the bait stations. Very few of the stations were touched but two were completely used up. The wasp numbers were nil for eight weeks, there are a few coming back now but negligible numbers. Great product.
  15. Coriaria Arboria, tree tutu. I looked into cutting out any specimens I could find around the apiary, but worked out the flight area of a hive as about 6,900 acres. It's much easier to either harvest early or blend the honey thoroughly and get it tested. Plus all parts of the tutu plant are toxic so I would be careful of ingesting the dust from the saw and if it's like oleander wood I wouldn't burn it either.
  16. Definitely use a top board with a bee space to reduce bee fatalities. Hardboard, flue core and I just made one from a scrap of sheet fibreglass (real estate advertising has gone aluminium). They all have at least one 40 mm hole for venting moisture.
  17. Our cabbage trees are just finishing but the rewa rewa has been flowering for three weeks and is going strong. The flax flowers are about to pop but the main kanuka flow is still a few weeks off. Which reminds me, we have a new commercial guy in our valley with 40 hives. I spotted the ute and introduced myself and we talked AFB. He wasn't too pleased to hear there is virtually no Manuka around these parts, only kanuka.
  18. I have caught several small swarms out West, to the point where I have run out of gear. This is the best one, from a rural block in Massey, it needed some emergency woodwork to hive. Thank goodness for the rain, I can start nailing up some more boxes.
  19. The hive was loud but not swarmy loud.
  20. Thanks Trevor good point, the fight to the death must be brutal. We are short of gear though, do you think drilling a hole in the top box and putting an excluder between separated queens would work? Upstairs / downstairs.
  21. I just helped a bee buddy sort out his double brood box hive, he had many, many queen cells, and weirdly several with popped ends. Weird until we found that the hive had three queens. We made up a nucleus hive with one, cut out the remaining cells and left the other two to sort it out. Anybody else have experience with multiple queens?
  22. Bees found farming fungus for first time to feed larvae Some bees farm fungus to support brood, implications for agrichemicals
  23. These bees came from the neighbours so I don't think they will mind or call the bee police ( swat team?) If you would like to add what else you would do to this hive to completely rule out swarming feel free.
  24. No I haven't Once I found the original queen in the nuc box I figured she is my back up if all turns to custard. There are lots of bees lots of room in the hive lots of brood and lots of food. My reckon is the first queen out will deal to the others and the colony will continue. If they swarm my neighbours will pick them up and I will be returning the favour from last year
  25. I'm glad the bees know what they are doing! I found queen in the nuc box that was going out to the coast. So I removed the developing queen cells from that box. The main hive has 20 odd queen cells, 6 or 7 of them capped. I will leave these bees alone for a couple of weeks and let them sort them selves out.
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