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Jose Thayil

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Posts posted by Jose Thayil

  1. 7 hours ago, Bighands said:

    So have you lost that strain?

    Well the daughter queens were also open mated for a few generations now and most have some Italian in them but generally are about 70 % dark bees and30 % lighter bees. Good calm bees still and works well for me.

    • Like 1
  2. Doesnt look like all those bees are of that queen though. Those yellow bees are supposed to look more darker even if she had mated with italian drones. The queen looks pure Carniolan and the first cross between a Carniolan queen with Italian drones look a lot darker than normal italians but not as dark as pure Carniolans.


    Maybe it is a queen which has been bought and introduced into a hive and it has swarmed for what ever reason before all the bees have changed into the new queens offsprings.

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    • Agree 1
  3. 13 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

    What on earth do you do with all your honey .?

    Give it to friends and family and made honey mead. A lot is left on the hive now a days as winter feed. A hive building up on its in stores do a lot better than one which builds up of sugar feeding in my experience. Sometimes a lot of extracted honey just goes to waste by just sitting there and crystallising and gets cleaned out for new stock to come in. I used to sell a little bit early on when I was close to 50 hives though. Now the hive numbers have reduced a lot and I am happy to just keep bees. 


    • Like 1
  4. I am happy to say I have averaged more than 20 kg per hive every year since I have kept bees in NZ. There were a few bad years and surely the average has dropped a lot than what I used to get. I have always been a hobbyist but have worked for commercial operations. Being a hobbyist I am able to keep a record of mostly everything from all the hives I have. The highest I get from a hive was 176kgs. This was in 2007 or 2008 and the hive had a Carniolan Queen which was bought from daykel apiaries at the time. I have had other hives in the 140 to 160 range a few times but recently it has dropped below 100 for most hives except a few hives which do really well and go over 100 once in a while in exceptional year. Most of my hives are in town or at the boundary of town and country which help where the bees have access to pasture and city gardens. Bees have always been a part of our family as I learned most of the things I know about bees from my dad and just want to keep them going. Never have any intention of going commercial but will always keep a few hives (less than 50) for as long as I can. Family, work and other commitments won’t allow time for any more than that. 

    I know there are a lot of people who do it for a living and there are a lot of people who have just jumped into it when the market was going good and wants to get out of it now as the market is down,  but I know that people who love bees will always keep it going and will find a way to make it happen. 

    • Like 4
  5. Swarming in Hamilton area is in full swing. Almost half of my hives were trying to swarm and all had plenty of room and lots of bees. Have cut out all the cells and keeping an eye on them.  Have been catching a few swarms also and some I had to let go of due to other commitments at the time. Definitely more swarming this year than the previous years.  

    • Agree 1
  6. 51 minutes ago, Sailabee said:

    Overseas sourced genetics would have only very limited effects on varroa, as we still don't have true brood breaks in many parts of NZ, and that is a major driver in the efficacy of managing varroa in Europe and the USA, and after the previous effort, I think hell would freeze over well before there was another importation.


    We have most of the bee viruses that we know of present in nz. There are some bee pests which we don’t have. But all those risks can be eliminated with today’s technology that we have. But I guess we will have people who think the risk is too great at this stage. Maybe when we get to a stage where varroa or something else becomes too big a problem where our best treatment and bees are not able to withstand, that may be the time we are forced to look outside nz for better genetics which can cope with those issues. 

    Personally I like both the Italians and Carniolans that we have in nz, and there is a reason they are the most wide spread bees in the world. But I think we are missing a trick in not taking advantage of the bee development work done in Europe, Africa and America. 

  7. Most of my bees are dark grey to very black colour. Some have a little bit of dark orangish colour. Queens are mostly black and some have a little bit of copper/ yellow tint to them. They have a lot of Carniolan and dark Italian in them. They have worked well for me. I graft most of my queens and once in a while try a few queens from different breeders out of curiosity to see how they perform and if they do well then get a few grafts from them. 

    • Like 3
  8. 4 hours ago, David Yanke said:

    Could I share my recipe for a brood break this season- it is simple, add carnica and their hybrids to a persistent drought, and presto you have a brood break  in mid-March.  We always get a brood break, but not usually until at least mid-April.      Most of my nucs are broodless already, and big hives are heading that way, have never seen it happen this early.

    @David Yanke is right. Carniolans do have a brood break in late autumn/ early winter till around mid July. So if your treatments have worked in autumn, then the hive is going into winter with good healthy bees and no chance of varroa breeding through the winter months. Most of my bees are Carniolan/ Carniolan hybrids. They form a tight cluster with not much bees flying in winter months. They store a lot of nectar in the open cells in the brood area going into winter. The cluster size is not too small, so the spring build up is good with a very rapid build up. 

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