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JayBee

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Everything posted by JayBee

  1. Good idea, @dansar - I might put a post on our local Facebook page. Thanks!
  2. I have a Warré hive, @Trevor Gillbanks - hence the small looking frame. I will bribe my husband into getting a little closer to where the action is next time so I can have a better picture to show you!
  3. Here's a picture of the remaining brood, @tristan - there are some eggs and uncapped larvae in the cells. I have given the bees some sugar syrup over the weekend and have made a robbing screen, so will see how they go. Thanks for your suggestions, everyone.
  4. I'll try to take some pictures this afternoon, @tristan. The hive was actually doing really well prior to the MAQS treatment. I didn't do anything other to it than have a brief inspection, then pop the MAQS in. The hive was open for about 10 minutes, and the entrance was fully opened for seven days.
  5. So ... it's a long, woeful story, but I'll try to keep it succinct. About ten days ago, I treated my one and only bee colony for Varroa mites. I used Mite Away Quick Strips (MAQS). Because ventilation is essential when using MAQS, I fully opened the bottom entrance and also propped it up to the minimum height of 1.3cm, as per the MAQS instructions. Then the robbing began ... I wasn't really sure what to do as I couldn't close the entrance down (due to the MAQS inside the hive), and I didn't have a robber screen available (lesson learned ... be more prepared). So, I threw a damp sheet over the hive - it's all I could think to do. Seven days later, I removed the MAQS strips. It then became apparent how devastating the robbing had been. The colony basically have no honey stores left, but quite a bit of pollen (I guess robbing bees aren't into pollen that much)? I did notice that the queen is (miraculously), still alive as I found eggs and young larvae in some of the cells. I am a little confused about what to do now. I know the bees will need some kind of feeding, but I am really worried that adding sugar syrup will set off another robbing frenzy which will be too much for the much weakened colony. Would love to hear some suggestions. Thanks.
  6. I had the same question a year ago, but nobody from Asure Quality would return my emails!
  7. Awesome, thanks @tudor - your reply has been really helpful. My hive is currently five boxes high - maybe I'll wait a couple more weeks also and then move a few frames around and harvest what I can so I can bring the hive height down a little. Thanks again.
  8. So ... I've just got a question for you regarding honey harvest ... I've been using One Size Boxes without a queen excluder and now I'm a bit confused as to what I am supposed to be doing in terms of harvesting the honey. I know I am a little late in doing so, but each time I have checked on the bees, the top boxes have been composed of both brood frames and honey frames, so I have been holding off. I was thinking that at this time of year, the brood nest would be starting to move down so I could harvest a complete box of honey, but the brood nest is still quite large. Should I wait a little longer, or should I start swapping honey and brood frames out with the boxes below now? I am concerned I am going to be confusing the bees by rearranging their home quite a bit! Thanks.
  9. Sure is! The Warkworth Beekeepers Society is right on your doorstep! The next meeting is on Wednesday 1st February at the Warkworth Primary School hall. The doors open at 7:15pm for a 7:30pm start - it's a great club and you are very welcome to come along!
  10. Awesome - thanks [USER=72]@Trevor Gillbanks[/USER] - you are a wealth of information!
  11. Hi [USER=72]@Trevor Gillbanks[/USER] - if you don't have a spare hive mat (and you're not particularly handy in the woodworking department!), do you think a piece of corflute cut to size with a hole in the middle (for internal robbing) would be a good temporary measure to use for this set-up? Thanks.
  12. Do your top bar hives have observation windows, @dansar?
  13. Hi @Suniti - welcome! Probably the closest club would be the Auckland Beekeepers Club at Unitec or Rodney Beekeepers Club in Helensville.
  14. Beautiful looking hive, @dansar! Where is the entrance on this hive - at the end?
  15. Well done, @MissEmmz - how did you get the swarm into the box?
  16. Hi Trev - why did you shake the first cluster of bees into the hive and let the second cluster walk up the propolis mat (rather than shaking them in too)?
  17. Hey, I'm one of them! Maybe I don't buy enough ...
  18. Darn. If you lived closer I would be happy to share mine with you!
  19. Hi @Genaya - I bought a 10-treatment pack of MAQS from Ecrotek a little while back for $86.87 + GST, however, you may be able to buy only what you need from your local beekeepers club. Formic acid doesn't degrade or expire, it is the outer paper wrap of the MAQS that starts to degrade post the 12-month expiration date. Ecrotek suggested I keep the MAQS in the freezer - it doesn't extend the expiration date, but it will keep the strips in a stable state for a short period of time. Hope that helps!
  20. @Rob Stockley - when would you suggest taking another sample once the varroa treatment has finished (to check efficacy)?
  21. Well, I sampled my bees using an alcohol wash today ... I counted 22 mites on 120 bees (18% infestation - gulp)! I'm really glad I decided to count the bees after sampling too, as my 'half cup of 300 bees' turned out to be a whole lot less! Thanks everyone for your advice and discussion around this topic, it's been really helpful. Threshold treatment times are what most horticultural industries use these days for pest sprays, etc., so I reckon bees must be about 15 years behind! I think as resistance develops, it's important to embrace the integrated pest management approach and use all of what we have to control varroa.
  22. Hi - I'm hoping this isn't too much of a silly question ... I have recently been reading about sampling hives for Varroa (sugar-shake / alcohol or soap wash), and I'm a little bit confused (not unusual for me). I understand that it's important to control Varroa before the mites reach levels that threaten colony production and survival, but wouldn't carrying out seasonal Varroa control treatments following the calendar be just as effective? I presume that mites are always going to be present in the hive, so therefore sampling would just be confirming something I already know (I do realise it is a totally different story if you are using organic miticides and want to determine their effectiveness). I'm definitely not opposed to sampling my hives for Varroa, but I'm just wanting to get a bit more depth of understanding behind why I should be doing it. I would also be keen to know when and how often to sample. Thanks for your help!
  23. Are the weight guides you gave for FD or 3/4 boxes i.e. 20kg for 2 x boxes / 16kg for 1 x box? Just got my luggage scales today and hoping to check my 3/4 depth boxes tomorrow. Thanks!
  24. @Matt Caldwell - did you realise Taratahi (www.taratahi.ac.nz) are offering a Certificate in Apiculture (Level 3) also? The benefit of Taratahi training over Lincoln-Telford is that they offer workshops across New Zealand (something I really missed with my training through Lincoln-Telford).
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