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Fiona S

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About Fiona S

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    AUckland
  1. Thanks for that, I have a spare freezer revving up now, but my question is more whether I can re-feed the honey to my bees afterwards. I.e, will they be able to clean up and get rid of the wax moth poop and will any of that contamination cause dysentery in my hive etc? One frame in particular had quite a bit of damage of the wax surface, and when I picked up the frame it actually dripped quite a bit. It was previously capped so the water content should have been fine - but it would appear the moths had changed it somehow? hummm Images attached. Frames range from ok looking (light damage) to yyuuck
  2. I'm an idiot. Managed to forget an entire box of honey frames and I've incubated a ton of wax moth (in a sealed container). The damage is kind of localized and a lot of they honey looks fine, but the surface and corners of the frames have obvious signs of damage, larvae poo etc. I know exactly what hive this box came off, so my question to you experts out there is..... Can I freeze all the frames for 48h and re-feed to my hive? I have scraped off the worst of the webby stuff and they don't look too bad. Any ideas most appreciated Would hate to waste it. Many thanks F
  3. Hi all, thought I had better report back. Put the jars in the car and within a day the honey was nice and liquid. Its been 11 days so far and it has gone back to its nice thick consistency without crystals. Cheers :)
  4. Thanks to you for your ideas. With more time over the holidays I might try your creaming method Mummzie - but on a small scale! Yesbut - perhaps the bottles could be boiled similar to a canning method to get that extra temperature and length... might try with a jar and see. Probably going to go with Ted's idea of the hot car first ... I will report back with results Ciao
  5. Hi all, happy 'nearly the holidays' to you. 🥂 A quick question - does anyone have experience reversing crystallization of Manuka honey? I got a small but strong harvest last year, and want to give the last few jars away. Problem is - they have crystallized into the characteristic massive crunch surrounded in gel. I have tried melting them in the glass jars via water bath - didn't work I have tried melting them in the microwave - but only about 75% of the crystals melted. I wonder if this method isn't advised in case it destroys some of those good properties in the honey? Any other methods people have used that works to 100%? If so - how long does honey typically last once again liquefied? Any experience or ideas most appreciated. Thanks :) Fi
  6. My two cents of knowledge if it helps someone reading this thread... I got stung a while back just below my eyebrow. The sting didn't come out easily by the way. Anyway rushed off, told husband and took an antihistamine tablet. Then went to pantry and first put a little vinegar on the sting spot. Got some ice and applied that to sting too. Then alternated between ice and baking soda (mixed to paste with water). Almost froze my eyeball but something worked! Didn't scare anyone with my look, only a tiny bit of swelling the next morning as I couldn't hold ice to it all night. All done within a pretty fast frantic time. So I would try doing all three if you have somewhere to be. Bee merry this Christmas ?
  7. Hi Tristan, thanks I can easily take off the 3/4 and 1/2 which are just honey stores for the winter - leaving just the single brood box. And my other one hive also just has a single full depth brood box so I can move a brood frame in if necessary later on. Thanks for the tip about not adding too much brood. A question though - how could there be a brood break though as the queen is still laying eggs now?
  8. It was treated as a single brood box only - supers put on afterwards.
  9. And I think it was 3 weeks for the second packet - I meant to only leave it in for 2. The next treatment I intend is apistan especially in the light that this could well be a varroa issue Thanks I think I should have taken a photo of more uncovered brood - most are as you say pointing up towards the cell capping, however I put that photo in there with the larvae curled in the bottom because they looked white and healthy - which sadly is only about 5% of anything on all the frames. So presuming it was PMS - you would treat for Varroa and what - replace the infected brood frames with say frames from a healthy hive or just leave them to deal with the bacteria and virus? Any recommendations? Thanks
  10. Woops I meant I used ApiGuard. Two weeks I think for the first
  11. Thanks for your recommendation, I will keep an eye out for an answer to your freezing question too. Hi there, I will get another couple of close up photos if the weather is ok. When most of the cells are uncapped the larvae are stretched up, and in most cases a coffee colour similar to one you can see in a photo I attached. And they are watery when stirred with a match stick. I do now see a varroa in one of those pictures and got 6 mites off a 24h sticky board - perhaps there is a far greater load trapped in the capped cells. Thank you for your opinion as I will do a bit of research on the syndrome as I am unfamiliar with it. Cheers
  12. Hi all, here is a scenario I need help with, and hopefully will provide useful information for others if they come across this issue. I have a hive saturated with sac brood (no not foulbrood - had samples tested by AsureQuality). I have read extensively that the best thing to do is re-queen and check for varroa load (I have a mated queen lined up thanks to the kind mr dallas). My question is how can I go about reducing damage to the colony while the re-queening is taking place - i.e. eliminate the virus quickly. Below are some background notes for those interested in reading further... Notes and pictures attached: Eggs are present They seem a strong hive to me, out even when the sun isn't shining (very busy at the entrance when it is) with I would guess 7 frames of bees Currently have brood in bottom full depth box, with a 3/4 and 1/2 depth honey super on top for winter stores. They have been bringing in honey and pollen in over the past couple of months as there are still 5 fully nectar/caped honey 3/4 frames and 7 fully capped 1/2 depth frames. Lots of pollen too. 4-5 frames of brood - all of which is patchy and sadly I would estimate 95% manky with sac brood. I can't imagine how the poor bees can clean them out. They were treated with apivar in feb or march (I can't find my record book at the moment) and a 24h sticky board done yesterday came up with 6 mites. Cant see any evidence of deformed wing virus Photos attached: # bees with hive mat off (1/2 depth honey box) - no smoke # bees on 3/4 box - no smoke # bees on brood box before moving around (and USED smoke) # bees on brood box one frame removed Brood ppattern Close up of cappings Desiccated brood Decaying brood but also healthy early stages brood? Decaying brood again with healthy late stage brood - it is hard to find any healthy brood There is no brood in either of the honey boxes. I read that the sacbrood virus will become non-infectious after 4 or so weeks, but at the rate the queen is laying and the nurse bees are continually trying clean out cells and raise new brood (only to ramp up with the spring) - I can't see them getting out of the cycle of infection - even if I used Apistan strips and re-queen - or am i wrong? I suppose I could take off their honey boxes for 4 weeks to kill any virus left on them and feed the bees with sugar water in the meantime - so I could re-use those honey frames in the spring for the build up. I feel like I should be destroying those horrible brood frames that are just riddled with decaying larvae - however I understand the infected nurse bees can simply start feeding the new generation and the disease will just keep going. Any thoughts? Could I intentionally induce a brood break by removing the queen and infected brood frames and leave the bees for as long as possible so the virus kind of dies off, treat for varroa while there is no brood present.. and then re-introduce a mated queen ?? I don't even know how long you can leave workers at this time of year without a queen before they do something terrible. Would love to hear a discussion on your thoughts and recommendations. And yes I have another hive if brood/eggs were needed. Interesting stuff - and a good learning opportunity for me Hope the post isn't too long Cheers!
  13. Hi all interested in this topic. I have a small project with one of my hives currently. I am trying to get fully capped comb for Christmas and was wondering if there was a way to even slightly speed up the time it takes them to cap honey. Have us a single level brood box, bees are flourishing and on top above a queen excluder is a half depth box. Fully drawn out, full of honey that won't come out if shaken.. But it has been only partly capped for over a week now. Flow is on and the weather is pretty warm.. Not too humid but not baking dry either. I have put match sticks under the hive lid today but can anyone recommend from experience anything else that could speed them up? What about adding another box below the current one? Quite keen to do this however I don't have any empty drawn comb at the moment so worried they will go eat all their hard work just to draw out the new box. Sigh they are messing with my little experiment plus I am having to keep a close eye out for Queen cells over the next few days before the end of December. Worst comes to worst and I will just have to extract the box later and test it for tutin. Goodbye Christmas gifts snif snif :cry: Anyone had success with different techniques? Cheers Happy Christmas :bee: Oh PS - I do have a drawn out full depth box destined to become their second brood box. If spacing the honey box further away is a solution to speed capping - perhaps the large box is an option?
  14. You are meaning the first picture for Hive 2? That hive was a cut-out - with comb being cut and held in place with rubberbands until the bees filled it out. As a result on this one - some is a smaller cell size, while the larger drone brood has resulted from another cut section. Possibly not the smartest thing to do but at the time I wasn't thinking about it. I want to gradually get rid of these frames also because some of the comb is pretty old.
  15. Well an update for today: Big surprise with Hive 1 (the one obtained in January and has been very slow to expand thus far)... in fact I almost died and went to heaven when I saw the first frames. See the below photos. They look to be finally collecting nectar and have a tiny bit of capped honey so perhaps this hive is finally on its way up. We have had a couple of really sunny hot days just recently. So.... I am thinking maybe NOT re-queen just yet I reckon will wait and see if this hatching (about 4 frames similar to the ones above are all capped) makes a difference. I will have to see next year whether bees in my area are slow to get up to speed or, if not perhaps this hives slow progress has simply been down to low bee numbers and the cold. As for Hive 2 (double queen one) - no change here. Photo of their brood attached as you asked Rob to assess the queens performance at the moment. Sticky board in place to assess for Varroa, and with roughly 20 drones taken out of cells and examined found no varroa on any of them. Thanks all who posted ideas and info, much appreciated and I hope the discussions may help other new beekeepers like myself. :bee:
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