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John T

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Everything posted by John T

  1. Hi I began my first hive in early December. I now have two FD brood boxes, then a 3/4, using the excluder. On inspecting the hive a couple of weeks ago, I found the top box full of honey. I took one full frame out, and replaced that with a new undrawn frame, so that the bees have something to work on. Then I went to the top brood box, but was surprised to find the frames were mostly full of honey. Again, thinking the bees need something to work on, I took five frames out and replaced with five new, undrawn combs. I plan to use these full five frames for winter. (I will extract honey from the 3/4 frames - I assume that's okay?) Is it normal for the second brood box to be full of honey instead of brood? Should I be concerned? I should add that while the bee numbers have increased, I haven't found the queen, yet. This weekend, as the remaining 3/4 frames may be full, I plan to take them out and replace with new, undrawn frames (unless if I get the extractor, in which case I'd return the empty drawn frames back) - or should I not do that, take away the 3/4 box and let the bees work on the second brood box? ie, just have two FD boxes ready for the winter. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Hi This evening I scraped off some burr comb off the excluder. There was some honey in it, which I've salvaged - about a tablespoon's worth. Unfortunately, in the process a poor bee got trapped and ejected her stinger, and I think the venom as well, which is now mixed in with the honey. Is this honey safe to eat? Thanks.
  3. Burning question (no pun intended): does it matter using different fuel material each time you use the smoker or should you always use the same kind of fuel material? Thanks.
  4. Hi Wannabee, welcome. The windbreak seems to be working, so far. No complaints from the neighbours (yet?). The bees aren't necessarily directed over the trellis as I would like, but should the neighbours complain, I'll add another piece of windbreak, giving an extra 1m in height. Cheers
  5. Thanks for the latest replies. Yes I will remove the burr today. I like M4TT's suggestion of a second mat so will try that. Cheers
  6. Thanks for your replies. To clarify, there's already 10 frames in the bottom box. The plastic frames came with the nuc that I obtained, so I would assume they've already been waxed. The other five frames are wooden, with wax foundation. But yes, I should remove the top box (and the feeder) to prevent them from developing the burr comb. Thanks once again. Cheers
  7. Sorry Fisherlady I forgot your question. When I got the nuc there were five frames (plastic). The other five were mine, just the bare wax foundation, when I put the nuc in the brood box.
  8. Hi, thanks for your comments, especially from Trevor, good to have an assurance. However, I'll still try to make the entrance wider. Tonight at 10pm they were still clustering around at the entrance. As requested, I have taken a pic of inside the hive, as below. I didn't feed them tonight for a change. A second brood box will be added next week, but if you think I should do this earlier, let me know. As you can see in the pic (I hope), the bees are building a bit of a comb on top of the frames. Obviously this would have to be removed when the second brood box is installed. Cheers John
  9. Thanks for the welcome. It's the Langstroth hive, got five frames in the nuc. There is just the one brood box. The top box (as in pic) is empty - has the tray for the feed of syrup. (I will stop feeding them soon). Have attached a pic, taken at 11pm tonight. And yes, in case you have noticed, the entrance is a bit narrow. I intend to make this wider.
  10. Hi I got my first bees in the weekend. I've noticed in the last few nights bees milling around at the entrance of the hive. Tonight it was even bigger, perhaps about a dozen bees. Should I be concerned? are they getting too warm? (It was 25 degrees today) Population getting too big? (there's just the one brood box, but I hope to add another next week). Would appreciate any comments - I hope what I'm seeing is okay. Cheers John
  11. Hi just a brief update. I finally got my first bees in the weekend. Up went the windbreak, which runs parallel with the neighbours fence. The hive faced the trellis fence, at right angles to the windbreak. But my mentor recommended a slightly different location, with the hive facing the windbreak, and hence, the neighbours! But, so far, the bees are flying over the windbreak and then over the neighbours house - well, I hope most of them, anyway. No complaints from the neighbour, so far. (I have informed them about the bees.)
  12. D'oh. I should know that. Too much to learn! Thanks.
  13. Thanks for your replies. I plan to use melamin wood, as I have plenty of these. I've since learned that these are not treated. Also, another question. With any trapped bees in the bait box, is it possible to check for AFB before I put them in the hive? Thanks.
  14. Can the bait box be made out of treated wood, or must untreated wood be used? Thanks.
  15. Bump. Sorry. Any updates on this wood vs plastic frames debate? has there been any change in preference towards one over the other? Stu, any chance you could post your findings, if possible, as per post 43? Ta. I'm a newbie and am deciding whether to use plastic vs wood frames. Am currently considering wooden frames with plastic foundations for the supers (or a mix with wax) and fully plastic for the brood boxes. I have been reading various threads on the pros and cons of plastic vs wood/wax . While there's some good arguments, it's like watching two top tennis greats having a long never-ending rally and not knowing who is the more superior. I guess it comes down to personal preference and experience? Cheers. John
  16. The length of the windbreak/new trellis will be about 3.7m long. It will go right up to the existing trellis wall, and perhaps about 50cm behind the hive, or right next to it. I guess some bees might approach from behind (ie from the west) but hopefully the majority will depart to/from the east.
  17. Thanks for the latest replies. The trellis fence is about 1.8m high, so I thought I'd make the windbreak at 2.3m, but now I think I'll make it 2.5m! Also thought I might use a trellis rather than a windbreak. Good thing my neighbour's cars aren't flash!
  18. Thanks for your replies. Okay, I won't install a roof. Given that the height of the windbreak will be higher than the trellis fence, will bees fly over the trellis fence or will they fly over the windbreak, regardless? Thanks.
  19. Hi I'm hoping to have my first hive this spring. I have a good northerly aspect for locating a hive, but the neighbour to the north is a bit close - their car and washing line is close by - approx 10 metres and 20 metres, respectivley. To the east of the possible hive location is a trellis fence, and I plan to place a windbreak running in a west-east direction towards the trellis fence. The hive entrance would point easterly towards the trellis fence. What I would like to know is, if I make the windbreak higher than the trellis fence, would this make the bees fly over the trellis fence? Or, if I erected a "roof" consisting of windbreak material over the hive and towards the trellis fence for about two metres, would this make the bees fly towards the opening? (Think of a large cage, with the gap above the trellis fence as the opening for the bees to fly in and out of.) I'm mindful that the above method may not stop the bees flying over the neighbour's car or washing, but at least I hope by directing the flight path away, most of the bees will not fly over the neighbour's car or washing. Sorry it's a bit hard to describe the physical layout of my proposal, but I would be interested in other people's experience of successfully directing bee flight path with the use of windbreak and possibly a roof, using windbreak material. Thanks. John
  20. Thanks for your replies. Thanks Kevin, I will try to get in touch with you soon. JT
  21. Hi, I'm sure there are hobby beekeepers in Marlborough, but it looks like there's no formal club, gathering or anything. I wonder if any Marlborough hobby beekeepers get together for field trips, "how-to's" etc? (I'm interested in taking up hobby beekeeping, but I'm not quite in a position to own hives, just yet.) Thanks. John
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