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John T

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Everything posted by John T

  1. Yesterday the club had its monthly meeting at the club's hive so I finally got to meet Desmo, it was good to chat about bees (and hunting, but that doesn't belong here). Desmo kindly gave me his stirrer, which was very nicely made. It fits perfectly into a 10 litre pail, and maybe 14-15 litres in a 20 litre pail. All I need now is to extract my honey. Thanks very much @Desmo.
  2. Last year I took the club's extractor to an engineering firm who welded the bottom - originally there were only a couple of leaks, but they decided to weld right round the rim. End result is that it is hopefully more stronger and should last for a few more years at least (it is an old extractor). Cost $100.
  3. The wording of the proposed bylaw is here: "Pigs, bees and farm animals are proposed to be prohibited from residential areas unless Council permission is obtained. The permission will allow Council to assess the suitability of the property to be used for keeping the animals on a case by case basis". [on page 54] http://www.marlborough.govt.nz/Your-Council/Meetings/2017-Council-Meetings/~/media/Files/MDC/Home/Your%20Council/Order%20Papers%20and%20Minutes/2017/PlanningFinanceCommunityCommittee9February2017Agenda.pdf
  4. Courier fees are added on top of the Vespex, unless if you collect it from Nelson. For me, being in Blenheim, it will cost me $15 (I'm told). They will take about 24 hours to arrive (except weekends). The other minor thing to consider is storing Vespex in the freezer until use, or to store any unused vespex. You might want to consider using a spare freezer that is free of food. Or use up all the Vespex within a day or two.
  5. I think the smell of the hive (honey?), and/or dead bees at the base of the hive, is probably what attracts wasps. You're a hunter too? Yes, I go hunting (and fishing) but I don't go out as much as I should. Nearly every Blen hunter tells me they hunt on private land, so that says something. Anyway, getting off topic so I don't want the mods to tell me off!
  6. Oh okay...hm, venision, goat? if I can find them. Interesting about no wasps. They've yet to appear at my hives, tho, last year they turned up around late feb thu to March - saw one just before xmas, which was summarily dealth with. Worth noting is that the MDC has no plans to lay Vespex in council reserves in Blenheim.
  7. Thanks Desmo, that's a good design - no cutting into the pail. In return I'll lay Vespex at your place, if you have a problem with wasps. No word on the next club meet - I suspect it will be postponed due to Waitangi Weekend.
  8. Thanks Desmo, impressive stirrers you have made. Re creaming honey - I understand you add a small amount of creamed honey to normal honey that's still runny. Can't remember the proportion, but that info is somewhere. As for pail size, I'd be using a 10 litre pail to make creamed honey, to start with. Trev, is the dough hook no good to stir honey? If that's the case, Desmo, is it possible to make a stirrer with the rod being 5mm - and somehow crimping the end to slot into a kitchen mixer? I'm thinking of using a kitchen mixer rather than a drill as they have variable speeds. Re the concern of stirrers rubbing on the pail, perhaps have some sort of lid or frame to restrict the movement and depth of the stirrer? The next Club meet should be the 5th Feb, but as this is Waitangi weekend it might be held the following weekend.
  9. Thanks Desmo. I'm keen to make creamed honey. But something I don't know - what size electric drill or machine is required to stir the honey? or, what should the RPM be? I've used paint paddles to stir paint, but I've noticed the electric drill gets a bit warm, so to avoid the thing burning out, I stop. So, with making creamed honey, I imagine a lower RPM is required? and over what time? I understand the making of creamed honey takes place over a few? several? days, and at a certain temperature?
  10. That's a good point Dansar, I hadn't thought of that. Which brings me to wonder, does any additions/alterations post-build affects the warranty (if one exist) of the sheds?
  11. Re all steel sheds - a minor issue you may want to consider, is that there are no wooden frames on which you can hammer in nails to hang things or make extra shelving, etc.
  12. Ok, thanks. I'll try to take a pic tomorrow, or at least compare with what pics I can find, first.
  13. Tartangeek, are you able to say roughly what part of Blenheim your hive is at? You don't need to be specific. Hopefully you will have the bees tested to check the cause of the deaths. If the testing is expensive I'd be happy to contribute to this, regardless of whether your hive is near mine (which seems okay, so far). Are you a member of the Marlborough Bee Club? Parts of the Blenheim township is surrounded by vineyards and I'd be concerned if your bees died from spraying in vineyards (my backyard hive is about 300m from the nearest vineyard). Incidentally, yesterday I found a dying bee with a deformed wing - at my place but away from the hive - I don't think she was one of mine - different colour. Have collected this.
  14. Yesterday I checked all three of my hives to check on honey production and see whether to put more supers on. There's little going on in the supers of my back yard hive. Strange. Then I had a look in the second brood box and see the honey is being made in there. About 3-4 frames. There's a thread elsewhere about this very topic so will have a look to see if I can fix this problem. Then it was out to the two hives in the country side. The one that was queenless (you may recall this from an earlier post, it appeared the bought queen failed, or at least I don't think she was mated as I was led to believe) now has a queen - I suspect from a supersedure. Because the hive had been queenless for about five weeks, I don't know if this affected honey production - there is little going on, but there is some honey filling in the brood frames. The third hive is going well. But because I'm now using nine frames in the supers instead of ten, this has meant there's a bit of space between the excluder and between frames, so the bees are making burr comb and putting honey in there. I scraped this off, saving the small amount of honey which I gave to the landowners.
  15. Undersupering vs oversupering is the very dilemma I've been having. Last season the bees were creating a lot of burr comb on the excluder and on the first super, and filling them with nectar, instead of filling the super(s) above the first super. I'd scrape off these burr combs and collect about quarter-half a cup of honey each time. It made me wonder if the bees couldn't be bothered walking to the upper supers. So, this season, once the first super or two becomes nearly full of capped honey, I'm thinking I'd undersuper...but yes, I realise the disadvantage is that the upper supers might not completely fill up, and that I'd have to move these boxes off to see the progress of the undersupered box...On the other hand if I oversuper, I have to check/remove the other supers to check on progress and remove, if any, burr combs. Sigh. Sorry this is off topic, but please be quick if you have any advice to offer, before the mods twig and biff my post to the off topic bin. Thanks.
  16. More pics of quake damage in here, should you be interested (not mine, nor do I know these people). These pics are of just north of Kaikoura. http://fishnet.co.nz/ted/SundayCycleTrip/
  17. Are you speaking from experience, Philbee?
  18. I've been to the Blenheim Woodworkers Guild a few times and asked them to do some thicknessing for me. In return I give them a donation and sweep the floor. I once went to the Mens Shed but I don't know if they have a jointer, which is useful before doing any thicknessing - the Blen Woodworkers Guild have this. (If you don't have a jointer, there is a way round it. Google it.)
  19. Thanks. So, not having to notify AQ or MPI means that if there's an outbreak, it won't be known where the source came from. Worse, if I'm thinking right, the movement of those infected hives will go on to spread AFB to other locations?
  20. Thanks. Is there a risk of AFB being spread or picked up during that time?
  21. Are beekeepers who use holding yards while moving hives around required to inform Assure Quality of the hive's movements?
  22. Thanks Rob and Kiwifruiter. I'll go back in a couple of days and check.
  23. Thanks Rob, I understand. So should I go back - leave that new frame - and seek another frame? this time looking closely for eggs or young larvae, and put that frame in the queenless hive.
  24. Definitely some larvae, didn't look for eggs. I wanted to move quickly to avoid disruption to the bees.
  25. Four weeks ago I bought a mated queen from a local supplier. (I noticed the queen looking a bit thin, but the supplier did say she was aged three weeks.) Subsequent checks revealed no queen or eggs. I don't know what's happened to the queen, but last week I decided that the hive was definitely queenless. So, today I took a frame of capped brood from another hive and put that in the queenless hive, in the hope that a supersedure may take place. More waiting to see if that works. I've not done that before so I hope I have done the right thing?
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