Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Days Won


Seller statistics

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0

ChrisM last won the day on August 11

ChrisM had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

717 Excellent


About ChrisM

  • Rank
    Guard Bee


  • Swarm Collection Area
  • Business name
    Seaside Bees
  • DECA Holder
  • Beekeeping Experience
    Hobby Beekeeper
  • Business phone
  • Business email
  • Facebook


  • Location

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. this is well over my head, but if all the affected hives were in a 1080 drop zone and we all accept that bees are insects and 1080 is (also) an insecticide https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_fluoroacetate then it is reasonable to say that a sub-lethal dose could affect queens and hives regardless of whether it is in any of the capped honey. This is not about the honey. So I think it is quite reasonable to keep 1080 on the list of possible causes. Whether it comes via aphids or anything else or foraging salts directly from baits remains to be seen and makes it very tricky to prove. Question is whether every single poor hive was in a drop zone?
  2. That's what we did too, but I take comments from Matt and will try that. Did you treat singles FD or doubles 3/4? I was treating with the strips going to the floor on both sides of the comb (600mm long strips on jumbo depth). I'm wondering if the splitting of the brood might be less if my strips were 50mm shorter on each side to allow the queen to tranverse the comb to the other side more easily? Most are using 400mm long strips so maybe the answer to that is already known but I missed it (?).
  3. Is this what everyone else does? My 2 cents on this: I put my ones into every seam that contains brood and directly in the middle of each seam of brood. So, not ring fenced but more "bullseye". If I had ring fenced the brood and the brood shrunk going into winter, how would that work? These strips have split the brood so in some hives I only have brood one side of these strips, but zero loss. Anyway, reading about James placement it is about the exact opposite of what I thought "we" were all doing. actually, when I used to use apivar and bayvarol I did the same, never putting them at ends of the hive always putting them in the brood not around the brood. Is this important? Obviously I'm not wishing to criticise anyone, I just wanted to get clarification of what others do; if they ring fence brood or just drive straight through?
  4. Is there a resource or link anyone can suggest where we can read up what/where these goal posts are (at the moment)? I don't do pollination but I am interested to read up on the rules to understand. I read some older threads on the forum, still none the wiser. I'm not entirely sure what an organic beehive is let alone an organic beekeeper; aside from the varroa treatment side of things I suppose.
  5. Up to now we have used crush and strain for the modest amount of honey we consume at home. Works fine I don't sell any honey and I don't have NP1 etc. But I've drawn up a special Jumbo extractor in solid works for my top bar hives and this retrofits into the s/s drum of a four frame spinner the club owns. This device is meant to be currently in build, but well actually I need to cajole them along a bit I think. Deadline is next Feb. There are some expensive machines on the market, but cost of those and importing from Europe is uneconomic for home use. Hypothetically, if a hobbyist with a couple of long hives was to have a cheap chinese four frame spinner, I think it would be relatively cheap to convert it into a Jumbo two frame spinner. But we are in top bar hives and we harvest a lot of wax. And though I don't sell honey we do sell wax.
  6. Regarding Long Hives. I'd be interested to know if QE are really any use in a long hive, I think it is doubtful. Generally in a horizontal format hive the queen will not set up a second brood nest, so as soon as you have one comb of honey across the hive, this should effectively act like a QE in a horizontal hive. Generally we don't limit the brood nest to 10, I would say 14 or 15 is more like the average and we don't ever seek to limit it. More the opposite to check they have room to expand in spring. But we operate with jumbo depth and all those brood combs will generally have 60mm of honey across the top of them plus a pollen band. So actual brood volume might be close to ~10 FD equivalent of a vertical hive. As an aside, I think FD is a bit shallow for a long hive, but obviously we are each biased to what we know and FD long hive proponents seem to get it to work fine. Plus if you had jumbo long hive you'd then struggle to buy a standard extractor that could hold your frames.
  7. As I understood it, biennial NP1 renewals are normally around $150+gst (CPI adjusted) so it could be considered to be $75 per year. The cost of setting up $500 or more is a one-off cost (unless you are naughty or that you change your setup completely and have to start over). the 2018 apiculture report (https://www.mpi.govt.nz/dmsdocument/34329/direct) is a report on costs of beekeeping so you know what wodge commercial beekeepers earn and spend. However so far as I can see they only list RMP costs and they don't show any costs about NP1 whatsoever. Maybe I'm just reading it wrong.. For single site beekeepers, the NP1 rego fees get collected by councils and are then forwarded to MPI, so far as I know. Maybe it is so small they ignore it.
  8. you're right and even foundation is optional.. However, I should explain that several times in last few seasons we've had a call where a swarm has already gone into a house. Where we have got there within 24 hours we set up a box with a single brood comb, I have often poured invert/syrup into the cells of the comb as a kind of lure and house warming present. Each time we've managed to get the swarm out of the house and into the box. On one of those the home owner caught it on video where the whole swarm did an exit out of the house and then flew around back to the house and hived itself in the box. Hilarious really. They posted this video on our facebook page, so there is real proof of this, but I dont' have the skill to easily put it on here if that is even possible. Still it must be pretty attractive if they'll abandon a nice spot in a house in order to go in the box. While we have done it several times, I'm doubtful it would work after they've been there more than 48hrs. Nice to help people and bees in this way with zero failures and actually quite low level of effort required. Anyway, this is why the brood comb thing came into being, just depends on what is to hand and surplus.
  9. The Group's website https://bopbee.weebly.com/ has been updated for the new swarm season and collectors google map. Meetings (last Sunday of month at 2pm) are going back into summer mode; at the apiary of a member each month instead of meeting at TECT park. Anyone (member or non-member) in the region or just visiting (between Katikati, Rotorua and Paengaroa) on last Sunday of the month, that might want to attend a meeting is welcome to make contact via the website to get current newsletter and meeting details.
  10. sounds like a good task for the queen cell carriers made from warmer/cooler boxes with theromostats.
  11. I've had reactions like that or a little worse. I started taking a lot of care with gloves and suits, so as to never get stung again. I help a commercial every season with a day or two of his harvests and it can be pretty fully on at times. Interestingly, in the last season all my reactions have reduced so I'm no longer on the scale and I only accidentally found out because I don't get stung as a result of my cautious approach. So much so, that with no reactions, I don't worry about stings so much. There is no question my reactions were going up the scale of severity and it was worrying. Some have died from this afterall. Now I'm not on the 'scale' at all. So it all seems pretty random. My advice is to make sure you don't get stung at all in the short term. I haven't ever heard of any epi pen deals, (and then they both expire at the same time and you get to throwaway twice as much?). But I have heard you can learn to use a proper injection/needle for a fraction of the cost.
  12. I don't know enough to conclude anything, but I agree with the feelings about older frames. I think it is notable that in the UK they refresh combs by essentially sterlising them with acetic acid (erm why don't we do that here?) and that Mark Goodwin had some work running where they sterilised empty dry brood comb by heating in a hotter than normal warm room (did that work ever get finished?). Are others in NZ routinely refreshing their frames in some manner? The implication being that the nosemas and/or others can be reduced or eliminated. There is also comment sometimes made that beekeeping is easier in the first two years then it gets harder. This too implies the build up of diseases. There is often comment that brood frames need to be cycled out at the 4 or 5 year mark. Anyway, all these anecdotes point the same way; same as your quote above. The one good thing I use old black brood comb for (empty and dry) is to help anchor a newly caught swarm, in a foundationless box, but I'm wondering now if that is actually a bit dumb if I'm giving diseases to young bees. (?). This does end up being only one comb with all the rest freshly drawn and I've not noticed any bad affects. On a different note, I've not used OAG and rarely used synthetic strips in swarms because these days I don't have any synthetic strips. But I have given them an OAV (Oxalic Acid Vapour) treatment; fairly early on before they have brood. In a broodless situation it is about the only time I think OAV is worthwhile.
  13. were there some other beekeepers who had similar exposures and who treated with something else? Are they all fine? I'm sorry for whatever it is that has happened, but all the best.
  14. if we did get rid of the varroa mite, it could easily come back via an air/port just the same as it did the first time it arrived. Australia has so far managed to keep it out, but they've not been so lucky with small hive beetle nor EFB. Nobody seems to be able to manage their borders 100%.
  15. yes, I've had the same issue too. My rule of thumb now is to wait until all the bees are dead and there is a new generation of bees in the hive that never knew about that site. Moving the hive over winter they'll all still be alive and will remember. The rule about 3 feet, 3 days and 3 miles implies you can move them one foot per day or 3 feet every three days. Depending on terrain I prefer to go with that for 10m or less or unless I can get somebody else to do it for me However, I see facebook is full of people who can do anything just leaving a stick by the entrance, I've not had 100% success re-orienting them that way as a proportion of my bees seem to go to the old place regardless of brush and branches.
  • Create New...