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About Bruis

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  • Beekeeping Experience
    Hobby Beekeeper


  • Location
    Upper Otaki Gorge

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  1. Has anyone any experience of this, either in NZ or overseas? The protagonists claim that in most cases, desensitization to bee stings, i.e. removal of the risk of anaphylaxis, is possible in an intensive course of treatment lasting as short as three days! Look it up.
  2. How many beekeepers with Epipens are aware that these expensive, one shot, 0.3 ml adrenaline dispensers actually contain 2 ml of epinephrine? .i.e. after use, there are still more than 5 additional doses of the drug remaining! Unfortunately, even if you need a second dose, the unit not designed to allow this. Normally of course, you would have called 111 for an ambulance, and the the paramedics will have additional adrenalin on board and can give it to you if you need it. But what if they are not available and your situation is desperate? Turns out you can cut open the Epipen, get at the internal syringe, and give yourself a second or even third dose. Look up 'How to retrieve additional epinephrine from auto-injector' on Dr Google. And assuming you have recovered from your anaphylactic shock episode, you could cut open the Epipen and save the internal syringe and its contents for later use, although this is certainly not recommended as a substitute for another new Epipen. Another thing I have learned is that Epipens still retain much of their effectiveness long after their expiry date, so don't throw the old one away!
  3. How soon after hiving a swarm should I expect to see brood? If it is a normal swarm with an older queen, I assume she would start laying immediately, but I gather you can sometimes have second swarms around a virgin queen...in which case, I assume she would have to mate before starting to lay.
  4. I too have found one of these shiny black bees being dragged out of the hive...no sign of injury but it is dead. No way is it a bumble bee stripped of its hairs. It's a different shape.
  5. Fair comment....we have some even darker honey from last year...we call it 'bush' honey because we live alongside a deep gully filled with most of the NZ native species, including manuka. That honey definitely has a stronger taste. This year for the first time, a large paddock on the other side of the property which is usually heavily grazed, was left to lie fallow, and the bees have obviously targetted the clover, dandelion and other grasses to produce this exceptionally pale honey. The darker variety from earlier this month would have been a mixture of both I think...and it does taste much milder than heretofore!
  6. First week of December v last week of December. Same hive, same location!
  7. Yes, I could have kicked myself when I realised in the middle of the night that I should have split them. But the hive does seem to be very active at present...no more circling 'sniffing' but heaps of bees out and about. I'll give it a few days and see what is happening...it is faintly possible that the two queens have gotten used to each other and are both active. Will be interesting to see if I can find them.
  8. A few weeks ago I hived a swarm. Couple weeks later I checked and it was going really well so I put a honey super on top. A week later I checked again...bees were putting in honey, all good, and I found the queen in the bottom box. So I put a queen excluder on! Over the next couple of weeks, the bees were seen behaving oddly....sniffing all around each other on the landing board. Same thing every day... round and round..no aggresion. Today I found out why! I opened the hive and found ample brood both above and below the queen excl.!!! Hmmm dunno where second one came from!!! Queens couldnt mix but bees could...and it obviously puzzled them! Decided to pull the q.x. and see what happens.
  9. As indeed I do, but convenional honey extraction is nevertherless a process which is hard on bees....are you telling me you've never squashed any?
  10. With respect (!), there is nothing very respectful to bees in pumping smoke through their hive, taking the top off and pulling frames out, probably squashing a few bees in the process and so on. If I were a bee, I think I'd prefer the gentle draining of honey to the brutal way we extract it normally.
  11. There has been a lot of scepticism and negative comment expressed, but I know there are some Flow hives already operating in NZ. It would be great to hear some actual experience in NZ from the beeks involved.
  12. That is a measured and thoughtful response. I have seen the videos and am impressed with the technology which appears to be the first really new thing in hive design since Langstroth over 150 years ago. Excluding plastic foundation of course! Time will tell whether these hives have a big impact or not, but we should keep an open mind on them for sure.
  13. We think it is five finger honey...there is heaps of this tree around our place and we know it producs nectar in winter. The tuis love it..and we heard/saw lots of bees on it in June and july. Tastes great too!
  14. Good idea to check water content of both capped, and uncapped honey on the same frame...would be interesting to see if there is a difference!
  15. well..that's all great guys. Thanks for the comments. I take the point about why we should want to determine the water content of honey...but in my case, I had so much honey being put into a new super in the middle of winter that I decided to extract some of this...and there was a suggestion that this 'winter honey' would be likely to have a higher water content, and therefore be prone to fermenting, due to the cold conditions etc. So I bought the refractometer (under $30 from AliExpress...delivered!) to check this. Still not sure what the exact water content was, but it was the same as my normal summer honey, which was the point of the exercise!
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