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Humbleybee

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About Humbleybee

  • Rank
    Drone

Converted

  • DECA Holder
    Yes
  • Beekeeping Experience
    Hobby Beekeeper

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  • Location
    Auckland
  1. Hi Janice I wonder if what happened to you, is the same thing that has happened to me (twice). First time, a couple of years ago, I came back from holiday, and found a hive with the 2 top supers knocked off and down the bank. I thought someone must have pushed them over. I retrieved them and stuck the hive back together, even though it had obviously been robbed out. Back the next day - supers off again. They were just sliding off, even though they only had a slight forward tilt on them. And just 2 weekends ago - worked a hive, put the heavy supers back on top of a clearance board. Started working on the hive next door - and then heard a crash. The supers had slid off the 1st hive over the front. Probably due to slight slope, broken seal, hot day and lots of weight on top. I put it back together but robbing starting on both hives. I put some weight on the back of the lid, hoping that would stop it moving - but while watching it, the supers very, very, very slowly started creeping forward again. Perhaps that is the stage you saw it, when you were on your way to work? A gap had opened at the back and the bees were all starting to get agitated. Anyway, it was only when you said that you had been working the hives the day before, that made me think that could be a possible explanation. In a way, it would be good if it was - so you know there is no-one out to get your bees!
  2. Thanks very much for your reply Dave. I really appreciated your 'artificial swarm' resource. I had to read it several times and draw diagrams to help me remember what to do, as it is so comprehensive. I will leave the switch if it's not critical. I should have thought it out a bit better, as it is now where I want it to be, until it's recombined. I should have first put it on the side I didn't want it to end up - and then moved it to the better, more spacious side. That would mean one move only instead of the two I have potentially set myself up for (if that makes sense). Will do the 3 day check today - between downpours. Thanks again.
  3. 2 days ago I carried out an 'artificial swarm' as per @Dave Black 2013 article. (The procedure was slightly bastardised as had one FD and one 3/4 brood box). Today the swarm hive was very active, the 'old hive' much less so - as expected. I had fed the old hive sugar syrup in a top feeder the day after splitting (yesterday). Went late this afternoon to feed more SS. However, still most/all of original syrup in feeder and no bees up there. Is that because the bees in this hive are mainly nurse bees, so are not looking to collect stores? Also - how important is the 'switching the old hive to the other side of the swarm hive to fly off another lot of bees, after 3 days'? Sounds like a lot more lifting/manipulation for an old girl like me! I would like to avoid that step, unless it is considered absolutely necessary - as still have 4 more hives to 'manipulate' and that one hive's artificial swarm took me a good chunk of Monday afternoon!! Thanks in advance for any input...
  4. Thanks for all your replies - much appreciated. I think the weather is against me for doing a sugarshake - but will try next week if possible. I was thinking along Pbee's line - getting the strips out in 10 weeks from next weekend, could be near the start of the flow. However, we have lots of Kanuka. It flowers in December which is later than Manuka (?) Will investigate MAQS - but I already have Apivar that expires in December (I bought too much last year) - so would like to use it. I could potentially use MAQS if varroa builds up to an unacceptable level in late summer. Tommy Dave - my strategy for the hives not swarming while I am away is 'keeping my fingers crossed'. One more question: for those that use Apivar - when would you be looking at putting it in hives normally? And once again - thanks for the input.
  5. I have personally kept bees for approximately 4 years - but my father and brother have kept bees in the past, so have a bit of an historical experience. I currently have 4 Langsthroth hives and 1 TBH. I have completed an AFB course and hold a DECA. Last year I diagnosed AFB in 2 of my Langstroth hives - which I had to burn, along with a lot of other boxes and frames which I hadn't kept track of 'where they had been'. Very traumatic and expensive. The only upside of that, was that Alistair (from this forum) came, in his capacity as an AFB inspector, to check my remaining hives. It was a delight to watch such an experienced beekeeper at work. Alistair is a true gentleman, with a great compassion for bees. It was a great learning experience for me. Despite all my reading and research, I cannot decide the best course of action for the following dilemma- so would appreciate ideas from more experienced beekeepers. On Saturday 6th August, I will be away from Auckland for 1 month. Should I put my Apivar treatment in before I go and leave for 8-10 weeks? Or put it in when I come back and leave for 6-8 weeks? Recent hive inspections showed plentiful bees and brood (especially TBH) and adequate stores. All hives were treated with Bayvarol in Autumn,, I have honey frames (now identified for each hive), that are on during varroa treatment/over winter that will be removed and stored in freezer during honey collection period. So would appreciate thoughts about putting treatments in now (between showers) vs in 5 weeks time. I am in rural Auckland area, with a lot of native bush on our 35 ha. Thanks in advance....
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