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DuncanCook last won the day on January 14 2018

DuncanCook had the most liked content!

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About DuncanCook

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    Beginner Beekeeper


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  1. That looks quite promising @SeanMonica I have checked the site and watched the video, I have HD smart bases but presume your product will fit these. Anyone tried these or got any feedback?
  2. I reduced access on my hive doctor bases to minimum on the centre disc a few weeks ago to minimise robbing but I have noticed lately that the girls are queuing up to get in and out. they seem to manage eventually so the question is should I increase access now there are fewer wasps and robber bees or leave as is for the winter. pics are from mid afternoon today.
  3. Ah! the age old question. "If women are so good at multi tasking why can't they have a headache and sex at the same time?" Any spare room in your shelter @jamesc
  4. I re attached the bottom bar with clear silicone when I did mine, still good after 2 seasons but then I use a wooden spatula to get honey so am just a bit more careful with them. Having said that I had a few this year that I had cut down but hadn't got around to re fixing the bar I used them anyway and it didn't seem to make any difference.
  5. My job for tomorrow, not looking forward to it though
  6. That is pretty much what I had decided although I was just going to let the hive fade rather than preempt it. Very first thing I did was the matchsticks, no roping whatsoever I am glad to say
  7. Quite a few bees at the moment though I am expecting that to reduce quite quickly (they are very lethargic) The Queen is from a swarm I caught last year so have no idea about her provenance, though I took a split from her this spring and that is thriving Alcohol wash when staples went in showed 3% I will do another and see. No signs of DWS , I looked in some of the capped cells and found dead bees almost ready to emerge but no mites
  8. That was already the case, if you look at first pic the outer discs are closed and centre on minimum
  9. One of my hives seems to be in real trouble, I think the other 2 hives are using it as a storehouse. I placed staples on March 5th at which time (like the other 2) it had a full box of stores, Queen was still laying and all seemed well, checked again a fortnight later and did not detect any problems. Yesterday however I spotted a wasp exiting the hive, which I killed, but I then found a carpet of dead bees on the HD base On further inspection there was no new brood or eggs and what was there looks unhealthy and no stores whatsoever the bees were mostly clustered in one corner of the box But I did spot the queen so am hoping all is not lost I gave them 3 frames of honey which was all gone this morning though suspect it was robbed again I have now made up some sugar syrup at 2:1 which I will give when it cools but was wondering if I should close the hive right up in order to make sure they get the benefit?
  10. We have been Knee deep in bees the past couple of days (not ours) and I was worried they might be robbing our hives so did a check this morning and reduced entrances. No signs of robbing but it did give me an opportunity to see how they were coping with staples that went in on 5 th March. All 3 Queens still laying and loads of stores coming in, no indication of a slow down for winter yet. It is pretty clear where the staples run
  11. "I’m too soft for alcohol washes. " Having bought a Lifestyle Block on retiring after spending most of my working life in the building trade I was truly shocked by the amount of killing necessary, possums, rabbits, rats ,mice and now bees and that is not counting domestic animals, but like you @cBank I found sugar shakes unreliable so ultimately some deaths now benefit the bees long term.
  12. I don't have to make the call yet as both boxes have a mix of brood and stores but I suppose that if they do move up to the top again it will be a good opportunity to replace bottom boxes with 3/4 D which is my ultimate aim, I think I would be quite comfortable with 2 x 3/4 D boxes over winter.
  13. We are rural but have a 5.5 acre bush and garden oasis in the midst of dairy and kiwifruit country, wife is a fanatical gardener and always tries to choose bee friendly plants. I checked back in my diary since my last post and it seems that the main reason I went to one box last year was that by spring time they had all moved up to the top box anyway and were just wasting valuable energy trying to keep an empty box up to temperature, I had 2 x FD boxes then and now have FD bottom and 3/4 D top and am working towards going all 3/4
  14. Thanks for that John, I reduced to one box last year and they did really well but having said that I am still on a huge learning curve so other factors may well have been involved. I left plenty of stores but found that the girls actually never stopped bringing honey and pollen in so didn't need that much. One of my 3 hives is my first ever split so looking forward to seeing how it over winters.
  15. Went right through my 3 hives this morning and inspected every frame, still plenty of brood (capped and uncapped) but no eggs. Spotted 2 out of the 3 Queens and did alcohol wash. Hive 1 was 6 mites per 300 bees = 2% Hive 2 was 7 mites per 300 =2% and Hive 3 was 9 mites per 300 =3%. Not as good as I had hoped since I had seen no visible signs on any bees but have placed staples (a first for me) and will inspect again in about a month? When I will probably reduce to just one box each for the Winter.
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