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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. 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
  2. "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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. I suppose a great deal will depend on future plans and personal circumstances. For example I run a mix of full and 3/4 but I have only 3 hives at the moment and have no intention of going over 6. I am also retired and so am around most of the time (all my hives are at home) to keep an eye on things so that works perfectly well for me but I can quite easily see that if my circumstances were multiplied up to 2 or 3 hundred hives spread over a number of apiaries then it would be a nightmare.
  8. I read a great deal here about "The Flow" but in my admittedly very short (2 years and a little bit) experience of beekeeping I have never seen anything that I could remotely describe as a start / stop flow. Honey comes in at a steady rate throughout the Summer months without big fluctuations. On the plus side I have never had to feed as they keep flying and produce enough honey to feed themselves throughout the winter months. I am guessing it is because our patch is something of an oasis in the midst of dairy and kiwifruit and they probably forage enough without having to go too far afield.
  9. Nothing to do with bees except I spotted her in a feijoa bush close to my hives and wanted to share.
  10. Interesting ad on our local Neighbourly site 1000 hives for sale @ $600 each, not sure that is the best place to market that number but who knows? So if you are in Katikati and want to expand !!..............................
  11. But I am a pedant, my apologies @Markypoo I just couldn't resist!
  12. The virgin already there is now laying and vastly bigger. I didn't think virgins laid? Even at 72 it seems I have much to learn about the birds and bees
  13. Thank all for the feedback, I think I can relax for a bit. One hive is nice and neat and tidy and the other is chaotic, they are building everywhere except on the nice new frames I gave them. Less gratitude than a teenager!!!
  14. My lack of experience again I suppose, I thought the first two pics were Queen cells and the second two were drone. the second picture with a bee sitting on the cell seemed much bigger than pictures I have seen of drone cells. Trouble with doing it all via books and pictures .
  15. Both my hive seem to be booming although they haven't done much with the extra boxes I put on yet. I would like to do a split as much for the experience as anything else but am nervous for first time however since I seem to have Q cells in the one hive perhaps now is the time The drone cells have been built up all around the arms of the Bayvarol strips that are due to come out next week
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