Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by DuncanCook

  1. I have had a look online and I doubt it was a wool carder, I think more probably a variety of hover fly as the black bands go right across the body unlike the carder.

    There are a few around at the moment so  I took a pic of one that landed in my wine glass, a better death than the first that was being eaten from the rear whilst still struggling at the front.




  2. 2 hours ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

    Great photography.  What did you take that on?

    Panasonic Lumix-TZ 260,  I am a bit old fashioned and my phone (very old) is just that

    Camera is great for distance shots with 30 times optical zoom but I haven't really got the hang of macro photography yet

    wish I could get a paper instrction manual for it

  3. South African I'm afraid, we occasionaly come across NZ mantis but not as often as I would like, having said that the victim isn't actually a wasp but a mimic.

    The mantis didn't even wait for it to land but took it right out of the air, unbelievably fast.

  4. Left hand fortunately, difficult to use ctrl  and shift etc. but otherwise I am pretty much limited to tv, computer and reading.


    and contemplating all the things I should be doing

    now i am more or less off the pain killers it is starting to get very frustrating

  5. 1 hour ago, Maggie James said:

    I ran out of elastoplast yesterday and stock was urgently needed.  One man had cut the backside out of a pair his Jockey's, with the elastic securing the "mask" firmly round his head.  I couldn't stop laughing, and normally I would have told him he looked like a dick, but when you have a table runner with embroidered feathers, round your face, one is not in a position to make such a comment.  A number of people had polar fleece neck warmers as their mask.  But i would have to query this as sensible, because not only is polar fleece synthetic, it attracts particals.  I tried for six weeks prior to lock down to get a mask - never mind.  My linen table runner came home and was promptly given a hot wash.  


    Hoping to cage a few queens today.  The hives in the grafting yard are going into winter very well, with lots of pollen still coming in.  Hopefully we are in for a warm April.  The larger colonies still have plenty of drones, and that is generally a sign at this time of the year that we are in for a good spell.  

    It seems there are a lot of half bras around at the moment, people cut them to use as makeshift masks but only use the left cup for fear of looking a right tit!

    • Haha 9
  6. On 30/03/2020 at 10:11 AM, DuncanCook said:

     2 hours on the operating table and it looks as though I will get to keep the 2 fingers they initially thought I would lose


    Photos or it didn't happen. ?


    Apparently the pictures that air ambulance crew took with Ipad are circulating all around local St John but I haven't managed to see them yet or get a copy

    • Like 1
  7. 3 hours ago, tommy dave said:

    logsplitters must rank up there with avocado stones for ACC claims


    3 hours ago, Maggie James said:

    People should only bully avocados the same size as them.  

    Yep  according to the hospital staff it is one the most common causes of admissions at this time of year, flesh and blood doesn't stand much chance against 25 ton hydraulics.

    Totally my own fault but kudos to all medical staff, although we are rural within the hour I was in the air ambulance on the way to hospital and within 2 hours on the operating table and it looks as though I will get to keep the 2 fingers they initially thought I would lose

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
  8. Had a disagreement with my logsplitter, results were splitter 1   me 0  so I am literally single handed for the next couple of months.

    Fortunately I had already done an alcohol wash and inspected every frame and put in staples, all is looking pretty good for the winter which is just as well 'cos all I can do is sit and watch activity at the entrances

    • Like 1
    • Sad 6
  9. Yes very easy to install and fits perfectly, I have a spare HD Smartboard so was able to do a dry run first and I was fairly confident when it came to the actual installation, bees took to it straight away and are using it quite happily. No robbing anyway at the moment so will have to wait to comment on that aspect.

    Thanks for your prompt response to my order @SeanMonica

    I used the pliers you see in the photo to squeeze the lugs at the bottom of the red disc and it popped out easily

    • Agree 1
  10. Thanks for the response M4tt, I thought maybe I should move the staples but it would have meant really forcing them in'


    The picture is of the bottom box, top one has far more bees and the remainder seem to be in the process of moving up. They did the same last year and once the majority were up there I took away bottom box and did the rest of winter on single box it seemed to work although I have only my own 3 hives and very limited experience to draw on.

    • Thanks 1
  11.  I couldn't bring myself to do it and so I closed access to absolute minimum reduced to 1 x 3/4 box and donated a frame each of honey and brood from other 2 hives.


    Observed quite a bit of activity at the entrance and pollen coming in but forced myself not to open up until yesterday. I was pleased to see that robbing has stopped and quite a lot of stores and fresh brood and eggs in evidence. Still a weak hive but if it can make it through to Spring I can re Queen.P1010942.jpg.df15c6c3981ecdb7f338086851e75690.jpg


    Admittedly the above is the best frame but I am still quietly hopeful

    • Like 4
  12. Two of my three hives are at pretty much the same level as regards numbers and distribution of bees, I have placed a hive gate in one and kept the other as control.


    Obviously not enough for a definitive test but will be interesting nevertheless, the girls took to the hive gate with no hesitation and it certainly cleared the backlog more quickly.

    As an aside the staples which have been in place since 5th March are still looking ok and although I didn't do a wash there were no obvious signs of varroa problems.P1010944.jpg.a394917c59e3c80038ceb2aa016fca1b.jpgP1010943.jpg.536df6b62e6577c63b2cb2219653403c.jpgP1010946.jpg.9edaa06342db48d0aeebd60e030dbc41.jpg



    The gate seemed secure enough and I have no plans to move the hive so I didn't bother to fix it in place

  13. 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.P1010928.jpg.de6cdadcd4bfea2d344560d3828c9907.jpgP1010930.jpg.1611a73c81d35efdff111463d757c21b.jpg

    • Like 2
  14. 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.

    • Thanks 1
  15. 1 hour ago, M4tt said:

    Honestly, I'd squeeze the queen, bang the bees out and put the brood in the freezer. 


    You are far better off making a new split from something strong and quiet next November. 


    Poke a match into that brood and see what you pull out . Does not look unhealthy to me, but rather  a victim of being robbed and the consequences 

    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

    • Like 2
  16. 15 minutes ago, yesbut said:

    The Q 's a dud. You don't mention how many bees there are, the only hope you've got is requeen with a mated Q from somewhere, along with a frame of capped brood , feed them something or other (I'd use honey frames from one of your other hives ) and block the entrance down to about one bee width. And hope. 

    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

    4 minutes ago, Christi An said:

    robbing is not the cause of the weak hive, the hive is being robbed because its weak.


    make sure to find the cause the brood on the picture looks diseased. (might be mites might be not).


    feeding of sugar only encourages the robbing. close the entrance to one beespace and find the reason.

    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


    • Good Info 1
  • Create New...