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ctm

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About ctm

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    Egg

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  • Beekeeping Experience
    Hobby Beekeeper

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    Dairy flat

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  1. Last year I made my own foundation from 3 yrs old wax. I noticed bees not particularly liked the frames. The left them totally empty. This year I placed them in earlier and in the brood boxes. To my surprise they did starting to draw comb, but perpendicular to the wax sheet. Does somebody makes his own wax sheets and know why the bees behave this way? Sheet thickness = 0.8-1.1mm. I also use this wax to wax my plastic frames, which works fine. Wax was heated, wax boarded and rolled. Thanks.
  2. To explain why Vespex is not working in area’s where there is more than enough other "life prey" for wasps and therefor wasps won’t touch vespex. I found this article: “In non beech forest where there are no high popuation of wasps, wasps preferred preying on inver-tebrates to scavenging on sardine cat-food. When scaveng-ing on sardine cat-food bait increased it may indicate that the supply of invertebrates was insufficient to meet the demands of the wasp population at that time, and may explain why poisoning operations using sardinecat-food for bait are most successful from January to April, when wasp density is highest .” https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03014223.1995.9518043
  3. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7VxZVSLm4E You have to dip your wooden mould in water first, and roll the sheet flatter afterwards else it gets brittle. I made half a full frame sheets and melt them together into one so I did not had to have such a big wax bath. A flat sheet gives your bees a bit of artistic freedom. I can tell you next year if they appreciate this. As for moulds, you might fill both sides of a plastic frame with liquid resin (remove) and press those bits together with wax in between. I think you will get many airbubbles and need a huge force. You will also have issues in getting the wax out of the finer detail. If you ever invent the wheel, let me know.
  4. I made my own foundation this year with surplus wax. It is not difficult. I placed these frames in at the end of the season and the bees didn't touch it. They rather worked the hexagonal patterned black frames and bought wax foundation. I will place them in again at the beginning of the season and see if they draw them out. Maybe I made it too thick?
  5. I used it mid January until the end of March when they are geared up for protein in our area. I am glad our neighbor made me aware of the existence of two nests. So we were able to kill them. That made a difference. I also removed all dead bees in the morning so they had less food. Cost 135 dollars (500g) incl postage + getting your license 65 dollars. They can't deliver Rural so be aware.
  6. I have the same issue, 3 hives no brood, 3 queens of different age and pedigree. I have never seen that before.
  7. I have my vespex licence. I have wasp nests 100 -200m from my hive in the bush. However, they don't touch Vespex. They love the dead bees in front of the hives. I can imagine Vespex works in the South Island forest where there is almost no food but Vespex. If you have one or 2 wasp nest in the area and want to kill them, I don't see it happen with Vespex on my property.
  8. I reduced my plastic frames as follows: Make 4 small cuts in the 2 vertical beam, but leave the beam longer by 8mm or so. With a boxcutter, cut off the excess of plastic foundation. You can cut it an break it off. Take the end bar (with or without a slit) of a wooden frame (maybe you have some broken lying around) Cut wooden bar to size. Drill two holes per vertical (plastic frame) for the nails to go in. Place wooden bar in place and lock in place with the nails. Works for me, a bit of work but the frame doesn't warp. Photo's attached.
  9. I have a mesh bottom board, which I close with a plastic drawer for mite count in winter. My impression is bees being cold, tend to eat more honey in winter. I close the drawer beginning of April. I also noticed when overwintering in 2 supers. Top super being honey. Bees are really keen to move upwards (drawer closed) leaving the bottom super half empty to full empty as winter goes on. I am now thinking of insulating the plastic bottom drawer so they are warmer during winter. They are also more able to guard the entrance in winter against wasps, who are superior in colder weather. I often see the entrance not guarded early morning (I think wasps know after some time, that's the time for a feed). I am in Auckland no freezing conditions. I am a hobbyist so my knowledge comes from observation.
  10. Cbank, many thanks for this summery about staples, awesome.
  11. Yes, I know they need to nibble the towel to be effective. After 3 weeks, only the gaps between the frames were removed. Mitefall was not convincing. My hive had a mite fall of 12 before the treatment assuming there are at least 1200 mites in there. Not many fell out over a period of three weeks. Because they probably only cleared passageways. I followed Randy Olivers method to the letter, so I was wondering if it is always successful or depending on other parameters. Some hives might ignore them you say. I wondered if staples are preferred over paper towels. I will have a look at the oxalic thread. I have been through the 100 page oxalic glycerine thread that gave me the feeling all was still in the trial stage, were foam and even synthetic kitchen towels were considered.
  12. I used Randy Olivers method (paper towels in my hives with oxalic acid-glycerine-small amount of water mixture). Two half towels laying flat on top of the frames. The results are not that good. Bees only pulverize the towel that is between two frames, the towel touching the frame they just leave (80% of the towel surface). I see people are using staples. I would appreciate if a beek can explain what they do to make it work and if it works. Or know a site where I can find some information. Do they chew these staples? What is the mixture, the same as with the paper towels? Many thanks.
  13. Well, that explains why I lose out as a hobby beekeeper in an area with an influx of commercials. What I don't understand is how you can make a living that way. Treatments, levy, gear, new queens and now sugar feed, makes my hobby expensive. If I would add hours worked to this, I end up into the red.
  14. I am experiencing the same. Next to Riverhead forest with way too many hives for the amount of nectar a pine tree produces and many lifestyle blockers that take up deals to load their property with hives from contractors. Last season my hives didn't produce even a winter feed. This year I changed tack and fed them lots and lots of sugar until the honey flow starts. My troops are decent this time, so I can harvest at least one super (out of three hives), for my own consumption. Ten years ago it was a different story.
  15. My two hives were attacked by wasps this winter. I noticed they fly in colder weather than the bees. So early morning and at dusk they were there and could walk right in, the bees were just not warm enough to defend the fort. I made a wasp screen, it helped a bit but not enough. After that, I closed the hive (mesh screen) after 5.30 and opened when the weather was warmer at 9.30 in the morning (August). That worked. Must admit, my two colonies where really small at that point. They are thriving now.
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