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Everything posted by Neville

  1. Cheers all I have ordered a stone mortar and pestle and will give it a go an a small trial batch. Definitely want to retain the unique flavour that this honey has so if smashing it to pieces changes the flavour we wont be going any further. I definitely wont be heating my honey up as shown in the video.
  2. Not the answer I was looking for ……. Nev not happy <grump grump, stamping of floor with arms folded> I did make up a small seed sample using 10% creamed clover honey and my honey, and all I tasted was the clover. I guess I need to build a honey hot box and just keep it liquid in stead. Why is pohutukawa best?
  3. I have 20kg of a particularly tasty honey which I suspect is a bled containing Macadamia. It has a very dark and almost nutty flavour. Everyone that tries it rave its the best honey they have ever tasted. I no longer let anyone test it because they all want a jar and well …….. The 20kg I have is crystallised in its extraction bucket. I want to cream some, but don't want to "contaminate" it with a seed from a different honey source. How do I make a seed from this honey to then cream a larger portion?
  4. Cheers for that @kaihoka The photo was taken before we did the split and shifted the box forward Just checked the hive and all is back to normal
  5. Mate came over to help with the lifting and we did a split and relocated the bottom box to the summer setting. This hive had three full depth boxes. It was chocker with bees in all boxes, probably a total of three frames of brood, not much stores, and queen had just started laying a frame in the top box?? No queen cells, not even a play cup. Heaps of drone brood and lots of drones about. I think the queen may have just pulled the spring trigger a little early a month or so back.
  6. If it was in deed a queen that I put back into the hive, she would have only been out for a matter of hours. When I saw her, it was the first time I had seen the out of hive bees in a true cluster (ie more than 1 bee deep). The rest of the time they are only single layer, and very stationary. Will be interesting to see what's inside the hive that's for sure, especially for two inexperienced hobby bee wranglers.
  7. Got a mate coming over Thursday to do the heavy lifting. Will look to do some splits as there are heap of drones around and this will pre-empt any swarming. One of the other hives has picked up its busyness in the last couple of days and is showing similar behaviour this morning at 7:00am with bees struggling to get back into the entrance and forming a scrum on the ground. I might look at putting some landing boards in...?? I have never used the summer settings on the HD bases, always just left the gate wide open summer or winter.
  8. Cheers all I will get someone to come over and put the hive into summer mode and see what happens.
  9. And that photo was taken at 6:30am this morning. Bees on the board were hunkered down and covered in dew, bees at the entrance were ins and outs already started the working day.
  10. There is definitely no queen sitting there normally, normally they are only 1 bee deep.
  11. Hi all I have 3 home hives. All are coming out of winter well, with one going gangbusters. I had back fusion surgery 5 weeks ago so checked all the hives then and had to put a super on the strongest hive as at the time, I didn't think it would go 6 weeks without the extra space. The interesting thing with this hive is that there is a cluster of bees always outside the hive, sitting on the timber support frame for the hive base. This has been going on for a month now. Initially I thought it was just old tired bees that had been ejected from the hive as they are typically very lethargic. However, two days ago they were piled 5-6 deep, and when I pushed a stick through them (I'm not allowed to bend down so couldn't use my finger) they were all roped up like a swarm, and when I managed to move them enough, I swear a queen popped out of the scrum. I got her onto the end of the stick and placed her at the entrance of the hive and she walked in. Today I decided to take an early walk and see if these bees that I see during the day stay out over night, and yes, they do. Single layer of bees, all hankered down braving the elements. What's going on here? The hive is not overcrowded, they have 4 boxes for pete's sake .......... There is no significant number of dead bees laying around. And this has been going on for a month?? Other two hives are behaving as normal, just less active during the day.
  12. I do have a friend that will be helping out in the coming months with spring busyness, but I plan to check the hives tomorrow (weather dependent) so could put it in now, but that's a lot earlier than I would normally plan for.
  13. Is it too early to be putting in spring mite control in Auckland? I go in for back surgery next week which puts me out of commission for the next 6 months. I could get strips into my 4 hobby hives this weekend as a last act of defiance, but not much point if I am doing it too early and it puts the hives at risk later in the season.
  14. I anyone has a spare swam in Auckland or the Waikato, I have a hexagonal top bar looking for tenants.
  15. Yep, walked past my two hives at the house last night about 6.30pm. One was quite, one was log jammed like an Auckland motorway in rush hour. Bees were loaded up with pollen. Thought entered my mind that they had hit a mother load some where and were trying to get it in before the next belt of rain due this afternoon so were all on overtime.
  16. I have a hexagonal top bar, looking for a swam to populate it.
  17. Finally got a break in the weather last night to get my mite treatment into my two hives. Discovered a nice big fat single capped queen cell about an inch up from the bottom of the frame, and a half length queen cell with a grub in it about an inch away. Seems strange as the 2yr old queen is laying well with a good pattern etc, etc. The hive isn't exactly pumping yet but there are probably 5-6 frame with 50% capped brood and grubs of all ages as well. Looks like a supersedure to me and I am thinking to leave things well alone. Any thoughts? I guess I could split the hive, and if the old queen is on her way out the colony will make another queen any way? The hive is a FD on the bottom and a 3/4 on top, and if you compressed it all down you would probably have a pretty full single FD.
  18. She is taking it orally. She puts a small amount on the back of her top denture 4 times a day and lets it 'leak' out over a period of time.
  19. Hi all My mum has been very sick for the past couple of years. Long story short, to try and overcome one of the issues, she had surgery on her sinuses in Feb this year, having bone removed from her skull etc,etc. The problem is that she has an infection in the very top of her sinuses that antibiotics aren't controlling. She has been on pretty much every antibiotic available over the last 6 months and nothing is killing it. We got her onto 20+UMF honey on boxing day last December and she has been taking it every day since. This has helped her throat infection hugely (coming from the sinus infection). Today, the doctors are taking about further surgery to try and control the infection, but we feel that we are fighting a losing battle due to the bacterial resistance. The next surgery will be her 8th! So, our thought is to recommend that the doctors undertake the surgical clean out as planned, but then pack the site with the highest UMF honey we can get our hands on, since it would appear that high UMF honey is about the only thing that is having any lasting effect on the bacteria. My question is, can anyone recommend a reputable company where we can get the highest possible UMF honey to maximise our chances of killing this bug? We need the UMF rating to be qualified via traceable certification. We are dealing with the very top end medical consultants here so we need our best shot at success. Cheers
  20. Was at Pac-N-Save this morning and they have honey on strict rationing! Must be a reflection of the poor season. Also, no apples .... anywhere, not even at the local vegie shop??
  21. We took a pounding last night in Drury, South Auckland. Lost a couple of trees but at least the hives made it through.
  22. This is my first season, starting out with two nuk's which I wintered through, so it is interesting hearing what others are saying about the season as I have nothing to gauge it against. I think I may be pretty lucky by all accounts. I had to do a split on one hive due to swarm cells found during the AFB inspection done in November, but this hive has failed to successfully raise a queen so have been supplementing it with a couple of frames of eggs/brood from the other two hives every couple of weeks. Had a look last week and all of the latest queen cells have emerged so hopefully I get a mated queen back on deck within the week. In the mean time, the bees haven't had much to do brood wise so they have packed two boxes full of honey, to the point that I am not sure where the heck the queen is going to be laying when she gets home from her trip around the local bee bars picking up randy drones. The other two hives are also packing in the honey [by my limited experience]. Both nuks are now 2x brood boxes and 2x 3/4 supers. One also has a 1/2 box on for some cut comb just for fun, plus a extra 3/4 box with some special 1/2 hexagonal top bars which the bees are drawing out for stores for the new hex top bar hive my brother has built. I may have benefited from the farm next door changing hands 6 months ago which he is developing. He has ripped out all the fences and so has been unable to keep stock in there and the pasture has gone to seed. In the mean time there has been 100 acres of mixed pasture flowers just through the fence for the bees to work on. He put the mower through it all this week so not sure what the bees will work on now?? What are potatoes like for bees? 1/2km away there's 50 acres of spuds out in full flower now.
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