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CraBee last won the day on June 5

CraBee had the most liked content!

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About CraBee


  • Beekeeping Experience
    Commercial Beekeeper


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  1. CraBee

    Secondhand Boxes

    Hi Moby, I'm not far away from you and I have a couple of sites in and around Takapuna. In any event I've got a dipping run for new boxes in about a month from now, I could happily take your boxes - and am also happy to give you something for them - and I'll then put them through the dipper @160 for ten minutes at the same time. As long as I scrape of all the excess wax on the boxes, which is not that hard to do, it should be fine. Not the frames though thanks - or other gear, just boxes. Saving the planet, one box at a time...:-)
  2. CraBee

    Blame Thy Neighbor

    High varroa load in Autumn? And maybe too much for the strips to get on top off. I do know the actual bk / worker who made these up for you and he is a very very straight up guy, he'd have never knowingly passed a problem on. Perhaps in hindsight the worst time of year to have bought them...
  3. CraBee

    Blame Thy Neighbor

    I agree with you, it is a management issue and the buck stops with us the bk's.
  4. CraBee

    Blame Thy Neighbor

    Thing is as bk's we are all located in different areas and have different conditions and issues to deal with. For you in your area and situation mite re-invasion is not an issue, but, for example, you have a cold Winter at an elevated sea level. For me, mite re-invasion is a real issue (on some sites), but the cold is not an issue, Queens can lay all year up here. Different issues in different areas...
  5. CraBee

    Blame Thy Neighbor

    I think it would be great if Frank was to join the forum and then he could share even more of his experience with us.
  6. Last year in late Winter / early Spring I would have fed out about an average 1kg per hive of pollen subs in a couple of doses at the same time as stimulatory sugar syrup feeding. I know that the amount of pollen subs to feed is going to be dictated by how much pollen there is in the frames, how much pollen is coming in, and how much royal jelly the nurses bees are feeding young larvae etc But putting all that all to one side, what quantity of pollen subs do most of you feed out?
  7. CraBee

    Blame Thy Neighbor

    You are right though, you can't blame the neighbour, they can frustrate you with their practices, but ultimately it all comes back to me / us being able to manage our own hives and the problem. Reducing hive numbers to 500K is not going to happen....the market for bee products will ultimately determine what hive numbers are.
  8. CraBee

    Blame Thy Neighbor

    I don't know him either, but I know he's very well respected - 49years as a bk, he's in his 70's. He only has 160 hives now, so it was 80 lost. I think most of them are urban fringe / lifestyle block sites. He didn't sound worried about it, he was just relating his experience, and he did mention 5,000 hives had moved into his area in the last few years. Yes @yesbut February to mid to late Autumn is a loonnnggg time when there are heaps of hives and mites around 🙂
  9. CraBee

    Blame Thy Neighbor

    I just listened to the Frank Lindsay radio interview. He lost half of his hives to Varroa this most recent season. He treated as per normal in February and when he checked later in Autumn they were goners. He said that the problem is that with some of his sites now there are so many hives around that robbing and re-invasion are a major problem. He also said his more remote sites don't have the same varroa or varroa re-invasion problem. He also said he'd lost about 80 hives in the past several years to AFB, which worked out to be losses around 10% for him!!! I know I've harped on about this but high hive density makes varroa management so much more difficult particularly in that Autumn period. I would also add @philbee and agree with you that problem hives within a group of hives can also create real problems.
  10. CraBee

    Oxalic and glycerine

    Yes that is one of my conclusions from their use too. Overall though it is not as reliable as I'd hoped it would be. I don't think I've done my season summary so here goes - Bayverol in early Spring was excellent, followed up with OA/Gly strips in mid to late Spring. Nothing in over Summer. Some sites high mite loads at harvest so hit them with formic and OA/Gly strips. The worst sites I hit again with Formic. As I got around sites and monitored levels it was clear that I wasn't on top of it - eg shakes at 3/4 mites on some sites, shakes at 8/9 etc on other sites, the worst few sites higher. I got through to mid May and decided to get synthetics in all hives and all nucs, what I've re-visited are looking good, so heading into early Spring I should have next to no mites and I'll try and take it as far into Spring as I can before treating - probably with OA/Gly strips.
  11. CraBee

    Organic acid (oxalic, formc) suppliers - help please

    Nice job @chrishighman for the disagree. Shame I've never heard of you before so it is meaningless. How about actually contribute with your thoughts as to why you disagree? I'm interested in understanding why you think drums of formic acid should just be made available to anyone?.
  12. CraBee


    You could always market the dew as a new type of cough medicine 🙂
  13. CraBee

    Organic acid (oxalic, formc) suppliers - help please

    I am not so sure that you should be promoting suppliers of formic acid. It is an extremely dangerous product, not one a hobbyist should get near and certainly not without a full range of safety gear (head to toe)/ Oxalic acid is fine.
  14. CraBee

    Secondhand Boxes

    You lot are being rough on @Old Timer he is simply saying he thinks second hand gear can be sold. He accepts there are cons to it. As a buyer if you have confidence in the seller, then why not? If it was a commercial transaction you could even say that 10-20% of the purchase price will be held back for six months - no AFB it gets paid out, if AFB then an adjustment. AFB is just one risk of many in the decision making eg they say the Queens are three months old, are they really, or three years old? There are thousands upon thousands of nucs sold ever year- would you stop that trade? I certainly don't think hobbyists should be buying second hand gear though..... And it is no argument to say a business may be sold as a going concern so that is ok, there could be plenty of boxes harbouring AFB spores in there. And finally if the gear had sub-clinical AFB in it then the horse has bolted. It does not matter who owns it...