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Everything posted by Stu

  1. We have had a few doing this and 99% of the time its an old queen that has attempted to swarm but has its wings chewed off so cant fly and ends up walking under the hive. I recommend getting rid of comb/brood under the the hive as it will potentially have high varroa levels and will re-infest the parent hive. The gaps in the base should be around 3mm so if you have bees getting through it may be time to get rid of old comb as the bees are getting too small but gaps in the base can buckle and get wider if the small tabs that hold the vents together.
  2. All full depth, frame a mix of wood wax and wood with plastic inserts....the odd plastic frame gets in some of them. Lids are generally Hive Doctor...sprung end with safety edges folded inwards. Also all have top feeders 75-80mm high. Under the lids you will find a range of insulation including old fertilizer sacks. No markings as such but my writing will be all over the lids. yep. the worst thing is they will be a local and probably see them around at school etc!
  3. Just had 40 singles stolen from the South Wairarapa last week at some stage. They took the boxes off and onto their own bases. Looks like the thieves went in the direction of Western Lake area in the Wairarapa. All hives will are reasonably new and have beetek top feeders with feeder cups and unpainted. They were chocka with feed. They did not take the emlocks so have there own system. If you get offered any hives in the area please let me know.
  4. Just managed to get our new patty machine going today.....awesome! We are mixing one bag of feed bee or Mega Bee, 10 kg of icing sugar, honey bee healthy, manuka oil 60 ml, and the key ingredient is coconut oil at which is liquid/heated when added but turns the patty into a firm flat package when cold so its easy to cut up and keeps its shape. We have a shaped nozzle 100mmX10mm. All mixing in one hit! Cost an arm and leg $9000+ but in a day we can make more than we could use in two years. All patty,s are 100mm wide and 15mm thick and packaged in a fibrous bag. The machine is a modified Thompsons mixer. We have put in a reverse auger function so the auger pushes the powder in the bottom back up to be mixed by the main blades. If anyone is interested in more pics so they can set up their own. We are not interested in making patty's for others but they can steal or improve on our design.
  5. Hi All, Thank you for the comments and heartfelt consideration. It was a really hard decision and I put a lot of me into the business, but I also have four young kids and an incredibly understanding wife that supported me and soo many people tell me you get the kids once and to not let these years go without giving it all and having some time to build good relationships. Ultimately It became so busy I would have been letting you guys down in the end and failing to send gear out in time etc so thought it would be better to quit while I was still semi on top of it. I didn't want to give up my beekeeping, and I cant do office work all day everyday..ugghh. I have passed on my ideas and will be working with Ecrotek to make sure products are improved and new ones get into the market. I have some goodies!...hope they work as well as they are intended and sure I will have a few bumps along the way getting them to work....as is the way with New Product Development. Thank you all for putting up with the trials of putting up with a few trial and error runs, but in the end we were getting there and I do love my product development and will always do it at some level in some industry...as long as I am making a difference and having fun then I ll be here. Hence Ecrotek was the correct choice as they were on board with my ideas and took away the stress of day to day, were willing to fund the developments and allowed developments to be fast tracked, hence we will all benefit ...which is the ultimate idea. Cheers and see you all at the conference this year! Stu Ferg
  6. Good point..Bayvarol did not seem to work as effectively as it has in the past so it's possible mite loadings were a bit higher going into winter and I also ran out of my amino boost which was brilliant at getting a large amount of varroa free bees into the hive post treatment going into winter...did this for the previous few years and found the more young varroa free bees going into winter the easier the hive managed. Temps not an issue.
  7. I'm scratching my head with regards to all this. Much better hive health than last year and very few losses but hives in general are not as perky as they could be. The season started with early swarming and I'm seeing cells in most hives but more for replacement of queen rather than swarming? I have put new queens in almost all hives, fed them well, isolated the bees from the general population, treated with FGMO fogger, Apivar and some thymol pads and yet I am still getting massive variations in hive health and more importantly in queen laying rates. Have heard some comments of people re-queening twice a year to help this? Is this a fertility issue?
  8. Version June 2015


    Price list
  9. Hi Stephen, contact me at: info@hivedoctor.com Making 3000 nucs (old style) now and will have 1500 in Australia so you can pull stock from this. Cheers Stu
  10. Hi All, Sorry ive been overseas for a bit and website has been completed but needs my sign off before releasing it. If you email me I can send you a pdf of the product guide.
  11. Hi Stephen, Just going through emails etc now...did you still need my email? info@hivedoctor.com. Cheers
  12. In the instructions I show a small strip of carboard in a 'V' that plugs the gap and is a two second job to make at no cost..or Plug it with a $2 frame? If your getting great $$ for the nuc a $2 plug is a pretty cheap option? The other benefit of inserting a spare frame is there is more volume for the bees to expand into if the bees get stressed while traveling plus location to store honey if the new owners don't get to it quickly...or sell it with an internal feeder and recover the cost in the sale? The new box design now have seam sealed edges for insulation and are able to be clipped together to stop them tipping over plus have rotating queen excluders in the base...will need to get a video together to explain the excluders as some of the larger commercial guys helped me develop the nucs to make two nucs from a hive with very little effort.... I test all my products pretty vigorously and in real world commercial beekeeping terms and like to see where the failures are coming from before customers do so I can rectify issues before I make new runs of product....hence I am onto version 5 of the nuc box now...To date I have run the same 200+ nuc boxes for 3 years now and apart from the odd Velcro dot falling off and split end where I forced a frame out using the side of the box rather than prying off the frame and they are still looking good and have a few more years in them so interested to know what has gone wrong? As all beekeepers do things differently i need feedback to improve and if I don't get feedback I cant fix it. Appreciate your help The new boxes have a few more options that I need to explain in a video...
  13. Hi All, With regards to the 'too tight' issue I am happy to report my new box design has arrived and we have increased the strength by 50%, end length by 5mm and made it much wider so it can no fit 6 frames (at a push!) or 4 frames and a 55mm wide 3.5 litre internal feeder! Will explain with pictures soon. Cheers
  14. Love it...can you send a few more pics through! How is the truck going? Cheers Stu
  15. Yep they look well made and intelligently manufactured with simple robust controls that will be difficult to break...although I can imagine getting tired and stuffing something up at some stage.
  16. Apijundia crane arrived and fitted. Great looking crane and well designed plus has some cunning inbuilt features that I am discovering but as yet not been used to move hives. What did I do and how much did it cost....for those that are interested... 1. New Steinbauer Chip for Cruiser to increase power so it can handle high loads- now almost 200kw 2. New Old Man Emu suspension +600kg rating over standard system. Will handle the additional weight of the crane 3. Air bags under rear wheels to level out ute when loaded ...like beekeepers do 4. modified deck to take the crane- 1 days work including wiring and fixing air bags...Apijundia supplied everything to fit it 5. Brakes to be upgraded as the standard Toyota ones are a joke All up it will cost just under $40,000...bit more than expected and some of it could have been avoided but should see me out and super easy to use in the small play I had with it. After 10 mins of playing with the hive arms on I was getting impressed with the ease of picking up pallets.
  17. Hi Ali, Not offended at all but would rather keep it to myself until we prove it actually works at all stages of the beekeeping season.
  18. I am putting in Lemon grass and spearmint oils from Lotus oils. $70 or so for 2kg of oil. The bees accept them soo quickly you will be blown away! You can make honey B Healthy using the oils and Lecithin ...and a high speed kitchen blender!
  19. I don't think you should listen 100% to anyone just play and work out what fits your operation... It does come down to time, $$, location. My only gripe with the wood frames with insert is that if the frame has 3+ kg of honey on it and it is dropped while in the box or during extraction in the pricker etc the weight of the honey on the frame is transferred to the bottom bar of the frame and will push it off! I will fix this when I get a moment....another project that is a must do! I built 10,000 plus wood frames with plastic inserts this year and have begun putting seconds on and very very impressed with the amount of drawn comb all ready! They work very well...much better than a solid plastic frame ever did. But hard to be 100% definitive as I am now also putting a 60-100 grams of wax on plus putting a tiny amount of essential oils into the wax ...which makes all the difference.
  20. Hi All, I have pushed the button on my new Multi Nuc which is a 10 frame nuc box with divider, removable lid and has rotating excluder in the base...why you ask?? Well if you want to increase hive numbers quickly and painlessly using the resources of the hive below then lift a frame of capped brood into each side of the nuc box open the rotating excluder on the bottom of the multi nuc and the nurse bees will come up to sort the brood out. Warmth from the hive below will assist the brood in the multi nuc to stay warm etc...see pics... Once established and plenty of bees are in the nuc close the excluder add the queen cell, some food and a pollen pattie if you need to and you have hopefully created two new hives without any stress. Once mated lift off and you have a bee proof double nuc, if however one side does not mate then remove the divider to make a 10 frame hive. There is no reason why this could not serve as a honey producing hive if you were short of boxes as you can remove the lid and use as a standard hive with excluder on top. They are about 6 weeks away and priced from $26.95 EXC GST to $29.95. You will need to staple the base of the multi box to ensure it remains bee proof. Staplers only $40. They come with: - 1 x separate lid - 1 x divider - 1 x flat multi nuc box - 2 x rotating excluders - 2 x entrance discs - 4 x vents - 1 x velcro dots for lid fastening I will also be supplying specially manufactured internal feeders with ladders so you can overwinter the multi nucs or just use the feeders as a standard bit of equipment. Product Info July 2014 MULTI HIVE3 .pdf Product Info July 2014 MULTI HIVE3 .pdf
  21. Hi Tony, I gained a heap from the conference cemented some relations ships with some great people which I'm pretty sure is what some of it is about. I was also fortunate to meet a few knowledgeable and open minded beekeepers who provided me invaluable information with regards to developing the new multi-nuc box...cant wait to get two seconds to complete it now... An impressive amount of trade stands, and a reasonable number of beekeepers and looks like we are close to really fighting to keep our bees going like they have been...
  22. Roger that! Yes two discs now supplied with all orders. FYI..I also added a pop out vent hole above the entrance for the Australian market. This way they can get flow through ventilation with one vent at the front and one at the rear. But I would not do this in NZ as robbing will be a bigger issue here. The Australians had a few overheating issues....at 45 degrees! Any hive not under the shade suffered!
  23. After talking with Carlos (Kiwi Bee) and Peter Sales from (Betta Bees) plus a host of others at the conference It looks like I need to manufacture an additional injection molded component which will make this a very very flexible and unique product...So unsure exactly how this will affect cost at this stage but I would just double the price of the existing nuc box to give you a rough idea. Please be assured I will do this product as cost effectively as I possibly can...I need them in my operation desperately so keen to make it work!
  24. Hi Tony, The new double nucs will deal to the issue of boxes falling over and if lids are popping up have the velcro dots been used? Yes I agree the first ones, three years old, were not all that great and did not support the frames..I agree and apologize but re-tooled and sorted now.
  25. All good. The stapler does make a difference when loading them up. Have the new twin Nuc almost ready for final design and will get them on the market this season. Cheers
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