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Everything posted by Apihappy

  1. I think these bees came from Gt Barrier island and after reading up on bee species, they are possibly Italian x German or apis melifera melifera, apparently both species are pretty chill but together, 💥. John Berry neatly covers the question I came up with ie are such dastardly insects useful elsewhere, the answer being, yes Germany. ive got a nice new carnolian queen lined up and I'm going to shift the hive to lose the grumpy old ######s as Alister suggests. Thanks again.
  2. Thank you for the replies. I have never experienced such aggressive bees. I would be concerned that the hive might reject a new queen. Is the procedure any different to requeening for a failing hive?
  3. Hi, I helped out a friend down the road with a swarms split yesterday. He has three and a half hives now. The hive we were working on has jet black bees and they were attacking us like wasps. At one point my veil was completely obscured by bees. Inevitably we got a few stings and my mate ended up at the doctors getting drugs and was put under observation for the afternoon. They have advised that the next one could be the big one and perhaps to look for a new hobby. What is is the best plan for his apiary? It obviously has to be moved but the bees are awful. There are three double brood boxes with a couple or supers each so not easy to move.
  4. I'm not sure that breeding for phenotypic variation is possible or desirable in relation to the swarming characteristics of honey bees. Taken to its logical conclusion a non swarming hive would either starve from overpopulation or die out when the queen stopped laying. In real terms a non swarming breed would be a strain of queen that had slow egg laying characteristics, which may or may not suit your needs as a beekeeper.
  5. To clarify and repeat, In my world there are two types of Queen cell, swarm cells and superceedure cells. If the latter, the bees know best and I leave them to it. If it's a swarm cell, you know wax, egg, royal jelly I move the old queen out and grow a new queen. That's how I reequeen, I do not find this method scary or dangerous.
  6. Yes it's a standard text. The point of the thread is queen raising and I do this by using swarm cells not by buying or bartering from a queen breeder, to lose the bees in the process is poor hive management, which is the primary mechanism for the spread of AFB.
  7. Swarm cells make new queens and if managed don't spray bees around the neighbourhood . If you are in a high AFB area the worry is an AFB weakened hive being robbed by your own bees.
  8. On the other side of the ledger, the stock response to almost any fluctuation in hive dynamics is to requeen. Who started that nonsense? And my least favourite the queens that have a 'tendency to swarm', well if they didn't we'd all be in trouble. Obviously a commercial beekeeper is going to need commercial quantities of queens under some circumstances but they aren't going to be buying $10 queens from nigelgoodbuzz123 at trade me, they will be using established sources. As a hobbyist I vote for superceedure, swarming and good hive management.
  9. It seems that the laws of physics can be broken by beekeepers. 😜 10 is good, 9 is better, 8 is a bit rough.
  10. Things are still cray in the Waitakeres, manuka has been flowering for six weeks already. I've noticed honey bees, native bees and small blowflies feeding on the flowers but only those that are warmed in direct sunlight.
  11. As a greenhouse gas, methane is 34 times as bad as CO2. The tricky part of that statement is the definition of 'as bad', to do that would require science and that discipline has no business in this thread.
  12. I know; photo or it didn't happen. But I live in the Waitaks with no cell signal which just confuses people, so no phone. Yes it may well have been some other signifier, UHF, NGO, UFO, or what ever. I was too absorbed with the idea of the imminent collapse of the manuka industry to double check. Still cheap honey for the supermarket.
  13. Shopping today, jars from the wholesaler and labels from the stationers. Then pak'n'slave for groceries. UMF 40 manuka $9.50 for 500gms. I seriously considered buying the lot (not that much left) but thought that maybe they knew something that I didn't. Are manuka sales this much of a bust elsewhere?
  14. The 'icy blast' for the Waitakeres was a temperate 14C. a bit damp today but the dam we walked to was 2/3 empty. Dry July. I'm really surprised that drought stress hasn't been included in the mix for Kauri dieback.
  15. Dodging squalls today to walk the dog. Two clematis in full flower, that puts spring about four weeks early.
  16. Hi Rob. What do you look for to assess if a hive is newly formed? That could save some time. Photo or it didn't happen.
  17. The hive / hives are 10m up in the superstructure of a concrete road bridge. You can see three, half metre sections of comb dropping down from the join. So no monitoring is possible. Yes it is probable that it is just swarms inhabiting a pre loved space but I'm interested in testing them to see if they are super hygienic bees. The only way I can think to do this is with a swarm trap but like you say there are lots of bees in these hills, so I might pick up the wrong swarm! Any thoughts?
  18. The Arista article suggests that honey bees with high varroa hygiene do show a decrease in honey yields but would still be good pollinators. A wild hive that has survived for several years must be getting enough stores to at least make the hive viable. Same with the Kauri in the Waitaks' rather than spending hundreds of millions growing a resistant tree just let nature take its course and hopefully there will be a cohort of resistant trees to regenerate the forest.
  19. This guy thinks there are. https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/105582644/no-regional-development-cash-to-breed-the-perfect-varroaresistant-honey-bee and this. https://aristabeeresearch.org/varroa-resistance/
  20. Oh. How can you be sure?
  21. I took the dog for a town walk today as the Waitakeres are still closed. We went on a track that I haven't been on for several years and was surprised to see a bee hive in the structure of a bridge. It was either three discreet hives or one super hive . The big surprise was that I saw these hives more than four years ago. Of course the hives may have died off and been replaced by new swarms but I will be putting some bait hives down there in case it's the grail of varroa resistant bees. Anybody else seen long surviving wild hives?
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