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Henry

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Henry last won the day on December 29 2013

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About Henry

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    Egg

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  • Beekeeping Experience
    Hobby Beekeeper

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    Pukekohe
  1. 3339 is Speedwell (Veronica persica). It is useful as it flowers at this time of year and the bees like it. The pretty blue flowers close up at night.
  2. As the Manuka is growing wild and has not been selected or cultivated I expect there is lots of variation for many characters. The closer you look the more variation you will find. The only way to know if NPA activity is linked to a character would be to measure it. In this case measure it in pale leaved plants and in dark leaved plants. Unless you know a good reason why 2 totally different characteristics such as colour and NPA activity should be linked then the likelihood is that they are not.
  3. There are a range of colours from white through pink to reds. Also different petal shapes and double forms. There are selected garden varieties and Auckland Botanic gardens has bred ornamental types. There is some information here: T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network - Trees (New Zealand Native) Leptospermum hybrids & cultivars with photos As a plant breeder I would say it was very unlikely that the petal colour was linked to NPA activity.
  4. I would be careful of this one. Since the arrival of iris yellow spot virus into NZ in 2007 it has become very important for the onion seed producers to control the onion thrips which transmit the virus. (virus was first observed in onion seed crops in Blenheim) Thrip control is not easy and obviously requires use of insecticides. If pesticide application is too close to pollination or neonicotinoids are used and they end up in the nectar then bee loss can occur. Pollination of OP (open pollinated) onion varieties is better (for the bees) than hybrids. Hybrids use male sterile seed parents which don't produce any pollen and so are less attractive to the bees. Sometimes nectar production on these lines are less as well. The male parent of the hybrid obviously does produce pollen, but they will use maybe one row in 5 of the male. I have not done any pollination of outdoor onion crops but have used small hives to pollinate onions in greenhouses. In this situation most hives ran out of pollen to feed the hive. It would be good to ask some questions of the grower. It would be nice to know why his previous beekeeper is not supplying him this year.
  5. Persicaria maculosa (Willow Weed) used to be called Polygonum persicaria, I don't know why they need to change the names. Has several other common names such as Red Shank. Common in waste areas, weed of farmland, likes damp areas. Bees like it.
  6. If the varroa are sensitive to sudden pressure changes I have an idea for a more practical method of delivering it. I am going to equip my bee truck with the Loudest mega-watt sound speakers possible. (I'll borrow the Subwoofers from the rolling Stones). Then back up real close to the hives and then let them have it. A few bars of AC/DC, Motorhead, Black Sabbath and see the mites drop off :eek::eek::eek:. To avoid resistance it may be important to alternate treatments. I am thinking Heavy Metal for the autumn and Classical ( think Tchaikovsky's 1812 or Beethoven's fifth overture) for the spring treatment? :rofl::lol:rofl:, remember where you heard it first... :cool:
  7. Henry

    No Queen

    It is best not to kill a queen until you know you have a better queen to replace her with. You could have put the old queen in a nuc box (made a split) and kept her until you knew the hive had raised a good replacement. That way if things don't work our you can recombine them and you are back to square one and not worse off than in the beginning.
  8. Grey Pumpkins, or green buttercup/kabocha/export squash are all Cucurbita maxima. Courgette/Zucchini are Cucurbita pepo. Butternut squash are Cucurbita moschata. Bees love them all the same; good nectar. The bees get so covered in pollen they can hardly fly, seen them having to clean themselves on a leaf to continue. None of these crops set fruit without pollination, and without the feral bees post varroa, the better growers are using commercial hives for pollination. They only flower in the mornings, its pretty much all over by lunch time. Each flower only lasts a few hours, new flowers the next day. So its good if there are some other flowers/ sources for the bees to keep busy in the afternoon. Sprays are mostly fungicides for powdery mildew so not bad as long as they don't spray over crop in the mornings when the bees are working. Just the surfactants/wetters (soap/detergent) they put in the sprays are enough to kill bees if they get directly sprayed. It could be worthwhile talking to the grower to ask him to spray at the end of the day, and not use insecticides while the bees are there. My avator is a frog in squash flower, the frog was quite happy with her flower home, not sure what would happen if a bee came along too?
  9. You basically have 2 hives one on top of the other, separated by a queen excluder. This would be real easy to split as you don't have to find the queens, or distribute the brood. You just need another base and lid. Take off the boxes above the bottom queen excluder and put on a new base. Put a new lid on the bottom 2 boxes. You may want to put another super onto the bottom hive at the same time. If you leave the 2 new hives side by side they should be ok. Don't move one of the hives a few metres away as all the field bees will return to the hive on the original site and leave the second hive weak.
  10. Hi Peejay, it does seem you have 2 queens, which is much better than no queen! I imagine your attempt at a split a couple of months ago did produce a second queen but you recombined the hives before she could start laying? You have several options. 1. you can leave the hive as it is and run as a 2 queen hive. Having 2 queen excluders for the bees to get through could slow down the honey production. 2. you could remove the lower queen excluder and let the queens fight it out. They may both continue together for some time, especially as they are currently living like that. In theory the younger queen should eventually superceed the older one. 3. Split to make 2 hives. One hive from below the bottom queenexcluder, the other from above it. If you split you can do it at dusk and take one hive a few kms away, or you can just put them side by side on the current site and hope they even out. It all depends if you want more hives or not, but as you attempted a split a couple of months ago I guess you do. In which case go for option3 and split.
  11. It seems to me that the media and many people over use the "allergic to bee stings" tag. It sounds like this man did not have a "severe allergic reaction" to the bee sting. He had a normal reaction which is some localised swelling in the throat. That would be normal for most people. Bee stings in the mouth and throat are always dangerous as swelling is normal and there is limited space for the swelling to go without obstructing the airways. So a trip to hospital as a precaution is sensible, no need to dramatise it with the "severe allergic reaction" headline. Save that description for those unfortunate people who really do have a bad allergic reaction.
  12. Henry

    Winter

    The couse is well worth while. It has been run by Franklin Bee Club for many years. It is very well run and has all the info for new beekeepers. It is run as an evening class in term 3 at Pukekohe High School. Term 3 starts the end of July. The details of the class are not out yet. You can check the school web site undercommunity education: Pukekohe High School .::. Community Education also the classes are published in the Franklin County News in a few weeks time.
  13. Thanks for the report Gerrit. It is people like you that make this forum so useful, we can learn from other peoples experience. Those varroa sure are hard to beat !!
  14. Henry

    Winter

    Hi Nate, the course at pukekohe high school is on this year. I will be next term.
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