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Craig Howard

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Craig Howard last won the day on August 15 2017

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  1. As well as a font of knowledge apart from just bees. eg fruit trees. I really enjoy the collective wisdom that comes from experience that people gather and pass on freely and easily. I am lucky to have met a few people like this... and very much more so ...since I moved to the regions from Auckland 16 months ago.
  2. My big lesson was that I had left the door open to robbing through a top feeder that I built that had an aperture large enough for invaders to enter at the top storey. I never realised how small a gap bees could use!!! Easily fixed. The hive being new and one that took a while to colonise in the first place...had never been fully productive or had honey taken from it...was just too weak to repel invaders (that I had left the door open for). Otherwise ...learning on the job. All cool. I had been warned to expect collateral damage in bee keeping. THnx Deejaycee
  3. Sorry that its taken a little while to get back to you all. Monday afternoon...after an initial inspection...Kevin Tinker and I took the hive over to John Berry for his experience and valued input. (Thanx to John Berry and KT) Conclusion based on facts and timing...was a combination of robbing , starvation and some varroa implication. Thankfully no AFB.
  4. Last couple of days I noticed a lack of bee activity around my hive. A total difference from last week when there was a lot of activity! BTW Weather has been generally warm and pleasant ( Hastings H.B). Opened hive to day...Zero live bees. Need to get my mentors in to work out what has gone wrong cos I am too inexperienced to evaluate the evidence. Hoping its not a critical disease. Very sad about this at the moment.
  5. Single domestic hive. Hawkes Bay What , and when, is the first essential task after the Winter lay off period?
  6. And you are correct Sir. My bad...and feeling stoopid! I found it in the documentation.
  7. Maybe this is my issue... lown ...but what ever..I dont have or never have been given a PW
  8. Any one know how one gets a password to the Apiweb Online site? I have a registered hive but as far as I know..that did not include a PW. The Apiweb site does not have facility / function to register a PW or to retrieve a forgotten PW! Never seen that on any site with a PW before!
  9. SO...I checked today and moved three heavy frames down from the top 3/4 to the lower 3/4 which conveniently had three frames of not very much. Aren't bees clever! Added the top feeder tray and closed mat. Removed the queen excluder. Now 1 x FD and 1 x 3/4 Box. All consolidated and very tidy now... except my noobee-ishness made me forget to look for brood or problems because I was too focussed on the consolidation. General impression was FD and 3/4 are loaded with bees and heavy frames of supplies.
  10. Thats what I hope to find when I check them later today. This is the first full hive check in 2 months+. I already know the top 3/4 box is nowhere near full on every frame though. I may just need to juggle those that are best filled down and lose the top 3/4 to lose air space (heat liability)....and add the top feeder tray with a solid mat (instead of the mesh mat).
  11. Brood and some supplies in FD frames. Will be checking what has happened in there since last look some weeks ago though.
  12. I have a FD box on the bottom with 2 x 3/4s above. The top 3/4 is more sparse but contains some supplies and also a feeder (2 frame style) I am intending to go in tomorrow and check the hive and rearrange the frames so that the lower 3/4 is consolidated with brood (if any but I believe so) and supplies. I will be placing a feeder tray on instead of the frame feeder as better use of space for winter. Q. How best to arrange supply and brood frames? Brood centered & supplies outside; mixed arrangement, vice versa...? Q2. If I am able to compact the bottom of the hive and I still have 2 or 3 frames left over...should I leave them in a top 3/4 box (under the feeder tray)? Keep in mind my bottom boxes are a FD and a 3/4. ( It just happened that way) Q3. Anything else I should be doing for Winter? FWIW - I have been feeding for about three weeks.
  13. For no particular reason apart from a social bee experiment...and I can! I have been making sugar syrup to feed my bees... and adding a little spray of pure lavender oil from an atomiser as I brew it. Its barely. barely noticable to my nose once cooled, but I have seen no harm and the bees drain the feeder dry every time. Have no idea if my bees are naturally calm or what ...but they are. And they do smell sexy! Just thought I would post this and see the thoughts.
  14. Any one offering advice on insulating hives for winter if at all? eg. how. My location is Hastings . H.B. Occasional frosts (min. -2.8 last year )
  15. If one is feeding bees...eg top feeder...do the bees consume direct from the feeder or do they carry it to cells and store it? Maybe a combination of both ?
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