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About EasyBee

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  1. I read on the facebook "Backyard Beekeeping NZ" group where someone posted a comment claiming that this method of treatment kills brood where it is placed. Is this true, or is their comment simply misinformation?
  2. What a cool looking stripey queen! I would do what Yesbut and m4tt said by waiting a week - if that fails then recombine the hives. Unless of course the walk away split you made has plenty of stores and good population, then you could introduce a mated queen. As an added measure you could always throw in a frame or two of mostly capped brood to boost numbers. Be sure to thoroughly check any added frames are disease free and brush all the bees off them. If if you don’t have enough in the way of extra brood to add, you may want to just recombine and try again in spring! I had two walk away splits fail last autumn and was kinda gutted. So I recombined them and went all out this season. Went from 2 to 14 hives! Lots of mistakes made and a few queens met untimely deaths at both nature’s and my hands!
  3. Is the Pams cloth the blue stuff in a roll that looks like Chux cloth that you would use to wipe a kitchen bench with?
  4. I removed my queen cells today and put them into my mating nucs - things went great with the Cloake Board - I ended up with 6 capped cells out of ten - not too terrible for my first time! One thing I did notice was that in one place the bees had built brace comb between two of the cells. It took me a bit by surprise because I've been looking at lots of pictures of perfect model queen cells (probably photoshopped - ) that looked nothing like these chubby things. Only two of the cells would fit into the Nicot cell protectors - the rest had too much comb being built around them. I got around the protector problem by using tin foil wrapped around the larger cells, leaving the bottom open for the queen to emerge. I'm not sure I even needed cell protectors - my mating nuc has been queenless for about a week, and I've been through and got rid of all the cells they made (I read later somewhere that cell protectors aren't really needed if the hive/nuc/mating nuc has been queenless for more than 24-48 hours). Anyway - I got wondering about why they might have made so much brace comb on the cells and read a couple of comments on another forum about how the spacing of the cells on the bar could be a contributing factor. I have 10 cells - Nicot style - spread evenly across the top bar. Should I be reconfiguring this and putting 15 or so across there? I've since made another cell bar with the cells closer together but in groups of 2 or 3 - still only ten per bar though. Am I doing it right or should I, as I mentioned above, be putting more cells on the bar?
  5. Excellent, thanks for all the info! I'll pull the board out when I get home tomorrow afternoon. That'll give them at least 48 hours - 24 queen less and 24 to start the cells. I think I may do things differently next time after reading what Rob posted. It was already a reasonably strong hive, but reading what Dansar said and the link Rob posted it seems pertinent to do a few more hive preparations before placing the board on. I think I just got by with the bare minimum! After doing a bit more reading there a few things I'll change up next time such as keeping the board out for a few days (7 apparently according to the official response from Russ Cloake on Dave Cushman's site) - this would negate the need to go through the top box looking for any queen cells that may have been started. In my case I only out two frames of mostly capped brood in the top box. Even so I still have to cull out about 3 or 4 cells created over the 24hours since I out the Cloake board on. And that's just the start - Dansar and Tristan have given great tips on things I probably should have done. This is the first time I've ever tried grafting - loving it! Years of fun and learning ahead of me Thanks all! I'll keep you posted on how these ones turn out - I only have room for 4 queens - no doubt I'll find homes for the others soon enough!
  6. Total beginner here with queen rearing, so bear with me! After a bit of a failure with my Nicot system I decided to go ahead an have my first go at grafting/larvae transfer. I have done 10 cells, 7 of which appear to have been accepted. The Cloake board was inserted yesterday morning (Sunday) at about 9:30 am. After that I was due to insert the Nicot cells, but because (I suspect this is the reason) I let the Queen out on the second day instead of the third (when eggs should be hatching), the bees had decided to clean all the eggs out. With the Nicot out of the question (I left them until today and by then ALL of the eggs were gone) I decided today to pull a frame of brood out of the cell starter/builder. There were plenty of larvae at the right age, so selection was no problem. Once grafted I checked back a couple of hours later to see what had been accepted and what hadn't, 5/10. I whipped a brood frame out from another hive and did 5 more grafts, another 2 have since taken according to the behaviour of the bees making the 7/10 mentioned above. They definitely seem to be working hard on those cells - they had a fairly decent rim being formed around them nearly 3 hours after the final graft. My big question is, how long should I leave the board in the Cloake board? How long is too long? Should I wait until tomorrow morning or evening, then pull it? That would make nearly 48hours with the board in if I do it at 9:30am tomorrow. Or should I just pull it tonight and turn it into a cell builder colony?
  7. I would go with what Daley said. If you are seeing some eggs there then there must be a queen somewhere. From my own limited experience this season where I had a hive become queenless, they can really surprise you. I took the advice of another forum member and inserted a frame of eggs and brood from another box. After several checks I saw no queen cells start at all. I resigned myself to the fact that I would just have to unite that hive with another at a later date. Anyway - I opened them up on Friday - nearly 3 or 4 weeks after I had given up on them. It was absolutely loaded with capped brood. Moral of the story - give them time! I would wait at least another two weeks and then have a look.
  8. Thanks Alistair - we always take the frame on the outside edge out first. When you say you put the queen aside on her frame, do you mean into Nuc box or similar?
  9. I don't see how we could have managed to kill her - we're so careful. Last time I went through the hive with my wife (which sure now tells me was about two weeks ago) we found the queen in the top box on a brood frame halfway in. As we usually do, if we are doing a quick check for brood and hive activity we simply put her straight back in on the frame (carefully). We found out in late autumn that accidents can happen when one of our queens plopped off the frame and onto the ground only to be stung by bees from the neighbouring hive when she tried to go in there. Since then we only ever examine frames over the brood box, and when we see the queen she goes straight back in and the hive is closed. Anyway, accidents can happen - perhaps she got squashed in bur or bracing comb on the bottom of a frame that we hadn't scraped off this one time or as you suggested she somehow got rolled while replacing the frame or squished between the ends as we put her frame back. We usually push all the frame back into position at once, one by one so that we reduce the instances of squashing this way. Who knows. The complete lack lack of brood is bizarre, there are no signs at all of any swarm cells or supercedure or even emergency cells. It's like she walked out or died and the hive went on as normal. When I opened them the other day they were really calm, everything seemed fine. I've put another frame of eggs, larvae and capped brood in there and I'll leave it closed up for a few weeks while they sort themselves out. It's not ideal I know but it's the only option I have. I'll leave the weaker box alone too for a bit - I had considered downsizing it to a 5 frame Nuc and making up a cell builder colony out of the remaining frames plus some bees from the strong colony. Will see what they are up to in about 4 - 6 weeks. Again thanks for all the advice
  10. Thank you everyone for all your advice on this! I followed the advice given to Josh by M4tt in https://www.nzbees.net/topic/11171-spring-conundrum/ . Predictably my fail grafting attempt was exactly that - a failure. I will now leave them all alone for a few weeks - well at least until I have to take out the Apivar strips.
  11. I'm reading it now - I'll see what they do with my bad grafts tomorrow and move a frame in. Damn bees and their random ways. edit: I put Apivar in about 3 weeks ago, before that was OA vaporising. Definitely no AFB or any other disease - they were clean as a whistle. That's what makes it a bit sad. She had everything - even a nice colourful box and all of last seasons honey.
  12. Hi there, I checked my 3 hives today to see how they were going - last time I checked was about 3 weeks ago. All was well in Hive #1 - they've been doing great. Hive #2 I have kind of written of, the queen is not a good layer at all and I had plans to replace her at the earliest opportunity. Hive #3, until today, had been going really well like #1. But today when I checked the queen was nowhere, the frames had no new eggs or larvae of any sort. All the areas where there has been brood 3 weeks ago were completely cleaned out. In desperation and inexperience I grafted some freshly hatched larvae from Hive #1 into some cups and chucked them into #3. I checked two hours later - all but 3 larvae had been removed (I'll look back on this day and laugh I'm sure - this was my first time grafting... not how I wanted to start but I thought it was worth a shot). The remaining 3 cups were receiving a lot of attention and work was well underway around the rim of the plastic cell cup. I'm kind of in a bit of a conundrum - not sure how I should proceed from here. Whether I try and do a cloake board split & graft with the really strong remaining hive, or do I try and make a cell building colony separate from the donor (it will have to made up from bees from the donor as the other two hives are now not really up to it). If presented with this problem, what would some of you more experienced folk do?
  13. Hi Rob, I'm in Carterton too and am a member of the Wairarapa Hobby Beekeepers Club. We're a fairly active group with a wide range of experience and abilities. We meet on the second Sunday of each month - usually hosted at a members house. We have recently got the go ahead from Masterton District Council to use some land for a club apiary and now have a very basic website set up (only in the last couple of weeks - it's got some growing to do ) So all in all the club is moving ahead in a really good direction - it's a great place to meet people who are keen beekeepers! If you're interested in coming along to a meeting just send us a message on Facebook (Wairarapa Hobby Beekeepers Club) or contact us through the website www.wairarapabeekeepers.club And welcome to Carterton!
  14. It is - been reading for a while, thank you
  15. Hi Tom, Thanks for your reply She is coming from a good local producer fortunately. The Queenless box was united via air freshener method today (bees just love that air freshener toilet smell!). The box with the brood frames is in the middle, so I'll put her in there in her introduction cage.
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