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About Peter

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    Commercial Beekeeper


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  1. It might be 4 hives, but it also might be more, e.g. 8 or 10 max I suppose depending on the season etc. I have come across many places, just a little out of Auckland though. West Auckland especially. And Whangaparoa, that's an area I haven't really had much to do with.
  2. Is there a place on this forum for people advertising or requesting Apiary Sites? I am interested in placing hives in Auckland ideally on a large block, with sufficient privacy away from houses and neighbours. If you know of anybody wanting bees on their land then let me know.
  3. I have been returning my extracted supers to my hives. However the robbing the last few years has been terrible. Much worse than normal, and the worst I have ever seen it. I put supers on, strap the hive shut, and the bees are trying frantically to get into the gaps between the supers, however in most cases there are no actual gaps. They fit together well. These hives end up thick with bees on the outside by the time I have finished. It's like a river of bees flowing up, then falling off. What can I do the reduce or eliminate this?
  4. Peter

    AFB or no?

    Hi, I saw some cells in my hives on the weekend which were not right. Just a couple. They roped out, but the rope was white and thin. Doesn't match the standard AFB photos you see, of brown and thick rope. They are going to the lab to find out for sure. But I was wondering have people seen this, and has it turned out to be AFB for you, or not? Can a white rope be AFB?
  5. I had a friend call me up and ask me to come and kill a wasp nest. We take it for granted that people know what wasps are. But when I turned up it turns out to be a small cluster of bees. About the size of a tennis ball. I looked very closely and there was no queen. My question is, on a hot day why would a cluster of bees like that not return to their hive? I suspect somebody nearby either killed an AFB hive during the day, moved a hive during the day, or was extracting honey and dropped off some bees on the way. Anything else I am missing? I thought most people would wait until night to move a hive or kill an AFB hive? Why would they cluster on my friends property? It was still hot, and to their knowledge there were no beehives nearby.
  6. It just comes down to what material I have available at the moment. I have lots of off cuts, and trying to clear space in the shed. I have some wooden lids I have made in previous years. They were not treated, and I used metalex. They are holding up so far. But I can agree that a metal lid is probably better.
  7. I am aware that treated timber is not good for bees for the brood or honey boxes. I use standard hive mats, which are also not treated timber. My question is whether it is OK to make a beehive lid out of treated timber? Treated plywood with some cut fence pales for the sides. I will paint them with 3 coats of paint.
  8. Peter

    Angry Bees

    It took in while in my case because I didn't get feedback from the owner as to the issue with the bees being angry until they wanted them moved. So it has probably been about 4 months all up. If I didn't work full time with a preschooler it would have been dealt with sooner. I hesitated to deal with them because of how angry they were, and I was not sure how to deal with them. Also in the process I had to raise new queens to use. Angry, I am talking about bees attacking the veil, and the first time a number broke into gaps in the veil and stung me in the face. I also had a lot of stings on my legs and stomach. The people at the site were horrified. There is only so much you can say 'oh, it's fine', 'don't worry' before it becomes pretty obvious that it is not OK. I am relieved that 2 of them are gone.
  9. Peter

    Angry Bees

    I just read some more of the comments, and I think it is a shame. If more people kept on top of their nasty hives then we would prevent a lot of issues. A lot of people are scared of bees, and it's not surprising if beekeepers keep nasty bees and don't think anything of it. Every beekeeper who continues to persist with nasty bees means more drones with nasty genetics float around and mate with virgin queens, and the problem just gets worse. Anyway I am sure that a lot of people have nice queens, so my comments are just out of frustration of my current circumstances. I had nice bees which were at my original site for 5 years. My best guess is that they superceded and mated with some nasty drones. In the process I have put a number of people off beekeeping. It is sad and annoying. My calmest bees have always kept up with honey production, and in a lot of cases produce more.
  10. Peter

    Angry Bees

    Matt, yeah thanks. I might just keep the 1 angry hive and see if it supercedes. I think I can handle one. I haven't read all the comments, but some that I glanced at, I can assure you there is such a thing as angry hives. Feel free to come and have a look. No matter the weather these hives are vicious, crazy, embarrassing, making me question why I am a beekeeper. And making others question why I am a beekeeper. Doing an AFB inspection is a killer agreed, and when you have your hives at a site, it is a bad look if you say to the people 'oh, I am not sure how rarked up they will get today, perhaps you should move the horses away'. I lost a site because of these bees stinging. I was forced to move them just before Christmas (when they had honey boxes on which was a killer in itself) so yeah I don't see it being worth it. When I moved the bees the feedback was that it took them a week to settle down. I have killed 2 of the queens, out of 3, and it took me many hours of walking away and cooling down in the heat yesterday to make sure the bees were not rarked up too much, and I had to do damage control with the owners in the process. This is all not worth it to me, but in the process hopefully yesterday I have fixed most of the issue. I then jumped in the car to my nice bees in the city and was surprised how easy they were in comparison. It made me appreciate them all the more. If it is any consolation the nasty bees have gathered a lot of honey, which is good.
  11. Hi All, I have 3 hives with very angry bees, and I have 3 nucs with new queens to replace the angry queens. Each hive has 4 supers on (not sure how full they are yet). So I want to know how to deal with this situation with the least amount of carnage. If I move the 3 angry brood boxes to new bottom boards away, and in their place put new boxes with the new queens. Firstly will the bees drifting back kill the new queens? Also will bees coming down from the supers kill the new queens? I want to put bee escapes on in the process, and I have been told that bees in the supers have never left the hive, so are pretty relaxed about being mixed with a new queen. I then would go back in a few days and take the honey away, and hopefully by then the angry brood boxes would have a much lower population so that I can find the queens, kill them and merge them back to their original positions with paper. Any chance that it will work? My source for some of this info is here, Bush Bees, Requeening a Hot Hive, finding a queen in a hot hive
  12. But putting a box back on the hive, can't AFB spread by honey being picked up off the outside of the honey super? Or is that pretty unlikely?
  13. What exactly do you mean though? Sure you mean putting them in an open stack, but are you also suggesting it is the same if you just plonk the boxes on top of the hives?
  14. Yeah I must say that I have gotten into a bit of a situation I don't really want to be in. But anyway my shed is shared with my home stuff and tools. Perhaps some or the supers or all of them can be stored in the shed if I put the time and effort into organising my stuff. I am not keen to let any robbing occur.
  15. My shed is not big enough. It would need to be out in the open, but then I need to work out whether washing them would reduce robbing, and how to cover them, seal them?
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