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mischief

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Everything posted by mischief

  1. November, but I do have two tubers that have nice stems and leaves on them right now
  2. There are a few mature Kowhai just down the road from me which are already in full bloom. I always thought these started flowering in November. My two young trees plus another I know of, have yet to do so. So.....do I plant my Kumara now or not? Traditionally, you do this when they start flowering.....just seems way to early.
  3. I inspected the hive today. That went well and I was happy with what I saw. When I changed the hive around, I made sure there was a follower board on the brood side so I could just go in and inspect that area. I didnt quite have it far enough into the hive, but after the second frame, managed to not roll the bees.
  4. I saw the saw thing last summer- the brood nest covered 15 frames with no brood anywhere else. I was too sure if that was because I had the fat honey comb next to the brood nest with alot of the other honey comb fattened up to some degree. I prefer not to use a QE. They seemed to have done okay with just the normal deep frames, tending to have a whole frame or two just for pollen rather than underneath the brood. There problem so far has been me, but they are patient teachers. The new hive is a Jumbo deep so it will be interesting to compare them. I'm also using the SC plastic frames, but have cut all the edges off some of these to use as 'foundation insert'. So far I've got 4 frames ready with waxed 'inserts' underneath a starter strip that is sewn in place with cotton thread. I figure that way, they will have a honey dome over, can make the holes they like so much along the top and upper sides. I'm out of wax so I may need to put empties in between with just the starter strip and hope for the best. To extract, when they get to that point, I'm hoping to be able to cut the lower portion out, pop it on couple of cake racks tied together with cable ties, de-cap, pop it in the extractor and then slide it back into the frame. I dont need all the honey
  5. I'm having a hard time getting in at the moment, just as I get ready to the weather turns again. Not too sure about supering, I got the long hive cos my back wont let me do heavy lifting.
  6. I had to move my hive around to get it ready for opening up the main entrance again for the new season. The bees had a a hard time figuring out things were which gave me time to count what was going in. One had red pollen which I thought odd seeing as flax isnt flowering yet- might be dead nettle ...2 out of 3 had either yellow or orange pollen. I wound up opening up the main entrance ahead of schedule to try to lessen the traffic jam. Almost got hive # 2 ready- just got the roof to sort out. This one is for a Beequip Jumbo deep sized frame. My main problem right now is that my 32 frame long hive is already working on 20 frames and its not even a week into spring...no way to super this so I need to split it soon.
  7. My Pink Manuka is flowering too, but only on the sun side
  8. Contrary to what seems to be the norm, my mite count this year has been worryingly low, all year. The Ad- "Dont trust 'em boss!", has been at the back of my mind for most of the year. After yet another OAV, mite count after 24hours is...again, 2.....I check every day and clear the boards after every four days, when I do it all over again. After almost losing my hive last spring, I have been vigilent to the point of paranoia, recognising that organic treatments my need to be done more frequently to stay on top of things. I would like to say it is because I have partially regressed my hive down to small cell, but they only have 5 shaved down frames out of 15 in the brood area, so that doesnt work. As I said somewhere earlier- they have been a puzzle all year. I simply watch and learn.
  9. I started out with wooden and foundation starter strips. When I finally managed to get plastic frames (Small cell so imported, meaning unwaxed), I applied what I thought was a good amount but they didnt build it out very well. Just the middle bit. It was only when I literally finger-painted the wax, heavily (from honey plus brood comb) they did build it out full. So now its heavier the better.
  10. I have used this before but in late spring with jaw dropping results and the hive lived to see another year. That was last spring. Oh wait.....I have got a few seasons under my belt now, lol. No, I put this in because I wasnt understanding what I was seeing with such low natural mite drops compared to last year and as this had given me good results I thought I would see how it went. mid/late summer this time....no change. So I was still worried and tried the OAV again....woohoo got 19 mite over 2 days then nothing. The hive this year has been one big puzzle, but it is still there and still looking okay. I did change things around so I could see them through the window over winter rather than just guessing and got a pre winter inspection done to make sure everything was okay, which it was and got given my over winter strategy to do. for now I just watch and learn.
  11. Interesting. I been seeing the same thing and worried about this. Got Dan to come over to do a pre winter inspection to make sure everything was okay and it appears to be. You had them moving to the feeder to die, I found them going to the bucket i had started collecting dead bees in, meaning to get them tested.... but accidentally left them outside over night and it rained, so that put paid to that idea.
  12. I am interested in hearing how they get on over winter and spring. Hope you let us know.
  13. Smaller hive mats and a follower board makes it a little more manageable. That way you should only have to move them once. Having said that, I havent been able to get this part right sometimes and have to move them all back over too. Smaller mats has meant there is only the frames I'm working with that are exposed, having to deal with such a huge cloud would be too intimidating for me. I like your roof, I was going to use a bit of metal flashing but your way also gives both an escape point for bees over the inner cover as well as ventilating the roof space. I have ceiling insulation sitting on the inner mats, year round. I put it back on later in the day after the bees have vacated the roof space. hehe, subscribed and liked.
  14. I've been crush and straining or just cutting it into chunks which then go either into big jar or if its a really nice white comb into a takeaway container. I dont mind eating the odd bit of wax
  15. I usually work the winter season at a Pine Forestry 3-6 month season depending, but am taking a break from it this year. Working 7 days a week then working like a mad thing over summer to get DIY and yard projects done in time, has taken its toll. I was going to make a double deep hive along the lines of a Layens, but decided I should start of with just a deep long hive, using the Jumbo deeps I got from from Beequip, to get used to the larger frames and see how that goes. I have been planting trees here for a number of years, mainly fruit but with the odd NZ native. Have a very old nectarine to cut out as it blew over and is obviously not going to regrow-core has rotted out down to the roots. I will cut that up for firewood and the punky bits will get turned into tinder. Another fun project is to dry the Persimmons I grow. Last year, it had only a few fruit, this year its got quite a lot. I did one fruit last year with good results but didnt get to see how long they last cos I ate it. Ii have a feeling these will last for months which will give me fruit over my lean months.
  16. I'm pretty sure it wasnt the Apilife that caused my Bay tree, Grape vine and Runner beans by the hive to all of a sudden start dying shortly after I was seeing dead and dying bees all around the hive, along the path and even down in the courtyard below the hive. The part of the grape vine on the other side of the shed is still green. The only part of the Bay tree that has started to green up again, is a small lower branch that look like they had been protected by the upper ones. I dont use two treatments at the same time so hadnt used the OAV. Inexperience definitely doesnt help
  17. So there is a co-op....it gets confusing when i also read that buyers havent got hold of producers leaving them stuck with full drum loads in their store rooms. Makes it seem like you have to do your own selling.
  18. Wrong....sorry. Markets are there, always. People buy....always. You guys have never had a co-op, you have never been a consolidated body looking after the interests of both the producer and the end buyer but have been at the mercy of those who have taken advantage of both. if your market Has been based on false or misleading products then shame on you for letting this get so out of hand. I dont think that is actually the case. Something has changed. You all know it, just dont know exactly what is going on. Worst case scenario is the 'market', such as it is, and it is not just about Manuka honey, is about to be opened up to overseas/chinese and lesser quality products. What are you going to do about it. Cut each others throats like you have been doing or consolidate and find a solution that benefits everybody?
  19. Hi, just wondering how things are going for you. I have had a mixed bag of a year with minimal/negligible mite counts even after doing Apilife and OAV treatments ,which has made me feel quietly excited..... but then had a probable case of deliberate poisoning, which has set the hive back but not necessarily killed it. time will tell, but so far it looks good.
  20. umm, ####ty human nature, oops I mean basic human nature.
  21. I think you commercial guys should seriously consider this(Co-op). Might be like a bag of fighting cats until you reach a consensus but if you wait for something else to look after your interests....good luck.
  22. I noticed more moisture in the hive after I started using plastic frames. I'm wondering if this somehow makes a difference. Does wood frames somehow absorb more moisture?
  23. Sounds like my Black Hamburg grape.You need to leave it til the fruit are completely black with no hint of red and they sort of look dull rather than shiny, otherwise, they taste sour. once they look dull, they are incredibly sweet.
  24. Hi Markypoo, Just wondered how your educational SC trial went.
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