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Andy Clark

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About Andy Clark

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  1. Thanks @tristan, I have done that in the past, but found that the remaining honey in the wet frames was nicely collected by the bees and I ended up with frames partially with honey in them that wasn't capped and it went off over winter. So this year thought I'd leave the frames as wets and try to store them that way - just a different problem this time round. How do others store their frames over winter?
  2. Thanks everyone for the answers, its pretty much what I expected, but good to know its better to store frames spaced out and not in plastic!
  3. Hi all, Hopefully a simple question that I think I know the answer to, but I'm wanting confirmation. I had some extracted boxes that had been stored 'wet' as I was led to believe this was the best way to store them over winter - all contained in a very large plastic bag. 2 x 3/4 boxes with 10 frames each. When I came to take them out, I realised that wax moths had gone through them and completely ruined the frames. Must have had a hole in the large bag, as i had also sealed it! I know I can freeze them to kill the larvae & moths, but I wonder if there is any point? The wax in the frames is ruined, so is the best solution to burn them? Or is it worth trying saving the wooden frames and removing the wax - not sure how? Then adding new foundation back into the frames? Suggestions please :-) Thanks Andy
  4. With no brood, does that not break the life cycle? So wouldn't they just die off? Or can they winter over like the bees?
  5. I do have drones still in the hives, but you are right in respect of the temp and the timings - just not going to happen really is it. Next silly question, anyone know of a mated queen or 2 for sale? Am I also correct that wax is only produced in temps 25C or above? I'm sure I read that somewhere, in which case they wouldn't be able to build a queen cell even if they had a perfect egg
  6. Thanks @tommy dave it just seems very odd that this has occurred definitely in 3 hives and possibly 2 more, and all been treated the same. hey ho... just the way it goes I guess. i'd be far more concerned by the 'slightly weak' queenright nuc that has subsequently died. What happened? I believe it got robbed out so much that there simply wasn't enough to keep it going. Even though I moved it & fed it syrup. When i checked on it over the weekend, there appeared plenty of activity at the entrance, which I had reduced, but inside there was a patch of brood roughly the size 2-3 inches across with larvae in different states - some not completely capped, but not looking at all diseased - so I think there wasn't enough to keep them warm and they simply died out. I think the activity at the entrance was simply more robbing of the syrup.
  7. True @Chris Valentine, but there is pollen coming in, I can see it on their legs when its warm, and plenty in the hives in stock... just really frustrating and very odd that now even hives I am not in control of seem to be suffering the same fate.
  8. OK, an update... still no queen or eggs in either hive and the nuc has died out, was obviously just too weak So I have moved a frame of fresh (or the freshest I could get from my 1 hive that has a queen!) into hive number 2, hoping that there are some viable eggs in there that they will do something with - even though its now quite cold for them to produce wax for a queen cell. In fact is this a factor? I moved a clean frame into the hive with a queen and will hopefully get some fresh eggs in that - need to check this tomorrow and see whats what. Interestingly enough, visited a friend who is just over 3kms from me over the weekend and he has treated his 2 hives the same way - with the Thymovar wafers - came from the same retailer. Talked to him about my issue and he also mentioned not having any brood in one of his hives - he hasnt checked the 2nd one. So I went through one of his hives and again, no brood, nothing, nada, zilch. This now seems a little co-incidental... I believe thats 5 hives now that have had the same treatment and appear to have suffered the same fate... Any other thoughts or comments gratefully received.
  9. Again, hadn't considered that she may have simply stopped laying - will check and confirm. Thanks for the idea.
  10. OK that's an interesting idea I hadn't considered, I haven't seen any mites and with no brood, I'm guessing/hoping mite levels are low/non existent. Will need to fully check tomorrow. Thanks for the idea though. Will let you know what the outcome is.
  11. Hi all, this autumn I have used Thymovar wafers for my Varroa treatment instead of Bayvarol. Trying to swap my Spring/Autumn treatments. I took all my honey off as recommended and only left a FD box of honey for the bees to winter over with. Whats been odd this autumn (as opposed to others, and I've kept bees for 4-5 years now), is that every full hive (i.e. 2 FD boxes, 1 brood, 1 honey) I have treated with Thymovar wafers has lost its queen, either she has deserted, or swarmed (I don't believe this to be the case), or simply died. Either way 3 hives treated with Thymovar wafers, have over the last month had the queen 'disappear'. I have 3 full hives, and noticed the first was missing a queen about 4 weeks ago and managed to get a replacement - she is laying well and all looks good. Last weekend I noticed the 2nd hive had no new eggs, larvae and some capped brood close to hatching, but not much. So I have been on the hunt for a new queen this week - but its too late in the season, I have been unsuccessful in finding a new queen for hive 2. Hive 3 I checked today, has no eggs, no larvae and no brood - so that queen must have 'gone' a couple of weeks back, yet the hive is still ok. But that's just a matter of time. So, ideas... 1) Move a frame of fresh eggs from Hive #1 into Hive #2 and hope they manage to do something with it. 2) Move a frame of fresh eggs from Hive #1 into Hive #3 and hope they manage to do something with it. 3) I have 1 slightly weak (was robbed out) nuc (lets call it #4) with a laying queen that I'm trying to build back up. Do I try and amalgamate this with Hive #2? So do I do 1 & 2 and try and get the nuc through winter. Or do I do 2 & 3 and just try the amalgamating? If you suggest amalgamating, how would I do this with a NUC and a hive that is made up of 2 FD boxes? Thanks for reading my 'war and peace' novel PS - anyone else had issues with Thymovar wafers? Dont think i'll be using them again.
  12. Its funny that this thread has moved onto the 'robbing' aspect of a weak hive. Today was a lovely warm sunny day and the bees in my 2 two FD hives (1 brood & 1 honey for the winter) were more active than they have been in a while. But I also noticed that the nuc I put a frame of uncapped honey into yesterday was REALLY busy - odd for a nuc that is close to death. So I just stood and watched for 5-10 mins and I'm sure that most of the activity at the nuc was bee's coming in from the other good 2FD hives. So what to do? I was going to feed the nuc with a load of syrup today, but that's pointless if its being robbed. The other 2 FD hives have plenty of stores, but as someone mentioned above, its just bees doing what they do - they will rob a weaker hive if it has stores of honey. So again, what to do? Any suggestions? I was thinking of moving the nuc to somewhere else? Maybe out of range of the hives that are robbing it, so at least 3 kms away, but then it wont be close enough for me to check on easily... and with more bad weather coming this week... or could i reduce the entrance of the nuc and feed it syrup anyway?
  13. DAMN IT!!! Yes I think you are right, after reading this I actually went into the nuc that was still showing signs of life - queen was there ok, and yes number of bums sticking out the cells. With all the wet weather they weren't able to get out and must have used all their stores - so I have dropped in an FD of uncapped honey and will check on them again tomorrow with some syrup in a feeder. Hopefully they will come right - but may not be strong enough now to survive the winter Should have spotted that, but didn't get a chance to get into it yesterday. Thanks all, will add to this tomorrow if things are looking better.
  14. Hi all, Just after some advice if possible. I'm in North Canterbury where we have had some pretty good rain over the last few days to maybe a week. Yesterday I went to check on my nuc's and one had a pile of dead bee's blocking the entrance and after scrapping them away I checked inside the nuc and it was dead. The 2nd had a smaller amount of dead bees at the etrance, and bees coming out of the hive appeared 'drunk', could fly no more than a few inches before falling to the ground, checking the ground, a large number of dead & dying bees. The week before I had put half a Thymol wafer in for Varroa treatment and I wondered if this was having an effect, so I removed them. Today I have gone out again and same situation. What could be causing this? Tracheal Mites are about the only thing I can find, but are they in NZ?
  15. Just to clarify, the strips weren't in the same row, and yes they were in the brood nest. 10 frames to the brood box, so had 2 frames between the strips... kind of like this, hopefully this makes sense [||||-||-||||]. So 4 frames on the outside (|), with strips (-) between frames 4-5 and 6-7 so similar to what you suggested @frazzledfozzle. Not sure I'm explaining this very well, but hopefully you get it from the rough diagram above. Will go back into the hives again today and decide what to do and see whats left/going on. I don't want to weaken #3 for the sake of trying to save #2, but might move #1 into a nuc box with a scratched frame of honey & some syrup to reduce the amount they need to keep warm and to give them plenty to feed on. Thanks to everyone for your advice... fingers crossed I can save #2 at least. A lesson learnt... make sure the strips go in on time!
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