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Everything posted by cBank

  1. @The Frasers, I’ve made a lot of mistakes and I’m sure you haven’t made all these but in case you have: 1) Sugar shake a cup of bees from good brood frames. Don’t shake ones from frames that aren’t all brood if you can avoid it. Do this more than once to confirm the results. The real result is from an alcohol wash but I’m too chicken/soft for that. I recommend watching a few YouTube videos of sugar shaking, as it is pretty wild the first few times. 2) Look into some drone brood. It’s gross and it pretty horrible to cut it out and pull it apart, but what’s happening there is eye opening. 3) Check your strong hives too with sugar shakes, the ones that look great. In my (limited) experience, they are just as bad or worse than the ones that look iffy. I suspect this is from robbing but it’s truely startling how bad the varroa can be in a hive that has a nice brood pattern, good numbers and otherwise appears ok (to me at least). 4) Listen to the others here! I’m yet to have a poor suggestion from the people who’ve chimed in on this thread.
  2. I did a move of about 10 metres in a series of small, tedious hops. It was quite funny. If it was sunny they would hang around the old site, but if it was windy, dark or rainy they were fine to go home and none stayed out.
  3. Any updateS @WebKiwiNZ? I’ve liked reading about your progress.
  4. Pretty hard to do it blinded - the strips are obvious and even once removed the OA strips leave signs for a while.
  5. I’m wanting to update the summary document, including making it shorter. This who-dunit is very interesting. To add to @kaihoka’s comment about damp, my formerly damp hives have only just started to come right now. All got OA and all had bad varroa which reduced fast.
  6. I’ve always found it interesting how some queens won’t go near the wire and some will.
  7. Good thought, thanks. The queen was marked and the laying stopping coincided with an inspection, so I assumed that when I couldn’t find her. The swarm happened very close the day the cell hatched. I need to check my diary but I think it swarmed the day it hatched or the next day. This seems more like standard swarming doesn’t it...
  8. I had a hive go queenless (it’s likely I killed her by accident). It was a strong hive and getting big fast. There were quite a few emergency cells, so I made 2 splits with the best ones and left 2 nice ones in the hive. They’ll sort it out and the best queen will win right? Yup, they sorted it out. What an idiot. It filled 6 undrawn frames easily and they are drawn out after a day - I went in to remove the sticks etc that went in when I cut the hedge into the box.
  9. Great timing for me too. My new queens are due for there flights.
  10. Did you do anything to help clear it up? Keeping crowding to a minimum seems the only tip I can find - though presumably all the other things one can do are needed too (warm, dry, fed, varroa free and a good work/life balance).
  11. Interesting. I’ll keep an eye on them. Thanks. It’s definitely not the queen, she is rather more normal looking, but very dark. There are a lot of very dark bees around me (and in my hives). I’ve seen them in flowers too and their behaviour seems normal.
  12. @jamesc, how much OA went into each box? It would be interesting to have a dosage, though it would seem unlikely that yours was meaningfully different to anyone else’s, but at least it would be a data point. I ODed a hive and it’s obliterated the mites, but it’s a long way off being healthy.
  13. I struggle with the dark ones. It took me 3 runs through to find one this afternoon as I was splitting and didn’t want to mess things up. My finding skills aren’t great, but she is very good at hiding. Most her workers are half breed mongrels, but some that are basically black. They are very good natured though, and that’s key for me.
  14. My god yes. Stupid definitely took effect. Strange little scenario playing out in a hive here. I had a look at a hive that had a bad varroa count, and again 6 weeks into OA/GL it has now counted zero varroa two weeks in a row. It has been struggling though while the others are booming. The queen looks like she has been through the wars. I noticed that there are 3 or 4 eggs per cell, relatively tidy though and not like when I had a laying worker. I found a hatched queen cell. Maybe mother and daughter are living together with the daughter having recently started laying? I’ve closed up and will leave them for a bit.
  15. Is it worth getting a varroa count before stupid take effect?
  16. @john berry, I have come to like them (despite the mass of plastic) because them seem to reduce moisture in my very damp Auckland climate. This may be unrelated to the base and may just be a perception thing or somehow related to some hives just making more moisture. Do you have a view on this aspect of ventilated bases?
  17. Oh nice, so your’s pick trees that are a PITA to get them out of too. I helped someone get a swarm out the top of bamboo last year. That was all sorts of alarming.
  18. I’ve noticed that hives seem to go from mild chewing to ravenous chomping when the population steeply increases. I’m at maybe 10-15 frames of brood in a couple of hives and they are taking apart staples in a fortnight. My slower hives haven’t touched the staples. I wouldn’t replace, but would follow the brood. Sugar shakes have gone from 13 to zero, with one still at 2. That seems too good for a month of staples so I’ll recount soon. The most varroa infested hive looked fine and had a nice brood pattern a month ago. Now it has a terrible pattern and less bees, so suspect the treatment and OA has been hard on them.
  19. I’ve got a few that needs the brakes put on. There are numerous cups on numerous frames and lots of drone brood. No eggs in the cups yet, but they can’t be far away. Think I’ll be splitting in the next week or 2.
  20. @Sam Bees 21 it would be worth checking on them after a week. I have put a full box of undrawn frames above an excluder before (because I had no drawn ones) and found they won’t go up. I then took a brood frame that was nearly hatched and put it in the middle and put an undrawn one down in the brood. It might not be best practice but it worked.
  21. I’ve found that the Ceracell mats made of ‘Weathertex’ have helped, in a randomised and controlled trial of 1. The ones made of hardboard absorb water and get a bit sad. It hadn’t occurred to be before but the comment from @john berry may be the reason. Outside of late summer/autumn there is a continual slow flow and it’s damp already and the bees are adding to it. A lot of the water is definitely coming from inside the hive. If it gets really bad I switch out the boxes and dry them in my basement as they can be completely waterlogged.
  22. I’ve had the odd fermented one and have shaken out what I could then put then into hives. I have done this as a single frame or maybe 2 at most. I’d imagine that putting on full boxes of fermented nectar would cause a problem.
  23. There was discussion earlier in this thread (I can’t find it now) about Staples and strips being in at the same time, and that being a bad idea as the interactions are unknown. Residue build up in wax and Staples in a hive together would seem a similar issue.
  24. I’d suggest having nothing there for them to shelter in and check just after dark that there isn’t a clump if them sitting somewhere. Wet weather or darkness seems to get them to find a home pretty fast. If there are any in the nuc you could shake them out at the hive entrance.
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