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Posts posted by Markypoo

  1. Hi all

    I have started a new job in the deep south. I have had to remove my 4 hives from the school farm at my own job, as well as move my own hives to my block of land in Central Otago. My new school has already requested a hive, which I have delivered.  I now find myself with a tad more than I need and am resisting the urge to allow hive creep occur.

    My plan is to take the FD brood boxes of the weaker hives and either squash the queen or bank her in a nuc as a spare and use the newspaper method to combine with another.  In theory this should give me a couple of monster hives. My problem is the FD brood boxes. I am thinking that after a couple of weeks, I will remove a frame or two and space them out, so the bees can use them as a honey super for the season. Food shouldn't be a problem as they are flat stick gathering nectar from somewhere, and a local beek assures me the thyme flow will start soon, then the white clover.

    Apart from the obvious weight issues of the FD honey super, is this a sound plan?

    I am confident enough in my own abilities now that should I want to increase my numbers, I could replace them easily enough.

  2. 38 minutes ago, tommy dave said:

    2-3 days tops for clearing out wets...

    edit: oh, and don't do it during a flow...

    I was just basically storing them on top of the hive. I had meant to put a hivemat on top of the feeder, but never got round to it.

    • Like 1
  3. Opened up the school hives today for a look. One of the hives I had put a feeder above it, then sitting on that I had placed a box of wets to be cleaned out. I left it like that all winter. So today I lifted off the wet box and the feeder and took a look. Empty frames, very few bees. So my hive died, I thought. But that didn't seem right because it had been very active at the entrance. There were a large amount of bees sitting in the feeder, so I take a peek in the wet box. The queen had migrated up through the broodbox, through the feeder and up into the aforementioned wet box, now merrily laying and 5 frames of brood. I hadn't realsed a queen would move that far. My only experience has been queens finding the lightest gap in a queen excluder and being in the wrong place.

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  4. Had a bit of a stuff up. I am taking up a new job in a couple of months, so planning in advance, a while back I squashed some queens I felt were not performing and merged some hives. The aim to reduce numbers to make moving easier. since I am going 300km. Unfortunately owing to drought conditions (probably), mice got into my hives way earlier than I expected and have had a field day in a couple. A strong hive a few weeks ago had barely any movement so I popped the lid for a check. Lesson learned for me, put the mouse guards on early in a drought.

    I am not overly concerned as I am confident in my own abilities now to make queens and do splits, so can replace them easily, but it is a bit gutting to see a strong hive decimated because of your mistake.

    Oh well, I should have some good swarm traps ready! .

    • Sad 1
  5. The evidence from overseas is that selection for resistance to mites is probably the better long term goal IMO.  The Purdue ankle biters spring to mind. And there are other programs as well.  Thermal treatment is likely to be out reach of small scale hobbyists, especially if you run topbars or long langs.




  6. 14 hours ago, yesbut said:

    And seemingly have your vocation under control enough to pop back up here ! Well done. 🙂

    Yes its been busy. As soon as school locked down we had 2 weeks to try and work out how to turn our courses into online classes. And during that holiday time students were emailing requesting work as they were bored after a week. Now I can go back to reading NZBees during my breaks.

    • Like 2
  7. On 14/05/2020 at 12:15 PM, James @ Hivesite said:

    Thanks for your feedback @Markypoo, looks like I can't go back and edit the poll, so we will assume that when anyone selects $30 it will include less than.

    We are starting from a pretty vague understanding from MPI which indicated that before Varroa introduction into NZ beekeepers could manage 800 hives vs 350 now.


    Incidentally are you vaporizing, making your own strips with glycerin or other?




    Make my own strips. Its only a couple of dollars per hive. I have never used synthetics. But I am not a commercial. Only a hobbyist. Plus I run topbars and long langstroths.

    • Like 1
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  8. 4 weeks ago, I went into one of my best producing hives, with an older queen, with the intention of grafting from it. The queen was gone, and there were a couple of queen cells, that looked to be a day or two away from being capped. I had a look in yesterday and couldn't see any larvae or eggs, but found 2 queen cells. There was a reasonable amount of capped brood, in an arc around empty broodcells. My suspicion is that a queen emerged, was laying around existing brood, but they have tried to supercede her quite quickly. Owing to the timeframe I would suspect that a queenright hive wouldn't be building new queen cells, even if it was on a brood break.

    My plan is to go in, and remove the cells, then merge it with a queen right  nuc. What your thoughts?


  9. With the home mixes, I have seen videos of people mixing their own brews up. I use 35% OA by weight. So I actually weigh 35g of OA and 65g Glycerine. I have yet to lose a hive.

    I watched a video where the the mix was 40% by volume. The beek mixing it used 2 cups of OA powder and 3 cups to Glycerine. To me that would only be 10-15%, if that.

    I wonder if it was effective, as much as higher doses or at all.


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  10. On 2/02/2020 at 12:53 PM, yesbut said:

    I have a little problem. I have four harvested hives. I am about to squash two Qs and combine to end up with two hives. Three Qs are nice yellow jobs, number four is a swarm Q I scored who is jet black and produces really attractive stripey/grey bees  which are a rarity around here.

    There are no temperamental or production issues apparent. The problem is I can't decide....

    Keep the black one. That way you will judge for yourself how accurate all the claims made about carnis and hybrids are. 

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  11. I had a few issues last year. I should have requeened a couple of hives that had some old queens in them. Due to some health issues my wife was having it got put on the back burner, and the queens went through another winter and the hives tried to supercede end of august/early september. Way too early down here IMO. One was fine, but the other had issues with what was probably a poorly mated queen and it took a couple of frames of eggs to get them to have another go. This year I want to do autumn mating. Do I need to make it late as possible or will it not matter if I start the process this month? I don't think 6-8 weeks is going to make all that much difference.

    From reading this forum, it sounds as if Autumn matings was the normal way to do things. But as a newbie, I had gotten the impression that spring was when things had to be done.

  12. I give to Oxfam, which provides poultry, goats and bees, as well as training, to help people earn and income and provide food. We don't take part in the xmas excess, I won't even do secret santa at school, instead I purchased bees and a flock of chickens for Vanuatu on behalf of the staff.





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  13. At school I had 2 hives, with carniolan queens and all black drones. I caught a swarm from an italian hive down the gully and hived it below the tree where I caught it. About 20m from the other hives.. All golden drones. Within 2 days there were black drones in the italian hive and golden drones running around the carni hives.

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  14. A little article about those 3% of deniers.



    For those who don't want to read it. Here is a good quote. 

    There is a 97% expert consensus on a cohesive theory that’s overwhelmingly supported by the scientific evidence, but the 2–3% of papers that reject that consensus are all over the map, even contradicting each other. The one thing they seem to have in common is methodological flaws like cherry picking, curve fitting, ignoring inconvenient data, and disregarding known physics.


    and here is the link to the paper the article is based on.



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  15. 4 minutes ago, Gino de Graaf said:

    Why do we discuss temps? 

    Take the big picture, humans consumerism is destroying earth.

    Business want us to be wasteful, throw it away. Makes production cheap and affordable for all to throw away

    I agree totally. But they are linked.

    • Agree 1
  16. 1 hour ago, frazzledfozzle said:

    111 years of record keeping.

    How many years have humans been on this planet ?

    How many years has this planet been the making ?


    111 years is the blink of an eye.

    And that's the thing. The earth has been much hotter AND much colder in the past. But also in the past, transitioning to those stages took places over many thousands of years. Not in mere decades. Things are going to change so fast that we will struggle to adapt. The Permian-Triassic extinction event, aka "The Great Dying" had temperatures 8 degrees higher than now. And we lost a huge amount of life forms. Over 90% of marine species becoming extinct for a start. 

    Personally I believe it is far too late for us to have any effect. We have started on a wild ride with a very real risk that my kids won't get to my age, or at the very least, without a drastic change in lifestyle. Piecemeal attempts like banning plastic bags while ignoring the much greater quantities wrapping the food is nonsense and far too late anyway. If all we get is severe storms, droughts, flooding, extreme cold due to the meandering polar vortex etc, we can count ourselves lucky. 


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  17. 2 hours ago, kaihoka said:


     do you think the farmer you brought the calves from was lying .?

    Nah. They really believed they were clear. So did the stock agent who was arranging sales of their calves. Not a problem for us as the ones I sold were going into a slaughter herd. The 2 I kept have shown no issues. Bobby calves reared on milk powder and physically separate from other cows are at pretty low risk.

    • Thanks 1
  18. 15 hours ago, Alastair said:

    Thanks Matt.


    To find out, i've done a google, turns out a monthly update is published. The number of "active" farms is now 23. Which must mean an improvement because it used to be in the hundreds.





    I would say its a lot more than that. I think the number of active farms refers to farms being directly supervised by MPI. Their website is not that clear, but there appears to be another 200 or so that may or do have it but not under the same level of control. https://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/dmsdocument/29192-legal-notices-map


    I got some calves last year for the school farm. I found a agent in canterbury who directed me to a "Clear" farm that was selling bobby calves (since the numbers at the local bobby calf auctions had all but disappeared. 4 months later, after I had sold 4 of them (luckily to a butcher who raises them for slaughter) we get contacted to say that the farm had bovis present and where were the calves. My neighbour raised 16 from various sources. Sold them to 4 different properties before finding at least 1 lot he brought in were infected and he is now potentially responsible for a mini outbreak. Not his fault as he purchasing from properties already tested clear.

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