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About AliBee

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    Nu Bee
  1. Following up on the unextractable honey discussion - another beekeeper a few kilometres from me has experienced the same issue. So if willow is to blame, and the wasps are currently there, we should be preparing for them when the willow dew stops. Any ideas when that might be here in the Waikato? I understand from previous/other posts that it's too late for Vespex so, despite much fewer wasps around my hives than usual, we are now hunkered down here waiting for the onslaught. Mouse guards are on and reduced to a single bee space by slipping half a Perspex ruler down the back of the entrance. I've also stuck some clean hay at the sides of the base as there were a couple of dozen wasps in and out there on Sunday feeding off the ground underneath the mesh floors. There are still one or two around today but not yet trying to get inside the hive. The Perspex ruler is pretty cool as it lets you see the bees walking back and forwards inside. Good job it's school holidays and there's time to be out there several times a day checking on them!
  2. Thanks for all your feedback and advice. The honey isn't bad tasting but looks like gravy in a jar compared to last year's golden harvest. If I can work out how to post a photo I'll add it. I've noticed that there's been much fewer german wasps this year (so far and fingers crossed it will continue) and where we usually see hoards of wasps in the nashi, apples and figs there have mostly been bees this year. Maybe my bees have guzzled too much fruit? If that's the case then you can't win with wasps or without them! So, will keep the frames I have left for winter feed and make sure I don't leave it so late next season.
  3. Thanks @Rob Stockely and @Kiwifruiter - sun been out all day in the Waikato but temp hasn't been above 20 I imagine. Will give them a try at warmer temps. The car might be a good option. For interest's sake, if it were fermented would it be really obvious? No bubbling in cells etc - I googled it - can't understand why it's so dark as its in spanking new waxed wood frames.
  4. I've probably left extraction a bit late in the season (?) - but I'm also having similar issues trying to extract a full 3/4 box which looked perfect. All capped, mostly dry, none uncapped. I even borrowed a friend's 3 frame manual extractor this year and, after watching Trevor Gillbanks video (thanks Trevor - definitely much easier your way), learned how to get the best out of the cappings scratcher. However, plans not going my way as honey doesn't want to spin out of the cells at all. Thought it could be muscle power so scraped a frame down with a spoon but it's lazily sitting in the double sieve doing not at lot. The honey seems darker than usual as well as thicker. Could it be that it's crystallised, fermented? I could store it until next season but keen to hear what the forum experts have to say. Noted some comments about willow, what's the impact of having willow around?
  5. Thanks for the advice Pbee. Safety in numbers. I did a beekeeping course with Marcia Meehan before getting the bees but since having the hive this forum has been the best source of info. More often than not someone has asked the same question and its always good reading the different perspectives from around the country. Big learning curve this week for me. Hope my bees have found a nice home. Apparently it was a fairly decent sized swarm!
  6. Thanks for the feedback Janice and Trevor. Would be good to find out if there's something else I could have done to prevent them all going. If I'd been around I could have caught the swarm (they were from a swarm I got in October last year) and maybe saved some of their stores. If there's anyone in the Hamilton area keen on doing some mentoring and checking out my hive I'd be really grateful for the advice.
  7. Have come back from a few days at the beach to news from the neighbour of a swarm on their house over a couple of days and, after checking my hive realise it was my bees and they're all gone. Have checked all round our hedges and neighbours on the look-out but no sign of them. Hive still being visited by a few bees (probably not mine) and lots of wasps; dead bees and wax are piled up outside. Checking inside its a bee ghost town; boxes I could almost not lift a couple of weeks ago now as light as a feather. I'm gutted. All that's left is wax and the wasps still keen on it. Have killed a fair few wasps since I came back (much pleasure in using the hive tool to squish them, and have caught a few in a brew of chilli sauce and lemonade). Not sure what to do with the hive now so have a few questions: Is it too late to repopulate and if not, what would I need to do to prepare for new queen etc? The hive had Bayvarol, 4 strips per box, from 18/4. Possibly/probably too late and reason why the bees couldn't fight off the robbers? I had blocked off the entrance but not as small as it is now that I have, belatedly, attached the mouse guard that's been on the dining room table... If it is too late in the season for a nuc (?), what's the best way to 'store' the hive (double brood plus FD super) over winter? Can the wasps do any more damage and should I just close it up in the meantime - trapping a few inside no doubt. Advice appreciated - this is my first hive and don't want to give up just yet!
  8. No such luck re fish fertiliser. Spoke to neighbours, it was Relay, a herbicide for broadleaf weed control. Neighbours are apologetic but I'm feeling its perhaps more the fault of the contractor who sprayed it midday with wind conditions that unless he was totally clueless would have indicated it would be heading straight for the bees and fruit trees, and us meagre humans eating lunch on our deck. Hopefully next time we will get a warning and can request an early morning or late afternoon dosing. Good job we're not going organic!
  9. Thanks Janice, I'll follow up with them. Of course they knew about the spraying, so they are out!
  10. Hi all. I am in my 6th month of being a beginner beekeeper with one hive going strong since October last year. We're on a couple of acres lifestyle on the north-western outskirts of Hamilton. Having been careful about weed control etc around the orchard where the hive is, today we (and the kids) had to run inside from the strong chemical smell from contractors spraying our neighbour's 10 acre block. Its been a couple of hours and we can still smell it. There's about 20m between their sprayed paddock, across ours, to the back of the hive. I just wondered what kind of effect the drift might directly have on my girls out there and how it might affect them if they forage the sprayed clover? Also, is there anything I could have done to mitigate the situation if I'd known in advance the spray was coming?
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