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Philippa Thomas

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About Philippa Thomas

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  • Swarm Collection Area
    New Plymouth
  • DECA Holder
  • Beekeeping Experience
    Semi Commercial
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  • Location
    New Plymouth

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  1. I had some lovely tasting honey taken off late March, pale yellow from very yellow wax and cappings, I also thought most likely from cats ear as it was flowering prolifically at the time. Mid Jan extracted very light honey from similarly coloured frames, most likely lotus major as there was a good flowering then that the bees were working keenly.
  2. And the honey will have to be rather hot before that happens. Does lexy mind what the texture is like or does he/she just want to get it into jars?
  3. I have done this before with solidified buckets, but the water needs to be a lot hotter than 37 degrees or it will not work. The honey in the bucket will not reach the temperature of the water if it is only left in there until it is thin enough to pot and is stirred frequently. Just keep checking the temperature of the honey with a thermometer. More hot water will need to be added to the bath frequently. These days I only extract when I know I can pot straight after, and anything extracted after December is creamed, this as a result of experiencing much of the above. I put some of my very first honey harvest in the freezer to stop it crystallizing, and six months later it had set into the finest texture I have ever seen. There was no detectable crystals at all, much like butter. I used it to cream my next season's batch and thereafter.
  4. I have never tried the paste, but love the patties. They are so convenient to use - I get a 20 kg box which does me two rounds, do the first round and put the rest in the freezer for next round. They come out fine.
  5. Thanks Strips were bought from Ceracell 5 days before putting in the hives and only opened as they were being put in. And I reduced the entrances at the same time. Was late getting the honey off and strips in due to harvesting...note to oneself to do better next year. Thankfully no sign of PMS on brood frames, will check again in 10 days and advise. Still a large amount of brood in the worst affected hives which is probably half the trouble...we need some decent cold weather to slow the ladies down. And the local beekeeping supplies couple, Ray and Barbara Scott are the best. Advice on anything to do with beekeeping is freely given without hesitation. He has a true passion for bees and I owe him a lot.
  6. I would say approx half to three quarters Just had a chat to the local bee supplies guy who thought that it may be recently hatched bees that are the problem as the strips have only been in for one and a half brood cycles...he suggested waiting 10 days and doing another shake.
  7. Yes. Didn't realise that Bayvarol and Apistan were essentially the same treatment and thought I was doing so. There was no amitraz treatments in the country at the time...back in stock now so will grab some.
  8. So do you recommend using the alternative chemical ie apitraz in the affected hives?
  9. Advice needed please. Noticed dvw on bees outside about 5 of my hives, and quite a few dead and dying bees on the ground. Apistan went into all hives on 30 March. Usually use Apitraz but couldn't get it and use Bayvarol in the spring. Did a sugar shake and there were 25 mites per one third of a 500 ml container. Does this indicate resistance? Have never used Apistan before, but who knows where the varroa came from. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Checked several brood frames on the samples hive and it appeared ok.
  10. Our bulk diesel price is down to 60something...would have been nice if it was that at the beginning of the silage/maize harvesting season, not the end
  11. I agree, it hurts to part with the dosh. But it should last for next season as well, so looking at it that way, it doesnt seem so bad. And the bait stations are a one-off. The public that enjoy the reserve bordering our land will also be glad to be free of the black beggars. Ouch...yellow and black
  12. I got the 1.5 kg pail, plus 30 extra bait stations - courier was about $22. All up came to about $320. The wasps are taking it.
  13. Found and dealt with seven more nests today, and in the process saw bees working elaeagnus, even though the plants were shaded...it has a very pleasant perfume, a little like jasmine. My vespex has arrived, after five days in transit.
  14. At the risk of getting in trouble...if I find a nest on someone else's land I ask for their permission to deal with it, which is invariably yes. If on conservation land, which quite a bit borders on ours, a quiet puff of permethrin only hurts the wasps and helps everyone else. Job done.
  15. Thanks everyone for the helpful tips. The threat to hives from wasps, especially a weak one is very real, but it is also their competition for food sources that bugs me (pun intended). Pohutukawa, rata vines, bottle brush and banksia are some that come to mind. It seems that large numbers of wasps on the flowers deter the bees - it was very evident summer 2018/19 which was a bad wasp year for us. The pohutukawas and rates were thick with wasps and hardly a bee on them, whereas this season after a cold wet spring and fewer wasps, the opposite was true. The dry summer has certainly seen their numbers grow back. Happily, my vespex is in transit, so hopefully I get a chance to use it - will test first to see if it will be effective.
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