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Alastair last won the day on September 8

Alastair had the most liked content!

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About Alastair

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    Field Bee


  • DECA Holder
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    Semi Commercial


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  1. Alastair

    tall hive pics

    What was the crop, and the flows, Tristan?
  2. Alastair

    tall hive pics

    Impressive. If not staged....... 😉
  3. This is an excellent video if you have a spare 1 1/4 hours. It has always been thought that varroa mites feed on bee blood. Samuel Ramsey has shown they actually feed on bee fat. Although this may not seem an overly important difference, for those of us who want to further our education, Samuel explains how this affects several dynamics of how mites reproduce and destroy beehives. Among many interesting things as part of his research, Samuel made an artificial bee larva, stocked with bee fat and not bee blood, and had a varroa mite live on it and reproduce. To date, Samuel is the only person in the world to have had a varroa reproduce on a fake larva. Enjoy the video -
  4. Alastair

    Bavarol, is it still working?

    Here's how mine were placed, right through the brood combs.
  5. Alastair

    more AP2s and inspections?

    You make a good point CBank. I'm just not sure what is going on in that advertisement. But up to now, AP2's were (with an occasional exception), only drawn from people with at least 5 years experience full time beekeeping. The advert makes it look like just about anyone can apply. I don't know if that means applicant standards are being lowered, or if the wording is not quite right. Hopefully it's the latter.
  6. Alastair

    Bee Tree Hive

    I think Phil is slowly gravitating towards using a langstroth hive
  7. Alastair

    Fake honey news

    Was it Oz or NZ honey?
  8. Alastair

    Incubator temperature fluctuations

    Also CBank, if you work a lot with PID controllers, would you be able to recommend a good quality one suitable for running an incubator?
  9. Alastair

    Incubator temperature fluctuations

    Also, PID controllers are used for much more than just temperature control, for example they may be used for balance control in aircraft, or many other uses.
  10. Alastair

    Incubator temperature fluctuations

    A lot of them have a little red led that goes on when power is going to the heating element, so you can see them in action, you can watch the temperature go up on the display, then see the red light start going on and off as the target temperature is approached. Also, here is a youtube video that shows it really well as it uses a lightbulb for the heat source, the temperature probe is put on the lightbulb. The set temperature is set at 38.6. The light stays on, but as temperature approaches 38.6 the bulb starts to pulse, and goes of completely at 38.6. Then, to hold the temerature within 0.1 of a degree it pulses, having calculated what is needed even though the gauge may or may not drop or rise.
  11. Alastair

    Incubator temperature fluctuations

    Maybe you right. But I would still like a PID. 😉
  12. Alastair

    Incubator temperature fluctuations

    True, could be done. There is an issue though. Which is, that if using a brick, tub of water, or whatever to buffer the heat, that buffer can only go up to the required temperature of the incubator, it cannot go over or the whole incubator will overheat if left closed for a long time. Which means that when the incubator has been opened it will take a long time to get fully back to the needed temperature, if it ever does. A PID controller will bring the temperature up rapidly, just, slow down once the required temperature is nearly there. They are also not much more expensive than non PID controllers, it's just a case of finding a good one. I'm sure they must exist, just, with my limited knowledge I don't know what is quality and what is a junk version.
  13. Alastair

    Incubator temperature fluctuations

    Thanks CBank. What I have at the moment is a collection of devices with various software installed, most of them are conceptually good but they have all become unreliable after a time and are on the shelf. Some of them have a cooling function also but this is not needed where I am. Right now I have nothing that works properly, luckily this season I am not raising any cells. The device you show sounds good, possibly, but it does not say if it's a PID controller, so let me first explain what a PID controller is, as against a straight on / off controller. A standard on / off controller waits till the temperature reaches a set level, then turns off power to the heating device. It then waits till temperature falls to some level, and then turns the power back on. The problem with this is there has to be temperature swings for it to work. This is also exaggerated, because when it turns on power to the heating element, it waits for the temperature to get to a certain point, then turns off. But by this time the heating element is hot, and the incubator continues getting hotter until the element has lost all it's heat so the swing is even greater. A PID controller is different. PID controllers have software that when it is first turned on, it sees how fast the incubator warms up. Based on this it calculates when the incubator will reach the desired temperature, and turns the heating element off before the temperature gets there, allowing the element to cool. The PID controller then sends pulses to the heating element, bringing the incubator closer to the desired temperature, the pulses get shorter and less frequent as the temperature gets nearer, so once the temperature is reached there is no overshoot. A good PID controller will learn what is needed to maintain the temperature, and send pulses to the heating element to maintain temperature almost exactly. A temperature genuinely within 0.1 of a degree can often be maintained by a good PID controller, but with a normal controller such accuracy is impossible, even if the device claims to ba able to do it. Some of the ones I have had, the software has been excellent and worked well, but eventually the hardware has fallen over. Seems the market is dominated by cheapo Chinese manufactured stuff, I have not been able to figure out what is actually a quality brand. All I need is something to accurately regulate heating, and send power to a humidity generator if needed. I did not need cooling, or humidity reduction. When I had one that was working accurately, the quality of the queens was superb. I would like to be able to set one up again, but want reliable equipment, not something I'm worried about. The device you linked MIGHT be able to do that, but it does not actually state that it is a PID controller, which makes me suspect it probably isn't. My guess is a straight on / off controller would be OK for brewing. On the plus side it does have a solid state relay, this is a must for a PID controller because of the frequent pulsing and on / off cycles.
  14. Alastair

    Fake honey news

    I hope the current situation will be remembered as one of several reasons we should never dirty ourselves, and our country's reputation, with imported honey. Despite whatever assurances may be given us by the exporting country, which in this case were offered but would have turned out to be bogus.