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Alastair

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Everything posted by Alastair

  1. If the larva died it will be white mush and won't rattle in the cell. If the lava is alive and close to hatching it will rattle and you can feel and hear that. Course, you got to be careful how hard you rattle it. 😉
  2. Yes. When I've got spare cells that i can't use i sometimes open them for a look, I have found varroa inside several times. According to the internet, varroa do not go into queen cells. But the internet is incorrect on this occasion. 😉
  3. Yes, if hives improve over time with exposure to OA, that might also favour the idea of a beneficial effect on pathogen levels. It would be interesting to see statistically, if there is an effect on AFB infestations. Course such a study would have to be done across thousands of hives, or more probably, tens of thousands.
  4. Excellent Thanks John. The abstract of the first study discusses the matter but does not get into the effect of varroa on the claimed mortality, but the rest of the study is behind a paywall. But the other study has some very useful and specific information. A well done study, nice work finding it. 👍 And there you go Phil, despite the objections, I have found a positive for you. I raised the matter because if myself and others are going to be using OA, we may as well also understand it.
  5. LOL, yes. Beneficial to the bees, harmful to the pathogen. 😉 Thank you, that is the answer I was looking for. No need to find the paper John, if you read it, good enough for me. Re the method of administration, almost certainly if the study authors wanted the OA to be ingested, it would have been administered via a dribble, or perhaps mixed in syrup. To me, it seemed reasonable that some ingested OA could be a negative for some pathogens, but of course i didn't know that. And the reason for my question in the first place, is that the most reasonable assumption why my hives are showing shotgun brood in the OA treated hives, is that for whatever reason, some of the OA is getting into the larval food supply. So I'm wondering if this could also have an upside, in terms of reduced pathogens.
  6. That's how dribble is done, and why I wouldn't do it. However seems people are getting hung up about spotty brood, when that was not my original question. I'm seeing spotty brood in OA treated hives and not in bayvarol treated hives. That's a fact, and I don't need to debate or question it on a forum. My question was if OA is in the food, would that have a beneficial effect on pathogens?
  7. Sorry Phil I do not have a link to the study I refer to, but here is a link to another that got similar results. I'll let you read it for yourself, most of your questions are answered. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/289347839_Indirect_effects_of_oxalic_acid_administered_by_trickling_method_on_honey_bee_brood
  8. Hi Stoney I've never used oxalic dribble. But some years back when i was experimenting with oxalic vapour I got a shotgun brood pattern when i overdosed hives with a lot of open nectar in the broodnest. That was after several weeks of finding combs of eggs but never any larvae. I did some research and found that oxalic acid is very toxic to larvae just emerged from the egg if fed to them even in very low doses. OA dribble has sugar and some necessarily is licked up by the bees and ends up in the food supply. Just one dribble per year is not normally enough to cause a problem, but a study done in England found that hives dribbled twice in autumn had 30% less brood next spring than colonies that had no dribble.
  9. But most of mine are just average colonies. The "big thumpers" do seem to be less likely to have a shotgun brood pattern but my question was not about that, it was about the ones that do have a shotgun brood pattern.
  10. First time using this so have done some hives with staples and some with bayvarol. Have just completed doing the 4 week strip replacement, and have noticed that a lot (not all) the hives with staples have a scattered brood pattern compared to the bayvarol'ed hives, I'm theorising that some OA has entered the food supply and killing just emerged eggs. Expecting this situation to right itself over time. We now live in a time where our bees have pathogens of all types, that were just not a factor in pre varroa days. If my theory about some OA in the food is correct and a lot of larvae have a higher than normal level of OA in their stomachs, I'm wondering if this might have a positive effect on pathogen levels. Just a theory, any thoughts?
  11. Another day perhaps, today has been a long one.
  12. He keeps saying he will share something amazing with us, but doesn't actually do it unless i watch his next 50 videos. Not going to, because he might get to the point with some groundbreaking fact, or he might not.
  13. I wish. Have a look to the right, you will see a bottom board and lid. That is a hive that went queenless in winter, too late to requeen so it was combined with the next door hive, it will be re-split when I have queen cells. Although a number of those hives did get a third box today, apiary on the whole looking pretty good. The pic was taken before I worked the bees.
  14. . Final pre flow round completed today. AFB check, varroa mite check, make sure nothing is starving, swarm control, super up if needed, boost anything weak.
  15. Wow still in singles no wonder they are starting to hang!! Nice work on the queen cells how will you be using them?
  16. I don't know anything about this project but can only assume it is being run on a shoestring. Problem with sending 2 unmated queens to a hobbyist is that there is around a 50% odds that one of them will not mate. (25% per queen). So that will dent the results.
  17. It's not just time. It's the fact that you could raise say 50 cells in one or two hives, hatch them into cages and ship them. To do 50 mated queens you would probably need say, 70 nucleus colonies, which would have to be stocked with bees (a drain on your other colonies), fed, managed for a month or so, and paid for. Hence the price difference, and the keeness of some to sell virgins rather than mated queens.
  18. LOL John i thought you were going to say your open day was like a visit to Dee's apiary. 😄 Here is a link to an article about an experiment Dee did that demonstrated thelytoky in her bees. I'm not sure the author got all his facts quite right but anyhow the idea is there. https://beesource.com/point-of-view/dee-lusby/historical-data-on-the-influence-of-cell-size/thelytoky-in-a-strain-of-u-s-honey-bees-apis-mellifera-l/
  19. . Capensis are not the only African bees to show thelytoky. There was a discussion on Beesource a few years back about just what the "lusbees" might be, and some knowledgeable scientific types weighed in. Capensis was certainly brought up as a likely candidate but another guy felt that capensis are too area and flora specific, they are contained in a narrow area in Africa and died out when a commercial operation using them tried moving them. Another breed ended up being the most likely candidate, unfortunately I cannot remember the name but they were from northern Africa, and show similar traits to the Lusbees.
  20. I'll say one thing, her bees are tough. Kill anything, mites included. Also best I can tell (and i have read Dees writings extensively), nowadays her bees get almost no attention other than having honey taken once a year, if there is any. But they survive, and any that do die are re populated by swarms. Her bees also practise thelytoky, the exact breed has never been identified but a number of African strains practise thelytoky. When the honey flows in that area there can be strong flow, it could be that normal European honeybees might also do well there, although I suspect they would likely require more management. . Should add, what is normally referred to as africanised bees, are bees of the scutelata strain or part scutelata. But Scutelata do not practise thelytoky so we know that Dees bees are not that or at least not much, they are something else. Because the exact strain has never been officially identified, and does not appear to exist anywhere else in the US, they have got the nickname "Lusbees". Nobody knows how they got to the US, it is theorised there was an illegal importation at some point, but nobody knows, or if they do, they are not telling. Dee has been banned from selling bees to other areas, govt does not want these bees taking hold. It may also be that they could not survive in different climate and areas of the US. Also, in the US where you can be sued huge bucks for just about anything, owning such bees in an area where there are people would be a high risk.
  21. . Commercial bees of Dees 😉 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEp9YqUE7kA
  22. Yup rain, day in, day out, howling gale most of the time, get's a bit tiresome. Have tried to minimise sugar feeding this spring due to low honey price but some hives right on the breadline and weeks go by where they just can't collect anything for themselves. And oh, got bogged last week and spent around 4 hours to get out.
  23. Well margarine is a petrochemical concoction, so might as well be contained in a petrochemical concoction. When TV news showed that old rubbish dump that got washed out by the river, it showed rubbish spread along beaches, among it was magarine containers that had been buried decades ago, they still looked brand new.
  24. I tried tobacco, in fact ran a thread on it here a few years ago. I'm a non smoker but read somewhere that tobacco was what those "old timers" used, so grew some in the garden and got a very large crop. Dried and put in the smoker but wow it does really stink in a smoker for some reason it was a bit unpleasant, the bees did not respond to it as well as the normal sacking i use. My friend was a roll your own smoker so he tried some of my home grown with me watching, said it tasted fine, but he had to keep sucking on it constantly or it would go out. Must be cause it didn't have all those chemicals they add to the bought stuff. I still have a large cardboard box packed with dried tobacco leaves.
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