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The Frasers

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About The Frasers

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    Beginner Beekeeper


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    Lower Hutt

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  1. We found and purchased Bayvarol on Saturday morning and as it calmed down to turn to the south in the afternoon, put four strips into the brood frames of each box in both hives. No dead bees outside the front of the small hive, or pedestrians. It's bare earth all around it and they are immediately visible. The oxalic home treatment was an experiment that grew out of a try with paper towels soaked and dried as described by Randy Oliver, laid across the brood box frames. Oxalic seemed to be a substance that mites don't evolve to tolerate. Our towels appeared to our VERY limited keeper experience to be working, with mites in very low numbers in brood and bees. The mixture was Randy's later 1:1:0.5 or as Alastair put it 2:2:1 Our bees left some towels alone except for gluing them to the frames but chewed most to bits in a fortnight or so and clogged the base with fibres. Changing from towels to tree tie tape was a left field experiment with no precedent and seems to have had a bad reaction. Again, with no proof. The tape was propylised, the brood pattern became patchy over the three months the tapes were in the small hive but not the bigger one. Mites appeared to still be controlled. But as the Forum points out, there is far more to healthy bees than applications of homemade remedies and wishes. We're going to patent remedies again, rotating, and listening closely to advice. And thank you for your guidance.
  2. Sugar shake Take #1 completed, on 250ml of bees, - "no, I don't want to go in that jar, and neither do the rest of us!" and 1 mite to show for it. Take #2 scheduled for when I'm forgiven. We have 2 hives, one that was always in full sun and one in part shade. The big one, the full sun one has moved slightly to a "more sensible" shall she say, spot and the smaller, subject hive, condensed to one three-quarter box and moved into the light and is now rid of wax moth evidence and condensation and brooding well. Not excellently, just well with a second year queen. Both hives have had homemade oxalic strips installed and the large hive still has one. These are hessian tree tie tape soaked 12 hours in 1:1:0.5 oxalic glycerine water and squeezed dry through old wringer rollers. One per hive, 300mm long, across the top of the brood. Too much, I'd venture, for one brood box but enough for two as the bigger hive has typically 1-2 mites per check over two brood boxes. We agree that a substitute treatment is about due and have used Bayvarol in the past before the oxalic. Apivar then probably. Hopefully this helps with the diagnosis but the mite disease portfolio sounds like being on the money. Thank you Trevor, Alastair, and CraBee for your input. Gold.
  3. Thank you Trevor. Breaking out the icing sugar....
  4. Last evening sat outside the "small hive" watching the comings and goings, I noticed a worker emerge, walk down the base to ground level and strike out on foot straight away from the hive. She seemed to pause three or four times then about a metre out, fell over and became inert. A minute or so later another worker repeated the performance almost exactly. I went over and picked them up looking for signs of wing damage, chewing, stings given or received. Nothing. Over a half-hour around ten bees did this as dusk fell. I noticed that the pauses looked like swift cleaning episodes, hind legs wiping down the sides of the abdomen, and not all of them did it. Some appeared hunched, some didn't. I came inside. This morning I fixed the roof of that hive, and sat and watched. There were no more bees on the ground out front than last night and in total there were about twenty of varying age among the litter. Then a solitary worker flew out and landed maybe twenty centimetres in front, and then walked the five metres into the bush stopping to groom a couple of times and not looking back. Bizarre. Supporting evidence: Last weekend a frame of brood and a frame of stores were put into a second brood box topped up with drawn comb and the box added to the hive since it was coming back from a slow build-up in shade this season. The nurses shaken back into the donor hive. An oxalic Varroa strip which was probably contributing to patchy laying was removed at that time. To relocate out of the site shade, the hive had been on holiday for a fortnight to the other side of the Hutt Valley and had fresh brood and more bees on its return a fortnight ago. The new site has good sun, little wind, is in ancient gorse and native regrowth, and has Red Wasps observed wandering by on occasion. Could they be attacking the hive? The hive is otherwise happy and healthy, docile enough to be looked into without gear but with caution, and foraging well. In a week they have begun capping the top third of one side of two of the drawn three-quarter frames. But we'd really like to know if you Wise Ones can explain the weird behavior and tell us what it means. Thanks.
  5. How did that happen? Sorry, my bad. Thank you Trevor.
  6. Thank you all for your contributions and cheery banter on this topic. I try to love roaches, I really do. Nature's survivors for sure. But... nah. Sorry. I have nightmares about finding them in extracted honey. Maybe I should do a course on them too and find out that they really aren't icchy at all! I'll try the snail bait idea but I am prepared for the inevitable: the cockroaches are gonna win.
  7. Thank you Team. Yes, John B would be a good man to approach and I'll do so at the next Club meeting. RolandO: Somebody will point out to me how to send PM's I'm sure, but how about linking up for knowledge-sharing? Cheers.
  8. Sneaking a peek under the lids of our hives yesterday because it's too cold to open, one of them has numerous cockroaches diving for cover among the frames. Numerous as in maybe five, and ranging from around 5mm to around 12mm. I replaced the lid and came back in half an hour to the same sort of activity. I'd be very surprised if they were the same roaches and that seems to suggest an infestation. Advice please, on whether cockroaches in a hive are BAD and what to do about it. Ought the girls to be dealing to them? If not why not. Thanks.
  9. Due to a recently-occurring event, a few of us beginner keepers in the Valley now find ourselves without the help, guidance, and hive inspections we valued so much. We are seeking to establish a new rapport with another mentor and are looking for direction in doing this. We'd thought that the job would suit a senior or retired keeper with AFB and bee disease credentials and the patience to steer inexperienced individuals down the right path. Recompense and all the tea they can drink will be supplied on site. Thanks, John.
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