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About dacrebankbees

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    Nu Bee


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    Beginner Beekeeper


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  1. Thanks @Dave Aky your discussion is really interesting, loving the feedback. I am only learning and this is such an interesting subject. This swarming business is pretty tricky!
  2. I have a bunch of full boxes and some 3/4 - I've been trying to put one FD on the bottom because I never have to lift it and then a 3/4. Because the first year the bees filled the second FD box with honey and it was so heavy I struggled to lift/maneuver it (and I am young and I thought quite strong...) - there was no brood in it at all and I got a whole bucket of honey off it. So maybe if you did go back to 2 boxes you could try one of each. What your suggesting sounds interesting though I hope it works out.
  3. oh dear. thats a good point about not realizing the true cause. @everyone : thanks for the good info - there is only so much you can learn from a book - so its nice to read other peoples opinions, and to discuss these things and make informed decisions
  4. @M4ttI see your have already done the homework for me - I was only going for 11 hives max so well down on the economy of scale. @kaihoka now it appears there are too many hives already - 400,000 too many is quite an overstep, but I can see its difficult to stop expansion. Can we access a GPS map of sites and numbers of hives? I would be interested to see how many are in my area. I feel a bit guilty about my 2 now! @tristan are bees more likely to rob hives than to forage for food if there is plenty? I have been trying to find out more about how the 'dead rob out' situation comes about - do you mean some unobservant person has not noticed (or hasn't been looking enough) that they have AFB and their hive dies out and then other peoples bees come and steal what honey was in the box. Or the hive is struggling because there isn't enough food about and they haven't been fed so they become weak enough to rob. ?
  5. That really doesn't surprise me. I am only feeling we are in a good place because of the riverbed and its many hectares of flowering scrub - but one year and one growing hive isn't a yardstick. Though the other beekeeper who has hives here has hauled the most honey out of our place of all his hives this year I believe. With regards to my old gear - so far I have seen nothing obviously and they are really making plenty of honey and lots of lovely brood in all stages - but thats a great idea about the dog. Could you please contact me on 02108436792. I think it would be good to check it out before I make anymore investment in extra gear, or become at potential risk to someone else.
  6. I hear you, though I am a bit reluctant to burn my dads rimu hive - the bees were killed by the neighbours irresponsible spray practice in that case he saw it happen. You might be able to answer something I have been curious about - apart from knowing AFB spores last forever, is how long could you have bees in a hive before it shows infection, or could it just sit there for years and suddenly pop up? What about biosecurity, are you likely to transfer AFB unwittingly on your bee suits and tools between apiary sites - do any beekeepers even worry about that?
  7. Thanks that's good advice, and food for thought. I'm glad I asked the questions, and that you have asked some hard ones back. I know more than I did this morning anyway.... I will firstly endevour not to join the ranks of idiots
  8. Hi Pinnacle, Thanks for your positive reply. I don't want to jump in blind, and some of my questions are a bit premature but its really the question of buying an extractor that has pushed it along. I will do a couple of seasons and see how I manage looking after the two I have when things are hectic. I bought top feeder frames specifically so I could feed them without opening the hive so it can be done anytime or weather. I will look into what or who is available to help me out with regards to extraction or selling excess to, there sure are plenty of beekeepers in canterbury. thanks
  9. Ouch Tristan, I can tell you have seen this go wrong a time or two.... This really started out because a friend pointed out I could pursue keeping more hives, and I'm thinking of spending $500 on a manual extractor....so I thought I'd explore the possibilities before I buy something that could end up gathering dust. We don't load our farm with nitrogen so we have a high white clover content in our pasture, why harvest it only as milk? As a farmer of livestock and a production animal vet I know commitment when I see it - being owner operators we don't have staff to relive us, we work every day (and some of the night). I hope that you will give me the benefit that I am neither unskilled nor stupid. I have no desire to put hives elsewhere. At home I can access them whenever it suits me being self employed - and I can drive past them almost daily which I find an added bonus, its nice to see them going about their business. Thankyou for your comments regarding extraction - all good points, I will have to do a bit of research on whats available locally. I have been thinking of joining the local beekeeping club as well. At the least if I could legally sell or barter my surplus honey to people I know that would be very rewarding for me. And don't worry I wasn't planning on overnight expansion, I'll focus on getting my two new hives fully established.
  10. Hi everyone, I have two hives I just started this season - for fun and honey obviously because its always been something I've been interested in. I have been given a whole lot of supers and lids and frames that belonged to a family member who has passed away - so this opens up the opportunity to have more hives with little cost: re wiring the frames and foundation at around $10 a box. We are fortunate enough to live on our own small dairy farm which covers a long stretch of a braided river - there is a huge berm that is fully of gorse and broom, as well as a lot of white clover in our pastures (photo attached showing rough berm beyond the tall pines). The bees have done marvelously this year in my garden. Another beekeeper has almost a dozen hives down one end of our riverbed and from what he says these have done very well too - with boxes of spring honey harvested as well. I work on the dairy farm normally, and part time as a vet, but its always good to look at ways to diversify income on a farm. My question is - if as a hobbiest I can have 11 hives (or more I guess). How many boxes of honey can I expect to harvest in a season - 2? or maybe 3? What can I do with this honey - can i simply sell it to a processor who will extract my frames and return them to me? If this is possible what kind of money is honey worth sold as unextracted? Can a commercial extractor pack my honey and return some of it to me so I can sell it to my neighbors - potentially they might like that. Are there any hobby beekeepers out there who extract and pack their own honey in accordance with all the food safety standards etc? Is it costly to set up and maintain this? I was thinking of buying a 2 or 4 frame manual extractor but i'm wondering if this is a good idea because it could become obsolete if I get into this. On this subject I am interested in recommendations for an extractor suitable for a couple of hives if I just keep this low key. TIA and sorry for the novel, I am finding beekeeping a fascinating experience, they are amazing creatures. Rachel
  11. so up a vertical terrace over a canal and up another vertical terrace, across the driveway past the house and into the garden 😂😂😂 maybe not! Nikki Watts and Tommy Dave thanks for your advice re moving - if we ever get any rain I might give it a go! Otherwise they can stay there they seem pretty happy. Thanks everyone
  12. Hi, I caught a swarm off a fence post into a box and unfortunately I didn't know enough to move it immediately to where my other one was (approximately 500m away). Someone I know suggested that i close them in for 3 days and move them to reduce the risk of them going back to the post area. Does anyone have any suggestions, or is this a compete no no. If I can't move it I will have to register it as another Apiary site, and while this is not a problem I don't really want it sitting next to the dairy shed getting splattered by sprinklers. TIA, Rachel
  13. Can I ask what varroa treatment you prefer to use in late feb? I take it from the above comments I should just let them carry on with the two boxes they have for brood. Thanks
  14. Hi I have my first hive that has grown from a nucleus. I currently have two full boxes, a queen excluder and a 3/4 box above that. I had a look in it a few days ago and noticed that while the bottom box has heaps of brood - and i saw my queen she is only a couple of months old because the grafted one failed and they made a new queen. But the second box is choc full of honey most of it capped and they are working on the box above the queen excluder. My question is doesn't the queen need more room for brood? It doesn't look like she has been into the second box at all and now there is no room for her to lay in there anyway because its full.. Should I put another box in there and move that full one up above the excluder? I have not seen any queen cells, and have checked all the frames. They look to be doing amazingly well, its very exciting! TIA
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