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Posts posted by Sputnik

  1. So I have a new neighbor, an organization has set up a training garden on land opposite my house and apairy.

    I was asked if I could provide some hives for pollination, the garden is a pretty substantial enterprise.

    I told them my bees would make it the 500m to pollinate but the organizers are still very keen.

    What are the potential pitfalls here?

    I am concerned that if I don't provide hives (which I am happy to do) someone else will and then I will less able to coordinate mite treatments etc, so pretty keen to move some of my hives there.



  2. YHive swarmed today had seen what I thought were play cups 9days ago. Managed to catch swarm despite it being well up a tree. Took a few attempts but in end cut branch down to bring to ground and shook into nuc. About a 5th land in nuc then I closed lid and rest walked in like army ants. Didn't see marked queen 

    Assuming I should have taken the play cups as sign it was ready to split or that I missed a queen cell.

    Swarm filled a full depth nuc box.

    Got some cool photos but files too large to post.


  3. 32 minutes ago, tristan said:

    thats really odd.

    wouldn't mind seeing that, or even pic's.

    are you sure they where not screwing with ya? you tend to hear the sounds of the air coming out of the machine.

    did hear talk of them trying heated air jets but thats to heat the pricker plates so the honey drains off them and doesn't clog them up.

    Yeah I am certain, it pricked the uncapped cell 3 times and the blew in a bit of air. I paid a bit of attention to it as its was manufactured by a company that does a bit of stainless steel fabrication for a company I work for.

  4. 15 minutes ago, tudor said:

    Here we go again !

    Its all about thixtrophism.  We have discussed this before:




    check my post on January 13 for a pic of the roller.

    Thanks I was aware of the need to agitate the honey as I had done a tour of a manuka extraction plant last season and they had a Automatic pricker that also blew a bit of compressed air into the cell as well. 

    We tried stabbing the honey with cappings scratchers to loosen but that was useless. We scraped a few frames and tried straining that but that didn't work very well either.

    Will get a roller and try that as we still have one hive to extract as I foolishly didn't use a queen excluder on that hive and some there is a chimney of Capped brood through the honey supers I need to sort out when the bees aren't so keen to start robbing.

  5. 22 minutes ago, tristan said:

    are you sure its thixotropic ?

    had a customer who used to bring in boxes of 'snot'. yellow pasture honey that was super thick that the pumps struggled to pump.

    it may be your extraction method has issues with thick honeys.

    Honey is warm from hive. We have a 2 frame manual extractor. We then run honey immediately through a double sieve 1.2mm/0.5mm holes.

    This honey didn't even want to come out of the comb and some frames it just wouldn't come out. With stirring will go through the first sieve and then sits like snot on the finer sieve and won't go through.


  6. Hi We were extracting this weekend and found frames of thixotropic honey that were almost impossible to extract. We have no manuka, or heather near our apairy and the willows were cleared out few years ago, I have tasted willow honeydew before so I know it's not that.

    What other plants could be the source? It's quite pleasant taste with a golden yellow colour. Tried searching google for possiblitys but it's not been much help.

    We did an extraction in December so it's been between December and early March. It's been dry all summer basically a drought. We are in a rural/urban border so could be anything?

  7. So its be dry here in the Central North Island and only about 8mm of rain in the last month. My hives have decent stores and are queen right when I last checked 10 days ago. Usually very calm bees that I can sit next to hives and just watch.

    Went to check hives yesterday before suiting up and got stung as a few guard bees went for me when I was a few meters away. They wouldn't give up so left them alone.


    Am I right in my assumption that due to the drought conditions there is no real honey flow on at the moment and if I open up the hives there is a real risk of robbing starting? 

  8. Hi, I have a full depth hive and super leftover from my course. I want to convert them all to 3/4, I have figured out how to cut down the wood frames and reattach the bottom bar with minimal amount of damage using an electric stapler.

    But with the plastic frames I am a bit unsure what to do - can I just cut the bottom of the frame off with the band saw or do I need to reattach the bottom bar afterwards?

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