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Gerry

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Everything posted by Gerry

  1. I'm a little far away to provide physical help, ie, not likely to get to your bees even if the border was open. But, I can provide some 'been there' kind of experience to help you relax. Years ago, wife and I had our first bees, we fussed and fussed over them. They swarmed, did everything we didn't want, we kinda gave up. It was early July for us, so, roughly the same part of the season as you are in now. At that point we essentially abandoned the bees for a couple months, distracted by other priorities (our wedding and the obligatory trip after). When we finally got back to c
  2. I was at a very interesting presentation on Nosema Ceranae at a provincial association agm a couple years ago. A very interesting comment from the presenter around Ceranae becoming prolific in our part of the world. Ceranae is apparently closely related to the type normally found in wasps, and there was some belief that wasps attacking a colony of bees will vector Ceranae into the hives. This was particularly fascinating to many of us, Apis has long been a springtime thing in our wet spring climate, but we rarely saw Ceranae. But what we do suffer is endless onslaught of wasps i
  3. Your situation sounds similar to something my wife and I ran into during our first year with bees. Keep in mind, we are northern hemisphere, so months will sound incorrect for you in the upside down part of the world. We hived our first bees on April 19 a decade ago. Two 4lb packages became 3 colonies, one at the house and 2 more in an orchard just down the road from us. They grew well, and by early June had filled the first box, and we had a second box on, which they were kind of ignoring. It was a deep box with 10 brand new frames in it. Late June on a Sunday morning walkin
  4. Here is a graphic representation of that. The hive in question is a double deep lang, and it gets two supers at the start of the flow, both drawn. We try treat it exactly the same year over year as it sits on the scale and becomes our sentinel for measuring and comparing the flows year over year. The only manipulation of the data is to remove the artifacts from adding and removing supers. 2014 was the first year we put the scale under the colony, and the spring honey flow lasted exactly 9 days, those who did not have colonies 'ready for flow' at that time, missed the flow. 2015
  5. My previous post has the corrected link
  6. Advances and perspectives in selecting resistance traits against the parasitic mite Varroa destructor in honey bees | Genetics Selection Evolution | Full Text GSEJOURNAL.BIOMEDCENTRAL.COM In spite of the implementation of control strategies in honey bee (Apis mellifera) keeping, the invasive parasitic mite Varroa destructor...
  7. This method is talked about a lot on our side of the world. I tell folks it's a waste of time and brood. Instead of wasting 3 brood frames and 3 weeks on a laying worker, put those 3 frames in a nuc box together. Now you have a viable colony which can either raise a queen, or you can introduce one. Shake out the laying worker colony and put the box away leaving it's spot empty, use some of the drawn frames to finish populating the box you put the new nuc in. the bees you shook out will beg their way into any other colonies in the area. This method uses the same amount of resou
  8. I used to believe that. A few years back I was shy on excluders, had one colony with 2 brood boxes and 2 full honey boxes above so I stole the excluder from that one, then put a third honey box above the two full boxes. A week later, top box was full of brood and the queen was up there. Two mediums full of honey between the now two nests. I bought more excluders. I dont know if it's an old wives tale or not, but we were told some years ago, honey boxes that have no cocoons, ie have never had brood in them, wont get attacked by the wax moths in winter storage. Since
  9. Not unique to NZ, big deal in Canada and Europe too.
  10. If I was moving up to 500 colonies, I would want the Cowan 28 extractor with the Silver Queen uncapper. We currently have no plans to move up to that sort of scale and have built our extracting around a Mann Lake 18 frame radial unit. The other bit we did when we built our new honey shed, we put in a small room well insulated for storing honey prior to extracting. We call it the 'warm room', but in fact it's more like a 'warm closet', set up to hold 100 supers max. This year was the first time we stored honey in the warm room prior to extracting, and kept the temp in there arou
  11. His wife managed to get him injected, then loaded him into the car and drove like a maniac to the hospital, about a 15 minute drive from their place. We had an incident here a bunch of years ago, which was the one that inspired us to keep an auto-injector in inventory ourselves. Circumstances were such that I was prohibited from driving for a couple weeks due to a drug I had been perscribed for a back problem. It was at the time of the year when we do a 'deep look' checking colonies for swarm cells, beautiful Saturday morning and my wife was along to hinder, er help, my progress.
  12. Sitting up here in the northern hemisphere reading this thread gets me wondering. What percentage of overall beekeeping income is derived from shaking packages in March and April for shipping to our part of the world ? On the Canadian prairies a lot of folks recover from winter losses by simply 'buy NZ packages in March / April'. The flights stopped this spring, and it left a lot of folks scrambling to figure out other means. Some simply downsized a bit, others were more aggressive in the split than in a normal year. wondering how much this affected the bottom line o
  13. We know another couple well, they keep bees about 20km from here. He is a pharmacist, she works in an office in town, they have 6 colonies on their property. He decided to just keep a kit around 'just in case', the type where you have to draw into a syringe then inject. His rationale, if anybody around was having a reaction, he is well versed in how to do the process and apply the injection, so no need to spend the extra on the auto-injector. Wind the clock forward 4 years, they are out in the bee yard one Saturday afternoon and he got stung, has never had a reaction in the past
  14. Ok, I can play this game. Happened last year during our spring swarm season. I was working in the office here at the house, my wife was in the back of our property going to work on one of the garden plots. I got a text from her, said 'there are bees in the wasp trap'. My response, 'didn't think they would go in, but I guess it'll catch a few'. She texts back 'no, there are bees in the wasp trap, you must come look'. Guess a mating nuc swarmed, and the swarm set up shop in the wasp trap.
  15. I did some hunting after seeing your post with the gaphic snippet. Original is here: Pollen Identification Chart WWW.NSBKA.ORG North Shropshire Beekeepers' Association It's interactive New to this forum, so not sure how some things work here, ie links. That is a link to the source of the original graphic.
  16. Would you mind telling me where the original full size of that graphic is ? Would be quite useful.
  17. So some follow up on the subject of packages this year and next. I was at a bee club meeting last night, our rep to the Canadian Honey Council was giving a report. Apparently there will be a problem shipping palettes of packages again next spring. What we were told is, on the airline schedules they have posted for that time frame there is only room for 2 palettes a week. Not sure where that will end up, from March thru May that would be capacity to ship 24 palettes of packages, but the typical year runs 80, so there is going to be an issue moving bees from NZ to Canada again in
  18. Campbell River on Vancouver Island. That is the west coast of Canada for folks that aren't aware of our island.
  19. I would expect packages to be abundant in your part of the world this year, very few of them came north in March and April. The ones that arrived here at our place are now tucked in for winter, will do one more round of liquid in another week, then strap the lids down till February.
  20. We have had varroa here on Vancouver island as along as I've been keeping bees (11 years now). Newfoundland is still varroa free and folks are making noise about how to keep it that way.
  21. Import packages are always a big hit and miss after the trip halfway around the world. We usually plan on losing at least one or two when we get them. I got 10 this year, one had queen dead in the cage when they arrived. What the distributor tells us to do, go ahead and hive them anyways, probably means there is a loose queen in there. Check the next day for a queen on the comb. When I did that, the next day there were virtually no bees left in the box, they had migrated next door to the box with a queen. It happens. 8 of them built up well, then we had one that di
  22. New to the site, but I can comment on this. I'm on Vancouver Island, I got 10 NZ packages this spring on March 8. Mine were of the Kintail variety in the square shipping boxes. I know others that got a bunch shortly after I got mine, Aritaki variants that come in the tubes. I can say with some good certainty, at least two palettes of the Kintail packages made it to the Island this year, and a similar amount of Aritaki were in the lower mainland of BC before the flights stopped. With that said, there was a significant kafuffle with our shipment, originally we were supposed to ge
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