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  1. The joy of the free market! Many years ago now, my Father opened a video shop in small town New Zealand which he derived a modest profit from. He took great pleasure in his business and would clean the heads of customers video’s free of charge, and would also deliver and pickup videos from the elderly and disabled at no cost. Eventually someone decided that the video business must be quite lucrative and opened a second business in the very same town. A price war soon ensued as the town was only big enough to support one video business. To cut a long story short, the competitor to my Dad had deeper pockets and won. My Dad’s business folded and he eventually died at the grand old age of 61. Now that the competitor had complete market share he was in the privileged position of being able to not only charge a much higher mark-up on his videos, but he was also able to charge a fee for cleaning the heads of customers videos, and a ‘nominal’ charge to deliver videos to the aged and infirmed. As you can clearly see, the customers were the ultimate winners, and the collateral cost, well such is life. So when a commercial beekeeper places 100 hives on your boundary, rejoice and be glad as this is simply the free market at play. The consumer after all must surely win; and the cost? Well surely that is immaterial. So you see, as we purchase wondrous bargains from the warehouse, amazing discounts from Amazon and highly discounted honey from the supermarket, everyone’s a winner, aren’t they!
  2. A virgin maybe able to walk through a swarm of bees' but I draw the line there!
  3. Reward the poacher by allowing his bees to help themselves to 20 liters of sugar syrup laced liberally with the food coloring of your choice. Leave the syrup on your land, you can't help it if his/her bees share their habits and don't recognize boundaries. They may reconsider their lack of ethics come extraction time.
  4. http://www.crownbees.com/questions/pests-questions/pollen-mites/
  5. Beekeepers never get arthritis (I wish)!
  6. Was just wishful thinking on my part as well - but we can live in hope.
  7. Neoseiulus (=Amblyseius) fallacis (Garman) Description Neoseiulus (=Amblyseius) fallacis is a commonly found mite predator in Ontario, particularly in July and August (Figure 4-210). Adult A. fallacis have a broad abdomen (pear or tear-shaped), are 0.30-0.35 mm in length (slightly smaller than European red mites) and are very fast moving. They can be clear (pale yellow or translucent) or acquire the colour of prey items they eat (European red mites, two spotted spider mites), such as a mottled brownish-red. Eggs are almost transparent, oval or pear shaped and slightly larger than the rounded, reddish eggs of European red mites. Figure 4-210. Amblyseius fallacis adult (Dr. Art Agnello, Cornell University) Interaction with host Adult females overwinter near the base of trees or surrounding ground cover, or where prey items are abundant in the fall, on the tree in protected areas. They become active in the spring, moving into tree canopies in June and July where they feed on European red mite eggs, nymphs and adults, and other mite pests (twospotted spider mite, rust mites). There are four to six generations per season. They prefer to feed on spider mites, but also feed on apple rust mite in absence of preferred prey. A. fallacis is capable of rapid population increases under favourable conditions, and is a very effective natural control agent for pest mite populations. Studies show a ratio of one A. fallacis to 10-15 pest mites gives effective biological control. When prey items are scarce, A. fallacis leaves the tree in search of other food sources. Research shows dispersal into the canopy is affected by degree day accumulations, initial density of predators in the ground cover and prey density in the tree. When adequate prey is available, they appear in trees after 333 +/- 55 DDC (base 12ºC) after January 1. Spring frosts or freezing rains suppress activity early in the season. They can travel to other trees when prey is low by being carried off on a breeze.
  8. The internet, cutting edge technological advances in beekeeping, industrialised agriculture and ad nauseum. What have they delivered ? CCD, Varroa, queens that last one season rather then five, antibiotics in hives and so on. Perhaps it is time we listened to the advice of those that have been in the industry for decades rather then people like myself who have only been around for one or two. Am really keen to hear the thoughts and advice from those of you who have been in the industry long enough to have learnt something (20 years plus). Starting with the very basics would be nice (I'm listening)!
  9. Can't help but agree with you. I guess panic doesn't always lead to the wisest of decisions. Next time (hopefully there will never be one) I will follow your sage advice.
  10. Hi Janice, went for my second run today and absolutely chuffed to report that my ankle is fine. Who would of thought that bee stings could eliminate swelling, increase flexibility and mitigate pain.
  11. Just had the worst day with my bees ever. No doubt many of you have had similar or worse experiences, would love to hear about them and will get the ball rolling with mine. I went for a run tonight and on the way home decided to check on three of my hives that are concealed behind a hedge in an urban area. It is a very steep site, and my intention was to just watch the bees coming and going for a while before I made my way home. Well to cut a long and very painful story short, the recent rain had made the paddock extra slippery and as I maneuvered myself into position above the hives I slipped and rolled into the one hive that was not emlocked. Murphy must have been in hysterics as he watched his immutable law unfold. The 3 supers rolled to the bottom of the hill and there were bees everywhere. Home (and my bee suit) was at least a 40 minute run away and the hive site is surrounded by houses. Terrified that innocent bystanders would be stung (there are several houses behind the hedge) I bit the bullet and ran to the aid of my charges, desperate to get the hive reassembled and then as far away as possible. They were not happy, I was covered in sweat. You don't need to possess a very vivid imagination to guess the outcome. Needless to say I received a baptism of fire I will never forget and currently bear a striking resemblance to the Michelan Man. My passion for beekeeping is back on that hill and it may well stay there. The only positive outcome is that to the best of my knowledge no one else was stung.
  12. Can't say I disagree with you. The thing that most impressed me was the fact that the swelling has completely gone. If it is a matter of mind over matter then matter lost out this time.
  13. Should have been "Bee Venom" must learn to read and write one day.
  14. I am a skeptical soul at heart so if you find the following a little hard to digest I can't blame you. As well as being a keen beekeeper I also enjoy running. 18 weeks ago I broke my ankle while out running and spent the next six weeks in a cast. As soon as it was of I attempted to start running again but my ankle was to sore and swollen to do so. As of 4 days ago my ankle was still very puffy and my GP advised that that will probably always be the case and to get used to it. Well desperate times can lead to desperate measures so I thought I would try a bit of quackery as I had nothing to lose. Sacrificed 6 of my girls by forcing them to sting my ankle and left each of the stings in for 15 minutes. Ankle became even more swollen and on the first night I was cursing myself for being so gullible. But three days later all the swelling has gone, I can see my ankle for the first time in 18 weeks and I have regained flexibility in my ankle. Tomorrow I will be going for a run. Have even got got before and after photos.
  15. It sound like search and destroy is your only real option. Not sure if you have already tried this or if someone else has suggested it but using a compass to locate nests is highly effective. First thing in the morning or last thing at night stand by one of the hives that is being attacked and take a bearing of the wasps flight path (obviously there will be several as you have many nests). Note the bearing/s and then move to a hive that is a few meters away and take a bearing/s of flight path/s. Do the same again at another hive (as far away from the first 2 as possible. Where the flight paths triangulate should be where the nest/s are. Obviously with many nests in the area the accuracy of this method is compromised as 2nd and third bearings may be taken of wasps from varying nests , but once you get down to the last few it is extremely accurate.
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