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Posts posted by M4tt

  1. 1 minute ago, ChrisM said:

    So, if the queen herself is a mutt half black and half yellow, then I'd expect all her drones to be the same; none pure black and non pure yellow. Any pure black or yellow drones are from visiting drones of no fixed abode. (?). So, while the mix of genes can allow breeding and development of new queens and new worker bees never seen before. I don't see any scope for variation of the drones from a given queen.

    I agree with you .


    From the few hives I have and my observations , the drones from one queen always look about the same .

    The exception to this is when there are two queens in the hive .


    I’m with you @ChrisM. I don’t understand how it can be any different to this and I’ve missed it in the past 


    Anything is possible I guess 

  2. 5 hours ago, Alastair said:


    Yes they can. The queen herself will most likely be a hybrid. If she gives a bit of her blackness to one of her unfertilised eggs it will be black. Same queen can also give a bit of her yellowness to an unfertilised egg and it will be yellow. There is variation among her offspring unless she is purebred.


    You can prove this yourself when doing a drone brood varroa check, just look at the colours of the drone larvae you are pulling out. Assuming the hive is hybridised.


    I too have wondered if maybe drones that get caught out somewhere find themselves a different hive. Maybe they do, same as drift by workers. However before i accept as gospel that it happens in major numbers more so than for workers, i would want to see some evidence and I've never seen any. I think it's just a good story that has been repeated enough to become "fact".

    I can rephrase what I said to be clearer 


    It would be highly odd in a hive where a queen produces yellow drones to find a couple or so black ones that are from that queen . I can’t see how that would be possible 


  3. 7 hours ago, Alastair said:


    So did I.


    That's until i did pollen trapping, the traps had drone escapes to let drones out of the hives but they often could not figure out how to get back in. They would die in droves at the entrance despite there being another hive a couple of meters on each side they could have enetered. Kinda made me question the common wisdom they move around freely.


    Something else. Back when I was breeding queens I used to have drone production hives with drone comb that could produce a large number of drones. Open those hives they were pumping with drones but the hives either side never had especially many.

    The way I understand it , is if they are near home, they will go home.


    If they’ve been out for the day, for example, on a long haul trip and they get caught a bit short, they’ll pop in anywhere to refuel and are not turned away.


    A queen that lays yellow drones can’t produce black drones so they’ve come in from somewhere else.


    The above is a nice story that fits. I’m sure there are other reasons. 

  4. 1 minute ago, kaihoka said:

    I have seen some really black drones entering one of my hives.

    I am wondering where they come from .

    All the bees around here are yellow .

    Hell?  😳


    Drones from any hive will enter any hive 


    I wouldn’t worry 


    Probably delivering mites 

    • Haha 1

  5. 1 minute ago, Timw said:

    Prior to going abroad for 2 months (November /December) my top bar had a very high mite count that i had been unable to reduce with AOV. So I used Apistan (for the first time) for those 8 weeks. In hindsight this period would have been early honeyflow. What does this mean as far as honey is concerned?? 

    The hive has good stores and I’d planned to leave any honey for the bees and possibly harvest surplus next spring.

    That’s a good question .

    You would not be the only one who has strips in at the beginning of the flow.

  6. 17 minutes ago, jamesc said:

    We all know the expression’ More was said than done’.....

    Like Mr Philbee .... we have invested time, energy and money in Bee R&D ....

    I am pretty stoked to report that we have pretty much nailed our AFB ......

    It does’nt happen overnight with one Detector Dog visit, but it does happen with patient and persistant pressure, with visual inspection, dog screening and quarantines.

    As an industry ....We have the tools, the science and the people power to make it happen..... if we are serious and want to make it happen.

    As an industry .....we need to grow into a cohesive unit and push for the idea of an Agency that will coordinate the fight and muster the resources available to make it happen.

    Monitoring will never fix the problem.

    Action will make it happen.

    To me it sounds like you have achieved on a small scale what can be achieved nationally . Find a way to sell it and you won’t need to chase honey anymore 

  7. Catsear. The only real source of ‘Rukuhia Gold Honey ‘


    It’ll flow with the moisture of a morning fog and is a highly valuable source of protein for cattle when it’s too harsh for anything else to grow .


    I love the stuff 😊


    • Like 4

  8. 1 hour ago, Bighands said:

    What does it taste like and what colour is the honey?

    Light amber is the colour . Liquid tastes like that warm waxy smell of a hive when there is a flow on. ( probably because it’s a Catsear flow). Creamed tastes different . Mild to strong honey flavour . Of course I’m struggling with my description because I don’t know any different .

     Very hard to beat in my opinion 

    2 minutes ago, M4tt said:

    Light amber is the colour . Liquid tastes like that warm waxy smell of a hive when there is a flow on. ( probably because it’s a Catsear flow). Creamed tastes different . Mild to strong honey flavour . Of course I’m struggling with my description because I don’t know any different .

     Very hard to beat in my opinion 



    • Like 1

  9. 1 minute ago, dansar said:

    One apiary I went to today had fresh Catsear nectar. Bees actively working the Catsear close by too. It looks like the only thing flowering.

    Yep. Catsear is all my bees have got this year. Far too dry for clover including my Persian Clover . I took some off yesterday and it’s exactly the same as my December take 

  10. 1 hour ago, ChrisM said:

    eek, I thought I read that on this forum, but now that you ask me, I can't pinpoint a document, it was a very long time ago for sure. I took it as true and always thought that is how all these strips work. Didn't we all know this? Someone, help !?

    I have no idea if this is correct or not . Someone would need to do a Thesis on the theory to  prove it . 

    The point is , it actually doesn’t make any difference as we really don’t know how  it’s distributed ( by feet , body contact or perhaps even by bees mouthparts ) AND we don’t know how it works . 

    The important bit , that you described perfectly , is treating the nurse bees that are working the brood . 

    This line of thought has stimulated some good conversation 

    • Thanks 1
    • Agree 1

  11. 2 minutes ago, Dennis Crowley said:

    being callous has nothing to do with it M4tt, your hive has more bees dying everyday than you would kill in a every now and then alcohol shake. what if you wait to long so you can do a sugar shake and find you mite numbers to high. how many bees will die then. When you finish taking your honey off what happens to all those bees?

    Just do the shake and bee done with it.

    Yes you are quite right . Good perspective 😊

    • Like 1

  12. 51 minutes ago, StephenP said:

    Assuming the box is full of brood

    We’ve always treated per box of bees , as you first suggested .


    I’m suggesting that may not quite be correct in ongoing management of hives with staples .


    Just throwing it out there to provoke thought .....

  13. 1 minute ago, Alastair said:



    Why Matt? OA does not act on the brood it only acts on the phoretic mites.

    It’s a theory at this stage that I’m keen to play with .


    I think my hives are at a point where they haven’t been infested with mites over summer , so I’m starting with healthier hives , albeit , I’m still a month away from treating , so that may change .


    With that in mind, if I don’t have mites infesting bees, I shouldn’t need to come down so heavy handed. There is anecdotal evidence that a full dose of staples can kill bees in large numbers, for reasons yet unconfirmed. We also know staples in brood can sometimes affect the laying pattern of the queen underneath them .


    In a months time, I will pull out my Queen Excluders and let the queens free range over 4 X 3/4 boxes . At the same time I will sugar shake , AFB check , and  place staples around the outside of the brood , in a conservative way, instead of 4 to 5 staples per box through the middle of the brood. 

    I see this new approach as a maintenance type of preventative treatment where I am protecting the brood from varroa invasion , rather than killing varroa on the way out after bee emergence .



  14. 23 minutes ago, StephenP said:

    Philbee, and others. So what's the OA dosage amount per FD box? The staples summary pdf that I printed out (updated 30/12/18) mentions "Randy Oliver found that 18g of OA per box...worked best". Two paragraphs down from this it mentions "Staples contains 20g of a 40% OA solution, the box then contains 20×4×0.4 grams of OA, or 32g."

    So what is the dose, 18g or 32g per FD box?

    I’m going to suggest that the dose rate is more importantly matched to the amount of brood in a box, not bees . 

    • Like 2
    • Agree 1

  15. I attempted some sugar shakes today but there is too much fresh nectar getting put next to brood . The bees get drenched in nectar upon dumping in the container , so it will have to wait till nature winds the tap back .

    Of course , this wouldn’t matter with an alcohol wash but I’m not that callous 

    • Good Info 1

  16. 1 hour ago, Alastair said:

    So all that vehicle decontamination has been for nothing. 😳

    On farm biosecurity has become second nature now as a result . That’s not going to change . Perhaps that’s why there are no known cases of infection from dirty vehicles . Stock truck operators must have done a very good job to reduce risk 

    • Like 1
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