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Matthew Brajkovich

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Matthew Brajkovich last won the day on December 13 2016

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  1. I give bees wax foundation, small cell, in the brood nest area only, they build most frames very good, i get some frames 100% corner to corner all capped small cell, it is a nice site. if nectar is coming in fast or mid spring they can go and build what ever as it is very heavy wax foundation, I replace this as sometimes the use this wax to fill will nectar as it is so EASY FOR THEM to draw out. I also have a full apiary in normal black frames, and when you compare the bees the small cell bees are smaller. I have offered black frames as well to the bees but they do like the wax foundation, next trips will be heavy wax 5.4mm.
  2. I have stopped the TF approach, but have small cell bees.
  3. Yes, I can make silicon moulds from any frame. They end up exact copies. One sheet for each side so the lay up pattern is the same. All made from food grade silicon. Slow process to cast but works well and you can make nice heavy foundation and the bees draw it out fast.
  4. Good news and bad news. These two hives got robbed, tried to rescue them but to late, good thing is no diseases, no pms, no AFB. Other good news I have two other TF hives going into year two. Generally robbing was not as bad this season for me, but was very intense for a couple of weeks, in some cases, robbing would start then stop, two days later was on again etc. mostly the larger hives being attacked. Also lost two treated hives, one of which I lost to a TF hive, so go figure. No PMS in any hives this year, good, so all I can say is maybe the small cell slows the viruses, maybe, or the fact I make all my own foundation. Will keep trying to improve results and perfect the new splitting technique for a few more years and just maybe I might see some results. What I can say is the other beepers in the area have really struggled the last two years with alsorts of issues, one even doing my inspections for me and was amazed with the bees I have and the results so far. Most of which got next to no honey and lost bees during the summer. plan to change more hives back to normal cell and make my own foundation and see the difference. Already have six on plastic changed last year, all are going well.
  5. Small cell drawn frame. Damage in middle is me dropping the phone in it.
  6. No Wax mill, incast all small cell and cool really slowly. bee build small cell on small cell and sometimes build smaller cell than 5.1mm on foundationless. i keep frames for as long as I deem them ok, but generally less than a season, spring brood frames are gone by Xmas and I still place new frames in the brood up until early March, if needed, but most hives no new frames after beginning of February. More photos next, took these the other day approx two weeks ago. Normal cell over small cell.
  7. Hi, just post on here and I should see it and reply, the hive in question,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,is,,,,,,,,,,,,,,well alive, and wintering down. The split is wintering down. As are another two TF hives, total four. The hive posted about is going into winter three TF and has completed TF for two years March 2016. I still run treatments in my other hives.
  8. Less than half width of box for a large colony,60-80k plus of bees. Smaller for smaller colonies down to 10mm. All slot holes. all lower entrances, some hives I use vented meshed holes on front of boxes on second box upwards. meshed floors, mostly, only two solid as I ran out of mesh. Not all frames of small cell wax do they make small cell and nicely, when the flow is on they can make some really strange cells, so I rotate out asap, replace brood frames all the time.
  9. Not only beekeepers, animal pest controllers, weed sprayers etc etc. I trained the department of labour staff in Auckland a few years back in safety audits for the industry I was in and some of the staff had no idea. Would not trust them with knife in the sheath. so sad to see another hard working kiwi pay the ultimate price. RIP.
  10. My first year changing over was so labour intensive making sure the frame, brood cycle made the frames and cell correct, now three full seasons later, cells are frames are very nicely made 4.9mm. Take the time to get good frames. Treat in March, and then you can miss spring, well that is what I do anyway on the majority of them, have three methods or more going on now. Lost none in spring 2017. Lost some autum 2017 due to robbing, and starved. See my other post re the two year old treatment free hive and now a split from it. The biggest issue I have is keeping other drones out in spring. I run really small, ie general opinion, entrances all year, regardless of colony size, that seems to help with drift and drones.
  11. May not me promising, but for sure is scary, like a game of poker, all in?
  12. Yep, cleans wax, and wax processing is something I am working on. I make all my own small cell foundation from all my own wax. Do mainly foundationless honey so I get the wax. Aggressively change frames and still adding in new frames for wintering over. Do this on all hives. Hygiene is so important.
  13. Should read pupate, last time they change inside the cell. I inspected that 2 year hive today, has less mites than last time I looked. I would put it in the same basket as last year, some sick bees but plenty of brood, couple batches bit worrying. Ps got over 40kg off it this year.
  14. Kaihoka, clean foundation is a must, clean sterile. As for eliminating drones, well, chemicals or less drones, let me think, really think, still thinking, ................. until we have another option, less drones. But saying that I have tried another method of brood break and keep these drones alive and allow to hatch, ie i remove from hive but do not kill. Interesting idea, what do you think of that? I try and cover all bases as any management plan needs to have back up ideas. I call this a drone split.
  15. CraBee, hi, from what I have read and now seen, the last pupate is stuffed in some way from the urine, causing a dwv like issue, bee with no wings, only stubs. This issues is totally independent and not related to varroa. This colony in the above I have not done a forced brood break at all since the splitting time. I have managed hives thru varroa before and then struck other issues and lost them, like robbing, bees ate thru polystyrene the following year. The brood break I mentioned is the standard international method, but, i do it in a long hive with standard boxes on top and two excluders and shift old brood to queenless side and kill all q cells for 6-12 weeks and rotate hatched comb back to queen right side, and draw new comb, as needed on either side, after shaking all bees off and leaving them behind. All why using one entrance. Queen right side is closest to entrance, these nurse bees stay behind on queenless side, I do this until I have new 5--10 new frames at minimum. Then either split prior to the bees going to forage, approx week 3-6 and continue. I then give the split a new frame or two, then they make a new queen adding additional time and no brood cells for varroa to play in, these frames have minimal open brood cells. Hope this make sense. Someone will pick holes in it and if I have naything wrong so be it, but that is how I am doing so far, will change a few thing over time.
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