Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Markypoo last won the day on December 5 2020

Markypoo had the most liked content!


  • DECA Holder
  • Beekeeping Experience
    Hobby Beekeeper
  • Facebook


  • Location

Recent Profile Visitors

1,727 profile views

Markypoo's Achievements


Newbie (1/14)

  • Week One Done Rare
  • One Month Later Rare
  • One Year In Rare

Recent Badges



  1. Took my Year 10 class out to the hive on thursday. Was interested to see how they are going as it has been very wet down here in the South. A huge change from the perpetual drought of south canterbury. They had 2 boxes packed with capped honey and nectar so am going to have to give them another honey super. But i guess being on the edge of town they have been raiding all the local gardens. Took out a honey frame and the kids gathered around spooning up honey fresh from the frame. Even the too cool lads were very impressed.
  2. Do you have starter strips? I ran my top bars along the top of a bench saw to cut a groove in the middle then stuck in a 2mm wide wooden strip. Never had a problem with cross combing. In my limited experience, just leave them alone and they will probably be fine. Of course that is the advice I got which I completely ignored in my early days. They look like they are hard at work creating comb.
  3. They seem pretty confident it will be warmer. But not so confident about the rainfall. Apparently their models didn't work too well with the spring weather so far. I am hoping its drier. I put a hive near my new school. Where my HOD assured me was a good spot. Last week one of the kids said " You know that area was covered in water when it flooded last time." Going to sit it on another layer of pallet.
  4. I think the odds are on for a hot, dry summer. Having moved from South Canterbury to Southland though, I haven't seen this much rain for a long time. So maybe the bit I am in will remain wet. https://niwa.co.nz/climate/seasonal-climate-outlook/seasonal-climate-outlook-november-january-2021
  5. I hadn't considered that. I would have thought that the bees from the bottom brood box might kill the queen in the top box and vice versa. knowing my past mishaps adding a queen to hive that had a little virgin sneaking around.
  6. Hi all I have started a new job in the deep south. I have had to remove my 4 hives from the school farm at my own job, as well as move my own hives to my block of land in Central Otago. My new school has already requested a hive, which I have delivered. I now find myself with a tad more than I need and am resisting the urge to allow hive creep occur. My plan is to take the FD brood boxes of the weaker hives and either squash the queen or bank her in a nuc as a spare and use the newspaper method to combine with another. In theory this should give me a couple of monster hives. My problem is the FD brood boxes. I am thinking that after a couple of weeks, I will remove a frame or two and space them out, so the bees can use them as a honey super for the season. Food shouldn't be a problem as they are flat stick gathering nectar from somewhere, and a local beek assures me the thyme flow will start soon, then the white clover. Apart from the obvious weight issues of the FD honey super, is this a sound plan? I am confident enough in my own abilities now that should I want to increase my numbers, I could replace them easily enough.
  7. I was just basically storing them on top of the hive. I had meant to put a hivemat on top of the feeder, but never got round to it.
  8. Opened up the school hives today for a look. One of the hives I had put a feeder above it, then sitting on that I had placed a box of wets to be cleaned out. I left it like that all winter. So today I lifted off the wet box and the feeder and took a look. Empty frames, very few bees. So my hive died, I thought. But that didn't seem right because it had been very active at the entrance. There were a large amount of bees sitting in the feeder, so I take a peek in the wet box. The queen had migrated up through the broodbox, through the feeder and up into the aforementioned wet box, now merrily laying and 5 frames of brood. I hadn't realsed a queen would move that far. My only experience has been queens finding the lightest gap in a queen excluder and being in the wrong place.
  9. It is very dry down here in South Canterbury. I have had to water my winter veges to stop them wilting.
  10. Picking a Deputy Principal position. A rural high school in the deep south. We picked up 8ha of land in Central Otago, near Alexandra, last year that we want to start building on. Will be the flashest bach around for a couple of years till we move there full time. The neighbours are an organically managed vineyard and other, similar sized blocks of land. When they were developed they were planted out in white clover and grasses. The whole area is white with clover late spring. Aside from being good for my bees, the view isn't bad. Was down there last week to mark out the building platform with the builder. Despite the snow the views were rather spectacular. Plan to leave the hives there as I will have an easy commute home on the weekends. Plus I will bring a couple to park up at my new school.
  11. Had a bit of a stuff up. I am taking up a new job in a couple of months, so planning in advance, a while back I squashed some queens I felt were not performing and merged some hives. The aim to reduce numbers to make moving easier. since I am going 300km. Unfortunately owing to drought conditions (probably), mice got into my hives way earlier than I expected and have had a field day in a couple. A strong hive a few weeks ago had barely any movement so I popped the lid for a check. Lesson learned for me, put the mouse guards on early in a drought. I am not overly concerned as I am confident in my own abilities now to make queens and do splits, so can replace them easily, but it is a bit gutting to see a strong hive decimated because of your mistake. Oh well, I should have some good swarm traps ready! .
  12. The evidence from overseas is that selection for resistance to mites is probably the better long term goal IMO. The Purdue ankle biters spring to mind. And there are other programs as well. Thermal treatment is likely to be out reach of small scale hobbyists, especially if you run topbars or long langs. Arista Bee Research | Foundation for breeding varroa resistant honey bees ARISTABEERESEARCH.ORG Our Breeding Program EXTENSION.ENTM.PURDUE.EDU
  13. Yes its been busy. As soon as school locked down we had 2 weeks to try and work out how to turn our courses into online classes. And during that holiday time students were emailing requesting work as they were bored after a week. Now I can go back to reading NZBees during my breaks.
  14. Make my own strips. Its only a couple of dollars per hive. I have never used synthetics. But I am not a commercial. Only a hobbyist. Plus I run topbars and long langstroths.
  15. I think your basic treatment costs start too high. I am sure those of us using OA have much lower costs than $30 a hive. Even allowing time for alcohol washes.
  • Create New...