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Christi An

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Everything posted by Christi An

  1. not that i know of. Beekeeping does not have as big of a lobby as other agricultural fields...
  2. commercial means that your primary source of income is beekeeping. mind you the german beekeepers cant produce a commodity that sells for an overinflated price, while having to pay way higher taxes and facing even more ridiculous regulations. so those that are commercial there actually do have to know a thing or two.
  3. Take a kitchen towel and drop a few drops of cloves oil on it. put it into a plastic box, close the lid and let it stay there overnight. the smell of the cloves oil acts as a natural deterrent to bees.
  4. alternatively a quick sandblast (if they are unwaxed) or lick with a rough sandpaper might also alleviate that problem. from the manufacturers perspective roughing up the injection mould would also be possible I myself am certainly going to go back to wooden frames (and certainly without those retarded hoffman sides) for the brood chamber
  5. that might have to do with the fact that bees dont seem to particularly like plastic frames, however their design is also optimized for cheap production and not beekeeping. If the small hive beetle ever makes it to NZ (which i dont hope) theyll be gone in 2 seasons... But even the wooden frames i have come across so far would have room for improvement. Bigger and thicker Top bars for example would help greatly reduce any burr comb. The concept of Beespace applies in 3 dimensions.
  6. you know... if frame manufacturers wouldnt employ first semester design students and actually cared about fundamental things like "bee space" you would not need forestry equipment to lift of a honey super. every time I open one of my hives I am disgusted how stupidly hives are designed around here. As if it was the aim to kill as many bees as possible. another thing i will have to sort out in the future... Building hiveware 100 % myself.
  7. get yourself one of those honey refractometers. aliexpress will give you plenty of cheap options.
  8. Also Bees that are suffering from diseases (high mite load!) can become more grumpy. I suggest checking mite loads as well.
  9. plenty of examples where there were ballots regarding big projects in western democracies. Switzerland is a prime example where often policicians failed with stupid ideas because the voters were smart enough to say "no" and I reckon thats how a democracy should work.
  10. if the taxpayer is supposed to pay for something, he/she should be asked first. As for paying for the (costly) development of a varroa treatment. If I helped finance the whole endeavour I would then in return expect to recieve treatments at a reduced / no price. philbee... ever thought abouy crowdfunding? just an idea... As for AFB those "hard case" beekeepers that have been repeatedly non compliant should bear the full cost of the system.
  11. so the AFB strategy seems to not be working. I had the same thought when I read all those AFB case studies in the Journal... the AFB elimination approach (has a similar endeavour ever worked out anywhere and anywhen in human history ?) relies that all beekeepers engage and work together. Plenty of Beekeepers seem to continue to ignore every procedure related to AFB management (its a miracle they still manage to keep the mites at bay) as long as those few Individuals (and most importantly the ones you do not know about) are not prosecuted properly and made to stop their damaging practices you can throw as much taxpayers money at the problem as you want. also seems to be very common to just leave hives somewhere and not care about (and not even register) them even when the owners are found why are they not prosecuted?
  12. When i started Beekeeping i did spray B401 onto live bees once (because i didnt know better) The bees were fine, but, unfortunately so were the mites. i still had to treat them in autumn. I wouldnt get too excited...
  13. all I did was point out an alternative method to treat a heavily infested hive, that has been proven to work very well in different regions including here. I also pointed out some of the underlying principles as to why it works and hinted at the fact that feral bees have a very similar behavior in similar circumstances. all you did was state 2 true but irrelevant and VERY generic facts and that it would not work... yes that is very ignorant behavior. also no need to hide behind politics, any nz beekeeping community (is there such a thing?) or a british comedy show ?
  14. sorry but that is just a very ignorant excuse because you do not want to believe something might work that you never even considered trying. Ive actually already done it here as well, results were the same as in europe albeit only with a few hives. But I see no reason why it should not always work perfectly (on the contrary you get away with doing it much later than you had to do if there was an actual cold winter) Of course differences in climate can make a difference, but its usually the other way around. What works in climates with way colder extremes (Germany does actually get hotter in summer so its not generally colder) usually will also work in more temperate climates. Things that work in temperate climates however will come blowing into your face when temperatures suddenly reach -15 degrees. Thats also why hive losses generally are lower in warmer climates (check the statistics if you dont believe me) you just get away with more things. Beehives do need HEALTHY and longliving Bees to make it through winter, both will not come from diseased brood. Most treatments are not quick enough if infestation levels are extremely high. If all brood is removed the queen will ramp up her egg laying immediately (you can do the math how long it takes her to reach the roughly 10000 eggs a hive needs to overwinter). It is fine if you at the moment get away with just putting in strips of synthetics 2 times a year and praying. I do hope that this will continue to work a long time. If things develop like they did in Europe and the US (and I have no reason to doubt that - but im not a scientist) they wont. In a grim scenario like that you'll either stop having bees or adapt and find new methods. Id keep an open attitude towards alternatives or at least look whats happening overseas. With regards to varroa you can actually look into the future there. Saves you from having to reinvent the wheel.
  15. Yes true in germany you might have a broodless period over winter. but complete removal of all (capped) brood is a technique used for the late summer/autumn treatment. It does sound extreme but to my experience and the one of many others it works very well and the hives recover very quickly. As far as i know the juvenile hormone of hatching brood does play a role in the aging of adult bees (thats one of the reasons winter bees live that long when the hive is broodless) assuming the mite level really is very high the removed brood would be mostly diseased and a burden anyway. as far as i know apis cerana (the asian honey bee, which co evolved with the varroa mite) also sometimes does abscond (eg hive swarms without erecting swarm cells, leaving all brood behind) if mite levels get too high. So do africanized honeybees (apparently all bees seem to have this trait, just not very strongly developed). youre basically mimicking this process. they can handle it (which is amazing)... just make sure they have enough food/feeding/flow and some drawn comb to give them a head start
  16. just a side note: the BT product europeans (occasionally!) use against wax moths on bee equipment is called "B401"
  17. yes. and also you immediately remove most mites most viruses and a lot of diseased brood (if infestation levels are high). putting in strips of something will be a slow treatment and mean slow (if at all) recovery
  18. DWV only gets this extremely virulent with the mites transmitting it into the "blood" of the bees. if the mites are gone the deformed wings will go aswell (despite the virus still being there) If the health of the hive is your biggest concern and the mite load is extremely high a shock swarming method and then a flash treatment with a high efficacy against phoretic mites (OA for example) would be a very good approach. However that would mean youd have to remove the honey supers. Do you have drawn comb? Assuming the same situation (a hive with an unbearable hive load and lots of diseased brood that requires treatment Immediately) thats what i would do: harvest (spin) the honey and shake all brood frames into the now emptied honey box. freeze the brood frames (killing all mite and brood) scrape and melt the wax if you want to. (melting will kill any viruses and most germs - not afb btw.). spray or vape OA 1 day after and then 3 days later (i like to do 2 treatments just to be sure) - there are multiple methods that would be suitable the queen will start laying immediately and create a new helthy brood nest. The ongoing flow will enable them to regrow, if the flow stops you might have to feed sugar.
  19. I dont dare to judge your personality by how you write in this forum. And believe it or not i actually can be a nice guy myself occasionally ? Rest assured that when engaging with you in threads I will be honest/straight about things i agree and disagree with. Oh and by the way... im Austrian ? yes that is what i thought as well, although some italian beekeepers (also commercials) still seem to use it to great success. I dont know why it does work for them though.
  20. no of course both hives will be treated. the one with the removed brood a day after all the brood is removed, the nuc (provided you actually create it) after all capped brood has been hatched. If the mite load was VERY high you actually might want to consider to kill the capped brood anyways as it will be full of viruses and diseased bees. In this case you could see this procedure as a kind of emergency procedure. by the way another treatment technique just came to my mind: As far as i know in southern europe (italy) is is not uncommon to cage the queen for 4 weeks and thus artificially create a time without any capped brood, as the warm climate there does not make the bees stop from rearing it. No experience with that method but might bi a hint to do some research if anybody is interested. I personally think that having to look for the queen in every hive will be quite time consuming though.
  21. no... that is exactly the point... ALL brood is removed... the hives are weakened but bounce back very quickly and go into winter as very strong hives... i personally know a few people that do this regularly and swear by it! I myself used this method with great success... those hives were my strongest before winter. Also you end up with one healthy hive on fresh comb and another (most often) healthy hive with a young queen, that you could either sell (ok pointless in the current situation) or combine with the other hive if you fancy an early honey harvest. most welcome! yeah pretty sure synthetics work best. I never used them though and dont know anything about them. as far as i understand resistant mites MIGHT become an issue in the future but also customers MIGHT demand honey in the future that was organically produced without the use of any pesticides ? What about residues in wax and honey? (yeah im sure you test it and its fine!) No pros without cons...
  22. I was not quoting him, and i am far from being negative towards the oxalic/clycerin treatment. On the contrary. I just cant stand the way certain people handle any criticism and questions towards it. That doesnt mean they generally do a bad job at helping to develop a new treatment. Youll be there too as soon as synthetics stop to work, which they will eventually if you assume the situation here develops similar to Europe. Then the mite levels that the bees can withstand will become lower over time as the mites seem to be becoming more virulent. That will pretty much mean that heaps of hives die over winter despite being "properly" treated like every other year. Also the influence of pesticides towards the tolerance towards mites is something that is just starting to be examined. That said i consider myself to be far from an expert and no need to bow before me. Im just very interested in everything beekeeping related! What I know from whatever source ill happyly share. Ill try to elaborate here: again take everything with a grain of salt there certainly are people out there that know waaaaay more than me !!! What i personally consider the most important tool for Varroa Management is regular checking of mite levels either via alcohol wash or sticky board. Randy Oliver advertises the alcohol wash method even though he is managing thousands of hives. So he mast have found a way for him to do it fairly quickly... Just waiting for any signs with the brood pattern or deformed wings will mean by the time you see somethings wrong it will already be (too) late... I personally would advise meshed bottom boards with sticky boards underneath (they actually dont have to be sticky, a piece of corflute will do a fine job). That will let you very quickly assess the mite situation in any apiary within minutes. However it may require building new bottom boards. I personally think that open bottom boards are beneficial for standard langstroth hives anyway (and top insulation!). You dont need to worry that the bees will be too cold in winter, they'll even survive temeratures up to -15C just fine. And in summer you have better ventilation and less bearding (in my limited experience) Also you can keep entrances reasonably small even during smouldering hot days and wont have to worry about ventilation which helps against robbery. Also (and that is unproven but I would assume it would be this way) with an open bottom board you might "persuade" a hive even in warmer tempered regions to stop rearing brood for a few weeks during winter which would be a huge benefit to get rid of a lot of mites. Also with sticky boards (and mite washs) you actually dont have to count the mites... Depending of the time of the year and the stat of the hives all you need to know is if there are none/very few/too many or waaaay to many mites in there. What i learned doing regular mite checks is that although an apiary can have quite low infestation levels there will always be outliers with heavier infestations and that in late autumn mite levels can suddenly increase again seemingly out of nowhere... Both Formic Acid and Oxalic Acid would be suitable and are widely used in Europe. lets start with FA: Huge advantage of FA is that it will even kill mites INSIDE capped cells if the dosage is right. Generally FA is a very tough treatment to any hive, expect all open brood to die. Also the dosage (ov FA vapour inside the hive) must reach a certain level (so it is efficient enough, but not much higher (or it will kill/harm the hive). Sadly the amount of evaporation of FA is dependent on the temperature and humidity. You cant use it if its too cold or too hot... I have used the Nassenheider and while i think its a very good product for hobbyists i dont think its suitable for commercials. Just too fiddly and too much work involved. (did you know you should check the amount that has evaporated within the first 24 hours? those small wicks apparently have quite a high deviation. MAQS seem to work very well (even in lower temperatures) and would probably be suitable for commercials, but at a fairly high price. By the way i certainly wouldnt put them into any hive with the honey supers on. What the Germans did in the early days of FA treatment is to dribble a small amount of it onto a cleaning sponge and put that on the frames (kind of like a homebrew maq) the FA will evaporate fairly quickly though and youll have to do multiple "shock treatments" Again probably too labour intense. Now towards Oxalic Acid (OA) scientifially as far as i know it is still unknown how OA kills mites, however it is believed that mites walking over tiny OA crystals evenly spread inside a hive will kill them. BUT it will only kill phoretic mites. as of now there are 4 ways to get OA crystals into a hive. - dribbling: you basically Dribble an OA (3.5%)-Sugar-Water solution onto the bees, ideally while it is cold. The bees cleaning themselves will spread the OA. This is the most common winter treatment in Germany (when the bees are free of capped brood) and under that circumstance works very well. however it is the most harmful OA treatment. As it is very quick to do it would be very suitable for any commercial. In Germany it is believed that you only can do such a treatment once in winter (which is a problem if they still have capped brood left) - spraying: you spray OA solution (2.5 - 3.5%) onto both sides of every frame. The sprayer must create a very fine mist. The water evaporates and leaves the tiny little OA crystals. As they are dry and there is no sugar the bees dont seem to ingest any OA thus it is very gentle on them (not so gentle if you have a lung - wear a mask). From there the result is very similar to OA vaporization just waaaay more labour intense and certainly not suitable for anybode with a lot of hives. For any hobbyist its a great alternative to buying an expensive vaporizer though. - vaporization: You heat up OA, it vaporizes and then quickly resublimates creating a finely dispersed dust in the air. that dust has to be spread in a hive, either with a fan or by the expansive force of the sublimation itself. In my opinion currently the best treatment. The soviets already treated their hives with this method and the mites in Europe still arent resistant to OA. You can basically do it as often as you want without harming the bees. There are many commericals in Europe that use this method, provided you have a good vaporizer this will work quickly enough. Still quite labour intense but doable. If there is capped brood youll have to do it multiple times. Randy Oliver did write a fairly good article about it explaining the basics and the mathematics. - OA strips: the bees walk over the strips, chew them, try to remove them whatever, which again is supposed to spread the oa inside the hive. Seems to be a very elegant method, however many unknowns as of now (which will hopefully be resolved in the near future thanks to scientists and philbees ? ) certainly suitable for commercials and seems to work most of the time. However Id personally ask what effects the Glycerine might have and if there are any residues to be expected. Also elevated bee mortalities seem to be an issue sometimes, and it is unknown as to why that is the case. Its the newest application method for OA and thus there are many unknowns, that doesnt make it a bad treatment. But rest assured it certainly wont be the magic solution to all your mite problems. it certainly will generate a good income for some that manage to create a seeable product (and that is fair enough and well deserved in my opinion) What is becoming more and more common in Germany by the way are biotechnological methods. Especially in Summer after the honey harvest or 2 weeks before its end you can remove all capped brood and either make a lot of nucs or simly melt all frames (and kill the bees and most mites). Then you do 1 or 2 OA treatments (spray or vape) and thats your mite problem sorted. unless you have reinfestation in late autumn. The hives will quickly bounce back and generally overwinter very well. Also its a good chance to get any old comb out of the hives (old comb and the pollen stored there might be contaminated with pesticides). if you make nucs out of the capped brood you theoretically could double your hive numbers every year (imagine doing that while hives where ridiculously expensive a couple of years ago). If they raise their own emergency queen (or recieve a cell) there will be a window of a few days where they have no capped brood. thats when you should treat them. Again likely be waaaay to labour intense for you! So i do think that for a 600 hive set up sticky boards, MAQS, and OA vaporization (and strips in the not too distant future!) might be a way to go. Maybe still stocking some synthetics just in case? Of course it all depends on local circumstances and climate. the german law and best practice has been that you only can treat for varroa when the honey supers are off (and are not being put on again afterwards) and your treatment has to be before 31st of January each year (for you sourthern hemispherans that means in the midst of winter ? ) So no spring treatments. When there is a brood break during winter you actually get away with it. recently MAQs and a few other products became certified to be used either with supers on or only a few days before supers are being put on. I do not think that that is a good approach towards selling a pure and healthy product (honey)
  23. do plastic frames survive the hot steam? as for a solar wax melter (which are awesome for the occasional frame im sure it will very likely destroy/warp any plastic put in there as it can get very hot inside.
  24. i find that comparison rather insulting towards real scientists, that are utilizing a certain codex and fact base work ethic centered around transparency, repeatability and neutrality and NOT hostility. He rather seems to be a tinkerer (whether a skillful one or not I cannot tell) that seems to rather violently engage anybody asking even the slightest critical questions or disagree with his personal opinions. If this is just due to his personality, countless unfortunate misunderstandings or just fear that his buisness model might take damage if he had to transparently address any criticism I dont know. Personally as long as those strips havent been FULLY assessed by a more neutral party that gives me the feeling that i can trust her im staying away from them. There are plenty of methods to get rid of mites that are proven to work. even when one wants to get away from synthetics. Needless to say that actual breeding towards more mite resistant/tolerant bee genetics should play a myor role. Randy Oliver has given some very good insights into that matter recently.
  25. so somebody asks somebody else a simple and innocent question and you feel the urge to figure out "parochial" terms for various places?
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