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  1. Hi. Wanted to say hi as a new member and also ask a couple of questions. 1. Hi. Im a newbie keeper...got my hive late autumn and so am experiencing the joys of new parenthood. The hive is a full depth wooden longstroth but i also have a flow hive assembled to try a second colony with at some stage. Im based in chch, bishopdale, and have the hive in our rented back yard. Within a couple of weeks of getting the nuc it had bees outside the hive with chewed wing syndrome. Possibly the first round of brood hatching. Treated with baverol and no recurrence. I fed through winter with raw sugar and put on a plastic feeder tray as got a lot of sugar exiting the hive when feeding on the bottom board. The last two weeks have seen a big increase in activity with a lot of drones flying in and out so thats healthy. A lot of bearding this week and oddly a lot tonight just before 8pm...well after sun is off the hive. Am about to have first decca inspection so will see how well im doing. The activity seen makes me think a second box will be needed shortly. Ill no for certain when the inspection happens this week. 2. Does any one know bee keepers around chch who might like an occaisional day of free and novice help? Im pretty strong and have my own suit etc. I could use the experience and am happy to trade labour for learning for a few days. Has anyone used a flow hive in chch. Im told they might not be warm enough ... but they were tested in canada..and its cold there. 3. Is there anyone in chch who would like to put a hive in a school. The local intermediate is thinking about it. Alternatively im happy to provide a flow hive if some one has bees for the s hool to get them going. Any way. Hi.
  2. Is is too late in the year to do a walkaway split in west Auckland?
  3. Hello, this is my first year beekeeping (since Feb this year). I finished a year long fortnightly one day course on beekeeping in July. But there is just so so so much to learn! And no one way of doing it as i've discovered. My bees overwintered well and have been absolutely cranking since the start of August. Bayvarol came out start of July and I've seen no sign of Varroa (in drone cells or on bees) since. I'll do a sugar shake test the next fine day and check this way too. I have three boxes of brood with 7 frames of brood in each one and a honey/pollen frame either side (I run 9 frames a box). I put a honey super on when I did some rearranging a few weeks back with a queen excluder. When I checked this on Sunday (7 days later), they hadn't put any honey in it but had filled the three empty frames with brood which I'd put in the middle of the middle box (I was recommended to do this at the monthly bee meeting). I made an amateur mistake and didn't put the queen excluder back on after this inspection.. When I went in again yesterday, I saw I'd not put it on and yep, she'd laid in 2.5 frames in the top box and they had drawn loads of comb and lots of nectar in the other frames. Since Sunday! So that then totalled (after I went through and checked all the boxes again) 23.5 frames of brood. The comb at the bottom is quite dark and it was patchy hatching brood, because it was so dark I couldn't see if there were eggs laid. How do you get rid of these dark frames? I've heard about putting them above the queen excluder but don't fancy harvesting honey from these frames as they are a bit old and manky? I'm also planning on doing a walkaway/natural split with this hive and taking one whole brood box and putting it next to the current mother hive. I'd reduce the entrance, ensure there are eggs and also plenty of capped brood to hatch out and make sure they had plenty of stores. Maybe also shaking a frame of nurse bees into this box for good measure? Would I also add another box with a few more honey frames? Would this split work being right next to the mother hive? I'm guessing a lot of the flying bees will go back to the mother hive. Would they then report there is a hive to be robbed just next door? Or is that just a risk you take? Can you please let me know if this would work and any tips and tricks on how to do it? If they don't make their own queen, I would look at bringing in a queen cell or caged queen. Or could I add another frame of eggs? I have a lot of drones and have done since mid August. I'm residential in Hastings and this is the only site on my property to keep bees. Thanks!
  4. Hi. Newbie keeper question. We have our hive on concrete so dead bees really obvious and regularly have dead bee carpets. We also seem to have tons of robbers with the hive sound amping up several times per day. Plus the hovering horde at the front door. The girls are holding them off and we've closed the gap etc. The carpet is also likely from that as well? No signs of verroa or deformed wing or ... With a new nuc you would see that too wouldnt you? Weaker new hive getting hammered by others...
  5. Hi everyone I got some "rescue bees" from a guy a few days ago and relocated them. I think they were a bit neglected and have lots of wax moth throughout. He did treat for varroa though. I dont know a lot about bees but I think the bees are in trouble - the queen looks OK but there are only about 200 or so bees in the hive covering about 1/3 of a frame. Interestingly they are all on the one plastic foundation frame. There are lots of empty cells on the frame they are on and the rest of the frames have nothing in the cells , so I think they need some food fast. I dont have a hive feeder right now, and given that the bees are all clustered at the top (presume for warmth) they may not appreciate the extra space a top feeding arrangement will make right now especially since there is a cold night predicted tonight. Soooo, I have some extra frames with empty comb on them, and I thought I could pour on sugar syrup and stick it in there this morning (if it stops raining) as a rescue. I couldn't see anyone else doing that on line, and wondered if I shouldn't do it for some reason. I just want to keep them alive for now. Any comments or help would be appreciated
  6. Hello, I’m new to beekeeping and only started last year. I brought my hives so far successful through the winter months. I left them quite a bit honey from the previous summer. Now I checked my hives again because I wanted to start and treat for varroa. I noticed that there is still quite a lot of honey left in the box above the brood box. (roughly 20kg) - Now I’m wondering if this honey can be harvested prior to treating with varroa (treating with Apivar it says to not treat when honey super is on). Or will it be fine to harvest this around Christmas after the Varroa treatment period (even though not recommended due to varroa treatment). Would be great to hear back about this. Thanks a lot.
  7. I have lost a hive and not sure what to do with the frames so any advice would be great, hive had swarmed twice in october and had been a weaker hive than my rehomed prime swarm. on wintering down i noticed that there was very little bees and very little fresh brood in this hive, tried putting a frame of brood from the 2nd hive but this only delayed things. I had treated both hives with oxalic acid for three weeks in a row last month and could not find signs of AFB but frames have mould on them. can i keep the frames ?
  8. I'm going to pop this topic in here with the beginner beekeepers because its the majority of new beekeepers that read the site and gather information to progress their learning, but feel its a daunting prospect to ask questions or provide assistance to others, so lets start by giving a few pointers. I'm not experienced enough to contribute. Sure it may be daunting to offer your opinion when all these experienced beekeepers who have been on the forum for years dominate the discussions with their opinions and ways, but while they can occasionally bark, they don't usually bite. So what can you do to join the party? A mellow way of introducing yourslef is to share your experiences, rather than asking a question or supplying an answer. Tell us how you do your beekeeping, describe your setup, tell us about something unusual. As your confidence builds and you start to form "friendships" you may like to then ask questions or even offer your input on how to do something to help out others. We're only as diverse as our contributors at the end of the day, so its important you feel like you can contribute. Complete beginners can start here with our "ask something safely" scheme Some hints and tips on using the various parts of the site, can be found at New to NZ Beekeepers Forum https://www.nzbees.net/forums/forum/32-new-to-nz-beekeepers-forum/ And the guidelines and tutorials can be found in HELP https://www.nzbees.net/support/ Our international friends, whilst keeping up to date with happenings in NZ, can tell us whats going on in their part of the world using the international beekeeping forum https://www.nzbees.net/forums/forum/28-international-beekeeping-forum/ If you have never used a forum before or can't work out how to use the site, then we have a new "I'm stuck how do I use the website?" Q&A section https://www.nzbees.net/forums/forum/48-im-stuck-how-do-i-use-the-website/ If you are into Top bar Hives, Long hives or hybrid construction, treetment free or natural beekeeping, then we have revised our section on Alternative Beekeeping Practices https://www.nzbees.net/forums/forum/35-alternative-beekeeping/ And finally if you just want to say hello, or just have a yarn then join us in General Discussion https://www.nzbees.net/forums/forum/12-general-discussion/
  9. I need some advice please i am trying to co ordinate half of my hives with the other half so i can varroa treat my apiary can be altogether. Removal of varroa strips in 5 hives was in Febuary . The others i removed varroa treatment last weekend April . How could i go about this please? Thank you
  10. Have noticed over the past few days a lot more activity with one of hives. bees are still bringing in pollen but each day seems to be a period where there are a lot more bees coming in and out of hive and generally flying round in front. I can’t see any fighting but am wondering if this is just normal behavior or robbing. I have reduced the entrance size and also put some leafy branches in front of opening which seems to calm things over time. any thoughts or extra things to identify robbing? thanks.
  11. Hi, I'm having real problems with wasps I have reduced my entrances down to the minimum on my hive doc bases. I have taken too closing the gates completely at night , and sitting outside in the morning when I openthem and killing them one by one as emerge.The hives are weak due to late requeening treatment and or varroa related PMS issues I'm guessing. I have added some frames from the strongest of my remaining hives but it's having limited effect. . I've lost 7 hives so far with three more in trouble. About half my total. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Cheers
  12. Hi there. I’m a beginner bee keeper. Got my hives in January. Due to medical reasons only got around to pay attention to hives now. Mid April did some robbing, treated for varroa (I now realise that’s very late) and reduced one hive from 3 supers to 1 super. Other hive still have 3 supers. i also noticed wax moth and was told to reduce the hive, which I’ll do. Hive 1 now has 1 super and the reason for keeping it is because there was a lot of sugared honey in the frames which wouldn’t spin out. I now read that there should be no supers when treating with varroa. Question 1: what to do with that sugared honey? Do I keep it aside for spring wrapped in plastic? Or leave the super there? Question 2: If I keep the super there, do I keep the Queen excluder on? Or can she go up at this stage - I’m reading different views on this. Hive 2 still has 3 supers, but top very empty. Lots of sugared honey, which is why I initially left it there. I need to seriously reduce this hive as it’s the worst infected by the wax moth. Question 3: I can try to extract what I can, but I’ve already treated with Bayvarol varroa treatment. Is it good for human consumption. Question 4: if I cannot eat the robbed honey, can I in the spring mix it with little water and put it back in a feeder instead of using and buying sugar water? On the day I treated the hives I did some robbing first. Not knowing what I was doing, I uncapped lots of sugared comb thinking it will spin out. When I later heated the wax I was left with lots of honey. Question 5: Can this be fed back to the bees. It was mixed with a little water when I heated the wax. So yes, lots of specific questions, but any help appreciated.
  13. Today was sort it all out before it gets cold day. I have been trying to do this for a couple of weeks but have had tons of robber bees around. I went systematically through 3 of my 4 hives. Noting ( and writing on paper!) Checking carefully for AFB. ( I did do this pre taking honey off too) Honey and pollen stores, how much brood etc. I mapped out my boxes as I went. All was going well until I got to Hive #3. .... I needed to cull some nasty old frames. Some full of pollen and some with honey or nectar. This hive had produced lots of drone on these ugly frames. By the time I had put the strips on.All hell had broken loose. ? The robber bees had found me, my hives and the frames I was removing. I was trying to be as fast and tidy as I could be. Mass bees everywhere!!!! I eventually managed to brush bees off old frames and put frames in plastic box. I have entrance reducers on hives and eventually things calmed down. Any pointers you guys can share as to how you work when cleaning up before Winter? Also.... I caught a tiny swarm .. This hive is now 4 or 5 frames of bees 3 frames of capped brood but no stores. I have a feeder box on top and gave them the honey cappings. With so many robbers around ...Is it safe to give them some frames of honey and pollen from my other hives? Or am I better to just top feed? I was going to break up the old pollen frame and pop this in feeder box too.
  14. Hi Beeks, I have seen some robbing screens that are better suited for traditional wooden bases. I also have Hive Doctors bases however (Original x1 and Smart x 2) which have a lowered base for the entrance, rather than flush flat wooden. I have not had any robbing in mine, however my friend's apiary 30 meters away has had one of his weaker hive robbed out just a week ago. What robbing solutions do people suggest for Hive Doctor bases? I live 5 minutes away and it's not practical to check daily for any odd behaviours. So just seeking proactive strategies for my 3 hives. Appreciate your thoughts.
  15. Hi, I am fairly new to beekeeping in Wellington and have recently extracted my first batch of honey (yay!) and am now ready to treat for mites. I last treated my bees with Bayvarol so when I asked my supplier for Apivar, I was advised to use Thymovar. I ended up purchasing Thymovar but I am not too confident in using this product. Can someone please advise if Thymovar is safe/easy to use? Or if I’d be best to just use Apivar for my one hive? Thank you!
  16. Hi, I extracted honey for the first time last week and returned the wets to my two supers. I was told to leave them for about 2-3 weeks before removing them for storage over winter (and downsize to 2 brood boxes). The bees have done an excellent job of cleaning out the wets (bees are sooo amazing!) however have noticed they have started storing nectar in these frames. It has been less than the 2-3 weeks but I think the two supers and the cleaned out 'wets' are ready to be removed but not sure what to do about the nectar before I store them away? Assuming the will go off/ferment and not sure if that'd be ok and ready to re-use next time. Any advice on how I should remove my supers would be much appreciated - thank you!
  17. 4 weeks ago, I went into one of my best producing hives, with an older queen, with the intention of grafting from it. The queen was gone, and there were a couple of queen cells, that looked to be a day or two away from being capped. I had a look in yesterday and couldn't see any larvae or eggs, but found 2 queen cells. There was a reasonable amount of capped brood, in an arc around empty broodcells. My suspicion is that a queen emerged, was laying around existing brood, but they have tried to supercede her quite quickly. Owing to the timeframe I would suspect that a queenright hive wouldn't be building new queen cells, even if it was on a brood break. My plan is to go in, and remove the cells, then merge it with a queen right nuc. What your thoughts?
  18. An interesting puzzle to help you get your mind off the craziness going on around the world: I checked a friend's hobby hives today. She found a queenless hive last week and successfully merged it with a queen-right nuc. Today I went through the other 3 hives at her house and found two more apparently queenless. No eggs and almost no brood left, although what was there looked healthy, no sign of disease. I couldn't see any sign of the queens, but they might have been playing hide and seek. The hives were all strong, the two that seemed queenless were very heavily loaded with drones which tends to suggest that they are indeed queenless. She has 3 other hives in different locations, all doing well. We put mite treatment in today, so I have ruled out strips as being part of the problem. Two of the queens that appear to have failed come from a reliable local breeder, the other from a split she did herself. I realise that perhaps the queens are on a break so have suggested she wait another week before acting. If there is no sign of eggs in a week I am thinking that it would be best to re-queen them by merging them with a couple of my spare nucs so they have some winter bees in the hive. I would appreciate your thoughts. I am not sure how to explain the (potential) loss of so many queens in one location. I am helping her because her first two hives didn't make it their first winter at this location. I haven't seen such a high queen mortality rate before in what appear to be otherwise healthy hives. It is quite a cold site in Dunedin and she has ventilated hives floors that are still open. I have told her to close them up. While that might cause a weak hive I would have thought that it seems unlikely to explain so many missing queens?
  19. We have two hives, both "new" last November .. Currently both with 3 x 3/4 boxes - 2 brood & 1 honey box separated by a queen excluder. A check yesterday shows that Hive 1 [H1] has very little if any brood, and no larvae, in the brood boxes although lots of honey & pollen | nectar .. Hive 2 [H2] has 7 frames of brood [with larvae] in the bottom box - I did not get to check the 2nd brood box and will need to wait for the weather to turn now .. Comments please .. do I transfer brood or find a new queen ?
  20. Kia ora e hoa ma (hey friends) Wondering if you could help me. My bees have steadily been growing in numbers. I checked them again today and they are full to the brim. They had even build some cone in the underside of the feeder tray. So my questions are... - What are my next steps? - Do I chuck a second brood box on top? - If so, how do I do that? Do I take the frames from the outside and chuck them in the middle of the new box? I also spotted some interesting cells. Are the practise queen cells? See photo's below. Thanks for your help. Dave
  21. I'm not a bee keeper, however I want to do my bit in helping the bees thrive. I have a garden and have planted wild flowers and herbs which attract them. I want to know what I can do to help them out more. Also, I have noticed that the bees in my garden are half normal and half different? I took a photo and hopefully someone would be able to tell me what these bees are. They don't look like your standard bee. At least from a layman's point of view.
  22. Hey guys, recently I extracted couple boxes of honey and with many thxs from members here helping me with some tips! anyway the empty frames were leave inside the garages and Some1 leave the back door open! (Wife) Lol... I came back from work and the wife was scream for help lol..I opened the garage door and heaps! I mean heaps of bees roaring at the honey boxes! Slipped on the protected gear and move the boxes out the back yard! Now the next morning there were more bees coming for the honey! so I decided to Try to steal these bee! I place on the plastics base with close entry and used the top board with the 4 corners exit entry and turn it upside down so the bee can entry the hive Can’t exit back out! I mean it was a massive bee gathering, I have trapped bee swarm before but this time iam not too sure if it’s a swamp cause I don’t think there any queen with it! But it was a big gathering.. I know it abit too late this time of the season for getting fresh brood..would introducing a new queen worth trying? or should I merge these bee with my old lot?
  23. Last evening sat outside the "small hive" watching the comings and goings, I noticed a worker emerge, walk down the base to ground level and strike out on foot straight away from the hive. She seemed to pause three or four times then about a metre out, fell over and became inert. A minute or so later another worker repeated the performance almost exactly. I went over and picked them up looking for signs of wing damage, chewing, stings given or received. Nothing. Over a half-hour around ten bees did this as dusk fell. I noticed that the pauses looked like swift cleaning episodes, hind legs wiping down the sides of the abdomen, and not all of them did it. Some appeared hunched, some didn't. I came inside. This morning I fixed the roof of that hive, and sat and watched. There were no more bees on the ground out front than last night and in total there were about twenty of varying age among the litter. Then a solitary worker flew out and landed maybe twenty centimetres in front, and then walked the five metres into the bush stopping to groom a couple of times and not looking back. Bizarre. Supporting evidence: Last weekend a frame of brood and a frame of stores were put into a second brood box topped up with drawn comb and the box added to the hive since it was coming back from a slow build-up in shade this season. The nurses shaken back into the donor hive. An oxalic Varroa strip which was probably contributing to patchy laying was removed at that time. To relocate out of the site shade, the hive had been on holiday for a fortnight to the other side of the Hutt Valley and had fresh brood and more bees on its return a fortnight ago. The new site has good sun, little wind, is in ancient gorse and native regrowth, and has Red Wasps observed wandering by on occasion. Could they be attacking the hive? The hive is otherwise happy and healthy, docile enough to be looked into without gear but with caution, and foraging well. In a week they have begun capping the top third of one side of two of the drawn three-quarter frames. But we'd really like to know if you Wise Ones can explain the weird behavior and tell us what it means. Thanks.
  24. So its be dry here in the Central North Island and only about 8mm of rain in the last month. My hives have decent stores and are queen right when I last checked 10 days ago. Usually very calm bees that I can sit next to hives and just watch. Went to check hives yesterday before suiting up and got stung as a few guard bees went for me when I was a few meters away. They wouldn't give up so left them alone. Am I right in my assumption that due to the drought conditions there is no real honey flow on at the moment and if I open up the hives there is a real risk of robbing starting?
  25. I’m splitting 3 hives in to 6 today and I was planning on having split the hives yesterday. Is it still okay to split and introduce caged queens all in the same day?
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