NZBF: Both hives gone... advice please.

Welcome to NZ Beekeepers+
Would you like to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.
Sign up

Alastair

Founder Member
8,080
9,287
Auckland
Experience
Semi Commercial
OK, sorry to hear the queens are gone.

In that case the hives will not survive so the best course of action is to ensure your combs are preserved in good shape through winter so any bees you get next spring get a head start. To do that first block the hives to stop further robbing, and once robbing interest has subsided store the combs in a cool dry place over winter. Check them every month or so and if you see any wax moth activity you can spray the combs with BT, a powdered fungus available at your garden center that kills caterpillars, but will not hurt your bees.

Since you are in Palmy you could drop Trevor Gillbanks a message as he will know someone who can supply you some new bees next spring he is also a great person to know.

Don't take this loss too hard, losing hives to mites is almost a right of passage for many new beekeepers as the signs are very hard to pick up until a thorough understanding is gained over time.
 

Mummzie

Staff member
Gold
1,078
956
Tasman
Experience
Hobbyist
That's great info, thanks. So yes, there were a few dead while emerging, and the remaining uncapped larvae (again not that much) where white and still formed, did ropey test and looked ok. Both queens gone.
Experience can be a rough teacher @Kathryn , but the important thing is to learn from what happened. With both queens gone it certainly sounds like absconding.
Right now tho...its important that what hives and bees you have are not left as a danger to other colonies.

Alastairs advice is excellent.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kathryn
7
2
Manawatu
Experience
Hobbyist
Thanks for taking the time to give me you expertise & advice, much appreciated. I was really enjoying beekeeping so will regroup for next season.
 

Alastair

Founder Member
8,080
9,287
Auckland
Experience
Semi Commercial
Great to hear. I am sure that other than losing the bees, the rest of your beekeeping experience will have been fun. So will be great to hear more from you as you get more bees plus grow in knowledge. And you will grow in knowledge because it is obvious you have taken a serious and sensible approach :)
 

kaihoka

Gold
231
197
whanganui inlet
Experience
Hobbyist
Thanks for taking the time to give me you expertise & advice, much appreciated. I was really enjoying beekeeping so will regroup for next season.
When I have had brood and frames with pollen and honey from failed hive , not from AFB, I have put pollen frames in freezer . It will mould if you dont.
Also if frames have been attacked by wax moth 48 in freezer fixes that .
 
3,367
6,235
Hawkes Bay
Experience
Commercial
In autumn bee numbers are naturally dropping and varoa numbers are rising and when the critical point of varoa too bees is reached hives are destroyed very quickly and hives that looked fine two weeks ago can be in serious trouble by now.You can reuse gear from hives that have been killed by varoa but you should not leave them to be robbed out by other bees and they should be safely stored away until they can be repopulated. Store them cool , dry and ventilated and watch out for wax moth in which case they will need freezing.
Death from varroa is the commonest cause of hive losses amongst beginner beekeepers and it's not that uncommon amongst experienced ones.
I suggest you get a copy of the New Zealand varoa handbook which is an excellent publication although if you wait a little while I believe there is a new edition being worked on at the moment.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kaihoka and Kathryn


Top