Commercial beekeeping during covid lockdown level 4

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117
160
Gisborne Tairawhiti
Experience
Researcher
.imho the 2m rule is a bit BS, thats really close. but it probably doesn't matter as it stays in the air for people to breath in. hence why mask use is so important.
True. The ‘2m rule’ came out before we knew COVID was airborne. . . itself an interesting story based on information on particle size being wrongly interpreted decades ago.
My somewhat facetious take on it is if you can *see* someone outside your bubble without a mask. . . you’re too close !
 
8,433
4,864
maungaturoto
Experience
Commercial
True. The ‘2m rule’ came out before we knew COVID was airborne. . . itself an interesting story based on information on particle size being wrongly interpreted decades ago.
My somewhat facetious take on it is if you can *see* someone outside your bubble without a mask. . . you’re too close !
yes, thats a really interesting story of how that came about.
it really makes you think about how other things are spread and the importance of good ventilation.
 

Alastair

Founder Member
8,080
9,287
Auckland
Experience
Semi Commercial
Because they are queenless they don't get a varroa strip, the thought being that there is no brood for the varroa to grow in..... and I can save a few dollars

I take a different tac with those. In my view they have as many varroa as any other hive, just, concentrated down onto a smaller number of bees now.
If the requeening attempt works out then it's a good thing they were treated. If it does not work out they will become a varroa bomb. So in my view they should be treated either way, I treat them anyway.
 
8,433
4,864
maungaturoto
Experience
Commercial
I take a different tac with those. In my view they have as many varroa as any other hive, just, concentrated down onto a smaller number of bees now.
If the requeening attempt works out then it's a good thing they were treated. If it does not work out they will become a varroa bomb. So in my view they should be treated either way, I treat them anyway.
treat everything the same.
a lot of problems come about because that one hive didn't get treated, and then you never have the strips etc on hand when your there next. its those odd hives that often get missed and end up being the cause of problems later on, long after we have forgotten about them.
 

Alastair

Founder Member
8,080
9,287
Auckland
Experience
Semi Commercial
Found one today.
Got to the site and a hive is being robbed. Opened it, there was an orange sized patch of very PMS brood and a few bees trying to hold the fort. Almost all honey stolen, and 4 bayvarol strips in it.
I realised that last autumn when I went around and removed the bayvarol, if it hadn't worked I replaced with apivar. This hive I must have missed cos it still had 4 bayvarol strips in it, I hadn't re treated it.
All the mites in it were being transferred to the other hives. Anyhow they all got treated today so hopefully that will make things right. The PMS hive was not saveable I put the broodbox mites and all onto the broodbox of another hive along with treatment, so hopefully it can be re split in a month or two.

It went onto the hive that was clearly the main robber. Very active at the entrance and had new stores in amongst the brood. I figured it already got a lot of the mites so it may as well get the rest :rolleyes:.
 
3,367
6,235
Hawkes Bay
Experience
Commercial
It's been quite noticeable in my hives this spring that hives that are weaker than normal for whatever reason have more varoa per bee .
This could be cause-and-effect but it seems to me that were hives are boosting away in the spring they are actually at least for a little while out breeding the varoa while hives with dud Queen's et cetera just end up with more and more varoa and fewer bees. I am an absolute believer in treating every hive at the same time. This is by far the best method to keep hives healthy in the short-term but of course in the long-term we are not selecting our survivors.
 

kaihoka

Gold
231
197
whanganui inlet
Experience
Hobbyist
. I am an absolute believer in treating every hive at the same time. This is by far the best method to keep hives healthy in the short-term but of course in the long-term we are not selecting our survivors.
i wonder if bee keepers are more sympathetic to the philosophy of vaccinating the whole world.
no one is safe till we are all safe.
there are a lot of parallels between disease control in humans and bees.
 
5,519
5,836
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
Big thanks to our local bottle store Stevo and his van code named BEV. ......Bevy Essentials Vehicle ..... planning for the worst, hoping for something .... a delivery made contactless in the middle of the yard. Good job the slave on the Bobcat was being a lert.5EB13806-F400-421E-963C-800EC90E5877.jpeg
 
5,519
5,836
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
It's been quite noticeable in my hives this spring that hives that are weaker than normal for whatever reason have more varoa per bee .
This could be cause-and-effect but it seems to me that were hives are boosting away in the spring they are actually at least for a little while out breeding the varoa while hives with dud Queen's et cetera just end up with more and more varoa and fewer bees. I am an absolute believer in treating every hive at the same time. This is by far the best method to keep hives healthy in the short-term but of course in the long-term we are not selecting our survivors.
A few years ago when we had some massive winter losses, we regroupoed and rebuilt,splitting evrything that was splittable, and some.
We raise our own queens,so in a sense the cell raisers were the survivors.
I use the same yard for cell builders every year. They get no special treatement .... except that I leave a lot more honey on them for the winter.
I just graft from what ever out of the yard of 24 has nice looking larva on the day I am looking.

I've spent this last lockdown feeding bees and taking stock of what we have this year.
Two yards of 48 hives have a visible varroa issue. Another two yards have 50% dead ....one yard we forgot to treat until we found it wintering down, and the other came out of pollnation totally thrashed and never really stood a chance.
The balance of the other 20 or so yards are up and down, but mostly weaker than normal,with many queens only just starting to lay.

It's always a mental challenge at this time of year ..... wondering how the heck a hive with one and a half frames of brood will make a crop gatherer of 100,000 workers. .
But experience says that with dilgence and syrup, and the odd wasrm day, a miracle will unfold.
 
5,519
5,836
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
Bit like mine ..... pretty grumpy on a rainy day.
This feeding round I wore gloves as the pine needles were tooo wet and the hessian carpet underlay too damp,and a grumpy smoker just slows the whole operation down, but generally the bees are friendly enough to have no gloves and a little puff of smoke
 
5,519
5,836
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
I'm in a dilemma.

Spring is sprung and I need to get out and and start tending my bees properly, or it becomes a welfare issue ......
I can do it myself for a while , but corners will be cut and the BEV bus will be making more deliveries up the road ......

I need to hire staff.
I have two ready and waiting , but watching the news and talk of overrun ICU's and how to maintain safe distance .... my bubble is precious .... and to what end do we go so that we don't compromise that.

Perhaps wait another week ..... ?
Perhaps buy another ute .....?
Perhaps just be philosophical and pick what ever's left when we emerge from the Tunnel of Lockdown.
 

Grant

Staff member
Founder Member
Platinum
10,247
4,789
Essential workers everywhere have the same dilemma. Everyone has to wear a mask indoors ( in the truck) and outside you distance as work allows.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: bighands
187
176
Southland
Experience
Commercial
I'm in a dilemma.

Spring is sprung and I need to get out and and start tending my bees properly, or it becomes a welfare issue ......
I can do it myself for a while , but corners will be cut and the BEV bus will be making more deliveries up the road ......

I need to hire staff.
I have two ready and waiting , but watching the news and talk of overrun ICU's and how to maintain safe distance .... my bubble is precious .... and to what end do we go so that we don't compromise that.

Perhaps wait another week ..... ?
Perhaps buy another ute .....?
Perhaps just be philosophical and pick what ever's left when we emerge from the Tunnel of Lockdown.
If you can't do all the work alone, you'll need to hire help and if you're worried about transmission, but have two ready and waiting and I take it experienced enough to send out alone, I'd buy another ute and get them on the job. It'll make you feel better, them feel better and you might win financially too, as in not loosing too many hives. Lives a gamble, but you said you're bubble is precious, so go for it!
 
  • Agree
Reactions: Grant
5,519
5,836
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
Uh Huh ...... I have two NewBees on this year .... so I need to be quite intimate with both of them !
Perhaps they both join my bubble and come and live here .....
Or maybe I say 'No Vax, No job' ..... but I'm told that is not acceptable in todays social enviro.
 
187
176
Southland
Experience
Commercial
Uh Huh ...... I have two NewBees on this year .... so I need to be quite intimate with both of them !
Perhaps they both join my bubble and come and live here .....
Or maybe I say 'No Vax, No job' ..... but I'm told that is not acceptable in todays social enviro.
Oh blast, newbees makes it harder, a lot harder. I'll have another glass of wine and think it over.....:unsure:
 


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