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Author Topic: SHB Larva and bottom entries  (Read 4419 times)
SlickMick
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« on: February 27, 2009, 04:02:17 AM »

My 3 nucs have bottom entries as did the 2 hives I had that the SHB devestated. I have been wondering if the SHB larva is able to climb the walls of the hive in a top entry hive in order to exit the hive to pupate in the soil. Should we be investigating the use of top of hive entries if we want to control larva from moving on to pupation in the soil?

Not that I ever want to see SHB larva in my hives again but I was thinking that this may be a way of controlling the SHB if it gets to the larva stage and is unable to exit the hive.

Your thoughts and observations welcome
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
sc-bee
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2009, 09:44:50 PM »

a guy here tried using just a length of PVC pipe for an entrance--- I don't think it was effective. He actually helped in the design of the Hood Trap (I think or @ least the testing).
« Last Edit: March 01, 2009, 03:57:33 PM by sc-bee » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2009, 08:49:59 AM »

slickmick

I have been pondering the same question.  Seems like an excellent integrated management strategy and would do away with the need to poison the soil.  It's really hard to find many studies of SHB on the web.
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Stephen Stewart
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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2009, 09:09:43 AM »

First, let get over some myths about SHB and information that was put out very early by research types, before anyone knew anything about SHB.

Some interesting things about SHB.....

*They pupate in the hive just fine if they have to. They do not need to go into the surrounding soil.

*All your SHB are not coming from under your hives after pupating there. They can fly several miles each day. They can live off of fallen fruit and other matter.

*SHB are not attracted by dropped comb in the apiary. In the beginning, we were told to keep a clean yard and do not drop burr comb on the ground. Which is good advice, but means little to the SHB. SHB have been shown to be attracted to the alarm pheromones put off by a hive under attack or stress. So hives that are being robbed, being bothered by skunks, and even those being opened up by beekeepers, are sending out signals to the SHB to...come and get it!

*SHB have been shown to actually assimilate themselves into the hive and learn to beg and get fed by bees.

I would have my hives on a large piece of rubber. It may or may not help, but it will control the weeds.

I would focus on stock that has shown an ability to deal with SHB. (To me, there are three types hives..1) Those that do nothing and have SHB run around all day 2) Those that go after and attack SHB, 3) Those that corral and propolize the SHB into corners.

Certainly strong hives is a good suggestion. Like suggesting otherwise, whether SHB are present or not is a consideration...well duh! But many can attest the fact that hive strength plays little into it. I have seen really strong hives get destroyed by SHB. So I think that other factors are very important. Just as we see hives in a yard have mite counts like 2-12-4-45-8-3-56-3-2...why is that? Many times it's the individual hive ability to deal with them. Some hives also handle SHB in the same manner. I have seen two strong hives next to each other, one loaded with SHB (even if it's just beetles running around with no damage) and the next hive not a SHB to be found.

Certainly those down south are more vulnerable to SHB damage. And it seems sandy soil is not good.

You can drench the soil all day long. But that means little for beetles flying into your hives from another yard, or your bees ability to deal with them. They (larvae) do their damage prior to leaving your hive.
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« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2009, 09:30:27 AM »

I think we all know they fly to get to new hives.  My thinking is, once in a hive, can we break one part of their life cycle?   Now a hole has been shot into that if they can pupate in the hive.  So now a new discussion, where would they pupate in the hive?  In the comb or on the BB?  If their life cycle is to eat, then drop out of the comb, could they get back to the comb to pupate?  I would think not since they do not have grasping legs at that point.  I am chemical-free so I need as much info a possible to break the life cycle and limit the population of SHB--always knowing that they are coming in at night from miles away.  I notice them flying right at dusk and homing in on my entrances, but I have had them flying in the day and coming to a hive I just opened!!!  Crazy!!  Thanks for the new info, Bjornbee.
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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2009, 10:43:30 AM »

The dead larva in my West Hive Beetle trap won't be pupating.  Just wish more of the adults would go for a swim before laying.
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SlickMick
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« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2009, 03:37:41 PM »

Thanks ArmucheeBee and BjornBee for helping to crystallise my thinking.

I suppose that I have been thinking about breaking the life cycle as a tool for control is one of the issues. The other is not so much controlling the entry of the SHB into the hive as I am well aware of the manner in which they gain entry but more so that I am not as aware of what the SHB does to respond to attempts to break their life cycle. Pupation on the floor of the hive or elsewhere is not something I was aware of as I believed that it occured only outside the hive. I do know however that when I was attempting to save one of my hives the use of a floor trap was killing hundreds of larva so I was thinking that a floor trap and an entry above the floor would take considerable pressure off the hive by trapping the larva in large quantities. Whether this would be adequate in a hive that had developed to advanced SHB infestation I don't know. I imagine that by the time the floor trap is catching larva the brood chamber is dead and the larva are eating their way through the honey stores and that control prior to this time is more critical.

Another aspect of my thinking regards the pheromones used by the SHB to attract them to the hive. Are there pheromones that the SHB finds repulsive and that may be used to repel the SHB from entry but has no effect on the bee? I don't know but I am sure that this may be an area of study.

Recently I have been wondering if TBHs present a more difficult environment for the SHB as the hive carries only the amount of comb it needs for its purposes rather than frames of empty comb (especially after extraction) that present numerous hiding spots and also provide the opportunity to the SHB to move to the cycle of laying eggs. Has anyone made a comparison on this?

Just my 2c worth for the moment rolleyes
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
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« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2009, 03:56:06 PM »

Slickmick,
I'm not really thinking its the way you say for the TBH. A TBH, unless you are using a smaller volume type TBH, is still going to have unattended comb. The natural increase and decrease of the colony, swarming loss, and other aspects come into play. I know my TBH will have combs not really being worked at one time or another. I will say, that taking off or putting on boxes in a traditional hive, is something you can not do with a TBH. At least I do not do it.

The SHB are really after frames of pollen. So the bees ability to fend off SHB from getting established has much to do with the positioning of the pollen, whether the colony has collected too much and then later can not defend it all, and other factors. If SHB are good at going after smaller volume cavities and natural comb colonies of the feral bees, and they are, then I can not imagine an overall advantage of TBH against SHB just for the fact it's a TBH.
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« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2009, 04:31:33 PM »

>*They pupate in the hive just fine if they have to. They do not need to go into the surrounding soil.

I second that Cry!

I also find some hives are just doomed because the bees are not aggressive enough. My aggressive stock fare better.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2009, 09:40:49 PM by sc-bee » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2009, 06:55:42 PM »

I use top entrances. There is no difference on SHB populations due to top or bottom entrance.

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Brendhan
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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2009, 06:10:25 AM »

I suppose, BjornBee, that my thoughts were not developed far enough when I made my last post and made reference to TBHs. What I moving towards was using foundation less frames in the super and allowing the bees to grow their own comb as they need it.

My previous problems with the SHB seemed to come after extraction when I returned the stickies to the hive. Two weeks or so later my two hives were dead and I can only put this down to the inability of the hive to cover the stickies and control the SHB at the same time, allowing a SHB population explosion and the devestation of the hive. Interestingly when I put the stickies in I saw that the brood box was bubbling with bees at the queen excluder and I thought then that I would split the hive. When I went to do this after a couple of weeks I saw that the larva were in the 5 frames of honey that I left. When I then went and opened the brood box it was completely devestated.

My thoughts now are moving along the line of using the crush and strain process of extraction and to mount foundationless frames in the honey supers so that the bees build only the comb that they need hence removing the hiding spots for the SHB. I suppose that depending on the strength of the hive it may be appropriate to put in a division board and temporarily confine the space that the bees have to work in and protect.

I will be interested in your thoughts, BjornBee

Mick

ps we were just coming out of 6 years of drought and incredible water restrictions
« Last Edit: March 04, 2009, 06:24:39 AM by SlickMick » Logged

On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2009, 07:52:31 AM »

Slickmick,
Very interesting.

I wonder out loud......

Taking off honey no doubt is a stressful event for the bees. Unless it was an uncanny coincidence of some other circumstance, it would seem that the SHB numbers increased dramatically about the time you took off the supers for extraction. So I wonder about the confirmed research that shows the alarm pheromone as a main attractant to a hive. This has been known to attract SHB from miles around. I never really thought about hives being targeted by SHB by such an event.

No doubt the dynamics of the hive changed when you took off honey. Were the bees reluctant to spend energy defending such comb? I say that because I have seen fully functioning hives (ferals) where at certain times of the year, they basically give up a portion of the comb and almost seemingly allow wax moths to take out a certain amount of comb. Was this along those lines, but the bees not able to deal with the more aggressive nature of the SHB, to which they really were only introduced to in recent times?

I would consider placing the super on end out in the open, and let the bees clean them off that way. The open nectar/honey smell, which actually may also draw SHB into your place would at least be away from your hive a bit. (not that the SHB would not find your hives anyways). But at least you can have the bees clean up the comb, keep the area they defend to a minimum, and you could freeze each super for a day or two, then seal in bags.

Certainly something needs to be changed. (although as with many things with bees, you may not see this scenario in another 20 years....or again, maybe next year will be the same)  I would consider something to save the supers and comb, compared to crush and strain. With both options, you can lessen the comb area and limit the comb the bees need to defend. Not putting the supers back on wet may be the only thing you need to change.

How long did you have the supers off? And did you have SHB in the honey house or supers while you extracted? I have seen supers taken off of well defended hives, and within days of sitting in a honey house, develop SHB larvae in huge numbers. Although the larvae was not seen in the hives, they quickly took over the supers, both capped and uncapped. If this was allowed to happen (and the larvae at first are very small and easily missed in extracted supers) , then you placed them back on the hives, this would almost be a certain death wish as the bees could not deal with this advantage given to the SHB.

Certainly this should be a heads up and a red flag for those extracting in heavy SHB areas. Thank you Slickmick.
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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2009, 11:00:58 AM »

Let me add my SHB experiences. 
I have always seen some SHB in the hive.  Never more than 10 or so during an inspection.

Last year, I extracted from about 6 supers.  I then let the bees clean these for a day or two and stacked them in my garage.

A few weeks later, I came home to the larve crawling on the floor.  Thousands of them.  Some crawled almost 20 feet away looking for ground.   They made a real mess in my supers. 

I don't know if the eggs were laid before or after extraction.

After the next extraction, I let the bees clean them supers/frames for several days until virtually no bees had any interest any longer. 

I have not had a issue with supers since. 

Recently, I took fatbeeman's advice and made some traps that he has been using for a while and finds effective. 
  I am using screen bottom boards though and I doubt they will work as well.  I am probably going to switch to solid bottom boards so I can oxalic acid treatments easily in the fall and this may help with fatbeeman's simple and cheap trap. 
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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2009, 08:13:58 PM »

Two very thoughtful replies to my last post, Thanks guys.

Again some thoughts!  rolleyes

It seems obvious to me as it seems to you guys that the cycle has to be broken somehow. Especially in how we may be inadvertently assisting the SHB by our management practices. I am only a hobbyist so I would suppose that my management of my hives may well be less than what they should be and it seems to me that those whose living depends on their colonies well being will have reacted more appropriately than I have. Still I do think that the hobbyist can make contributions to the overall knowledge base.

What you guys are suggesting are to either break the cycle outside the hive or to modify the in-hive process so that the hive can be self cleaning.

Should I stay with mechanical extraction it is apparent to me that I can no longer put a whole super of stickies back on the hive a day or so after their removal and that I have to compress the number of frames down to a small handful added progressively. Perhaps I should be freezing the stickies before I put them back and remove the threat of hatching eggs in the super fully? I don't know if this would help significantly as I imagine that the beetle will quickly migrate to the super and do all the laying it wants to do while the bees are in cleaning mode anyhow. The out of hive suggestion sounds the most promising as it would divert the hive back to defending its comb as against cleaning it. Maybe a combination of freezing and the gradual reintroduction of comb into the hive will help its survival.

I am also wondering about the alarm pheromone aspect in the removal of honey from the hive. No doubt there would be plenty released with the removal process and its attraction would be significant. But I also wonder if the process of removing the honey supers and frames sets the beetle in the brood box off in an egg laying frenzy such that after a couple of weeks there is larva everywhere.

I cant say that I saw beetle in the honey supers although my understanding of the thing now is that they would have been there and this would have been a perfect time for the beetle population to explode.

All of this of course does not explain the devastation in the brood box and I can only surmise that the beetle was active there prior to removal for extraction. I suppose that what this means it that management at extraction time should include an inspection of the brood box. How you deal with more than superficial numbers of the beetle there is anybodys' guess at the moment as here the use of chemicals within the hive is severely restricted.

I was talking to one of the reps from our Department of Primary Industries yesterday asking about the Fatbeeman's use of coreflute stuffed with borax and inserted on the floor of the hive. She was saying that there is no issue with the use of borax as it is a natural pesticide and the way it is presented can't affect the bees. She did mention that some beeks here are using lime in the coreflute, I imagine to dehydrate the beetle. She also mentioned that some are also attaching a piece of wire to the front of the coreflute and inserting it through the entry. I would expect that apart from not having to pull the hive apart to check the trap, it has the potential to trap the beetle before it gets to the comb. I would be inclined to insert 2, one at the back of the hive to trap the beetle in the darker areas they seem to prefer.

I intend to do that over the next couple of days and will keep you posted once I can see a trend compared to my oil traps in the bottom boards.

Thanks for your thoughts

Mick
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
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« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2009, 08:43:42 PM »

I have thought about using fatbeeman's trap in this manner.  One at the back in the middle against the back wall with flutes turned parallel to the wall to get beetles using the wall as a guide.  And then at the front have two small traps on either side of a shorter than normal entrance with flutes parallel to the front wall.  My thinking is having traps right there as soon as the beetles enter when guard bees start attacking them and they seek shelter.  These traps could be checked easy by moving the small entrance blocks I have put there to narrow the entrance.  Does that make sense?

BTW I am going to the fatbeeman next saturday to pick up my packages.  Give me some questions to ask him.
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« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2009, 09:07:39 PM »

Let me add a bit more.  I totally forgot that freezing the frames after extraction if not going to put right back on the hive is an excelent defense and may be the only 100% effective one.   I did this each time I got an infestation. Then the frames still need to be 100% empty of traces of honey otherwise they attract the SHB.  I have read and tend to agree that if there is no honey, then they don't lay or can't be sustained.  That is why after extracted and frozen there is no further issue until the back on the hive again. 

Also, don't forget to deal with wax moth somehow. 

I did make some of fatbeeman's trap on my hives inserted from the front.  I fashioned a wire hanger to hold the trap and be inserted to the back of the hive from the front of the hive.  I will have my 1st inspection this Sat after more than a week on the hive.  Where there are not alot of SHB in the hives now, they are there. 
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« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2009, 11:36:00 PM »

You mentioned stress on the bee when removing honey supers. 

Have there been any studies conducted measuring stress levels when using ‘Bee Go’ or ‘Bee Quick’?

How about when using Bee Escapes?

cundald
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« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2009, 04:20:48 PM »

You mentioned stress on the bee when removing honey supers. 

Have there been any studies conducted measuring stress levels when using ‘Bee Go’ or ‘Bee Quick’?

How about when using Bee Escapes?

cundald

I have no idea about the use of Bee Go or Bee Quick as I dont know if anyone uses them over here or if they are permitted by the various departments of primary industries.

I would expect that the removal of the honey supers by any means including the use of bee escapes would increase the level of hive stress although this is only a gut feeling and I am unaware of any studies to investigate the matter. Sorry that I cant be more helpful.
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
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« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2009, 08:04:14 AM »


Some interesting things about SHB.....

*They pupate in the hive just fine if they have to. They do not need to go into the surrounding soil.


I seen this start as a suggestion about 2 years ago of beesource in a post, I seen it posted here before and I posted that it was nonsense, people would find cocoon's or something to show they can do this, so just in case someone might have found something in the last year or so I emailed Keith Delaplane to see what he said about SHB pupating in hives and not soil, this is what he send me back.

Ted, I have never known this to happen. In my experience they pupate exclusively in the soil.
 
 
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Professor and Walter B. Hill Fellow
Department of Entomology
University of Georgia
Athens, Georgia 30602-2603 USA
tel (706) 542-2816
fax (706) 542-3872
www.ent.uga.edu/bees
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« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2009, 08:29:20 AM »

Bjornbee

Where did you find "pupate in the hive just fine"?  Is there another researcher or personal ob?  I wonder if they need some media in the soil to complete the cocoon?
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« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2009, 08:52:00 AM »

Just a few observations on the logic here, not on SHB, as I have too little experience with that.

Just because you still see a lot of SHB does not mean you aren't interfering with their life cycle.  As mentioned they fly long distances and they may be coming from somewhere else.  It still seems like it's a good idea, as much as it's not a lot of trouble and it's not an insecticide, to interfere with their reproduction.

Just because someone in the South has never seen them pupate in the hive does not mean that someone in the North hasn't.  The SHB behavior could vary a lot according to the climate or temperatures at the time.
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« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2009, 09:30:41 AM »

now these are people (Keith) that study these thing for a living and share research with Northern Universities that also study them, there would be some kind of proof it was to ever been seen, now this hear say is nothing but hear say, think about it northern beekeepers would have found and taken pictures of this if it was to happen. one day they may evolve to do this but it is just hear say now.
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« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2009, 01:55:06 PM »

I'll follow up on this over the next few days with the DPI over here to see if there has been any research done on their pupation that may shed some light on this question.

Of course, should you manage to break the life cycle at the pupation state this would be more than likely too late to save the hive as the damage would be done. Not that we should not continue to exercise management practices that may(?) reduce the overall impact of the beetle.
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
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Location: Brisbane, Australia


« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2009, 02:06:43 PM »


Just because someone in the South has never seen them pupate in the hive does not mean that someone in the North hasn't.  The SHB behavior could vary a lot according to the climate or temperatures at the time.


That becomes another element in the question of control. The life cycle of the SHB may well be short enough that it is able to develop survival strategies that deal with the environment they are in or develop resistance to some of the chemicals against them. I dont know how your authorities deal with "approved" chemical treatments but I do know that there are quite severe restrictions over here and at the moment trapping and management seems to be the "approved" method of control.
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
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