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Author Topic: G'day from Brisbane Australia  (Read 2198 times)
Meadlover
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« on: September 24, 2009, 01:09:42 AM »

G'day everyone,

I have recently (6 weeks ago) been given 2 honey bee hives so am on a very steep learning curve with a certain level of negative reinforcement involved.
I also have 1 native Australian bee hive in a log, so I'm trying to learn as much as I can about both species of bee - the more I learn, the more I realise there is to learn!!!
Anyhow, I am trying to learn as much as possible as quickly as possible considering we have just moved into spring here, so I will probably be lurking around the forum for a while, since I'm not really sure what questions to ask yet.
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Scadsobees
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Best use of smileys in a post award.


« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2009, 08:37:22 AM »

Welcome, and congrats on the 2 hives!!  No better teacher than experience...

Don't worry, you'll come up with questions...plenty of them! Smiley...if you want to read lots, use the search tool, or if you'd rather interact, then just post your questions.

And keep those hives dusted! grin
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Rick
Lone
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« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2009, 06:36:12 PM »

Hello, welcome Meadlover.  I'm from Queensland also and in my 2nd year of beeing.  It's a good time to get bees, with all sorts of weeds and flowers coming out.  There have been buds on the iron bark for months here, and I'm hoping there will be a good honey flow if they ever erupt. 

You might like to get small hive beetle traps in place, because the blighters can ravage your hives quickly, especially if you are not expecting them.

Your native bees might not supply you with much mead, but it will be interesting for us all to find out how you manage them and what they get up to.  There are always so many native bees around, and apparently they don't fly far, but I've never found a hive of them.

Lone
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1reb
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« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2009, 09:37:14 PM »

Hello and Welcome Meadlover   
There is alot of great information on the forum !!
The members here are willing help and answer your questions, all you need to do is to ask


Johnny
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SlickMick
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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2009, 07:06:21 AM »

G'day Meadlover, SlickMick from Brissy here.. welcome on board.

Nice to have you around and to know that there is someone else in that most magical of Aussie cities caring for the little flying honey maker.

I have been keeping bees in Camp Hill for over 15 years and have learned so much from the various forums I post to. I find them quite fascinating... and bountiful

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
JWPick
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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2009, 12:40:12 PM »

Welcome Meadlover! I know you'll enjoy the wonderful and knowledgeable people on this great Forum. There are so many different experience levels and wisdom for you to be able to get ALL of your questions and inquiries answered. Have fun!
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Meadlover
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2009, 07:13:08 AM »

You might like to get small hive beetle traps in place, because the blighters can ravage your hives quickly, especially if you are not expecting them.

Lone
Well you were right on the money Lone, the SHB hit, and they hit HARD.
Here's the story of my hives:

A friend of a friend was giving away 3 hives (1 double & 2 triples). They had not been opened, let alone maintained, for over 2 years. We loaded the 3 hives onto the back of the ute (no stings) and took them to another friends 10 acre property where we carefully, but not so gracefully unloaded the 3 hives (5 stings to my head) and put them on a hive stand with 1 other hive already there.

After leaving them settle for 2 weeks we extracted the honey.

After another 2 weeks I inspected them, and replaced a brood frame in each with some new foundation to give them something new and straight, rather than the very old very dark brown comb currently in them. I saw a few SHB but both of my friends assured me they weren't of an excessive number and not to worry.

Another 2 weeks later (Friday just gone) I opened them to check again. 2 hives were good and strong with a few SHB running around trying to avoid my hive tool as I attempted to crush as many as I could. The next 2 hives were a different story. As soon as I opened them up I could see that the frames were shiny and slimy and I knew from my lurking and googling over the past few weeks that this was not going to be good. On taking out some frames from the honey super they were devastated with SHB larvae. I shuddered to think what the frames in the brood box were like, and to my dismay they were even worse. It was like the frames were alive with a slimy gooey wriggling mass of grubs. I could not find any bee larvae or eggs, the queen had completely stopped laying, but then there was nowhere clear for her to lay. I cleaned out the brood box as best I could, took every single frame with SHB in it, and replaced it with a frame of drawn comb and some foundation.
The last hive had absconded. The queen that I had found and marked the week before was gone, along with her loyal followers. There was maybe 200 valiant bees remaining, fighting their best against the SHB and larvae. I wrapped all contaminated frames and supers in plastic, then soaked them in detergent and water over night.

A couple of days later thanks to SlickMick, I have transferred the weak hive into a 4 frame Nuc, and thankfully they were looking good with some eggs laid, some nectar and pollen collected, and had started to draw out one of the sheets of foundation.

I was in the process of building some new bottom boards with built in SHB traps, but unfortunately it looks like I was a couple of weeks too late. Needless to say these will be going onto the hives as soon as I have them built!

ML
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SlickMick
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« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2009, 07:28:30 AM »

Glad to hear that things are looking better for that hive Mat. Are the eggs from that queen or did you put a frame of eggs and brood in with them in the nuc? They will be much happier in clean surroundings again and should build up quickly if you can keep the shb at bay.

Have you seen any shb in the oil trap?

Stay in touch and let us know how things progress. Glad to have been able to help

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
Meadlover
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« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2009, 08:12:35 PM »

Are the eggs from that queen or did you put a frame of eggs and brood in with them in the nuc?

The eggs (about 1/2 of 1 side of a frame) are from that hive's queen, so she had started laying again into the old dark drawn comb that I put in their on friday.
I also put a frame of bees, eggs and larvae into the nuc from my strong hive.


Have you seen any shb in the oil trap?

Literally 1 minute after putting oil into the SHB trap of your Nuc box, there were 2 beetle in there already, so looks like a very effective trap.

ML
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Cindi
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« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2009, 10:02:13 AM »

ML.  Welcome to our forum, so wonderful that you found us, and that goes a long way.  YOu have had a very intense initiation into the secret life of the honeybee, you will be held deeply under their spell, and will love to be living amongst the bees.  We are all spellbound by these glorious little beauties.  Good that you have worked so hard to get the SHB under control.  It will come.  We are fortunate in our area that we don't have that bothersome pest, hope it doesn't cross the border, smiling.  We have several members from your country, that is cool.

Stick around, we love new members.  We love to listen and offer help and advice when asked.  Our forum has a mountain of information at your fingertips, use the search function, very useful.  This will be that place where you can spend such quality time, a place to tell your stories, tales and experiences to those that care.  Have that most awesomely wonderful day, with great health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Lone
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« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2009, 09:45:48 AM »

Hello ML,

How are the pets going?

I hope you are on top of the SHB.  I didn't know they were in this area until I finally saw one, long after a couple of hives fled or were ruined.  I think they are still reportable to the DPI, but I suppose they will be everywhere soon.  When I found them I panicked of course and ordered Guilfoyles traps.  They might be something like what you are using.  They seem to work.  Guilfoyles are in Brisbane so you can always go there and have a look at their gear.

Anyway, I raced round the paddock on the four wheeler just before dark tonight, and it's a different picture to last week when we couldn't see a bud out in the paddock.  Coming out are: iron barks, lollypop trees, neem trees, pepper trees, nit trees, native blackberries, luceana, and black tea tree.  I've had a weakness for beefeed recently, and have a couple of river red gums in tubes ready to plant somewhere.  I also ordered a couple more callistemon alma.  That one is like lollies to the bees.  So in about 20 years they might have enough to eat.

Lone
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Schoon
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« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2009, 08:32:56 PM »

Hello and Welcome meadlover.
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Bobby
Cindi
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« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2009, 09:51:02 AM »

When I found them I panicked of course and ordered Guilfoyles traps.  They might be something like what you are using.  They seem to work.  Guilfoyles are in Brisbane so you can always go there and have a look at their gear.
Lone

Lone, I think that panic is sometimes a very good thing.  This panic is probably what really helped along with this combat of the SHB, I'm, for one, glad that you panicked, smiling.  Have that most awesomely wonderful and beautiful day, with great health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Meadlover
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« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2009, 05:35:41 PM »

Thanks for the warm welcome everyone.

*edit*
How are the pets going?
*edit*
Lone

I checked the hives yesterday and all seems to be OK. The Nuc hive has drawn out most of the foundation sheet and the queen has laid eggs throughout the available cells. They have continued to collect pollen, and the nearly full frame of honey I put in there looks similar so they haven't used it all, or filled it and capped it so I take that as good (or at least not bad). The SHB trap in the base of the hive had probably 100 beetle in it after a week, so it's certainly doing it's job.

The big hive with the double honey super is looking OK, but I think they may need a few weeks to build up a big stronger after I removed a frame of eggs and bees, plus shook another frame of bees into the Nuc. The entrance was very busy, but not all the frames in the brood box were covered in bees, so I think they need a bit of recovery time. I swapped the brood box with a new base and box with a built in SHB trap at the back so hopefully that works it's magic. Once I had removed all the frames of bees there was quite a few bees at the back of the box, acting as prison guards holding the SHB at bay. I must have crushed 100-200 SHB in there, but it has given me some confidence as the SHB trap I have is exactly where those bees had rounded up all those SHB.

I took several photos so will post them when I get around to it. Got a photo of both queens, although it looks like they've cleaned off nearly all the paint from the paint pen that I used to mark them! (More drying time I think next time)

ML
« Last Edit: October 05, 2009, 06:23:44 PM by Meadlover » Logged
SlickMick
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« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2009, 01:17:46 AM »

Mike, that's such good news about the success of the trap in the nuc and how they are doing so well now that they have a clean hive to work and live in. If it looks like the nuc is getting too small you could move them into a normal hive with a division board in it so that you can add frames to bring them up to strength

Will be interested to know how the floor trap goes in the other hive

You must have had quite an infestation to get that many shb out of the nuc

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
Meadlover
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Location: Gold Coast Hinterland, QLD, Australia


« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2009, 06:35:16 PM »

Lone, it's great to hear you are planting out some trees and thinking long term. I'm hoping to get onto acreage (5-10) in a year or 2, so I'm doing research and playing around with propagation now of some trees, and hopefully some native bushes (raspberry, finger lime, cumquat and native cherry).

Mick, it certainly was a very acute SHB infestation, and I specifically took a photo of the SHB bottom trap so that I could try and do a count this week of exactly how many 'victims' it had claimed over the set 6 day period. I also installed a Hood trap into one of the frames in that nuc, but it didn't look like there was anywhere near as many trapped in there. My strong hive has 2 AJ beetle traps in there, and there was quite a few drowned in there, but probably not as many as in the bottom trap of the nuc, and I'm not really keen on how fiddly and intrusive they are to manage.

ML

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Lone
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« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2009, 02:37:39 AM »

Hello ML,

It's certainly expensive, time-consuming, water wasteful, unhealthy (for folk with asthma and allergic rhinitis) and thankless to feed bees by planting trees, but that's how we are.  Smiley  Actually, I had an offer yesterday of bringing a hive into town, where there'd be flowers all year round.  I rang the council today and it's illegal to have pigs, bees and peacocks in town.  I asked if there were an onus on getting rid of wild hives or swarms on your property in town in that case, and he didn't know.  So I offered to put my name on a list to catch swarms or established hives, and he was rather pleased.  I think I'm the first one on that list.  So now I'll have a lot of learning to do about trap outs and cut outs and swarm catching I expect.

Cindi,  actually there were a few months between the ruination of the hives and seeing a live beetle.  When I caught it, I rushed onto Ventrilo and had it identified by the nice experts there.  But at that stage I'm sure it saved further problems.  I certainly haven't had as many beetles as ML.  ML is about 1000km south of here.  Brisbane got the beetles a while ago, and I suppose they are more established there.

Lone
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Meadlover
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« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2009, 05:47:24 PM »

Good stuff Lone, I added myself to a swarm listing yesterday so hopefully I will get to find out soon how I go at swarm collection  Undecided

Hopefully if I can post links here yet there will be a photo of the SHB trap in the Nuc after 6 days. My guess of 100 was a bit out but I can definititely see 43 dead SHB, and a few dark areas could be hiding another 10-20.


ML
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SlickMick
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« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2009, 10:22:59 PM »

At least 40 shb  out of a nuc... that is pretty impressive

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
Meadlover
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Posts: 216

Location: Gold Coast Hinterland, QLD, Australia


« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2009, 08:18:37 PM »

This was reassuring to see on a frame 6 days after placing the foundation into the nuc where the queen had stopped laying
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