AFB Check at Earthsong

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Went along to check on a hive at the Earthsong, which is an Eco-Neighbourhood project based in Ranui in West Auckland. For more information about this project please check out their web site

It seemed like a great place indeed very peaceful with loads of gardens about. Conny had asked us to come and perform the yearly AFB (American Foul Brood) check on her hive.

All beekeepers in New Zealand must have their hives inspected by a DECA certified Beekeeper by 30 November each year. We are both DECA certified.

The hive had a new Queen that we spotted today, Conny believed the last one left with a swarm a few weeks back.
We managed to spot the Queen who looks Great:-

I checked all the brood frames from any sign of AFB, but none was located. Did open up a Drone Brood Cell and look what I found:-

So it looks like the hive has Varroa mites, at some point it seems the hive may have had a drone layer as some frames were covered in Drones.

It was great to see some emerging working bees, so hopefully the hive will build up its numbers and become a strong hive for Conny.

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About Gary Fawcett

Gary enjoys designing new kiwimana products which we sell through our on-line shop. He is passionate about saving the Bees and encouraging urban beekeeping. Gary loves to write about issues that affect the Bees and our environment. He is also into tramping/walking in the beautiful New Zealand bush.

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6 Responses to AFB Check at Earthsong

  1. Great pictures of a newly thriving colony! Looks like they are building up rapidly. We had a baby colony this year from nuc to hive and they have done really well getting ready for winter. Do you have any treatments that you have to do for varroa in New Zealand? We use Apiguard in autumn followed by oxalic acid in December, although some beeks at my apiary are thinking of trying natural treatment thymol. Have you tried it?

    • Gary says:

      Hi Emma, Yes we have been trying thymol this year “Apilife Var”, still early days yet. But it does seem to do the trick.

      keep watching we will report back on how the bees get on with it.

      See ya…Gary

  2. Conny says:

    Thanks again Gary for the check and nice write up on your blog! So great to see my hive is doing – phew!

    • Gary says:

      Hi Conny, Thanks for feedback. You are most welcome. Keep us posted on how your girls are going. Pretty sure the Queen will be laying more soon and you will have a strong hive.

      See ya…Gary

  3. Bruce says:

    I have good success with a simple screened bottom board and sugar dusting. Do you use a screened bottom board?

    • Gary says:

      Hi Bruce,

      Thanks for the feedback, Yes we make mesh boards ourselves. All our hives use them.

      We have found that Sugar Dusting is a good way to reduce the number of walking mites, but not enough to control the mites totally. We use it along with several other methods in controlling the Varroa mites.

      I will check out your blog…Thanks…Gary

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