The Franklin Bee Club and the Kiwimana Meshboard

Peter starts the day with a laugh

Bacon and Eggs

We woke up to a cold frosty day at Kiwimana HQ and headed out to the Franklin Bee club. We stopped for breakfast at the Autobahn cafe on the motorway. The food and coffee were nice and hot.

Hive with Kiwimana Meshboard


Today’s discussions were about varroa mites, Gary did a presentation about our kiwimana Meshboards. We discussed the benefits and how you count mites with them. The discussion went down well, we gave out some print outs of the process. For those that didn’t get a copy or were not there that day. Here is the article “Mite counting with a Kiwimana Meshboard“.

If you interested in buying a kiwimana Meshboard, please check out Our Shop.

Peter held a discussion about his trials with oxalic acid which was very interesting. He did a drop count of the mites the day after he did the treatment, the drop court was over one thousand mites.

The oxalic acid is mixed with sugar syrup and then this liquid is dribbled over the bees in the brood boxes.

This is the method that Peter uses. He also stressed the need to be sure about the mixture and the type of oxalic acid you have.

The “Control of Varroa” by Mark Goodwin and Michelle Taylor book has a lot of information about this method. Which we are going to try soon on some of our bees. It’s important to be very careful with this treatment, as exposure to the raw acid can be very dangerous to you and your bees. So be sure to mix it correctly.

He also discussed the clubs oil fogger that has yet to be used. We have donated a Kiwimana Meshboard to the club, for the fogging trials that the club are going to conduct.

During the inspections a couple of the hives were not very strong, so we reduced these down to a single box. The hive I inspected didn’t have any brood at all, let’s hope it still has a queen.

New Excluder

We also installed the two new kiwimana Meshboards onto the hives. Which we must say looked great with they coat of linseed oil. We have put our new entrance reducers on, which allows the entrance to closed down for winter.

It’s important to reduce the hive entrance over winter to make it easier for the bees to defend the hive against invaders such as wasps/yellow jackets.

Thanks to Les, Joan and Sharon for baking and bringing along such wonderful cakes on the day.

Afterwards we went out for a coffee with Greg and Peter at a nearby cafe. After we put the world to rights, we headed back down the motorway to home.

Another great day in Franklin. Were you there that day, how did you think the day went?

Here is all the photos of the day:-

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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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2 Responses to The Franklin Bee Club and the Kiwimana Meshboard

  1. Don says:

    Great report and photos on Sunday’s meeting. I learn something new every time I attend, but I should go more often! On Monday I purchased some oxalic acid and treated my hives as per the manual and Peter’s instructions.
    The Varroa manual is available free on line – http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/files/pests/varroa/control-of-varroa-guide.pdf
    And you can purchase 99% oxalic acid from Ceracell in 250 gram lots for $6 and a 60 ml syringe from RD1 for $3.99. Follow the safety instructions and apply carefully.

    • Gary says:

      Thanks Don for the feedback.

      We would be very interested to hear how your bees get on with the treatment, did you do a mite count before and after you did the treatment?

      See ya…Gary

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