Working in the shop at the Auckland Bee Club

I went along to Auckland bee club today, and spent most of the time helping Sue in the shop. It was a very busy day and I enjoyed meeting and talking to everyone that came in.

I managed to sneak out during the talks. The topics today were:-

  • Harvesting honey
  • Tips on entering the honey show.
  • Drone layers / AFB / Tutin checks.

Thanks to Donna for bringing in the old Green party election signs, we can recycle these as meshboard inspection trays or roof insulators for the bees. If only the Green party can also get neonicotinoid pesticides banned this term, all we be good with the world.

I also purchased some rope and food grade oil to make up some oily rope for one hive. The bees walk on the rope and get some of the oil on them. This is meant to make the bees groom themselves more and remove the varroa mites. Susie at the bee club is also going to give it a go.

We first heard about this at the last NBA conference last year from a talk by Anne Hulme. We will report back our findings.

Here is the recipe for the oily rope idea. I’m sure Anne Hulme wouldn’t mind it being published here. We had no way of getting in touch, if she is reading this then please get in touch.

Cords using Food Grade Mineral Oil (FGMO), Honey and Wax Recipe for 10 hives

250 grams FGMO and 125 grams Wax melted together first,

Then add 125 grams Honey stirred in on a low heat.

Drop in the cords and stir to cover well. Lift out with tongs and lay in an ice cream container. Pour any excess mixture back into the wok / frypan.

Use one metre of cord cut into a convenient size, to each brood box.

Lay the cords over the tops of the brood frames.

Replace monthly or before they get propolised. (Anne does it fortnightly in the honey season)

Cook the used cords again for next time. Can be used again and again for years.

Anne said that this did reduce the mites in her hives. So we are keen to give it a go, as it can be used with honey Supers on. And doesn’t add any pesticides to the hive :D.

Here are some photos from 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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9 Responses to Working in the shop at the Auckland Bee Club

  1. Wendy Pettersen says:

    Hi Gary,
    Update from Wendy
    I treated the hives with icing sugar- sprinkled each frame. I got a large mite fall over 30 per hive. I noticed that the mites were still crawling in the sugar so washed them off with very hot water to do them in. Three days later I put the mineral oil cords in top of the supers. I also removed drone cells. The mite fall is 5 in 24 hours.

    I will repeat the sugar once a week but if it does not improve drastically in two more weeks I will treat with Apivar.

    Most the bees look good and I have only seen 2 deformed undersized bees.

    Thanks for the mineral oil recipe. Where do you buy mineral oil?

    Regards
    Wendy

    • Gary says:

      Hi Wendy, great stuff on the count.

      I got the oil from the bee club, but I’m sure you could get it other places?

      Does anyone know of another place to buy fgmo?

      See ya…Gary

  2. Gina says:

    Basically doing the rope, oil and wax idea you are making a balm. Why not add in some thyme essential oil or other oils that are used to deter mites and this to can rub off onto the bees.

  3. Gina says:

    The pharmacy carries it but its called something else. Darn I cant remember right now.

  4. Wendy Pettersen says:

    Hi Gary,
    My mite count continued to climb so I have treated with Thymovar ( very expensive help) Now the mite fall is astronomical 10 per hour (150 in a 15 hr count) I am just watching and counting the mites.

    Wendy

  5. Doug Harris says:

    the food grade mineral is very dangerous to bees and humans

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