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:-