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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:24 pm 
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I don't know if you guys knew this, but there has been an ongoing problem in New Zealand often referred to as "honey sickness" where people eat honey and then suffer from a neurotoxin that makes them very ill. The neurotoxin is tutin from the tutu shrubs, but scientists couldn't figure out how it was getting into the honey since the bees stay away from that plant. They recently had a breakthrough and discovered that the bees are eating the droppings of another insect imported from Australia that feeds on the toxic plant. Not only that, but they discovered two new forms of the tutin that were disguised by a sugar coating. These sugar coated toxins had been evading discovery, which is why people kept getting sick even after honey was tested for the neurotoxin. Now, they know what to look for and can keep honey with the toxin off the market.

Here's the source, though you probably have to be a member to read the full article:
https://www.sciencenews.org/article/mys ... ney-nabbed

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:46 pm 
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Very interesting.... I had not heard about this. Well I know what I'll be reading up on for the next few hours at work. I'm such a great employee :rofl:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2015 7:30 pm 
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Hubby made whipped honey. Image

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:38 pm 
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For checking honey and products we want to put in honey (such as blueberry mash to make whipped blueberry honey) for moisture content, is it better to use a hydrometer or a refractometer?

If the answer is "hydrometer" or "either", would just any hydrometer work - even a "soil" hydrometer? Is there any reason it wouldn't work?

Basically trying to decide between these:
Dr. Meter Moisture Sensor
Brew Tapper Triple Scale Hydrometer
Beer Wort and Wine Refractometer

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:14 pm 
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Anianna wrote:
For checking honey and products we want to put in honey (such as blueberry mash to make whipped blueberry honey) for moisture content, is it better to use a hydrometer or a refractometer?

If the answer is "hydrometer" or "either", would just any hydrometer work - even a "soil" hydrometer? Is there any reason it wouldn't work?

Basically trying to decide between these:
Dr. Meter Moisture Sensor
Brew Tapper Triple Scale Hydrometer
Beer Wort and Wine Refractometer


I believe you want a refractometer. It's what I use and it's whats worked well. I don't know about a hydrometer

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:40 pm 
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Danke.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:23 am 
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Saw this and figured I'd throw the link up for y'all:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... demic.html

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:41 pm 
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NamelessStain wrote:
Saw this and figured I'd throw the link up for y'all:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... demic.html


I kept the formic acid in the hives for longer when I over wintered them. I wasn't able to get some of trays out of the hives before we had a cold snap, so I guess this will be an experiment. I don't actually trade hives or anything else so I'm good in that sense. But I know the big producers buy, sell, trade hives all the time when they are traveling across the country.

Also read an article a couple weeks about about the spread of Africanized honey bees (aka killer bees) and how they are spreading through out the US faster than ever. But hopefully the cold spells we had in the midwest and south will kill them off. They aren't really used to cold weather and don't protect themselves like european honey bees and bumble bees do.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:58 pm 
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Yea, one of the best ways to avoid having diseased bees is to make sure you are buying hardy breeds. Somewhere, I have a list of breeds and what potential diseases or problems they bring. I don't recall if I posted it in this thread anywhere, but if I can find it again, I'll post it.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2016 6:30 pm 
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Been quite on this thread for a while no updates by Ani, did you ever get more bees I think I recall you lost your hives last year.

Anyways and update on my hives, had quite a bit of loss this year. Lost 7 hives over the winter I still have 8 which is plenty for now. The 5 I lost were down at my neighbors and I couldn't get down there last fall because he was in the process of losing his house ( :ohdear: ). I lost 2 of mine at moms house which is under the average from what I've read. Looks like 1 died of starvation the other due to loss of the queen in early spring. The starvation was probably early on, they had plenty of food in the upper hive but all the honey in the lower hive was all gone.

I've opened up all the hives and all are showing to be VERY active and strong. Last year I lagged behind and didn't get into the hives early this year I've opened them up and started to take out the build up on the frames (swarm cells) so far I haven't found any queen swarm cells which is good. I'm going to really try and stop them from swarming to get the maximum amount of honey from my bees this year so I can reinvest the money into the hives. Really would like to get more frames this and boxes, some of mine are getting old and need to be replaced.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:18 am 
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Using Bee products rather than keeping them, but I've recently been making a lot of birch bark tar, and I've been having trouble getting it to set as nicely as the stuff I used in Canada. I added just a small amount of bees wax and right away, I had birch tar that softened in my hands, wasn't tacky and would reheat and melt cleanly.

Is there anything on Guerilla growing bees? Building an easily raidable nest box, making habitat for the bees and then abandoning them until you want honey? Or is this an abhorrent concept?

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:48 am 
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Ad'lan wrote:
Using Bee products rather than keeping them, but I've recently been making a lot of birch bark tar, and I've been having trouble getting it to set as nicely as the stuff I used in Canada. I added just a small amount of bees wax and right away, I had birch tar that softened in my hands, wasn't tacky and would reheat and melt cleanly.

Is there anything on Guerilla growing bees? Building an easily raidable nest box, making habitat for the bees and then abandoning them until you want honey? Or is this an abhorrent concept?



No not abhorrent, but difficult in northern North America. I'm sure it could be done you stack a bunch of bee boxes and let them just build it up inside crack open the top and take out the comb with honey right at the top. It would be difficult to get lots of honey because you'd have to squeeze the honey because spinning natural (not in frame) comb could just rip it apart and click your cheese cloth with wax.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:35 am 
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A local apiarist builds his hives up to three deeps and then leaves the bees alone. The only time he messes with them is to add or remove mediums for honey during flow. I would like to do that here, too, but hubby likes to do it his own way, so he checks them and feeds them and stuff. I have only second-hand information, but I've heard the guy has never lost a hive.

We have three hives that were fine earlier this spring. Hubby gets nervous every time the temp drops again, though, convinced it will kill a hive. The weather hasn't let us check them since the last couple of cold snaps, but they all survived the winter. The mean hive is still mean, so I'm expecting a good honey harvest this year. :rofl:

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 7:09 pm 
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I've mentioned previously that we have an ant problem here. We are still trying to solve it. Putting signboard under the hives and greasing it turned out to be insufficient. So, hubby has me building a new stand based on this video:



Any modifications you would recommend?

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:27 pm 
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Looks pretty good to me, but what about a larger "bell" with a smaller dish under it. The bell would do the same thing as he describes but if you had a dish under it you can fill that with grease and coat the bell.

I've been looking at something to get my hives off the ground. I've got 8 18' steel tubing that I'm going to do the same thing! Thanks for posing this is quite useful.

i don't like using pesticides but perhaps if you're going to use concrete maybe spraying th concrete with ant pesticide?

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:37 am 
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Halfapint wrote:
Looks pretty good to me, but what about a larger "bell" with a smaller dish under it. The bell would do the same thing as he describes but if you had a dish under it you can fill that with grease and coat the bell.

I've been looking at something to get my hives off the ground. I've got 8 18' steel tubing that I'm going to do the same thing! Thanks for posing this is quite useful.

i don't like using pesticides but perhaps if you're going to use concrete maybe spraying th concrete with ant pesticide?


I think adding a cup could be problematic unless it is way inside the bell. If it is anywhere near the edge of the bell, they can make an ant bridge to the weather-exposed edge and bypass the grease altogether. It's why we have to keep all shelves and hive parts at least 6" away from our processing table in our work space. I think the bell will work so long as the area where it meets the pipe is wel sealed.

We also plan to put a ground cover under the hives to keep the grass from growing there. Hubby thinks that may also solve the one hive's beetle issue since part of their life cycle involves burrowing in the soil under the hives. I was concerned the pipe surface would not provide enough surface friction to keep the hives in place durring our frequent wind storms, but the pipe affords the ability to easily add tie-down straps should that be a problem.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:25 pm 
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Good point about any bridge. What about digging a small depression around the base of the pipe in the ground and have a continuous fire burning. I mean, nothing stops ants like a healthy dose of "death by fire"

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:44 pm 
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That actually sounds epic, but wouldn't that confuse the bees and put them in a state of continuous gorging?

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:48 pm 
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Anianna wrote:
That actually sounds epic, but wouldn't that confuse the bees and put them in a state of continuous gorging?


Use propane, no smoke no gorging!

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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 11:17 am 
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Sooooo, I bought the stuff for the beehive stand including some landscape fabric and pea gravel for a 3'x10' area under the hives. This should be good for 4 hives. The materials cost me about $250, but I went with 3/4" pipe instead of the recommended 1" pipe because the store didn't have everything I needed in 1". I think the 3/4" is sufficiently strong.

If you want to do this project I have two shopping tips for you:

1. Take gloves to the store with you (latex, nitrile, kitchen gloves, work gloves, whatever) because, for some reason, galvanized pipes are covered in sticky, greasy goop
2. If you don't want sticky, greasy goop on your vehicle (I transported this in my minivan), take or buy a cheap drop cloth

In addition, the pipe measurements are from inside the pipe. In order to get the large PVC cap onto the leg pipe, you will need a step drill bit that goes a bit larger than the pipe measurement. My step drill bits only go up to 1/2", so I've ordered one that goes to 7/8" and then I wondered if maybe that wasn't big enough and also ordered one that goes larger.

My store did not have 12" pipe nipples at all. The smallest length was 18", so my stand will have 18" lengths on the Ts.

I don't know where one gets high temp bearing grease, so I got high temp brake grease from the auto supply store. Everything else came from Lowes except my drill bits because, while I was at Lowes, I thought I had the proper bit. I order the bits from Amazon for an additional $20 (approx).

So, essentially, you can do this project, including eliminating grass under your hives, for under $300.

I'll post pics once we get it up, which should be sometime next week after the drill bits get here.

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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 1:19 pm 
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I'm heading up to moms in a minute and will show you what I plan on doing. I'm going to use a similar idea, but I'm using scrap metal that we had laying around. Heading to the store to get a nozzle for the welder and then I'll be off and working.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:02 am 
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Finally got my set up finished. Welder was acting up (user error)got all my platforms finished. Painting then next week and then moving the hives to their new home!

Image

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:14 am 
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So I am still probably another year off from starting my bees. I have been a little over run with dealing with the garden this year. But I have had this ongoing question of "how close can I cut grass to the hive?" Am I going to have to sheet mulch a section out away from the hive to keep from bothering the bees?

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 1:01 pm 
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GentryMillMan wrote:
So I am still probably another year off from starting my bees. I have been a little over run with dealing with the garden this year. But I have had this ongoing question of "how close can I cut grass to the hive?" Am I going to have to sheet mulch a section out away from the hive to keep from bothering the bees?



I hate these answers but "it depends"

Some of my hives are extremely docile, I can open them without smoke or a suit. Others I can't even walk near without a suit on. With my new set up I covered the ground in 5/8 crushed rock and will be spreading some concrete over it so I don't have to deal with weeds/grass.

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