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Thread: Ask me anything: Bees

  1. #21
    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    Given that evolution can only proceed in small steps it may be a step too far to go solitary after you've done the social thing, whereas bumble queens are probably already pinching each others nests' at an early stage in the season.

    As for the evolution of sociality in Apis, well, maybe its worth a read through the literature ......

  2. #22

    Default Ask me anything: Bees

    I thought bees evolved from social wasps not solitary bees...

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    As a reference, this is what we pay locally.

    11.85 for 14k invert sugar syrup. 12.5k in five 2.5k bags fondant, 12.70 collect prices.
    Must be cheaper still in bulk.
    Today they are quoting 15 for a 14kg tub. Minimum 40 tubs is a further 75 delivered. A bit more expensive than last year's Apisuc quote.

  4. #24

    Default Bulk syrup

    Recently purchased a pallet of Ambrsoia syrup ( 60 x 12.5kg) jerry cans for association and members for 850 delivered, worked out 14.17 per can.

  5. #25

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    Hi Neils

    On the original premise of "ask me anything"
    Have you heard much about allergy to oil seed rape?
    http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/c...d-rape-allergy
    this is from 1990 and makes reference to a study done on my own doorstep I clipped a couple of bits

    "During the 1989 flowering season, an epidemiological study was carried out in the village of Bowriefauld near Letham, in Angus. Angus district council, to its great credit, funded that study in response to allegations of public health nuisance. Eighty-five adults and 40 children were studied, and medical information obtained before, during and after the flowering season—using questionnaires, diary cards and standard skin and blood tests, along with the monitoring of pollen counts, wind-speed direction, temperatures and pollen collected by the Scottish Crop Research Institute in Invergowrie."....

    46 per cent. of the study population reported symptoms at the time when oil seed rape pollen counts were high and when no other pollens were present. The culprit is clear. Half of those individuals confirmed positive allergy tests. Allergy skin testing revealed that reactivity increased from 5 per cent. before the flowering season to 38 per cent. after the season. That is a massive rise compared to the 20 per cent. sensitivity normally shown for most allergic substances."

  6. #26
    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    Goodness, this was 24 years ago. Almost all of the staff involved have retired or moved on. I wasn't involved at the time but do have experience of pollen movement in oilseed rape and it is very sensitive to environmental conditions. A dry soil when the rape is in full flower and the pollen gets airborne. Damp weather, as we seem to have had in recent years, and little of it does so.

    Perhaps this may be an issue that has gone away but could recur?

    You're making me nervous, though, with all that talk in Hansard of collaboration with what was the SCRI and the Medical School at Ninewells

  7. #27

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    Hi gavin

    It's something that seems to have been a worry at the time.
    But it also shows two things
    1) the public health issue would seem to be less important then than the crop value
    2) rape was not popular except with farmers

    I expect the varieties grown now have addressed some of the early issues

    I was surprised to read of fields being treated with metaldehyde to keep slugs off rape surely that can't be allowed
    Apparently it is allowed http://www.agrii.co.uk/blog/2012/09/...rol-challenge/
    Last edited by The Drone Ranger; 14-04-2013 at 11:03 AM. Reason: slug pellets are allowed

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by prakel View Post
    How effective is the annual renewal of a third of a colony's brood combs with regards to maintaining/improving colony health?

    My thoughts are that it's akin to washing one (alternate) hand each day.... but I welcome scientific evidence to the contrary.
    A good question, a myth that needs to be busted IMHO
    Possibly in an area with endemic efb its a good idea to rotate out old comb, but surely a complete comb change would be more effective in this case.
    As for nosema, chalk brood and other minor ailments these are endemic anyway and whether a colony suffers from them has much to do with the bees and little to do with their comb. AFB is a binary situation, they either have it or don't, it won't magically appear on old comb.

  9. #29
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    There was also some concern that OSR pollen was causing problems for horses and was a possible cause of head-shaking. The stuff certainly makes me sneeze so very glad there's none here!

  10. #30
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    I thought head shaking was perfectly normal.
    I have a mental picture of DR shaking his head like a horse at any opportunity.

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