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Thread: todays news

  1. #3811
    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    But think of the egg boxes Kitta ... they're great in a smoker.

  2. #3812
    Senior Member busybeephilip's Avatar
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    Egg boxes do the job but you get a lot of tar build up in the smoker, my answer is hessian , i use a local bagmaker offcuts

    it would be nice to get a natural material that would also kill mites
    Last edited by busybeephilip; 18-03-2018 at 02:01 PM.

  3. #3813

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    Quote Originally Posted by busybeephilip View Post

    it would be nice to get a natural material that would also kill mites
    Could always try dried Rhubarb leaves.....

  4. #3814

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    Today I learnt to dissect a bee to check for tracheal mites. With the aid of utube (thanks Stuartís beekeeping basics chanel) and my low power binocular microscope I could readily see the trachea. Luckily I could not see any mites or tracheal scarring


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  5. #3815

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    I have started using very dry very rotten crumbly wood. Current batch is from a decaying oak. It lights with a capful of alcohol poured in the top ignited with a match. Burns slow and cool


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  6. #3816
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    Quote Originally Posted by RDMW View Post
    I have started using very dry very rotten crumbly wood. Current batch is from a decaying oak. It lights with a capful of alcohol poured in the top ignited with a match. Burns slow and cool


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    I use Birch wood - crumbly from 5 years or so as timbers for a compost bin.

    B&M natural firelighters (fine wood turning covered in wax) are ideal smoker lighters. Cut in half they light with one match and burn steadily.

    I have an insert in my smoker from Rauchboy http://www.rauchboy.net/epages/17848...ries/Category2

    Larger one fits perfectly although my smoker is a £13 cheapy from ebay. Add a handle of steel wire, remove from smoker, load up with wood shavings (petshop) and set alight underneath with self igniting blowlamp (Wickes) - or use firelighters - or both (my solution).

    Never have any problems even in howling gales - not that I do much beekeeping in gales..

    Life is too short to worry about lighting smokers or what to burn.

    ( I also use: pine cones- lots locally, dead oak, thyme stalks - for a nice smell)

  7. #3817

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    Quote Originally Posted by madasafish View Post
    I use Birch wood - crumbly from 5 years or so as timbers for a compost bin.

    B&M natural firelighters (fine wood turning covered in wax) are ideal smoker lighters. Cut in half they light with one match and burn steadily.

    I have an insert in my smoker from Rauchboy http://www.rauchboy.net/epages/17848...ries/Category2

    Larger one fits perfectly although my smoker is a £13 cheapy from ebay. Add a handle of steel wire, remove from smoker, load up with wood shavings (petshop) and set alight underneath with self igniting blowlamp (Wickes) - or use firelighters - or both (my solution).

    Never have any problems even in howling gales - not that I do much beekeeping in gales..

    Life is too short to worry about lighting smokers or what to burn.

    ( I also use: pine cones- lots locally, dead oak, thyme stalks - for a nice smell)
    Untreated cat litter Smokes all day !
    Remember to properly extinguish



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  8. #3818
    Senior Member Adam's Avatar
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    Had the opportunity to check my stocks this weekend. It's fair to say that they are smaller than I would expect to see at the end of March. One old queen left in a hive 'to see if she would survive' died leaving a small handfull of bees. I probably should have 'dealt' with her last October and used the bees to strengthen another colony. Another colony had a DLQ which I had feared as supercedure was attempted very late. Queen squished and that has now been combined with a nuc that was beside it. One small nuc has just one patch of brood about 100mm across - if the Beast from the East had gone on for much longer I suspect the small colonies would not have survived.
    I have received a number of calls from local beekeepers who have lost colonies over winter so I suspect that winter losses will be greater than usual this year.
    I guess too early for you guys North of me to inspect?

  9. #3819
    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    No inspections yet (or likely ... Brrrr) but I've still got the 15 or so I entered the winter with, going by foraging activity in the warmest part of the day and 'evidence' of brood rearing on the Varroa trays. Mite levels appear reassuringly low, though perhaps they're all busy feasting on the first pupae of the season It's been the sort of winter I like - distinctly cool, with frosts on a high proportion of mornings since mid-November, going by the number of times I've had to scrape the car windscreen before work. More importantly, it's the sort of winter I think is better for the bees.

  10. #3820
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatshark View Post
    No inspections yet (or likely ... Brrrr) but I've still got the 15 or so I entered the winter with, going by foraging activity in the warmest part of the day and 'evidence' of brood rearing on the Varroa trays. Mite levels appear reassuringly low, though perhaps they're all busy feasting on the first pupae of the season It's been the sort of winter I like - distinctly cool, with frosts on a high proportion of mornings since mid-November, going by the number of times I've had to scrape the car windscreen before work. More importantly, it's the sort of winter I think is better for the bees.
    One month on from this post. Pause rewind play repeat.

    Snow on the ground here today.

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