Cambridgeshire BKA talk by ITLD

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Erichalfbee 

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OK you win
 
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Hi Murray - I thoroughly enjoyed your talk, and your in-depth posts on this forum, many thanks.
A couple of questions if I may - varroa wasn't discussed in much detail - what treatment regime do you use and do you find any problems with not being able to treat until after you've taken the heather crop in early Sept.?
Also, I think you mentioned that Jolantas queens are Carnica based, but BMH seems to suggest they are Buckfast or have I misunderstood?
Its more complex than that.
Bottom line is that our stock is 'good bees' based rather than a particular strain. MUST meet her criteria before Jolanta allows them into the unit and very quick to evict again if there is something she does not like (ie..more than 3 cells of chalk in the hive? Offski.... back to the field to work.)
We have a preference for carnica derived bees in our own unit, but Jolanta maintains a range of breeder queens (c50) and we can supply Carnica, Buckfast, or Amm...grafted from such queens but open mated to a spectrum of our selected drones (plus a few interlopers...cannot be avoided). We are strong believers in diversity of genetics in the mix to give the population resilience and vigour.
So..we can supply any of these types of queen. Demand splits down roughly at 60% carnica, 35% Buckfast 5% Amm. Probably reflects the north and west concentration of demand where the bees that thrive in marginal conditions are more popular...if our base was more SE England I think the Buckfast carnica proportion would reverse. Amm is mainly popular in the 1's and 2's market...its 5% of the queens but probably more than 30% of the customers..

Varroa treatments are currently a real issue. This 'dont treat with the supers on' is a real exercise in minding the manufacturers backs...its a non problem but they all take a 'just in case' standpoint..our authorities included. So we are devoid of proper treatments during the season. We do of course manage varroa, usually at seasons end and hope we have given enough of a clear out with an oxalic acid based treatment. Did trickle for a few seasons..fast ...effective..not fashionable but worked very well for us...posted demo of guys doing it on twitter. Now have a couple of killer bits of kit...VM Vaporiser Turbo's. You can look them up on the internet with demo videos. Even faster than the trickle...it fumes are coming out under the roof in 3 to 4 seconds. No opening..no closing mesh...just shove it in the door and trigger it. All done once after heather and once again before Christmas...will see how the colonies are mite wise in spring.

As for taking the heather crop? We usually START taking it around 7th to 10th September...but it takes us until about now to get finished...so hives still being stripped this week..but it IS the end.
 

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No it doesn't but following it with amongst...........does imply that others aren't.
I wasn't defending Murray I was simply pointing out that he certainly is exceptional but not an exception;)
I am no better than many others, both professionals and amateurs. Just have a prominent position and happy to communicate and have a half decent vocabulary. A decent vocabulary and a grasp of grammar can make you sound brighter than you are.

Too open for my own good at times....that has brought me problems in the past.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Must be headed into winter. Cabin fever setting in already. Bodes well for fireworks on the forum by January. Amused by this little stalemate.
Beebe and I joust quite often. The play is on language as you can see. I've actually won ;)
 

Erichalfbee 

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This 'dont treat with the supers on' is a real exercise in minding the manufacturers backs...its a non problem but they all take a 'just in case' standpoint..our authorities included.
Do you know this really gets my goat
There is so much info out there about residue of oxalic in honey it's a no brainer.

I suppose somebody will pipe up with a xenophobic comment about American beekeeping next.
 

Newbeeneil 

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I just had to say that I have always enjoyed Murray's posts and found them extremely informative but I have just realised he's some kind of superman!
This thread all started after a marathon talk for CBKA and ever since he has generously answered all queries raised, corrected any miss understandings and even explained the ethics of bee keeping!
He runs a business with something in the region of 1.5 billion employees and still has time to enthrall us all with his knowledge and impress us with his generosity of spirit in posts which run to several pages where I hardly find time to write a few lines to congratulate him and I'm a retired guy with 1% of his hives.
Murray, please continue to do what you do so well and keep us up to date when you have a few minutes 😊
Thank you so much,
Neil
 
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mbc 

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I just had to say that I have always enjoyed Murray's posts and found them extremely informative but I have just realised he's some kind of superman!
This thread all started after a marathon talk for CBKA and ever since he has generously answered all queries raised, corrected any miss understandings and even explained the ethics of bee keeping!
He runs a business with something in the region of 1.5 billion employees and still has time to enthrall us all with his knowledge and impress us with his generosity of spirit in posts which run to several pages where I hardly find time to write a few lines to congratulate him and I'm a retired guy with 1% of his hives.
Murray, please continue to do what you do so well and keep us up to date when you have a few minutes 😊
Thank you so much,
Neil
That's over 400 hives you run, well done!
Oops! Maths all wrong but still, if itld has 4000 hives plus, 1% would be 40 plus
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Too many - but not nearly enough
🤣 surely it's easier just to look at my profile? 😂
To be honest, that's not a guarantee anyway, there are some profiles on here where they claim many years of beekeeping experience but don't indicate that have any hives - and the opposite with multiple hive numbers but don't seem to have a clue!!
 

Newbeeneil 

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Hive numbers don't show up on my android phone 😤
Same with my iPhone but you can always go the "About" to get the details but it's a pain.
 

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I just had to say that I have always enjoyed Murray's posts and found them extremely informative but I have just realised he's some kind of superman!
No superman. I have staff. Rather a lot of them. Wages day after the end of each month is painful.

The queen and nuc unit is run by Jolanta with very little day to day requirement of my time, the bees have Pawel as the chargehand and we have a discussion every morning about the days work programme...I run round checking and maintain the spreadsheets for making sure we have some semblance of a schedule and that no groups get missed plus can simply email it over so inspectors to have access to our records (maybe 30 mins a day to keep that?) We have Sabina as support here on admin, staff, and all manner of things, and my daughter Helen working with me learning the ropes and doing increasing amounts of what were formerly my tasks. I actually have more time for this stuff than when we had 500 hives back in the early 80's.

So...I no longer do so much physically...going back to my kids books of years gone by...I am the 'fat controller'. I do strategy, ideas, overall direction, and am for the most part the public face of the business when most of the graft is done by others.
 

hemo 

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All good small companies still need a leader who maybe has to do the mundane stuff to keep an even keel, releasing the others to concentrate on their work.
 

Hedgerow Honey 

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To be honest, that's not a guarantee anyway, there are some profiles on here where they claim many years of beekeeping experience but don't indicate that have any hives - and the opposite with multiple hive numbers but don't seem to have a clue!!
That's me then, feels like I haven't a clue on times, especially when trying to explain something to the apprentice during a brain fart moment 😅.
 

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You paraphrased that from Confucius, didn't you ;-)
Funny you should say that. I share my home with a Chinese lady..have done for quite some years.
She reckons quite a few things I say sound Confucian (as well as confusing). I probably know, from long before she appeared on the scene...a tiny handful of Confucian bits and pieces mostly about humility. My mother, who actually died when I was a teenager, used to use the same expressions, so I guess that is where I picked it up. Its more just the way I sometimes use words than anything philosophically deep.

Still wary of ALL zealots however......lol. Brexit being a case in point.
 

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