A few weeks ago we were descended upon by the Wellington Beekeepers ¬†Club which is always a fun day. Well so long as you don’t get stung that is. The club visits a different members place each month to inspect their hives as a learning exercise for new beekeepers. As all beekeepers do things differently there is always new things to learn. We are trying top bar hives and natural varroa control as opposed to chemical so that was something new for those who want to try it.

We tend to use a combination of ropes soaked in honey, food grade mineral oil and bees wax; grease patties made with vegetable shortening, sugar syrup and teatree essential oil plus some commerical biscuits called Api Life Var which has a combination of essential oils impregnated in the biscuits. We tend to not use the same thing all the time as the mites can become immune.

So far we haven’t had much luck keeping the bees in the top bar hive as any swarms we catch and put in there bugger off in a day or so. I think the problem has been that the Macrocarpa wood (NZ native) we are using has been too fresh so we have left the hive outside in all weathers to age the wood and we will see how we get on with the next swarm.

It tends to look a bit like a bio hazard conference don’t you think. It is a good chance for members to have a chat and catch up over a cuppa. If you are interested in joining our local club the web add is www.beehive.org.nz for the Wellington area.

Outside our front gate

Oooerr look at that

Carolann with bee club sign outside wwoofer cottage

Would you look at that!