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Whats been Happening in Busso's Bee House

Hi all, it has been so long since I have posted I thought I better end my hiatus and let you know whats happening.
Having said that not much going on at present. Both hives appear strong and weather permitting there is tons of pollen coming in and some nectar. I opened the entrance to give a 30mm opening on both sides to reduce traffic flow problems.
Haven’t done a Spring inspection yet as I was unavailable on the one or two days suitable. The weather is moving toward the typical Summer patterns so I should get a chance to get stuck in shortly. Its the middle of Spring for goodness sake.
As I mentioned at the end of Summer I left my Flow Supers on. The supers had quite a bit of honey which has all but, been consumed by the bees over Winter. More on them after inspection.
No indication yet of what is happening with the major source of nectar ( the Marri tree). We had such a great year 2019-2020 with early flowering and plenty of it I guess it may be down a bit this year. I must say though the Marri is much more reliable than a lot of other Eucalyps.

What follows is off topic, so if thats a worry stop reading now. :grin:
How have I been spending my time. Well did about the best part of a kilometre of fencing. Some planned and other not planned. Find digging fence post holes getting harder and harder. I have vowed to get the fencing all renewed by my eightieth birthday in just over a years time. Mind you I want a lot of other things done before that as well. :wink: :wink: Have welcomed a grandson into the world. Done a few weeks of travel within the state to conform with Covid19 requirements. Planted about a hundred shrubs and trees. And plenty of this:

That glass was for you DD. but had to pass it on as you were a no show. You will also notice the well cultivated rosacea :blush: :blush:


Great to hear from you and to read how things are going mate. Sounds like your last summer wasn’t as bad as over here with the drought and bush fires causing a lot of damage and hassles.
You take it easy with the post hole digging.

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I have missed you so much @busso!!! :heart_eyes:

I really wish I had been there to enjoy the beverages. I hope your bees are doing well.

Our bees are misbehaving as usual. One hive seems to have usurped the nice young queen, and replaced her with a dirty feral-fertilized queen. In an urban environment where 60%+ of feral drones are africanized, that is not good news for us or the neighbours… I have ordered a new queen, but we also have termites swarming inside our house, so I don’t want to install her until the the toxic gases have been vented. Yes, we looked into local, organic treatments for termites, but 5 companies told us that it would not work, so we have to tent and fumigate the house. The hives are about 20 feet away, upwind, and uphill, so it should be fine, as the fumigant is heavier than air.

Both hives are also overrun with Varroa. We are now on our 4th oxalic acid vapor (OAV) treatment in a course of 3. OK, that makes no sense. But common wisdom is that you treat with OAV every 5 days, and you do it 3 times. However, if you do accelerated mite drop counts after the treatment, you then get a signal of whether you need another treatment. Our mite drops are currently TNTC (too numerous to count) =500+ and they need to be <25. The mite count is dropping, so it is working, but anyone who thinks 3 treatments is enough may be living in a fool’s paradise. So we plod on with pissing the bees off with OAV every 5-6 days.

Anyhow, I raise a glass to you and your bees, Wilf, and David and I really hope to come and visit you some day. :heart:


Your doing it tough at the moment Dawn with termite, Varroa and Africanized bees.
One thing I wonder about with the Varroa in the US is that some say it isn’t in their hives while others loose hives to them. Is that right or more a case of a lot of bee keepers not aware of the true situation?
Here the big issue on the East Coast is SHB and those that claim they don’t have a single one in a hive I suspect don’t check their hives at all.

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I think you have hit the nail on the head @Peter48 - most just don’t check properly. They look at the bees, they don’t do accurate counts.

Same with SHB for us. Even our county inspector didn’t think they were a problem until I sent him photos from our hive. To his credit, he immediately sent out an alert to all registered beekeepers, telling them what to look for, and how to prevent slime outs.

Keeping bees isn’t easy, but it is rewarding. :blush:


I thought it might be the case of slack bee keeping and a bit of self denial added in. Undoubtedly Varroa will get into Australia at some time with countries like Papua New Guinea so close and already infected it seems inevitable. That is why I have more than a passing interest about it. Thanks for your insight.

Swines!!!. Always the nice ones. Reminds me of the most beautiful girl I idolised in high school …went off with a feral :woozy_face:.

That I can relate to. They are the scourge of Australia. Give them an inch and they take your house.
I am always vigilant but they have still done damage in my big shed.

Have you been playing with black cats or what? I am blessed that we have no major pests in our neck of the world, bar a few wax moths. I think the pain and suffering a hive has to go through is horrendous.

Just don’t leave it too long :hugs: :hugs: :hugs: I do have a used by date… just don’t know what it is. :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


Well there will be no inspections in the coming week.


Hi there Wilf! Glad to see you back :blush: and congrats on your grandson! How delightful. Sounds like you’ve had a very busy time - and was that mead you were pouring? I am about to start on my first batch, picking up some equipment tomorrow :+1:

Dawn, it sure sounds like the insect hordes have been storming your castle :scream: !!! We’ve had a bad year for mosquitos and carpenter ants here but thankfully nothing major in the apiary. I’ve had OA sponges in all the hives this summer & they seem to be doing the trick


No, just a nice bubbly. Went well with the garlic prawns. The iron pot ramekin with wood saucer
seen bottom left are ideal to serve hot and sizzeling garlic prawns.


Congratulations and welcome back busso.
Glad all’s well.
Oh and did you get a mulberry cutting going for me? :innocent:

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And no I haven’t done a mulberry cutting. You will just kill it with that brown thumb of yours. :rofl: :wink:
Tell you the truth I spend half my time thinking about what I have to do, 1/4 of the time left, horrified I have to do it and the rest just getting on and doing it. So not great time management. :kissing_smiling_eyes: :upside_down_face: :kissing_smiling_eyes: :thinking:


Hi there Busso,

don’t know how the bees are doing in your part of Australia- but here in Adelaide we are starting with swarm season. I started my swarm prevention management a month ago- and over the last week did my second rounds of inspections. Found 3 out of 8 hives contemplating swarming and one hive did swarm yesterday. Caught it! Inspected a swarm I caught two weeks ago and it has drawn out a full box of foundation and started in the lid- added a super to it just then.

We are also having rain and had a cold snap- but I have had to go ahead and inspect whenever I can find a window in the weather. The bees do not wait for fine weather in spring to think of swarming. In fact- i think rain can help to make foragers feel bored locked up without work and get swarmy ideas… Looking at your weather chart for the week- I would not let those temps or conditions stop me. If there is a window in the rain- if you have time I recommend you get in there.

I just went out in the rain and quickly put two ideals on two hives- just in the nick of time for one. The bees were not too fussed. A full brood inspection is more dire but I did three of them yesterday between light showers.

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Geez mate that’s a bit harsh, and to think I even refrained from calling you an old fart…

A rose by any other name… :rofl: :rofl:

Great to hear you are thriving busso!

Sometimes life and beekeeping just get in the way of posting regularily but it’s great to see the crew is still in fine form. And the descriptions of the beekeeping “Apocalypse du jours” are priceless…doesn’t seem to matter where you are on the planet, and what your experience is, some beekeeping event will keep you humble!

Guess what I’m doing today?




It’s actually been another exciting season…building a new extracting facility for my daughter and modifying our beekeeping management to address the issue of New Zealand curtailing package shipments to Canada…and modifying the Flowhive 7 frame Langstroths to 6 frame Langstroths (spreading the flowframes apart in the supers)…never a dull moment…always an obstacle in beekeeping to deal with. Will keep you posted…now to revive my carpentry skills.

Best Regards,


Thinking an electric fence might be worth researching Doug. Would they work or do the bears get a real ‘mind set’ at getting to the honey regardless of the price in stings?

Hi @Doug1,

How did this go? Or rather where did the honey go, inside or outside? :slight_smile: I thought it was very interesting experiment.

That intruder certainly beats the odd cockroach I see around my Beehouse.