Monthly Minutes

Rodney Beekeepers Club Meeting Notes

Meeting notes from 14 March, 2018.


Apologies; R Stevens, V Allen, A Simpson


Autumn requeening; we don’t seem to have a large number of people looking for queens? Please call Glenys or Peter if you require a Queen cell. The club has 15-20 queens per week available to members at $6.00 each. Guaranteed 100% Carniolan A1 mated queen. Note that if re-queening you will need to get queens into your hive within the next 3 weeks. Drone numbers are steadily dropping as we press into March. Try to re-queen as soon as possible to allow for any failures, then you have a window to try again.

QUEEN CELL CARRIERS (8) remain at large! If you have a club cell carrier please return it.

Mite treatments should be well underway now. Get your mite count down before Winter! The club was unable to source cheap Bayvarol which was to be our treatment of choice this season. Use Apivar strips for new 1 box nucs, or alternatively Apiguard paste.  Apiguard is effective at low temps. Some members will be using formic and the nassenheider delivery system. Using the nassenheider the 65% formic is delivered at 25mls/day. Apivar is okay to use with queen cells in place. Apivar strips are good for 10 weeks (2 brood cycles). Apiguard; scoop onto flat (peeled off) lid and onto top of frames. Bees have to remove the Apiguard material through and out of the hive.

Don’t be too greedy and take all honey stores off otherwise you will need to feed your bees over Winter. Even with stores left on you will need to monitor and feed if required.

Deformed Wing Virus

Deformed wing syndrome attacks an entire generation of bees. Usually associated with high numbers of varroa destructor, hive health will deteriorate. The mite acts as a vector of the viral pathogen (source:

As you re-use brood comb every year the cell size reduces as the bees re line the cell ready for the queen to lay, thus resulting in a smaller bee.

A reminder to members about the ball bearing in the Club extractor! After use please put back into container attached to the drum.

The Club shop stocks the following;

Wooden frameware (assembly required) ¾ depth,  plastic frame inserts (waxed)

Formic acid 65% 1 litre bottles

Apivar Strips (pack of 10)

Hive bases, hive mats, hive lids

Queen excluders

¾ depth supers (e-tan treated, assembly required)

Top feeders

Honey jars (400ml)


Honey off – mite treatments on

Move honey frames down into brood boxes so easily available in colder months

Try to get hives down to 2 x ¾ depth brood boxes for Wintering. This makes less area that bees have to warm up in cold conditions.

New wasp lures are being trialled, more information at next meeting.

Robbing is prevalent at this time when there are less food sources around. Weak hives are easy pickings. Feed 2:1 sugar syrup if stores are low but be aware that syrup may be robbed from hives! Be vigilant.  Feed late afternoon early evening and not too much. Monitor every 2 days. Supplements for bee health and longevity can be added to syrup (Agrisea make a bee nutrition tonic available at Ecrotek and Ceracell  ) Fat is essential for winter bee health. Kyle puts oil into his pollen patties in winter. Pollen is fed to larvae, adult bees do not eat pollen. Good pollen sources in the wild include willow and gorse.

If treating with formic acid keep hive entrances open!

Close hives down after all formic treatments are competed

Peter urges members to read the following article ‘Fat bees, Skinny bees’ from the Australian Rural Research Corp.

A DECA Course is planned for Helensville on May the 5th. Registration is at .

Glenys to contact Kim and get details re: refresher/full day with exam. Details will be posted.

Brian Alexander featured in this month’s Valley Voice.



Wednesday 11 April 2018 at the Kaipara Cruising & Fishing Clubrooms, 84-86 Mill Road, Helensville

7.30 pm

Election of Officers

President, Secretary, Treasurer, Apiary Officer, Committee, Website tech

Please consider volunteering for any of the above positions.

A member kindly volunteered to give a talk on beekeeping to the Little Pipis Childcare Centre.

Peter to bring hive boxes for new beekeepers to assemble. These will then be given to the School to paint and later auctioned off.

There will be one further field day prior to winter (to be advised)

The club needs speakers for the club nights over the winter months. Open to ideas

At the Club apiary bees are already taking honey down into the brood chamber in preparation for winter.

The Club apiary hives produced a good supply of honey. This is donated to the Cruising Club for the use of their clubrooms for our meetings. We are told that proceeds from the honey go to their junior members.

Frame widths 33mm frames are ideal for the brood chamber (10 frames with space perfect to keep bees warm), 35mm in honey supers (9 frames/box). Use a hot knife to cut capping in an upward direction on a slight angle. Heat the knife with kettle steam but do not introduce water into the honey.

Leave the queen cell in the hive, this adds to the bees acceptance of the new queen. Make sure the queen has emerged from the cell. The virgin queen is quite difficult to spot. When she first hatches she gorges on honey which she needs for energy to make her mating flights. It takes 4 days for her to harden her wings before she makes her maiden flight.

In 28 days look for eggs. Trust the process.

In Summer during the honey flow ‘blind framing’ is a good way to catch mites (when mite treatments cannot be used) Blind frames with no foundation are put into brood boxes,  3-4 from the wall. Once capped, cut out and give to the chickens (or discard), then put back in. Great way for hobbiest to control mites.

Members are welcome to bring honey samples to the next meeting (April)

We will do box making at the May meeting.

Hive location – all day sun is best. Hives in shade are found to have high mite and wax moth levels. Windy places often experience drift where bees can be blown into other hives (not their own)

Store boxes in areas with lots of light with nets to deter moth.

Bees experiencing lack of food? Bees around fruit (grapes, plums). There should be honey around the brood in the brood chamber, if not then the bees will be having to drag it down from upper levels.

Feedbee (pollen substitute)  in Spring .