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6 05, 2024

Queen outside hive?

2024-05-06T12:57:10+12:00May 6th, 2024|Got Questions|

Q. My queen came outside the hive for some reason. A. With so little context, it is difficult to give a definitive answer as to why this happened. Assuming that she came out alone and went back in, we can eliminate swarming, absconding and being ejected after having been superseded. If she’s a virgin, [...]

6 05, 2024

Who’s in charge?

2024-05-06T12:48:35+12:00May 6th, 2024|Got Questions|

Q. Who is in charge inside the hive? The queen or the workers (foragers)? Good question. While it is commonly thought that she is called the queen because she is in charge, the hive can be likened to New Zealand and its form of government which is a constitutional monarchy. The queen is the [...]

6 05, 2024

Queenless colony?

2024-05-06T12:39:56+12:00May 6th, 2024|Got Questions|

Q. If a colony is queenless and there's no brood to raise a new queen, would they stay, swarm or die? A. If there isn’t any viable brood, they can’t raise a queen. A queen can only be raised from a fertilised larva that is about 24 to 36 hours old. Therefore, a broodless [...]

6 05, 2024

Do bees grieve?

2024-05-06T12:57:42+12:00May 6th, 2024|Got Questions|

Q. Do bees grieve? A. A very interesting question. First, we must ask if bees have the capacity to grieve or even feel any emotions. With only one million neurons, it is unlikely that they have the physical hardware required for the mental computational power to express emotions. Bees do have a certain level [...]

1 03, 2024

Test for varroa?

2024-03-01T11:57:58+13:00March 1st, 2024|Got Questions|

Q. I treat my hives regularly and follow the manufacturers’ instructions to the letter. Is it really necessary to test for [varroa] mites? A. While checking for American foulbrood (AFB) is a legal obligation, checking for varroa is not. Some say that it is an absolutely essential beekeeping tool, while others don’t think it [...]

28 02, 2024

Drones any good?

2024-03-01T11:59:20+13:00February 28th, 2024|Got Questions|

Q: What good are drones in my hive? Do they just eat stores and help mites? Should I remove them? A: There are between a few hundred to a couple of thousand drones in a hive during the summer. Many people think of them as freeloaders that consume stores and don’t contribute anything for [...]

28 02, 2024

Old hiveware?

2024-03-01T12:16:29+13:00February 28th, 2024|Got Questions|

Q. A neighbour has some old hiveware in a barn that he doesn’t want. What is the best way to deal with it? Ken Brown is President of the Auckland Beekeepers’ Club and a Land Based Training Apiculture Tutor (Disclaimer: I am an AP2; these opinions are my own and not those of the [...]

28 02, 2024

Tutin in pollen?

2024-03-01T12:02:31+13:00February 28th, 2024|Got Questions|

Q. Is bee pollen at risk of tutin contamination, or does tutin only affect honey? Dr Linda Newstrom-Lloyd is a Trees for Bees botanist. A. The green parts and the sap of the tutu plant contain tutin, a neurotoxin, that is harmful to mammals, but bees are unaffected. The tutin toxin is not expressed in [...]

26 02, 2024

Mānuka honeydew?

2024-02-26T15:09:28+13:00February 26th, 2024|Got Questions|

Q. Is there an aphid (or another bug) that lives on mānuka and secretes a honeydew that is active? Dr Ronald van Toor is a Senior Scientist at Plant and Food Research, working in bioprotection. A. I am aware of only three scale insects that excrete excess sap sugars in mānuka sufficient to [...]

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