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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Ballina, NSW - Australia
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Robbo's Bees - Photo Blog

    Just finishing off most of the painting for this winter - had the little fella helping out. Got 120 frames foundationed, and read to go on the table.



    The stuff stacked outside on the new stand in between coats. Will be glad when the painting is done.


  2. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Wakefield, Yorkshire, England
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Robbo's Bees - Photo Blog

    hanks for posting the frame and foundation video. very useful, some great pointers

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Ballina, NSW - Australia
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Robbo's Bees - Photo Blog

    No worries - Cheers mate

    -------------

    I had a bit of a bash at this wax rendering.

    Heated up all the blown out frames in the extractor and other bits of wax from under the lid of the hives. My cappings generally stay on the frames as I use one of those sideliner uncappers.

    Got it all boiling in some water for about 10 minutes



    Had a skim on the surface and picked up all the floaters.



    Ran this thru some of that muslin cloth into a bucket



    Managed to get some little shapey things happening and a few blocks for later - Im keen on a bit of candlemaking, or some foundation making later this year i think.



    I'll see if I can dig it up, but probably one of the best posts you will see on wax rendering is from Linda's blog.
    Last edited by Robbo; 09-13-2010 at 07:24 PM. Reason: props for Linda

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Ballina, NSW - Australia
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Robbo's Bees - Photo Blog

    Had the little fella up in the workshop on the weekend helping me unpack some new boxes to knock together



    Knocked up a few boxes then got to filling the joints where the big crown staples are holding them together.





    Not a lot else to report just at the moment.

    Took a few kilo's off the hives on the weekend. Just a couple of frames out of each really. I think things will get busy here in the next 3-4 weeks.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Drain, OR
    Posts
    424

    Default Re: Robbo's Bees - Photo Blog

    Robbo you running 8 frame boxes? Your whole setup looks great! Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work!
    A backyard hobbyist, keeping hives since '09. ~ http://www.sweetthangchocolates.com
    Zone 8a/8b

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Ballina, NSW - Australia
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Robbo's Bees - Photo Blog

    HI mate,

    No, I am running all 10 frame gear. Because we had to move across the country I had a fresh start as I wasnt able to bring my supers with me. I'll be ok lifting the 10 frame stuff for its life (15 years maybe??) I am thinking. My dad runs all 8 frame stuff, and I can see the benefit with that less weight for handling. I'll switch over later on.

    Have had a pretty good run at the honey flows the past 2 months. We have a brown Kurrajong in flower here, as well as a few wattles. I notice that all the trees are about 200% more prolific with their flowering this year. I guess happy tree-happy bee??

    The honey is very dark, and very strong. I'll keep a jar or 2 of that for winter when the coughs and colds are here. It just about makes the eyes water!!!





    I bought 10 nucs of bees about 6 weeks back when they became available. I am very impressed with them. They appear at this stage to be better at keeping the beetle numbers down, and also are a lot more gentle to work with. 5 out of the 10 nucs needed a second box above an excluder after 4 weeks. I am due for an inspection this weekend if it stops raining. The weather data for spring showed that we had 25 days out of the 93 where it didnt rain - It has been wet!!! The first 3 days of summer has seen about 100mm of rain already!

    Here is the 4 framers



    And after transferring the 4frames into my boxes. I had 60 stickies in my boxes to transfer into as well which was great

    Last edited by Robbo; 12-03-2010 at 12:15 AM.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Ballina, NSW - Australia
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Robbo's Bees - Photo Blog

    We have been changing this around with labelling and product sizes. We are in the middle of getting a new styled batch of labels. Labels I guess is one of those things that gets tweaked here and there until you settle into it.

    For a long time we have just used a 500 gram jar. Anyhow, listening to what the customers want has been interesting. So we hav settled on 250 gm, 500 gram, 1kilo bucket, 1.5 kilo bucket, and 3.8 kilo container, as well as the cut comb slices. That cut comb absolutely walks away - we cant keep up with it.

    I started doing a few foundationless frames for the cut comb. Maybe 1 per super box - that sort of thing. I thought I had some piccies in the phone - will have to grab them on the weekend.


  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,886

    Default Re: Robbo's Bees - Photo Blog

    Great pictures. You have quite the setup. You should look into a paint spray rig though.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Ballina, NSW - Australia
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Robbo's Bees - Photo Blog

    Cheers David,
    Yea, I have been looking at those electric type splatter guns. I am hoping someone I meet thru the club has one, so I could have a bit of a test with it for next winter.

    A better piccy of whats in flower at the moment here :



    My original 12 hives from last year. 7 of them are still with me. I lost a couple to bad management, and I think 1 was a dud to start with. With my 7, I have one of the new ones, + 1 swarm from about a month ago.



    This is the new 9 of 10. I have them in full sun as well. They need a looking at this weekend if I get a break in the rain. That tree in the background is having a hard time holding its flowers. Every time a bud opens, there is a bee on it. The tree has a buzz about it when standing underneath.

    Im still using the migrating foam jammed in the front from when I picked them up. I break a little off each time I think the hive is stronger, and needs more entrance room.

    I use the brick pointing method still to remind me that something needs doing. That reminds me, #4 there needs a new bottom board.




  10. #30
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Ballina, NSW - Australia
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Robbo's Bees - Photo Blog

    I have been having a fiddle with these foundationless frames. I drop in a 19mm square section tilted on its side, so the point is up and down. I did the wax starter strip, then drop in 1-2 of these frames per super. Since we are selling cut comb on its own, I'd like to be selling the completely made by the bees product.

    I mark the frames with a F so I can see that they are foundationless. A BLACK F is my 2010 frames. Will change colour for next year.



    Heres how they turn out. I normally get 14 odd out of a frame like this, then just toss it back in the hive.


  11. #31
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Ballina, NSW - Australia
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Robbo's Bees - Photo Blog

    For making comb honey out of frames with wires inthem, I modified my embedding transformer with a push button and some alligator clips.

    I place the frame in the stand upright, cut the wires so there is 20mm hanging out each end.

    Connect the alligator clips, then press the button for a few seconds. This heats up the wire so it can be pulled out without breaking. Then cut the comb up like normal.






  12. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    897

    Default Re: Robbo's Bees - Photo Blog

    Hi Rob,

    what a lovely set-up you have.

    We are getting heaps of rain too and I'm afraid some of the nuc's are not going to make it. A year ago I had 8 hives and now I'm up to about 20. The trap hives really worked for me. And a good number of swarmes too.
    I took about 200 kg of honey off about 10 days ago. I have to try some comb honey. When we had some sun the honey flow was unbelievable.
    We are building a honey house at the moment - it will never be as neat as yours!
    Good to see the pic's!

    Thanks mate.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,886

    Default Re: Robbo's Bees - Photo Blog

    That's a good idea. I made some frames last year as an experiment that were divided vertically (2 frames for mini nucs) and I noticed that they tended to keep the comb straighter in the smaller areas. Have you seen the same thing?

  14. #34
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Ballina, NSW - Australia
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Robbo's Bees - Photo Blog

    Hey G'day Max,
    I got your email the other day - good stuff hey!! Yea, Im a lot down on honey because of this weather. The bees are still flying in the light drizzle, but it has poured and poured here. All the honey we had is all sold out. Am waiting for about a fortnight of sunshine here!!! I think that long leaf paperbark is about to come on soon. Really looking forward to that.

    Hey David,
    The thing I have seen is that when the Foundationless frames go in next to drawn frames they keep them nice and straight. I put one in next to some foundation by mistake, and had to pull several frames out to get the mess all seperated back out.
    It appears that if there is a start point and a end point, they can figure it out and make something how I want to sell it. Its reasonably inefficient doing it with the dowel as I get 21 combs from a standard frame. I might look at doing foundationless with a full frame in the future - Need to look a bit harder at what other people have done - I just dont trust them in the extractor at the moment

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Racine, Wisconsin, United States
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Robbo's Bees - Photo Blog

    Robbo, I enjoyed your post and had come across your video when I was out on you tube. I was wondering if you built or purchased the electric embedder that you used. It looks relatively simple. I have never installed foundation but it looks like it would work better than the spur wheel type.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    897

    Default Re: Robbo's Bees - Photo Blog

    G'day Robbo,

    the weather looks like finally improving a bit. No rain today and the bees are going crazy - one of my workers got a sting and I kept an eye on him after your experience. He is OK.

    " Im over the branding thing - hit em with water proof ink." - can you tell me what brand it is? Sounds like a good idea.

    I note that you have the hives on the ground. I think I would loose a lot of bees to the cane toads - mongrels sit in fron in the evening and eat themselves full. I go on regular toad cacthing expeditions. put them in a plastic bag and put them to sleep.

    I was up to 23 hives- nuc's but assume that I lost some of the small swarms during the prolonged wet - and more coming.

    My shed should be ready to move in in maybe 2 months. Making good progress.

    Still have about 100 kg of honey but I do find it difficult to keep up at the moment. It will all change when the sun is out!

  17. #37
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Ballina, NSW - Australia
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Robbo's Bees - Photo Blog

    Hi Pete,

    I purchased mine from John Guilfoyles in Australia.

    I only had a quick look on the american web stores, and found one at the bottom of this page :

    http://www.countryfields.ca/foundation.html

    Yea the spur wheel - I have done a few of those!!! Got to keep them hot in water. The electric is a big improvement over that.

    Cheers.

    Rob


    ---
    Hey Max, im after another supplier - my waterproof ink turns out to be not so waterproof!! Next time I am in sydney, I am going to go to a factory I used to work at and get some of their ink - what ever it is, it doesnt come off - will let you know what that is

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    897

    Default Re: Robbo's Bees - Photo Blog

    Hi Rob,
    " Hey Max, im after another supplier - my waterproof ink turns out to be not so waterproof!! Next time I am in sydney, I am going to go to a factory I used to work at and get some of their ink - what ever it is, it doesnt come off - will let you know what that is"
    Reply With Quote: I find it quite amazing that in 2010 we still can't find some products which seem simple. I can find quality black felt pens - but other colours seem to be rubbish ( to write on frames)

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,694

    Default Re: Robbo's Bees - Photo Blog

    I obtained a used nuc box built out of plywood. The paint on it seems to totally protect the plywood from weathering. The paint is the exact same yellow color that is painted on the lines on roads. I'm going to guess that whoever built the nuc had access to some leftover paint from painting roads.

    That paint seems bulletproof. You could always try getting some of that instead of waterproof ink.

    Layout bluing for metal workers is waterproof, but can be removed with alcohol based remover. The old prussian bluing was virtually impossible to get off your skin - you had to wear it off.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Wahington County, Fl
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: Robbo's Bees - Photo Blog

    Robbo, love the pics. Looks like you are in a fairly tropical looking area. Lots of times I think of Australia as a barren dry desert type of enviroment.

    One question, with your hives being the dark green do you have any problems with temp building up in the hive. Always thought green was the mos efficient at using the sun's heat hence why most plant life or leaves are green.

    Seems to be working for you though. Keep the pictures coming. Australia and New Zealand is on my bucket list of places I want to visit before I pass on.
    It's Washington County, Fl not Wahington....my bad

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