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February Diary 2017


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Went through my hives today when I gave them their 4th OA treatment

My busiest hive has 2. F/D boxes for brood with last summer's queen .

I had only been looking casually at the top box enough to see brood and eggs.

The bottom box had brood and lots of uncapped honey when I looked last a month ago.

Today I looked and it was completely empty of brood , honey everything.

But lots of bees.

I am intending to requeen. I am thinking of buying a good Italian queen from somewhere

So my theory that the bees were trapped in the hive eating was true.

Also there are so many drones in the hive , at least 2 or 3 frames of them.

Is that cause the queen is getting old.

She is still laying decent slabs of brood

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Started on full brood AFB preharvest inspection along with putting escape boards in.

Of ten hives in that apiary, the best producers by far have been the two with FD double brood boxes . Both have two FD boxes of fully capped honey on them and both are strong enough to split in half.

There are far more drones in hives than I expected and there are still drones being produced, and lots of worker brood. Generally , there is also a lot of pollen being stored in brood cells, especially in strong hives .

Found and marked two new queens .

No sign of disease or DWV.

Honey will come off within the next 48 hours

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Just spun 4 boxes of honey last night. Got 84 kg off them.

A variety of honey. There was a few very dark frames that tasted a bit like licorice. These darker frames were a bit harder to spin the honey out. We have a three frame extractor and had to watch we didn't put them in with a lighter colour frame, as the machine would go wildly out of balance

We used a roll pricker, like a paint roller. What is the trick to not getting it clogged up with honey and cappings?

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A non productive season....2 hives have yielded 6 frames of honey:(. Its as if the girls (and the rest of us) are still waiting for summer to start:what:, thankfully the wind is easing off a bit but the overnight and morning temperatures are cooler than normal.

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These are the colours of our home harvest for the season.

From left harvested in December, January, end of January and Ross rounds end of December.

The honey on the left looks and tastes like Rewarewa and Kanuka on the right.

My favourite is the Rewarewa.

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IMG_1330.JPG.8e873497e5586556e7ea6fc40e334e11.JPG

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We aren't even bothering to harvest right now just going to wait and see how things are in a few weeks.

We are usually flat out right now so it's very weird to be sitting around waiting.

Omg I know! I haven't put a honey super on since before Christmas :rofl: safe to say we won't be needing a helper this year :whistle: oh well..

I don't think our harvest is going to be dismal but it's definitely not that good.

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Made some nuc splits today from my better performing hives . This hive produced 2 FD boxes of honey and is still 3 FD boxes of bees and 19 frames of brood before I took 4 nucs off it

[ATTACH=full]16804[/ATTACH]

What is the plan for the Nucs?

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What is the plan for the Nucs?

Just overwintering them with new queens instead of having the boxes in the shed

 

ooks like all your expansion plans are working out.

No expansion plans. I have enough bees;):)

 

One hive in two 3/4 brood boxes has produced 4 FD boxes and 1 3/4 depth. Would be around 80kg, give or take. What's their secret? No stores in the brood boxes. Just brood

 

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IMG_2517.JPG.9ef17f78440aa35849ebf0887801860e.JPG

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Last three day have been spent doing full afb rounds and seeing how much honey we should expect. Good news lots of brood takes so much longer to check 20 frames than 5 seems like my girls have found there mojo in the last 2 weeks ? Even nectar coming in seems every year we get more and more afb around the area thankfully there has been little rob out notes

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This old birds still crackalakin' her hives as good as the rest

 

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How old?

Do you use her Larvae?

Last century when I kept racing pigeons it was noted that there was a correlation between longevity and racing quality

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How old?

Do you use her Larvae?

Last century when I kept racing pigeons it was noted that there was a correlation between longevity and racing quality

This will be her second season I think, but I can't be sure how old she is, she may be older, thats how long I've noticed her fat bent booty, not sure how she got like that but it hasn't effected her performance at all.

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This will be her second season I think, but I can't be sure how old she is, she may be older, thats how long I've noticed her fat bent booty, not sure how she got like that but it hasn't effected her performance at all.

Ive got a second season Queen that is my favorite breeder.

There are 4-5 grub castles to use but there is one that is super consistent.

Some have issues and ups and downs, some may have slow layers, some just cant get it together, but both this year and last this medium to small little x bred (yellow/black tipped) girl produces a box of honey when grub castles arnt set up to do so and will always supply larvae when the others have let me down.

I steal her brood and and am always rummaging about in her box.

 

A third year maybe.

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Results back to day finally

 

Well. I am currently in Hanmer Springs with my wife. We sailed over the big ditch on Sunday morning and then drove over to Nelson to catch up with the pink cat. It was great to finally put a face to @yesbut and we spent a pleasant 2 hours chatting.

 

Then onto our motel for a shower before going to visit @frazzledfozzel and her husband.@bsb also called around for a chat and some dinner. What a fantastic day. Thanks.

Monday it was off to Springs Junction and then Hanmer Springs where we are off to have a swim in the hot pools.

Off to Christchurch tomorrow.

Thursday we will go to see @jamesc and get the whole story.

Last time many years ago I took my kids for a drive past Burnham camp, and much to my surprise the Government had found some money and put a fence around it. Wasn't like that in 1981.

 

Nice honey...20170213_143140.jpg.58d7ce61916feb187eaf40d949be4562.jpg

20170213_143140.jpg.58d7ce61916feb187eaf40d949be4562.jpg

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A couple of years ago I asked an analytical chemist friend ( he had a special passport that allowed him to smell of all sorts of things when passing through customs) about the possibility of developing a tutin testing kit. Unsurprisingly his reply was that it was a complex process not easily simplified. I wonder if this is still the case. I guess the labs would be the last people to say otherwise..

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