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Trevor Gillbanks

Around the Apiary March 2017

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Plenty of drones in my hives, but I am feeding them .

 

Marked some new laying queens in nucs and supered the nucs and continued feeding

 

Hives are heavy and full so that may be the last feed for them

 

Despite opening hives for only 30 seconds, there are plenty of wannabee robbers

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IMG_2651.JPG.88234051558b467f7784464efbc7fa12.JPG

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Plenty of drones in my hives, but I am feeding them .

 

Marked some new laying queens in nucs and supered the nucs and continued feeding

 

Hives are heavy and full so that may be the last feed for them

 

Despite opening hives for only 30 seconds, there are plenty of wannabee robbers

[ATTACH=full]17215[/ATTACH]

Those look mint.

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Those look mint.

The yellow boxes with handles are new, courtesy of @dansar and are highly recommended (y)

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The yellow boxes with handles are new, courtesy of @dansar and are highly recommended (y)

They look very smart :D

 

I've never got in to nucs myself I think they're a bit more work, but I've always thought they look so cute!

And good if your really breeding, or mating queens to move :) that @dansar is very clever

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I would combine them now and then place swap them with the big one

Good idea.

I could never lift the big one with 3 boxes high .I may have to use a bee escape board and take honey box off.

The hives are 70 metres apart

If I wait for windy day , not much of a wait , the robbers generally can not get up to my place .

Their flight path is a wind tunnel

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Up at the ridge apiary yesterday to take off the wets and cappings. Got to the excluder and found a hundred of so dead bees so I looked for some sign of disease. While doing that I thought a hive had started to swarm but it was robber bees. I had no idea it was so intense.

 

I checked the weakest hive and it was completely empty of stores and home bees, just robbers and wasps. I reduced the entrances on the other hives and I'm up there today with the vespex.

 

Any suggestions on how to avoid or reduce robbing? I suspect having the wets on might have started it all off. Do your own bees rob off each other in the same apiary?

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The trick to stopping the robbing is don't give them anything to start robbing.

 

If you spill any honey or syrup on the ground then that will bring them, and they'll pretty well be there to stay and keep coming back if they can get what they want.

 

When your in the hives you need to keep everything as covered up as you can so that they don't start robbing.

 

Yes they will rob off each other in an apiary.

Reduce your entrances down to about 1-2 bee spaces so that they can guard the hive easily and so that robbers can only get in a couple at a time.

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Do your own bees rob off each other in the same apiary?

Apiary is a beekeeper term. As far as the bees are concerned, anything outside their hive is fair game.

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Up at the ridge apiary yesterday to take off the wets and cappings. Got to the excluder and found a hundred of so dead bees so I looked for some sign of disease. While doing that I thought a hive had started to swarm but it was robber bees. I had no idea it was so intense.

 

I checked the weakest hive and it was completely empty of stores and home bees, just robbers and wasps. I reduced the entrances on the other hives and I'm up there today with the vespex.

 

Any suggestions on how to avoid or reduce robbing? I suspect having the wets on might have started it all off. Do your own bees rob off each other in the same apiary?

Bees can be pretty subtle in their robbing, it's not always a frenzy.

At the end of season it's not always that easy to tell if all the bees hovering out side your hive are your bees that have found a big grove of lancewoods flowering over the ridge or they are being robbed.

If it is a smaller hive I am suspicious. But if you open it to check you can make thesure ssituation worse.

A big strong hive can normally defend itself.

I do not seem to have too much robbing from within my apiary. It is particularly bad when the migrant beeks take their honey off hives and leave the hives.

I keep a constant check on their sites around me at this time of year to see how many boxes are left on .

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IMG_2074.JPG.5197ca98d2a945358625f77179f62854.JPG I have never seen so many wasps! I got the vespex out and they were all over it straight away. Sorry about the image quality but it gives an idea.

IMG_2074.JPG.5197ca98d2a945358625f77179f62854.JPG

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The yellow boxes with handles are new, courtesy of @dansar and are highly recommended (y)

Nice bases too....:)

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Sent this photo from family in the UK this Am

Do we have anything like it in NZ?

Hive for solitary bees.. guessing like Wool Carder?BeeBrick.jpg.1095ebb87bab923169116663ae23b390.jpg

BeeBrick.jpg.1095ebb87bab923169116663ae23b390.jpg

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What do u mean by scoffing? I hope u not implying anything untowards in my direction?

Arohamai @yesbut ,for my above comment....I was having a rough day! On the rd to recovery now so back to.my norrmal self.

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Today I went through my 3 single box hives that were involved in my caged queen introduction fail.

I thought today would be a good time because the beeks on my place were putting in escape boards and I thought the hives would be too busy robbing each other to bother mine.

I found each of my hives had a laying queen.

When I realised my new caged queen hive had too few bees and had been robbed I added brood and bees and lynx and put a feeder on top and completely blocked the entrance for 24 hours.

I watched carefully which bees were trying to rob and clustering on the outside and what they looked like, and I checked the apiaries nearby, they had different bees.

I worked out it was an in-house job from the hive beside it , not always easy to tell , bees seem to fly up not straight across.

So I did as @Daley suggested and swapped the hive positions.

that stopped the robbing and gave my caged queen hive all these extra bees.

The two hives on the end are the ones I swapped. The one doing the robbing was full of fresh honey.

I am going to snuff the queen in the middle and add her to the cage queen box .

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WP_20170316_16_53_43_Pro.jpg.59d9d56e0bbd45724d1bc08bc3ab18bd.jpg

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I watched carefully which bees were trying to rob and clustering on the outside and what they looked like, and I checked the apiaries nearby, they had different bees.

Next time you can sprinkle flour on the bees at the hive being robbed. Then you can look for the hive the white bees are going into. It is a lot easier than trying to guess.

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Got out to a site today that had 20 hives treated with formic Feb 13th and 17 untreated nucs . Most hives were looking good one had very minor PMS, and spotted mites on bees in two of the nucs, all new brood looking great. All hives and nucs got Apivar. A couple of cells went into hives to re-Queen. One nuc got a cell Feb 13th then March 3rd had laying workers today, as did a hive that had been re-Queened, so both got tipped out in front of two weaker hives. Next week have last of splits and treating on other sites to finish, and remove the last of the honey. I have a note in my spreadsheet: "START FEEDING" that keeps on getting shifted down a week at a time - better get onto this asap or Winter will have come and gone and I'll have lots of bees bums up heads in cell. Oh well if all my :bee: die at least I get to have a break :what:.

 

Also, keep up the good work on the oxalic / glycerine others because was thinking today about using it is a mid Summer treatment.

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Out this afternoon putting treatment strips in the colonies I started end of October as a queen cell 1 frame of brood 1 honey and a foundation frame. Now they are a good population size and packing in fresh nectar.

20170317_135058.jpg.b21578912b3e3cafd4a077e89b2de469.jpg

20170317_135058.jpg.b21578912b3e3cafd4a077e89b2de469.jpg

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Got out to a site today that had 20 hives treated with formic Feb 13th and 17 untreated nucs . Most hives were looking good one had very minor PMS, and spotted mites on bees in two of the nucs, all new brood looking great. All hives and nucs got Apivar. A couple of cells went into hives to re-Queen. One nuc got a cell Feb 13th then March 3rd had laying workers today, as did a hive that had been re-Queened, so both got tipped out in front of two weaker hives. Next week have last of splits and treating on other sites to finish, and remove the last of the honey. I have a note in my spreadsheet: "START FEEDING" that keeps on getting shifted down a week at a time - better get onto this asap or Winter will have come and gone and I'll have lots of bees bums up heads in cell. Oh well if all my :bee: die at least I get to have a break :what:.

 

Also, keep up the good work on the oxalic / glycerine others because was thinking today about using it is a mid Summer treatment.

I had a look in a weak hive today and there was a lot of bees with their heads in cells and bums up.

Does that mean they are robbers or are they the hives bees hungry cause the flow has stopped

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They are starving. Feed urgently

There are 3 or 4 frames of uncapped honey in there.

I am going to combine this hive with another

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There are 3 or 4 frames of uncapped honey in there.

I am going to combine this hive with another

Is the honey too far away for the bees to reach it. If they are starving sometimes they will not move to get the stores that are only a frame away.

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I work some hives yesterday that have been getting either willow or more likely poplar honeydew (same aphid). They weren't short of feed but I gave them half a feeder of sugar anyway to try and improve the brood which was awful. Bee numbers were good but the brood was terribly patchy with lots of what looked like sack brood in every hive and some with dead uncapped lavie . I have seen this before with the honeydew and suspect it is a nutritional deficiency. At least the weather has finally come right and they are bringing a bit of pollen in which should also help.

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Is the honey too far away for the bees to reach it. If they are starving sometimes they will not move to get the stores that are only a frame away.

If you open a hive with robbers at work can you tell by there behaviour in the hive

I have bayvarol to put in and I will combine it with another hive I am feeding

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Next time you can sprinkle flour on the bees at the hive being robbed. Then you can look for the hive the white bees are going into. It is a lot easier than trying to guess.

A light blast with a can of Dazzle works well too. Don't wet them though or the liquid carrier will kill them. It works well on wasps, they can be easier to track & it's quite satisfying seeing orange bodies in the nest you've just wammed.

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