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Rob Stockley

New Zealand swarm dates for season 2017/18

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Leave two boxes of frames ready to clean up and recover with wax. Well...these bees thought the frames and boxes were just fine and moved in when I wasn't looking. Someone not far away from me is missing a good number of bees from their hive ?

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About 8 frames covered in bees. They have covered the middle 4 frames of both boxes. I will sort them out in a few days.

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First of my neighbour's swarms today. Over the electric fence, in a Barberry, in the bull paddock. Just like always. Sigh.

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12 hours ago, yesbut said:

First of my neighbour's swarms today. Over the electric fence, in a Barberry, in the bull paddock. Just like always. Sigh.

Have you started patrolling the commercial yard up the valley? Produced well last season IIRC.

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49 minutes ago, Rob Stockley said:

Have you started patrolling the commercial yard up the valley? Produced well last season IIRC.

Yes, that's my " neighbour"

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4 hours ago, Rob Stockley said:

Have you started patrolling the commercial yard up the valley? Produced well last season IIRC.

IIRC = if I recall correctly?

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Three more today, over the electric fence, in a Barberry, in  the bull paddock. Last year's bull has gone than heaven. This year it's his playful mates

wanting to see what's in the box that I have to watch.

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I've had 12 or 13 go now from about nine or ten sites.  The most recent ones have all been one boxers with very little to distinguish them from the neighbouring hives which stayed.  One I came across today was a bit irritating, maybe six weeks or two months ago I boxed up some nucs with Autumn Queens.  The site has been very slow to get started and so maybe three weeks ago I raided another site and removed three boxes of brood and bees, and proceeded to re-distribute them into the boxed up nucs.  One of the hives must have thought it was the bees knees and scarpered probably a week or so ago.  Meanwhile in the other fifteen or so hives very little sign of any intent to swarm, a bit of moisture in one swarm cup was about it.   Go figure.

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A friend had a very civilized swarm....stayed on her property and in a convenient tree. We added the box and they did all the rest.:IMG_0380:

 

20171021_104048.jpg

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32 minutes ago, Mummzie said:

A friend had a very civilized swarm....stayed on her property and in a convenient tree. We added the box and they did all the rest.:IMG_0380:

 

20171021_104048.jpg

 

So they were quite happy with the keeper

wanted a box of their own 

 

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Swarm city again, five clumps hanging around, and that was before lunch. I've run out of gear. I have a Q breeding mate up the valley, I rode through one of his swarms coming back from coffee. He's had so many in spite of his best efforts he's given up retrieving them. Much worse this season than the last few.

Edited by yesbut

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I wouldn't have minded if someone had shown interest in my $100 swarm nucs on TM this week :)

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Saw them on there but that's not as much fun.

 

Followed a swarm through Richmond on Thursday but lost track of it behind some houses. Went door knocking but no luck

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8 hours ago, yesbut said:

Swarm city again, five clumps hanging around, and that was before lunch. I've run out of gear. I have a Q breeding mate up the valley, I rode through one of his swarms coming back from coffee. He's had so many in spite of his best efforts he's given up retrieving them. Much worse this season than the last few.

Two of my three hives have been flat out building QC no matter what I do.

I think that's cause I feed them too often.

The poor season last yr has ment a lot of hives  Are being fed .

Maybe that's why they are swarming so much this spring.

Stored honey would not be interpreted by the bees as a flow but regular syrup  feeds would be.

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7 hours ago, kaihoka said:

Stored honey would not be interpreted by the bees as a flow but regular syrup  feeds would be.

Not necessarily.  If you fill all the cells with syrup, then the queen has no place to lay, so the hive decides it is time to swarm, even if the hive is not really capable of supporting swarm action.

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2 hours ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

Not necessarily.  If you fill all the cells with syrup, then the queen has no place to lay, so the hive decides it is time to swarm, even if the hive is not really capable of supporting swarm action.

I think I made my hives too strong prematurely and I had not enough drawn foundation.

I hoped that feeding them would encourage that but they were reluctant to do that and just filled up the existing cells .

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57 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

I think I made my hives too strong prematurely and I had not enough drawn foundation.

I hoped that feeding them would encourage that but they were reluctant to do that and just filled up the existing cells .

Yes. You are correct and that is exactly why I do not recommend that Hobbyists feed in the spring. (Unless the bees are desperate).

 

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1 hour ago, kaihoka said:

I think I made my hives too strong prematurely and I had not enough drawn foundation.

I hoped that feeding them would encourage that but they were reluctant to do that and just filled up the existing cells .

there is the possibility you didn't feed enough to get them to draw out frames.

with small flows they will back fill the brood, but give them a big flow and they will make new comb.

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2 hours ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

Yes. You are correct and that is exactly why I do not recommend that Hobbyists feed in the spring. (Unless the bees are desperate).

 

Two hives came out of the hakea with very little stores but they had two boxes full of brood . There was no nectar flow but lots of pollen to collect.

So I fed them.

The other hive hive has a weaker queen , only brood in one box and a box of honey. She is only building supersedure cells , one at a time .

I have taken nucs from the strong hives so all is not lost.

But would have preferred to wait a couple of months to make queens.

But I have learnt more stuff. :)

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So Saturdays Civilized Swarm have started drawing their 4 frames of foundation, but what has me curious is that they are making lacework of parts of it. They are chewing round the sides, and in places have drilled holes- lots of holes.

I have been told they do that if they are hungry- but as we gave them a little feed, and that has been stored, and that some pollen has also been gathered- that would indicate they aren't hungry. The foundation was medium brood I think.

Can anyone tell me if it is correct that hungry bees eat wax?

And does anyone have any suggestion why these girls seem to be making lace of their frames?

 

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4 minutes ago, Mummzie said:

Can anyone tell me if it is correct that hungry bees eat wax?

Not correct. 

 

4 minutes ago, Mummzie said:

And does anyone have any suggestion why these girls seem to be making lace of their frames?

 

One should never question  artist's work until it's finished.

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14 minutes ago, Mummzie said:

Can anyone tell me if it is correct that hungry bees eat wax?

they don't eat wax but they do shift it around. especially when there is no flow on and not making new wax.

Edited by tristan

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16 minutes ago, tristan said:

they don't eat wax but they do shift it around. especially when there is no flow on and not making new wax.

so in this scenario is there anything that  could be done differently so the frames get drawn well?

Most of my hives are storing nectar currently- not a flow, but also not a dearth. There was nectar in the hive that swarmed.

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Some hives are just rubbish at drawing comb in a tidy manner . Some hives will strip wax off plastic frames and never draw them properly . 

While others draw perfectly evertime. 

Ive seen them strip wax , but I don’t have a ‘why’ 

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33 minutes ago, Mummzie said:

so in this scenario is there anything that  could be done differently so the frames get drawn well?

Most of my hives are storing nectar currently- not a flow, but also not a dearth. There was nectar in the hive that swarmed.

can you take a pic of it. would be interesting to see.

all i can think of is to give a big feed but water the syrup down to 1:1.

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