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August 2017 Apiary Diary


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Spring checks today.Both hives good stores but only 3 part frames of brood in each.

Bees working Wattle & Tree lucerne when they can get out between spring showers.

Re reading the NZ control of Varroa book so lost my nerve and added Apivar strips today.

Hope not too early as was intending to install strips at end of month.

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It's been a while.... Strips went into the 3 hives on 30/7, when we had a fine spell and Himself was around to lug the heavy supers. It was very pleasing to see capped Brood in all 3 hives.

Getting the plums off to a good start 

Went through my home hive today to get an idea of the stores and where brood is located for varroa strips on 1st Sep . It is doing ok , there seem to be plenty of bees. The queen is laying i

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Swarm control for me is usually a non event, my colonies never build up enough to try. I don't split. Bees just don't seem to like my place much and simply never build up to anything like the multistoried crowds up north. Which is fine, I don't want an all consuming hobby, I just like a few bees around the place. (I'd have carnies if I thought I could keep them grey, I like grey bees) I like to experiment with varroa control, I never feed them. There's a commercial not far from me who seems to have to build up massive double queen hives to get a single box of crop. His double Q hives are a great source of swarms, and are what I usually start the new season with after my last lot have carked.

And before anyone leaps in, my casual bee care regime does not extend to lackadaisical AFB inspections !

my bees never seem to swarm either

they did the first year but since then they have decided that the area around them was so unpromising they may as well stay home.

they just supercede alot. probably because mating conditions are unfavorable .

continuing to keep bees here is a triumph of hope over experience.

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Did my first real beekeeping for the season today. Two obviously queenless hives had died out over the winter but the other 44 were fine although about a third had just started laying and didn't have sealed brood yet. It's a high cold site but the farmer likes me to do them before lambing starts. I swapped them all over to my new pallet design so there was quite a bit of extra work. It was a beautiful day to start with but got a bit grotty towards the end. These hives are about where I want them, if they come through too strong then I have a lot of trouble controlling the swarming but as they are they should be just perfect for the honey flow.

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I take it you are a long-term beekeeper but only have a couple of hives by the sounds of it - what do you do with swarm control / splits? Do you sell off the 'excess' growth or just manage to keep the bees from swarming in other ways?

i know this post wasn't addressed at me - but i'll take it anyway. Swarm prevention is really, really, really easy if you've only got a handful of langstroth hives.

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Did my first real beekeeping for the season today. Two obviously queenless hives had died out over the winter but the other 44 were fine although about a third had just started laying and didn't have sealed brood yet. It's a high cold site but the farmer likes me to do them before lambing starts. I swapped them all over to my new pallet design so there was quite a bit of extra work. It was a beautiful day to start with but got a bit grotty towards the end. These hives are about where I want them, if they come through too strong then I have a lot of trouble controlling the swarming but as they are they should be just perfect for the honey flow.

Do we get to here any more about this new pallet design? As a fallow pallet beekeeper I am always interested in what other pallet people think is and isn't important. I know one pallet man who has little flaps on the pallet ends which I assume is to reduce the chance of the bee's setting up camp underneath.

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@M4tt how many biscuits per single box and for how many weeks?

Half on top of the brood or cluster per hive .

And again two or three weeks later

Then a third treatment if necessary

 

After two weeks mine still have a good amount still in there .

 

I am new to Api Life Var and am following the lead of others

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There are a few syrup tanks out and about these days.

I was out today finishing off the last of this round of feeding.

All ok but there appears to be a spell of poor weather ahead.

Slippery gateways are a real hazard out there even on our pumice country.
At a couple of sites I left the truck at the gate and carried in buckets of syrup 100m to the sites.

No hurry.

I like this time of year.

The hives are growing so starting to make money but the workload is still relaxed.

Still haven't done any mite counts due to the weather though.

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Have done my first check for a good few weeks. 

They went into winter with good stores so it seemed it was a well timed check with stores in one low (expected for area) and the others good. 

All hives have eggs and brood including drone brood. It was nice to see young bees in the hive. What surprised me was seeing drones wandering about on the town hives. 

New season frames are a go, better pull finger on the new boxes :S

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today i brought a hive back home from the hakea, it is still flowering but nearly finished.

i brought the hive i had combined with the nuc after i had squished the drone laying queen. it seemed lighter on stores and i wanted to keep an eye on this queen.

the other hive i left there, it still has a pretty nearly full box of honey on top. i do not think this is a good thing. it was showery so i did not look inside but i think the  queen is failing , there was quite a bit of drone comb when i last looked.

i closed the hive down last night so it could be moved in daylight, my hubby helped and there is always less unkind words when we move hives in daylight.

i also brought the nuc with the virgin queen back, she is never going to mate now so i squished her and dumped the bees in front of a hive, they were mostly drones.

then i did a dumb thing, i opened the hive to look in when i got home. of course my home hive tried to rob it.

so i fed the 2 litres of syrup i had for the moved hive to the home hive and dribbled syrup on home hives landing board and entrance.

that slowed them down and a shower came through luckily.

the moved hive had more fresh nectar than i thought and 6 frames of brood, the queen is now laying in the top box.

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8 minutes ago, Rob Stockley said:

Are you trying to wind up @frazzledfozzlexD

Actually I have completely lost track of my queens.

I wish I had kept better records.

I started out with a pretty pure carni and a pretty pure Italian .

This queen was a  Jan supersedure.

All my queens are getting yellower. I think that's because the drones they mate with are most likely migrant drones and they are all Italian .

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