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What are bees foraging on at present


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Plenty of pollen coming in off the buttercup that has started flowering.

If only all town sections looked like this. I found this today on a lunchtime stroll through a new housing area. Its near an inlet so the sections are built up about 1.5 metres.  This is looking

The lavender will look fabulous, are you going for a purple plant palette? Kings seeds have fabulous plants and their seeds have a high germination rate. Let me know if you want some Lacy phaceli

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11 hours ago, jamesc said:

So.... what next with the wildflower garden.

Will the seed heads fall and germinate again next year?

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Apparently you're supposed to mow and remove all the trash. If you leave the rotting grass there to rot down , it will release Nitrogen into the soil and the grass will outcompete the flower seeds as they try to germinate , which will be soon when it rains. 

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Piggies will do the trick.  Are you going to eat them?  Free range garden feed, yummy.  You could sugar cure the crackling, and use the vinegar in the apple sauce.  I don't have any recipes for O/A.  Use lawn mower while meat in oven, then crash with a beer when cooked. 

 

If using agent orange, I doubt very much that you would need to mow prior. 

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@jamesc This is from the Kings seeds site.

 

 

If wildflower seeds are planted in a weedy area, there will be a large bank of weeds that will germinate and compete.

Weed control is achieved in two stages - initial clearing of the site and ongoing maintenance:

Prepare the soil for sowing by removing unwanted vegetation. Lightly till, or rough up the surface of soil. Do not dig deep as this encourages weed seeds. Allow new weed seeds to come away after cultivating, then remove again before sowing by burning, steaming or spraying.

Choose appropriate seed for your site. Wildflowers are not gross feeders and don’t require large amounts of fertilizer. However, a dusting of lime at a rate of ½ to 1 kg per square metre is helpful to unlock soil nutrients and make them more readily available to plants.

Mix seed with an inert carrier like damp sand, sawdust or pumice (1 part seed to 15-20 parts carrier) and hand broadcast in a systematic fashion. Gently rake in but do not cover the seed too deeply (1cm max).

Wildflower seeds require water to germinate but once established can survive with very low rainfall. Keep lightly moist for 4-6 weeks. Best times to sow are spring and autumn.

A regular program of weed control is essential to establish the wildflowers as the dominant species. Weeds should be eliminated as soon as they can be recognised either by pulling out, spot spraying with a general herbicide or selective cutting with a line trimmer.

Irrigate when possible through spring and summer.

Mow or cut in autumn to tidy site and scatter seeds. Consider over sowing to introduce new varieties at this stage.

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1 hour ago, Margaret Anne said:

Piggies will do the trick.  Are you going to eat them?  Free range garden feed, yummy.  You could sugar cure the crackling, and use the vinegar in the apple sauce.  I don't have any recipes for O/A.  Use lawn mower while meat in oven, then crash with a beer when cooked. 

 

If using agent orange, I doubt very much that you would need to mow prior. 

Kune's are'nt great eating ..... 

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5 hours ago, jamesc said:

I was thinking of mowing the area after the plants have seeded and dropped, then spray with Agent Orange   or such to get back to a dirt seedbed.Much as we hate Glyphosate, it does have it's uses. 

I think if you didnt mow it the dicotyledons may take over from the monocotyledons .

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6 hours ago, jamesc said:

I was thinking of mowing the area after the plants have seeded and dropped, then spray with Agent Orange   or such to get back to a dirt seedbed.Much as we hate Glyphosate, it does have it's uses. 

You could just leave a section of it alone and see what happens.

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On ‎4‎/‎03‎/‎2019 at 6:11 PM, Josh said:

I just don’t know how to respond to an apparent excitement about gorse...

Well here on the Plains we are absolutely gaga about gorse.  In fact if we could use our beekeeping skills to write music and poetry about the stuff we would.  Of course we all know that it is listed as a pest plant.  Last year when ECan called for submissions on their PMP for the next 20 years, the pest they got the most submissions on - was yes - you guessed it - gorse.  There were submissions for it's total eradication and for it's preservation.

 

In Canterbury, gorse is a key pollen bearing plant.  In cropping areas, whilst the farmer won't have internal boundaries in gorse, often gorse hedges are boundary hedges; especially for bee tucker.  We don't have it quite all year round, but a fair bit of the year.  Unfortunately, we are also flat intense dairying.  All the trees and hedges get removed, so irrigators can run up and down the flat paddocks.  No hills in the way!  Once shelter belts and gorse removed , nothing to protect our beautiful bees from hot nor west or could southerlies.  We also don't have the diversity of native or exotic flowering plants.  And unfortunately with climate change, the last couple of summers have been stinking hot, and these temperatures are conducive to intense cereal cropping yields.  These plants are mainly wind pollinated with dry brittle unnutritious pollen for distribution by the wind. 

 

Gorse is high protein pollen.  Trees for Bees NZ have not yet been able to find a substitute plant that provides the abundance and quality of pollen. 

 

Gorse pollen is essential for us.  It helps with spring build up for pollination contracts and honey production.  We need this pest plant for brood rearing and near our grafting and mating yards. 

 

So yes, when we see the opportunity of a gorse site, along with broom, we get very excited.  Long live the gorse hedge! 

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Here on the "Coast" we have no problem finding a sit with gorse on it. I have been trapping pollen and at the moment still seem to be getting white Rata. Frames of pollen in the hive which is a pain because if they do not use the pollen, the frame goes mouldy then that frame is useless as the bees do not even put nectar over it.

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1 minute ago, Bighands said:

Here on the "Coast" we have no problem finding a sit with gorse on it. I have been trapping pollen and at the moment still seem to be getting white Rata. Frames of pollen in the hive which is a pain because if they do not use the pollen, the frame goes mouldy then that frame is useless as the bees do not even put nectar over it.

Well, I guess you are lucky, cos you don't have the intense farming.  Instead you seem to be one big DoC park

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2 hours ago, Bighands said:

Here on the "Coast" we have no problem finding a sit with gorse on it. I have been trapping pollen and at the moment still seem to be getting white Rata. Frames of pollen in the hive which is a pain because if they do not use the pollen, the frame goes mouldy then that frame is useless as the bees do not even put nectar over it.

The white rata has finished here inland of hokitika but I see some red rata vine beginning to flower. Do they both have the same white pollen that  the bees are bringing in?                  Spun out some white rata honey today. Had a bit of a bite to it I thought.

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Are you certain it is white rata.I thought I had white rata as well but when I got the pollen analysis back it was 33.5% kamahi, 31% unidentifiable and the rest honey dew. lotus and manuka.The bite may be W.Quintinia.Send a bit of honey away that will tell you what the bees have been on ,only $45.00

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57 minutes ago, Bighands said:

Are you certain it is white rata.I thought I had white rata as well but when I got the pollen analysis back it was 33.5% kamahi, 31% unidentifiable and the rest honey dew. lotus and manuka.The bite may be W.Quintinia.Send a bit of honey away that will tell you what the bees have been on ,only $45.00

Was quite sure. Was from frames in top boxes put on after kamahi finished?was still a bit of Lance wood still flowering that bees were busy on but white rata flowered very well here. Surprised how much of it there is here. No beech out here.

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Have just logged in to check if the site administrator had got out their tool and transferred me into a grafted larvae! 

 

When I registered on this forum somehow I managed to log myself on as a drone, and I asked the site administrator to change it, cos no matter how I tried that was the one thing on my profile that I couldn't change. When I asked the administrator to change it, it was changed to a newby, then yesterday to an egg.  I am wondering if others have struck difficulty when they have tried to change that aspect of their profile.  Regards, 

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We all start as an egg - usually you only change because of the number of posts you do - possibly 50 is the change over - I just got to be  a house bee at 500. Grant as owner is 'The Beekeeper'!

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16 hours ago, Margaret Anne said:

What's this.  No hive inspection that day!

WP_20180320_005.jpg

It could be Sirex Woodwasp, Sirex noctilio Fabricius

"The female ... is a steel-blue colour except for the legs which are reddish-brown. "

http://www.nzffa.org.nz/farm-forestry-model/the-essentials/forest-health-pests-and-diseases/Pests/Sirex-noctilio/Sirex-noctilioEnt20

https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/resources/identification/animals/bug-id/what-is-this-bug/bugs-with-legs/6-legs/bees-and-wasps/wood-wasp

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1 hour ago, Sailabee said:

We all start as an egg - usually you only change because of the number of posts you do - possibly 50 is the change over - I just got to be  a house bee at 500. Grant as owner is 'The Beekeeper'!

We start as New Bees and then progress thru to Field bees.  @Grant is the beekeeper and as yet we don't have a Queen Bee.  

It is a points system based on how many posts a person does.

It is running in the background and only grant can change the scaling system.

 

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