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What are bees foraging on at present

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Posted (edited)

The rotting fruit scenario sounds like that may be it, must have been pretty rotten though.

 

Saw a real nasty photo once of a dead cow with foam coming out it's mouth, and bees collecting it. Yikes, hope it wasn't anything like that. 😮

 

Edited by Alastair
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5 hours ago, Alastair said:

Question. Some hives i checked had a lot of new honey so i dunked my hive tool in and sampled probably a teaspoonful, wow it tasted horrible. And I mean so bad, it was aweful, tasted like something really badly rotten. 

 

Kinda freaked, i thought maybe this is tutin, i grabbed some water and thoroughly washed my mouth out but had already swallowed some. But, nothing happened, so, guess it wasn't tutin.

 

I have never experiennced anything like this in my life before, ever. It was a lightish coloured honey, gathered by the bees in the last few weeks, curious if anyone knows what it may have been? BTW i have tasted willowdew, not a nice honey in my opinion. But this was a whole several levels worse, really nasty.

 

 

Was it bitter ?

Could it be privet or ivy 

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Not really bitter, more rotten. i don't know if all the honey was like that, or if it was just a few cells that i stuck the hive tool into.

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Speaking of rotting taste, a really nice honey is a Waikato brew that @M4t sent me. I just wish it wouldn't squish out onto my lap.

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1 hour ago, yesbut said:

Speaking of rotting taste, a really nice honey is a Waikato brew that @M4t sent me. I just wish it wouldn't squish out onto my lap.

Waikato draught ?

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14 hours ago, Oma said:

Unfortunately @fieldbee I understand Phacelia is part of a herbal key that cattle can eat, but  if there are other choices they might leave the Phacelia alone.  I have cleared an area around each tree probably 1mt around the trunk and distributed seeds, now the plants are self sown and tend to crowd out other weeds.  I think Phacelia interferes with the life cycle preventing codlin moth establishing in the soil under the trees.  I have a couple of Quince trees and 3 peach trees with fruit damaging brown rot fungus, I have planted mustard seed under these this season.  There has been some improvement in the fruit at least they ripened this year before the rot set in. Other years the fruit rotted while it was still green. I will continue with the mustard for a few more seasons will be great if it works.  The bees enjoy the flowers too.

@Oma Thanks for that, I have been told by the agrisea rep that he go rid of the brown rot by spraying the ground twice in a year with the soil agrisea and 3 times a year on the leaves with the foliage agrisea. I was very busy and only got the foliage done once and what a difference no where near perfect but a big enough difference for me to make sure I do it this year.  Also improves roses from brown spot.  anything not to use chemicals..

 

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The bees are loving the high sugar content of my black table grapes.  Have had to pick kgs of grapes before they are promptly all destroyed.  Lots of bees on the ivy hedge flowers. 

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Alistair, your foul tasting honey could be Astelia, it is still flowering  west of waikato

 

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17 hours ago, Margaret Anne said:

The bees are loving the high sugar content of my black table grapes.  Have had to pick kgs of grapes before they are promptly all destroyed.  Lots of bees on the ivy hedge flowers. 

Same here, my grape though ripens progressively, bunch by bunch over a two week period, it makes eating them in time much less stressful. 

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My bees are  all over my figs , omega plums , grapes and any other fruit .

The birds or wasps make a hole then as the fruit splits the bees get access .

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2 hours ago, yesbut said:

Same here, my grape though ripens progressively, bunch by bunch over a two week period, it makes eating them in time much less stressful. 

I am right slap bang in the middle of a major cropping area.  Once the crops have been harvested there is v little for birds and bees, so then they come into the townships. The bees can decimate kgs in an hour or two.  Up until I witnessed this happening, I always thought it was wasps that decimated fruit. 

 

Beautiful day.  Bees going hammer and tongs on rocket seed production

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Waihi town

Hoheria

 

 

E4EB873A-B01A-47A9-B7CD-FCC1823ECB3B.jpeg

0E34044D-5344-4942-A610-3F650E312CF5.jpeg

0DDEF85B-D448-4B65-ACFB-458B31A9A1CA.jpeg

67248C87-0AAB-481F-8D69-264D4A23B131.jpeg

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Hoheria = nectar & high grade protein pollen.  Comes up favourably high on the T4Bs lists

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3 hours ago, Margaret Anne said:

Hoheria = nectar & high grade protein pollen.  Comes up favourably high on the T4Bs lists

Yep. All hives (21) at this Apiary have lots of creamy white pollen coming in on the bees. Last rush of brood rearing going on too.

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Bees are on the tree ivy today😴

6FF103AD-351C-4250-B349-4FC248DED6B5.jpeg

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based on the weight of flow my wellington hives are experiencing, i'm pretty sure they're foraging on the hives of incompetent beekeepers :(

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Erica Lustanica[Spanish Heath] flowering in the swamp.Bees are loving it.

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2 hours ago, Bighands said:

Erica Lustanica[Spanish Heath] flowering in the swamp.Bees are loving it.

It Hasn’t even budded here yet. 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/04/2019 at 11:34 AM, fieldbee said:

@Oma Thanks for that, I have been told by the agrisea rep that he go rid of the brown rot by spraying the ground twice in a year with the soil agrisea and 3 times a year on the leaves with the foliage agrisea. I was very busy and only got the foliage done once and what a difference no where near perfect but a big enough difference for me to make sure I do it this year.  Also improves roses from brown spot.  anything not to use chemicals..

 

There’s another couple of great products and methods I have used myself....

-try spraying new seedlings and plants with an aspirin and water this prompts the plant to strengthen its own system. Nice Summary of the scientific paper in James Wong’s  ‘Grow for Flavour’. You apply it once in a plants life ...

 

-EM of Christchurch makes a cocktail of Effective Microorganisms and posts it to you. Search EM Christchurch .....You can get 1 litre for general garden use and this can be ‘expanded’ to be used in great quantities. They are very generous with sharing how to expand the numbers of bacteria, sending instructions by email and great on the phone if you ring for advice. If you spray these ‘EMs’ onto the leaves and roots of the trees and plants it coats the plant with a community of synergistic beneficial microbes that consume and combat the many of the nasty ones causing disease. I tried it and can confirm it works. This stuff repopulates soil with a starter culture of beneficial microbes and builds the system up into a balanced one. 

 

You can also make your own EM drench at home from Yarrow and comfrey leaves stuffed in a bucket with molasses and warm water ( 20-25 degrees)  Use a bar mixer to cut up the leaves and water to get the most out of the mixture...

Store this mix briefly out of the sun. And use the drench within 24 hours of making it-you don’t what the aerobic organisms that were on the leaf surfaces to die. If it smells bad you left it sitting too long and the bad smell indicates mix is dominated by very unhelpful anaerobic organisms. Just a general principle....Spray the nice fresh mix onto the plants leaves and drench roots on the same day you make or the next day. It provides over 8 of the 15 minerals plants thrive on plus beneficial microbes to consume the Nasty ones. It works too and its cheap and convenient. 

 

Pacific Bioferts at Pokeno, ‘Moana Natural’ is also amazing like Agrisea. I use it as a spray and drench on our garden . It has the added bonus of also having minerals in it that have been processed by microbes into forms that the plant can absorb right away. 

 

I have no vested interests in the company’s -just use their products having taught about them a few years ago.👍

All three hives bringing in pollen of cream, dull yellow, salmon red and orange colours. Our camellia hedges are providing forage to the honeybees and the monarchs. The girls have been up in the loquat tree gathering forage too. The rosemary is flowering again. 

Fairly quiet at the hive entrance, busy but not too much of a traffic jam. Mind you, my colonies are all modest in population after a decision to expand hive numbers when I had those 18+ emergency cells appear in my first hive after I wiped out my only queen with a MAQS treatment.

Last month I shifted the Apiary just slightly, up the bank into their permanent home which is protected by hedging and windbreak cloth. The hives are now on pallets scrounged from Mitre 10. So I think things are improving, they get the sun earlier.

The season has been a learning curve and will continue to be. I’m loving it. 

On 18/05/2019 at 8:34 AM, GoED said:

There’s another couple of great products and methods I have used myself....

-try spraying new seedlings and plants with an aspirin and water this prompts the plant to strengthen its own system. Nice Summary of the scientific paper in James Wong’s  ‘Grow for Flavour’. You apply it once in a plants life ...

 

-EM of Christchurch makes a cocktail of Effective Microorganisms and posts it to you. Search EM Christchurch .....You can get 1 litre for general garden use and this can be ‘expanded’ to be used in great quantities. They are very generous with sharing how to expand the numbers of bacteria, sending instructions by email and great on the phone if you ring for advice. If you spray these ‘EMs’ onto the leaves and roots of the trees and plants it coats the plant with a community of synergistic beneficial microbes that consume and combat the many of the nasty ones causing disease. I tried it and can confirm it works. This stuff repopulates soil with a starter culture of beneficial microbes and builds the system up into a balanced one. 

 

You can also make your own EM drench at home from Yarrow and comfrey leaves stuffed in a bucket with molasses and warm water ( 20-25 degrees)  Use a bar mixer to cut up the leaves and water to get the most out of the mixture...

Store this mix briefly out of the sun. And use the drench within 24 hours of making it-you don’t what the aerobic organisms that were on the leaf surfaces to die. If it smells bad you left it sitting too long and the bad smell indicates mix is dominated by very unhelpful anaerobic organisms. Just a general principle....Spray the nice fresh mix onto the plants leaves and drench roots on the same day you make or the next day. It provides over 8 of the 15 minerals plants thrive on plus beneficial microbes to consume the Nasty ones. It works too and its cheap and convenient. 

 

Pacific Bioferts at Pokeno, ‘Moana Natural’ is also amazing like Agrisea. I use it as a spray and drench on our garden . It has the added bonus of also having minerals in it that have been processed by microbes into forms that the plant can absorb right away. 

 

I have no vested interests in the company’s -just use their products having taught about them a few years ago.👍

All three hives bringing in pollen of cream, dull yellow, salmon red and orange colours. Our camellia hedges are providing forage to the honeybees and the monarchs. The girls have been up in the loquat tree gathering forage too. The rosemary is flowering again. 

Fairly quiet at the hive entrance, busy but not too much of a traffic jam. Mind you, my colonies are all modest in population after a decision to expand hive numbers when I had those 18+ emergency cells appear in my first hive after I wiped out my only queen with a MAQS treatment.

Last month I shifted the Apiary just slightly, up the bank into their permanent home which is protected by hedging and windbreak cloth. The hives are now on pallets scrounged from Mitre 10. So I think things are improving, they get the sun earlier.

The season has been a learning curve and will continue to be. I’m loving it. 

Forgot to say with that home made EM foliage spray and drench you should dilute it 1:100 

On 1/05/2019 at 6:24 AM, Bighands said:

Erica Lustanica[Spanish Heath] flowering in the swamp.Bees are loving it.

Flowering here too up at the old Golden Cross mine 350 m above sea level. Too misty and cold (11 degrees) for the bees to be working it today. 

@BighandsIts just a nectar source right?

 

That’s what Walsh says page 7, but Erica baccans (Pink Heath) ‘gives a slight amount of grey plasticine like pollen’ so I was wondering if Erica lusitanica was vastly different....

On 9/04/2019 at 2:32 PM, Maggie James said:

Hoheria = nectar & high grade protein pollen.  Comes up favourably high on the T4Bs lists

@Maggie James hullo 😉

The only information I can find on Protein Quality/Content of Pollens is from two Greek studies, and our nz TreesForBees website.  The Trees for bees resource is 3 pages long and hasn’t been updated since 2014. I tried emailing TreesForBees but received no reply, ( I’m sure there are many more pressing issues than an artist painting a pollen loads of bees colour chart). Can you point me in the right direction for any other reliable sources of information on the protein percentages of various plants for bees? 

On 28/04/2019 at 8:45 PM, jamesc said:

Bees are on the tree ivy today😴

6FF103AD-351C-4250-B349-4FC248DED6B5.jpeg

Great picture! Very useful to see the colour of the pollen in her corbiculae 👍

Edited by GoED
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On ‎18‎/‎05‎/‎2019 at 8:34 AM, GoED said:

The only information I can find on Protein Quality/Content of Pollens is from two Greek studies, and our nz TreesForBees website.  The Trees for bees resource is 3 pages long and hasn’t been updated since 2014. I tried emailing TreesForBees but received no reply, ( I’m sure there are many more pressing issues than an artist painting a pollen loads of bees colour chart). Can you point me in the right direction for any other reliable sources of information on the protein percentages of various plants for bees? 

 

Good Evening GoED

 

I spotted your comment an hour ago and immediately I contacted Dr Linda Newstrom-Lloyd, Botatnist, Trees for Bees NZ.  Please see Linda's reply below and note attacments supplied.  I would just like to point out the following:

 

Fat Bees Skinny Bees is a great New South Wales Government publication, but under no circumstance in New Zealand would I recommend bulk feeding of syrup.  A bit of a different scenario in the Australian outback when you might be the only beekeeper for thousands of miles. Interestingly gorse, a major stave for spring buildup on the Canty Plains does not feature.  We love gorse in Canterbury. 

 

I am now going to extend my beekeeping skills, in an attempt to include the attachments that Dr Linda Newstrom-Lloyd has supplied in answer to your enquiry.  Westland, Canterbury, Southern Marlborough, Northern Otago are major supporters of T4Bs NZ.  T4Bs often feature in Canterbury meetings and Days' Out, and discussions. 

 

Well GoEd - I hope Linda's reply with attachments is of assistance. 

 

Whoops - Have just been notified unfortunately I cannot upload the Fat Bees Skinny Bees publication (due to MB restriction in my post, so I will give it a whirl in the next post).  On another note - Doug Sommerville, Australia publishes some great stuff. 

 

Hi Maggie

I do not know of anyone else who has made measurements of crude protein content on New Zealand native plants but Doug Somerville in Australia published Fat Bees Skinny Bees with data on crude protein content for exotic and Australian Plants.  See Attached PDF.

 

There are a few other academic papers on this topic that can be found in Google Scholar but I have not done a recent search for new work so there may be some new academic or popular papers on this topic.

 

Our data as presented on our website shows that Hoheria populnea x H. sexstylosa 

Lacebark and Hoheria sexstylosa Long leaved lacebark, ribbonwood

both have a medium percentage of  crude protein in their pollen.

Medium means between 17% and 25% as a category.  Many plants have higher values as shown in the  attached handout on the measures for many plants in New Zealand.

 

There are also references for pollen load colours for bees but your question was not about this.  The difficulty with pollen load colours is that the colours change with moisture content and age of the pollen load (some oxidize such as in clover with yellow pollen but a brown pollen load surface).

Our poster on pollen (see attached) describes the problem of many plants having the same colours and so making it difficult to identify pollen just by colour alone especially for white and related tones, yellow and orange.  Other colours are distinctive such as brown or purple or mauve. 

 

 We are including photos of pollen load colours in our new bee flower catalogue and bee pollen catalogue that we are producing for this current project.  They will be available on our website in late June and the data will be expanded over the next three years in our new project.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Thanks

Linda

 

Linda Newstrom-Lloyd
www.treesforbeesnz.org

TfB_PollenProteinContent_2013.pdf TfB_PollenProteinContent_2013.pdf

Hi GoEd - I can only upload 2MB and Fat Bees Skinny Bees is 4 MB.  Check out https://www.agrifutures.com.au/wp-content/uploads/publications/05-054.pdf

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On 19/05/2019 at 8:01 PM, Maggie James said:

 

Good Evening GoED

 

I spotted your comment an hour ago and immediately I contacted Dr Linda Newstrom-Lloyd, Botatnist, Trees for Bees NZ.  Please see Linda's reply below and note attacments supplied.  I would just like to point out the following:

 

Fat Bees Skinny Bees is a great New South Wales Government publication, but under no circumstance in New Zealand would I recommend bulk feeding of syrup.  A bit of a different scenario in the Australian outback when you might be the only beekeeper for thousands of miles. Interestingly gorse, a major stave for spring buildup on the Canty Plains does not feature.  We love gorse in Canterbury. 

 

I am now going to extend my beekeeping skills, in an attempt to include the attachments that Dr Linda Newstrom-Lloyd has supplied in answer to your enquiry.  Westland, Canterbury, Southern Marlborough, Northern Otago are major supporters of T4Bs NZ.  T4Bs often feature in Canterbury meetings and Days' Out, and discussions. 

 

Well GoEd - I hope Linda's reply with attachments is of assistance. 

 

Whoops - Have just been notified unfortunately I cannot upload the Fat Bees Skinny Bees publication (due to MB restriction in my post, so I will give it a whirl in the next post).  On another note - Doug Sommerville, Australia publishes some great stuff. 

 

Hi Maggie

I do not know of anyone else who has made measurements of crude protein content on New Zealand native plants but Doug Somerville in Australia published Fat Bees Skinny Bees with data on crude protein content for exotic and Australian Plants.  See Attached PDF.

 

There are a few other academic papers on this topic that can be found in Google Scholar but I have not done a recent search for new work so there may be some new academic or popular papers on this topic.

 

Our data as presented on our website shows that Hoheria populnea x H. sexstylosa 

Lacebark and Hoheria sexstylosa Long leaved lacebark, ribbonwood

both have a medium percentage of  crude protein in their pollen.

Medium means between 17% and 25% as a category.  Many plants have higher values as shown in the  attached handout on the measures for many plants in New Zealand.

 

There are also references for pollen load colours for bees but your question was not about this.  The difficulty with pollen load colours is that the colours change with moisture content and age of the pollen load (some oxidize such as in clover with yellow pollen but a brown pollen load surface).

Our poster on pollen (see attached) describes the problem of many plants having the same colours and so making it difficult to identify pollen just by colour alone especially for white and related tones, yellow and orange.  Other colours are distinctive such as brown or purple or mauve. 

 

 We are including photos of pollen load colours in our new bee flower catalogue and bee pollen catalogue that we are producing for this current project.  They will be available on our website in late June and the data will be expanded over the next three years in our new project.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Thanks

Linda

 

Linda Newstrom-Lloyd
www.treesforbeesnz.org

TfB_PollenProteinContent_2013.pdf 19.17 kB · 5 downloads TfB_PollenProteinContent_2013.pdf 19.17 kB · 3 downloads

Hi GoEd - I can only upload 2MB and Fat Bees Skinny Bees is 4 MB.  Check out https://www.agrifutures.com.au/wp-content/uploads/publications/05-054.pdf

Wow. I really appreciate your effort on my behalf @Maggie James. This will make the chart more useful. I’ll keep you posted here once it’s finished. 

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Thank you GoEd - Over the next three years, T4B will have some very exciting expansion of their online databases

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That’s good news about T4B site being updated and expanded soon.

Yes Google scholar is helpful.

I was working from this 2014 document sent through by Linda to you for me.

The Skinny bees document will be useful.

I have included Australian, NZ and UK plant pollen colours in the chart, information available online and in publications is thin. The scope will be reduced in any done in the future

SCION have been very helpful, generously sharing what they have in relation to the topic and allowing me to read in their library. 

 

This first iteration will be a draft, further versions may come about. There will invariably be limitations to it. I’m interested in hue accuracy, I’m doing my best. There’s huge scope and limited information. It is information art but primarily its an artwork and the aesthetics of the finished piece must also function for viewers.

 

The colours I have depicted are the nearest approximation to those seen in photos, seen through my own eyes, described in words or printed colours. The word ‘Brown’ can refer to many different tones and tints of the hue.

 

Corbicula pollen colours are subject to interpretation, oxidation, and variation created by the age of the pollen load, water content of the pollen at the moment it was collected, the bees technique when it mixes it with honey and puts it into its corbicula. Some pollens must be harder to wrangle into the basket than others.

 

Often pollen loads looks duller and darker than the pollen observed on the anther. 

I found a paper devoted to the subject in the Ohio State University Knowledge Bank, kb.osu.edu

Reiter, R, ’The Coloration of Anther and Corbicula Pollen’

The Ohio Journal of Science. V47 n4 (July,1947), 137-152

 

I will be watching the plants and blossoms thread keenly throughout winter hoping to see photos of bees with pollen loaded in their corbiculae gathering from flowers. There’s another topic in Plants and Blossoms called Pollen Colour Chart related to this artwork. Right back to mixing watercolours 😉

6755BE35-BCEE-41F5-838C-2B78AF9ED2FD.jpeg

630ED154-9359-4C2C-B8F8-8DC0EC10C53D.jpeg

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Also recommend:

A colour guide to pollen loads of the honey bee.  Second edition.  William Kirk.  An International Bee Research Assn (IBRA) publication

Pollen Identification Card, W D J Kirk, IBRA pub.

The Pollen Grain Drawings of Dorothy Hodges, IBRA pub. 

 

IBRA publish some great stuff and because of the EU they are no longer based in Cardiff, but Brussels.  You might be able to by these online.  I purchased mine off the IBRA stand at an Irish beekeeping conference.  I would have to have a hunt, to see if I have got anything else, and right now I need to race off and prune the pear tree! 

 

IBRA also publish a great identification cards on pests & disease, plus good charts on all sorts of beekeeping topics

 

Remember though, that pollen colours will change according to the light around them e.g. direct sunlight or indirect sunlight.  It might be a good idea to standardize to the same condition each time.  Some pollen colours change with time.  Some varietals of pollens will have several colour ranges (I think you have already worked this out),  and of course sometimes propolis or fungal spores are mixed in with the pollen altering colour. 

 

Your chart looks quite intriguing.  Would make a fab tea towel or full length apron!  Company uniforms!

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Yes I agree @Maggie James. Thank you! I have both Kirk publications but Dave Black wisely pointed out these are perhaps more accurate sources than Hodges. The IBRA publications have each hue standardised against the same background white.It would indeed make a cloth print if the original weren’t large and detailed. 😁I’m mulling on the worth of reproducing it or one of its successors as a set full size charts. Not cheap. It never is.  It’s usefulness relies on its scale and detail.

 

Making art is compelling, soothing and uplifting. The industry built around that joy is another beast altogether. Artists have similar operational concerns to beekeepers, being self employed. They carry all the cost and risk involved in production, pay all exhibition costs and then if a work sells pay 60 per cent to the gallery owner on any sales. Profit is not made by the artist and they must have an academic or day job to support themselves in order to pay for the exhibition cycle.  This system is not stacked in the artists favour, there’s also a whole circus built around discussing art, turning it into a commodity and selling it as a commodity. You can feel a right mug if you are the person making the work. Sometimes it’s wise to withdraw from this system and just do the work as if no one will ever see it, or care.  It’s a familiar story no doubt. 

 

When the chart is complete, a solution may be to make digital images available to Forum colleagues for their own enjoyment. I have had a great deal of help from people here about the topic. People driving many miles to deliver very precious books and sending pristine rare books in the mail at their own expense, the SCION librarian printing out pivotal papers related to the topic. Incredible kindness.  Right better get back to it. I hope your pear tree is now a pleasing shape, I’ve just given our own tree crops new haircuts too😊

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