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Rob Stockley

September 2017 Apiary Diary

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Yep.... slow start, but all of a sudden the air is sweet with willow  and we are shaking nectar from the brood. Sick hives of six weeks ago have transformed into boxes of bees in need of a second . Meanwhile the poly's go out every other day to the nuc yard and get ratcheted down, six to a pallet to stop them flying off down to Glynn's place in the howling Nor'Wester. And the dead-outs are still very much dead . Patience, GrassHopper .... says the wise man  who has time to fish in the big lake up on the tail.

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1 hour ago, jamesc said:

 who has time to fish in the big lake up on the tail.

I never fish in the lake, the fish taste of mud.

 

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It's been raining on and off here too Frazz, some of my tracks have been too wet to get in to the hives.

Pretty sure it's going to rain for the next 4 days here and I've got cells coming out on Friday.

 

I have one steep clay track that I haven't been able to get up for 5 months, that's got 3 sites on it, got up there yesterday and the hives were going for it, didn't need me at all.

I did lose one to queenlessness.

Gave them all a good inspection and chucked their strips in.

Chucked a box on a good portion of them and I'll get up and split them when I can next get up there, I was excited to learn yesterday that half the track is going to be metalled to get some forestry out so that will make 2 of 3 sites all weather ?

Just means I have to stay away a couple of weeks for them to form the road.

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Blowing a gale here today. Chicken coop went for a wander across the paddock. Anything that wasn't tied down is caught in a fence somewhere. One NUC lost its lid. No beehives blown over yet but there's still time :ph34r:

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Quick check of the girls yesterday morning, Super happy to sight a mated Queen and fresh Eggs in the queenless hive, (had given them a qcell on the 14th). So she's done a good job getting herself out on the 2  days of good weather we had last week. 2nd hive is going for it, no swarm cells yet, drone brood is building, manupulated a couple of frames to give them a bit more space. Gave top bar also expanding a bit light so gave another feed. Weather Turning back to rain today.

 

We will be moving these hives later this week, so didn't pull them apart too much. 2nd hive Will probably need another box after we do

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Just made the first nucs of the season this morning, only 9 of them, I'm still dubious of drone supply so these nucs are at my house in the suburbs to take advantage of the earlier start that suburb hives had with drone production.

 

Next week I'll be starting production of serious numbers of nucs and they'll be going to normal mating sites. Be breaking hives down just in time to catch any wanting to swarm, hopefully.

 

Weird, basically a day off today because the weather forecast was really, really, bad. But near 1/2 way through the day and not a drop of rain, may as well have gone out working bees. Actually wanted rain, to keep the bees in the nucs I made. The one day I want rain..... 

Edited by Alastair
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Don't you just love hearing from a landowner after a windy night! This site has been a battle, one brick originally was poorly left on top,  that changed to two which also was beaten and now 3 is obviously not enough! They are going to get SLABS of concrete now!!! It's a good site apart from Mrs Windy!

Edited by Adam O'Sullivan

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8 minutes ago, Adam O'Sullivan said:

Don't you just love hearing from a landowner after a windy night! This site has been a battle, one brick originally was poorly left on top,  that changed to two which also was beaten and now 3 is obviously not enough! They are going to get SLABS of concrete now!!! It's a good site apart from Mrs Windy!

My boxes are all oversize so that a ceracell closed corner lid is a very snug fit.

They never blow off and sometimes need to be levered off from the handles if a box end cups outways.

BTW those lids make ideal sump oil trays

Edited by Philbee

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Me, if lids won't stay on it's too windy of a site I'll move. Major storms excepted.

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3 hours ago, Rob Stockley said:

Blowing a gale here today. Chicken coop went for a wander across the paddock. Anything that wasn't tied down is caught in a fence somewhere. One NUC lost its lid. No beehives blown over yet but there's still time :ph34r:

 

Welcome to the Wairarapa, Rob. The last couple of days have been quite the excitement - so much for @yesbut's weather predictions a few days ago!

Will be heading out tonight to feed my home hives - they'll be tearing through their stocks at this rate.

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4 hours ago, Rob Stockley said:

Blowing a gale here today. Chicken coop went for a wander across the paddock. Anything that wasn't tied down is caught in a fence somewhere. One NUC lost its lid. No beehives blown over yet but there's still time :ph34r:

With rain or just wind 

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2 hours ago, Curious George said:

 

Welcome to the Wairarapa, Rob. The last couple of days have been quite the excitement - so much for @yesbut's weather predictions a few days ago!

Will be heading out tonight to feed my home hives - they'll be tearing through their stocks at this rate.

Thanks for the welcome, I think. Mine are doing well after the move. Hoping for a dryish break tomorrow to do some rebalancing. Rip the guts out of the strong doubles to donate to the weaker singles. Extra boxes all round should buy me a couple of swarm free weeks while I get sorted. 

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8 hours ago, Phil46 said:

Beehiving and baiting have gone hand n hand over the last few days so the ute has been loaded with two lots of gear .

Plan was bait the early morn.tide til I had a feed,then visit hives on the way home.

Nucs were made from the strongest hives,brood checks,strips moved f need be and general check over of hives.

Home hives checked through last couple of days show them coming along well with plenty of everything!

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Who lives in the dog keennel cave underneath ?

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I see you got your hives numbered Phil, is that for disease control?

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I got to the damaged site this evening, around 8 o'clock ( Bloody day shifts ).......what a mess......total carnage. Was three strong hives last visit 2 days ago. Hive on the left had one box on it's side, full of bees, and was sheltered from the heavy rain. They will probably be O.K. Centre hive was strewn all across the field. Every frame was out and blown all over the field, not any two pieces of hiveware left together...total write-off. Right hive had the lid on as a single, farmer must have done that so I don't know the status of them. Heavy rain too for most of the day.

Yaaaay for a fun day!

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9 hours ago, Adam O'Sullivan said:

Don't you just love hearing from a landowner after a windy night! This site has been a battle, one brick originally was poorly left on top,  that changed to two which also was beaten and now 3 is obviously not enough! They are going to get SLABS of concrete now!!! It's a good site apart from Mrs Windy!

any reason you don't use emlock straps instead of bricks at that site?

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Ahh yeah I don't use any straps at all, I prefer bricks but that is something I should definitely look at.

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@jamescwhen I received confirmation of obtaining this rental I was given permission to have a single animal.Two weeks after I had moved in,that decision was reversed.Pup has gone to a hunting home.

So , box has become a hive stand.

 

@Alastair yes its my basic id  for keeping track of location,condition,disease,splits ,performance and possibly queens when they become another aspect of my beeking journey.

The honey supers will also be tattooed eventually as will be the frames.I just wish I could find a cheaper version of metal stamps so they could be burnt in.

My theory is it should be manageable up to double digit number of hives.

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Similar to what I've been doing Phil, most of my hives are numbered including the honey boxes so I can put the same boxes back on the same hives, as a measure to stop spread of any possible afb that has not showed itself. I get over the big number problem by giving each site a letter, such as, the ones at Steves, would be S1, S2, etc.

But it is quite complex to do, this season I'll be dropping the method at the sites which have never had afb which is the majority, but I'm sure that doing this has been part of containing and eliminating the afb outbreak I had 3 years ago.

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16 hours ago, Rob Stockley said:

Hoping for a dryish break tomorrow to do some rebalancing.

Looks like an opportunity opening up this morning. 

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Just now, Rob Stockley said:

Looks like an opportunity opening up this morning. 

Even here .

I can see blue sky :)

 

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