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jamesc

October 2017 Apiary Diary

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Checked my hive today with my mentor/ guy who got me into bees. My last check was 2 weeks ago, things change really fast in 2 weeks. I knew they could but it still caught me by surprise.

I'm pleased he was there today as we found a few queen cells, the writing was on the wall for the main hive to swarm. Lots of learning today, I now know what I'm looking for now, and how to do a split,  which is really cool. It makes more sense seeing it, rather than just reading about it.

Good thing I had plenty of gear on site ready to go so we could split the hive. I now have 2 to deal with... 

20171006_120310.jpg

IMG-20171006-WA0002.jpg

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Its a nice spot, gets sun most of the day, and its pretty sheltered. Not much of a view of anything really, I am in Christchurch after all.

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A split may not prevent swarming at this stage, an Artificial Swarm may succeed.

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6 hours ago, Daley said:

I'm going to pass that on to my darling.

He has a herniated disk in his neck, it's been giving him grief for almost a year and has been to all the specialists and had all the treatments under the sun, and nothing has worked.

He's ended up on heavy duty pain killers much to my disgust.(he's far to young to be wrecking his insides with opioids)

good luck with getting your darling to lie there and be stung :8_laughing:

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23 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

good luck with getting your darling to lie there and be stung :8_laughing:

Yeah he wasn't keen.

And he couldn't see how it could help him.

If it was me I'd give it a go, but then I sting myself during bee talks at primary schools.

 

I would've stung him on the back of the neck @Rob Stockley

I've got an epipen, always wanted to try it out ?

 

Turned into a really nice day here today, made a few splits.

A few of my sites I left too much honey on in Autumn which has made my splits really really heavy, no chance of spring starvation but good chance they'll be honey bound before the queen even mates, so I chucked a super on them to give them a bit more space.

 

The parents are all ready to go into the kiwis in the next week or so. 

 

Have seen some very strong hives and it's going to be a challenge keeping them at home.

 

I lost one swarm the other day 30ft up a 100 year old plum tree, I would've had to cut 3/4 of the tree off to get it down, I was standing under it trying to nut it out when they flew away.

Am contemplating a 2nd hand cherry picker ? I hate leaving swarms it's only about the 3rd one I've lost that I haven't been able to catch.

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1 hour ago, BRB said:

Checked my hive today with my mentor/ guy who got me into bees. My last check was 2 weeks ago, things change really fast in 2 weeks. I knew they could but it still caught me by surprise.

I'm pleased he was there today as we found a few queen cells, the writing was on the wall for the main hive to swarm. Lots of learning today, I now know what I'm looking for now, and how to do a split,  which is really cool. It makes more sense seeing it, rather than just reading about it.

Good thing I had plenty of gear on site ready to go so we could split the hive. I now have 2 to deal with... 

20171006_120310.jpg

IMG-20171006-WA0002.jpg

How did you split them ?

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43 minutes ago, Daley said:

lost one swarm the other day 30ft up a 100 year old plum tree, I would've had to cut 3/4 of the tree off to get it down, I was standing under it trying to nut it out when they flew away.

Am contemplating a 2nd hand cherry picker ? I hate leaving swarms it's only about the 3rd one I've lost that I haven't been able to catch.

I repurpose our extra long house washing brush for swarm season. Take off the brush and attach the handle of a white 20l bucket with gaffer tape. Works a treat. Think I first saw the idea in a video by @Paul Jenkin

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2 hours ago, tudor said:

A split may not prevent swarming at this stage, an Artificial Swarm may succeed.

I'm pretty sure that's what we did, I may not have used the correct terminology in my original post.

@M4tt

We moved the queen, some brood, and nurse bees etc into the blue box from the main hive. Removed the cells in the pic, there was a capped queen cell in the center of another frame so we've left that. I guess I'll wait and see...

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17 minutes ago, BRB said:

 

I'm pretty sure that's what we did, I may not have used the correct terminology in my original post.

@M4tt

We moved the queen, some brood, and nurse bees etc into the blue box from the main hive. Removed the cells in the pic, there was a capped queen cell in the center of another frame so we've left that. I guess I'll wait and see...

Yep that’s an artificial swarm . Good choice. You’ve separated the queen from the flight Bees which is important . 

Now you need to watch the queenless hive . You’ll want to recheck in about a week . They’re bound to make lots more queen cells and can swarm anyway with virgin queens as they emerge 

 

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3 hours ago, Rob Stockley said:

I repurpose our extra long house washing brush for swarm season. Take off the brush and attach the handle of a white 20l bucket with gaffer tape. Works a treat. Think I first saw the idea in a video by @Paul Jenkin

Yeah I usually just climb the tree and cut the branches off underneath and get up on the truck on a dodgy stack of supers and catch them with a wool fag on a stick, but there were waaaay too many branches in the way and couldn't get anywhere near it.

I wasn't that keen to climb that tree it looked a bit dozy.

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7 minutes ago, Daley said:

Yeah I usually just climb the tree and cut the branches off underneath and get up on the truck on a dodgy stack of supers and catch them with a wool fag on a stick, but there were waaaay too many branches in the way and couldn't get anywhere near it.

I wasn't that keen to climb that tree it looked a bit dozy.

The swarms here just head for top of a tall native tree.

Normally need binoculars to see them .

There is a very low chance of me catching a swarm .

 

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1 hour ago, M4tt said:

Yep that’s an artificial swarm . Good choice. You’ve separated the queen from the flight Bees which is important . 

Now you need to watch the queenless hive . You’ll want to recheck in about a week . They’re bound to make lots more queen cells and can swarm anyway with virgin queens as they emerge 

 

Do you think there's a chance the big hive could rob the small one.

I am trying to delay my splits until there is a good flow on so I do not have to move the small splits down the road.

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Just now, kaihoka said:

Do you think there's a chance the big hive could rob the small one.

I am trying to delay my splits until there is a good flow on so I do not have to move the small splits down the road.

Yes it certainly could . 

However , the mentor looks to have done a good job . It looks like the entrance on the queen right hive is reduced right down to help with that . 

I’m thinking they’ve done the best they can with the space available given they are on a roof 

Robbing is always possible with splits even with the best management 

 

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11 hours ago, M4tt said:

Yes it certainly could . 

However , the mentor looks to have done a good job . It looks like the entrance on the queen right hive is reduced right down to help with that . 

I’m thinking they’ve done the best they can with the space available given they are on a roof 

Robbing is always possible with splits even with the best management 

 

We tried to put more bee's (nurse and forage) into the the queen right to account for drift back to the main hive.  Like you said M4tt, I have limited space up there. I'll just have to keep an Eye of stores when I check them next, and hope they don't rob.

 

Is it not a bit risky checking the queenless hive before her Mating flight? Risk of damaging the cell, or killing her by mistake?

 

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Horrors, I've had to feed half my hives . No stores, and four days of rain here.

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12 minutes ago, yesbut said:

Horrors, I've had to feed half my hives . No stores, and four days of rain here.

Yes we will be under the Tasman hose for the next few days. On full it looks like.

I may feed my bees . I am trying to run them on minimum till the kamahi flowers to slow down their swarming.

Once the flow starts I can split them side by side without robbing . It will be easier to combine them again .

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1 hour ago, BRB said:

 

 

Is it not a bit risky checking the queenless hive before her Mating flight? Risk of damaging the cell, or killing her by mistake?

 

Yes quite right. 

There are risks to both checking and not checking . 

I’d follow your mentors advice and see how it goes. ?

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On 10/6/2017 at 10:54 AM, Janice said:

My new bees are flat out bringing in three kinds of pollen (gorse, something beige and something cream) and the queen is laying solid slabs of brood. I have given them another box to be going on with. The hive smells lovely and the bees are gentle:IMG_0385:

from memory the queen in that hive is an 'emergency' queen raised by the bees from a walkaway split. Queens raised that way ain't all bad eh ;)

 

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Left the girls alone for 2 weeks. How much trouble could they get up to? They are worse than my kids. Spent the day in the rain sorting out the fact that I was lazy last week.

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Had a lovely day today, dodging the mid afternoon showers, got lotsa constructive work done. Splitting and sorting. If the weather gods don't rain on tomorrow's parade we'll go out and do it again. Got lovely cells, what's not t like! Gotta love my life, out with the beeses. Beats what I've been up to for the last two month, hands down... 

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