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November 2017 Beekeeping Diary

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1 hour ago, dansar said:

The is a lot of Privet flowering at the moment and while it isn’t the nicest tasting honey

Boy you can say that again. Yeeeeech

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3 hours ago, dansar said:

Out to one apiary today, my best performing one this season. I ended up following another Beekeeper in for part of the way, he was all set up with gear for making splits on the back of his truck.

I have kept this site at 2 FD brood boxes and today split off the top brood box with nurse bees and brood and all went on to new floors to make a new colony. In most cases they are 6-7 frames of brood and thankfully there is fresh nectar in all hives. Queen is in the bottom box from the main colony with 4-6 frames of brood. Queen excluder on and the first super of drawn frames added. There is a lot of Privet flowering at the moment and while it isn’t the nicest tasting honey the bees are building up again on it. Main flow for us is still 4 to 6 weeks away.

The new splits are strong and will be even stronger once capped brood emerges so I added a super of drawn frames as well.

The few hives that had supercedure queens are all picking up pace now with newly laying queen. They are very hard to spot as they have the Tiger stripe markings on their abdomens.

 

 

Do you expect both singles to produce a good quantity of honey, or just the parent hive? I presume you put queens, or cells in with the splits...?

 

I wish I was experienced enough to predict the flow. Looking around I see huge amounts of cabbage tree flowers, tons of flax and plenty of Manuka (all more obvious than the awesome spring flow here) but the bees just seem to be sustaining themselves right now. 

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These ones are walk away splits. Cells are on the go for another lot next week. Judging when the main flow starts just comes down to keeping bees for a number of years and keeping good notes. Cabbage trees etc are only good for maintenance feeding  for late spring build up.

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Collected a swarm a few days ago, my nuc box wasn't big enough so I transferred them into an FD box.

I've interacted with this swarm 4 times now and every time I've been stung at least once, totaling to 11 stings!!

This is the most aggressive swarm I've ever seen. As soon as I open it up there is an army that flys out, ping ping ping ping ping on my suit.

 

Do you guys do anything different with extremely aggressive hives?

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19 minutes ago, Qkrwogud said:

Collected a swarm a few days ago, my nuc box wasn't big enough so I transferred them into an FD box.

I've interacted with this swarm 4 times now and every time I've been stung at least once, totaling to 11 stings!!

This is the most aggressive swarm I've ever seen. As soon as I open it up there is an army that flys out, ping ping ping ping ping on my suit.

 

Do you guys do anything different with extremely aggressive hives?

Get a new queen pronto 

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Or just leave them alone for 3 weeks and see how they turn out with a mated queen.

And if they have a queen laying already, then re-queen and squash her if you find her.

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1 hour ago, Qkrwogud said:

Collected a swarm a few days ago, my nuc box wasn't big enough so I transferred them into an FD box.

I've interacted with this swarm 4 times now and every time I've been stung at least once, totaling to 11 stings!!

This is the most aggressive swarm I've ever seen. As soon as I open it up there is an army that flys out, ping ping ping ping ping on my suit.

 

Do you guys do anything different with extremely aggressive hives?

If you have only collected the swarm a few days ago, and you get stung every time you interact with them. (11 times) then I suggest you leave them alone for a while to see if they settle (2 weeks).  Then requeen, which I do to all my swarms that I capture.

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3 hours ago, Qkrwogud said:

Do you guys do anything different with extremely aggressive hives?

If I ever had one like that I'd toss the whole thing in the pond overnight. 

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It's crazy! Over the last few weeks I've opened up a fair amount of hives and collected swarms but this one swarm contributes to 100% of my stings.

I wasn't careless with my suit but a few stings are through the suit, a few through my exposed very thick socks, one somehow on my arm below my gloves + suit etc..

It's the first time I noticed that most of the flying bees are specifically suicide bomber style targeting me, rather than the curious gentle flying around I'm used to.

I have only once opened the hive up to transfer from nuc to FD box, I haven't been brave enough to open it up since then. :S

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2 hours ago, Qkrwogud said:

It's crazy! Over the last few weeks I've opened up a fair amount of hives and collected swarms but this one swarm contributes to 100% of my stings.

I wasn't careless with my suit but a few stings are through the suit, a few through my exposed very thick socks, one somehow on my arm below my gloves + suit etc..

It's the first time I noticed that most of the flying bees are specifically suicide bomber style targeting me, rather than the curious gentle flying around I'm used to.

I have only once opened the hive up to transfer from nuc to FD box, I haven't been brave enough to open it up since then. :S

Seeing as you have other hives. Take a frame of eggs and young brood from another of your hives and place in the swarm.  Check in a couple of days to see if they have drawn a queen cell.  If they have, then that is your answer.  We don't have enough information to help you yet.

Man up and do the job.  they are only bees and a few stings is what we get.

 

 

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On 11/20/2017 at 4:44 PM, tommy dave said:

3 - Wellington home hives

queen-less daughter split was doing what i wanted to do, and doing it by raising queen cells on two frames - just as i ordered. So i split the queenless daughter split into two queenless daughter splits just for the hell of it (and at least in part cos i thought it might amuse some forum-goers ;) ). Both have two capped queen cells and a decent box of bees. Debating checking for hatching on the weekend and then leaving them alone for a couple of weeks, or not bothering to check and simply leaving them alone for a few weeks. Curiosity is likely to win.

 

4 - Wellington community garden hive

well, hives now. I split off a nuc and decided to see if i can things to work well without moving the parent hive, and by leaving the daughter nuc alongside (probably would have been better doing an on-top split but experimentation won out). Some guy there doing some gardening was muttering about honey and how the community project is distributing it and why wasn't it going to locals or is it? etc. We had a long yarn, he gets that i'm just the volunteer beekeeper helping out and it all ended up pretty friendly once he realised that nobody is earning a wage out of the honey from those hives - although maybe what really sold him is that i'm dropping him a couple of kg of honey this week sometime, he's putting aside a bucket of new spuds from the gardens xmas harvest for me, so all seems well :)

 

back to day-job reality tomorrow.

 

3 - wellington home hives - curiosity won. An emerged queen cell from one of the daughter pauper splits, and an emerging queen cell in the other. So that's 14 days since the walkaway split - looks like the bees chose well in terms of egg/larval age. Now it's time to leave them alone for 2-3 weeks then open up and look for brood. The queenright of the walkaway pair is cranking. 

4 - Wellington community garden hives - the walkaway nuc split has close to capped emergency cells. Working as hoped. Hive drift hadn't been much of an issue - guess that trying to fill the nuc up with only nurse bees and brood+stores worked out. Maybe the heavily reduced entrance helped as well.

Edited by tommy dave

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Most of the Swarm was saved from the middle of the road, stopped traffic and a local directed cars around, queen looked all good, and gave the swarm to a local guy who stopped to help who has not had any luck catching or buying bees, he is ex keeper for many year pre varroa. Made the guys day, heaps of bees died on the road.

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The swarm that invited themselves into one of my poly nucs, is all laying, laid up five frames, that were already drawn since Monday. All other frames with nectar and some capped since Monday. 14 frames in total, will check bottom frames next week. Was a nice large swarm. Should mention these frames are all small cell, will be interesting to see what happens and all treatment free from one that got robbed by another TF hive.

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Edited by Matthew Brajkovich
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My bees are filling the frames with comb and honey very wide so when I lift frames it peels off the  honey comb.

It that because I have checker boarded the super with undrawn foundation and the bees are filling up the space .

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Another nice queen laying well. It has so far been a very nice some what delayed start to spring but the last four weeks have been so kind to us and the bees. Weather has been really good for mating. This girl is one that is on the one varroa treatment cycle plan now into four years.

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9 hours ago, kaihoka said:

It that because I have checker boarded the super with undrawn foundation and the bees are filling up the space .

Simple short answer.  Yes.

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2 hours ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

Simple short answer.  Yes.

is there a way i could have done it differently?

or does it just happen like this sometimes.

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1 hour ago, kaihoka said:

is there a way i could have done it differently?

or does it just happen like this sometimes.

Sometimes it happens and the bees will not draw comb

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Well goodness me, my hives have gone from being on the brink of starving to a full on flow. The doubles that were really strong a few weeks ago I put a third box on to give more room are now full of honey and all frames two thirds capped, and then there's the brood frames...a mess. 

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15 minutes ago, Over Worker said:

Well goodness me, my hives have gone from being on the brink of starving to a full on flow. The doubles that were really strong a few weeks ago I put a third box on to give more room are now full of honey and all frames two thirds capped, and then there's the brood frames...a mess. 

Pretty much the same here. I’ve given up opening up the brood nests ( on the big hives) many are chocka with honey and pollen where brood should be . There’s no more poking around in brood now so they can do what they wish . 

The flow is early this year , thanks to the heat and relatively calm weather 

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@M4tt I thought I must have someone else's weather, hot dry and windless, but it sounds like everyone's the same .

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22 minutes ago, M4tt said:

The NIWA soil moisture deficit map this week tells the story 

 

https://www.niwa.co.nz/static/climate/smd_anom.png?1234

If it wasn't for our newly repaired empty water tank I would be loving this weather.

There is a lot of moisture in the soil here  still .

I am eating tomatoes from the tunnel house and a month with no rain means all the flowers in the garden are fantastic and unspoilt by weather 

Edited by kaihoka

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