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December 2017 Beekeeping Diary


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Cracked the lids on ours today, finally some progress! Looking good for Xmas presents☺☺

It must have been the day for scraping and jarring. I got some lovely light honey with a lemony tang to it.  

Today I took some honey off my hives. It's only taken 3 years to get surplus honey . Like waiting for a orange off an Orange tree or a peach. I took three capped frames and did the scrape an

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Thanks - I was hoping for a 3/4 version. That price is not bad, but I darent go against the all 3/4 scheme I’m running. It’s saved me from myself about 5 times already - credit to the forum members who suggested it.

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home hives

12 November i did a walkaway split, 20 November i split the queenless daughter hive into two - a couple of emergency queen cells in each, 26 November and a new queen had emerged in one and was emerging in the other, today (9 December) both hives had eggs and day old larvae. Looking good.

 

The queenright split has a couple of full depth boxes cranking with brood, pollen, nectar, honey plus two 3/4 supers that were fairly full so they got a third super today. Looking good. Once the gear i've ordered turns up it's time to pull a few five frame splits out of it.

 

community project hives

community garden hive #1 was running pretty low on space so i spaced in a couple of frames in the brood area and added another super. Plenty of capped honey. I'm not that keen to go higher than five boxes full depth due to weight vs stack height, so probably time to extract some soon.

 

the weak five frame on site queenless split i made had capped queen cells last weekend and plenty of bees and stores so i'll leave it alone for another week - guess you can take a small nuc sized split from a strong hive, place it alongside the queenright parent hive, and have no problems doing so after all...

 

bees eh.

 

next steps

500 new frames turning up next week to complement the spares i've got already....

 

 

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The migrants have all arrived in the last couple of days .

The roads busy night and day with trucks of hives.

They have come late which is a shame for them .

Kamahi is just finishing and the month of sunny windless weather is about to end .

But the rata is just starting .

 

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I did a round of the 5 hives intending to add honey boxes only -and ended up this afternoon spinning honey from 9 frames after having given a frame to each site owner. I don't think we even had honey this time last year. Happy beekeeping, but desperate for rain. Thank goodness today gave a little respite from the heat..its only 26 degrees today.....I felt like a steamed lobster in my suit.:36_flushed:

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Well we all know that Beekeeping at this time of year is a cut throat business with stealth and intrigue at play for access to sites. In Canterbury we ride a fine line, hoping to  get some honey before the Nor West fries everything to a frazzle and  we have to bring plan B into play.  This morning my alternative was pulled from under me .... several weeks of negotiation  dashed by  a higher offer. So be it,  but gut wrenching none the less  to find a lowloader,  excavator and empty bee truck sitting in the yard and the crew ready to head home ....  Beaten by five percent and a few hours.  Like a mate said once ," I got  home and found  another man eating at my table !"  You get over it eventually.

 

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Yeah locals , the digger was localish  ..... i just put it out there to stir up a little ****** ..... it's no big deal ,  it would have just  saved us an eight hour round trip to another site . It just reinforces how cut throat it's becoming in the mid south and if you want to make honey there is no room for complacencey or niceties, which is a shame as we all end up in the Old Folks home having our crap cleaned up for us, rich or poor.

 

As an aside to that, we got turfed out of a site on the coast that the landowner had given us access to ..... only the fence was five meters off the legal boundary and the local beekeeper was not very polite about us being there.  He called in the lawyer and DOC, who demanded to see all our site GPS figures and with whome we have a meeting next week.

Perhaps a polite phone call might have sorted the matter, but it just got my back up. But then , who am I to talk .....

 

It's just symptomatic of the way  the business is now, and of how if we want to  succeed we need to grow a thick skin and keep our cards close . So this place is probably not the place to air our grievances.    Yeah Right.

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18 hours ago, jamesc said:

It's just symptomatic of the way  the business is now, and of how if we want to  succeed we need to grow a thick skin and keep our cards close

In my professional opinion, the biggest threat to the viability of your business is that bridge across the river just down the road. Have you had a look underneath it lately ?

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13 minutes ago, Michelle L. said:

Yes I'm terrified my smoker might cause a fire, I put it on stones in a container. It's meant to rain on Wednesday, lets hope it does all day!

You’d probably want to stash a 20 litre bucket of water close by ?

Better still a fire extinguisher

Edited by M4tt
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1 hour ago, Michelle L. said:

I would have two had i not been sweating to death in my suit,

I took honey off my three hives today. I decided that given the warmth and the overall busy-ness the bees wouldn't take much notice of me so I stuck with my swarm gathering gear, shorts and a beach shirt. I was right . 

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Just now, yesbut said:

I took honey off my three hives today. I decided that given the warmth and the overall busy-ness the bees wouldn't take much notice of me so I stuck with my swarm gathering gear, shorts and a beach shirt. I was right . 

I'm not so brave just yet, it's tempting in this heat though! Weighing the risk of stings vs comfort. Nah I'll stick with a cold beer after my hard graft of two hives ?

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1 minute ago, Michelle L. said:

I'm not so brave just yet, it's tempting in this heat though! Weighing the risk of stings vs comfort. Nah I'll stick with a cold beer after my hard graft of two hives ?

Just start with no gloves...with just a couple of hives propolis-y hands are not an issue. It teaches gentleness.

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12 minutes ago, yesbut said:

Just start with no gloves...with just a couple of hives propolis-y hands are not an issue. It teaches gentleness.

Hmmm, I sort of have to resist panicking with my thin blue gloves on. I know I can get stung through them...but I manage to convince myself they are sting proof. There's been a couple of times that the air in the glove feels like the Buzz of a bee, freaks me out. Then on Sunday a bumble bee decided my nice blue gloves were super attractive while I was holding the jolly frame. I was waving and carrying on (as slow as I could mind you) to get it off my hand. Had to put the frame down in the end. Ah give it a few months and I might try no gloves. I'm still pretty clumsy with the hive tool etc, it doesn't feel like second nature just yet.

Edited by Michelle L.
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3 minutes ago, Michelle L. said:

Hmmm, I sort of have to resist panicking with my thin blue gloves on. I know I can get stung through them...but I manage to convince myself they are sting proof. There's been a couple of times that the air in the glove feels like the Buzz of a bee, freaks me out. Then on Sunday a bumble bee decided my nice blue gloves were super attractive while I was holding the jolly frame. I was saving and carrying on (as slow as I could mind you) to get it off my hand. Had to put the frame down in the end. Ah give it a few months and I might try no gloves. I'm still pretty clumsy with the hive tool etc, it doesn't feel like second nature just yet.

I either have no gloves or full leather gloves.

If I have to lift a full super and its going to be a struggle I wear my gloves so I can concentrate on lifting without worrying about being stung .

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