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Trevor Gillbanks

January 2018 Beekeeping Diary

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Quick...well actually about 5 hours work including travel to make up some more nucleus colonies today. Blimmen hot sweaty weather for it too.
The nucs at the back are from previous splits. 
Today I made up 18 splits. All of the 10 frame boxes are divided in to 2 and 3 separate units with an entrance for each new colony.  Each split is made up of 1 frame of honey and the attached bees, a shake of bees from a brood frame (make sure the queen isn’t on the frame) and a frame of capped brood plus the attached nurse Bees. A mature queen cell is added to each colony when at the mating apiary. Check in 3 weeks for a laying queen. Rinse and repeat.

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Edited by dansar
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@dansar do you still have good flow and there is no danger of such a small nuc being robbed .

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1 minute ago, kaihoka said:

@dansar do you still have good flow and there is no danger of such a small nuc being robbed .

No flow now. Bees are in robbing mode, even in town. These nucs are out way back from any hives so no robbing except of each other.. They all have very small entrances of about 2 bees wide.

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4 minutes ago, dansar said:

No flow now. Bees are in robbing mode, even in town. These nucs are out way back from any hives so no robbing except of each other.. They all have very small entrances of about 2 bees wide.

I am expecting the flow to finish soon in the Bush.

Down the road on Bush farm mix the hives are , 6 honey supers high and beeks hoping they stop soon cause no more boxes.

and who's going to buy all the honey .

 

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@dansar do you think the rain will restart the flow seems very early to be finished on pasture?

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@flash4cash Where these hives are the ground is bone dry (Cambridge side of Mangatautari). The clover is pretty crispy on the edges. Strong wind today too so that will suck more moisture out. South of home it is a very different story, it looks like there was never a long dry summer. thick lush grass on the farms and that is without irrigation. I reckon the flow is all but over here.

Edited by dansar

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5 minutes ago, dansar said:

@flash4cash Where these hives are the ground is bone dry (Cambridge side of Mangatautari). The clover is pretty crispy on the edges. Strong wind today too so that will suck more moisture out. South of home it is a very different story, it looks like there was never a long dry summer. thick lush grass on the farms and that is without irrigation. I reckon the flow is all but over here.

Do the lush farms have lots of clover 

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On 1/10/2018 at 12:36 PM, CraBee said:

 

Yes things ground to a halt at most of my sites just before Xmas.  It was just too dry.  Pohutukawa started well in late Nov / early Dec and then fizzled.  Kanuka is bit lack lustre.  Frames are either not being drawn or drawn very slowly and comb picking up only small amounts of nectar.  Still, up until Xmas it was very very good.  With the rain we've had and more on the way it may just be enough to get a light flow on from the pasture flowers.   Got some Vespex out on a site a few days a the swaps at this site were ramping up.

How’s your flow now @CraBee? Mine was rocketing until Xmas and is a slow crawl, if that. Would you recommend I keep everything on for another month? 

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2 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

Do the lush farms have lots of clover 

Yes. This season I am concentrating on increasing hive numbers. The honey that the hives have collected to date is enough for the splits I need to do. After that I will be stimulating them to get the new queens cranking out the babies before winter.

Edited by dansar

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It appears you need more that just clover flowers for a flow.  Ground temperature and air temperature also seem to play a roll in nectar production.  If someone know more about this I would love to know. 

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1 minute ago, flash4cash said:

It appears you need more that just clover flowers for a flow.  Ground temperature and air temperature also seem to play a roll in nectar production.  If someone know more about this I would love to know. 

clover loves hot humid weather. Humid warm nights are required as well. Mid to hi 20's for a few weeks will get it going. 

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1 hour ago, dansar said:

clover loves hot humid weather. Humid warm nights are required as well. Mid to hi 20's for a few weeks will get it going. 

That's us .

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Isn't clover nectar release something like 18 deg at 100mm down ?

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10 hours ago, Dave Aky said:

How’s your flow now @CraBee? Mine was rocketing until Xmas and is a slow crawl, if that. Would you recommend I keep everything on for another month? 

 

There is no harm in keeping it there for another month, the main downside is they could start to use it, but I doubt that.

The other consideration is how you are extracting and how often you want to do that....

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Ive been busy making cells for mating nuc splits.

probably about 60-70 to do next week as the cells come out of incubator.

Nectar is dribbling in and the big support  hives will rob when another big hive is pulled to bits

The nucs dont seem to be getting touched, maybe due to their small overshot entrances.

There are some Koromiko flowers here which is a bit early?

Edited by Philbee

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Yes I saw Koromiko flowers just outside Hunterville yesterday and it is very early.  Also have flowering Gervina's that are usually a month later than now.  Shaping up to be a crazy season.

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Timing

I was out sorting chickens at. 4.30 pm this avo..

Lots of activity around the Mq hive....robbing?  I watched for a short while..busy bees with lots of bees

10 mins later when I had finished the chicken round up...

hive rechecked...

all settled and back to the usual level of activity

 

I’d just watched the 4.30 rush hour of bee traffic as they returned home from their day in the field, which 

may have been a bit earlier tonight

Its been very windy here in the Waikato today, rain threatening...

Very cool to observe

 

:IMG_0386::IMG_0386::IMG_0386:

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Just been out checking the hive that I call my swarm hive. It came my way via a swarm lure I set up last year. 

Its so rewarding seeing the colony grow from barely covering half a frame to now nearly filling out one FD box. They are just drawing out the last frame, eggs in most of the cells, solid capped brood frame after frame.... Things are about to kick off and get busy! I also managed to spot Mrs Queen. Its my first year keeping bees and its been great to learn so much about these fascinating insects. Now to de-propolise my phone... What a sticky business... Didn't help that I had to put the code in three times... Arhhh gloves hehe! 

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Is this what robbing looks like? Just got home to witness this...so I turned the hose on and closed two of the entrance disks... managed to kill 5 wasps with a piece of timber also who happened to be taking advantage of the situation. 

 

 

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There’s only a handfull of dead bees on the ground outside so perhaps it’s just everyone returning home for the evening...not usually this frantic though. ?

Edited by Rewi1973
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It is difficult to tell.  If it is way way busier than you usually see it, and, bees are tussling / wrestling with each other then it could well be.  If your hive is strong it is unlikely to be robbing.  If concerned it may pay to check it tomorrow and make sure everything is as it should be on the inside.  If you have honey frames that have had the honey uncapped and emptied of honey then that's a problem.  A few dead bees on the ground outside is normal.  

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4 hours ago, Michelle L. said:

Just been out checking the hive that I call my swarm hive. It came my way via a swarm lure I set up last year. 

Its so rewarding seeing the colony grow from barely covering half a frame to now nearly filling out one FD box. They are just drawing out the last frame, eggs in most of the cells, solid capped brood frame after frame.... Things are about to kick off and get busy! I also managed to spot Mrs Queen. Its my first year keeping bees and its been great to learn so much about these fascinating insects. Now to de-propolise my phone... What a sticky business... Didn't help that I had to put the code in three times... Arhhh gloves hehe! 

 

I ordered a phone cover from eBay. It came with a ‘pen’ which is great for using with the phone, when working the hives with gloves. 

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15 minutes ago, CraBee said:

It is difficult to tell.  If it is way way busier than you usually see it, and, bees are tussling / wrestling with each other then it could well be.  If your hive is strong it is unlikely to be robbing.  If concerned it may pay to check it tomorrow and make sure everything is as it should be on the inside.  If you have honey frames that have had the honey uncapped and emptied of honey then that's a problem.  A few dead bees on the ground outside is normal.  

 

Yes @CraBee it’s certainly not their normal behavior and there is some bee wrestling going on out in front...

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On 1/16/2018 at 6:56 PM, dansar said:

Quick...well actually about 5 hours work including travel to make up some more nucleus colonies today. Blimmen hot sweaty weather for it too.
The nucs at the back are from previous splits. 
Today I made up 18 splits. All of the 10 frame boxes are divided in to 2 and 3 separate units with an entrance for each new colony.  Each split is made up of 1 frame of honey and the attached bees, a shake of bees from a brood frame (make sure the queen isn’t on the frame) and a frame of capped brood plus the attached nurse Bees. A mature queen cell is added to each colony when at the mating apiary. Check in 3 weeks for a laying queen. Rinse and repeat.

 

 

How big would you expect splits of that size to get before winter? A 5 frame nuc or a 10 frame? 

And would you expect to have to feed them up to get them thru winter?

Edited by Markypoo

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A fun day in the drizzle getting queen rearing up and going , not a fan of rain coat beekeeping .

arrived at one of my swarm box yards this afternoon to help staff member fill swarm boxes for this evening graft to find some hives where super busy in the drizzle when they should have at home .

So I went into town to find the local corporate had unloaded a truck and trailer of wets in their yard yesterday, forklift driver in the process of putting them in shed today , sheets of cardboard dosent keep bees out of pallets of wets outside or in shed .

place was a massive cloud of bees .

would say every hive in several kms have found the place .

Had a fairly polite chat about how they where going to solve the problem.

The harvest season has only just started:40_rage:

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