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August 2018 Apiary Diary

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Today is the start of a new season of hive inspections . The days are getting slightly longer and warmer and deciduous trees are starting to bud .

Whats going on with your bees ? 

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they think it's the summer again. they're very active, heaps of them orienting right now it's 20 degrees, Sun is out. weird winter.

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Last of the “end of winter” checks. 

8 hives were given queen cells in April as it was still very mild and lots of Drones around in hives.

i checked the in May and queens were there but not laying. I left them alone until today. Excellent results with 7 out of 8 hives with laying queens. Hive #8 had a laying worker.

Bees are looking really healthy.

E706A2FF-653D-4E91-BFB1-CD66089493BF.thumb.jpeg.2c72d4d3b7d02d0dd90b9b73bf0e635b.jpeg

 

Lots of pollen coming in to the home hives today as well.

A5A9AA1C-79D8-4484-B7BE-3AB4C0F24110.thumb.jpeg.9c2c2ea6dafcdf021f69880e15a536f4.jpeg

 

@Philbee have your late season queens start laying yet?

Edited by dansar
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9 minutes ago, dansar said:

Last of the “end of winter” checks. 

8 hives were given queen cells in April as it was still very mild and lots of Drones around in hives.

i checked the in May and queens were there but not laying. I left them alone until today. Excellent results with 7 out of 8 hives with laying queens. Hive #8 had a laying worker.

Bees are looking really healthy.

E706A2FF-653D-4E91-BFB1-CD66089493BF.thumb.jpeg.2c72d4d3b7d02d0dd90b9b73bf0e635b.jpeg

 

Lots of pollen coming in to the home hives today as well.

A5A9AA1C-79D8-4484-B7BE-3AB4C0F24110.thumb.jpeg.9c2c2ea6dafcdf021f69880e15a536f4.jpeg

 

@Philbee have your late season queens start laying yet?

Dont know
Ill look on friday.
Some of my winter hives are very heavy already.
The site that got turned upside down and inside out by a stag isnt so heavy.

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went into a two story FD hive today 6 frames of brood in total, 4 in the bottom 2 in the top, a mixture of all stages of development and lots of pollen mainly all orange in color.

couldn't spot any drones yet unfortunately.

also the bush is starting to come alive with sways of manuka,gorse and hakea i think its going to be a big year.

 

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1 hour ago, black bee said:

i think its going to be a big year.

I agree, its going to be huge

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Temps are better here and much less rain in the last few weeks.  I've got though a good number of rural hives so far this week, so sign of AFB.   There is the odd dead-out - Queen failure or residual Varroa problems and one to starvation.   The hives are generally looking good, a Queen here and there probably needs replacing but will do that in a month.  Sugar shakes are clean.  Hives are getting pollen patties, raw sugar and stimulatory syrup, and a reasonable amount of pollen is coming in.  It's all just about on again....swarming starts in seven weeks!

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Checked my hives 2 days ago and I was quite surprised how strong they are. They’re very active and bring in lots of pollen and nectar. Saw 8 -9 frames of eggs, larvae and capped brood. Hives have 2 boxes.  But also noticed that they started building little queen cups at the bottom of the frames. ? . Isn’t it a bit early for them to think about swarming? Haven’t even seen any drones yet. 

Edited by Wolf
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6 minutes ago, Wolf said:

started building little queen cups

Yep, a bit early . They are just practising 

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44 minutes ago, CraBee said:

Temps are better here and much less rain in the last few weeks

Do you want some rain .

I got plenty spare , 250 mls last month .

Even for us that's an achievement :1_grinning:

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Not sure whats happening out there. Unloaded a truck load of heavy honey drums into the big store shed and tootled off to town for two tonne of sugar.  Now that's gotta be Irish. Oh ..... and we have the nice people from Westpac coming to visit shortly.

Edited by jamesc
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 First check of the season. Orange pollen coming in at Tanners Point. Just one Wintered down hive. Have been top feeding my new young hive over Winter having started with a nuc in late Autumn (long story, exited Auckland, returned to live in childhood stomping ground, thought I had swarm, didn’t, local commercial beekeeper took pity on me with a lovely nucleus and is now mentoring me when I need it) Colony seems to have expanded in numbers and amply covers all but the outside frames which are plastic. My girls seem to be stoically refusing to draw out comb on these outside frames. Bottom board was all wet and funky so I replaced with a dry cedar bottom board. Kept the small winter entrance on. Did a quick initial check yesterday since the weather was changeable-8/10 frames choker with honey (and probably pollen when I take a closer look). Couldn’t spot any brood, and being a new bee hobbyist have had a slightly sleepless night worrying there’s no brood, and is my queen ok. Feel slightly better reading Dansars post re no brood yet. Replaced those undrawn frames with my only two decent drawn frames and moved them to position 4 and 7. Worried about that too -putting two honey frames in the 1 and 10 positions seems daft if the Bess aren’t doing that. Will ask my mentor if I should take them out and put the undrawn plastic back in 1 and 10. Will have another closer look for queen on the next sunny day.  I’m fairly confident she’s there. Colony very calm and busy all through Winter, bringing in nectar and pollen. Will post on the How do I forum with some questions and let my mentor know how this check went, and check if I need another super, and when. Only have undrawn frames now -wax moth got all my other decent drawn out frames in the chaos of storage during move. Tanners point has a very mild climate and lots of flowers so our season might be early here, we are right on the sea, so the lowest overnight temp was 4 degrees. Just don’t know what the seasonal patterns are yet and whether we might get cold snaps. Don’t want to put my girls at risk by putting another empty box on. Will I ever feel less clueless as a beekeeper? I’ve felt like all I do is make mistakes and never get off the ground. Anyway will save that thought for the How Do I ..forum

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Ah so ... Today we got enthused and started running trucks into the testing station for the COF. My all time favorite just needed a new set of tyres .... great, ten new tyres all at once, but I tracked down some cheap ones  in Dunedin. Once in a while I get lucky.

The pleasing thing about today was I did a quick State of the Nation tour. A cruise around some of the bee yards cracking lids ..... I was stoked. Most of the bees are alive. Some are heavy, some are very light. The interesting thing was the O/A cloths we put on ten weeks ago. Most were half chewed through but still "sweet" with acid, which tells me we still have control over the mite.

The other thing is the long range weather forcast. Blue skies are tentativily predicting an El Nino ..... so it may well be be we won't be drinking coffee with Big hands  on the coast over the summer , or for that matter our friends in Taranaki ..... but then , who trusts a weather forcast ... eh. 

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  1. I went back to check my hakea hives today to see if the queen that mated at the beginning of winter was laying worker brood . And  She was .
    There was no sign of the old queen . I saw no queens , but saw eggs .
    The other hive has 6 frames of brood in the bottom box and two in the top.
    There are about half a dozen frames of capped honey . Surprising because it has been so wet .
    I will need to move the hives soon cause the hakea is finishing .
    They are way too heavy , I will have to take the honey off so I can lift them .
     

WP_20180804_13_24_37_Pro-1380x2448.jpg

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Spent a pleasant afternoon sorting through stored supers and frames. Peeked in old top bar and smooshed the queen wasp who thought she had it made in the shade as she rested on the top bars. Will have at the top bar again as so cool to work. Horizontal lang has worked really well but put off opening it up as still a bit cool on days I can do it. Next challenge double hive numbers from one to two!. Small ambition you think?. Keeping it at only two will be the challenge. 

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Big dump of rain yesterday. 36ml . Bees now very active as sun returns. Bringing in cadmium yellow, yellow and white-beige 

 coloured pollens. Sugar surya still in their feeder as backup. They had killed a wasp and dumped it outside the hive’s entrance. That’s my girls. 

image.jpg

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Checked my three smallest hives today as the weather co operated with mild temperatures and no wind.  So exciting to see such healthy bees, all hives had viable ? with good sized patches of brood.  Found most had remnants of oxalic acid strips that were put in at the end of last season.  Bags of different coloured pollen being brought into the hives, still lots of honey stores.  All my stronger hives are ramping up with bees out front ++  I’m really going to have to work to keep on top of the swarming this year,  I haven’t had the experience of dealing with such a strong apiary going into a new season.  Last year I lost 8 hives to pms, this year no losses will really have to watch the hive creep.

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12 minutes ago, Oma said:

will really have to watch the hive creep.

Hive creep is generally incurable .

Only @yesbut has managed to beat it .

It requires constant vigilance and self control .

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10 hours ago, kaihoka said:

Hive creep is generally incurable .

Only @yesbut has managed to beat it .

It requires constant vigilance and self control .

Aided greatly lately by my cutting down my sugar intake. I"m thinking of downsizing even further and becoming a re-cycler of my neighbours swarms and not keeping bees at all over summer/winter...

Edited by yesbut
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16 minutes ago, Adam O'Sullivan said:

Wow, wax has skyrocketed!

Really , maybe I should not turn all mine into bees wax wraps 

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2 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

Really , maybe I should not turn all mine into bees wax wraps 

That is part of the reason it is going up in price.

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5 minutes ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

That is part of the reason it is going up in price.

Good product .

I wrap bread in it .

My vogels does not go mouldy now 

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Love our wax wraps. So versatile and smell great. We add a bit of pine resin and jojoba oil (antibacterial). 

 

Just lucky we we don’t need to buy them. 

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