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August 2018 Apiary Diary

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7 minutes ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

What price do you get for your wax.

 

framers market you will be looking at 35-40 bucks, most sold in 4 buck blocks for wraps,

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We popped the top of the 2FD box high hive to be greeted by these bee numbers

1D4348AF-8FF7-4352-AE88-F5B9732C4CDE.thumb.jpeg.5ade1cfc79ebc0fb7b5d3643c93416f3.jpeg0DFE6F92-547C-4014-BDF8-C25232902F9B.thumb.jpeg.07d8d2ecd6464dfb4b0cb50da9e42030.jpegTime to post again...

We’ve had several weeks away in the UK, leaving the bees under the watchful eye of our lovely neighbour. She had @M4tt as a contact, should a sos bee needed.

 

I was pleased to see bee activity from all four hives on the first sunny day, after our return, last week. Of course, that’s no indication of what is going on in the hives.

Yesterday was the day....

 

The girls have wintered over well, all have at least 3 frames of brood, all 4 Queen’s sighted with their red dot and on sugar shaking a varroa count of 1.

One of the hives totally surprised us, with 4 frames of capped brood in both FD boxes, a few drones present and drone brood, good stores and well behaved bees. 

 

 

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17 hours ago, Beefriendly said:

We popped the top of the 2FD box high hive to be greeted by these bee numbers

 


The top of my double looked like that when I opened it too, but the bottom box was empty. 

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Today I transferred in to 5 frame boxes about 20 three frame nucs that overwintered really well. Some had a good covering of brood on all 3 frames. There are some overwintered 5 frame nucs as well that were moved in to 10 frame hives too as they are getting pretty full. Lots of pollen of good variety coming to all hives as well. I took straps to secure the hives but ran out of time to get them on so kept in place what has worked well all winter, big branches and firewood?Beauty day in the South Waikato.

Flying to Queenstown tomorrow night and then drive across to Alexander and spend the rest of the week with the Otago Bees crew. First time down that way so really looking forward to it. The weather might not play ball though.

57D1A37E-2815-42F8-8C43-C887F182B8BE.thumb.jpeg.b9fa864b4b879ec562ca9d5fc558ea08.jpeg

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AlexandRA  please !

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@dansar did this year's climate help make your wintering nucs a success or more of a challenge .

Did you have lots of rain too.

We have had so much rain but no frosts to speak of.

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1 hour ago, yesbut said:

AlexandRA  please !

Yes, so sorry. Alex it is then ?

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Might pay to take some heavier underwear with you just in case of climate shock.

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27 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

@dansar did this year's climate help make your wintering nucs a success or more of a challenge .

Did you have lots of rain too.

We have had so much rain but no frosts to speak of.

More frosts and harder frosts This year than last. Feels like less rain too. More foggy days that kept the cold in too. So overall just as challenging a winteras any other.

So long as nucs have food and protein supply I find they make it through the winter fine. Colonies that run out of pollen stores or no access to a pollen substitute are the ones that fail I have found.

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3 minutes ago, yesbut said:

Might pay to take some heavier underwear with you just in case of climate shock.

Ever seen a wooly Mammoth????

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On 11/08/2018 at 12:23 PM, tommy dave said:

went through my favourite four hive wellington apiary this morning, bees had been flying since about 7am and 6 degrees.. A bit of variety in terms of how much brood there is, all have plenty enough stores, are bringing in nectar and pollen, and have at least a couple of frames of capped worker brood. The strongest looked like a mid-spring hive and even had emerging drones.. One hive had a bit more drone brood than i was happy to see. i'll give it a few weeks and see if the queen either sorts things out or they start to supersede her, otherwise i'll intervene.

 

Moving three of them up-country in a few weeks to complement my taranaki empire. This time i'll seal them up. Don't think i'll ever repeat transporting open hives several hundred kilometres in a liftback = all ended well, but it could have got fairly interesting => lesson well learned.

I use strips of Propolis mat folded into entrances.
Perfect for the job
 

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@jamesc this girl has your name on here

1316593067_IMG_20180814_1319452.thumb.jpg.82da04f63fb0ebfda21834acb64da3fe.jpg

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Well I’m in love !

she almost looks Cordovan 

Edited by frazzledfozzle
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@glynn those bees look very pale yellow .

I did not know you could get bees that colour .

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17 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

@glynn those bees look very pale yellow .

I did not know you could get bees that colour .

 

Not much sun down Kirwee way....

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It could be the light it was a funny day today but that looks right to me. 

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1 hour ago, frazzledfozzle said:

Well I’m in love !

she almost looks Cordovan 

Careful frazz I have to get my head in a suit 

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3 hours ago, glynn said:

@jamesc this girl has your name on here

1316593067_IMG_20180814_1319452.thumb.jpg.82da04f63fb0ebfda21834acb64da3fe.jpg

Oh well done Glynn,  I was just thinking today that I got strong hives that need splitting and should get on and start a graft ..... but it just seems too early.

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I've got lots of drones but I have held back witch is not like me but I'm still planning early September took a hive apart that I moved 10 frames of brood above the excluder for my starters and still had a box of brood.

Very strange year

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I went around some more Hives today in the rain

Very happy, One standout is a 4 box hive that refused to pack down into less than 2 boxes in Autumn
Today it is a solid 4 box 100kg hive

In Autumn I put two boxes of Honey on the beast and 16 Staples (4 per box)

Often these monsters get nailed by the mites but not this one.
Found a few doubles that are boiling with bees also but mostly just nice hives building

My autumn splits are outstanding with most being strong singles ready for a box.

 

 

Edited by Philbee
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13 hours ago, frazzledfozzle said:

Well I’m in love !

she almost looks Cordovan 

See you at the swingers party then ....

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Today I got my hakea hives ready for moving.

Which meant taking a 3/4 box off the top of a hive and removing about 7 frames of capped honey and replacing them with empty and half empty 3/4  frames .

Anything to make the hives lighter to lift .

I extracted a couple of frames to see what the honey was like .

The frames were a mix of really dark caramel tasting  thick honey and the light hakea.

I wonder if the dark honey is the white Spanish heath .

I found the missing queen , she was the unmarked virgin I saw in June .

She has layed out 6 frames in the top box and I did not look in the bottom box.

I wonder if she mated with the drones in my hives at home that are 4 klm away .

So against all conventional thinking queens can mate in winter temps of about 16 degrees .

WP_20180815_13_03_41_Pro-1.jpg

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A while back James and David gave me some stick about a hungry little mating nuc I was bringing through winter
I cant find the posts but I said Id post some photos of it as time went by

Its at home and I feed it clean honey.
I will put this nuc somewhere generous and see what it grows into
Here it is this afternoon, still small but has staked it's claim.

pet nuc.jpg

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On 8/08/2018 at 7:23 PM, Jean MacDonald said:

@CraBee regarding your queen experience. I have heard that a queen may take more than one mating flight, up to three if I recall correctly. By some weird bee alchemy she assess the quality and quantity of what she has collected thus far and think 22 drone fathers was quoted as the upper limit. Sorry can't quote source but some sciency type who did a study or three. So maybe she was about to take a second flight or returning (though you probably would have noticed something a little odd if that was the case). Lotto ticket might be a good idea.

I found this an interesting read http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0199124

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