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Alastair

Time For Seasons Start?

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I think so I have hives with alot of drones. I haven't been feeding they still have winter stores. But I am in kerikeri 

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We've had lots of shorts and a t-shirt weather down in Dunedin over the last few weeks. Lots of fresh pollen in hives and, not surprisingly, they're rearing brood. Need to make sure they have enough food to look after that brood if the weather turns colder again so I've been out feeding those that need it. 

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It has been a mild winter down here in Duds, noticeably the bees didn't really shut down for winter, but it was cold enough that they didn't chew through their winter stores. Otto is feeding out some but that all depends on how much honey was left on the hives. Finding three frames of brood at this time of the year is not uncommon after having the warm days of late. I'll be starting to feed out syrup in 2 - 3 weeks just to stimulate brood laying for preparation for splitting in September. I only hope the weather stays mild enough for the drones to fly for mating. Last year I had to requeen all my splits after three weeks as a cold spell struck right when all my queens were meant to be out on mating flights, it set me back, having to apologise to customers for not having the hives ready for sale. Fingers crossed this year will be a better one.

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Splitting? There's still a good market for ever increasing beehive numbers in Dunedin?

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I ordered a 1000kg dry sugar this week but the way its looking the five finger will kick them  off and the sugar will fill the gap after that.
 

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Just did my first check for the spring, only lost 1, everybody else is looking pretty good.

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Our hives are up and running, especially the warmer coastal sites. I wasn't too happy with how most hives looked going into winter but they've come out the other side really well. Now just to make sure I stay one step ahead with feed, the strongest are starting to chew through their stores at an alarming rate. Left the best part of a box of honey on most and it seems to be paying off.

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41 minutes ago, Harlan Cox said:

Our hives are up and running, especially the warmer coastal sites. I wasn't too happy with how most hives looked going into winter but they've come out the other side really well. Now just to make sure I stay one step ahead with feed, the strongest are starting to chew through their stores at an alarming rate. Left the best part of a box of honey on most and it seems to be paying off.

Do you have early honey flows besides Manuka .

Northland is so much warmer than where I live there must be lots of early flowering .

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There isn't a heap of nectar early on other than manuka. Some years a little off the Hakea, mingimingi in some spots. Really we wait for manuka and Rewarewa. Plenty of gorse in flower now though that seems to kick things off @kaihoka

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1 hour ago, Harlan Cox said:

There isn't a heap of nectar early on other than manuka. Some years a little off the Hakea, mingimingi in some spots. Really we wait for manuka and Rewarewa. Plenty of gorse in flower now though that seems to kick things off @kaihoka

What happens with the hakea ?

Doesn't it flower every year there .

It flowers very reliably for 3 months every year here .

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I too have already started to see drone brood appear in some of my hives and the queen laying a lot of eggs already.

If I was looking at doing porpoise splits, when do you think the earliest I could do this would be? I figure that once I start seeing Drones present in the hive, by the time a new queen is born the drones would have matured enough to mate so I was thinking I would get away with it in about two weeks time? 

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2 minutes ago, shano said:

I too have already started to see drone brood appear in some of my hives and the queen laying a lot of eggs already.

If I was looking at doing porpoise splits, when do you think the earliest I could do this would be? I figure that once I start seeing Drones present in the hive, by the time a new queen is born the drones would have matured enough to mate so I was thinking I would get away with it in about two weeks time? 

From memory drones need to be about 40 days old to be mature enough to mate . So based on that you’d probably hold off a couple or three weeks . I’ve split hives beginning Sept with success . Based on that your talking the latter half of sept before she flies 

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This is a Photo from 2016, 9th Sept which is one month away
This was a 3 box hive and the top box is similar.
I have a hunch that this will be a similar Spring to that one

 

2nd box of 3.jpg

Edited by Philbee
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51 minutes ago, shano said:

I too have already started to see drone brood appear in some of my hives and the queen laying a lot of eggs already.

If I was looking at doing porpoise splits, when do you think the earliest I could do this would be? I figure that once I start seeing Drones present in the hive, by the time a new queen is born the drones would have matured enough to mate so I was thinking I would get away with it in about two weeks time? 

Porpoise split???  Quick call Greenpeace!! ?

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1 hour ago, shano said:

I too have already started to see drone brood appear in some of my hives and the queen laying a lot of eggs already.

If I was looking at doing porpoise splits, when do you think the earliest I could do this would be? I figure that once I start seeing Drones present in the hive, by the time a new queen is born the drones would have matured enough to mate so I was thinking I would get away with it in about two weeks time? 

 

You also need enough mating weather conditions
 

I've found most queens need min 19 degree (real feel) for mating flights. Some need 18, some need 20

After 28 days from emergence the queen can't be mated with (her thingy closes up), sometimes sooner

Edited by werdna

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6 minutes ago, werdna said:

 

You also need enough mating weather conditions
 

I've found most queens need min 19 degree (real feel) for mating flights. Some need 18, some need 20

After 28 days from emergence the queen can't be mated with (her thingy closes up), sometimes sooner

The temp idea has been discussed a lot. I find bees will fly in temps as low as 6 degrees. Virgin queens and drones will fly in temps around 14 degrees. Although 19-20 is ideal. Most of the time we don’t get ideal weather conditions. Having said that I think you need to breed bees that are for your particular location. Northland Bees won’t do as well over winter Stewart Island ?

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As far as I can work out I had a queen mate at the end of June .

When I look back at weather records I see temps maxed out at about 15 degrees .

But we had very little wind , esp no westerly.

The hive was also in an area with a good flow on .

I know that is not supposed to make any difference to mating  except that the hives may make drones if there is a regular  flow .

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Sounds like a pretty good winter for everyone. I'm looking for someone that would sort of mentor me, this will be my third Yr and I would love a reliable source for questions. Thx

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2 minutes ago, hunterjd15 said:

Sounds like a pretty good winter for everyone. I'm looking for someone that would sort of mentor me, this will be my third Yr and I would love a reliable source for questions. Thx

Welcome to the forum @hunterjd15 !   For a start, you could get familiar with the  forum search feature. There's been a huge number of questions/answers over the last few years. I think you'd be doing really really really well to come up with an original question...

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Hey @hunterjd15 you could join the SNI beekeeping group , its a bargain at 10 bucks, I am sure you will be able to get lots of help and advice from some of their members.

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Just checked my town hives (Remuera) and all are thriving with new brood, eggs and stores. Drones as well.  

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We're having a pretty good run of weather in Dunedin of late. Bees are collecting loads of pollen and when I was going through some town hives a few days ago I was shaking fresh nectar out of brood frames. Very early for down here.

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