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Trevor Gillbanks

October 2018 Apiary Diary

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2 hours ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

The months are moving along and we now enter swarming month

Do you ever have problems with early spring mating cause of the wind .

What do you think of queens made fron swarm cells .

I have read negative things about them .

But swarm cells are often big and well looked after and should produce good queens .

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Hived a swarm this week from Victory Rd. Easy to box as the swarm was on a roadside crash barrier. Ten minutes and they were all in the box. Oddly pedestrians were complaining of getting stung. I got the bees home and they attached themselves under the front step beside but not under the ramp; for three nights. Rain, hail, equinox winds and cool 4 degree nights, I thought they were doomed. After a couple of, failed, attempts to find the Queen, I decided to put a feeder in the box (I know this is bad practice but I knew where the bees came from and they are as safe as any swarm). They finally went in yesterday but there is no getting anywhere near them without full armour, talk about grumpy. I will give them a couple of days to settle before putting in treatments and checking to see if they really do have a queen.

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4 minutes ago, Apihappy said:

Hived a swarm this week from Victory Rd. Easy to box as the swarm was on a roadside crash barrier. Ten minutes and they were all in the box. Oddly pedestrians were complaining of getting stung. I got the bees home and they attached themselves under the front step beside but not under the ramp; for three nights. Rain, hail, equinox winds and cool 4 degree nights, I thought they were doomed. After a couple of, failed, attempts to find the Queen, I decided to put a feeder in the box (I know this is bad practice but I knew where the bees came from and they are as safe as any swarm). They finally went in yesterday but there is no getting anywhere near them without full armour, talk about grumpy. I will give them a couple of days to settle before putting in treatments and checking to see if they really do have a queen.

did  You not dump the swarm into a hive box with frames straight away ?

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Queens from swarm cells are generally as good as you can get and the only problem I have with them is that they are genetically inferior. I never breed from anything that shows any tendency to swarm. Having said all that if I'm in an apiary and have a queenless hive and nothing to patch it up with I will put a swarm cell into it if one is available.

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After yesterday's swarm chasing episode I thought I had better check my other old queen hive and sure enough it was full of queen cells, a few were capped .

So I made up a nuc to take to the other side of the bay to mate tomorrow.

I also left a big cell in the hive in case we have some sou Easterlies and she can mate here .

Because I shall shake more bees into the nuc tomorrow in I looked for the old queen to Mark her.

It took me ages to find her. She is small and bronze . And when I did find her I accidentally squashed her with the one handed queen catcher.

You are not supposed to be able to do that but I managed .

So I do not have to worry about dumping her into the nuc anymore .

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15 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

It took me ages to find her. She is small and bronze . And when I did find her I accidentally squashed her with the one handed queen catcher.

You must have been smoking too much of the 70's pot and got a bit heavy handed.  I have marked 100's of queens with the One Handed Queen catcher and I have never damaged a queen.

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5 minutes ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

You must have been smoking too much of the 70's pot and got a bit heavy handed.  I have marked 100's of queens with the One Handed Queen catcher and I have never damaged a queen.

Best of all is the 2 finger method. 

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29 minutes ago, Philbee said:

Best of all is the 2 finger method. 

Even I can do it with my big mitts

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2 hours ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

You must have been smoking too much of the 70's pot and got a bit heavy handed.  I have marked 100's of queens with the One Handed Queen catcher and I have never damaged a queen.

I was rushing .

The weather was turning and she was on drone comb .

No level playing surface .

I could avoid doing it badly next time .

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2 hours ago, kaihoka said:

I was rushing .

The weather was turning and she was on drone comb .

No level playing surface .

I could avoid doing it badly next time .

You said she was small and the colony was full of swarm cells ..

in my book you did the right thing accident or not.. she may have been not far off leaving your garden for greener pastures... 

the population of bees are worth more than the queen... if you leave them with fresh eggs you will have a new one emerge in a couple of weeks. 

However if she was shrunken for swarm flight there may not have been many eggs. 

I believe forcing them to raise an emergency queen instead of leaving capped swarm cells buys you time... time for them to change their mind about leaving you in the first place. 

They can still swarm with that swarm cell virgin because that’s what mindset they’re in at that moment. 

Remove shrunken/ swarmy queen and leave eggs is equal to pushing pause... most of the time. 

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3 minutes ago, Stoney said:

You said she was small and the colony was full of swarm cells ..

in my book you did the right thing accident or not.. she may have been not far off leaving your garden for greener pastures... 

the population of bees are worth more than the queen... if you leave them with fresh eggs you will have a new one emerge in a couple of weeks. 

However if she was shrunken for swarm flight there may not have been many eggs. 

I believe forcing them to raise an emergency queen instead of leaving capped swarm cells buys you time... time for them to change their mind about leaving you in the first place. 

They can still swarm with that swarm cell virgin because that’s what mindset they’re in at that moment. 

Remove shrunken/ swarmy queen and leave eggs is equal to pushing pause... most of the time. 

There were still heaps of eggs.

And all but 5 of the 20 frames in the brood boxes were laid in .

I was not too worried about squashing her , having spent yesterday chasing a swarm I did think , well she's not going to be flying off with my bees.

I left a really nice big cell in the hive .

However the frame of cells I put in the nuc had 2 or 3 capped cells and some uncapped.

I was unsure about whether to reduce the number.

Sometimes cells are duds .

So I thought I would leave the bees to sort it out .

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3 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

There were still heaps of eggs.

And all but 5 of the 20 frames in the brood boxes were laid in .

I was not too worried about squashing her , having spent yesterday chasing a swarm I did think , well she's not going to be flying off with my bees.

I left a really nice big cell in the hive .

However the frame of cells I put in the nuc had 2 or 3 capped cells and some uncapped.

I was unsure about whether to reduce the number.

Sometimes cells are duds .

So I thought I would leave the bees to sort it out .

Fair enough. 

If not sure the cells are duds you could always cut them all out leaving an uncapped one or two that you can see is healthy. 

How’s the forest looking? A few things flowering by the sounds? 

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Kamahi will flower well as always.

But not holding out any hope for rata.

Which will suit the Manuka guys. As long as the Manuka flowers.

If the rata does not flower what is your flow after the kamahi.

Do you take the hives back east .

Are your bees Italian and does the queen rip down her competition .

Or are they carniolan who share out the hive when they hatch.

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13 hours ago, M4tt said:

 more spelling it out for our less knowledgeable kin whom are here reading  to learn ?.

 

So what you are saying is for one reason or another , is the old queens have gone and new ones are being made . 

 

 

Quote from the Oxalic Thread and relates to missing queens...

Ive been reading and learning...

 

Hives raise new queens as an emergency cell when they suddenly become queenless.

These queens are raised in less than the usual 16 days.

 

If my understanding is correct...

Queen cells can be Supersedure( only a few cells present) Swarm cells ( lots / time of year) or Emergency 

 

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We had a swarm land on top of a water tank on Sunday, made us appreciate those that politely hang from branches. 

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Just heard one of our (new) beekeepers started a fire in a paddock and doesn't know how he managed it ??. Quick thinking from another team member ended with it smothered with a hive lid, just as another dashed over with an extinguisher from a truck. Might have to go over fire safety seeing as the newbie has come from a region that doesn't have the same summer fire risks as down here.  

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6 minutes ago, Fitzie said:

Just heard one of our (new) beekeepers started a fire in a paddock and doesn't know how he managed it ??. Quick thinking from another team member ended with it smothered with a hive lid, just as another dashed over with an extinguisher from a truck. Might have to go over fire safety seeing as the newbie has come from a region that doesn't have the same summer fire risks as down here.  

Nothing to do with the smoker then? ? 

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56 minutes ago, Beefriendly said:

Nothing to do with the smoker then? ? 


Said he "didn't know". Best guess, ciggy but or smoker. Will be going over both with him. 

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5 minutes ago, Fitzie said:


Said he "didn't know". Best guess, ciggy but or smoker. Will be going over both with him. 

Smoker either way then ?

unless he’s a pyromaniac ?

 

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1 hour ago, Fitzie said:

Just heard one of our (new) beekeepers started a fire in a paddock and doesn't know how he managed it ??. Quick thinking from another team member ended with it smothered with a hive lid, just as another dashed over with an extinguisher from a truck. Might have to go over fire safety seeing as the newbie has come from a region that doesn't have the same summer fire risks as down here.  

What sort of vehicle present @Fitzie? There are a couple of late model utes that have caused fire probs in the past season. Catalytic converters getting too hot I think.

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4 minutes ago, Ali said:

What sort of vehicle present @Fitzie? There are a couple of late model utes that have caused fire probs in the past season. Catalytic converters getting too hot I think.


Hilux's today. The fire wasn't near the trucks though. Was right next to where the newbie was working. 

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5 hours ago, Fitzie said:

Just heard one of our (new) beekeepers started a fire in a paddock and doesn't know how he managed it ??. Quick thinking from another team member ended with it smothered with a hive lid, just as another dashed over with an extinguisher from a truck. Might have to go over fire safety seeing as the newbie has come from a region that doesn't have the same summer fire risks as down here.  

 Talking of fire season ..... It seems to be getting dry here  and I wonder if it's a pre cursor to a long hot summer. The creek in the paddock where our heifers are calving has dried up and the creek that supplies house water is very low for this time of year. Things can change dramatically I know, it just seems early to be seeing very low water tables.  We had the Ballance fert man out today and he echoed my thinking. So where does that put us ..... good for queen mating ?

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@jamesc if you are going to be dry we are going to be windy.

I will have to bring my queens to your place to mate.

We have had 2 nd driest month in 4 yrs.

Driest month was  a January .

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3 hours ago, Ali said:

What sort of vehicle present @Fitzie? There are a couple of late model utes that have caused fire probs in the past season. Catalytic converters getting too hot I think.

DPF's especially if its doing a regen. but later fords have issues with grass getting caught around the dpf and catching on fire.

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