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February 2019 diary

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On 10/02/2019 at 1:35 PM, Alastair said:

 

Roy was there still any of your existing bees when you got back from Oz?

 

And if not, what stock did you get started with this time?

I STARTED WITH A NUC FROMURBAN BEES PICTON

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i HAVE a hive at fox river and have taken 70 kg so far.All new foundation and the pollen they are bringing is still white rata.Could take more honey but will leave it for them.I magine what they could have done not having to draw wax. O r if the Rata flowered. 200kg easy

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15 minutes ago, Bighands said:

i HAVE a hive at fox river and have taken 70 kg so far.All new foundation and the pollen they are bringing is still white rata.Could take more honey but will leave it for them.I magine what they could have done not having to draw wax. O r if the Rata flowered. 200kg easy

When does your white rata start flowering .

Its been getting earlier here .

Started the beginning of jan this year .

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IT STARTED EARLY dECEMBER and is still flowering.I have sent a sample away to be pollen analysed as I HAVE NEVER had white rata honey before

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3 hours ago, Bighands said:

IT STARTED EARLY dECEMBER and is still flowering.I have sent a sample away to be pollen analysed as I HAVE NEVER had white rata honey before

Actually it may have started in late dec.

I was talking to a large commercial beek who has hundreds of hives out this way about white rata a couple of days ago .

We both agreed it is the most reliable flow here along with kamahi. Every year a good flowering .

Its nice honey and flowers through to end of feb and even early march .

It will grow up trees in the bush but on farms further down the coast it forms large thickets on the grass land .

Copes well with wind and salt air .

But flowers best with a bit of shelter .

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Oooo sounds fantastic. Do you know if the white rata vine grows well from seed and if it could cope with a wee bit of frost in the chch winters?

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2 minutes ago, CHCHPaul said:

Oooo sounds fantastic. Do you know if the white rata vine grows well from seed and if it could cope with a wee bit of frost in the chch winters?

Dunno about on the coast, at my place it's very slow growing. 

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We’ve miraculously still got a bit of a flow happening here in the Port Hills. Touch wood, no robbing yet... unheard of in Feb. 

 

ive been having a great time setting up some queen castles and producing my own cells. Put the ripe cells in this morning and all the nucs are looking strong. 

 

It hasbeen soooooooo hot in the bee suit though, must be sweating a bucket a day. Totally gross - put the suit on this morning and it was cold and wet. Yuk. 

 

 

9EE1E07C-3BFD-418B-9E99-FA37315BB868.jpeg

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4 minutes ago, yesbut said:

Dunno about on the coast, at my place it's very slow growing. 

Do you know how long before it flowers?

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Mine flowered when quite small. Flowers lasted about a week. I have two, both about 25 years old and cover maybe a square metre each. Waste of effort planting any for bees. They like cool and moist.

Edited by yesbut
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Has anyone seen any willow aphid yet ?

we have none on the trees I’ve looked at but they are absolutely covered in scolypopa 

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43 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

Has anyone seen any willow aphid yet ?

we have none on the trees I’ve looked at but they are absolutely covered in scolypopa 

Some, but not as prolific as years past.

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1 hour ago, frazzledfozzle said:

Has anyone seen any willow aphid yet ?

we have none on the trees I’ve looked at but they are absolutely covered in scolypopa 

The aphids populations here are being decimated by harlequin labybirds.

would have been cut by 2/3rd in the last 10 days .

most clusters of aphids would have up to 3 ladybird young feasting on them as well as heaps adults . Some of my young trees now have no aphids .

no willow dew  coming in the hives that normally get it .

im told they are getting a little bit in the Waikato 

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I haven’t seen any of these lady birds.

i actually didn’t mind the willow dew because it gave our bees something for wintering on.

Theres nothing for the bees around here unless they are in a few of the valleys that have beech dew.

The willow dew flow made autumn cells much easier because they weren’t raidy and produced beautiful cells without having to feed syrup.

but glad to see them on the way out hopefully the willows will be healthier 

Edited by frazzledfozzle
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Yes. A few years back the willows around here were sick as, and some of the honeycombs full of sugary muck. Not so now, harlequin ladybirds doing nicely and looks like natural balance has come about. Not sure, but doubt a ladybird could catch a passion hopper they would spring out of the way if attacked. But anyhow, since we have always had vine hoppers and they have not presented a major problem re willow dew in the past, no reason to think they will be a problem now.

 

And Frazz, just seen your post, there has been different beekeeper opinions on willow dew based on different locations. My own theory is there must be variations in local willow populations, giving different dew types. Where I am, it is not something you want in your hive.

 

Edited by Alastair
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It was a slow start today .... it always is when juggling two jobs getting bees into the Dew and getting honey off so the bees are compact enough to load onto the truck for the migration. but anyway we got there. Peeled into the first yard in time for a cup of tea and a smoke on the dot at ten am.  "Apparently" says I, " when the thermometer gets to 30c thats it for the day".

"So what are we at now?" says Main Man.

"29c...."

 

Anyway, as we all know, when the going gets tough, the tough keep going . Main Man commented that he had his thermometer out in the sun on the weekend, and it went black as  when the reading hit 51c . 

"I wonder', he said, " That must mean we is slaving away in about that temperature ?"

 

The Main man is a survivor. So we slaved away in 50c plus for the rest of the day.  We ran out of staples so started putting in some left over Apivar ( sorry Phil) and  I commented that we were creating a chemical cocktail.  So as I was pulling frames inspecting for disease,  and new hired hand ,who is from Auckland , was stuffing in staples, or Apivar   .....and  cracked us up  when confessed that  he found it   a little cool down here on a night and  had moved from his tent into the smoko room  ,  while main man was stacking the heavy boxes back up on top of the feeders, as that is the best way we have found to get around quickly and get the treatements in quickly without the hassle of honey sitting on escapes ..... and I was thinking about chemical cocktails.  Such as Oxalic ..... a highly corrosive chemical .....

 

I wonder if it kills the AFB bacteria ? 

Just another thought in the hot hot sun .

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17 minutes ago, jamesc said:

It was a slow start today .... it always is when juggling two jobs getting bees into the Dew and getting honey off so the bees are compact enough to load onto the truck for the migration. but anyway we got there. Peeled into the first yard in time for a cup of tea and a smoke on the dot at ten am.  "Apparently" says I, " when the thermometer gets to 30c thats it for the day".

"So what are we at now?" says Main Man.

"29c...."

 

Anyway, as we all know, when the going gets tough, the tough keep going . Main Man commented that he had his thermometer out in the sun on the weekend, and it went black as  when the reading hit 51c . 

"I wonder', he said, " That must mean we is slaving away in about that temperature ?"

 

The Main man is a survivor. So we slaved away in 50c plus for the rest of the day.  We ran out of staples so started putting in some left over Apivar ( sorry Phil) and  I commented that we were creating a chemical cocktail.  So as I was pulling frames inspecting for disease,  and new hired hand ,who is from Auckland , was stuffing in staples, or Apivar   .....and  cracked us up  when confessed that  he found it   a little cool down here on a night and  had moved from his tent into the smoko room  ,  while main man was stacking the heavy boxes back up on top of the feeders, as that is the best way we have found to get around quickly and get the treatements in quickly without the hassle of honey sitting on escapes ..... and I was thinking about chemical cocktails.  Such as Oxalic ..... a highly corrosive chemical .....

 

I wonder if it kills the AFB bacteria ? 

Just another thought in the hot hot sun .

 

Classic. I know that sun. And it appears to be getting to you. 

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2 minutes ago, CHCHPaul said:

 

Classic. I know that sun. And it appears to be getting to you. 

No , Not really ..... just another project for levy funds ....🍻

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8 hours ago, yesbut said:

Dunno about on the coast, at my place it's very slow growing. 

Does it flower well each year .?

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8 hours ago, CHCHPaul said:

Oooo sounds fantastic. Do you know if the white rata vine grows well from seed and if it could cope with a wee bit of frost in the chch winters?

I really do not know how it copes with frost .

It grows in very exposed Locations , but not nessarilty frosty 

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8 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

Does it flower well each year .?

No. A view wee flowers that don't last long

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Bees going to town on totora up here. Trees are full of berries so would of thought nectar long gone but busy busy

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4 hours ago, northernbee said:

Bees going to town on totora up here. Trees are full of berries so would of thought nectar long gone but busy busy

Sure they are bees and not wasps ? Reason for asking , the wasps are hunting insects on ours at present , and some trees have clouds of the blighters darting backwards and forwards .

the trees are loaded with berries alright so possibly bees trying to get sugar out of the fruit ? 

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1 hour ago, Jas said:

 and some trees have clouds of the blighters darting backwards and forwards .

 

If you take a close look you will find they are using it as a honeymoon area.

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The ongoing Valentines Day?

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