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Trevor Gillbanks

July 2019 Apiary Diary

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After getting around today completing July inspections , it’s dawned on me how ridiculous it is to be lifting one or two honey boxes off from

above the feeder to get to the single box of bees below . 

My non harvesting of honey appeared to work for a while but now is just a nuisance . Soon enough the bees will want to expand and make more and there is no where to store it .

 

So I’m going to downsize to a max of 12 hives as there is just no point in making surplus honey . Even thats probably 10 too many for what I need . I will merge hives , which will create its own problems as they’ll be too strong too early . 

 

I’m trying to come up with a sensible plan to get rid of the full boxes of honey without running them through the extraction plant .

So far nothing sensible has occurred to me 

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2 minutes ago, M4tt said:

I’m trying to come up with a sensible plan to get rid of the full boxes of honey without running them through the extraction plant .

So far nothing sensible has occurred to me 

What's not sensible about extracting your surplus and giving it to Sallies or some such ?

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Just now, yesbut said:

What's not sensible about extracting your surplus and giving it to Sallies or some such ?

That’s an option I hadn’t thought of 

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2 hours ago, Maru Hoani said:

Those critters will nest anywhere, 

I've had them nest in box handles, in between galv lids and supers, under hive doctor bases, any weedeaters or chainsaw exhausts

And they glue raincoats hanging in the shed together over summer

23 minutes ago, M4tt said:

That’s an option I hadn’t thought of 

I thought 40 was your good number of hives ?

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11 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

 

I thought 40 was your good number of hives ?

40 to 50 😉.

 

Time to cut back I think 

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12 hours ago, M4tt said:

So far nothing sensible has occurred to me

 

I’d be making mead. You don’t even have to run it through the extractor. Just crush and strain it straight into the big old brewing bucket - then you won’t feel inclined to reuse the stickies. 

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16 hours ago, yesbut said:

What's not sensible about extracting your surplus and giving it to Sallies or some such ?

 

You would still have to think of having it tested for Tutin as it would have been collected by the bees in the right time zone for it.  That's what is putting me off harvesting.

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16 hours ago, M4tt said:

After getting around today completing July inspections , it’s dawned on me how ridiculous it is to be lifting one or two honey boxes off from

above the feeder to get to the single box of bees below . 

My non harvesting of honey appeared to work for a while but now is just a nuisance . Soon enough the bees will want to expand and make more and there is no where to store it .

 

So I’m going to downsize to a max of 12 hives as there is just no point in making surplus honey . Even thats probably 10 too many for what I need . I will merge hives , which will create its own problems as they’ll be too strong too early . 

 

I’m trying to come up with a sensible plan to get rid of the full boxes of honey without running them through the extraction plant .

So far nothing sensible has occurred to me 

 

It is very unlikely anyone will extract it at the moment, although there is maybe an option I can think of.....better think about it some more before I put my foot in it....

 

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7 hours ago, CHCHPaul said:

 

I’d be making mead. You don’t even have to run it through the extractor. Just crush and strain it straight into the big old brewing bucket - then you won’t feel inclined to reuse the stickies. 

Jay makes mead and its orsome.

There are some Beeks in NZ who are actually Mead producers,

Not something we hear much about

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23 hours ago, M4tt said:

That’s an option I hadn’t thought of 

took some boxes of jarred honey to a food-bank in dunedin once to deal with a honey surplus problem. It was well received.

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Slyscape for Goran!

30ECEF16-227B-44FD-876A-FEBE910A3504.jpeg

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Was out and about the other day and came across a hive in need of requeening.

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Sunset for Goran !received_1080862535634926.thumb.jpeg.58c2c56a2ba1784c5d45aecbbfc5d0d2.jpeg

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9 hours ago, kaihoka said:

Sunset for Goran !received_1080862535634926.thumb.jpeg.58c2c56a2ba1784c5d45aecbbfc5d0d2.jpeg

That’s stunning. I can see why you put up with the wind and rain to live there. 

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Posted (edited)

Hi. Not much of pics.. Full hands of qcells to distribute.. on 30-35C at peak in shade.. Managed to get one batch of new line using jenter with cloake board.. Hopefully to requeen a lot. I am all sticky, sweat and in hurry and have no time to take pics around hives, cause want to be as less as can under scorching sun ( blue sky, clouds non existant and that yellow star..).

The mother is 1st generation of carnie mix ( slovenian+our local carnie). She outperformed the majority of others, on the even rank as my favorite " line". Please, don't nitpicking fussy, this my lineage and queen management is full of flaws and rudimentary. Mostly is reason lack of time and other works ( hazels, pay job). I just keep tracking mothers..

The reason I take this one queen from 2017.: calm on comb ( no bearding on frame), excellent spring buildup ( crucial for me cause spring forages are mostly all I can get), gentle, no swarming desire, top honey yields, not signs of some disease, hive bursting with bees..

So it will be interesting what her daughters will show..

On the other side, just want to catch woodpeckers and other birds into hands to show how I feel when they all day feast on my hazelnuts 🤬

My cats seems can't keep up with their numbers.. Maybe to try to throw them up in sky when see woodpecker fly above to be more efficient.. 🤔

Edited by Goran
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Posted (edited)

The high temp today hit 19 degrees . To me , it’s felt more like September than July all month .

 

I still have 14 hives in FD boxes , so today was the day to start their conversion to 3/4. 

Ive put a mostly drawn 3/4 box on the floor , caught the queen and put her in there with plenty of bees , then a QE , then the old bottom brood box above that .

Above that is a top feeder which I have scraped off a frame of honey from the same hive .

Repeated until all 14 were done. 

 

I have hives with old drones , emerging drones and drone brood . Big healthy drones . I also have new queens that have mated and started laying sometime in the last two months . So basically winter mated queens , which is unheard of .

 

Winter here has been lots of fog , but also lots of warm still days 

 

 

Edited by M4tt
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16 hours ago, kaihoka said:

Sunset for Goran !received_1080862535634926.thumb.jpeg.58c2c56a2ba1784c5d45aecbbfc5d0d2.jpeg

I have a mate living there now. Was down in the easter holidays chasing Kingfish when the tide was in. 

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1 minute ago, Markypoo said:

I have a mate living there now. Was down in the easter holidays chasing Kingfish when the tide was in. 

Your mate was down, or you were up ?

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, yesbut said:

Your mate was down, or you were up ?

Man, I have to be careful with my wording when you are about. I went up.

I was thinking about the piece of land I have just brought in Central Otago. So I will be going up for the Kingfish and he will be coming down for the trout.

 

Edited by Markypoo

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5 minutes ago, Markypoo said:

Man, I have to be careful with my wording when you are about. I went up.

I was thinking about the piece of land I have just brought in Central Otago. So I will be going up for the Kingfish and he will be coming down for the trout.

 

I hope your wage increase has left enough for my pension.

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1 hour ago, yesbut said:

I hope your wage increase has left enough for my pension.

 

I will let you know in October when Novopay work out how to pay us. Funnily enough they docked us 1 day pay for our strike within a week, but can't work out how to give us 3% in less than 3 months.

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Spent a valuable day’s professional development in Springston yesterday at Maggie James’ Queen Cell Production Tutorial. 

 

The first session was a bit slow with lots of background knowledge scaffolding, but after a cup of tea it quickly developed into some insightful delivery with lots of Q&A opportunities. 

 

Met a bunch of nice beeks and talked lots about the business. AFB was a hot topic. 

 

I’d recommend this to neebies to Queen rearing as well as the target audience of long term hobby and small commercial. 

 

Thanks @Maggie James

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2 hours ago, Markypoo said:

Man, I have to be careful with my wording when you are about. I went up.

I was thinking about the piece of land I have just brought in Central Otago. So I will be going up for the Kingfish and he will be coming down for the trout.

 

Were you chasing  kingfish in whanganui inlet or golden bay ?

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Got around some more sites today for their first post-Winter? checks.  For the most part cracking strong hives with loads of bees and brood at various levels from very little to two FD frames brood capped both sides.  The hives are way stronger generally than I've seen at this time of year, although varroa was under control going into Winter and they had plenty of stores.  Hives got half a pollen pattie and 2ish litres 40% syrup each and their first lectures about not swarming in a couple of months time.  I didn't see any drone brood and drone numbers were very low.  I did knock one Queen on the head and put a frame in with eggs so will just have to see how that goes.

 

Varroa is the main issue, I had treatments in for Autumn which worked and and I just left it for Winter.  All sites had higher mite levels than I'd like and at one site I saw the odd mite on bees and some DWV in a handful of hives.  I am using both Ox/Gly staples and Bayverol this Spring and am going to run a trial to see how hives with each treatment perform through Spring. 

 

It wont be long and it will be all on.

 

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 Today I looked at my weak hive.

I had moved it  from a FD super into a corflute HD nuc with an insulated lid on top.

The hive is much happier in a smaller space and the queen has started to lay .

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