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Trevor Gillbanks

August 2019 Apiary Diary

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Almost completed the first round of my own hives,  they look great, with some a little too strong. 

Fresh staples going in with the last lot from April flicked out. 

Plenty of pollen coming in.

Disease check, Queen check, stores, treat, full scrape down including floor. 

Very happy.. out of 120 odd I’ve zero dead, 2 dronelayers only one hive had DWV...  and with 2 showing mites... all at the same site... 

It’s back to work next week... 

B9EDE54B-2297-42B0-8392-CC1865365C96.jpeg

82F9822B-2D29-4A29-B03B-F02DAC07104C.jpeg

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18 hours ago, yesbut said:

This is why I don't bother with the things. I stick to the towels in various forms. Laid flat across the top of frames, rolled up flattened between frames, or shoved in the front door.

The goo is really simple to make & utilize.  just a pyrex bowl, set of digital scales, and a microwave. If Ovaboard was available in less than house size rolls I'd use that instead of towels.  I have tried re-purposing toilet roll centres, but they're just not big enough.

Any links to a comprehensive tutorial of this method? Looking for a reliably cheaper way of treatment. Strips are hitting the pocket too hard. 

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6 minutes ago, shano said:

Any links to a comprehensive tutorial of this method? Looking for a reliably cheaper way of treatment. Strips are hitting the pocket too hard. 

Start here......

 

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I lost my nerve today and opened a few hives a week before I intended to. They were bits and pieces around home and the main one I was worried about was an autumn swarm which I found in my boxes when doing my winter sorting so it didn't receive any treatment.

It had survived the winter but was showing some PMS and chilling along with one bee with deformed wings. I mainly wanted to check this hive to make sure it wasn't infecting everything else and it certainly needed treatment plus I gave it a frame of sealed brood with young bees to make sure of its survival. The other half dozen hives I checked were all looking good. All hives had good frames of sealed brood, more than I would expect at this time of year and one breeder had drone brood between the two boxes with only one varoa evident.

The autumn swarm could not have arrived before early April and I hate to think what happened to that hive to make it swarm. I don't think I could make a hive swarm at that time of year even if I wanted to.

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It seems to have been a symptom of last season's climate I suspect @john berry. A very long hot summer, not much late summer/early Autumn nectar.

This July and what may be to come (??) seems to have created some irregularities all round. Daffs are all up, some fruit tree bud at burst point etc etc. Quite a few hives at unusually large population numbers, others not so with stores just gone. 

I plan to kick off a bit early this year with swarm prevention for quite a number, feed for the hungry, strips for all and a hope for an earlier crop spring and early summer followed by what? 

The rain fall is way way behind, 2 wheel drive where I should be getting stuck, drains half empty rather than full up, pasture pretty much gone/ziltch (the pinch). I know, still some weather and rain to come but I suspect for now we are in for another hot dry season. I hope I'm completely wrong but the signs are there so far. Drain layer down deep and no water in the trench.....never seen it like this before that I can recall.

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We  have had 600ml of our average 1500ml .

But we are catching up fast .

Things turned sou westerly at beginning of august .

And the sea temps are back down to normal .

I am still hoping for global warming to kick in soon .

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45 minutes ago, yesbut said:

 

NIWA's soil moisture maps don't seem to reflect this

https://www.niwa.co.nz/static/climate/smd_map.png?1234

We have a water shortage here in Auckland. Seems hard to believe when everything is damp and it’s drizzled for days, but there you go.

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13 minutes ago, cBank said:

We have a water shortage here in Auckland. Seems hard to believe when everything is damp and it’s drizzled for days

Someone set up a bottling plant?

 

It feels as though there has been more concentrated/deluge style rain this year, not sure how available data series that show that are? Obviously a normal rain gauge checked every day or so won't indicate that

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23 minutes ago, cBank said:

We have a water shortage here in Auckland. Seems hard to believe when everything is damp and it’s drizzled for days, but there you go.

How odd. The Waipa and Waikato rivers have plenty of water in them , although why any city would draw residential water downstream from Hamilton is beyond me, but there you go . Lots of mouths to water I guess . You must have a very good treatment plant 

 

We are at 557 mm year to date , which is light , but it does rain every day at the moment which is why the soil moisture is at plenty 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, yesbut said:

 

NIWA's soil moisture maps don't seem to reflect this

https://www.niwa.co.nz/static/climate/smd_map.png?1234

Real life does though in the world of micro climates, valley to valley and or I think grids at 50-100 k would show considerable differences.

Otaki today pouring down, home just the tiniest spit. Lots of light showery days but few significant day after day of solid rain.

Frankly July was plain scary. If that is a sign of things to come we will need to adapt quite quickly me thinks.

Edited by Ali
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Everywhere I went in the South Island looked far wetter than what we have here although it's a lot better than it was. It's way too soon to worry about droughts or floods. I remember one year when you couldn't go anywhere without getting stuck until the end of October and then it didn't rain again for six months. I've also seen plenty of nice winters followed by filthy springs.

The old beekeepers used to say that the worse the spring the better the honey crop and I think there is some validity in that saying but only some and I do remember one or two golden years when spring, summer and autumn were almost perfect. They help to make up for the years when it did nothing but rain, not rain or blow the whole season.

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No matter how little it rained in golden bay the area has plenty of rivers running down from the national parks .

It always rains up there .

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7 hours ago, tommy dave said:

Someone set up a bottling plant?

 

It feels as though there has been more concentrated/deluge style rain this year, not sure how available data series that show that are? Obviously a normal rain gauge checked every day or so won't indicate that

 

?

 

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13 hours ago, yesbut said:

 

NIWA's soil moisture maps don't seem to reflect this

https://www.niwa.co.nz/static/climate/smd_map.png?1234

 

That map is rubbish - the Auck Council are already warning of the need to conserve water as the city supply dams are well down, it is regularly being advertised in the media.

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1 hour ago, Sailabee said:

 

That map is rubbish - the Auck Council are already warning of the need to conserve water as the city supply dams are well down, it is regularly being advertised in the media.

What's Auckland City's monthly population increase I wonder

I've looked it up. Pop. 1.6 million, average increase 1.9% =  monthly increase of +/- 2,500 . This sort of growth has to be contributing greatly to shrinking water resource I would have thought. Scary.

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Shopping today, jars from the wholesaler and labels from the stationers. Then pak'n'slave for groceries. UMF 40 manuka $9.50 for 500gms. I seriously considered buying the lot (not that much left) but thought that maybe they knew something that I didn't. Are manuka sales this much of a bust elsewhere?

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UMF 40??? Really? Just buy 1 and have it checked out..........costly but would be an interesting tale.

A pic would be worth a thousand words. Sure it wasn't MGO or some other classification (Activity, Gold Stars, etc etc)?

Queen St. $140.00 for 250g of 10+.

 

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57 minutes ago, Apihappy said:

Shopping today, jars from the wholesaler and labels from the stationers. Then pak'n'slave for groceries. UMF 40 manuka $9.50 for 500gms. I seriously considered buying the lot (not that much left) but thought that maybe they knew something that I didn't. Are manuka sales this much of a bust elsewhere?

 

3 minutes ago, Ali said:

UMF 40??? Really? Just buy 1 and have it checked out..........costly but would be an interesting tale.

A pic would be worth a thousand words. Sure it wasn't MGO or some other classification (Activity, Gold Stars, etc etc)?

Queen St. $140.00 for 250g of 10+.

 

Sure to be MGO 40  You will not find UMF 40 on Pak N Slave shelves for $9.50

 

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I reckon @Trevor Gillbanks. How anyone is allowed to sell mgo 40 as Manuka I just don't know! 

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13 minutes ago, Ali said:

I reckon @Trevor Gillbanks. How anyone is allowed to sell mgo 40 as Manuka I just don't know! 

Yes.  It is just a misleading number, To make the customers think they are buying some high factor honey.

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I know; photo or it didn't happen. But I live in the Waitaks with no cell signal which just confuses people, so no phone. Yes it may well have been some other signifier, UHF, NGO, UFO, or what ever. I was too absorbed with the idea of the imminent collapse of the manuka industry to double check. Still cheap honey for the supermarket.

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4 minutes ago, Apihappy said:

But I live in the Waitaks with no cell signal

You need to get with 2 Degrees and their free built in  Wifi Calling...it's great.

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MGO 40 manuka, well if it passes the MPI markers , Why not, it must be legal .

 

 

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4 hours ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

 

Sure to be MGO 40  You will not find UMF 40 on Pak N Slave shelves for $9.50

 

The highest I've ever seen was UMF 35+

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