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Trevor Gillbanks

September 2019 Apiary Diary

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I found two queens in a hive today, mother and vgn daughter both dead on the floor. Only the one cell so the bees didn't think things through to well. Pity as the mother queen was doing a very good job.

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2 hours ago, john berry said:

 One Queen looks young and bright and the other looks old and dark and way darker than I would expect an autumn Queen to be. 

 

Agree with this the dark queen is much older than an Autumn queen looks more like a queen well into her second year.

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No need to read the weather forecast... if I have time to look at the bees, it will be cold, windy and/or raining

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11 hours ago, frazzledfozzle said:

 

Agree with this the dark queen is much older than an Autumn queen looks more like a queen well into her second year.

 

This is really interesting to me thanks. I’ve only been raising queens for three years now and am certainly starting to notice subtle differences in colour, size, shape, wings and behaviours. 

 

Strangely, I have found two or three from the same batch that have that beautiful dark amber colour that makes them appear older. 

 

Looking forward to doing my first graft of the season in a week or so. Can someone please tell me if I mark my new spring queens green or blue?

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Interesting.  And here's me thinking I know what an old queen looks like whether it's on a street corner or in a bee colony

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36 minutes ago, CHCHPaul said:

Can someone please tell me if I mark my new spring queens green or blue?

What about a dash of both, that way you'll tell exactly in future....

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44 minutes ago, Maggie James said:

Interesting.  And here's me thinking I know what an old queen looks like whether it's on a street corner or in a bee colony

 

Well, I certainly demure to your knowledge and experience with queen raising (and, it seems... on the streets of Kingscross! 😜).

 

Have you done your first graft yet Maggie?

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2 hours ago, CHCHPaul said:

. Can someone please tell me if I mark my new spring queens green or blue?

Blue, but it’s entirely up to you whether you change your colour for new season queens  now , or new year queens from Jan 1. There are no set rules 

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5 hours ago, CHCHPaul said:

 

 

Looking forward to doing my first graft of the season in a week or so. Can someone please tell me if I mark my new spring queens green or blue?

In NZ, it's up to the beekeeper - in the northern hemisphere the question does not arise as spring/summer/autumn are in the middle of the year, so there aren't parts of two different seasons in the same chronological year. 

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In the meantime ... we generally start grafting when the Daffodils blossom. They are blossoming at the moment, but the willows are still in tight bud and the days are cold and damp.  The forecast for the next month is not great , so  I don't think we will start grafting until  the third week of  October. No Rush Bro..... we'll let the bees build before splitting rather than trying to push the envelope . A split with six/seven  frames of brood and a cell in early November will still make a crop.   

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8 hours ago, CHCHPaul said:

Well, I certainly demure to your knowledge and experience with queen raising (and, it seems... on the streets of Kingscross! 😜).

 

Have you done your first graft yet Maggie?

I was thinking more K Road myself.  And yes I have done my first graft, before this weather set in for the next few days. 

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27 minutes ago, jamesc said:

In the meantime ... we generally start grafting when the Daffodils blossom. They are blossoming at the moment, but the willows are still in tight bud and the days are cold and damp.  The forecast for the next month is not great , so  I don't think we will start grafting until  the third week of  October. No Rush Bro..... we'll let the bees build before splitting rather than trying to push the envelope . A split with six/seven  frames of brood and a cell in early November will still make a crop.   

Not that we really want a crop ..... but you know, one has to go through the motions. 

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5 minutes ago, jamesc said:

but you know, one has to go through the motions. 

Is that a bowel motion!  Maybe the loco motion?

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14 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Not that we really want a crop ..... but you know, one has to go through the motions. 

Maybe the crop to aim for is one that you leave on for next winter ?  

Do you pack for retail as well as bulk ? 

Edited by yesbut

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44 minutes ago, jamesc said:

we'll let the bees build before splitting rather than trying to push the envelope . A split with six/seven  frames of brood and a cell in early

 

I’ve got a few that needs the brakes put on. There are numerous cups on numerous frames and lots of drone brood. No eggs in the cups yet, but they can’t be far away.

 

Think I’ll be splitting in the next week or 2.

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Quote
Quote

 

 

Different climes, different floral sources, different time frames

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Beeks will be affected by the latest attack by Iranian Proxie's on Saudi Oil refineries.
This is very serious for many reasons, the immediate reason being fuel will go through the Roof.

As it stands, 5% of the global Oil supply is now off line.
 

Up side is that the refineries can be repaired
Down side is that the situation is likely to escalate, possibly beyond the middle east

 

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16 hours ago, jamesc said:

In the meantime ... we generally start grafting when the Daffodils blossom. They are blossoming at the moment, but the willows are still in tight bud and the days are cold and damp.  The forecast for the next month is not great , so  I don't think we will start grafting until  the third week of  October. No Rush Bro..... we'll let the bees build before splitting rather than trying to push the envelope . A split with six/seven  frames of brood and a cell in early November will still make a crop.   

Providing the Rata flowers

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On 11/09/2019 at 12:24 PM, ChrisM said:

 

Regarding Long Hives. I'd be interested to know if QE are really any use in a long hive, I think it is doubtful. Generally in a horizontal format hive the queen will not set up a second brood nest, so as soon as you have one comb of honey across the hive, this should effectively act like a QE in a horizontal hive. Generally we don't limit the brood nest to 10, I would say 14 or 15 is more like the average and we don't ever seek to limit it. More the opposite to check they have room to expand in spring. But we operate with jumbo depth and all those brood combs will generally have 60mm of honey across the top of them plus a pollen band. So actual brood volume might be close to ~10 FD equivalent of a vertical hive. As an aside, I think FD is a bit shallow for a long hive, but obviously we are each biased to what we know and FD long hive proponents seem to get it to work fine. Plus if you had jumbo long hive you'd then struggle to buy a standard extractor that could hold your frames.

I saw the saw thing last summer- the brood nest covered 15 frames with no brood anywhere else. I was too sure if that was because I had the fat honey comb next to the brood nest with alot of the other honey comb fattened up to some degree.

I prefer not to use a QE. 

They seemed to have done okay with just the normal deep frames, tending to have a whole frame or two just for pollen rather than underneath the brood. There problem so far has been me, but they are patient teachers.

 

The new hive is a Jumbo deep so it will be interesting to compare them. I'm also using the SC plastic frames, but have cut all the edges off some of these to use as 'foundation insert'. So far I've got 4 frames ready with waxed 'inserts' underneath a starter strip that is sewn in place with cotton thread. I figure that way, they will have a honey dome over, can make the holes they like so much along the top and upper sides.

I'm out of wax so I may need to put empties in between with just the starter strip and hope for the best.

 

To extract, when they get to that point, I'm hoping to be able to cut the lower portion out, pop it on couple of cake racks tied together with cable ties, de-cap, pop it in the extractor and then slide it back into the frame. I dont need all the honey 

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Check of the hives today, the home hive has been fed with syrup and some pollen sub for the past month as it was struggling, but is looking like its bounced back and the queen is laying up nicely. Other hive is in the process of re queening itself. Guessing the old one ran out of steam, found 4 open q cells, sighted a queen, she's relatively small, but not sure if she's a virgin or freshly mated. No eggs or larvae in the hive so theres been no laying for a least a week I reckon. Good stores, Decided to close them back up an leave them to it. Will check on them next week

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5 hours ago, Philbee said:

Beeks will be affected by the latest attack by Iranian Proxie's on Saudi Oil refineries.
This is very serious for many reasons, the immediate reason being fuel will go through the Roof.

As it stands, 5% of the global Oil supply is now off line.
 

Up side is that the refineries can be repaired
Down side is that the situation is likely to escalate, possibly beyond the middle east

It's going to be interesting for sure and the only certainty will be sharp price increases with no doubt increased takes by those retailing it to us if the usual percentages are just simply carried over to the increases as usual. The taxes need to be capped at their present level and the retail margin nailed also or we are all in for a double hiding. I won't hold my breath!

I didn't realise how little our news services were telling us about Yemen and the war going on there right now. Interesting how we really have been kept in the dark here. 

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7 hours ago, Philbee said:

Beeks will be affected by the latest attack by Iranian Proxie's on Saudi Oil refineries.
This is very serious for many reasons, the immediate reason being fuel will go through the Roof.

As it stands, 5% of the global Oil supply is now off line.
 

Up side is that the refineries can be repaired
Down side is that the situation is likely to escalate, possibly beyond the middle east

 

. So  if 5% of oil is off line.... that  means that 95% is still online. .... no quick fix to global warming hen , eh.

6 hours ago, Bighands said:

Providing the Rata flowers

Not too worried about the Rata to be honest. I've become very 'Laissez Fair' about the bees these days. We are just in holding pattern and concentrating on farming rather than bees.

Recession is seeing two big trucks parked up in the shed  for weeks at a time and the Boss scratching his head as to how to keep beekeepers busy.

The Man from the Bank came to visit the other day. One comment he made was that unemployement was at an all time low, and yet when I read our local National MP's news letter, she comments that applications for 'Job Seeker'  benefits has increased 38% in the last four months.

Some one is out of touch.

If you need a drum to fill your market slot ..... send us a pm.

Edited by jamesc

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15 minutes ago, jamesc said:

. So  if 5% of oil is off line.... that  means that 95% is still online. .... no quick fix to global warming hen , eh.

It immediately translates to 10cents a litre.

The issue is multi layered and includes the fact that China has been accepting Iranian oil into bonded storage for months.

This bonded storage is outside of the sanctions placed on Iran but raises some very serious geopolitical questions going forward.

Id suggest that right now global warming rates down at about problem number 9 on a scale of 1 to 10.

However with regard emissions, the smoke from burning refineries can be clearly seen from space. 

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18 minutes ago, Philbee said:

It immediately translates to 10cents a litre.

The issue is multi layered and includes the fact that China has been accepting Iranian oil into bonded storage for months.

This bonded storage is outside of the sanctions placed on Iran but raises some very serious geopolitical questions going forward.

Id suggest that right now global warming rates down at about problem number 9 on a scale of 1 to 10.

However with regard emissions, the smoke from burning refineries can be clearly seen from space. 

Hmmm .... 10c a ,litre ..... so thats about 7 bucks for a tank on the Cruiser ..... 2 kg of honey ...... Tomorrow is Monday and I am planting the greenhouse.

Never done that before in thirty years of beekeeping  on a   monday .

Interesting times.

And the hired hands ..... the hired hands are on a job creation scheme  splicing together the odds and ends of deer netting in readiness to stringing up some more fencing.

We need about 12 k's of the stuff, so that should keep them busy for a day or two !!

Edited by jamesc

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