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Trevor Gillbanks

October 2019 Apiary Diary

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I was called to a hive swarming today but the result was far from expected.

The hive  was split into 3 10 days ago and the old queen was not left at the original site- she ended up in a nuc box and is laying up a storm. On Saturday the original site hive was  examined and left with  just 2 cells and no sign of a hatched cell.

So not a mating flight ...too early?. The swarm landed in 2 groups in a nearby tree. A couple of hours later when we had gathered gear to retrieve it,  it was returning to the original hive.

 

If the owner hadn't been home we would never have known. I wonder how often this happens? I wonder if those swarms that don't stay are like this one and are gathered up before they change their minds.

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Anyone know what this is.... a neighbour just brought it in.

E686EC0D-7C98-4FB5-A6BC-BED80D8B860C.jpeg

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2 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Anyone know what this is.... a neighbour just brought it in.

E686EC0D-7C98-4FB5-A6BC-BED80D8B860C.jpeg

Looks like a Botfly 

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Hmmm ..... it's bigger and leaner than a botfly ..... and looks evil .... a dark black wasp or hornet ..... the neighbour was concerned that it might be an invasive pest form a recently arrived freedom camper opposite her house.

Another job for MPI maybe.

Edited by jamesc
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Speaking of botflies, whatever you do, do not read this article....

https://sti.bmj.com/content/sextrans/80/3/183.full.pdf

2 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Hmmm ..... it's bigger and leaner than a botfly ..... and looks evil .... a dark black wasp or hornet ..... the neighbour was concerned that it might be an invasive pest form a recently arrived freedom camper opposite her house.

Another job for MPI maybe.

What size is it please ?????  

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15 minutes ago, yesbut said:

Speaking of botflies, whatever you do, do not read this article....

https://sti.bmj.com/content/sextrans/80/3/183.full.pdf

What size is it please ?????  

Don't be rude ..... it's not as big as Phils ...... only about 18mm

Oh crikey ..... that does not look good ...... a little bit of Roald Dahl.

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1 hour ago, jamesc said:

Hmmm ..... it's bigger and leaner than a botfly ..... and looks evil .... a dark black wasp or hornet ..... the neighbour was concerned that it might be an invasive pest form a recently arrived freedom camper opposite her house.

Another job for MPI maybe.

freedom campers can be an invasion pest as well.

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1 hour ago, jamesc said:

Anyone know what this is.... a neighbour just brought it in.

E686EC0D-7C98-4FB5-A6BC-BED80D8B860C.jpeg

I think it's a Mason Bee.

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Osmia Californica ....?

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Pour spider's.  I wonder how long they are paralyzed waiting for the inevitable?

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367DF17E-C668-4C8C-9278-716B2F864BDC.jpeg

Aah Grasshopper .....

 

See how the frozen snow gilds the hills 

Beauty to soothe the soul 

Spring is full of hope

As we build our bees

And dream of gold

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So, we went out into the wilds today to pick up a tipped over hive (blooming young cattle!) Came home with 60 eggs after talking to 3 people! Bacon & egg pie anyone? 😂

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10 minutes ago, Bron said:

So, we went out into the wilds today to pick up a tipped over hive (blooming young cattle!) Came home with 60 eggs after talking to 3 people! Bacon & egg pie anyone? 😂

nice.

i got given a tray of eggs a few weeks back. i was tempted to do a bacon and egg pie. one of the issues with so many jaffas moving out to lifestyle blocks is they all have chickens. the market is flooded with eggs. can't give them away.

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Nah, no lifestylers, farmers with new layers, after the first tray we tried to turn the 2nd one down but the guy begged us to take them!

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I did 16 Alc washes today for 15 zero counts and one in the site with a count of 6 for 200 bees.

Its a trial hive so I looked back at its history and it was one that despite a full Autumn treatment it went into winter with a count of 1 mite for 228 bees.

I have  9 treated trial hives that went into winter with counts of between 1 and 4 (8@1mite & 1@4mite) so it will be interesting to see what those Hives have produced this spring as I get to them.

 

 

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@Philbee just wondering about your staple placement and whether you have changed it to the edge of the brood or do you still put them down the middle ?

 

Also do you leave the staples in during the winter or do they come out ?

In your experience can the staples increase the moisture in a hive over winter ?

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11 hours ago, jamesc said:

367DF17E-C668-4C8C-9278-716B2F864BDC.jpeg

Aah Grasshopper .....

 

See how the frozen snow gilds the hills 

Beauty to soothe the soul 

Spring is full of hope

As we build our bees

And dream of gold


Drove back from Westport yesterday, having driven over in the snow the night before. The Buller District was looking SPECTACULAR, we truely live in paradise. 

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12 hours ago, Bron said:

Nah, no lifestylers, farmers with new layers, after the first tray we tried to turn the 2nd one down but the guy begged us to take them!

Have you ever made pickled eggs .?

They are delicious.

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2 hours ago, frazzledfozzle said:

@Philbee just wondering about your staple placement and whether you have changed it to the edge of the brood or do you still put them down the middle ?

 

Also do you leave the staples in during the winter or do they come out ?

In your experience can the staples increase the moisture in a hive over winter ?

 My staples all go across the middle, its a very difficult habit to break and all my trials and other uses have had the Staples in over 2-3 winters.

One Hive has has 20 left in over winter, 2 winters in a row.
As for winter moisture in staples I cannot remember  having seen a damp hive in spring other than the odd one that leans backward and gets full of water in the base.
Even this spring as I get around my trial Hives not a single hive has been damp and one very small single with 3 frames of Bees in a ten frame box  one that must have been the same in Autumn had 4 Staples placed over its 3 frames and was fine, just not a great hive.

So personally, even although I see a possibility for uncovered Cellulose in a winter hive to hold or gather moisture, I just dont see it at an inspection level or at least see any obvious effects of such.

With regard moisture, we have had an extremely wet and cold spring.
I checked two hives in September that are in a deep cold  hole on the edge of the ranges at about 550m.
One of them is under a tree and doesnt see the sun for 8-9 months a year.
This one is a double and its base was full of water 
it had 7 staples on board and a large old pile of dead Bees out front yet the Hive was fine all things considered.

 

Some points about my Hives

They have access to very handy early five finger ,Pitto and Spanish heather forage

They have not had any honey taken off for 2 seasons

The only treatments have been is limited thymol, limited Formic, limited OA vaporisation and 2-3 applications  of OA/GL per season.
Past 3 seasons have been solely OA/GL

 

 


 

I see it as a perfectly achievable goal to have 75% of my hives looking like this one at this point each season.
Considering that I dont routinely  re Queen hives Id say Im not too far off this goal now

image.png.dba22fb4ad008197c2e6607353ed2d10.png

Next time Im in that hive Ill check to see if those bands of lighter color are actually on the staples of are tricks of light.

They definitely didn't go in like that

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NIce looking hives Phil ..... the thing that worries me down here is that we don't need hives that strong at this time of year ...... as we enter November we enter the Starving month when all of a sudden we are chasing our tails trying to keep hives alive as the willow and dandelion fade. The next flow is the Matagouri ..... and then clover in the second week of December... ,maybe.

Main man and I were commenting about how at the moment it is cold ..... it is cold ..... and then I had a look back through my phone from this time last year, and came across a photo from mid November.....

2D632B1B-DBCB-4CF0-B081-00691C10BA86.jpeg

It seems like we have a way to go yet.

4D1ACC18-8004-4071-A40E-75F96C8EB5E9.jpeg

But at least we got the Polys out of the shed in anticipation of  some warmer days over the week end.

Before another cold snap .  Tony at Blue skies is pretty spot on with his forecasts, that's for sure.

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Yer telling me it has been cold.  Have grafted in October in incredibly difficult conditions.  I have hit 21 days old virgins on the head today, as with a couple of my queen cell customers who have worked with bees all their lives with large amounts of hives, and never hit queens on the head the last week of Oct!  Lots of waxeyes in apiaries and the town boundaries.

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It’s cold.

9 degrees here at lunchtime , which did improve late afternoon to 14.

 

I made some new double queen hives yesterday with the new queens out of the nucs . That will get them up to speed fast 

B3909FE8-5E23-48DD-8F38-9A497B8F3F8F.jpeg

Edited by M4tt
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Saturday is forecast for a fab day.  If they ain't mated then, the hive tool goes through the neck - regicide!

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