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Trevor Gillbanks

November 2019 Apiary Diary

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38 minutes ago, Oma said:

I witnessed an unusual event today.

Went to inspect one of my hives and took off the metal lid  before I could remove the hive mat there was a sudden increase of bees at the front of the hive.  I stopped to check to see if I had interrupted the start of a swarm coming from the hive, and there landing on top of the hive mat in front of me was a beautiful young very black queen surrounded by 20 or so bees. Before I could pick her up she flew down to the landing board and ran into the hive.  The mini swarm of flying bees went into the hive as well and all was calm again.

 I have had a lot of superceedure going on so didn’t open the hive.  Will give it a couple of days and have a check. I read somewhere that mating queens attract workers from other hives and bring them home with her. There is always something new to witness. 

Even swarms attract workers from other hives, I cought a swarm a while back and placed it under my ute deck while I finished the yard and there were hundreds of bees covering my holey bucket even though I done a double shake and cought almost all the bees from the swarm. 

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First of the Pohutukawa's in full bloom. May not be the best of honeys but it sure is keeping the girls busy!

191124 Pohutukawa 001.JPG

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With the summer heat comes the honey flow . 
 

Hives I double queened 40 days ago are now well up to strength so where one queen is not so flash , she’s been pinched , or  where there are two good queens , one has been moved to a nuc as a spare . All hives are now single queened. 
 

Notice , where I’m using cut down frames , where there is no bottom bar the bees often start drawing with drones , an extension of the drone brood between boxes . 
 

Also note how much wax I put on frames 

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B5B9AE10-E259-4AB1-BB60-3A57931DBCCC.jpeg

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17 hours ago, Maru Hoani said:

Even swarms attract workers from other hives, I cought a swarm a while back and placed it under my ute deck while I finished the yard and there were hundreds of bees covering my holey bucket even though I done a double shake and cought almost all the bees from the swarm. 

I tried using a bucket to hold a swarm only about once, gave it away as messy and hard on the bees,  went back to my usual system...for small swarms I have a nuc size box of thin ply with a mesh panel in the bottom and a hinged lid, it holds 5 frames. Bigger swarms I have a lightweight FD box with fixed base & light lid. I never have any hanger's onners. I take most of the frames out, get the bulk of the bees into the box,  lower the waxed frames back in , deodorise whereever they came from, wait for the stragglers to march in and it's all over in about 15 minutes for the ride home in the back of the Rav. 

By next morning they're nicely covering the frames and get transferred into proper woodware.

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@M4tt

 I have a box of new waxed frames given to me by a person I gave two nucs to.

I think I will have to add more wax looking at your frames .

@jamesc

 do you go after kanuka .

It is going to be a big flowering , lots of early buds showing

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Big sigh here Kaihoka ......   we have quite a few Kanuka sites, but to be honest, at $5/kg I am getting lazy.   I gotta hire a digger to clean up tracks, the landowner is salivating at the lips .... and to be honest .... it might just be easier to sit at home and gather honey dew.

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12 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Big sigh here Kaihoka ......   we have quite a few Kanuka sites, but to be honest, at $5/kg I am getting lazy.   I gotta hire a digger to clean up tracks, the landowner is salivating at the lips .... and to be honest .... it might just be easier to sit at home and gather honey dew.

What about all the excitment of hoofing over dodgy tracks in overloaded trucks .

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Ah well .... now you is talking ....... the adventure is priceless, and even if you loose money ...... the experience  was priceless .... right .

I've  just got a bit ho hum about working for nothing these days.

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Just now, jamesc said:

Ah well .... now you is talking ....... the adventure is priceless, and even if you loose money ...... the experience  was priceless .... right .

I've  just got a bit ho hum about working for nothing these days.

I done a lot of that last season. Lucky iv down sized a bit and have actually been having weekends off. 

Went to check a few sites and it's not looking too flash but possibly a box of manuka every second hive (making boxes up) again this season. 

2 hours ago, yesbut said:

I tried using a bucket to hold a swarm only about once, gave it away as messy and hard on the bees,  went back to my usual system...for small swarms I have a nuc size box of thin ply with a mesh panel in the bottom and a hinged lid, it holds 5 frames. Bigger swarms I have a lightweight FD box with fixed base & light lid. I never have any hanger's onners. I take most of the frames out, get the bulk of the bees into the box,  lower the waxed frames back in , deodorise whereever they came from, wait for the stragglers to march in and it's all over in about 15 minutes for the ride home in the back of the Rav. 

By next morning they're nicely covering the frames and get transferred into proper woodware.

The trick is that you have to drill thousands of holes in the bucket so they can breathe. 

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@M4tt I used plastic in wood. And I add another 500gm (roughly) of wax per fd box onto of the 'pre waxed'. I've noticed its made a HUGE difference.  Draw frames out faster.

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We had our six monthly RMP audit today. Conveniently I had a lazy day planned at  a store stock sale at Canterbury park so that got me out of the equation ..... as I tend to ask too many questions about why, when we only extract for two months a year , we need a twice yearly audit .....?

 

It went really well . A nice lady came out from Asure quality and seemed to have simplified the whole process .  It was also a good time to get the industry gossip. One always feels reassured that one is not totally crap at keeping bees when the word on the street is that there have been lotsa varroa deadouts this spring,  that lotsa people are struggling, and that we are all, the good, the bad, and the ugly ....  in the same boat.

 

I think I might go back to work tomorrow.

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If a second audit needs to be done as dictated, It would be good if one of the audits could be done with a camera by the beekeeper, to the auditor.  Surely this would save time and money.  If it is viewed by the person who did the first audit, then they would know it is actually your plant. 

 

Sounds like your AQ lady is v amenable. 

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Pig islander

they got nice girls up there...

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1 hour ago, jamesc said:

Asure quality and seemed to have simplified the whole process

i wonder if they have changed. typically they go absolutely overboard with ridiculous stuff.

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9 hours ago, tristan said:

i wonder if they have changed. typically they go absolutely overboard with ridiculous stuff.

Perhaps if you put two women together in a small room for a couple of hours , they find other stuff to talk about and finally realise that they both know what they are talking about and nothing becomes an issue.

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7 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Perhaps if you put two women together in a small room for a couple of hours , they find other stuff to talk about and finally realise that they both know what they are talking about and nothing becomes an issue.

As long as one of them at least was on your side

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Today I checked the frame of eggs I had put into my missing queen hive .

3 frames in I saw eggs and eggs on the next frame .

There must have been a virgin in there  .

This is the second queen that has mated😊 here this spring . 😄

 it would make my  bee keeping life so much easier if I could rely on local mating each spring .

Amongst our general crap weather lately we have had the odd decent day .  I have been lucky .

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So have I.i had 2 queens in one all winter.S

Sold one nuc to a friend whose apiary I look after.I checked the hive on Sunday and mother(my sols queen) and daughter were running around together.The mother had only one wing and the daughter was a great looking new queen be so the mother will not last too long I would think'

   I made some nucs out of my AMM.Have placed one in Otira to see what drones are around as no beeks here yet.I was surprised to see them still alive seeing as it has been so damp.Clematis is still flowering.It will be interesting to see what the mating is like if anything happens

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Fun day today. Hives were on a flow but cramming down rather than filling supers. Found second AFB for the year in a hive that came from my home apiary. I checked it extra closely and found one cell.

Get to the last yard and true honey have dumped  in excess of 280 hives two paddocks away. It doesn't worry me that they are stupid enough to put that many hives in one place, I just wish they would find somewhere that wasn't next to me or anybody else

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True Honey, 230 grams for only $2,171.20 !   A bargain !

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28 minutes ago, yesbut said:

True Honey, 230 grams for only $2,171.20 !   A bargain !

Where is this.  Link or photos please

 

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The newspapers lap up this sort of story without any checking or verification. Two minutes talking to other beekeepers would show what sort of a person runs this company and 30 seconds with his creditors would show why he has to charge so much for his honey.

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9 minutes ago, john berry said:

The newspapers lap up this sort of story without any checking or verification. Two minutes talking to other beekeepers would show what sort of a person runs this company and 30 seconds with his creditors would show why he has to charge so much for his honey.

I must point out no newspaper was involved here, I just googled the company which I had never heard of until you mentioned it...

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