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Trevor Gillbanks

November 2019 Apiary Diary

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1 hour ago, Bighands said:

may get good weather late summer but do not expect a good rata year at all.

Its looking pretty good here .

But we seem to have mostly northern rata .

Do you have that as well .

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28 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

Its looking pretty good here .

But we seem to have mostly northern rata .

Do you have that as well .

A little but mainly S.Rata

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57 minutes ago, Bighands said:

A little but mainly S.Rata

Two yrs ago when it looked like it was a big yr here it was also a big flowering further down the coast  later on .

I wonder when the rata flowers in the north island and where the big stands of northern rata are up there.

 

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2 hours ago, jamesc said:

We used to call this yard The graveyard.

Over the last few days it has become Sin City.

DCDC4D04-8D43-4034-902A-56B46ECC77F2.jpeg

 

holy moly, that's alot of hives in the middle of the pines.  I have to ask:  they got any tucker around the brood?

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39 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

Two yrs ago when it looked like it was a big yr here it was also a big flowering further down the coast  later on .

I wonder when the rata flowers in the north island and where the big stands of northern rata are up there.

 

In the Otira valley we have a large S.Rata flowering every 4 to 5 yrs.Do not ask me why this happens.I have asked all thje botanists but even they cannot answer me.

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7 hours ago, kaihoka said:

Sounds a lot , are they about 500 hive opperations .

I suppose making a living onthe island is not that easy

Ha. No one says the real amount of hives so it’s hard to guess. We have around 250, I think we would be the smallest. 

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Nice little apiary this one,lotsa tucker about...splits taken from strongest hives,all these queens have come thru winter and looking good atm.

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@Phil46

 I see you have all plastic frames .

Have you ever had trouble getting them drawn ?

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We been catching queens today . 

It's been interesting .

 

We plonked eighty polys in a new yard up in the bush  and  today caught over sixty queens. We were stoked . Except for the last queen who I de capitated as I closed up the cage.

We have another poly yard next to the cell builders . The yield there is less than 50%.

 

Now this is the interesting part.

The fancy truck has a thermometer  and  the  I phone weather app  displays important location temperatures.

So we  pulled out of the Poly yard at 2.45pm. The temp was 18c.

By the time we got to the locked gate  at the bottom of the hill ..... which is TenPercent club proof, the temp had dropped to 16c.

I checked the fancy phone at the gate and got the temp at the cell builders.  8c.

 

Like I have said many times before ...... A mediocre BeeKeeper can make a living in a good site.

The Best Beekeeper in the World will go broke in a bad site.

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What date did the 80 polys in the good yard get a day 10-11 cell

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11 hours ago, kaihoka said:

@Phil46

 I see you have all plastic frames .

Have you ever had trouble getting them drawn ?

Kia ora ,yes, but i put that down to not enough nectar flow,cos as you can see in my above pics,come spring time every waxed frame gets drawn beautifully.

Usually get pakaru drawing of frames in honey supers,f too late for flow,or too many supers on the hive.

 

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38 minutes ago, Maggie James said:

What date did the 80 polys in the good yard get a day 10-11 cell

 

30 minutes ago, Phil46 said:

Kia ora ,yes, but i put that down to not enough nectar flow,cos as you can see in my above pics,come spring time every waxed frame gets drawn beautifully.

Usually get pakaru drawing of frames in honey supers,f too late for flow,or too many supers on the hive.

 

October 29

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They been laying for a week or so now. Nice.

23 hours ago, CraBee said:

 

holy moly, that's alot of hives in the middle of the pines.  I have to ask:  they got any tucker around the brood?

Dunno . Too scared to look ! Do you get nectar off pines ?

Edited by jamesc

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I have never seen my bees on pines for nectar or pollen,  but definitely propolis gathering.  The cone bearing plants are pollinated by being airborne, and as a consequence this pollen is very brittle and dry.  However I have seen Macrocarpa in the McKenzie basin in August absolutely covered in bees, and this is because nothing else was available pollen wise.  Cereals are also wind pollinated, but on maize crops in Ellesemere have seen lots of bees, cos whilst it is poor quality pollen it's stickiness attracts them. 

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1 hour ago, jamesc said:

 

Like I have said many times before ...... A mediocre BeeKeeper can make a living in a good site.

The Best Beekeeper in the World will go broke in a bad site.

Aaah yes grasshopper.. 

and the best beekeeper ditches the bad sites without a second thought. 

Bad sites are like bad ex’s .. if you keep going back you keep getting burnt. 

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5 hours ago, jamesc said:

 

October 29

53F740C1-8165-4337-83B7-A0F213FF400A.jpeg

They been laying for a week or so now. Nice.

Dunno . Too scared to look ! Do you get nectar off pines ?

Nice feeder. How do you block up the holes?

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5 hours ago, Jamo said:

Nice feeder. How do you block up the holes?

Good observation ..... the feeder has a hole in the bottom.  No more nails sort of works. We leak test them prior to use ! 

I’ve climbed out of the sandpit and sought refuge at the cellbuilders.

Tipped the last bag of cell cups into the feeder to introduce them to the bees.

Thats almost 1000 cells gone out so far....

How many hive years is that?

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The issue i have with Dennis’s No 8 wire lift is ..... how do you lift 12 hives at a time?

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On 13/11/2019 at 6:32 AM, jamesc said:

Yeah Nicki ..... this is one of three suicide yards that are having the Besheesus taken out of them ..... banking on Big Hands getting us some fine weather on the coast later on.

This was a garbage yard down near Christchurch ..... always hungry, slow to build up ..... we won't go there again !!

Iv had a few of those ones

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On 15/11/2019 at 6:50 AM, jamesc said:

Good observation ..... the feeder has a hole in the bottom.  No more nails sort of works. We leak test them prior to use ! 

I’ve climbed out of the sandpit and sought refuge at the cellbuilders.

Tipped the last bag of cell cups into the feeder to introduce them to the bees.

Thats almost 1000 cells gone out so far....

How many hive years is that?

8F0B7913-F352-4F23-8F69-EB639AEE3009.jpeg

The issue i have with Dennis’s No 8 wire lift is ..... how do you lift 12 hives at a time?

7666911C-FF77-41B8-AD30-29733FE4F625.jpeg

That is true that, but I do have a cradle if needed. But 99.99% of my lifting is 4 hives at a time, I can do 8 but any more and the wire starts to get in the way and you have to bend it out of the way. i can only lift 4 high with top feeder before the loop in the wire is below the top of the lids, My loop height is set at 3 high with top feeders, and i carry a turn buckle with hook on one end and a loop on the other, so we can lift 4 high.  

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So spent a bit of yesterday and this morning doing version 2 of my solar wax melter. 

If it's worth doing, it's worth over doing..

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Hows yer webbed feet looking Big hands?

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As a point of interest , I marked a reasonable amount of new queens in July that had resulted from winter supercedure and therefore winter matings , which I’ve never had before .

Certainly I’ve had winter supercedures, but they’ve never mated and ended up drone layers . 
These hives have built up enough to truly test their temperament and they are not very nice . They score a consistent 6 to 8/10 and are rather unpleasant to work . 
While they were well mated and the mating pattern is acceptable , their temperament is not . I don’t really like working bees that continuously and aggressively kamikaze bomb and sting my bee suit . Some go through .

I guess the winter drones must have come from some fairly snarly hives .

 

I will have to split up some nice hives and breed some replacement queens .

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Pollination rounds. A bit of tape to warn you .. surprise!

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I am putting on some megabee. Not sure how it will help, bees enjoy it tho. 

Bit of an arm wrestle with the machine, you know it's about right when we it turns into a merry go round

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Wots in the hole 😊

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A random drain. No lid. Deep. 

I wonder at all the safety protocols and I see this. 

A unpleasant surprised for a bleary eyed guy on a wet night 

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1 hour ago, Gino de Graaf said:

A random drain. No lid. Deep. 

I wonder at all the safety protocols and I see this. 

A unpleasant surprised for a bleary eyed guy on a wet night 

I hope there are no toddlers around that area .

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