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Trevor Gillbanks

December 2019 Apiary Diary

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7 hours ago, Phil46 said:

Beautiful day on thurs,trailer refurb completed so tiki toured up the east coast,prospecting ,inspecting,supering and snorkelling...

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Looks like you found some Manuka... nice one. 

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Anything that big that looks like that in the landscape here would be kanuka not manuka .

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21 hours ago, Dennis Crowley said:

There has been some, but not much in the scheme of things.

Smart kiwi growers will stay with the beeks who have given good service as they cant trust million dollar crops to un-knowns for a few dollars less.

I had two kiwi growers (about 300 hives worth) tell me to put my price up next year as they making money.

I was going to do it this year but thought Id hold off and see how much undercutting went on and what orchard work losses if any i may loose.

I lost none and was asked to do more. So i will up my price and do more next season.

I fish with a BOP kiwifruit manager who is saying that he has no intention of even considering lowering his Pollination pricing.
He is happy to stick with his current Beeks at current prices which are north of $200.

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7 hours ago, Phil46 said:

Cant say iv seen the series,makes me shudder to think of the amount they process/take.

the series is worth a watch for at least one episode to see whether it's to your taste: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/shows/spiky-gold-hunters/episodes/s1-e1

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@nikki watts that block there has both manuka an kanuka...that is the kanuka flowering now.

The manuka is stored all in and around the brood frames!! 😲

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8 minutes ago, Phil46 said:

@nikki watts that block there has both manuka an kanuka...that is the kanuka flowering now.

The manuka is stored all in and around the brood frames!! 😲

######. That’s not good. Kanuka having a massive flowering here too. We might not get any mono Manuka this year either. 

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It's been the most extraordinary manuka flowering in the Waitakeres. and it looks to be followed by the Kanuka. The rewa rewa was a bit of a flop though, in this valley at least. I should have run out of supers by now but everywhere I look there are apiaries sharing the nectar.

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11 minutes ago, Apihappy said:

It's been the most extraordinary manuka flowering in the Waitakeres. and it looks to be followed by the Kanuka.

Is that extraordinary good or extraordinary bad.    Then you say you have not run out of supers, so I presume  extraordinary bad.

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I've never seen such a sea of white below the snow line. The hives in the manuka valley each have one 3/4 full of the hard to extract honey. So extraordinary for flowers but maybe not so much for nectar? 

 

The kanuka is a different prospect, I know this has a solid flow and is the mainstay.

 

btw. Saw a pohutukawa with bright green flowers at the flank of lion rock at Piha yesterday, it was being pollinated exclusively by native solitary bees, a wonderful sight.

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Storms over.... time to catch queens again

These little poly’s have been a real success story this year

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The nuc in Otira here has mated.What with who knows as no other beeks in the area yet.It will be interesting to see how it performs.Has not been treated for varroa.

and sun is shining

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On 4/12/2019 at 8:25 AM, yesbut said:

If it's L.ericoides what else is it ?

Manuka is Leptospermum scoparium. As is jelly bush in Oz. 

I think Kanuka is Kunzea ericioides from memory. 👨‍🏫

21 minutes ago, Ruche said:

Manuka is Leptospermum scoparium. As is jelly bush in Oz. 

I think Kanuka is Kunzea ericioides from memory. 👨‍🏫

Sorry @yesbut, I see you got corrected well and truly earlier on 😁

I'm slightly pedantic sorry. 😕

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We finally had a day when it was fine all day so I looked through the hives.

I found the queen in nasty hive , but the hive was very nice today .

I think it just gets grumpy with wind .WelcomeIMG_20191209_192812.thumb.jpg.cec3377a5d2cae3f02ef4388bfc3ef85.jpgShe looks a nice colour .

The top brood box was chocker with honey and the bottom box layed out so I put another box on and moved half the honey frames into it and gave her some empty drawn frames to lay in.

 

I looked in the hive that I had split the old queen off .

I had  left only  one half made cell in it  but the bees had made more and virgins were hatching as I looked.

I removed as many  extras as I could find and broke down more cells .

However I had only got 50 mtrs before I saw a swarm behind me , I must have missed one.

This hive had nearly completely capped a box of honey while it had no brood to look after .

It tastes like kamahi .

Considering our crap weather I was surprised how well they are doing .

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2 hours ago, kaihoka said:

We finally had a day when it was fine all day so I looked through the hives.

I found the queen in nasty hive , but the hive was very nice today .

I think it just gets grumpy with wind .WelcomeIMG_20191209_192812.thumb.jpg.cec3377a5d2cae3f02ef4388bfc3ef85.jpgShe looks a nice colour .

The top brood box was chocker with honey and the bottom box layed out so I put another box on and moved half the honey frames into it and gave her some empty drawn frames to lay in.

 

I looked in the hive that I had split the old queen off .

I had  left only  one half made cell in it  but the bees had made more and virgins were hatching as I looked.

I removed as many  extras as I could find and broke down more cells .

However I had only got 50 mtrs before I saw a swarm behind me , I must have missed one.

This hive had nearly completely capped a box of honey while it had no brood to look after .

It tastes like kamahi .

Considering our crap weather I was surprised how well they are doing .

That queen looks young to me. I wonder if they superseded the grumpy one .

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10 hours ago, Ruche said:

Manuka is Leptospermum scoparium. As is jelly bush in Oz. 

I think Kanuka is Kunzea ericioides from memory. 👨‍🏫

Sorry @yesbut, I see you got corrected well and truly earlier on 😁

I'm slightly pedantic sorry. 😕

 

Nothing wrong with being pedantic.

BTW, jellybush is Leptospermum polygalifolium :14_relaxed:. Despite having higher levels of DHA and MGO than our manuka, it does not pass the MPI standard

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8 minutes ago, nikki watts said:

That queen looks young to me. I wonder if they superseded the grumpy one .

She is young .

She is a supersedure this spring .

She had only just started to lay about a  6 weeks ago , her daughters may have a better temperament.

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Happens Kaihoka. If that hive was aggro it likely had a little AMM genetics. Which can be present even in a yellow hive. But all it takes is by luck the egg the supersedure was raised from to have been fertilised from a decent drone, and nothing nasty from the queen, and you got a nice hive.

 

Had an extreme example of this recently in a hobbyist friends hive, the hive was in about the top 2% for aggression, not pleasant to work, and the queen and the bees were pretty dark.

 

Then he calls me freaking cos he looked and there is no brood. So i take a look, the queen is there but he must have munched it, it's sting (now her ovipositor) is permanently poking sideways out the end of it's abdomen, she has been damaged and will never lay again. But then i see it, a beautiful golden queen, looks nothing like the mother, and with a mating plug. They must have raised a replacement. So took another look last week to see what's up, lovely yellow worker bees starting to hatch and looking like the hive will soon be a totally different hive. 

 

Can only assume that in the old queens genetic mix there was some nice yellow genetics, and at least one of the drones she mated with was the same. And it all came together in the particular egg that by good fortune, was used to raise the new queen. He is a new beekeeper so I'm very pleased cos working the aggro hive wasn't much fun for him.

 

 

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