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Trevor Gillbanks

December 2019 Apiary Diary

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On 10/12/2019 at 9:52 PM, kaihoka said:

See if is sort of perfumed in taste , like pink smokers


 

C60E8ADF-4715-471A-B388-6AABB1931BC1.jpeg

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10 minutes ago, CHCHPaul said:


 

C60E8ADF-4715-471A-B388-6AABB1931BC1.jpeg

So you can still get them .

Did not think anyone would own up to remembering them and outing themselves as oldies .LOL

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Uummmm numnumnumnum

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Smokers used to be in small cellophane packets - about tuppence each, never seen a big on like that.

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Both kanuka and especially manuka can range from extra light amber to quite dark . I have seen uncapped kanuka with a bit of a green tinge  but the honey itself does not appear green to me. Kamahi at least tiny bit we get round here can be quite green and the only other honey I know that seems to be green is sorrel. Sorrel never seemed to be the bees first choice but if a frost took out the clover as it often does on the central plateau then the bees would work it quite freely.

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I think the clear greenish honey of mine might have been this .

Screenshot_2019-12-12-18-00-37.thumb.png.e3fe6af5844a485d7b1f3d35fed7a11c.png

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Watching Outback truckers taking hives on some awful track to collect leatherwood honey in Aussie. On Prime.

Edited by Oma

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2 hours ago, Oma said:

Watching Outback truckers taking hives on some awful track to collect leatherwood honey in Aussie. On Prime.

I wonder if that is  an historical series.

The leatherwood forests were badly damaged in the big southwest fires in tasmania last summer .

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8 hours ago, kaihoka said:

I wonder if that is  an historical series.

The leatherwood forests were badly damaged in the big southwest fires in tasmania last summer .

Yeah.  Rerun.  Several years old.

 

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794D92DF-EE24-48A3-BAED-E4D912979480.jpeg

We came accross this queen yesterday.  We don't mark queens with red ..... so where did she come from ?

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50 minutes ago, jamesc said:

794D92DF-EE24-48A3-BAED-E4D912979480.jpeg

We came accross this queen yesterday.  We don't mark queens with red ..... so where did she come from ?

 

Maybe she is a spy, put in their by Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats.

 

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3 minutes ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

 

Maybe she is a spy, put in their by Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats.

 

Or someone from british labour looking for new job for Jeremy .

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1 minute ago, kaihoka said:

Or someone from british labour looking for new job for Jeremy .

 

That is very clever.  Go BoJo.  Leave the EU before Christmas

 

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Nah ... probably Phil checking out the Apitraz.

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4 hours ago, jamesc said:

 

We came accross this queen yesterday.  We don't mark queens with red ..... so where did she come from ?

Maybe just maybe a few of them deadouts were repopulated with ya neighbours swarms.. we had a doozy at work last year into a row of pallets ofboxes... was 4 boxes of brood deep once discovered.

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Having being gallivanting around Australia for 8 days , my hives have not seen me for 2 to 3 weeks .

 

Down on the peat , performance is poor . There’s no activity above the queen excluders . Before I had 80 permanent hives for a neighbour , I used to be able to put spring mated nucs there and have the hives as tall as myself by mid Feb . I’m going to bring them home and forget about those two apiaries . I only have 6 hives between the two of them now anyway . 
 

At home , different story . Most hives have drawn , filled and capped most of their 2 x 3/4 honey boxes . There is lots of burr comb filled with honey between boxes , which got scraped into top feeders , plus a bit on a plate for a taste of the new seasons harvest ( which is the same as always ). 

My crimson clover is growing , not very well , after quite a few months of sub average rainfall . 
 

Brisbane duty free has NZ Manuka honey and Australian Manuka honey with varying UMF and MGO numbers , which I’ve never got a handle on , so I don’t know how the public copes . The kiwi product was around $1000 per kg while the Aussie was $160. The numbers made no sense to me and didn’t seem to accurately reflect the value . As a consumer with limited funds , I possibly wouldn’t go for the dear one .

 

Tasmanian honey was packed in Golden Syrup type tin containers which looked appealing to the ‘plastic allergic ‘ side of my personality .

 

My hives will get no more supers put on because I am undecided if I will extract or not , and if I do , that will be enough for my small market .

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5 hours ago, M4tt said:

Having being gallivanting around Australia for 8 days , my hives have not seen me for 2 to 3 weeks .

 

Down on the peat , performance is poor . There’s no activity above the queen excluders . Before I had 80 permanent hives for a neighbour , I used to be able to put spring mated nucs there and have the hives as tall as myself by mid Feb . I’m going to bring them home and forget about those two apiaries . I only have 6 hives between the two of them now anyway . 
 

At home , different story . Most hives have drawn , filled and capped most of their 2 x 3/4 honey boxes . There is lots of burr comb filled with honey between boxes , which got scraped into top feeders , plus a bit on a plate for a taste of the new seasons harvest ( which is the same as always ). 

My crimson clover is growing , not very well , after quite a few months of sub average rainfall . 
 

Brisbane duty free has NZ Manuka honey and Australian Manuka honey with varying UMF and MGO numbers , which I’ve never got a handle on , so I don’t know how the public copes . The kiwi product was around $1000 per kg while the Aussie was $160. The numbers made no sense to me and didn’t seem to accurately reflect the value . As a consumer with limited funds , I possibly wouldn’t go for the dear one .

 

Tasmanian honey was packed in Golden Syrup type tin containers which looked appealing to the ‘plastic allergic ‘ side of my personality .

 

My hives will get no more supers put on because I am undecided if I will extract or not , and if I do , that will be enough for my small market .

For the first time in 10 years of beekeeping I am running hives as double FD brood. I’ve got another 24 supers to go on hives next week, after that it will be a couple of weeks before I see the girls again.

Youre right though it is drying out pretty quickly even for the green Waikato.

B1F69D8D-9E2E-415C-9DDC-DFF92A8434EF.thumb.png.6ec3447e04d3c8a40a8500d82aac2cab.png

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53 minutes ago, dansar said:

For the first time in 10 years of beekeeping I am running hives as double FD brood. I’ve got another 24 supers to go on hives next week, after that it will be a couple of weeks before I see the girls again.

Youre right though it is drying out pretty quickly even for the green Waikato.

B1F69D8D-9E2E-415C-9DDC-DFF92A8434EF.thumb.png.6ec3447e04d3c8a40a8500d82aac2cab.png

Doubles are ideal if you want to limit the Honey crop but they are twice the work to check and treat.

Ill be going to doubles as well from now on.

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JamesC,  A couple of questions and some thoughts about your unexpected marked queen.

 

Was the hive always occupied by a colony, or is it possible your colony absconded or died out between the time you last looked, and when you discovered that marked queen?

 

If the hive was empty or nearly empty, it's possible a swarm just moved into it.  The marked queen would be the mother queen of the colony that produced the swarm, obviously. i.e. a primary swarm.  They're glad to move into digs that smell good. I had three colonies move into vacant equipment in our back yard just last year. One built up beautifully, and gifted us some honey. One of them eventually died out.  (it's "winter" in the bay area right now)

 

If the colony wasn't particularly strong, and that marked queen and a "swarm" of bees absconded from someone else's yard,  perhaps the swarm engineered a Usirpation of your colony.
The Africanized bees in southern California are reported pulling off this usurpation stunt with annoying frequency. 
It goes like this: A small swarm clumps on the side of the target hive;

some of the workers move into the target hive, and kill off the queen inside of it;

then the swarm on the side moves their interloper queen in under the protection of her loyal workers until the colony gets used to her.

 

So which scenario do you think it could have been?

 

A couple of summers ago I spotted a small swarm on the side of a hive, so I tried to move them into some empty equipment.
I think they absconded again rather than getting established. I didn't have time to check for a queen in the hive where I first saw that swarm.

If I see something like that again, I'll treat it like a split opportunity -- I'll create a nuc for the swarm, and give them some brood and food.


We learn from our mistakes if we can figure out what our mistakes are.

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9 hours ago, Philbee said:

Doubles are ideal if you want to limit the Honey crop but they are twice the work to check and treat.

Ill be going to doubles as well from now on.

Pretty broad statement.  I have done extensive trials with both and always produced more honey with a double brood box. I also find them a lot less work except for the varoa treatment and I can live with that.

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Well I’ve taken off some honey from a few sites for friends and family , and as usual some hives have foraged completely different nectar sources from the same site . At one site the bees have access to two dairy farms , so can either be nice Manuka , clover and blackberry , or a mix of the above . This year it’s still Manuka like in taste , but a lot paler in colour . Super tasty though so passes the most important test in my view . My next site has a big block of Manuka and this year it was as white as snow , so I thought it would yield the mother load , but again 

quite pale and with hundreds of ha of carrot weed nearby , they are starting to pull that in unfortunately. The strong hives have capped a full depth and well into their second , so they are going well .

 Rainfall has been hit and miss here . Had 50mm at home last weekend , while my mate 10 km down the road had nothing . Was down at @M4tt neck of the woods at the time and a huge thunderstorm tracked through just to the east . Looks like more rain coming this week so good for those that need it . 

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On 14/12/2019 at 6:49 AM, jamesc said:

794D92DF-EE24-48A3-BAED-E4D912979480.jpeg

We came accross this queen yesterday.  We don't mark queens with red ..... so where did she come from ?


I paint my swarm and SS queens fluro pink so I can identify them later (anything I didn’t graft). The paint doesn’t last very long and often ends up looking like that. It’s unlikely, but not impossible, that any of them reswarmed... but... are the bees pictured between lincoln and Prebleton?

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4 hours ago, john berry said:

Pretty broad statement.  I have done extensive trials with both and always produced more honey with a double brood box. I also find them a lot less work except for the varoa treatment and I can live with that.

i think it depends a lot on your local conditions. doubles can run more brood but can get over populated and swarm before main flow starts. doubles tend to pack honey into the brood boxes when flow is patchy which is fairly typical. in a poor year all your crop is in the brood boxes (especially when you can only get one box in the flow). doubles take a lot more to go brood check however they can be less swarmy and can suitcase check.

fairly common practise to run doubles to build up bee numbers then drop the excluder down and convert them to single broods for the crop. thats a fair bit of work and not always successful which means wasting huge amounts of time fixing it and often annoying the hell out of the extraction guy.

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Back when i started, all beekeeping was done with 2 box brood nests. It suits the bees natural urges, and we can tell that by the way that in one box brood nests, the bees keep a clear queen laying space, in a circular shape, bottom middle of the second box. Clearly they see that as what should be used for brood raising, just, we are preventing them with a queen excluder.

 

The so called jumbo box was designed to give the bees what they see as the correct sized brood nest, but in one box.

 

A few things happened all about the same time that brought about the popularity of single box brood nests. They were varroa mites, the cost of treatment can be halved if you only have to treat one box. The high price of honey, a single brood box allows all honey to be harvested instead of leaving 1/2 or more of a box on as was done with double brood boxes. ( Removed honey has to be replaced with sugar of course, but that was an economic no brainer when honey prices were high). Increased migratory beekeeping, easier with one brood box. 

 

Me, I was a 2 brood box advocate until i did a season working for a 1 brood box beekeeper, I did see the advantages, so now i have joined the dark side.

 

Interesting though how now with lower honey prices, we are seeing the return of 2 box brood nests. I think though that other than breeders (of which there will currently be very few), most commercials are sticking with single brood boxes.

 

 

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