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Trevor Gillbanks

Apiary Diary. February 2020

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Incredible.  One month has gone already.

Harvest month now for most of us.   I hope you all get a decent harvest and a good price for it.

 

Best wishes everyone.  Remember, AFB checks before harvest, then get your varroa treatments in.

 

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Man, you are on to it this morning Trevor! Did the grandkids make too much noise?

 

My best pasture apiary just hasn’t fired this year, which I’m rather disappointed about. I usually get a decent fast flow to make foundationless comb honey, but the bees stalled after only half filling the new comb. 
 

However, my new apiary, only five k’s away, has finally started firing with irriagated fields of clover popping up all around. 😀

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Seasons finished here, theres only a dribble of nectar coming in and robbing has started. 

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1 hour ago, nikki watts said:

Seasons finished here, theres only a dribble of nectar coming in and robbing has started. 

much the same. unless we get some decent rain (which do not see coming) its season over.

 

2 hours ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

Harvest month now for most of us. 

month i wish !

i've been extracting for months and probably only half way through.

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2 hours ago, tristan said:

month i wish !

i've been extracting for months and probably only half way through.

I am talking us little hobbyists only having a month of harvest.  Go for it you lovely commercials.

 

4 hours ago, CHCHPaul said:

Man, you are on to it this morning Trevor! Did the grandkids make too much noise?

 

Nah.  No Grandchildren around,  Just a lifetime of getting up early

 

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5 hours ago, CHCHPaul said:

Man, you are on to it this morning Trevor! Did the grandkids make too much noise?

 

 

 Maybe the challenge to to see who can get up earlier and beat him to it next month - for some it may be before they go to bed.

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7 hours ago, nikki watts said:

Seasons finished here, theres only a dribble of nectar coming in and robbing has started. 

I saw that you are officially in the north island drought zone .

Has that affected your crop .

We still have a flow on , its just the constant wind now thats the problem.

6 hours ago, tristan said:

much the same. unless we get some decent rain (which do not see coming) its season over.

 

month i wish !

i've been extracting for months and probably only half way through.

Are you mainly bush or pasture . ?

I think the bush lasts longer in the dry weather.

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2 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

Are you mainly bush or pasture . ?

I think the bush lasts longer in the dry weather.

bush finishes half way through, usually before it gets to hot. pasture is last half but its effected by heat.

 

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While it has been dry kanuka flowered really strongly this year and later than normal until about mid Jan (in our general area)

 

Meanwhile in the Waitakere Ranges flowering has been up to two months late and kanuka is still going.  All I can put this down to was a miserable August and September not triggering the plants/trees into action. 

 

It is very dry now, apart from out West the only nectar they will see now is out of the tank on the back of the ute.  

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Honey harvest is just a grind now.

its hard to get enthusiastic when you don’t know how your honey will test and whether you will be able to sell it.

We have gone from harvesting three times a season to just once it’s hard to get your head around the small numbers of a single harvest !

 

downsizing is actually very hard to get used too.

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11 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

Honey harvest is just a grind now.

its hard to get enthusiastic when you don’t know how your honey will test and whether you will be able to sell it.

We have gone from harvesting three times a season to just once it’s hard to get your head around the small numbers of a single harvest !

 

downsizing is actually very hard to get used too.

How did your three harvests work down there -timing and crops etc?

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35 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

downsizing is actually very hard to get used too

Knocking off three hours earlier should help.

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Downsizing is great.

The trucks are clean.

The shed is tidy.

The bees have been moved onto crop on time.

 

The only issue I have is twenty tonnes of honey for the year at $4/kg.

 

But like I said back in the spring.... this year we are working for nothing.

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1 hour ago, CraBee said:

How did your three harvests work down there -timing and crops etc?


early Kamahi pull in December.

kanuka/Manuka main crop in January then the final pull of leftovers in February/March which was the dregs of the Kanuka mixed with beech dew. 

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I have a little problem. I have four harvested hives. I am about to squash two Qs and combine to end up with two hives. Three Qs are nice yellow jobs, number four is a swarm Q I scored who is jet black and produces really attractive stripey/grey bees  which are a rarity around here.

There are no temperamental or production issues apparent. The problem is I can't decide....

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3 minutes ago, yesbut said:

I have a little problem. I have four harvested hives. I am about to squash two Qs and combine to end up with two hives. Three Qs are nice yellow jobs, number four is a swarm Q I scored who is jet black and produces really attractive stripey/grey bees  which are a rarity around here.

There are no temperamental or production issues apparent. The problem is I can't decide....

would it be easier if you gave two 3 frame Nucs to beekeeping club members at a nominal price of $40 each.

They could bring their own hiveware and give you 6 replacement frames of the type that describe.

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3 minutes ago, ChrisM said:

would it be easier if you gave two 3 frame Nucs to beekeeping club members at a nominal price of $40 each.

They could bring their own hiveware and give you 6 replacement frames of the type that describe.

No because I still have the problem of which Q...

Oh and I steer well clear of clubs and needy types...

Edited by yesbut
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Or cage the queen? If they are good layers I'll happily take one off your hands 😉

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11 minutes ago, BRB said:

Or cage the queen? If they are good layers I'll happily take one off your hands 😉

yes but which one ?

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If this is a happening thing, I recommend you request not being sent the black swarm queen!

14 minutes ago, BRB said:

Or cage the queen? If they are good layers I'll happily take one off your hands 😉

 

Mind you, anyone rearing queens near Yesbut would probably highly recommend that girl be offloaded to Canterbury!  

 

 

Holy Cow - it's 40 degrees outside!

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20 hours ago, kaihoka said:

I saw that you are officially in the north island drought zone .

Has that affected your crop .

We still have a flow on , its just the constant wind now thats the problem.

Are you mainly bush or pasture . ?

I think the bush lasts longer in the dry weather.

We only have bush. Any farmland here is pure kikuyu and no one really has gardens even in the ‘suburbs’ 

The Bush has been through drought before, a few trees die but the rest carry on. Most of our crop is on by Xmas so that hasn’t been affected but the hives usually restock for winter  from mid jan onwards. They will need more feeding than usual to get through. 

 

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1 hour ago, yesbut said:

yes but which one ?

A yellow one... 

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3 hours ago, nikki watts said:

We only have bush. Any farmland here is pure kikuyu and no one really has gardens even in the ‘suburbs’ 

The Bush has been through drought before, a few trees die but the rest carry on. Most of our crop is on by Xmas so that hasn’t been affected but the hives usually restock for winter  from mid jan onwards. They will need more feeding than usual to get through. 

 

Why dont people have gardens .

I am thinking you would have a great garden and could grow anything .

Nearly ended up moving there in the 70s.  I regreat not exploring that option further .

We ended up going back down to nelson .

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5 hours ago, yesbut said:

I have a little problem. I have four harvested hives. I am about to squash two Qs and combine to end up with two hives. Three Qs are nice yellow jobs, number four is a swarm Q I scored who is jet black and produces really attractive stripey/grey bees  which are a rarity around here.

There are no temperamental or production issues apparent. The problem is I can't decide....

 

@yesbut Perhaps you could put in a (second, perhaps) excluder placed between two sets of two brood boxes, with the Q in each. Then monitor their laying, and see which performs best.

 

But, that said, who knows whether your selected Q will continue to perform well, as well as how long she will live for?

 

I have no idea how Q's will perform when they live close to each other - perhaps put a honey box or two between the two sets of brood boxes? Perhaps someone might know.

 

Perhaps put your unselected Q in a nuc as a back up should the selected Q fail after a few weeks?

 

 

 

 

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Beautiful Red Sun tonight.
I presume it is the smoke haze from Australia that is causing it

 

 

20200202_191842.jpg

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