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Apiary diary April 2020

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18 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

Isnt tutin the sap that causes the problem .

So I was looking for signs of the sap .

You won't see tutu "dew " without the sucking hoppers....they're just like beech scale insect, they suck the tutu sap out of the plant and excrete dew with the nasty tutin in it.

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45 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

Isnt tutin the sap that causes the problem .

So I was looking for signs of the sap .

No,it is the sooty mould that grows on the plant similar to the mould on the black beech and the manuka and the vinehopper feeds off that. This is what I believe happens. I may be wrong who knows

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42 minutes ago, Bighands said:

No,it is the sooty mould that grows on the plant similar to the mould on the black beech and the manuka and the vinehopper feeds off that. This is what I believe happens. I may be wrong who knows

The juvenile leaf hopper (nymph stage) chews on the tutu plant feeding on the sap. It then excretes the sugary substance that then goes mouldy. Bees collect the excreta, tutai of the nymph.

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, Bighands said:

No,it is the sooty mould that grows on the plant similar to the mould on the black beech and the manuka and the vinehopper feeds off that. This is what I believe happens. I may be wrong who knows

so far as I know the @yesbut and @dansar are correct. It has to be said that every part of the bush is poisonous and a couple of mouthfuls will kill a 350kg cow regardless of latitude. Sheep apparently never make this accidental mistake. But the passion vinehopper only operates in the 'upper portion of SI and all NI sucking the sap just as it does on passion fruit vines and anything else it can get into. The poo's and wee's of the hopper are called dew and this builds up and does go mouldy. So the black stuff is surplus dew. Bees only collect vine hopper dew if there is no nectar around and this is happening in the dry areas where nectar producing plants are dehydrated and have nothing left to give. So, for the honey it takes a number of things to align before it can happen, (as we all know) but as I said, our club has been having some 5x composite fail tests among hobby bk's who don't sell. By eliminating the most risky sample and doing a retest we have been able to figure it out with all samples below 0.70 so far. But looks like a worse than normal year.

Edited by ChrisM
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I have never seen hoppers on the tutu  and have not seen the black mould .

I have seen it on other plants in my garden , along with the hoppers .

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Posted (edited)
On 1/04/2020 at 8:05 PM, jamesc said:

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Old mate from Kirwee Bees messaged me this evening. Asked if I'd been moving bees around the district as the bees had gone berserk and were robbing anything and every thing.

I assured him that I had spent the last two weeks working on my infrastructure project .... but at smoko this afternoon I received a call from a cow cocky saying he couldn't get into his pump house on account of the bees.

Could I come and sort it ?

Seeing as I hadn't been out of the yard for almost three weeks I took the opportunity and went for a look see.

I parked up on the road side and was immediately taken by the amount of bee activity on the road side ..... a bit like when you stop the truck for a cup of tea on the way home with a load of honey , and all the bees in the boxes mill around the truck and get left behind  .....

 

The bees were hitting the transformer by the pump shed which was just twenty metres into the paddock. Manically hitting it with no regard for life or limb.

 

I know the bees are on a major robbing spree at the moment.  We have two hundred up on the bush behind the the honey shed.  They are getting shifted out tomorrow.

Maybe the transformer has something sweet in it ...?

I've had 3 calls in the past two days about swarms of bees around people's houses. They're in the same area so I'm not sure if it's one swarm on the move or someones hives are in real trouble. 

Edited by Trevor Gillbanks

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If testing has shown anything it is that our old  understanding of when bees collect honeydew from tutu is wrong. Comparatively wet seasons can be very high and dry seasons can be low. This year in Hawke's Bay has been very dry but high results were not seen until very late in the season whereas last year was comparatively wet and results were high and early.

Passion vine hoppers live of sucking sap from plants. They have to suck a lot of sap to get the required amounts of minerals et cetera and this leads to a large surplus of water and sugar which is excreted as a honeydew.

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6 hours ago, nikki watts said:

I've had 3 calls in the past two days about swarms of bees around people's houses. They're in the same area so I'm not sure if it's one swarm on the move or someones hives are in real trouble. 

I got a call one time and a house near my site was getting swarmed but no robbing was going on they were in rob mode but getting nothing, just swarming the house, thousands were trapped inside the windows because the lady closed the house up to stop them coming in???

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39 minutes ago, john berry said:

If testing has shown anything it is that our old  understanding of when bees collect honeydew from tutu is wrong. Comparatively wet seasons can be very high and dry seasons can be low. This year in Hawke's Bay has been very dry but high results were not seen until very late in the season whereas last year was comparatively wet and results were high and early.

I'm sure you are right I don't have the experience to know. We didn't get much in testing last year in Tauranga, but over the hill in Rotorua plants are every where you turn, so local environment is a big deal. I think everyone agrees altitude and temperature are important factors too. A warm spring can start them off early and a warm wet spring is probably 'dynamite' if it dries out later in summer. I don't want to raise climate change, but if we have a few years of warm weather it may be necessary to review the Dec 31st cut off date and also the Tutin latitude line. 

 

At the moment my volunteer focus is on club 5x composite tests and it is very useful to hear about other people's tests to help us steer a course when a group of 5 samples give an unexpected fail.

 

We are continuing to map tutin tests, this is done anonymously and with markers moved to street intersections or nearby so that actual apiary sites are never marked. https://bopbee.weebly.com/tutin.html  So you can see real tests and you can read the test results. They are not all <0.01

23 minutes ago, Maru Hoani said:

I got a call one time and a house near my site was getting swarmed but no robbing was going on they were in rob mode but getting nothing, just swarming the house, thousands were trapped inside the windows because the lady closed the house up to stop them coming in???

maybe everyone at home is cooking jam, baking bread and driving hungry bees nuts?

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2 hours ago, Maru Hoani said:

I got a call one time and a house near my site was getting swarmed but no robbing was going on they were in rob mode but getting nothing, just swarming the house, thousands were trapped inside the windows because the lady closed the house up to stop them coming in???

There's some well meaning uninformed people. Last week a different two people commented on our local FB page about swarms of bees around their houses. 

When questioned one said she put out honey water for the first bees that turned up thinking they were hungry. 

She was surprised this lead to all the bees in her area turning up for a free feed. 😓😱

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Two interesting things working bees in the last couple of days. The first is that today there were a lot of hives that weren't laying. They were re-queened with two day cells over five weeks ago. A few were obviously queenless as I would have expected but a lot looked fine except for no brood. I have seen this before when you get no autumn stimulation because of drought (or cold) and I have found the easiest thing to do is just too assume all the good-looking hives have queens and give them a feed sugar (they were all a bit hungry anyway) and next time it will be obvious who does or doesn't have a queen. Hives that had a young Queen last time were also not laying. The other thing of note was wasps. A month ago there was no sign of them but they are definitely there now. Yesterday I found six nests in under five minutes. Poisoned them and put out some vespex . I know if I found six there will be a lot more. Turned up at a yard today and there were more wasp than bees. Couldn't find any nests so put out some poison which they were working before I left. Overall I don't think the wasps are too bad this year but in a few areas , man.

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2 minutes ago, john berry said:

Two interesting things working bees in the last couple of days. The first is that today there were a lot of hives that weren't laying. They were re-queened with two day cells over five weeks ago. A few were obviously queenless as I would have expected but a lot looked fine except for no brood. I have seen this before when you get no autumn stimulation because of drought (or cold) and I have found the easiest thing to do is just too assume all the good-looking hives have queens and give them a feed sugar (they were all a bit hungry anyway) and next time it will be obvious who does or doesn't have a queen. Hives that had a young Queen last time were also not laying. The other thing of note was wasps. A month ago there was no sign of them but they are definitely there now. Yesterday I found six nests in under five minutes. Poisoned them and put out some vespex . I know if I found six there will be a lot more. Turned up at a yard today and there were more wasp than bees. Couldn't find any nests so put out some poison which they were working before I left. Overall I don't think the wasps are too bad this year but in a few areas , man.

Noticed the same. Capped brood, reducing brood area, very few eggs. 

Lack of fresh pollen I think. Not sure if a feed gets her going. Average stored pollen. Will see if a lean summer is going to turn into what type of spring hive. 

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Ready for feeding, megabee hivealive patties, hive alive, blue feeders, emlocks and a new Dadant smoker

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Nice... the payments must be coming in.. the pics of new gear begins..👍

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One of pollen patties, my mentor makes them for his colonies for spring and later as feed during qrearing. Personally I think in spring we have abundance of pollen and therefore I don't make them. To not be mistaken, pollen is irradiated..

20200304_173807.jpg

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So, turns out my “balled queen” (video end of last month) is an erratic layer. I’m guessing she didn’t get properly mated before the attack even though she was accepted by the queenless colony I introduced her to. Her wings got a bit shredded in the fight too 😬 so no more mating flights for her. 

 

Speaking of wings... I have been going around checking the success of my last graft for the season. All queens had emerged except one. Whilst inspecting the failed cell (protected) I noticed that she was chewing her way out - very slowly and about three days late. Anyways, I midwived her along only to discover she had DWV! She was a really good size, well fed but I gave her the squish and tossed her in the bushes. Checked the hive and found it freshly Queenright, so that was a bonus. Checked a bunch of the other virgins and the all appear healthy (and fully winged). 
 

Hunger and wasps are what I’m dealing with this month...

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3 hours ago, CHCHPaul said:

Anyways, I midwived her along only to discover she had DWV! She was a really good size, well fed but I gave her the squish and tossed her in the bushes.

Most likely not deformed wing virus.  Shouldn't be grafting from a hive with DWV.  

 

More likely that queen cell has had a bump of some sort on Day 6 either in the apiary or if removed from the hive on Day 6 and the drive home in the caricell has been a bit bumpy.  I might only have one queen a year emerge without wings.  My understanding is that wing appendages develop Day 6.

 

  

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1 hour ago, Gino de Graaf said:

Hairy arse

DSC_0525_copy_1376x774.jpg

 

damn Kikuyu. 

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Saw the big stag today.... Boy had to climb a pine tree to get outa the way.... his reasoning was he got better 4g coverage to chat to his mates.

yeah right!

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Went out to work on some hives on a local farm, have left this a bit late this season and the bee's sure let me know of their displeasure of having their home's broken into, was a painful reminder to do this work a month or more earlier.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/04/2020 at 3:43 PM, tristan said:

 

damn Kikuyu. 

I use belt sanding paper on my pallets, it rips to shape then I staple, gotta clean underneath every so often though. And bonus it's free at your local ply mill

Edited by Maru Hoani

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Hey @Maru Hoani  where's a pic of yr new hiab truck ?

 

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not sure if it is mentioned elsewhere, but there is a beekeeping family on Country Calendar tonight at 7pm.

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4 hours ago, yesbut said:

Hey @Maru Hoani  where's a pic of yr new hiab truck ?

 

It's not a new truck, it's a third hand bee truck😆 been doing a bit of work on it, its saved my back hard, wasnt too keen to get in debt so I just got what I could afford

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