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Apiary diary April 2020


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And as I was cruising around the juice ran......   Anzac dawn Blood red sky Stand to yer post As a nation mourns   Anzac morning Nor'west breeze rustles an autu

Found this critter. Isn't it cool.

Over here in these two days I went through hives of 2nd apiary. The reason is strong unpleasant wind. This apiary is in sheltered spot so I was able to dig into hives.  All previous bad weather i

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South African I'm afraid, we occasionaly come across NZ mantis but not as often as I would like, having said that the victim isn't actually a wasp but a mimic.

The mantis didn't even wait for it to land but took it right out of the air, unbelievably fast.

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On 7/04/2020 at 12:30 PM, yesbut said:

In the old days when shade/shelter belts were in, cockies didn't mind soaking every animal in sight with various toxic brews. Now they have to keep chemical use to a minimum they can't allow gathering points for ticks, mites, worms etc so the shade trees have to go. That's apart from centre pivot needs and dairy farmers hatred of anything with a trunk. We're all on a hiding to nothing.

My grandfather was a farmer and he used to cut all the trees down so the cows weren't resting but insteaf out eating he used to say, poor cows.

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9 hours ago, DuncanCook said:

we occasionaly come across NZ mantis but not as often as I would like

Stunned a few months ago when a monster mantis landed on me.  My thoughts were I prob hadn't seen many since the 1960s.  I can even remember the praying mantis being a lesson at school for young kids on how the mantins ate flies.  So kids would get used to insects, often a young toddler would have one in a jar, and everyone catch flies to feed it.  Yes, this is how parents entertained their kids prior to TVs, tablets, etc etc.

 

After seeing the whooper in the garden, I have seen a few babies.  I have taken to hosing the roses down with water at night, and trialing organic sprays (not pyrethrum) on the roses.  We get a huge amount of ladybirds here (the good old fashioned varieties).  

 

Another thing I hadn't seen much for decades were nursery spiders. Another insect primary school teachers would pick on for lesson.   Out biking this season, I have seen quite a lot of their nurseries.    

10 hours ago, DuncanCook said:

the victim isn't actually a wasp but a mimic

What type of mimic?

 

Great photography.  What did you take that on?

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57 minutes ago, Maggie James said:

Stunned a few months ago when a monster mantis landed on me.  My thoughts were I prob hadn't seen many since the 1960s.  I can even remember the praying mantis being a lesson at school for young kids on how the mantins ate flies.  So kids would get used to insects, often a young toddler would have one in a jar, and everyone catch flies to feed it.  Yes, this is how parents entertained their kids prior to TVs, tablets, etc etc.

 

After seeing the whooper in the garden, I have seen a few babies.  I have taken to hosing the roses down with water at night, and trialing organic sprays (not pyrethrum) on the roses.  We get a huge amount of ladybirds here (the good old fashioned varieties).  

 

Another thing I hadn't seen much for decades were nursery spiders. Another insect primary school teachers would pick on for lesson.   Out biking this season, I have seen quite a lot of their nurseries.    

What type of mimic?

 

Great photography.  What did you take that on?

 

That poor insect being eaten is a Wool Carder bee.  Very pretty, but quite aggressive to other insects.

 

10 hours ago, DuncanCook said:

South African I'm afraid, we occasionaly come across NZ mantis but not as often as I would like, having said that the victim isn't actually a wasp but a mimic.

The mantis didn't even wait for it to land but took it right out of the air, unbelievably fast.

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22 minutes ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

 

That poor insect being eaten is a Wool Carder bee.  Very pretty, but quite aggressive to other insects.

 

 

 

11 hours ago, DuncanCook said:

South African I'm afraid,

 

Carder bees seem to be of European origin.  MPI thinks they are unlikely to have a noticeable effect on NZ's api industry, and they don't appear to annoy our native bees.  The only bit I could see about being aggression to other insects, was male carders v male carders.  They are called wool carders, cos the strip the hairs of plants to build their nests e.g. off thistles and lamb ear plants.  Check this link http://www.terrain.net.nz/friends-of-te-henui-group/bees-and-wasps/bee-wool-carder-bee-anthidium-manicatum.html

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2 hours ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

Great photography.  What did you take that on?

Panasonic Lumix-TZ 260,  I am a bit old fashioned and my phone (very old) is just that

Camera is great for distance shots with 30 times optical zoom but I haven't really got the hang of macro photography yet

wish I could get a paper instrction manual for it

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Male wool carders are aggressive to any other pollinator. Except female wool carders. I saw one have a crack at a blowfly also.

 

Trevor looking at that pic I'm not convinced it is a wool carder. Also I'm not sure if a mantis could eat a wool carder, they have a very hard shell.

 

 

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I have had a look online and I doubt it was a wool carder, I think more probably a variety of hover fly as the black bands go right across the body unlike the carder.

There are a few around at the moment so  I took a pic of one that landed in my wine glass, a better death than the first that was being eaten from the rear whilst still struggling at the front.

 

 

P1020142.jpg.0342cbe638d72b46baea076773054314.jpg

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If that praying mantis is killing/eating a wasp, then we better start breeding mantis'  Mantis' also like house & blowflies.  

Crikey, this may change my opinion.  They also eat lizards, small birds & fish, and mantis' smaller than themselves.  

Therefore, if they can munch their way through this diet, they can prob go a wool carder 

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Whatever it is, there's a few of them around right now, and that's what I was thinking the mantis had.

 

1 hour ago, Maggie James said:

If that praying mantis is killing/eating a wasp, then we better start breeding mantis'  Mantis' also like house & blowflies.  

Crikey, this may change my opinion.  They also eat lizards, small birds & fish, and mantis' smaller than themselves.  

 

And honeybees. 

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59 minutes ago, DuncanCook said:

Nah!   we have a lot of paper wasps around here and that aint one,  too small and doesn't have the very long back legs

It's a Paper Wasp. There are about three species... I've got millions of this one.

 

Wasps.jpg

Edited by yesbut
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Opened and closed 29 gates today? on the solo and put winter entrances on 123 hives updated 3 boxs, 3 bottoms, 2 hive mats, used 2 rounds of thick weedeater string and a 15L knap sack.

Done a alc wash today and 58 mites from 350 bees, had to cancel my order of apitraz as its postponed until later on this month and go back to apivar, ordered on the 10th of march usually all in by now, gonna be a flat out next 2 weeks for me before it gets too wet and I gotta tow the side by side around.

Edited by Maru Hoani
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9 minutes ago, Maru Hoani said:

Opened and closed 29 gates today? on the solo and put winter entrances on 123 hives updated 3 boxs, 3 bottoms, 2 hive mats, used 2 rounds of thick weedeater string and a 15L knap sack.

Done a alc wash today and 58 mites from 350 bees, had to cancel my order of apitraz as its postponed until later on this month and go back to apivar, ordered on the 10th of march usually all in by now, gonna be a flat out next 2 weeks for me before it gets too wet and I gotta tow the side by side around.

That's the issue with Gates, solo sucks.

I minimise gates, which means many hives visible but never stolen. Especially dairy races near cowsheds. Yuck. 

That's a high wash count. Just an outlier? Not typical. 

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I often wonder about weedeater  line.  I wouldn't use a line trimmer. There's a looming issue with micro plastic particles in the environment/sea and guess what nylon trimmer line turns into as it grinds away... better to use a steel blade.

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11 hours ago, yesbut said:

I often wonder about weedeater  line.  I wouldn't use a line trimmer. There's a looming issue with micro plastic particles in the environment/sea and guess what nylon trimmer line turns into as it grinds away... better to use a steel blade.

I got a tri blate but it is dangerous, ended up in a hive after bouncing off a pampus on the 560 lol, lucky my helper was standing away.

I only weedeat on my second to last round then I spray once the grass starts to grow that way the sprays nowhere near the hives it's down away by the pallet.

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