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tommy dave

Apiary diary April 2020

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On 10/04/2020 at 11:06 AM, Alastair said:

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.

 

 

 

On 10/04/2020 at 9:02 AM, Maggie James said:

 

 

 

 

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

I have noticed a lot of these European Wool Carder Bees here in the north Waikato this year. The males (quite a bit larger than the females) can be very aggressive towards other insects and they have no respect for size or who was there first. I have seen them bombing bumblebees and white butterflies on the Hysop plant in my garden. They also like to build their small nests around the window frames on the north side of the house.

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Welcome to the forum  @Bikernz  Are you a treadler or a petrol head ?

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Just now, yesbut said:

Welcome to the forum  @Bikernz  Are you a treadler or a petrol head ?

 

Thank you. I am a lapsed treadler! Got a shed with bicycles gathering dust and a head full of dreams about using them again one day.

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Most of my sites have stock but if I get really annoyed by long grass in the entrance I will very occasionally get out the grubber and clear it that way. I am not convinced that grass in the entrance does any great harm and have had plenty of hives do really well with grass two feet high all round them. You do seem to get more ants with long grass. My preference is for short grass mainly because of the fire risk but I don't lose any sleep over long grass, I think it helps to keep the wasps and the robbers away as well. Having said all that Hawke's Bay always tends to be a bit on the dry side so possibly in wet areas is more of a problem.

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Posted (edited)

Long grass around the hives? Not for me. Harder for the bees and harder for the beekeeper. I like my sites like this -

 

 

McGregors.JPG

Edited by Alastair
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In this neck of the woods, definitely don't like long grass around the hives - leads to dampness, and later on in the season lack of ventilation and impedes gathering abilities.  As a fire risk I get paranoid about long grass. 

 

But then again, different strokes for different folks in different climes.   

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Thanks for agreeing with me on something Maggie.

 

One of the things that erks me about long grass around hives is when I have to find the queen then keep her seperated, for example while making nucs, or similar. But you can't lean the frame she is on against the outside of the hive without it touching long grass, and the queen can wander off into it.

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Shifted two 24 sites last night, took 4 hours😆

Had a helper though, told him you don't need gloves, I wasnt wearing my veil and got half a dozen stings at the end,,, lucky I'm hard🤣 

 

Very thankful for a helper specially with the 20 gates, would of been a buzz for him, he had a mitten hand at the end and got one under the chin🤣 told him nah you probly won't even get stung nek minit I see him running covered in crawlers then gloves on🤣🤣🤣

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I will think carefully if you ever offer me a job Maru. 😄

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Alastair said:

I will think carefully if you ever offer me a job Maru. 😄

I certainly won't think about it.

I will run like heck.

Edited by Trevor Gillbanks
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1 hour ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

I certainly won't think about it.

I will run like heck.

I always tell the new guy you don't need gloves it's a good laugh seeing someone cowering, even the biggest strongest guys run flailing 😂😂😂

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Just now, Maru Hoani said:

I always tell the new guy you don't need gloves it's a good laugh seeing someone cowering, even the biggest strongest guys run flailing 😂😂😂

 

Obviously you are just a mean sod with a sick sense of humour.

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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 ...?

 

Just saw this and went back through my diary.....guess what?

Bees behaving weirdly for two days, starting the same day.

 

They started flying in my porch quite loudly early afternoon, back and forth along the walls. Those that did go inside went straight to the windows to get out again. 

By 2.30 they were doing the same thing along the south side of the house- same side the porch opens out to, and also flying following the eaves of the gables.

3pm There were even more and now in the courtyard randomly, loudly, flying around as well as across that side of the house.

3.30, now in the parking area- bees everywhere.

I checked my hives and didnt see anything different but closed them down just in case.

 

Next day, they were back by mid morning and didnt leave til late afternoon.

Next day- none, back to normal.

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5g ...?

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40 minutes ago, jamesc said:

5g ...?

No, full moon!!!

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I havent been able to check out whats happening with the magnetosphere for a while and wondered if it had taken a huge hit from the sun....or something.

Someone suggested that maybe a late swarm had lost its queen....not likely. Not either of mine anyway.

They seemed agitated but not aggressive,(just loud) although my dog didnt think so and spent most of his time outside hiding under my sage bush.

 

We've had plenty of full moons.....

 

I wondered if their ability to navigate had been disrupted and that they had latched onto a very visiable local landmark, but that doesnt explain why they all disappearred when the sun went down. If that was the case, I should have found clusters all over the place early the next morning.

 

I did wonder about 5G, but havent dared go for a walk just to see if anything odd has appeared in the neighbourhood....and that doesnt explain how others noticed bees being weird in the South Island on the same day.

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19 hours ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

 

Obviously you are just a mean sod with a sick sense of humour.

It's not mean, gotta see if they can handle the jandal, atleast I had some his size in the cab for afterwards😆.

I believe some people are naturally good at doing things, some can just straight into honey off while others can study full time for a year and still be useless, I was told from Malcolm Haines who started the first commercial beekeeping outfit in Kaitaia 30+ years ago that if you don't like being stung your in the wrong industry and that's why I can just keep on going even after 100 stings, although you end up in slow mode afterwards🤣🤣🤣 

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55 minutes ago, Maru Hoani said:

I can just keep on going even after 100 stings, although you end up in slow mode afterwards

Maru - Do you get 100 stings in a day?!

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Well Malcolm must like pain. I don't like being stung, sometimes it's just a bother, then others hurt like heck. Either way, not enjoyable. I don't employ, but anyone helping gets the kit. 

 

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I don't like to get sting, it distracts me from work I need to do. I suit up and don't stop nor hesitate until I am done. From time to time occur some really nasty colonies - and I don't pull back even the veil is covered with bees. When I am light wearing I concentrate more on estimating where and when it will sting not on work. I am such, good or bad but that is my mindset.. Of course I don't like stings as stings  - I am not masochist, especially when I read the venom affect on calcium content in human body ( decreasing).

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13 hours ago, mischief said:

I havent been able to check out whats happening with the magnetosphere for a while and wondered if it had taken a huge hit from the sun....or something.

Someone suggested that maybe a late swarm had lost its queen....not likely. Not either of mine anyway.

They seemed agitated but not aggressive,(just loud) although my dog didnt think so and spent most of his time outside hiding under my sage bush.

 

We've had plenty of full moons.....

 

I wondered if their ability to navigate had been disrupted and that they had latched onto a very visiable local landmark, but that doesnt explain why they all disappearred when the sun went down. If that was the case, I should have found clusters all over the place early the next morning.

 

I did wonder about 5G, but havent dared go for a walk just to see if anything odd has appeared in the neighbourhood....and that doesnt explain how others noticed bees being weird in the South Island on the same day.

And great barrier island 

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My guess is all those bees around the transformer were caused by hives robbing other hives. Bees work by scent but also sight and when they are robbing badly anything even vaguely shaped like a beehive including a house will attract bees from kilometres around.

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2 hours ago, john berry said:

My guess is all those bees around the transformer were caused by hives robbing other hives. Bees work by scent but also sight and when they are robbing badly anything even vaguely shaped like a beehive including a house will attract bees from kilometres around.

In autumn, at a couple of sites, I always know when someone has been in the area with a bee blower.  At another if someone has parked a honey truck and not cleaned the deck.  From thereon in, robbing is an issue until we get rain or the season ends.  

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The robbing curve has levelled out here ..... couple of nice days, dew on the trees, the shed door is open and not a bee in sight . They must be busy  doing what they should be doing ..... making honey.

I had a look back through my hive book this morning as I was  wondering about how the Varroa control was going ..... first strips went in on 17/2/20  ./.... so that's eight weeks. Got another two weeks to run ...... although I do remember a few years ago Peter  at NZ Beeswax telling me they were actually  good for 13 weeks .  

 

Anyway .....  bin sat on the hill today watching the fallow croaking away.   We have four Stags with  some nice spade heads on them . The deer are totally worthless... apart from the fact that they lift the soul when watched , so I guess they are priceless, right. One is jet black and appears to be an A hole .

Tomorrow we are moving heifers off the hill, which is not ideal in the 'Croak' ..... so I guess side arms will be carried.

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12 hours ago, Maggie James said:

Maru - Do you get 100 stings in a day?!

Nah, have a half dozen times though, once near a quarry, once when shifting and truck got stuck and hives fell off😢, forgot smoker, and once when I had a hole during honey off...

11 hours ago, Gino de Graaf said:

Well Malcolm must like pain. I don't like being stung, sometimes it's just a bother, then others hurt like heck. Either way, not enjoyable. I don't employ, but anyone helping gets the kit. 

 

It's a part of it when working mega commercial 3000+ hives with sites of 33-36 to honey off with full depth boxes especially in robbing season, minimum 3L of water for drinking too it's that intense and can go on for six months

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