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November 2020 Apiary Diary


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We enjoy your posts in the monthly diary and its great to see the conversation free flowing. Please use this topic to tell us what you are doing in your hives, if it sparks a discussion, we may move it to its own topic for clearer visibility and to generate interest. Creating new topics is a positive feature of the forum, so please don't be offended.

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A bit of pirate beekeeping over the weekend and we’re just about finished the first round of supering up, thats quite early for us.    

But anyway... while the team was doing yhe hard yards... I was out galivanting around... checking access and gates. This one iss a classic.

Interesting thing happened yesterday, one of those things that are sometimes classed as a mystery.   Three weeks ago at a site I split 4 very strong hives in fear they would swarm. Did it by

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On 11/11/2020 at 12:39 AM, Goran said:

If forage potential 1000kg/ha ( black locust at my place) it means overall qty of possibly brought honey is up to 1000kg - total. So if You have 100 hives at one ha of forage, they will bring 10kg each from one ha ( hectare) - roughly said. 

We work on 2.2 hectares of manuka per hive to get production of one 3/4 depth box of honey

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13 hours ago, nikki watts said:

A bit of pirate beekeeping over the weekend and we’re just about finished the first round of supering up, thats quite early for us.  

Great photos Nikki; particularly if you have a business website.  Totally different from other beekeeper website scenic shots

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3 hours ago, nikki watts said:

we definitely need to get a website. i’m useless at such things. will have to ask one of the kids .

No Covid Business Advisory Funding from your district council for such things?  

 

Beautiful weather here in Ellesmere today.  Spent the afternoon undertaking COI's.  Saw some really nice stock.  

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19 hours ago, jamesc said:

Big day in the shed.... all hands on getting the recycled frames re waxed and ready to go out again.

Don’t ya just love recycling.

04DB7AD5-45D5-46E8-9ECD-D1B1AACE47A4.jpeg

Hey bro,how much wood do you run in your hives? I thought you would be completely,or close to,all plastic with an operation of your size.

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1 hour ago, Phil46 said:

Hey bro,how much wood do you run in your hives? I thought you would be completely,or close to,all plastic with an operation of your size.

Aah  Bro ... I hate plastic with a passion.

Imagine.... we pulled nearly five hundred honey boxes out of the system during the winter as part of a clean up from anAFB outbreak with a neighbour two years ago.

we were’nt too sure of the status of the boxes .... so we washed all the wax out of the frames and then put them through the parrafin wax bath.

The frames came out with wires intact ready for new foundation.

It’s been labour intensive.... which is acceptable in the present environment.

Imagine what we would have to do with all the plastic.

Plastic is for the lazy and those focused on Return on Investment.

I’ll leave at that.

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1 hour ago, jamesc said:

Plastic is for the lazy

 

That would be me LOL.

 

Didn't like plastic at first but... Don't miss standing at a bench for weeks on end in winter, freezing cold and mindlessly nailing and wiring frames. All of a sudden I got all this spare time, looking for new ways to enjoy ?

 

If wax moths go rampant in your stored boxes no worries. Just chuck away the web and cocoons, plop the frames back in a hive and the bees build them right back up.

 

Never thought I would approve of plastic frames but they kind of grew on me. Heckuva mess to burn though, be great once the new non plastic version is finally released by Ecrotek.

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11 hours ago, Alastair said:

Interesting thing happened yesterday, one of those things that are sometimes classed as a mystery.

 

Three weeks ago at a site I split 4 very strong hives in fear they would swarm. Did it by finding the queen and moving her with about 1/2 the hive to the new hive, and giving the parent hive a queen cell.

 

Went back yesterday and decided to take a peek in the hives that got a cell. each of them had mature brood, plus other brood in all stages. There had been a laying queen there the whole time. Oh, I thought I must have messed up and somehow got the queen in the wrong split, so checked the other hives, but they all had brood in all stages also and laying queens.

 

So, head scratch :42_confused:. All I can think is that every hive I split must have had 2 queens, and when I found the first queen and transferred it to the split, by some amazing coincidence, in each case the other queen got left in the other half. 

 

In any case, it worked, the 4 hives are now 8 nice hives, all doing well.

We have found quite a few hives with 2 queens this spring which kinda makes you wonder how many we haven't found.

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13 hours ago, Alastair said:

Interesting thing happened yesterday, one of those things that are sometimes classed as a mystery.

 

Three weeks ago at a site I split 4 very strong hives in fear they would swarm. Did it by finding the queen and moving her with about 1/2 the hive to the new hive, and giving the parent hive a queen cell.

 

Went back yesterday and decided to take a peek in the hives that got a cell. each of them had mature brood, plus other brood in all stages. There had been a laying queen there the whole time. Oh, I thought I must have messed up and somehow got the queen in the wrong split, so checked the other hives, but they all had brood in all stages also and laying queens.

 

So, head scratch :42_confused:. All I can think is that every hive I split must have had 2 queens, and when I found the first queen and transferred it to the split, by some amazing coincidence, in each case the other queen got left in the other half. 

 

In any case, it worked, the 4 hives are now 8 nice hives, all doing well.

 

And think about those hives that you did not split. ?

 

I am still equalizing the hives and I had a sign on a weak hive. Last weekend when I checked it I found a darkish small queen in the bottom box. She is mated. There were tones of fresh brood so I thought this hive changed gear and is on the right track. When I checked the top brood box it popped into my eyes a big yellow queen working hard as the dark one.

A couple of minutes later I made a plan and I looked for the queens but they were hiding very well. I decided to add a QE and a super and leave it for now. They still have room to lay eggs.

It is interesting that I am not the only one with this situation.

- I used only DIY staples this spring and I still replace the demolished ones

- I have all floors full and plenty of staple fluff there - so the bees have no other chance than walking through it and I am convinced that the OA is spreading very well.

Can the ongoing amount of OA diminish the queen pheromone?

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8 hours ago, tommy dave said:

i won't edit your post and add an fyp (fixed your post). But is there also an element of "plastic is for mono-manuka"?

For sure ..... perfect for Manuka and wax moth ..... I got a pallet of plastic frames which I'm wondering what to do with .

And of course NZ Beeswax do a great job at supplying ready to go wood'n'wax frames. We don't even contemplate building and wiring our own frames anymore.

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On 20/11/2020 at 8:55 AM, Alastair said:

Interesting thing happened yesterday, one of those things that are sometimes classed as a mystery.

 

Three weeks ago at a site I split 4 very strong hives in fear they would swarm. Did it by finding the queen and moving her with about 1/2 the hive to the new hive, and giving the parent hive a queen cell.

 

Went back yesterday and decided to take a peek in the hives that got a cell. each of them had mature brood, plus other brood in all stages. There had been a laying queen there the whole time. Oh, I thought I must have messed up and somehow got the queen in the wrong split, so checked the other hives, but they all had brood in all stages also and laying queens.

 

So, head scratch :42_confused:. All I can think is that every hive I split must have had 2 queens, and when I found the first queen and transferred it to the split, by some amazing coincidence, in each case the other queen got left in the other half. 

 

In any case, it worked, the 4 hives are now 8 nice hives, all doing well.


another possibly more likely scenario is your queens from the cells mated quickly and the sealed brood you saw was actually from the previous queen and the eggs and larvae from your newly mated queen.

 

If the weather is ideal 3 weeks is heaps of time for a queen to mate and start laying and even have sealed brood.

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43 minutes ago, Alastair said:

Not impossible Frazz good thought. But it did look like there was brood in all stages. White eyed pupae, pink eyed pupae, and all the others. I did check all that out because I was curious.


I guess Im just thinking about our queen rearing operation and we will cage on sealed brood at 21 days easy.

by 24 days we can have brood emerging so the queens have obviously gone out on mating flights inside a week of emergence. 
 

Thinking also if it’s two queens in a hive that were split off separately then it’s generally a mother daughter situation which you would pick up on by the different look of the old and the young :) 

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Yes, of the queens I saw one was very old indeed, highly likely that one had another queen in the hive at the time of split. I saw her again when doing the 3 week check and was hoping she will be very soon superseded again, still seems to be able to lay OK though. Of the others when I made the splits, two of them were second season queens but still looking good, and one very nice new queen, a beautiful golden girl even you would have been proud of, but I did not breed it myself it must have been a spring supersedure. 

However on the last look I did not hunt out the rest of the queens I just looked at the brood.

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