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Alastair

Bad start to the season anyone?

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Yes tests are available but EOD it's still real hard t pin anything down. Reason being based on what I've read overseas, is that a beekeeper can have problems and have bees tested & find pesticide contamination at sublethal or lethal levels of the bees, or contamination in the pollen. But another beekeepers hives can also test positive and not have problems.

 

It has been incredibly hard for beekeepers to win this type of thing in court. Although sometimes it happens.

 

The other thing to be careful of is we cannot make an enemy of farmers. We are on their land at the farmers good graces, and if he thinks we may turn around and sue him well he'd just as soon not have the bees there.

 

This year and last year I have seen strong dwindling events in hives in Auckland City with hives losing perhaps 1/2 or more of their population over a few days, then later recovering but still set back. I very much suspect poisoning but just what or from where is mere guesswork unless wanting to spend buckets of money. Does not have to be Neonicitinoids, all pesticides are designed to kill insects.

 

However neonics coated seeds or plants from nurseries could be particularly bad for bees in the area as the poisons are so persistent in the plant and will transfer to the pollen. But someone deciding to spray their flowering plants with any one of the "old" poisons can make bees just as dead.

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Dwindling of hives can also occur when theres strong winds or changeable weather.

Bees head out to forage and cant get back.

 

We had a period of 3-4 days of scwaly weather with the sun out and hot one minute then a heavy shower and wind the next.

 

The queen nucs looked like the Mary Celeste with a queen, brood and a handfull of bees :(

 

We have just started to get some kind of flow, mainlyly from Barberry, which is alot later than usual.

The nights are still cold and we have had cold winds none of which is helpful in setting up for a honey flow :(

 

.

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However neonics coated seeds or plants from nurseries could be particularly bad for bees in the area as the poisons are so persistent in the plant and will transfer to the pollen. .

 

i would expect that since we had a farming found sponsored "trees for bees" project (where most of that money would have gone to nurseries) that someone would have researched this topic a bit more closly to make sure that money didn't actually poison bees instead of helping?

this nursery can't tell me if their plants are seed coated or not.

they buy them as plants from auckland or where ever and sell them on.

they also use sprays in the nursery. they say they have stopped using a particular bee dangereous one(or use it not so much anymore, what ever that means)

maybe you can imagine, it's difficult for me (in particular as a german) to discuss such a matter with someone who obviously doesn't want to be seen as someone who kills the bees in the neighbourhood and i have to be greatfull that he discusses this problem with me at all.

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Dwindling of hives can also occur when theres strong winds or changeable weather.

Bees head out to forage and cant get back.

.

 

an other thing that i have never observed personally is a development of dwv(symptoms) in hives with low varroa. real worry to me that one. queen seems to pass the virus.

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Im sure its the weather this year, i dont have a single honey box on a hive yet out of nearly 1000, most hives are strong enough but theres no point yet sticking a box on for no reason theres still room in the hives for stores, Feeding all hives but only because they in orchards and thats probably a good thing at the moment.

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the urban(village) sites around here are shocking since a few years.

we used to have swarm problems all the time on these sites, now they fighting for survial every spring.

in particular those wintered here are bad. some new beeks that tried to start up here lost all there hive. a big comercial keeps topping up his site every few years now.

i brought some in this spring for pollination cos of the bee shortage. they either dwindle or boom like crazzy. it's the nics if you ask me. but of cos i have no proof.

how about the other way round: can anyone proof it's not the nics?

i wonder if it's simply a case of too many hives for the forage available? vs earlier there being fewer hives around?

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Well I went to feed a yard today that when I looked a couple days ago some hives had nothing, today they are working flat out, good vibe to the hives, and new nectar in the comb. Fed them anyway but hopefully better things not far away. :)

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i wonder if it's simply a case of too many hives for the forage available? vs earlier there being fewer hives around?

not really. there would be a lot more if they wouldn't dwindle away all the time.

i took most of my hives out and the only permanent comercial here has to bring in more hive every few years to keep his number stable.

ten years ago when the hives were all booming there was about the same number as now and i would have guessed that you could have doubled or tribbled the number without troubble.

sure, it didn't help when some new beeks pushed in here and initially i thought they were the cause for the collaps of the area. but now they are gone (their bees died)and the problems are still there. so i have to blame it on someone else:D:(:cry:

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Fed them anyway . :)

probably a good call looking at the weather.

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Things are still a bit slow here with the cold winds we are having its been a battle for the bees to find anything producing nectar.

 

Heaps of pollen but not alot else so far

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Things are still a bit slow here with the cold winds we are having its been a battle for the bees to find anything producing nectar.

 

Heaps of pollen but not alot else so far

Same here :(

A few sheltered sites are just making ground while the more exposed sites are definitely going backwards.

Need some settled warm weather.

On the plus side most of my splits/nuc's have produced viable mated queens that have started laying. Checked one this morning that was almost completely out of honey and full of (mostly capped) brood.

For weeks now the buttercup has flowered well but been too cold and windy for the bees to bring in anything much.

Buttercup is now finishing and daisy and clover are starting, Cabbage tree is also starting flowering.... still too cold:(

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To day it's calm and hot and the bees are working so hard the sound they are making is incredible, our big old lemon tree is buzzing. Drones all out flying everything trying to make up for lost time...

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Starting to come out of it here, most sites bringing nectar in. Although some of those hives have been damaged, by doing it too hard, for too long. Some queens shutting down and bees not got the "get up and go" that I would like to see.

 

However all my hives have already been aggressively split into nucs, plus had package bees taken, so all up they have been productive so far. Most in 3 boxes now and will again be getting split into more nucs over the next couple months. Which should break them out of their lethargy I hope.

 

Tasted new Manuka yesterday.

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Taupo at 600m is no fun at all.

Fed bees are expanding but patchy weather is keeping them indoors.

More feeding and more poor weather and so on.

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How does that compare to other years King Bee?

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Checked my hives here in the city and what a surprise! The honey boxes are starting to fill!

Just hope that the honey is nice!

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Checked mine and those that weren't starving last week, are now. Feeding feeding feeding . Patchy brood and lethargic bees everywhere, although this afternoons sun got them out and busy

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Things are still a bit slow here with the cold winds we are having its been a battle for the bees to find anything producing nectar.

 

Heaps of pollen but not alot else so far

 

No clover out yet up your way?

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Clover is unreliable here. Some years it's prolific, others it's pathetic. It is very specific about the temperature and moisture requirements. We have flowers, but there are no bees on them. The bees are feeding for dear life on dandelions

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Clover is unreliable here.

 

I guess cows eat it all now & again

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I guess cows eat it all now & again

Yep but a fresh crop grows back

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Clover is unreliable here. Some years it's prolific, others it's pathetic. It is very specific about the temperature and moisture requirements. We have flowers, but there are no bees on them. The bees are feeding for dear life on

I hope the clover kicks in soon...fed out 75 kg's sugar so far..

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Location: Amberly

Hard year for me too A massive Derth at Amberly Hives just cruzing not alot of action Just :crap: wheather and conditions

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No clover out yet up your way?

 

Clover is out and sub clover been out for a while but too cold to produce nectar:(

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Next door neighbours lawn is covered in clover (he doesnt mow all that often) it has a lot of bummble bees on it and only a few honey bees. Still too cold to get the nectar flow going in ernest.

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