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Alastair

Bad start to the season anyone?

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Hi Julia..We are up on the ridge, and the wind has really taken its toll on us although the hives are sheltered, they get blasted when they fly up. I was taking off honey comb this time last year. This time they are very slow in drawing out the frames in the supers. And I have noticed that all the gorse along the Scenic Drive it dead, so there must have been a lot of spray around here, just metres from where my girls were. They lived on that gorse last year and wonder if that may have something to do with my slow start.

Yeah ,I have not seen a lot of white wax this year compared to last, I'm glad I have some drawn out frames from last year to use in the supers or they would be struggling.

Fortunately We live on a bush block and i let the gorse and wattle go for it in the margins. It seems to really help them.There is also watercare depot not far from us that has gorse growing everywhere,.

We get massive winds up here too. At least it makes our bees tough.:mad:

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One spring supercedure queen mated in the fine weather before the winds arrived. Steadfastly refuses to lay in plastic frames. Her dam is an overwintered queen who affably agrees to small cell, still going strong and they have just built another supercedure cell after she laid some drones in appropriate comb. Reasonable stores.That's the good news. :unsure: Others not doing well. Last gasp on top bar getting a queen. One capped queen cell after combining failed mating which had lots of bees with a successful one with few bees. I will call it "The Highlander"

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One spring supercedure queen mated in the fine weather before the winds arrived. Steadfastly refuses to lay in plastic frames. Her dam is an overwintered queen who affably agrees to small cell, still going strong and they have just built another supercedure cell after she laid some drones in appropriate comb. Reasonable stores.That's the good news. :unsure: Others not doing well. Last gasp on top bar getting a queen. One capped queen cell after combining failed mating which had lots of bees with a successful one with few bees. I will call it "The Highlander"

Thats a really nice queen

 

I've had more failed nucs trying to make queens out of drones than I would expect to see. Very interesting if you open the 'king' cells. Anything from tiny dead grubs swimming in masses of royal jelly to half grown dead drone larvae. They only seem to get to half gestation at the most

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Thats a really nice queen

 

I've had more failed nucs trying to make queens out of drones than I would expect to see. Very interesting if you open the 'king' cells. Anything from tiny dead grubs swimming in masses of royal jelly to half grown dead drone larvae. They only seem to get to half gestation at the most

Found the longest queen cell uncapped last week, twice the length of an ordinary one and had top bar making "king cells". Made me want to take some photos.

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yesterday i found them in the pepper tree (i think that's what they are called)

today i woke up the the humming of the bee. they are all over the rimu at my place.

i see manuka flowers are getting visited too a lot. but less nectar in them then i would expect after the warm weather and warm nights we just had.

two of my girls have started to pack down and refuse to go through the queen excluder.

this could mean something bad if it becomes more wide spread.

but so far i still believe the season will pick up.

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Just looked on Geonet. Ruapehu still has a good covering of snow. I've always reckoned we will only get a good hot summer when ALL the snow has gone!!

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Had a nice surprise today down the coast on the bush

 

Heading for this picture The Happy bee Keeper. (Only a bee keeper would understand aye)

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Funny old day, rain continued but became light and temp about 17, drove past a large and very red rata tree, covered with bees !

Maybe ours are quite tough or just love rata.

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Mine were flying this morning in the rain. They're just tough.

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I know a beekeeper who took 50 honey supers up to his hives in Kaitaia and brought 41 back all hives were dry

except 9. Heaps of clover flower here bees have been working it this week and all have nectar in there hives.

Bees going nuts on our ligustrum today.

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Its pretty scary to hear how bad the season has been so far this year particularly up north.

It sounds like alot of the bigger businesses get another go at a crop by shifting their hives into other areas further south so all is not lost yet.

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Its pretty scary to hear how bad the season has been so far this year particularly up north.

Waitakeres no better. By this time last year I was putting on second supers. Opened two hives in Massey yesterday and they had fresh nectar but nothing capped. It's going to bee an 'interesting' season! :rolleyes:

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The ones in town are looking ok now. They wont starve. But the ones out in the country side are a bit of a concern. Some has a bit of fresh nectar but if it rains for a few days they might starve. I am reluctant to feed them at the moment just in case a flow starts soon and it does not rain. If it rains then its feeding them in the rain I guess. Not happy with the weather this year.

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For those raising queens How has it affected your mating percentages?

 

Ours always take a huge tumble in variable weather :(

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For those raising queens How has it affected your mating percentages?

 

Ours always take a huge tumble in variable weather :(

I have struggled with getting queens to either mate or mate and stay in my Nucs this season.

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Might get a bit crowded down this way:(

Already is . There seem to be a hell of a lot of hives in very big groups in paddocks. Saw a large group between Kihikihi and Parawera yesterday right by the road

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For those raising queens How has it affected your mating percentages?

 

Ours always take a huge tumble in variable weather :(

 

Been getting somewhere between 30%and 50% lately and lots of drone layer nucs to be fixed .

Roll on some fine weather with no wind

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Already is . There seem to be a hell of a lot of hives in very big groups in paddocks. Saw a large group between Kihikihi and Parawera yesterday right by the road

South of Pirongia as well ..A large amount of hives on a dairy farm not far from the road..went past there last week there was an Avant loader in paddock next to hives

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For those raising queens How has it affected your mating percentages?

 

Ours always take a huge tumble in variable weather :(

Ours have taken ages to start laying but once they have usually been great, a couple got squashed due to poor mating. been taking upto 3 weeks to get eggs in the hives after virgins put in. But have been getting some beauties thanks to you.

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Waitakeres no better. By this time last year I was putting on second supers. Opened two hives in Massey yesterday and they had fresh nectar but nothing capped. It's going to bee an 'interesting' season! :rolleyes:

Exactly same here PBee. Nothing capped, not sure if my swarms nucs have mated yet. No eggs, getting a bit worried.

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