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Alastair

Bad start to the season anyone?

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

As long as you don't find multiple eggs you bee fine!

Got one hive that started laying, but six Nucs I am 'worried' about! :cry:

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We have had the best mating for a few years. 100% in many apiaries, and nucs doing over 90%. Just amazing, this has been happening since October. Queens are not falling over a few weeks into lay either. Last couple of years we have seen our share of Drone layers! very few this year. Certainly makes a change for this area. Huge hives going into start of flow.

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Anything different you can think of this season?

 

IE, different mite treatment, different cell raising method, different cell carrier, or anything?

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We have installed a new incubator, ?? not sure if that could be a reason but possible. We have had some lovely mornings through the months but the afternoons have not been conducive to good mating - too much NE wind. November has been a difficult month with frequent cold spells but we still got high rates of acceptance.

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Interesting, what is the incubator & what temperature you run it at?

 

Re the weather, best I can tell the majority of mating happens early / mid afternoon, but it's amazing how if weather is wrong they can find a way.

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Also, how long do you have the cells in the incubator. Last 3 days or what?

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@Alastair, cells are in incubator on the 8th day. We use on the 10th, but noticing that we get good acceptance on the 11th as well.

The incubator is three units with a silicon pad in each. Wires are aligned with the rows of cells in the Carricell foam pads that we use. Each pad is controlled by it's own digital temperature controller, temp set at 34.4 degrees and maintained within half a degree.

I wrapped a temp probe around a queen cell in a finisher to see what the optimum temperature was. Strong hive keep temp. at 35. I then did the same with a cell in the foam pad and adjusted the temp till we achieved close to the 35 as possible. Kept the temp backed off a little so we don't go over 35. Very please with the outcome.

One thing we noticed in setting this up was that the foam pads, that the cells sit in, are very good thermal units. It would take several minutes for the warmth of the silicon pad to transfer through the foam pads and reach the cells.

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Thanks, sounds like you've got this down, I'm always real interested how people run their incubators.

 

What was your previous incubator?

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An old fridge cabinet and heating unit was supplied by John Dobson, at least 26 years old, an due for retirement :)

Biggest problem with a fridge is as soon as you open the door there is a massive drop in temperature that takes quite awhile to come back up. Although we did have the interior lined with bricks, so it was like a night store heater

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Local Manuka is now flowering as is the blackberry.

The sky is grey, misty and lightly raining.

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You might want to keep it low key about the manuka flowering you might end up with hundreds of extra hives down there :lol:lol:lol

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You might want to keep it low key about the manuka flowering you might end up with hundreds of extra hives down there :lol:lol:lol

Hundreds? Probably more like Thousands!!! :censored::mask:

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Had a weak of good weather and the bees did well to get some stores. Most hives have filled up 2 to 3 supers(3/4 size) but not capped. Started raining today again, so will check them again next week to see if they have consumed all that they have gathered. At least I don't have to worry about feeding them now.

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Raining cats and dogs, good for the clover :crap: For the manuka:whistle:.

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i think summer is done and we are back to winter :(

looks like a week of crap for us.

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All flowers in the pasture have gone crazy over the last week. Should be a good couple of days for the bees with no rain forecast

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Today is a pleasant surprise :)

After grey skies for so long I can't remember, today is clear blue and NO wind :)

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raining dogs here and wind blowing gale force since a couple of days.

the forcast till xmas is a mess. loosing hope.

i think i better get me a summer and winter job.:(

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Sun sun sun today. Bees flat out, heaps of pollen and nectar coming in.

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yep my hives had almost full supers on them a week ago but with this rubbish weather i think the will be empty by the time it clears

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So tried beekeeping in the rain, thunder and lightening today:eek: - is it summer? Had hoped to take a box of capped honey off a few hives as they looked near ready two weeks ago, most still not ready. some I got half boxes, but not a happy beekeeper this season, no bush honey like previous years. they are already bringing in much lighter honey - if there is any.

Did 30 cut comb today though to met an order, was really not wanting to cut up the new comb to package:unsure: as would rather have poured honey into jars and put frames back in so they wouldn't need to put any nectar collected into drawing out new comb again, ######.

Recovering from the first poor survival rate of splits and introduced q cells, and terrible layers of some queens, now just want this beep beep rain and wind to stop, and no humidity please.

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Been through a couple of hives this morning between showers. 1 is doing well and needed another super:):):)(y)(y)(y)

The other Oh dear me:(:(. No sign of any brood at all. found the queen, she's mated and looks ok BUT, I don't think she is laying:thumbdown::thumbdown:

plus the hive is running out of nurse bees:crap::crap::crap:.

Added a couple of frames of young brood (eggs etc) in the interim and will get a queen from another yard.

It's a crazy mixed up season this year.:(

Still it could be much much worse!!!!(y)(y)(y) Just imagine if humans controlled the weather. :cautious:Profit taking:mad:TAXATION:mad::mad::mad:

Then there's terrorism:mask::mask::mask:

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All bees working to full capacity here after 18 mm rain last night. Very warm today. Nectar flowing in and capping has started:).

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