Jump to content

August 2016 Apiary Diary


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 209
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I can get alloy cheap enough if they are going to handle OA/FA better.....

Yes. My post was more a general comment. Flat iron off cuts is very cheap from long run roofing companies. There are not many supplying Alloy in 600mm square size that is cheap (to the general population) and in quantity.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I wonder if sugar shakes are accurate at this time of year?

With queens just starting to get back into laying a lot of mites previously wintering on bees would now be in brood and it's not till the brood emerges that you get a realistic view of mite numbers?

Good point. There are five 3/4 part frames of capped and emerging brood in there. There may have been only one 3 weeks ago .

Or else the mites have really ramped up with breeding since then

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am going to treat with MAQS for exactly that reason. Only you have to buy a 25-treatment pack, and the only ones in the south island are past their use by date so they have to come from Auckland. (Ecrotek offered some of the expired ones and I would have taken them since they had been kept in a freezer, but was not offered a discount).

Link to post
Share on other sites
This hive was a count of 3 , three weeks ago

That's either a massive reinvasion or there's something amiss with your sampling. The increase is too many for it to have been mite reproduction alone. The mites look too dark to be juveniles.

 

  • Are your sample sizes consistent? (Mine weren't)

  • Do you sample only nurse bees from the middle of the brood nest? Light shake let the field bees fly off. If brood is sparse then take nurse bees from more than one frame.

  • Was the icing sugar dry? If it clumps it will be less effective.

  • What size mesh are you using?

  • Have you confirmed accuracy of your method with an alcohol wash?

 

I've learnt recently that consistency in how the method is applied is crucial to effective sampling.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
That's either a massive reinvasion or there's something amiss with your sampling. The increase is too many for it to have been mite reproduction alone. The mites look too dark to be juveniles.

 

  • Are your sample sizes consistent? (Mine weren't)

  • Do you sample only nurse bees from the middle of the brood nest? Light shake let the field bees fly off. If brood is sparse then take nurse bees from more than one frame.

  • Was the icing sugar dry? If it clumps it will be less effective.

  • What size mesh are you using?

  • Have you confirmed accuracy of your method with an alcohol wash?

 

I've learnt recently that consistency in how the method is applied is crucial to effective sampling.

Yes to all of the above, except I've never done an alcohol wash, and my sampling well, it's not too bad . ;)

6 mesh, same as on the mesh bases.

It's reinfestation . There are hives close to mine that I've seen robbed recently. The state of them, they will be a source of mites among other things. It's something I am aware of which keeps me vigilant . Not ideal, but I won't be the only one . I was reminded of this as I passed by them today :cry::mad:

 

I'm just illustrating how fast things can change

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive been out and about today and yesterday collecting samples (50 ziplocks yesterday and 20 today)

Overall Im happy with the bees so far.

The odd scrappy yards here and there but some crackers also.

Most of my hives are above 550m above sea level yet lots of hives are two boxes full of bees.

Very few Drones though which is going to be interesting and may mean I start supering very soon.

If this is a false spring its going to be a crazy time ahead.

One hive all by itself in a Heather forest started last summer as a 2 frame Nuc, it went into a 4 frame box then a ten.

It wintered as a double box and is now about 75k

I get a kick out of seeing this sort of thing.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I just went through a site of 30 odd hives, a mix of singes and nucs. I was expecting 6 to fail over winter (5 were crap going into winter and 1 just for the shear negativity of it) and have only had 2 deadouts from that site :-) While most of the hives were small (singles were around 2-3 frames of brood with 5-6 frames of bees and nucs being 1.5-2 frames of brood with 3-4 frames of bees) I am happy with the apparent growth in the hives and have now started feeding for stimulation :-) Hopeful of a good year!

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

We've got Apivar strips in now on all hives, drone frames in, and all have been fed. Some hives are building new comb on plastic waxed frames. A couple of yards have been unexpectedly good. These are sited in predominantly pasture area's surrounded by bush remnants. Whereas a couple of other yards have been disappointing - these yards have been forestry / large native bush locations. I am not sure why this is although there are other bk's with yards in these area's so competition for forage could be an issue. Wasps are almost non-existent, with the highest wasp numbers (stlll very low) on an urban site. Should be lower still at the next check as the Vespex came out and they took it :) Overall winter hive losses are at about 7%. A couple of very very weak Queenright hives have been merged with a Queenless but still reasonably strong hive and in another case with an average Queenless hive. Low expectations for these. Have some propolis mats due any day so will need to get them in soon too. Can't wait for Spring to kick in and everything take off. Tomorrow will be re-feeding the Queen breeding / raising hives and getting that all organised.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Checked my backyard hive today, for the first time since March. Second brood box was full of honey (winter stores) but they seem untouched - this happened last year, too. Throughout winter, I had observed bees bringing in pollen daily.

 

The first (bottom) box had about 4-5 frames of brood, looks okay. Was pleased to see the queen, as I hardly ever see her - she's sometimes hard to find.

 

Did a sugar shake test - twice - no mites found, but the bee numbers in each sample was about 100. (It's hard to keep the bees in the container between frame shaking; I'm thinking of getting a small foot controlled lid bin!).

 

Despite that, I put in Apivar strips. I hope that is okay, despite no confirmed mites, even tho they may appear later. There were drones, but I didn't see any drone cells.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Checked my backyard hive today, for the first time since March. Second brood box was full of honey (winter stores) but they seem untouched - this happened last year, too. Throughout winter, I had observed bees bringing in pollen daily.

 

The first (bottom) box had about 4-5 frames of brood, looks okay. Was pleased to see the queen, as I hardly ever see her - she's sometimes hard to find.

 

Did a sugar shake test - twice - no mites found, but the bee numbers in each sample was about 100. (It's hard to keep the bees in the container between frame shaking; I'm thinking of getting a small foot controlled lid bin!).

 

Despite that, I put in Apivar strips. I hope that is okay, despite no confirmed mites, even tho they may appear later. There were drones, but I didn't see any drone cells.

Yes it is fine to put strips in now even if you didnt find mites. If you have this much honey left over I would be inclined to leave a frame less on the hive next year however having the honey on the hive will make it easier for yourself down the track. I shake the frames into a large square container, shake them into one corner of the container and use a scoop to get the correct amount of bees.... Seems to work ok for me :-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Kiwifruiter. I always wonder about how much honey to leave behind instead of extraction, but I'd rather there's plenty of honey stores for the bees than for myself, instead of having to artificially feed them at a later time.

 

I forgot to say that I took out two honey frames from the second box and replaced them with empty drawn combs, hopefully to give the queen more breeding space, if that needs to happen.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Checked my massive home apiary this afternoon. Plenty of bees not a lot of tucker. Hive one a patch or two of capped drone brood, small amount of capped worker brood, heaps of eggs & new brood. Hive two heaps of capped brood and grubs & eggs. No drones.

They both got MAQS-ed.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

What does one do with the honey the bees didn't use over winter? One hive consumed roughly 4 frames in the centre during mid winter, but on my last check all the frames are completly full again, hive numbers are booming, and still plenty of honey in the top brood box, just thinking how I could keep track of this honey as I don't want to eat it as some of it will be sugar syrup from autum.

Link to post
Share on other sites
What does one do with the honey the bees didn't use over winter? One hive consumed roughly 4 frames in the centre during mid winter, but on my last check all the frames are completly full again, hive numbers are booming, and still plenty of honey in the top brood box, just thinking how I could keep track of this honey as I don't want to eat it as some of it will be sugar syrup from autum.

If we have a rubbish October with the weather the bees will likely chomp through most of it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
What does one do with the honey the bees didn't use over winter? One hive consumed roughly 4 frames in the centre during mid winter, but on my last check all the frames are completly full again, hive numbers are booming, and still plenty of honey in the top brood box, just thinking how I could keep track of this honey as I don't want to eat it as some of it will be sugar syrup from autum.

Depends on the numbers. If it is just one or two frames worth pull a few frames and chuck them in the freezer for next winter. Use a paint pen to mark which hive they came from so they go back in the same hive.

 

Or home brew. I would pick the latter :-) Remember that the honey is 'safe' after bayvarol, not safe (for human consumption) after apivar....

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...