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August 2016 Apiary Diary


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Life is getting exciting again in beekeeping I was getting the winter muddy blues for a while there, towing the ute and trailer with the can am all over Northland was getting old, but a bit of sunshine, busy bees, lovely looking brood and the odd queen cell have me feeling quite cheerful again, albeit slightly nervous lol.

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Knocked a few more frames together, tonight, I got the telescope out to have a glimpse of the planets, as it was a calm evening which is unusual for Ashhurst, and the air rifle ready to shoot the rats that want to make the shed their home. Life is good.

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Yesterday I checked my two other hives out in the countryside, to put in strips and replaced honey frames with drawn combs for new brood.

 

What I found interesting is that the one hive that originated from two swarms (merged together) was very strong, with lots of bees (is this typical?) The other hive was just as strong, but not as many bees. Along with the high bee numbers, there was some new nectar so I added another super for both hives.

 

In contrast, my other hive in the urban area doesn't have as many bees - but is still healthy. This hive is more sheltered from the wind and rain but receives maybe about a third to a half less sun as the rural hives.

 

Do hives in the rural areas generally do better than urban hives?

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Yesterday I checked my two other hives out in the countryside, to put in strips and replaced honey frames with drawn combs for new brood.

 

What I found interesting is that the one hive that originated from two swarms (merged together) was very strong, with lots of bees (is this typical?) The other hive was just as strong, but not as many bees. Along with the high bee numbers, there was some new nectar so I added another super for both hives.

 

In contrast, my other hive in the urban area doesn't have as many bees - but is still healthy. This hive is more sheltered from the wind and rain but receives maybe about a third to a half less sun as the rural hives.

 

Do hives in the rural areas generally do better than urban hives?

Hives close together will differ in performance. Genetic differences and physical differences.

By physical, for example, I mean that I have hives, sheltered in the garden which are 3 boxes full of bees now, yet 100 metres away in an open paddock with no wind protection, those ones are 1/3 box of bees and need feeding. They all started winter the same

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Do hives in the rural areas generally do better than urban hives?

 

Currently have an urban apiary and numerous rural. The urban is far superior than all the rural's due to the wide availability and volume of nectar and pollen sources.

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Fresh nectar in hives in Hamilton and Huntly. There is a heavy flow happening now. Most of the hives are very strong for this time of the year with at least half of the hives having either emerged drones or capped drone brood. The good weather also helps.

 

Too many bees in some hives and if the weather goes bad then there is a big chance of starving also.

 

And if the weather stays good then I think swarm season will be much early this year. Have to make sure I make enough room for them so they don't swarm. . Bees have also started making queen cell cups on the bottom of frames but the queen has not layed in them yet. I think if the hives are not checked then we may see them swarming in Hamilton in another 15 to 20 days.

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