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December Apiary Diary


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last weekend i helped moved some Taranaki hives from a backyard (my mum's place @dansar ) where a neighbour wasn't excited about bees to a place where they'll be all good. Gave an early xmas present at the same time and put some great looking waikato supers onto the hives. Heaps of honey coming in for them.

 

I took a four frame split so that i've got bees in wellington a few weeks back, took an impatient look today and the emergency queen they've raised looks great, and as though she's taken good advantage of the weather - expecting eggs next time i look (likely a week or so from now).

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Today I put foundation into ten 1/2 depth frames made by @dansar for me four years ago, specifically for cut comb.

I reduced a strong 3 X 3/4 depth box of bees down to two boxes, by blowing them down with smoke and shaking the remaining bees off , and then added a queen excluder on plus the 1/2 depth box on top.

My theory is to have a strong hive that will draw wax and store honey fast .

Time will tell if this works

 

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I have a box and frames that I made at the same time as yours. You have motivated me @M4tt, I think I will get it out and add a starter strip and place on a strong hive that already has some honey coming in. I will undersuper it.

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Four weeks ago I bought a mated queen from a local supplier. (I noticed the queen looking a bit thin, but the supplier did say she was aged three weeks.)

 

Subsequent checks revealed no queen or eggs. I don't know what's happened to the queen, but last week I decided that the hive was definitely queenless.

 

So, today I took a frame of capped brood from another hive and put that in the queenless hive, in the hope that a supersedure may take place. More waiting to see if that works. I've not done that before so I hope I have done the right thing?

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So, today I took a frame of capped brood from another hive and put that in the queenless hive, in the hope that a supersedure may take place. More waiting to see if that works. I've not done that before so I hope I have done the right thing?

Did the frame have eggs and/or young larvae on it?

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Definitely some larvae, didn't look for eggs. I wanted to move quickly to avoid disruption to the bees.

When adding a frame to confirm whether a hive is queenless or not it is important that the frame has eggs or very young larvae present. That way if the hive is queenless then they have a half decent chance of raising a replacement queen. If the larvae are too old the bees will still try to raise a queen but she will likely fail.

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Thanks Rob, I understand. So should I go back - leave that new frame - and seek another frame? this time looking closely for eggs or young larvae, and put that frame in the queenless hive.

No. When you go back in a couple of days, if they are drawing out a queen cell, pay close attention to the age of the grub inside. Then you'll be able to work out how old it was when you introduced the frame. If there are several cells being drawn out then pick the two youngest and destroy the rest. Timing is everything.

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Well, the first words I heard this morning were "No Bees" today...Crumbs..that's almost impossible :( Nephew and his wife are coming to visit with there brand new little daughter, wife's gone into a real tizz :)

Been roped into kitchen duties...maybe Bees later in the day ;)20161204_103702.jpg.070df159a56df2342b3518b1892d750d.jpg

20161204_103702.jpg.070df159a56df2342b3518b1892d750d.jpg

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3 weeks ago I moved nucs into their new home opposite a recently restored native wetland (and surrounded by paddocks of buttercup and clover) checked on the hives this weekend to find that 3 had already drawn out most of the new frames and starting to fill with pollen and nectar. One of the hives was a little grumpy so I received my first stings x 3, I can conclude that my beesuit it indeed too short.

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