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About mischief

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  • Beekeeping Experience
    Beginner Beekeeper


  • Location
    South Waikato

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  1. mischief

    September 2018 Apiary Diary

    Last comment from me on my hive that might be worth considering..... It has just survived its second winter, which makes my stats...zero losses for two years in a row. Same hive, same colony, same spot, new Queen this winter. I'm pleased with that.
  2. mischief

    September 2018 Apiary Diary

    I'm really bad at following the instructions of others!!! No I am not going to take pics...one my camara died and two....why? On the sugar shake....My colony is SMALL, you know that cos I just told you, so WHY would you even ask that? Why would I even consider doing that at this time of the year to them?....I would not. I find it gobsmacking that you would even ask that at this time the year!! That is something I would do in summer when they have a surplus and can afford the loss. Of course my hive has Varroa, so does yours, so does everyone's hives. I dont even have to ask if that is the case..... My hive, by personal observation, is expanding. I like that it is small rather than booming. Ultimately, what I am trying to achieve with my hive is one that becomes part of its eco system. I am not looking for commercial sized production unit- for one thing, I dont need that much honey. What I am trying to achieve for myself, is a healthy eco system, of which honey bees are a key element. I am also trying to encourage our native bees, with so far, very poor results. This is more disheartening than the plight of an introduced species that the whole world is fighting for. What I am trying to achieve with this one hive is one that is in tune with its environment=building up in good time according to the season, both the ebb and the flow. I think the rest of you are quite mad.
  3. mischief

    September 2018 Apiary Diary

    Thank you, I would welcome that.....perhaps you could do my official AFB check for me. I cant cos I havent been able to do the DECA course..etc.. cos I work weekends and they dont run the courses during the week. I know cos I asked. Can we do this mid morning, say 10.30?
  4. mischief

    September 2018 Apiary Diary

    What I did do last spring as give the bees frames that had starter strips and later with nothing so they could build what they wanted. the purpose for this was to allow them to build drone cells as well as to see what they would do. One foundationless frame did actually get built out in smaller cells, but not at the 4.9mm that I !! wanted them to do.
  5. mischief

    September 2018 Apiary Diary

    I could, but I am trying to follow the example of others who say....regress the bees back to smaller size. Michael Bush, Dee Lusby,Dennis Murrell.
  6. mischief

    September 2018 Apiary Diary

    Yep, these, at the moment do not have the shoulders shaved down to the recommended 32mm. Thats my main goal for this year.
  7. mischief

    September 2018 Apiary Diary

    My hive is weird!! I admit it. The cluster is only 3 seams wide and has been in the same spot ALL winter. I know this because I watched the debris on the sticky board. It flies in the rain and when its COLD 7.5C. I checked with my industrial thermometre. I have a window I can look through, what I see as of this afternoon is frame after frame that has capped honey...I just went out with my torch to have another look. 4 frames closest to the 'brood nest' area are -top half full of capped honey, the bottom half, not built out. These are small cell plastic frames that I put in too late to be properly built out. After that-10 deep frames all capped honey. From my obs this week, those doing orientation flights has increased every day. The numbers of foragers has increased. The DWV bees being removed from the hive has levelled to 4 per afternoon-between 1.30 and 5.30....did I say I was obsessive? yes, I also have way too much time on my hands compared to most people. Pollen is coming in from at least three sources. One of which I have confirmed by personal observation to be from my 2 Plum trees -a yukky putty colour. Very small amounts of white pollen from Rosemary, more of a smear along the legs than a ball of pollen, so very minor. There is a small amount coming in that is a vivid red and the other main source is a yellow/slightly, maybe from gorse or brassica. Just in case your interested, I observed that those forging on the Plum trees were harvesting pollen for the most part, and not until late afternoon did they go for the nectar. ..based on their behaviour-pollen=walking over the flowers brushing and then later dipping their heads into the flowers.....I did say I was obsessive. Laying pattern- its just gone spring, I do not open the hive unless I absolutely have to do so, which at this time I do not. Healthy? That was a joke....right? This time of year a hive in sync with its environment should be building up, bring in pollen and nectar and exponentially increasing its numbers. that being the case then YES it is very healthy. You forgot to ask about mites. So, for the record, I have said this on another forum that I set my threshhold at 30 per day/dropped on the sticky board-not realising that most people considered this to be extremely high. This threshhold was reached and two OAV treatments were done, one week apart. That was two weeks ago. I am continuing to monitor this as I have done all winter and in fact since I got this hive on the 1st of Jan last year. Have I missed anything?
  8. mischief

    September 2018 Apiary Diary

    I am sorry for your lose. I am not looking forward to the day that happens to me. On the other hand, my strategy in your case is to accept that they have gone drone layer and accept this is actually what does happen naturally. Harsh but.....all those wonderful drones just waiting for that Queen should she appear, fantastic gene pool ready and waiting. but still....its only just gone spring and these things should not be happening at this time. Now I am sounding just a tad pedantic
  9. mischief

    September 2018 Apiary Diary

    So...its because these hives are large coming out of winter? Mine is very small.....same as last year.
  10. mischief

    September 2018 Apiary Diary

    These are living beings, they do things for a reason. I dont understand why. Okay, because I'm new, but also because my bees dont even have drones hatched out yet. I KNOW because I am mad enough to run home every day (back by 1.30) to sit/eat lunch/dinner and watch them, ahem, for hours. But it IS only jut gone spring, they should not be doing this at this time of year....(.I have studied obsessively)
  11. mischief

    September 2018 Apiary Diary

    Okay, this may sound odd/newbie.....but...its only just turned spring. Why are your hives swarming? It just seems really strange to me that they would be doing this so early. WHY??
  12. mischief

    Bee Tree Hive

    Give them time....they are used to langs.....maybe/probably. I have a feeling it takes time for them to get used to something different. Frame grips... from Ecrotek. I found these made a huge difference for me. I now have some more so my new (to-be) hives have their own.
  13. mischief

    Bee Tree Hive

    I got a long hive from Kiwimana because I just cannot lift even a box of shallows filled with honey. its got a mesh floor with sticky boards and an Obs. window, so you do not have to open up so often to see what is going on. Maybe worth your while to check out.
  14. mischief

    Manuka Plantings

    I have a question about Manuka flowers. I am wondering if you need to have a lot of plants before honey bees get interested in them. My reason for asking this is because last year, my two manuka trees were in their first year of flowering, but I saw more bees on my NZ Jasmine vine, that had less flowers than the manuka. The NZ Jasmine was right next to the pink Manuka and also in its first year of flowering. (the other one is a white flowering Manuka). I didnt see one single bee on either Manuka tree(ling). In fact, I didnt see any bee type or wasp on these two, just the odd hoverfly. ON the NZ Jasmine, I saw a whole range of different insects. I had been expecting to see the exact opposite. I find this odd and am wondering also, if hybrid/named variety manuka plants are not as good as 'wild types.
  15. mischief

    What are bees foraging on 2017/18 season

    Rosemary!!! My little Rosemary hedge-4 m long and only 1-1.2 high flowering for its second year is absolutely bouncing with bees...1 metre behind the hive. I sat for ages watching both. Its not true that bees will not forage near their hive. Alot did fly off, but many flew right in front of me around the side of the hive straight to the Rosemary and eventually back in again. Of all my fruit trees that are flowering at the moment, the Luisa plum won hands down today. The Blackboy peach has only just started but already getting visited.