Apiary Diary 2022

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8,701
5,161
maungaturoto
Experience
Commercial
Canterbury definitely got a good flow going around ChCh. And testimony to the advice of KISS and use synthetics till you can afford to suck, I have run out of gear for the first time ever.

My bee barrow making it easy too


Now a choice I’ve never had to make before. Spring harvest & risk honey overload or swarming… or buy more gear. I think I’ll do both 😅Usually the intake falls right off around Christmas at this site, but clover isn’t up yet.
thats the tricky part, how to run hives without constantly expanding.

its also really good to see good hives running well. (y)
 
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733
585
Christchurch
Experience
Semi Commercial
It sure is a tricky balancing act. Supering up yesterday, requeening with beaut over-wintered Qs after setting up the second Q mating yard, splitting to stop swarming and grafting again at 6pm in a cold easterly… phew!
Other job today, then off to the next apiary to do it all again.
 
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southbee

Gold
295
250
Southland
Experience
Commercial
Canterbury definitely got a good flow going around ChCh. And testimony to the advice of KISS and use synthetics till you can afford to suck, I have run out of gear for the first time ever.

My bee barrow making it easy too
View attachment 1530View attachment 1531

Now a choice I’ve never had to make before. Spring harvest & risk honey overload or swarming… or buy more gear. I think I’ll do both 😅Usually the intake falls right off around Christmas at this site, but clover isn’t up yet.
Nice looking hives and I love your bee barrow! Good luck with the early honey coming in :)
 
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southbee

Gold
295
250
Southland
Experience
Commercial
No supering up down here yet, but we have early honey coming in, Fuchsia and bush lawyer are flowering well and the hives are strong and just itching to do some work. I'm hoping for the flow to start properly soon, otherwise I'll have to keep splitting and stop them from taking off into the trees.....
 
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5,725
6,277
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
Ok… swarm control 101…. Up until now most hives have been run as double broods.
Now we’re going along putting queen excluders in…. A quick way to split the hive….. the queen right box goes down on a dead out. The queen less box catches all the drift and has a cell popped in.
Any additional brood is used to boost weaker hives, or is taken away and starts up a new hive.CB4659FF-B01E-4B17-9FA4-007BA5669DC2.png
 
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410
300
Mid Canterbury
Experience
Semi Commercial
Canterbury definitely got a good flow going around ChCh. And testimony to the advice of KISS and use synthetics till you can afford to suck, I have run out of gear for the first time ever.
Josh - If you are in or near an urban ChCh environment the flow will most likely continue, but be aware if you are not. If not, then after the dandelion flow at the end of Oct there is a pollen and nectar dearth and many beginners often lose hives, when they should have been feeding. The hives in this instance do not become self sufficient again until approx 15-30 Nov
 
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5,725
6,277
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
The other thing I forgot to mention was the mites…..
When we crack the two brood boxes we scan the exposed drone brood for the little critters.
We’ve used a selection of O/A strips this spring, from home made ones cut out of card board sheet from Mitre 10 and custom bought grey ones from Hive world in Wellington…. They all work.
Some have been chewed out, some havent.
We make sure they have a constant supply of three strips per brood.
It seems to work.
 
8,701
5,161
maungaturoto
Experience
Commercial
The other thing I forgot to mention was the mites…..
When we crack the two brood boxes we scan the exposed drone brood for the little critters.
We’ve used a selection of O/A strips this spring, from home made ones cut out of card board sheet from Mitre 10 and custom bought grey ones from Hive world in Wellington…. They all work.
Some have been chewed out, some havent.
We make sure they have a constant supply of three strips per brood.
It seems to work.

just put some O/A strips in today as a small trail. unfortunately hives where treated ages ago so can't do any real testing. just doing a simple test to see if it kills the bees.
i did notice a few hours later a few dead bees out front. i wonder if NZ dose rate has a bit of kick at the start compared to the USA slower release.

i would be keen to find a different material which holds more mix and do a longer slower release.
 

Josh

Gold
1,024
743
Christchurch
Experience
Hobbyist
Josh - If you are in or near an urban ChCh environment the flow will most likely continue, but be aware if you are not. If not, then after the dandelion flow at the end of Oct there is a pollen and nectar dearth and many beginners often lose hives, when they should have been feeding. The hives in this instance do not become self sufficient again until approx 15-30 Nov
Thanks for the heads up @Maggie. IF I do a harvest to make room & recycle gear, I’ll make sure to leave plenty.
 
410
300
Mid Canterbury
Experience
Semi Commercial
Thanks for the heads up @Maggie. IF I do a harvest to make room & recycle gear, I’ll make sure to leave plenty.
Hill suburbs in ChCh have good kowhai and pride of Madeira flow and yield well in spring. If you are not near an urban environment and you currently have a massive crop, consider whether or not your bees have been out robbing and it would be a good idea to be on AFB alert. They may not have robbed out an AFB hive, but one that has collapsed from varroa. Another explanation for such strong hives and yield would be that they went into winter very strong, and have yielded well in spring.
 

Josh

Gold
1,024
743
Christchurch
Experience
Hobbyist
Hill suburbs in ChCh have good kowhai and pride of Madeira flow and yield well in spring. If you are not near an urban environment and you currently have a massive crop, consider whether or not your bees have been out robbing and it would be a good idea to be on AFB alert. They may not have robbed out an AFB hive, but one that has collapsed from varroa. Another explanation for such strong hives and yield would be that they went into winter very strong, and have yielded well in spring.
I have a place at Church bay, and always thought it would have a thumping spring build up. Pride of Madeira and a yellow succulent flower are almost completely covered in bees. Makes moving around the tracks tricky.

My hives are glowing yellow with dandelion pollen. And lately some red pollen which looks a bit like flax (too early for that, so something else).

I was stoked with my winter prep, so hoping it’s making at least some contribution to this spring. But I suspect the bees are just doing well despite me😅
 
410
300
Mid Canterbury
Experience
Semi Commercial
I have a place at Church bay, and always thought it would have a thumping spring build up. Pride of Madeira and a yellow succulent flower are almost completely covered in bees. Makes moving around the tracks tricky.

My hives are glowing yellow with dandelion pollen. And lately some red pollen which looks a bit like flax (too early for that, so something else).

I was stoked with my winter prep, so hoping it’s making at least some contribution to this spring. But I suspect the bees are just doing well despite me😅
Ok, Your moniker, or whatever its called, states ChCh. Couldn't quite work it out, unless as said before a major flow in a hill suburb. You are in what would be classed as a microclimate and it could well be that there aren't a lot of hives in flying distance. Pride of Madeira is a light fine grained honey; part of the echium family. Dandelion, granulates quickly, so if its dandelion flow you will need to extract promptly. If the wax is bright yellow, this also indicates a dandelion flow. Currently you will need to leave plenty of room in the brood nest for the queen to lay. But be aware of a dearth in 2-3 wks time. I don't know what they will get in Church Bay later on. A long time since I have been there in summer.
 

Josh

Gold
1,024
743
Christchurch
Experience
Hobbyist
Ok, Your moniker, or whatever its called, states ChCh. Couldn't quite work it out, unless as said before a major flow in a hill suburb. You are in what would be classed as a microclimate and it could well be that there aren't a lot of hives in flying distance. Pride of Madeira is a light fine grained honey; part of the echium family. Dandelion, granulates quickly, so if its dandelion flow you will need to extract promptly. If the wax is bright yellow, this also indicates a dandelion flow. Currently you will need to leave plenty of room in the brood nest for the queen to lay. But be aware of a dearth in 2-3 wks time. I don't know what they will get in Church Bay later on. A long time since I have been there in summer.
Sorry, but confusing there with my answer. The hives are in lifestyle land near in Marshlands… my bach is in Church Bay 😅 no hives there, to far to drive to do the work for this hobby beek
 

Josh

Gold
1,024
743
Christchurch
Experience
Hobbyist
Josh - If you are in or near an urban ChCh environment the flow will most likely continue, but be aware if you are not. If not, then after the dandelion flow at the end of Oct there is a pollen and nectar dearth and many beginners often lose hives, when they should have been feeding. The hives in this instance do not become self sufficient again until approx 15-30 Nov

You called it. Hives are fine, heaps of stores, but not much extra laid down over the last week.
 
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5,725
6,277
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
Time for an update .
It's been a month since Christmas when we we shut her down having piled the boxes on.
The weathers been pretty ho hum since then but the bees seem to have got out and about and made a couple of boxes of honey.
I don't think it's going to be a world beater of a season .

I thought we might start takng a bit of honey off this week, but the dreaded Easterly has moved into Canterbury with low cloud, drizzle and cold ....
so I layed the crew off for a couple of days and hunkered down with a book.
 


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