Apiary Diary January 2022

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tommy dave

Gold
BOP Club
190
218
mostly wellington, sometimes dunedin
Experience
Hobbyist
Extracted a few boxes off a lovely little four hive apiary just after Christmas.

Had a look yesterday, debated pulling off another half dozen boxes, decided not to,. regretted that a little bit after undersupering then having to put fully capped boxes back on top of stacks. Gave up on the last hive and pulled a few frames out before lifting it on, then replaced the frames.
 
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719
567
Christchurch
Experience
Semi Commercial
Man! The honey is flowing in fast at the moment. Girls are drawing wax faster than I can get it on the frames. And the boxes are getting heavy… so I bought my first ten 3/4 boxes yesterday 😬

Too much honey!!!
 
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tommy dave

Gold
BOP Club
190
218
mostly wellington, sometimes dunedin
Experience
Hobbyist
went through my wellington backyard hive today - i added a couple of boxes just before christmas, one 3/4 drawn frames, one full depth undrawn. Since then there has been a lot of hot dry weather to complement the pohutukawa flow. Didn't have a box ready to add at the time, will add one or two tomorrow - should be just one, to avoid breaking my made today rule about not stacking higher than seven full depth equivalent boxes high, but will probably go with two. Inspecting a friend's back from the dead last autumn hive and the two community garden hives i manage tomorrow - expecting similar issues, although already broke that rule on one of the community garden hives, honey pull for those ones end january for extraction and sale early february.

Taranaki hives pumping, first honey pull done and hopefully enough space for the next little while. I think i posted previously in October that my five there had become four due to a starvation failure, and five again after a split? Pic attached of how i left them after some days of spraying and ragwort pulling (and fishing) just gone. The observant among you might notice six stacks, the one at the back is spares, in the meantime functioning as a swarm soak in the unlikely event of a swarm. The incredibly observant among you might notice a trace of red/pink dye on the rushes to the right of frame - i'd sprayed it a couple of days earlier, along with another eight knapsacks worth of spraying that day...

And lastly, after the honey pull i'll finally be getting rid of the last couple of hives at my place in dunedin soon - they've handled remote management well enough and it has been fun to prove that hives can be managed on some sites on five visits a year, but now time to move out along with the friend who has been living there the last while most of the time since i moved to wellington.
 

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3,423
6,380
Hawkes Bay
Experience
Commercial
Found some nice full hives today but the heat was pretty incredible. I started early and got the first apiary done with no problems but halfway through the second one I was really feeling the heat and struggling to get the heaviest boxes up five high on the truck. I was having a drink every three or four hives but I reckon I was still a couple of litres short by the time I finished. I had to lie in the shade under the truck the deck about six times to try and cool down a bit. I could have done another apiary on the way home but it was just not worth it in that sort of heat. I'm going to get another load tomorrow and it's supposed to be cooler and a bit drizzly which won't be fun but it will be better than whatever temperature I was in today. It was 30° when I got home but it was a lot hotter than that were I was. Heat exhaustion is one of the biggest risks in beekeeping and has put people in hospital before. It's a couple of years since I've had a day that hot. I ended up taking my gloves off which I don't like doing cause I hate getting sticky. The bees weren't too grumpy but I got quite a few stings just from putting my hand on top of them. I'm feeling my age tonight.
 

southbee

Gold
217
199
Southland
Experience
Commercial
We don't get it that hot that often down here, but when we do it's just crippling and I don't deal well with it. I started wearing a headband soaked in cold water, it helps for a while and I soak it in between apiaries. Still, the heat really wears me out and it gets hard to keep going the next day, so good luck for today!
 
949
1,700
Croatia
Experience
International
Over here at the moment we have temps dancing around zero.. Heat at the moment - since is evening I relax with hot schnapps.. But in summer time.. One year was really hot and at one moment when I was taking frames for extraction it hits me I had to take pause to cool down ( it was around 35C).. It was really bad feeling..
 
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6
18
Bay of Plenty
Experience
Commercial
Just finished a day in the extracting shed. Started at 7am and finished at 3pm. Wasn't quite so hot today, only got to 32C but it has been close to 40C some days. On my frequent breaks I go into the cool store and lie on the floor !!! Having been out with the boys when they harvest a site I don't know how they can do it every day. Some of our sites this year have been 7 supers high and the boys take a step ladder to take the boxes off. It looks like a better season so far. 👌 We've finished the Blackberry, Rata/Towai and next week depending on the weather will start to harvest the Manuka sites. Fingers crossed we can get a good price to make up for previous poor seasons.
 
5,620
6,049
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
Went on a night shift too last night….. and picked up another load in the early morning.
Some cheque book beekeepers had offered the land owner some dollars for the site.
I counter offered at $20 / hive…. But then got grumpy at settting a precedent, particularly as the Rata is a bit ho hum…. So moved to bees and doubled up a freee site.
So landowner got no money or free honey this year
Greed is a funny thing that usually goes around in circles.E9920903-99A3-4624-8B01-920B2D57B467.jpegA846EA03-6114-4C2E-BEB4-988F0E224BCC.jpeg
 

Mark Lawrence

Founder Member
Gold
40
58
Christchurch
Experience
Breeder
Been a hot few days taking honey off.
Main man is happy to be working off his Christmad excess….. and girl is in shock at how heavy a box can be…..
BeeBoss just works the crane and hardly breaks a sweat.View attachment 1201
I remember back in 2013. By the end of the season Rachael (female beekeeper at the time) was proud of her biceps!!
 


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