How's your first spring checks?

Welcome to NZ Beekeepers+
Would you like to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.
Sign up

Alastair

Founder Member
Platinum
8,747
9,962
Auckland
Experience
Semi Commercial
Just started the first spring round, surprising results. Some hives very weak, and some boiling with bees, so much so I have already taken packages from some of them just to reduce numbers.

Some hives have come through winter with more honey than they started with, never seen that before. It is a vile tasting granulated honey I think it is willow dew. Winter here has been much warner than normal with temperatures in the 20's even mid winter, I think that has allowed the production of willow dew, and also enabled the bees to go and get it.

It has been a really strange year weather wise, and that is reflected in the state of the hives.

Just wondering how it's going for everyone else?
 

Dansar

Founder Member
BOP Club
6,224
5,708
Putaruru
Experience
Commercial
Much like yours @Alastair. Only difference is lack of food. Hives that were overwinterEd as doubles with food above are near empty. Friday I reduced an apiary of 20 hives down to singles and gave all a feed. Drones starting to appear too.
I may just have a crack at rearing some queens starting early September. I haven’t done that since about 2016.
 
42
28
Dunedin
Experience
Hobbyist
@Alasdair: In the deep south I have only been able to lift hives to get a feel for store weight and it's not much reduced over winter. Bees are active on sunny days. Sticky boards showed 4 out of 6 had no mites dropping over 24hrs; one hive had 1, and another 5. Still too cold and waking up to snow this morning I have to wait a little before I can check inside, but so far so good!
 
736
588
Christchurch
Experience
Semi Commercial
I’m seeing similar things in the Port Hills. Some cranking, some reduced by half, some with plenty of stores left and some starving. It has been a frustrating first couple of rounds. I started a bit of feeding then it snowed and damp settled in. Aaaaaaaaaaaaargh
But I’ve got drones, so queen rearing should be on track for mid September.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Alastair

Alastair

Founder Member
Platinum
8,747
9,962
Auckland
Experience
Semi Commercial
Interesting Paul, no drones for me, other than a very few old overwintered ones.

First smattering of drone brood in a few hives, but the first graft will be later than usual for me. Normally by this time all hives cranking up the drone brood.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CHCHPaul
3,575
6,699
Hawkes Bay
Experience
Commercial
My handful of hives at home are busting out with fresh nectar and brood everywhere. My three remaining sites on the coast are unfortunately no where near as good with most hives short of pollen and some not even breeding yet and a fair few didn't make it through the winter.
 


Top