News from Down Under

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Greetings Beekeepers.

Welcome to Spring in Australia 1. September 2022

You will notice a new heading " News from Down Under" which has been approved, indeed supported by our moderators.

While I will try to cover some Bee News from Australia, I will mainly focus on bee related activities from Queensland - the state in Australia where I live and keep bees.
I will continue to submit news to the " Varroa" heading and the " What's flowering in Qld" heading.

I have kept bees for about 46 years.
We are small beekeepers who love our bees and most of the activities associated with bees.
I'm no expert!

This heading will only be interesting if many other beekeepers from Australia ( and indeed Overseas) are contributing.

A new start with Spring!!

With my best wishes

Hey that is great Max.  I will be looking forward to the post.

A rainy day...
Bees were superbusy yesterday and you can feel Spring is in the air.

September is an important month for us here in the Sub tropics.

I have been busy putting foundation into frames.For each nuc I sell I need 5 frames.

I have plenty of nuc boxes ready. And SHB traps too.

I put a drop or three of Lemon Grass Oil into each box. The bees seem to like it. More is not better.

If you have not done your brood check - now is the tiem.

As I went through the brood I also marked the queens - Yellow is the colour for this year.

I number each nuc so that I can keep track of them easily.

I looks like I will be making queens this year in numbers - they are very difficult to find right now. At this point ( due to varroa in the South) queen breeders are not permited to mail queens to us here in Qld. This may change in the future. It has definitely increased the cost/queen and reduced availability of Qld breed queens.

Back to the beehouse getting frames and boxes ready.

I had a long day with the bees. perfect weather.

The honey is late coming in - still only  a touch.

The bees are genrally very busy, lots of brood at all stages and loads of bees.

Still getting all this condensation - too much rain, too much fog?

SHB - a few hives have huge numbers but seem to deal with them...other hives NIL. A lot of the beetles seem to be keept under the wings of the traps.
definitely Caucasina bees are producing a lot more propolis and the bees keeping the beetles trapped. I have been pushing Italian genetics for a long time but the caucasian genetics is persisting.

I found one hive with a  few replacement queen cells - pretty sure they are not swarms cells.

I made a split just to see if it works.

There is a lot of White Clover flowering but not many bees working it. I know Clover can be fussy.

You never stop learning.

We took some honey off today. Not much, enough to have something to sell at the markets.

I took some honey off the hive with absolutely huge population of SHB. I must have killed 100 yesterday and a similar number today. The traps are working but had filled up.

One observation - this hive is in a lot of shade. The tree will go - sadly it is a Olive but I'm not going to move the hive.

People often ask me how long a super lasts or a frame.

Well, it depends. I used to put a date on all frames and I have some frames with 1978 on  them - 44 years old and still in service. I have frames  which were hand made with a knife ( not by me!) and the are still in supers.

I have supers which the old metal hangers.
I haven't used them for a long time.


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