Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: News from Down Under  (Read 643 times)

Offline max2

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 783
  • Gender: Male
News from Down Under
« on: August 31, 2022, 07:01:14 pm »
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
max

Online Acebird

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 7469
  • Gender: Male
  • No longer keeping bees
Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2022, 04:19:11 pm »
Hey that is great Max.  I will be looking forward to the post.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline max2

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 783
  • Gender: Male
Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2022, 07:13:18 pm »
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.





Offline max2

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 783
  • Gender: Male
Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2022, 03:13:25 am »
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.


Offline max2

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 783
  • Gender: Male
Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2022, 10:37:13 pm »
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.

Offline max2

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 783
  • Gender: Male
Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2022, 02:57:57 am »
Nice touch:
Royal Beekeeper tells Her Majesty?s bees of her death.

An old tradition

Offline The15thMember

  • Global Moderator
  • Super Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 2721
  • Gender: Female
  • Traveler of the Multiverse, Seeker of Knowledge
Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2022, 01:08:47 pm »
Nice touch:
Royal Beekeeper tells Her Majesty?s bees of her death.

An old tradition
Oh that's wonderful.  We have the same tradition here in the US, although very few people practice it anymore.  Here's the news story if anyone would like to read it. 
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11199259/Royal-beekeeper-informed-Queens-bees-HM-died-King-Charles-new-boss.html
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline max2

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 783
  • Gender: Male
Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2022, 05:15:34 am »
I went to visit a beekeeping mate of mine.
He has been in bees for 30 or so years.

He tells me that this is the first year that he is not getting honey of macademias.

Indeed - no honey so far at all.

We were pondering....still too cool? or are the trees putting all this moisture into growth?

It is warming up next weekend...here is hoping.

Offline max2

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 783
  • Gender: Male
Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2022, 02:45:51 am »
We took a bit more honey off today - just so we have enough to sell at the Witta market.

I learned another lesson.

In the past i used to take the honey out of lids. No more.
I leave it for the bees to clean up during winter.
By Spring - now, the honey is all gone and all that is left are old comb.

These are obviously heaven for SHB and it is time to clean them up.

Offline Lesgold

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 420
  • Gender: Male
Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2022, 03:46:58 am »
Good idea Max. Never thought of doing that. Checked a couple of hives yesterday. The bees are going gang busters after a winter flow. I gave myself some extra time by removing queen excluders after the final extraction in August. Those frames are now filling with brood and honey. It?s going to be a big swarm season in my region due to the spotted gum bloom.

Offline max2

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 783
  • Gender: Male
Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2022, 02:46:23 am »
I stuffed up big time.

When I make up nuc's  I place 3 frames with mixed brood in a 5 frame wooden nuc box and add a frame of honey if i feel they are a bit short on honey.

I move this box to another yard - fieldbees and all.

Generally they make their own queen. Generally they don't need feeding.

This time I used boxes with a conventional slot entrance and I had nothing with me to close them off.

So, big mistake, I left them in the yard with the mother hives.

Of course most of the fieldbees wil go "home" to the mother hive.

Without field bees the some of the nuc's run out of food and I will loose a couple.

I did feed them but was probably a day too late.

I made up more nuc's today....and, yes, i shifted them. I also gave them a frame with honey...just in case.

Due to age related issues most of my hives i take brood frames from only have a 1/2 super on top. I'm still able to lift those with honey - no chance anymore with the FD supers.

The disadvamtage is that I can't borrow honey frames from the honey supper/

Never stop learning in this game.

Online Acebird

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 7469
  • Gender: Male
  • No longer keeping bees
Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2022, 10:02:26 am »
That is why I split hives instead of making nucs.  You will end up with a strong nuc and a weakened parent hive.  Dependent on how big the parent hive was you can split again in a few weeks.  This will yield 3 strong nucs from one strong hive.  It is a slower expansion but easier to do for back yard beeks.  I always did this in the spring because that is when resources are plentiful.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline max2

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 783
  • Gender: Male
Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2022, 05:34:30 pm »
Brian,
can you please expand on your explanation, please.

I move my nuc's ( up to 7 at a time) from yard to yard in a  very small car.

I use round disc closures which work well for me and keep the bees inside the 5 frame nuc..

The big advantage for me is weight - I'm not 60 anymore and lifting is getting a big issue for me.

I mostly work on my own out of choice as i like the solitude of bees and me - I'm partially deaf and communication with others is not easy anymore.

Getting old is not for the fainthhearted

Online Acebird

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 7469
  • Gender: Male
  • No longer keeping bees
Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2022, 09:07:19 am »
If you split hives in half you don't need to move them.  Young bees stay in the split and most of the old bees go back to the parent. A large split insures that it doesn't go weak.  In the parent hive the queen is pumping out eggs so recovery is fast during a flow.
I am nearing 70 with a damaged back.  Nearly every day is pain but moving to sunny FL has done the back good. Doing something is far better then not doing something.
Don't hesitate, go to smaller equipment either by trading or cutting it down.  You will lose some yield but smaller hives will be easier to manage.  Splitting (in half) naturally curbs swarming. Good luck and keep trying.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline max2

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 783
  • Gender: Male
Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2022, 04:51:38 am »
P picked up some gear I had irradiated.

I was able to add some hive gear to the pallet loads of a beekeeping friend.

These were mainly dead outs - not necessarily diseased gear - just playing it safe.

The gear had been away for a long time. Wax Moth got into frames and it is a messy job cleaning it up.
Definitely ( at the back yard level) only worth doing for near new gear.
It is a huge job!

Offline max2

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 783
  • Gender: Male
Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2022, 09:12:26 pm »
Just checked the hives in the home yard.

There is some honey to take - soon.

I have never seen so many SHB.

I use the common Bettleblaster traps with DE and they work for me.
They work so well that some are full to near the top. At this point the DE is no effective anymore and i have changed some of the traps.

More rain is on the way and i hope take some honey off after.

Check your hives for SHB!!

Offline max2

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 783
  • Gender: Male
Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #16 on: Today at 04:23:27 am »
I checked some of my nuc's today - the rain is still holding off.

Very mixed results.
I start off with 3 frames from the mother hive and select frames with eggs and very young larvae so that they have every opportunity to make queens.

Often I find multiple queen cells at day 10 to 12.

This time I have some nuc's which have not made ANY queen cells and i have to give them another frame in the hope that they will successd the second time.
All very unusual.