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Author Topic: News from Down Under  (Read 13045 times)

Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #40 on: December 14, 2023, 12:37:39 am »
There is a " Heatwave warning" out and I pulled back into my cool office space - beeing rammed earth i never have to artificially cool it or heat it. A good space to spend the midday hours. As we are a little inland and in a slightly elevated valley we benefitting from a cool breeze in the late afternoons and the nights are generally very comfortable.

I have done another round of honey harvest - it does take me about 7 to 8 days at the moment from start to finish.

The honey from this batch is mostly bottled already - ready for the Christmas market.

SHB have not been an issue so far.
It is too hot and too dry- We had some rain but the benefit has long gone.

I could make up frames, paint boxes but can't be bothered.

All the nuc's have been committed. I should have made more but pre-orders have not been encouraging.

Honey sales overall have been quite good but one shop has dropped off considerably.

To get another flow we need rain....

Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #41 on: December 19, 2023, 02:03:22 am »
Still very hot here.
We pulled approx 110 kg this morning - hot work with the temp just a touch under 30C in the beehouse.
Honey measured at just under 18 - I'm happy with that.
They say that we will be getting cooler weather with some good rain.
Up north some areas received over 2 meters  ( TWO metres) ina couple of days.

We don't want that!

I have been seeding pastures in the last few days. More to go today and the next few days. You have to make hay while the rain is coming...

Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #42 on: December 23, 2023, 09:37:06 pm »
My beework for this year is coming to an end.
My son is up for a few days and we have been working on a warmer box - a decent sized one for a few hrs.
I would like store maybe 100kg of honey in the box without it EVER crystalizing.

It has been a good year beewise. Plenty of honey and a nice number of nuc's and swarms

I have to review how I will go about things bees for the next year.

There will be varroa to deal with and nobody has a clue how to work with this pest in our type of environment.

Packing up is one option.

Honey sales have been OK. There is no fortune to be made.

Very small beekeepers with just a few hives but plenty of honey this year are undercutting prices. I would not be surprised if they run out of honey by winter...

I feel like i have the genetics right  with lovely bees to work and hives which are productive.

We shall see what 2024 brings

Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #43 on: December 23, 2023, 09:45:40 pm »
About this warming box.
I can't find any information which tells me the ideal temperature  to store honey?

Above 35C " it affects the good stuff". at room temperature it will crystalize.

I'm well aware that many other factors play their part too.

I would like to know the best temp to store the honey without affecting quality but warm enough that it does not crystalize???
This is the temperature i will set the warming box at...


Online NigelP

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #44 on: December 24, 2023, 05:32:42 am »
Max, for what it's worth I store my honey in buckets and let it crystallise. No other option as too many buckets for a warming cabinet, I'd need a warming room!. For selling, it's then remelted overnight  at 50C, jarred and stored at 29C in a warming cabinet. Non has ever set whilst being held at that temperature. Mind it's rarely in there for than a couple of weeks. In our UK summer I just turn the cabinet off.
My soft set honey is different as it can separate out if kept too warm, so is stored at 4C in a large fridge.

Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #45 on: December 27, 2023, 09:52:14 pm »
Hi Nigel,
50C seems too hot .
 I will try 29 C - my son and i have been playing around with a warming box and I will give it a good run before the winter comes.

Interesting to read the literature on honey and temperature.  A lot of mixed opinion.
Surely, anything below the temperature in the hive is OK.
But then...I had honey crystalize in my hives.

Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #46 on: December 27, 2023, 09:58:35 pm »
One of the storms resulted in a large part of a Leoprad tree falling on top of 5 nuc's - all the fun.

The bees did not like it at all.

I got up early to make a start at 430 AM but could not start my chainsaw.

Son no one came to help with his pruner and plenty of muscle.

We got all the branches claer. Could have been worse.

I had to rebuild the stands but the bees seem to have settled back OK

Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #47 on: December 29, 2023, 05:18:19 pm »
There seems to be an end to this heatwave...in a few days.
 The heat has driven me inside. Even making up frames is sweaty work.

I have a few more nuc's ready to go.

They have to picked up on a cool evening as I can't get the bees in - they are all bearding.

here is hoping!

Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #48 on: January 02, 2024, 12:04:20 am »
Extreme weather coming i this direction.
The river is just about at the point of flooding.
In 2022 we lost all our river fences - I hope that this time luck will be with us.
Further South  people have lost hives in the last week due to flooding - I understand that some financial help is available.

All our hives are on high ground.

The Silver lining?
Well, this rain will put much needed moisture into the subsoil...the type of conditions the Euc's need and like.

Our next door dairy will be happy too as he has a flood harvesting licence. The grass will grow and he can feed his 400 cows again without buying loads of expensive hay.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2024, 01:27:22 am by max2 »

Online Terri Yaki

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #49 on: January 02, 2024, 09:24:23 am »
Here's Hoping you get all of the good and none of the bad from your storms. I'm on high ground here but used to live right on the edge of the flood plain and it can be unnerving.

Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #50 on: January 24, 2024, 11:56:48 pm »

Online Terri Yaki

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #51 on: January 25, 2024, 09:15:32 am »

Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #52 on: January 29, 2024, 05:52:04 pm »
The rain does not  stop.
We had very steady rain and it is raining now and more is on the way.
I wanted to pick up some woodenware but the bridge goes under - too risky.
Frustrating!
The rain is quite widespread and to all my beekeeping friends i say:
- stay dry
- give the bees a day of good weather before you are opening hives
- check for SHB - these are perfect conditions.
- make sure the hives are tilted to the front so any water can drain out.

Some areas got strong wind - check that hives have not been shifted or hit by falling trees.

A good time to make plans for the rest of the year.

Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #53 on: January 30, 2024, 12:12:10 am »
I hope you are all staying safe and dry:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-01-30/qld-weather-flooding-storms-live-blog-rain/103404738

...and more is on the way

Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #54 on: February 04, 2024, 01:15:41 am »
We had a couple of relatively sunny days. Sunny but hot and humid.
I could smell some honey coming in.
We did a good clean up of one of the yards and it is looking great. We will be planting a few trees to eventually give the hives some afternoon shade.

I had reports of hive losses to SHB. Not a surprise as the conditions are ideal for them at the moment.

Honey prices are under pressure here.
This was on the ABC news today:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2024-02-04/australian-honey-bee-council-concerns-imported-honey/103419318
I visited one of my bee mates with about 500 hives and he was offered $ 4.30/kg.
This would not give him a decent income for the year.
He has to run two vehicles and employs a bloke part time.
Farming is generally a mugs game.
When Varroa hits us here i can see mnay of the bigger beekeepers focussing on taking hives to the increasing areas under Almonds. Honey is not the game.

Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #55 on: February 12, 2024, 06:11:55 pm »
The rain continous with short, sunny breaks.
What amazes me is that I can smell honey after a couple of hrs of sunshine.
Of course I can't open a hive in this weather and I would love to take some honey off - one last harvest.
The weather does not only affect normal bee work but our main market maybe cancelled as access is to challenging.
We have to travel across two bridges and a low area and the water was a metre about the bridge deck.
The water level drops fast but debris has to be removed .
Feb is our last summer month and by mid March you can smell Autumn - looking forward to a change

Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #56 on: February 17, 2024, 12:13:10 am »
There is a Cyclone dumping massive amounts of rain up North,
Storms and bush Fires in Vic, 43C in the West..I emptied 155mm from my rain gauge.

It is difficult to farm like this, impossible to keep garden and not much fun to keep bees.
I take a break!

Online Terri Yaki

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #57 on: February 17, 2024, 08:31:36 am »
There is a Cyclone dumping massive amounts of rain up North,
Storms and bush Fires in Vic, 43C in the West..I emptied 155mm from my rain gauge.

It is difficult to farm like this, impossible to keep garden and not much fun to keep bees.
I take a break!
Take a break, have a Fosters and watch the roos for a bit.

 

anything