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Author Topic: News from Down Under  (Read 18417 times)

Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2023, 03:34:37 am »
A cold front has moved up the coast as far as N Qld.
Bees are still bringing in pollen and nectar but the mainflowering has passed.
The next few months are expected to be warmer than average and dryer than average.
Soil moisture in most parts of Qld are below average.
All part climate change - get used to it.
Parts of Qld have experienced the hottest April on record.

Tiem to do your Autumn check if you have not done so already.

Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2023, 03:25:56 am »
We have been travelling to NSW ( as far as Yamba) and back taking the inland roads.
We spoke to many beekeepers and visited 5 markets and had a talk to honey sellers.

The feedback variied from" excellent season" to " very little honey around".

Most felt quite positive that the varroa issue can be controlled.

Demand for honey seems to have been slow and prices low. Lower then what we are getting for honey here. One packer refused to take dark honey or paid very low prices.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2023, 06:45:02 am »
Quote
Most felt quite positive that the varroa issue can be controlled.

What is your 'feeling' about this Max?
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2023, 06:40:58 pm »
We are just passing mid winter here.
It has been a very mild winter so far and the next week looks mild too.

Two of my friends tell me that they took honey off recently - WINTER!!

There are still drone cells to be seen and the bees are very active.

My concern is that  we will have a very narrow window to take winter honey off...before the queen will need space, or we will have a horrible swarms season come spring.

Plenty of time for things to chage.
We shall see.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2023, 08:15:28 am »
Interesting Max...

Phillip
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #25 on: July 11, 2023, 08:24:49 am »
Not really news, but it is from DownUnder!

https://youtube.com/shorts/-C_fRv2zuDc?feature=share
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #26 on: July 30, 2023, 04:57:31 am »
A friend called in - he just checked  his hives to find they are full of honey.
Still Jully. Still winter.

What is going on - to take honey off or not, that is the question

Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #27 on: July 31, 2023, 07:59:24 am »
I checked a couple of hives today and they are full of capped honey - there is work ahead.
This is still winter here. far to warm. Talk about " Climate change" . Hottest July on record, indeed i believe the hottest montn ever on this planet.

Poor bees had no break at all.
If Varroa is here to stay we have to find our own way to deal with it. Cold climates do get a brood break - no such luck here.

The SHB are not having a break either.

This will be an interesting Spring.

Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #28 on: August 10, 2023, 12:40:49 am »
I went to one of my yards, the Conondale yard to get a Spring check done and clean the tops of the frames, ready to maybe take some honey off soon.
As expected  I lost a couple of hives. It is not AFB, I would smell this but they probably lost the queen during winter and could not make a replacement.
I will deal with all the equipment as if it was a disease - sterilise as required.
Fewer SHB then expected. Definitely a positive. The traps were pretty full of beetles and I replaced most with new ones.
A lot more propoliis than in other years.
No moisture inside the hives as I had last year. Very much a positive as the moisture is not doing the timber frames any good.
No varroa. This would have been a rude shock. I will keep the container ready to do sugar shakes.
Most honey suppers are full capped with honey to take. There is work ahead.
There is plenty of lovely brood at all stages and the first of the Drones - the time to make splits is not far off.
It has been , so far , a very mild winter. Very dry and very warm. They tell us that July was the warmest July on record.I can remember 20 years ago having to break the ice on the shep's water trough and the frost used to burn off all the Lantana along the Mary River - no more.
I came home, and while I'm deaf as, I could hear a swarm taking off. I got most of the bees into a 10 frame super- we shall see soon if they like their new home or not.
The first swarms for the season. 10. August - the last winter month!
Make sure you got your gear ready - supers painted, frames wired and with foundation
The new season has started.

Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2023, 06:34:37 pm »
I have been busy getting all the gear ready for a busy season.

I also assemble gear for others and while I had some in stock , I need to make up more frames, paint more boxes.

I helped the daughters of a beekeeping friend who sadly died in May with their first extraction.

The equipment was very basic but we took off about 25kg of winter honey.

Lovely to see young , female beekeepers taking on the hobby.

Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #30 on: September 20, 2023, 10:04:35 pm »
I have been making more splits this morning and with 36C predicted I decided to work in the beehouse and catch up on emails - way behind.

We took more honey off this week. I'm storing it now in 10l buckets whcih I stil can lift.

While making splits and lifting off 1/2 supers, again full of honey, and struggling with the weight, it crossed my mind how I would ever be able to lift  full depth , 10 frame supers with honey to check on Varroa?
I have been writing to a long list of people I had hoped could give some advice regarding dealing with Varroa in or subtropical environment. Nil response so far from Government sources but  i got a quick response from the manufacturers of APIGUARD.
It appears that their product ( I hope i got this right) can be used with honet supers on and with brood - the conditions we have to deal with here.
I gather that a pallet load of the product will soon arrive in Australia.
The limitation is the temperature as we could only use the product as long as the days are under 30C.
How many beekeepers will get out?



Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #31 on: September 25, 2023, 06:09:34 pm »
We are taking more honey off. My son is here for a few days and it is an opportunity not to work alone - bliss!

We got the 8 frame extractor going again - the timer was stuffed. It does make work so much easier - 8 FD frames or 16 x 1/2 makes the honey flow!

Thse are the same hives we took honey off just under a month ago and some are the hives i took splits from.
The farmer where i got some of my hives stopped to have a chat and he tells me that he is irrigating ( it has been very dry here) about 70acres of Clover which is in full bloom and the bees are working it. We can tell by the honey we are taking off.

The mornings are still cool - a good opportunity to work in the garden.








Online Ben Framed

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #32 on: September 26, 2023, 01:20:17 am »
Clover is my favorite!! Good for you Max!

Phillip
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Terri Yaki

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #33 on: September 26, 2023, 08:43:45 am »
I am not a honey connoisseur yet but what kind of differences are seen between the origins of the pollen?

Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #34 on: October 12, 2023, 02:36:53 am »
Just finished taking some honey off at my Conondale yard.
I took full supers from there on the 25. September.
This is a yard I generally use to make splits. The demand for Nuc's has dropped to very few ( more than 100 a few years ago) and i take honey off hives i used to make up to 5 splits from.

The yard is facing a national park and is virtaully next door to 70 acres of irrigated White Clover and is surrounded by cattle country.
I can't recall the last time i had virtually pure clover honey. Absolutely lovely.
More to go.
Looks like I have truck coming tomorrow to take about 1/2 tonne of honey away.
I need a bit of space.






Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #35 on: October 16, 2023, 10:52:51 pm »
Yes, more honey.
I picked up another 25 x 10l buckets with lids from the dairy place. They are good value but need cleaning and rinsing and airing and then they are as good as new.
I can do a de-tour on the way from Donating plasma. Nice drive..a very steep road down the Obi Obi( Googkle it)
It is dry everywhere.
No stroms. How we miss them.How the cattle miss them.

I glad 536 kg load is gone. It made some space which I plan to fill.

The local Super market has invited us to have a taste morning.

I wish i had some nice displays. Not very good at this sort of stuff.

Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #36 on: October 20, 2023, 07:55:36 am »
So dry here but the bees keep on giving.
Amazing little creatures.

The smell of honey is in the air.
My son visited and we took more honey off.

Fewer SHB with the dry soil - there is always a " silver lining" if you look for it.
Market in the morning - more beework Sunday

Online Michael Bush

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #37 on: October 20, 2023, 08:04:23 am »
Sometimes the bees make more honey during a dry spell as the plants haven't given up making nectar and the nectar is drier (richer).  Of course it doesn't continue if the dry spell lasts too long.
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Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #38 on: October 26, 2023, 05:45:09 pm »
A dull day here - no firld work .
Time to catch up on emails, making up frames and getting readdy for the next round of the honey harvest.
We had been told " 10 to 20mm of rain" but no such luck.
The Clover would bounce back with a bit of moisture.
I check on hives I took honey of just over 14 days ago and they are ready for the next harvest.

Time to get ready for the Christmas markets which are no far off. A crazy time.

Offline max2

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Re: News from Down Under
« Reply #39 on: November 19, 2023, 07:49:26 pm »
I probably should be making up frames or melting wax...
We have been taking honey off ot making splits or bottling or going to markets withoutn a break.

It has been a good season so far.
very dry conditions have slowed the flow.

I'm lucky as one of my yards is next door to an acreage of irrigated Clover and those bees have not had a break.
The waterhousia has been out and the bees love it.

If we get some good rai, say a couple of inches, the Clover may come back and, with a lot of luck the BrushBox could gives us some nectar too.

It is a interesting game, this beekeeping, never dull.