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Beez pleezz

Discussion in 'Gardening With Animals' started by Trish Stretton, May 7, 2019.

  1. Sep 10, 2019
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    does that big top have to be lifted off of there? if so, you may want to figure out some hinges on the back and a handle on the front to give you some leverage as that looks pretty heavy... before the bees arrive and get settled in... :) otherwise, just ignore me, it looks very nicely done and i hope it lasts you a good long time!
     
    Carol Dee likes this.
  2. Sep 11, 2019
    Trish Stretton

    Trish Stretton Deeply Rooted

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    Good spotting Watson!!!
    Yep, I have handles somewhere, a matching pair, just got to remember where I last saw them. This is the reason why I decided on having the thicker ply on top. The first one was only thin, maybe three ply and would not have stood the test of time.
    Meanwhile, I started painting it. I cant help but hang onto things that might come in handy, so this paint- in your face white is enough to do at least two coats.
    To be honest, I think I will need to add a little something to it cos its Bright!!

    I was actually able to inspect the hive today, went outside and oh my! warm,still, no clouds so I grabbed the smoker stole some embers from the fireplace to start it with, raced it outside before the smoke alarm went off and donned on my jacket.
    My dog knows now that when he sees this happening, its a good time to go in side.

    I had to turn all the frames around and move them from one end of the hive to the other, making sure they were lined up properly. This is because the entrance they are using will be too small for summer- it was almost too small for Spring, with big traffic jams.

    Everything went really well, tons of pollen, capped brood. Nice pattern of uncapped brood and I obviously leave a bit too much honey for over wintering cos they still had alot of capped honey from last year.
    I didnt see the Queen and I didnt see any eggs, but I wasnt really looking for either this time. With all this pollen coming in, its a sure bet there is a Queen, so one less thing to worry about.

    Now I just need some nice weather so my AFB inspector can come over to do my legally required AFB inspection. If I didnt work weekends, I could do the course that would allow me to do my own. For now, I am glad to have somebody else do this. I think all new beekeepers should have somebody else do this for a few years, then do it under supervision before being let loose on the world, but thats just me. I wont be able to do my course for at least 2 -4 (hopefully) years.

    I still have a big window to split the hive in two, at least til the middle of December.

    Now I am working on shaving down the frames so they are only 32mm wide and inserting small cell plastic foundation into these...and waxing them. I have a sore index finger from finger-painting almost melted wax onto to some frames.
     
    pjn and flowerbug like this.
  3. Sep 23, 2019
    Trish Stretton

    Trish Stretton Deeply Rooted

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    Just did another inspection to make sure everything was still going okay.
    I was a bit worried because when I looked through the window at the bees on Sunday night, there didnt seem to be as many in there.
    The frames I put in earlier with starter strips were not fully built out like I expected, but everything else looked really good.
    I'm still waiting to hear back from my AFB inspector to check things out, but thats okay. I have until the 30th of Nov to get this done.
     
    flowerbug likes this.
  4. Sep 23, 2019
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    the yellow/orange/reddish cosmos are in full bloom right now here and the bees are all over them. at a quick glance the other day at least eight species of bees were on there and one humongous brown praying mantis.
     
    Trish Stretton likes this.
  5. Sep 24, 2019
    Trish Stretton

    Trish Stretton Deeply Rooted

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    Wow! 8 !!
    I found a type of Cosmos that is supposed to be a perennial with chocolate flowers. I managed to get a few seeds to sprout, which was good cos there were only 6 in the pack.
    Hopefully this year they do grow back.
    Maybe I should look at getting some of the annuals as well but plant them in the front yard so there is less chance of them crossing.
     
    flowerbug likes this.
  6. Oct 21, 2019 at 6:33 AM
    Trish Stretton

    Trish Stretton Deeply Rooted

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    Yesterday my official AFB inspection got done and the hive passed.
    Its spring here in NZ and no wonder that the hive also needed to be split...actually, to be honest, I'm of two minds on this subject.
    Truth is I needed it to be split so I could now have hive #2. i'm sure the bees would have been quite happy sending their sisters off into the wide blue yonder....but they dont seem to know there isnt much in the way of new (wild) homes out there for them any more.

    I'm really grateful to my inspector. I would have had trouble knowing exactly what to do with all the Queen cells we found. Two had already been capped so it was a surprise to find the existing Queen was still in the hive. Oftentimes
    she has already left by the time they have been capped. There were so many swarm cells that had larvae in them, I wondered if there would have been anything left of this hive if these had managed to hatch out and swarm. All but one were quietly removed.
    I wish I was ready for a third hive cos both capped Queen cells were an absolute work of art.

    The new hive is one I built using standard Jumbo deep boxes. I did need to tweak it alittle. I did also want to try out the insulated double wall idea, but that made it so heavy I couldnt even lift it, let alone 'walk' it into place.
    It now sits alongside of my path up to the back lawn. I did have to lower it abit so it was more stable and put pieces of concrete under the feet so they didnt sink with time, or rot.

    So....now I have two hives.
     
  7. Oct 21, 2019 at 12:42 PM
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    hmm, chocolate cosmos, perennial, ah, not hardy enough for here unless the tubers are lifted and stored for the winter. does look similar to the darker red cosmos i can get sometimes in the orange/reddish/yellow blend - but those are only annuals. did you plant them in a pot where you can keep an eye on them?

    congrats on the inspection pass and the hive split i hope the new queen will do ok in there. :) i'd be pretty nervous about it all.
     
  8. Oct 21, 2019 at 4:49 PM
    thistlebloom

    thistlebloom Garden Master

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    I enjoy reading about your bees Trish, thanks for sharing and I hope both of your hives prosper!
     

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