About the Apiary - August 2002

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About the Apiary

The following are excerpts from a book donated by the Arakura Playcentre to a recent Lions Book Fair, and rescued by Me! The book is called "All Kinds of Bees" and is by D Shuttlesworth and S Swain, published in New York in 1967. Because of the period of time elapsed since publication, there are quite possibly considerable advances in our ‘bee’ knowledge:

"ALL KINDS OF BEES" ...

About the Apiary - July 2002

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About the Apiary

Beekeeping here in Wellington has ceased in the last few weeks. Attention now turns to maintenance of equipment and building replacements. Alternative treatment for mites requires sound gear with no additional entrances. I have quite a few supers that are past their use by date that need attention before mites get here. Sort through your spare honey frames and put aside for melting in the summer any frames that have patches of drone brood.

About the Apiary - June 2002

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About the Apiary

The wonderful weather has continued in our district while those in the south have had snow and those in the north weeks of rain. Bees along the coastal strip are now working Banksias, Tree Lucerne, and Black Wattle, while those along the bush fringe a working Kohekohe and the last of the Rata.

About the Apiary - May 2002

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About the Apiary

April was a mild month with many warm, still days. The odd hint that winter was coming was evident with the heavy dews on the lawn in the mornings and the ever-decreasing hours of daylight.

About the Apiary - September 2001

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About the Apiary

September / October are the most important months in beekeeping. Brood production has been stimulated by early nectar and pollen sources. We must see that this is kept up, yet keep the fine balance of providing room and preventing swarming.

About the Apiary - August 2001

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About the Apiary

CHECKING: This month most commercial beekeepers would have completed their first round of hive checking and would have started feeding sugar and pollen substitute to boost brood production.

About the Apiary - June 2001

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About The Apiary

Winter has really arrived with snow on the mountain ranges and cold windy days. Work is now mostly restricted to indoor activities preparing for the next season. The hives are in very good condition thanks to the long warm autumn. Our beautiful warm, still days allowed the bees to collect the lasts of the Crimson Rata nectar, (Metrosideros carminea) which the bees have packed around the brood nest.

About the Apiary - May 2001

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About The Apiary

Beekeeping for the year is drawing to a close. Winter is fast approaching and the bees are going into a cluster. Time to plan for the next season and look back on the previous one. NIWA is indicating that this winter is going to be warmer and drier than average so plan for this. Could be that the bees will be out foraging during the winter on warm calm days.

About the Apiary - March 2001

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About the Apiary

The drought is still biting hard in and around Wellington. More and more scrubs on rocky slopes are now dying. Farm ponds are baked dry. Creeks have ceased to flow or are down to a trickle and a lot of horse people are carting in food and water to keep their charges alive. I visited an apiary the other day and found only the water-carriers flying, collecting water from moist areas in the creek bed.

About the Apiary - February 2001

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About the Apiary

Around Wellington everything has dried out. The countryside looks like Blenheim. A lot of plants are showing signs of stress. Leaves on the Rangiora bushes are crumpled and shrunken. However if you look around, nectar sources are still available to the bees. Along road edges and in waste areas, fennel and thistle are flowering while in the city and in parks, the red and orange flowering eucalyptus is just getting under way.

It's a good time to take off the honey.

About the Apiary - December 2000

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About the Apiary

November would be a month that a lot of beekeepers and orchardists would like to forget. Three cold fronts introduced prolonged periods of cold temperatures, high winds, frost and hail damage, and snow down south and on the North Island mountains ranges.

About the Apiary - November 2000

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About the Apiary

I'll start this month with a couple of don'ts.

Don't lick at a sting site on the back of your hand to reduce the pain without first checking that the sting has been completely removed. Otherwise you are just transferring the pain to a different area and stings are not all that easy to remove from the tongue.

About the Apiary - October 2000

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About the Apiary

Spring is really here along with the odd shower and a really good snowstorm. The weather is so changeable. One day its as hot as summer, the next is wet and windy. The new spring growth on trees and shrubs in the bush looks spectacular with all the different colours and hews. Everything seems to be flowering and the bees are building up well. The bees brought in a tremendous amount of honey from the willow and this has set them up well for the expected dearth in November.

About the Apiary - June 2000

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About the Apiary

Our AgriQuality staff, members of the field response teams, support and head quarters staff, plus executive members and beekeepers have been putting in tremendously long hours plotting, testing, tracing, evaluating and now formulating proposals for the control or whatever for the varroa mite incursion. Those outside the control zones have carried on beekeeping.

About the Apiary - May 2000

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About the Apiary  (this article was not published in the May Newsletter)

April 2000 has been quite a month with all our focus on one thing. The Varroa Mite, The 11th of April will go down in the history of New Zealand beekeeping. Whether it will be remembered as the date varroa was first discovered and changed our beekeeping practices forever, or whether it will go down as the date that the eradication of the mite started, time will tell. At the time of writing this, the decision has not been made.

About the Apiary - April 2000

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About the Apiary

March was sunny and warm but nights are now distinctly cooler indicating that winter is almost here. The countryside looks fairly dry with only a covering of short green grass. From a bee's eye view, everything looks bleak with very little flowering so they have settled into winter mode.

About the Apiary - February 2000

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About the Apiary

January has just finished and from reports I have received from around our area, some beekeepers are pleased and some are a little down still waiting for a crop that has been quickly burnt off by the hot dry weather. Around here things are humming along. Manuka and Pohutukawa had a prolonged flowering. Four frame nucs made in October should produce two supers of honey. Clover is in the fields and with all the rain we have been having, it should continue to flower.

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