About the Apiary - September 1999

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Spring is a wonderful time of re-growth and renewal. Trees are budding up and most hives are in full swing on the warm, clear, sunny days. Have a look at what's flowering and what the bees are working in your area: tree lucerne, pussy willow, early plumb trees, black and bush wattle and the odd kowhai.

About the Apiary - June 1999

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About the Apiary

Well winter has finally arrived with last weekend’s fall of snow around the mountains. Hasn’t it been a lovely warm autumn?

It has been quite surprising to still see drones flying from some hives during the middle of the day. This is usually a sign of a queenless hive, but on investigation, the hives concerned have each been found to be very strong, have a new queens, about three frames with brood and wet honey around the brood nest. Seems there is something around stimulating the hives into continued brood rearing.

About the Apiary - February 1999

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About the Apiary - Feb 99

The honey flow is now tapering off which means we should now turn our attention to extracting the crop. However let's reflect on the season.

About the Apiary - 1998

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This is a regular column contributed every month (well almost every month)by Frank Lindsay.

Articles for 1998:

About the Apiary - November 1998

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November 98

October 1998 will go down in history as quite a month. Constant rain resulting in extensive flooding, as well as persistent high winds. When it wasn't raining, it was blowing. I had hives on pallets completely turned over and some scattered down hillsides, three had died out. Another apiary was flooded but the damage was minimal, just a few inches of water through the bottom boxes on a few hives, so these were moved.

About the Apiary - October 1998

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October 98

Spring is really here. Birds are singing and butterflies are now on the wing. Most hives around Wellington will be bringing in honey from early bush flows. Some of my strong hives have stored half a box of new honey, (this and the reserves make a full box of stores on the hives). Its amazing the different coloured honey in some hives, light and dark. Different hives seem to be working different sources.

About the Apiary - August 1998

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August 98

The month before last a question was asked about how to remove ants from under the lids of hives. I tend to just squash them all with the hive tool, however I noticed the article in the American Bee Journal, the history section of 50 years ago.

About the Apiary - May 1998

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May 98

There is very little to do to your bees this month as they have gone into their winter cluster and will now only fly on warm days. Most of the drones will have been thrown out and the last lot of brood is about to emerge.

Entrances should have been reduced to prevent mice and winter drafts from entering the hive. Keep the grass down and if you wish, provide an additional piece of timber in front of the landing board, so those bee coming in short of the landing board, can easily walk into the hive.

About the apiary - April 1998

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April 98

Replace any rotten woodware, make sure the hives are off the ground at least 100 mm and slightly sloping forward so rain runs off the landing board. Spray, salt, weed, what ever to remove any grass from around the hives. Close down the entrance so mice can’t get in. Check the stores; there should be at least a super of honey. If you don’t have this amount feed sugar syrup 60% in a large feeder until they have enough stores. Place a small twig under the roof to provide ventilation and your set for the winter.

About the Apiary - March 1998

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March 98

The clover has disappeared from the road edges which indicates the main honey flow is now over. A few autumn scrubs are now starting to flowering but these don't normally put honey in the hives.

While removing honey I noticed most hives have a large amount of brood. Does this indicate another flow, a mild winter/ early spring? I wish I knew.

About the Apiary - February 1998

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February 98

Location - location -location: it’s everything. You can do everything right, requeen, check for Q cells and give room for storage and not produce much of a crop if your hives are not in sheltered positions.

About the Apiary - 1997

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This is a regular column contributed every month (well almost every month) by Frank Lindsay.

Articles for 1997:

About the Apiary - December 1997

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December 97

The flow has started, long may it reign - well once or twice a week at night would be best (rain, that is). Pohutakawa is starting, manuka is getting under way, kamahi is flowering the best for some years, rewarewa and some whitey-wood is also flowering. While clover, dandelion and catsear are covering the ground. Just as all these are flowering, the farmers are cutting it for silage - whatever happened to putting in hay paddocks?

About the Apiary - November 1997

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November 97

Its the beginning of November and the bush is alive with the buzz of bees visiting all the flowers. Within a week the main source of our bush flow, Kamahi will start to flower so best to put on those extra supers. However, if your apiaries are away from urban or bush areas, you may have to feed the hives right up to the main pasture flow.

About the Apiary - October 1997

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October 97

We are now approaching the most critical part of the season for all beekeepers. All eggs laid in the next 6-8 weeks will produce the bees that will build up your hives and bring in the honey crop in December.

About the Apiary - September 1997

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September 97

We've been over in Brisbane for ten days and when we came back (despite the cold) I noticed just how much everything in the garden and bush was budding up ready for spring. Wattles, Tree Lucerne, Banksia, Kowhai, are flowering, supplying the hive with early sources of nectar and pollen.

About the Apiary - August 1997

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August 97

Winter time is a time of reflection and forward planning. How well did you do and where can I improve things. Ask fellow club members how they got on and where they felt they did well (or went wrong). It was only an average year so if you produced between 25 & 30 Kg no worries. If not, look at your methods. If you did the usually 40 kgs or more, you've got a really good site.

About the Apiary - June 1997

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June 97

Its coming up to the shortest day and still the warm weather os still allowing the bees to fly on most days. In most hives the bees have settled into a lose cluster, however the odd hive still has brood on two frames about the size of your fist. This is due to the Indian Summer we experienced through April and May, the first since 1988. The bees brought in a large amount of honey from late nectar sources which they stored around the brood nest.

About the Apiary - May 1997

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May 97

Well, for most, the seasonal work is all done and now its just a matter of getting rid of your surplus honey.

However, in the hives the last of the brood is being reared and the bees are dragging down honey from the top and outside frames and packing it around the brood nest ready to go into a cluster. The poor old drones are being chased out of the hives - no longer needed now that inter is just abut here.

About the Apiary - March 1997

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About the Apiary

The eucalyptus, koromiko and fennel are just about the last nectar producers that flower before the winter and are now producing a small flow. Clover although still flowering because of recent rain, has mostly ceased to produce nectar as the ground temperature are too low.

About the Apiary - 1996

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This is a regular column contributed every month (well almost every month) by Frank Lindsay.

Articles for 1996:

About the Apiary - December 1996

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December 96

Its been a very cold windy November and the bees in some areas have not done very well. Hives close to urban areas have brought in honey and the majority are making preparation to swarm.

While those in the country areas have required feeding to keep them alive. As said by Ted Roberts at last month's meeting, it only takes a few days of adverse weather and a strong hive can collapse dramatically. I've seen a few feral colonies (and a few of my nucs) that died out in the last few weeks.