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Rashika last won the day on June 12 2019

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  1. Ugh lugging water... I feel your pain! I remember the first couple of years here trying to bucket the water to the back, even three joined hoses wouldnt reach far enough... I got very strong! Luckily mums place has been there for a couple of years now, so have a water supply... its no fun lugging buckets around. I still have to do it to the other corner though, except when the irrigator comes past... but the norwesters tend to stop the water coming over the fence.
  2. hand watered the poor trees out the back on sunday night and gave the bees a bit of a sprinkle as well. Did the front lot last night, so far they are surviving as they are a lot more established now than a couple of years ago when i used to spend well over an hour every night, alternating between front and back, trying to give them all a litre or two. about half an hour ago there was some rain out of the sky apparently (greendale), according to my mum, just as she was going to hang our her washing... I should get her to do washing every day!
  3. but is 'borage' honey from Vipers bugloss or the actual borage (i.e. with the drop starflowers, not the prickly tall VP)? the bees like both auckland council description of VP "Viper's Bugloss Echium vulgare Also known as: Vipers Bugloss, Blue Borage Family: Boraginaceae Origin: Asia, Europe General description Densely bristly annual or biennial herb to 50-90 cm high. Deep taproot. Stems stiff, erect, covered in reddish bristly hairs, with many short branches. Basal rosette leaves to 15 x 5 cm, narrow, stiffly-bristly, harsh to touch. Stem leaves much smaller, alternate, also rough. Flowers funnel-shaped, 5-petalled, 12-18 mm long, pink in bud, becoming vivid blue (rarely remaining pink or white), in tapering spike-like heads, Nov-Jan. Seeds 4-angled, egg-shaped, 2 mm long."
  4. yeah.... isnt it viper's bugloss (and echium)? very different to the borage i also have at home... thought u can call it blue borage supposedly, but that seems odd as borage also has blue flowers (just had to do it yesbut! ? )
  5. yeah will check if they are still where I put them when i get home from work... I didnt bother with a smoker last night, but that is a good idea!
  6. yeap, I think i caught one of those last night... neighbour came over at 7.00pm to say they had a swarm in their hedge. I was calculating whether it may have come from mine, but I figured not as I checked them last weekend and no sign of a swarm even remotely forming. Packed my wheelbarrow with a box and lids and suit and wandered down the road... It was still about 25 degrees, didnt want to walk down the road in my suit! Got there and the neighbour said he saw them fly over his house, completely opposite direction to my place luckily... took a bit to get them into the box, and one of them sounded distinctly feline in nature... oh theres a cat hiding in the hedge as well! The neighbours family and most of mine were lying in the grass watching me trying to get them into the box from the hedge, and then lift them back over the fence and they took ages to settle down, some kept trying to hang off the hedge again, they probably over the heat as well. Then i walked them home again, with my son walking alongside the whole time, kinda cute and they're definately not mine, there's quite a bit of carnolian black backsides in them. I guess if they stay it might improve my gene pool a little. Back in the dark and boxed them up, lets see if they are still there later. Its been a couple of years since to caught a swarm, sometimes they stay and sometimes they dont. But at least the neighbours will be happy to have them gone, as it was right next to their horse paddock.
  7. Funny, my weekend check went almost exactly the same way... Hive 1 and 2 were doing really well, quite a good amount of nectar/pollen coming in to both and hive 2 was booming with bees and plenty of brood, hive 3 had only a smattering of bees and brood (plenty of stores though) so i gave it a boost of young brood and nurse bees from the booming hive (hopefully that will even out both hives... then had a DOH moment, forgot to check if the queen was on the donated brood frames, oh well, if she was then I figure she will kick the other probably old queen out, and the donatee hive would make a new queen, as well as slow down a little, as it seemed pretty big for the first week of spring down here. And yes quite a close AFB check on the hives as well... hense the bee sting on the end of my nose through my veil! I was a bit concerned about the hive 3 but after checking lots of the random single brood cells that were still there, i just got dead almost fully developed bees, probably due to the lack of nurse bee coverage, so that was a big sigh of relief. After last years afb scares all round me I am trying to be extremely vigilant and this hive 3 being so small had me concerned, so Im hoping the brood/bee boost will be enough to get the queen either laying better or replaced. I think she must be failing as it was a mix of normal and drone brood that was there. What I didnt see was any sign of Varroa or DWV, and I even had a fair bit of drone brood to check through as well, so the OA strips seem to be doing their job, and new strips went in. So two weeks time I will check the hive 3 again and see if they are improving or making a new queen.
  8. not that I can see ... yet... But it is a bit hard to check properly, 1 broodless, 2 almost and the 1 with a bit of brood looked ok Just a waiting game... hate that.. ?
  9. Forgot to post on monday so here it is anyway. Very quick check of all 4 hives cos although it was sunny was a very cold breeze. All hives now clustered a bit and quite happy to stay that way while I gave them the once over. Weirdly for June three still have brood, 2 have just a smattering and one actually had quite a good solid frame of brood, one had no brood I could see. That one with the solid brood also had the largest amount of bees, still mostly filling a brood box and plenty in the honey box as well, even had fresh nectar in that box! Moved strips towards middle of cluster and brood area. All three of those hives had plenty of stores on board. 4th smaller hive still looking ok, hasnt got much smaller than last check, smattering of brood, not a huge amount of honey but probably ok for its size. Will be watching them, and may give them a bit of syrup in a feeder just in case? OA Strips still getting a bit chewed in all of the hives, but ok till next check i think Found several wasps caught in the QE in the biggest hive, one was still alive... gave it the bash with the hive tool! I think the bees had balled them up there, weird to see them at this time of year. So that will be it till August/Sept at the earliest I think, and then it will be thorough AFB check again... with all the problems here over the last few months, have to be super vigilant then.
  10. Ill take the black one, apparently they go kinda well... be nice to have a cruiser in the garage
  11. So saturday, bee check day, yay finally! its been a bit hard to get time to get into the hives the last while, but I managed it. I have been checking mite drops and tapping and hefting the hives every few days... tapping to get a a wee buzz back LOL... no buzz usually means no bees. ...and the first hive I checked has no buzz for a couple of weeks at least now. This is the hive I was not holding out much hope for: definately dead, no bees, not a speck of brood alive or dead, no honey, lots of pollen though (this was a swarm from spring rehomed along with an older last season swarm ). They had started laying but were doing very little. A couple of checks ago i gave them some brood but they just capped it and carried on. So I wasnt overly concerned...meh... 4 hives is plenty for me now. Next three hives, loads of bees still (probably too many really), quite a few frames of brood (whats happened to winter?), plenty of honey, even fresh nectar... not sure where thats from. One hive still had a few drones in it. Redistributed OA strips to the brood, the ones that hadnt been chewed out, quite a few were, updated some. Mite fall had been steady with these, not huge but enough to warrant keeping strips in through winter. Last hive, not looking so brilliant, smaller than the others but actually probably about where I would expect winter bees to be TBH, a small amount of brood, plenty of stores, but also a couple of DWV bees as well... UGH! This one has also had the highest mite drop by far, it also had had the largest bee population over the season and the nicest chilled nature, and gave me at least 3 boxes of honey on it own. So it got some new strips and I will be watching it closely... dont really want to lose it cos its my fav hive. so another check next month now..
  12. I guess at least that means people are learning what to do
  13. good video trev! Sad about the topic but its good to see the process
  14. and another AFB text... ...considering Ive only got one apiary, I'm kinda stunned by how many AFB hives there has been close by this season. ?
  15. interesting dansar... how is it measured, what does the '10mm' or '39mm' mean?
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