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StephenP last won the day on January 13 2021

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  1. Stocking rates for hives, what's the optimum number per square kilometre? In late November my backyard hives, in Hamilton, were doing okay bringing in a fair amount of nectar, drawing out frames and filling up those supers. Then early in December everything reversed as the hives were using more than they were bringing in, so I had to feed sugar syrup to a couple of the hives to keep them going. Okay, the weather was a bit lousy at times so probably didn't work in the bees favour, but it got me thinking about stocking rates and wondering how many hives do I have within bee range of my hives and what's the optimal number of hives for my area. I was talking to a local backyard beekeeper who said that when they had hives in Hamilton a few years ago they could get 40 kg of honey from one hive, and now they know that beekeepers are usually getting 10 to 15 kg per hive. Is this difference because there's less flowers in town or are there more hives, consuming more than what's available to forage? Considering I've heard reports that in 2018 there were 1,500 registered hives in Hamilton City I'd say it's the latter. There must be a sweet spot for stocking rates for every area, number of hives per square kilometre, it's just knowing what that number/ratio is and more importantly getting every beekeeper in the area on board to adjust their hive numbers so we all benefit, including the bees, that is more honey harvested with healthier bees and stronger hives. So my questions are, how would you go about finding out what the optimum stocking rates are for your area? And if you found out that the area where your hives are is over stocked would you reduce your number of hives? Or put another way, would you want more hives with less honey to harvest with smaller weaker hives and having to feed sugar syrup, or fewer hives that are larger, stronger, healthier and have more honey that you can harvest?
  2. @tommy dave inspected all hives today. All of them, including the new one, seemed relatively calm. The new hive had what I thought was a bit of a roar going on. Didn't spot a queen or see eggs. Maybe a bit early yet to spot eggs so will wait and see.
  3. Robbing was what I was thinking as well. Haven't feed syrup at all as all, but one, have good stores. The new hive could be hassling the other three making them defensive. FYI the new hive is a swarm with no stores. I want them to use any brought in honey as I don't know their AFB status. Being one week since their arrival I might give them a few letres today.
  4. How so, but no have not. The hives are elevated above my house, at about low roof level. Always fly over top.
  5. I can understand that bees are protective in autumn but I just walked outside my back door and got hammered by my bees. Stung near both eyes. I have a new hive so maybe it's them, or the other three hives are extra protective because of the new arrivals. Maybe a bit of both. Either way makes walking outside an issue and won't put up with this for too long. Thoughts are re queen the new hive or take a few away. Any other suggestions?
  6. A large swarm turned up at my place last weekend. I'm in Hamilton.
  7. FYI. Spotted a box and frames on the side of SH1 beside Lake Taupo. Maybe fallen off a truck or stolen and dumped gear.
  8. Would Herman be more accurate? A hot summer is on the way, according to Herman the Tortoise | Stuff.co.nz https://i.stuff.co.nz/oddstuff/122572331/a-hot-summer-is-on-the-way-according-to-herman-the-tortoise
  9. ChrisM have you received a response yet?
  10. The long range Metservie forecast shows 20-30% dryer than normal north of the central south island in November but wetter than normal south of this in September. Extract Key conclusions: • A prevailing southwesterly regime through September will allow for cold/wintry outbreaks, snow at times, possibly even fog or frosts. Late in the month expect a shift from southwesterlies to more settled weather as a blocking high takes hold. • As we head into October and on into November, blocking High pressure becomes dominant. This pattern brings settled weather, with below normal rainfall and above average temperatures, to most regions of New Zealand. • On the whole this forecast is for a warmer than average spring, primarily due to the settled weather expected in late spring. • This forecast is for a drier than average spring – thanks to the blocking high from October onwards. This will be least obvious for the lower South Island.
  11. @jamesc make sure you don't spread tons of honey on your toast and be sure that you don't burn the toast either, as burnt food is a carcinogen.?
  12. Extract and link to TVNZ article. The story headlines with, It’s causing massive problems' - Beekeeper says nothing can be done to stop NZ bees picking up traces of weed-killer glyphosate | 1 NEWS | TVNZ https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/s-causing-massive-problems-beekeeper-says-nothing-can-done-stop-nz-bees-picking-up-traces-weed-killer-glyphosate The article comes across as alarmist, when it uses words like "causing massive problems" With others following up on the article. Glyphosate in New Zealand Manuka Honey - a stark warning! https://ata.land/glyphosate-new-zealand-manuka-honey-warning/?fbclid=IwAR1fK2lkJ18TuhO8xGW0-WcYAHFx5X8IqI39h0kbXcRikfUAbUaZ3osnc8s
  13. A more rounded look at Roundup. RoundUp: the landmark case and what it means for our economy and our health | RNZ https://www.rnz.co.nz/programmes/two-cents-worth/story/2018754245/roundup-the-landmark-case-and-what-it-means-for-our-economy-and-our-health
  14. Or was it that they were on the hunt. Had a conclusion in their head and selected the information to suit?
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