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Author Topic: Things are bad  (Read 7128 times)
Lone
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« on: November 11, 2009, 10:22:19 AM »

The bloke who has hives here and I checked all our hives a couple of days ago. He'd lost quite a few and numbers in mine have drastically reduced in 2 weeks.  He reckons it's the worst year in 15 years.  Only one ironbark tree in the whole of north queensland it seems has come out in flower.  My horticulturalist mate said tonight that in a bad year trees conserve their energy and the buds won't erupt.  We were a couple of days short of a record dry spell. The bloke also made some claims about the current quality of queens.  And then we found ants in the honey pot.

Have any other aussies experienced a very bad year?

I got home and they sang to me "Things are bad but they could be worse, so we'll see how we go with it mate, yes we'll see how we go with it mate".

Lone
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ziffabeek
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2009, 11:16:47 AM »

Jeez, Lone, sorry to hear that Sad.  After 3 years of drought here in Georgia, we are having a really wet year and just got through a flood that they are saying is more of a variant than a so called 100 year flood.  Mother Nature, she'll get you every time.

Hang tough, things always change!  Hope you get some rain soon. 

love,
ziffa
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SlickMick
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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2009, 03:36:17 PM »

Sounds like things are crook Lone.

You know that things are under control.. all ya gotta do is spin around 3 times with ya eyes closed whilst singing the 1960's Vegemite jingle.. works every time

Mick
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
Meadlover
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2009, 09:04:22 PM »

sorry to hear it Lone.

I haven't checked mine for a few weeks, but need to go out there this weekend.
I have heard others around Brisbane saying that their hives filled 2 supers in a fortnight. It has taken my have several months and the 2 supers on my strong hive are probably around 50% now. Being my 1st year as a beek I don't know if that is fast or slow.

With such bad conditions up your way maybe it would be beneficial to supplement them with some feed???

Good luck in the coming weeks with them.

ML
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Lone
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2009, 08:55:31 AM »

Hello ML,

Are your hives in the bush or in populated area? I suppose they will be doing fairly well down there.  You will probably have them all filled up.  Maybe you will be extracting soon.  Or you can use the reserves to boost the other hives.  If they have fallen back too, all I can suggest is what I've had to do and give them the smallest possible space - take off supers or put into nuc boxes.

I dread the day I will have to feed.  I am trying to avoid it, mainly because I still haven't learnt how to make syrup.  I have a little bit of spare anty honey I can feed back, but this won't last long.  I also have to have surgery next week, so I don't want to start something now I can't finish.

The thing is, they are bringing in small amounts of honey, but probably not enough to stimulate the queen.  I still haven't seen a drone for a long time.

In short, We'll all be rooned, said Hanrahan, before the year is out..

Lone
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Lone
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2009, 09:03:51 AM »

All right, Ziffa, I hope this helps.

http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/obrienj/poetry/hanrahan.html
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darren
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« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2009, 11:05:05 AM »

I FOUND THAT RESTING MY HIVE ON 4 PEBBLES (1 IN EACH CORNER BELOW THE FEET OF THE HIVE) COVERED IN GREASE IS AN EFFECTIVE WAY TO STOP ANTS FROM ACCESSING THE HIVE. THEY SIMPLY HAVE NO WAY TO BRIDGE THE 2CM GAP AND EVENTUALLY GIVE UP ALL TOGETHER. PERHAPS VASELINE WOULD BE A BETTER CHOICE.
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Meadlover
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« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2009, 04:39:06 PM »

Hello ML,

Are your hives in the bush or in populated area?

Lone

Kind of in between - they're on the outskirts of the city, most properties in the area are 5-10 acres, so they should have a fair bit of fodder in the area.

ML
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Lone
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« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2009, 09:11:07 PM »

Darren,  I meant that the ants got into the meagre extracted honey supplies, which are in one of those food quality plastic containers with the big black lid and a rubber seal underneath which you can't seem to tighten.  For now I've put coopex on the legs of the table it sits on.  Some of the ants were those acrid things which fill your whole airways with fumes for a while.  I bit on one on a mulberry the other day.  But they floated to the top in the container so I was able to scrape them off easily with about 500ml wastage and it seems the honey is tasty enough to cover over any ant taste. For the hives, we did try grease on some but it seems to melt away or disappear in a big wet.  All my hive stands have steel legs which sit in tins of oil.  Ants here will kill hives so that is a pretty safe precaution.  And we need height here with our hives because of cane toads.  They will knock on the door and when the bees come out to answer it will tuck in to the tasty insects.

ML, when I went to Brisbane I saw there are a lot of produce farms on the outskirts.  Let us know how they are doing.

Lone
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ziffabeek
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« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2009, 11:44:29 AM »

That was awesome, Lone!! thanks for the poem.  grin Definitely brought a giggle and is too true!  And for such a wry poem, it has great imagery!

Having my Krewe over for Thanksgiving next week, I'll get 'em to do a rain dance for you 'round the fire pit.  Maybe it'll help out! Smiley

love,
liz
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Meadlover
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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2009, 04:24:25 PM »

Well not good news from my hives Lone, checked them out on Sunday and the nuc hive is lost. Completely empty with not a bee to be seen. I'm now down to 1 hive (from 3) again due to SHB, even with a SHB trap built into the base.

Still no calls from the swarm list, might need to add my name to a few other lists and call the local council I think.

ML  Cry
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Lone
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« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2009, 04:23:18 AM »

Hello Ziffa,

When is Thanksgiving...is it tomorrow or did I miss it??  Don't worry too much about the rain.  It always rains in season here, varying amounts..it's just that we usually have SOME winter rain, but none this year till the end of spring.

When I went to inspect a property to put a hive on last week, all the nay-sayers at home were telling me how floods there would wash hives away or it wasn't a good place for this or that reason, sprays would kill them if fertilizer didn't; they didn't say as much but I reckon they thought the hairy man of Towers Hill would whisk the bees away.  So as I left, I said, "We'll all be rooned, said Hanrahan..."



ML,

Don't worry.  The same thing happened to me in my first year, without knowing what the problem was.  All I can suggest is try not to expand too rapidly, and don't give the girls any spare room where they can't protect the frames from the SHB.  Seal up any hidey holes.  Ideally, if all the frames are covered with bees, they can fend off the blighters better. And reduce the entrances to the mimimum size.  Have you tried using permethrin on the ground?  I wonder how Sasmarine went with that.  Have you got a photo of the traps you are using?  So far the guilfoyles trap seems to catch the odd one here, but we generally have drier conditions.  The coming wet season should be a good test of the traps.

I haven't had any swarm calls, but the main beek in town works on the council so I'd have to wait till he went walkabout.  There is a cutout waiting to be done, but I just don't have enough spare brood or honey frames to give it.   Do you have grey box there or know when it flowers?  The property I left one hive on has some in bud. 

Where do you source your honey for mead from?  Do you have to buy it?  Anyhow, things are bad...but they could be worse.


Lone

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Meadlover
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« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2009, 04:57:11 PM »

Lone,

the 1st mead I ever brewed was last year. I got a 4kg tub of Tea Tree honey from the local market. The guy had a van with all his honey, but also had a few supers with fully capped frames of honey. He then proceeded to cut the pieces of comb out, put them in containers, then put them on his table for sale. It was great to see it all happening in front of me. This was probably the first thing that got me interested in getting bees. Anyhow I used his Tea Tree honey to brew a methaglin with cinnamon, cloves, ginger, vanilla, and orange peel. It was a bit heavy on the honey and spices but if drunk more like a desert wine it was really nice, but a little overpowering. I tried to find him again to get some more Tea Tree honey, but he hasn't been back since  huh

The next batch I did was with a very light honey. I bought 20kg from a mate (which is where my hive now is - on his 10 acre property) and tried again, this time it was a little weak, but too much ginger, making it more like a ginger mead. This gave me a chance to talk more about bee keeping, and I think this is when I decided I would become the primary producer for my own mead supplies!

3rd try the missus and I did a batch together and nailed it. Very nice blend and very well balanced. We have done a second batch with that recipe which is now clearing in the fridge before racking (hopefully in the next week) so hopefully we get some good consistency and can stick with that recipe.

As far as the honey goes I haven't brewed any mead with my own honey since I have only extracted once, but I sure do intend on doing it that way in the future. I recently bought 2kg each of 4 different honeys to try 4 different batches of the same mead to see how different they turn out, and see how each honey performs in a mead. I got Teat Tree, Red Gum, Iron Bark and Yellow Box. So far I have been doing 5L batches, but if this current recipe keeps turning out consistenly we'll scale it up to a 50L batch soon  cool

ML

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philinacoma
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« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2009, 08:58:32 AM »

Hi ML

Admittedly I haven't made any mead in about 30 years, but I was under the impression that mead needed a good couple of years to mature before it was at it's best to drink. What's your experience?

Phil

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Meadlover
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« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2009, 09:01:50 PM »

Phil,

I think if you use a champagne yeast or wine yeast it might take that long. Also if it is very high alcohol it may take that long to mature, however the mead I have brewed is ready in only a couple of months as I use an Ale yeast - US05 (formerly US56. It is a very neutral yeast when fermented at around 18-20C but gets very fruity once fermentation occurs at warmer temps above 20C. It is also relatively highly flocculant, meaning that the yeast drops out of suspension quite well to give a nice clear product.
Once I have consistant results I'll post my recipe and procedure so others can give it a go too.

ML
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philinacoma
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« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2009, 07:40:13 PM »

I look forward to the refined recipe. cool
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Lone
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« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2009, 12:20:46 AM »

All right, things got worse.  I took one slow hive to the river to see if they'd pick up.  One time I checked, and there was a queen cell and only a bit of scattered brood.  Next week I checked, and the queen cell had completely disappeared, but the old marked queen was still there.  So I brought them home the next day and started feeding syrup to see if that would stimulate laying.  Today I checked, and the queen has gone and there is one or more laying workers.  I can't get an emergency queen - the breeders I called say it is too hot.  I might have to combine - what do you think?

Lone

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philinacoma
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« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2009, 01:23:07 AM »

Are all of your breeders up north?

There are other breeders further south who could possibly help. (The only breeder I know is on Kangaroo Island)
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mick
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« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2009, 02:27:34 AM »

Lone its time to call for professional help. Ring the DERM and get a bee inspector to have a gander. Those blokes know everyone and everything.

Nice to have another Vic in here, a Melburnian as well!
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Lone
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« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2009, 08:12:49 AM »

Thanks for the replies. 

Phil, I was thinking it might be an emergency and would drive to get a queen, but it is too hot for all the queen breeders in far north queensland.  They won't have any until march.  When I get queens, I reckon it would be better to go for italians bred in hot climate, seeing as italy is hotter than russia  Smiley

Micko, who are DERM?  Are they the equivalent of the DPI here?  I think what I need is an Agitator who can get the council to change its laws that ban bees in town, probably because one whinger complained 50 years ago, and while we're at it, who can throw out that age-old government policy that won't let people have land unless they have a primary industry, mainly cattle production, which denudes virgin forests and encourages clearing. 

I went into town to check the hive there too, and the fellow minding it is giving it tlc..even added a frame of brood a couple of days ago.  I got that queen at the same time as the current problem one, and I'm really wondering if those queens are not liking the desert.  The other 2 queens are laying much better.
Anyway, the bloke said to leave it a few days, and that if I combined with a laying worker, there is a chance the true queen could be killed, which I don't want to risk.  He said I can reduce the entrance to the good hive and put the bees on the ground so the guards don't let a layer in.

But speaking with someone else, he suggested that maybe that queen cell did hatch and the old queen swarm (maybe taking 50 bees?).  There might actually be a young queen!  I did panic of course and assume that if I didn't see the old marked queen, it must be a worker.  All I saw were a few cells with 4 or 5 eggs in each cell.  I thought a queen wouldn't lay like this, but he assured me a young queen will, and they are small and hard to spot.

So of course I panicked still and tomorrow's job is building another nuc box for them.   tumbleweed 

Lone
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philinacoma
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« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2009, 06:11:06 PM »

I'm not sure what you mean about the Caucasians, I was talking about pure breed Italians huh.
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mick
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« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2009, 01:41:11 AM »

I thought your DPI was now the DERM, who can keep up? Govt depts all over the coountry changing names all the time to give them something to do at the taxpayers expense.


Fair dinkum, its become the national passtime to spend more on reviews and surveys and profiles and evaluating what youre supposed to do than actually doing anything.
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SlickMick
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« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2009, 02:50:18 AM »

Hey Mick there are only 2 inspectors to do the most of SE Qld.. how do beeks survive without seeing inspectors on some sort of regular basis?

Slicko
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
Lone
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« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2009, 08:30:47 PM »

http://qldwi.com.au/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=2Ula7BI8pcY%3D&tabid=230&mid=744

No wonder I hate abbrvs.

Looks like DERM is the EPA, the ones who protect the fruit bats. And DPI&F is now DEEDI. All those organisations are in conflict with each other.  One will call a weed noxious and sue you if you don't do something about it, and another will say it is protected and sue you if you get rid of it.  I agree - I reckon name changes give an organisation a sense of satisfaction that they are earning their wages by spending all that time instigating it and repainting signs, printing paperwork, and confusing everyone.  Anyway, the DEEDI might send an entymologist out if you asked them, but I doubt the bee inspectors would come this far. Unless of course you found a mite or cerana colony.

I think Slicko pointed out that honey sampling is no longer mandatory, but you can elect to send a sample if you are concerned.  You need to sign that you understand how to recognise AFB.  I didn't know that AFB exists in most hives, though, Slicko.  Where did you read this?  Do you think it can be latent in a beehive?

Phil, some people here have caucasians and they are bred on an island in queensland, but the mates are going back to italians.  We don't have cold snaps that encourage cold weather bees to lay down honey.  I just think that queens that are raised in hotter weather might suit here better, rather than somewhere like Kangaroo Island, which is practically in Antarctica.
The mate suggested the other day that feral bees might also lay down less honey at a time, but put it down more consistently.  I don't know.  Conditions here might be more to blame.  The weak hive was once the strongest, but they hadn't been requeened for 5 years and used to chase you round the shed, but requeening might have been the death of them.

Lone
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SlickMick
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« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2009, 12:50:56 AM »

Lone, I got afb in one hive about 6 or more months ago and in my research I noted this claim. Can't tell where I read it but it was in more than one place. I think there was an assertion that strong colonies were able to keep it in check but I cant be sure now. I shook my hive out which was what used to be done to manage the problem.. destroyed all the brood and put the girls back onto new foundation and frames.. have not seen it since (fingers crossed)

That's how I know that you'll never get an inspector into your aipary because they weren't interested in looking at my afb even after I said I was not going to destroy my colony

Slicko
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
westmar
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« Reply #25 on: December 24, 2009, 04:02:03 AM »

hi
   the Irene bark   narrow leaf at koogan were budded up in February , they broke in July.watch some of the Irene bark .wont produce much pollen .i found i had to give Patty's as i noticed hardly any coming in.we had hardly any rain at home since may. had no trees set buds her so we had no flower in the spring, came home her week ago from Brisbane i noticed on the creek a few Cooley flowering.last year with the Cooley we had shower and the buds dropped off.i ended up having to feed ,till i found another area to put them
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Lone
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« Reply #26 on: December 25, 2009, 07:02:51 PM »

Westmar,

Sounds like you've had the same experiences I've had!  When the bloodwood came out in Jan, of course it rained continuously for 6 weeks so we lost that, then it was so dry the ironbark buds just got reabsorbed.  Now the bloodwood is budded again.  We've had storms the last two nights - the same time the rains started last year.  If it sticks at storms, things might be right.  There are a couple of black butts with a few blossoms out in the creek, but not enough for a proper snack.

Lone
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westmar
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« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2009, 06:41:22 PM »

lo
    hi when i went over to bees just before ex mas ,i noticed plenty cabbage gum flowering.they say their miner tree for nectar but grate for poll an.i brought the honey flora of qld ,find it good reading.at moment I'm trying out the diatomite for hive Beatles i made my traps out c d cases i broke off the lip at the front of the case on the bottom of case used PVC glue brushed the diatomite on the glue.has any one used this stuff.it the first time had beattel. haven't had them at home,had few problems with meat ants.had to get hives off the ground put sump oil on my hive stand legs.before i did this they cleaned up to of my week hives.
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Lone
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« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2010, 07:55:41 AM »

And now for an update on the roller coaster ride of beekeeping in adverse circumstances.

My poor weak original hive is still barely surviving.  The problems started when I requeened.  The numbers constantly dropped until the queen stopped laying altogether and the bees replaced her, as I now know.  Two months after I reported multiple eggs in each cell, the same is still occurring.  There are very few single eggs, and up to 4 or 5 in most others.  Some cells have 2 larvae..I suppose things equalise somehow and one bee ends up hatching from these cells.  Maybe someone knows what exactly happens, or if fewer cells have viable larvae?  The other thing is that there is only brood covering half of each side of a single frame.  I tried to stimulate laying with feed, but I've stopped that now.  I could have put in a queen cell from another hive to replace that one, but at that time, there were exactly 2 drones to share amongst 7 hives. I was advised to wait and try and get a commercial queen.  They are not available yet, so I am waiting and encouraging the little bees to keep breathing until help arrives.  As Little John said - It's a great learning experience!   rant

And now for a beekeeper's confession.  I murdered my queen - the feral cutout queen, the one Kathy advised me to hang onto, because they usually do well..the one which was starting to pick up, and make things seem promising again....the one I cared for and molly-coddled, gave feed to, increased the hive size from a 4 frame, to 8, to 10... embarassed   It happened like this.  Things were looking good, so on the spur of the moment, without proper planning and preparation, I decided to transfer from the 8 to 10 frame.  My off-sider was out mustering, so I just went ahead.  There were bees everywhere, and a lot on the sides especially.  How I messed up a simple task.  My off-sider's brother drove up on the bike to see what I was doing and give a couple of puffs of smoke.  "What's that on your arm?" he says.  Well, what does one do if someone says what's that on your arm, or your nose, or whatever?  In short, whatever it was, it got swiped.  Whether it was her majesty or not, we will never know.  But a week later the hive was filled with queen cells. And very few drones about, too.  I now know to seek out the queen first.  What a lot of learning experiences.  Well, today is about day 24.  I haven't disturbed them yet.  But in a few days I'll look for eggs. 

Lone, writing from the University of Learning Experiences.
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kathyp
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« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2010, 10:16:27 AM »

with the 1st hive, is that brood all drone brood?  i'm wondering if you have no queen in there, and have laying workers.  the other thing is that if they replaced her and she was poorly mated, or is a dink, you aren't going to have any build up.

to bad about the other queen, but sounds like they are going to replace her without problem.

keep us posted!
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Lone
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« Reply #30 on: February 15, 2010, 06:59:38 PM »

Hello Kathy,

There is no drone brood in that first hive, just a few workers.  It is not hard to spot a queen on one frame with not too many bees.  The beek who has hives out the back here thought the problem might be from poor mating.

Lone
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philinacoma
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« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2010, 08:38:27 PM »

That's very snobby of them!
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Lek
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Location: Mackay District,Queensland, Australia


« Reply #32 on: February 16, 2010, 07:00:11 AM »

Hi Lone, I though every bee keeper and his mongrel dog would be raking in honey by the bucket loads up north, have you got any scrub timber around your way?, driving back from Cairns the other day everything looked green, so I reckoned there must have been plenty to keep the girls happy. Not sure about this, but I thought I heard about someone in Townsville was breeding queens, I got a new queen about a month ago, not sure where she come from, but I will be chasing a couple more after the rain stops, so if I get them I will post where they come from, may be of some help to you.  I not sure if that be the queen crawling up your arm, I am always careful not to squeeze her to bits when replacing frames.
I see you were mustering, do you use bikes? all horse back from where I come from.  Lek
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westmar
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« Reply #33 on: February 17, 2010, 03:19:38 AM »

hi lone, don't no if you get the Australasian beekeeper .plenty queen breeders in their they send them express post .that how i got my queens they let me no i let the mail contractor no he give me call on two way i go and get them before meat ant have a feed.
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Lone
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« Reply #34 on: February 17, 2010, 08:16:19 AM »

Hello Lek,

The scrub is naturally a little sparse round here - nothing at all like the rainforests down the far north coast.  In fact, our closest rainforest a couple of hundred km north is called a dry rainforest!  Mates have their bees in near virgin scrub and do very well, but I don't know any graziers with land like that.  Grazing and government land clearing policies in the past have compounded the trouble I suppose.  Whole areas of grey box scrub have been cleared not too far away.  The most common tree would be the bloodwood, then the iron bark.  The bats have found our neem trees and I think they are also making short work of the buds on the bloodwood round about.  There are also teatrees and melaleuka in the creek, which have been the best honey flow.  In the paddock there are lots of variety of timber, but just not great quantities or frequent flowerers.  There is sandalwood, lollypop trees, piggy apples, suplejacks, grey box, black wattle, dead finish, native blackberry, blackbutt gums, poplar gums (I think), leuceana, beefwood, broadleaf ironbark, and others I can't recall, and a couple of chiney apples that survived the spray.
I would love to know about queens in Townsville.  It would be close enough to drive to without going through aussie post (westmar, our local post office calls us when they arrive).  They would be most suited to the climate here, too. I do want italians, though..I know there is a breeder not far away who only has caucasians. I have a couple of names of queen breeders, but I don't get that magazine, westmar.   
Speaking of rain, are you getting that big storm in Mackay tonight, Lek?
Since the blokes got their 4 wheeler chestnut stallions, they've hung their bridles up.  They are getting a bit long in the tooth.  They wouldn't ride on wet ground anyway, and I don't ride by myself.  There are a couple of quiet horses here, but there was one brood mare that bred half a dozen girthy yang yangs.  We broke in every one of them before we realised they were descended from a famous line of Queensland buckjumpers.  Two of them threw me, and one ended up in a rodeo. 
Do you have cattle there, Lek?

Lone
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westmar
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« Reply #35 on: February 18, 2010, 10:28:01 PM »

hi
   out her the heat is dry early in summer it was in the high 40deg.i got queens from dewar corporation 2157 lake moogerah rd kalbar Q 4309 [07] 54635633.its humid down that way, queens done all right out this way .they used have a webpage.i think they around a red back plus postages.when i was chasing queens late in the season they helped me out.they are nice queens real yellow Italians very ca rm on the frame.i don't see any Queen breeders from up north advertising in this mag.
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Lek
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« Reply #36 on: February 19, 2010, 02:07:01 AM »

Hi Lone, Check your messages,have a bit of info for you.......Lek
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« Reply #37 on: May 13, 2010, 10:15:06 AM »

G'day Phil and the True Blue Bee Gang,

I would like to announce that I have the dubious honour of having my bees referred to by the local beek of 40 years experience as having "more problems than I have ever seen".

My weak hive is picking up a little in town, actually under his TLC and watchful eye, and the strong hive here has actually got real live drones and a super of about 90% capped honey, the first flow for nearly a year. Now to the other two.

This is the story of Hive a and Hive B.  Hive a was the one that superceded as you can read above, and Hive B the one whose queen I lost.

Hive a was once a powerful but undisciplined hive, ruled by a mean queen whose subjects would taunt and try to kill any strangers, and in fact would flock to a disturbance some distance off, and fly for many metres at an innocent intruder to their territory.  Well, everyone knows that such a queen will not long be appreciated. Her fragile dictatorship was soon overthrown by one greater than her, and a new queen was introduced into the realm.  This queen, however, was put off by the instability of the city where she was placed - and perhaps the imports and produce were too scanty for her high southern tastes - and after a short time she ceased all reproduction.  Soon there was no new labour in the city, and the workers could not keep up with all the building, nursing, food gathering and guarding tasks.  The kingdom became all but deserted.  However, there was one weak egg, one of the last to be produced, and from it arose a decent but fragile queen to replace the barren queen.  This weak queen was not taught her job, and in fact, had no one to seek advice from.  She tried for some time, but continued for many months to lay multiple eggs in each cell.  Only a handful of young hatched, barely enough to maintain and protect the hive's dwelling.  So the greater one then, sadly, had her executed and replaced by a good queen, one who had proven her worth and ability.  Yet the subjects were still faithful to the poor weak queen, who had tried hard and whom they had tolerated, and banished the good but foreign queen from the hive.  The greater one was sad, and left on a journey, and was saddened on the journey by the thought of this once magnificent hive, now nearly in ruins, with no ruler to keep it stable and alive.  On returning from the journey, weary and disheartened, the greater one discovered that minutes previously, a wise authority had pillaged a nearby kingdom and kidnapped many youth, and brought them into the dreary sad hive, enough, in fact, so that another queen could rise up and claim and rebuild this city.  Alas, though, the subjects were by now confused and suspicious, and instead of appointing a queen, they crowned a commoner, a simple worker, and she could only produce poor dumb males, who would not be able to continue the hive, who could not work or build, and who were quickly diminishing the supplies in the warehouses.  Frantically, for this was a dismal situation, a plea of help was sent out, and another wise man came.  They were some who did not like the commoner, and who tried to create a new queen themselves, but in vain, for you cannot create a queen from a male.  But the nests they built stood ready, and the wise man gathered an unhatched female child from the nearby kingdom, and placed her into the waiting cradle.  In a few days, they sealed up the cradle and waited for her to emerge.  The commoner who had risen up in desperation, saw that she had been rejected, and went into hiding.

This is where we leave her, for this poor struggling hive has been untouched since, so no one knows if she emerged as a queen, or if she has been accepted, or in fact, what fortune awaits this proud and patient hive.
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philinacoma
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« Reply #38 on: May 13, 2010, 10:42:15 AM »

And so it was, and so it shall always bee.

Long live the queen!
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Lone
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« Reply #39 on: May 13, 2010, 10:51:13 AM »

The story of Hive B is a similar one. Taken from a tree, these bees were adjusting to life closer to the ground, and the queen became happy, with water nearby, and enough honey to harvest so that all her young could be fed.  They were becoming prosperous, and soon were in need of a larger dwelling.  The greater one, who was not wise, assisted the bees into a larger space, but the queen was heavy with eggs and could no longer fly, and fell to the ground; and though she tried to crawl back, she became weak and disoriented, and soon died outside the safety of her home.  The gatherers panicked, and gathered much pollen, storing it all on the shelves.  The nurses tried to raise a queen, but perhaps she did not survive her nuptial flight, for she did not return to the hive.  It is sometimes possible to buy queens, like buying slaves from a blackbirder, if you know someone who might know someone else who is perhaps a queen trader.  There was one queen left, for it was not the season of trading queens, but this queen was bought and given to the hive.  They had recently suffered much trauma, losing two queens in succession, so mourning over their own queens, they did not want an exotic queen.  They banished her, and continued to mourn, and this is when the greater one left on her journey.  The greater one was sad for this hive, for she had not meant to kill the first queen, and had tried to appease them with a new young queen, and saw that they would not survive without more help.  When the greater one returned form her journey, she saw that the wise man was just about to look into the hive, and he observed also that there was no queen.  Take some young from my hive at the river, he said.  So the next morning, the greater one broke in and kidnapped unborn babies and eggs from which to rear a queen.  The hive accepted this, for they saw that it would be their own queen who would look after them and keep them in order.  They raised a queen, and she was happy, for there were many wild flowers and weeds about, and it had rained, but not too much.  Some beetle invaders came, but the greater one helped to defend the hive, and the beetles left, for they don't like the hard dry gound.  

This is where we will leave Hive B, for the queen is still happy, and her bees are working hard, and pleased that they have a good queen again.  The guards stay inside and stand backwards with their arrows poised, to protect their kingdom.  There are only four buildings in this city, but there is enough room, for now.
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philinacoma
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« Reply #40 on: May 13, 2010, 11:31:10 AM »

And so the circle of life turns once more in the queendoms of A and B.

May we all give thanks to the wise one who is the giver of life! We must also offer our strength to the great queen so she may not lose heart as that is the road to despair and ultimately the demise of two noble queendoms.

Long live the queens!


« Last Edit: May 13, 2010, 11:54:23 AM by philinacoma » Logged
Mardak
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« Reply #41 on: May 13, 2010, 06:38:22 PM »

There is a John Covey up in Jimboomba (near Beudesert, QLD) who is a queen breeder. He will mail you up a queen if you are interested. he should be in the phone book.
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westmar
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« Reply #42 on: May 22, 2010, 06:16:38 AM »

hi everyone
                things might be going to turn around this coming season plenty popular box budding up .last season they did nothing,the narrow leaf Irene bark are loaded with bud on the rang odd tree has broken early.normally mid July were i got my bees.red gum got plenty buds on them [that is the river red gum ].plus the forestry red gum are coming along all right.haven't seen any mug er Irene bark aren't doing any thing yet but it is early days yet.cabbage gum still flowering in places,my bees are working it at the moment,not allot nectar coming in from it.just enough keep bees happy feeding bees poll an Patty's keep there strength up.last three years been bad out her.
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