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Author Topic: Brisbane Spring Preparations  (Read 1862 times)
Meadlover
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« on: July 26, 2010, 09:24:16 PM »

With the news that the Spring weather is expected earlier, as well as a warmer Spring than normal I thought I would start getting ready now.
I am still within my 1st year of beekeeping, so this is my 1st spring and want to prep as best possible.
From the books I've read and people I've talked to I should be looking at:

Swap honey filled frames from brood boxes and put on top into supers, or extract
Swap old/damaged frames from brood box and put on top into supers (in the centre if brood)
Add 2nd brood box to give the queen more room to lay, allowing the hive to expand in numbers
Increase entrance size as weather warms up & numbers increase
Add QE and a honey super for when flow starts
Make and place swarm traps

Am I missing anything?
When should this start ie what is th indicator that it's time to go to Spring hive maintenance?
I have noticed a few flowers in bloom, and my bees at home seem to be onto a minor flow with nice white wax being drawn/capped, and there's a frame or 2 packed with pollen.

Any advice would be appreciated, and I would be especially interested to hear what and when others in Brisbane are doing/planning to do.

ML
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AllenF
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2010, 10:34:11 PM »

I don't know if it is too late for your spring or not, but did you put pollen patties or brood builder on?
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Meadlover
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2010, 11:19:45 PM »

I don't know if it is too late for your spring or not, but did you put pollen patties or brood builder on?

Too late for our spring? we only had the winter solstice less than a month ago!
I haven't fed them anything and don't plan to either so they've got whatever is naturally around.

ML
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Cullz
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2010, 04:47:09 AM »

I'm also near Brisbane, also a beginner.

The bees here are bringing in a lot of pollen and a little bit of nectar. Some hives are hardly drawing new wax, while one in particular has drawn a lot recently.

A few weeks ago, the hives began making drone brood. One hive had a few drones in it.
Two hives also made several empty queen cups.
I've done some brood opening (empty frames in brood box) and some have responded well to the new room.
I understand that having some honey in outsides of brood boxes could help with insulating the brood.

When spring comes it's time for swarm management. I'm going to try keeping the brood open, giving empty frame from time to time when they can handle it. I'm going to try unlimited brood nests. I'm not using queen excluders.

I'm hoping to make some increase too, make some splits and have a hive raise queens for them. Not now, when it's warmer and more nectar is coming in.

I don't know the timing so well, so I'll be responding to how fast the bees build up brood and bring in nectar. I'm hoping to winter as many as possible with 2+ deeps of brood and 1+ deep of honey.
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westmar
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2010, 08:44:20 PM »

hi
    my season out her start in august got pollen Patty's on as I'm chasing narrow leaf Irene bark flow some trees started flowering week ago.at home my bees chasing black box and forestry red gum are breaking out.
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Cullz
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2010, 06:08:48 AM »

Not sure what the flow is but it's definately on here. Good area, tallow wood, ironbark, bloodwood, brushbox. I can smell the honey when I go near the hives. I just supered the strongest hive.

Meadlover, it occured to me that you didn't mention beetles. If you have any small hive beetle, I think they get more of a problem in spring / summer.
Good luck.
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Meadlover
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2010, 08:21:00 PM »

Cullz,

I noticed in the last few weeks some nice white wax in the honey super, and that is why I thought it might be time to check on things.

I opened up the hives on the weekend and was happy to see that the 2 hives in my suburban backyard are doing well.

My nuc hive (4fr + 4 fr super) was pretty strong and had 2 MASSIVE combs of uncapped honey, and 2 frames they haven't started on. The two combs with honey are the thickest I've seen to date, almost 50mm thick and really heavy. I put the hive into a 10fr box and raised the honey frames to a super above which opened up the brood, and hopefully gets them at a peak for Spring.

My other hive had 2 x 10fr boxes (1 brood 1 honey super no QE). The brood box was full and partly backfilled with honey, so I opened it yesterday arvo and added another 10fr box underneath the, and split the brood to put the honeybound frames on top, and the frames that were majority brood went to the bottom with outside frames of honey/pollen, plus a couple of additional frames of foundation to open it up.
This hive is doing great - heaps of bees, and over winter they have filled a 10fr super with uncapped honey.
Unfortunately I should not have done the manipulation yesterday arvo, as by the time I had everything open, the sun was setting, and the bees got REALLY cranky.

Wearing all my gear I copped:
1st sting on the outside of my left leg
2nd sting on my right little toe (runners not so good)
3rd sting on my waist
4th sting under my left armpit
5th and 6th left arm/elbow
7th Left butt cheek
8th Right butt cheek
9th Right wrist
10th Right bicep
11th Right palm

Needless to say I won't be opening a hive again anywhere near sunset unless I absolutely need to.

Man they were cranky..........

ML
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Meadlover
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« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2010, 08:22:52 PM »

Oh and forgot to mention, I have full mesh bottom boards for the SHB, thanks for the reminder Cullz.

ML
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AllenF
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« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2010, 09:20:46 PM »

Did you smoke them?
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Meadlover
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« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2010, 10:27:27 PM »

Certainly did, and quite a heavy smoking compared to normal.
They seemed to change from slightly agro to really agro in a short period of time, possibly due to the combination of it getting dark, their hive being completely opened and brood frames moved around, and I probably squished a few.

Another lesson learn with good old negative reinforcement!

Oh and I found an 12th sting on my right calf.

ML
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2010, 12:44:08 AM »


Wearing all my gear I copped:
1st sting on the outside of my left leg
2nd sting on my right little toe (runners not so good)
3rd sting on my waist
4th sting under my left armpit
5th and 6th left arm/elbow
7th Left butt cheek
8th Right butt cheek
9th Right wrist
10th Right bicep
11th Right palm

Needless to say I won't be opening a hive again anywhere near sunset unless I absolutely need to.

Man they were cranky..........

ML

How old is your Queen? and did you spot her? I opened my hive up in Melbourne last night at about 6:00 and they didn't look sideways at me - i had lots land on me but not a single sting - it was getting dark and it was probably about 12oC. I wouldn't normally have done that but i had no choice...
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Meadlover
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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2010, 07:37:14 AM »

I opened this hive again on the weekend and it is fine, must have been the sunset and squished bees that angry them off. I have spotted the queen many times, and saw her again on the weekend. They were very calm last weekend, and again tonight I cracked the lid to check the honey frames and they were nice and docile.

The hive is a double deep for brood, plus 1 deep and 1 1/2 depth super.
The deep frames were 80% capped, with the 1/2 depth on top, but there was no activity in the 1/2 depth so I undersupered with it.
Within a week they have filled 1 1/2 depth frame in the centre, and are drawing out the 2 frames on either side of it (it is a super with foundationeless frames).
The full depth super looks like it is being filled and capped, with most frames above 80% of capped honey.

HEAPS of drones around now, and have seen a few dummy queen cells as well. This hive had 2+ full frames of drone cells, most have emerged.
The hives are really busy and things are looking good.

Time to make sure my SHB traps are installed and ready to go!

ML
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SlickMick
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« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2010, 05:58:51 AM »

Looks like you've been busy ML

I arrived home late last week suffering jet lag after 2 months in Europe. I expected that I would find my hives had swarmed with the warm weather but they were kind and left it  until this morning when 2 hives decided to look for other lodgings. They ended  up in the tree above the hives and as I had to go out for an hour or so I decided  to deal with them when I got home. Got home an hour later to see the second swarm crossing the road on its way to destination/s unknown. The first one disappeared 5 minutes earlier. So there you go and there they went.

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
philinacoma
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« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2010, 10:04:22 AM »

Welcome back Slicko  Smiley it's been quiet without you! It's almost become a victorian forum while you have been away.
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SlickMick
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« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2010, 05:31:52 PM »

Strike  me pink, Phil, a Victorian forum?? shocked I didn't think there would be any bees left down there after the drought, the fires and the floods. The deep  north must have been exporting them. Here I was thinking that I would have to send some of my swarms down

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
philinacoma
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« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2010, 07:37:24 PM »

yeah mate. I think you c'n stop now as I reckon this is gunna be a bumper year for swarms.
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Meadlover
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Location: Gold Coast Hinterland, QLD, Australia


« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2010, 11:12:36 PM »

Gday Slicko, great to see ya back!

It seems a few people in Brisbane didn't prep early enough - I've had 4 swarm calls in the last 2 weeks.
1st call - swarm on the corner of a 2 story old QLDer - in the box, had make queen cells that were open 2 weeks ago - will check the hive this weekend.
2nd & 3rd calls - swarms gone within an hour of the call, didn't even get a chance to get my gear together.
4th call going to check it out now - have set up under a deck that's been built in - with either be a cutout or trapout.

Oh how I love Spring  grin
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