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Author Topic: Should I worry?  (Read 1343 times)
prestonpaul
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« on: November 17, 2011, 12:43:46 AM »

First year Noob question:
I have two hives (8 frame single deeps) and one nuc. All of them seem to be doing well, lots of activity, plenty of bees and stacks of brood. All hives have either  1 or 2 empty combs or partially drawan foundation. They all seem to have stored pollen but next to no honey. Is this something I should be concerned about or is it normal for this time of year for everything coming in to be used to build up numbers?
The hives at located in the Otways and there are plenty of wild flowers blooming in the area but near buy seems to be predominantly white clover and some weady thing with yellow flowers. Blackberrys are just starting to come in to bloom & should go off in the next couple of weeks
Cheers.
Paul.
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Mardak
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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2011, 03:39:58 AM »

Flowers give you nectar, parts of the Otways should have eucs flowering, blackberry gives up stuff for the girls.
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prestonpaul
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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2011, 05:32:35 AM »

Flowers give you nectar, parts of the Otways should have eucs flowering, blackberry gives up stuff for the girls.
I get that part,  Smiley just not sure why i'm not seeing more stored nectar / honey, not even the crescent above the brood I would have expected, they have brood right up in to the corners & top to bottom.
So I gather they are putting all the nectar they bring in straight to raising brood?
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iddee
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2011, 06:50:16 AM »

It's time to add another box. They need working space.
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2011, 08:04:45 AM »

Listen to iddee  He's forgotten more than I'll probably ever know.  Smiley

The white clover should be a good source of nectar.  Do you know what those yellow weedy flowers are?  There's one here in the states called "bitter weed" that will ruin a batch of honey.  Of course, there is some good yellow flowers, too, so don't panic.

From what I understand, when a box hits 70% capacity (whether it's brood, honey, or pollen) it's time to add another box...that would equal out to 5.5 to 6.0 filled frames for an 8-frame box.  They've gotta have room or they start dreaming about that new beach house in Cairns.  grin

Best wishes,
Ed

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prestonpaul
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2011, 03:03:56 PM »

It's time to add another box. They need working space.
Thanks for that, I'll do it today  grin
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T.Hex
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« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2011, 06:06:09 AM »

Hi Paul,

Good to find you and your post.

I'm also a newbie and in the Otways (Wongarra, to the east of Apollo Bay).

How did it go with the new super?

My bees have only been here 6 weeks or so, in the single/brood box. So it's a young colony and they're still drawing down the outer two frames. My situation sounds similar to yours - lots of activity and brood, but no capped honey. The brood frames do have honey in the corners, but it's uncapped. I might try adding the super too - thanks Idee.

It is cool, wet and windy here - which probably explains why the big beekeeper operations tend to be north and east of the mountains and inland, where the low clouds don't blow in from the Southern Ocean. I sometimes wonder if it's just too wet for them (highest rainfall in the state etc). But I've met beekeepers at the local markets who seem to make a living, so it must be ok...?

The yellow flowering weed *may* be Ragwort. It's toxic to livestock and landholders have to remove it (usually by spraying, sadly. But you can pull it out too). It's prevalent on roadsides. Apparently some of the toxins can make it into the honey, but not at levels that are toxic to humans. I hope.

I'm not sure what it's like in your neck of the woods, but we're surrounded by the National Park and vast forests of Manna Gum, Blue Gum, Messmate etc. Is it similar where you are? They flower in summer to autumn but haven't come on yet. I'm hoping that, like you, the pasture flowers keep them ticking over until the forest pollen flows. And that, when the pollen comes on, the honey starts to flow too.

Anyway, love to hear how you're getting on.

Nic.
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the-ecohouse.com
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« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2011, 09:47:41 AM »

Hey Paul

Whats the source of your bees? was it a swarm collection , nuc purchase?

They might just be getting going, plenty of brood is a really good sign. I wouldn't be to worried about honey just yet. when all that brood hatches they will be pulling it in form everywhere. if you have bees covering all frames of the first box, then i would add a second box.




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Mardak
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« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2011, 03:58:40 PM »

The Otways has always produced wonderful tasting honey. The diversity of the forests is excellent. SHB is nowhere to be found due to the climate. Boxes used to be moved between the Otways and Dunkeld quite regularly to gather the largest amount of honey flow season. Still have very pleasant memories of working down that way in during the nights inspecting and moving boxes. You are fortunate to live in such a pretty part of Australia. Wet wet winters though.
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prestonpaul
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« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2011, 03:08:15 AM »

The blackberry has finally come in and most of my hives are going greatguns ATM. I now have 4 hives, the first was given to me by a member of the Doncaster Beekeepers club who was downsizing, I added a super to that a couple of weeks ago and am contemplating adding another next week. The second is a split I made from the first with a Ross Wood Italian queen which is going very well, lots of brood, won't be long before it needs a third super as well. The third is a swarm that I bought from a member here, It's not doing so well, it swarmed before I could get to it (I don't live on site full time) and I am fairly sure the virgin queen left behind didn't make it. I introduced a new queen last week and spotted eggs and larve this week so things are on the improve, not many bees though so I gave it a frame of capped brood from my first hive yesterday to help things along. The fourth is a swarm that I picked up for one of my neighbors at Kennedy's Creek that had moved in to a rusty oil drum he was using for a plant stand. I moved them into a nuc and it is doing really well too. It will need a full size box very soon.
I am surrounded by pasture on 3 sides and a blue gum plantation on the fourth. There is bush probably 2 km away but at the moment the bees are focusing on the Blackberrys that line the road side, they still have plenty of flower buds on them so I think I have another couple of weeks on this flow, what comes next I'm not sure grin there is still clover flowering, the little yellow flowers have finished. They arn't bitter weed (do we even have that in Aus?) or Ragwort, they are a low growing, spreading plant with leaves that look similar to flat parsley but larger, they have all yellow flowers with a compact ring of petals. We have some comfrey growing in the garden that the bees were going to town on but that has finished as well.
Hang in there Nic, when you get a good flow happening in your area you won't know what hit you, I certainly didn't! cheesy
Cheers.
Paul.
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T.Hex
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« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2011, 05:09:49 AM »

hey paul,

that all sounds amazing! i saw the first of the gums in flower today so...

is the flower buttercup?

h t  t p: // en . wiki pedia . org / wiki / Ranunculus

is it windy where you are?
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prestonpaul
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« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2011, 05:43:19 AM »

hey paul,

that all sounds amazing! i saw the first of the gums in flower today so...

is the flower buttercup?

h t  t p: // en . wiki pedia . org / wiki / Ranunculus

is it windy where you are?
First prize! Ranunculus Repens or creeping buttercup. Thanks for that! Also poisonous it would seem, but toxicity Disipates when dried so I guess the pollen should be ok. Not much wind today, but fairly blowy yesterday. Probably shouldn't have opened the hives yesterday but I really wanted to see what was going on  rolleyes
Cheers.
Paul.
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