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They were savage today

Boy, the girls certainly reminded me of why they have pointy bums. With the amazing spring like weather I checked the bees. All hives are booming and making honey in winter! They were all crowded, one to the point of needing another box because none of the frames had enough sealed, and were building comb in the quilt box. All three had big brood nests so hopefully there will not be another cold snap or they will be in trouble. Anyway, can’t control the weather or bees so have to handle what comes, even the stings…

Gotta love them in spring :sunglasses:

Cheers
Rob.

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It’s not funny when they are letting you know that they are booming and wanting more space Rob. Have you had the “August Westerlies” a little early down there. A week or two of cold winds for those that live elsewhere that normally are a signal of the last blast of winter weather.
Up here the last of the cold nights seem to happen about the Ekka time, our version of a Royal Agricultural Show or a State Fair, beautiful days but cold nights, then it is Spring with a rush. Well the Ekka is a few weeks off yet but I am well into my Spring early splits and extracting honey.
I dropped a box of stickies on a strong hive, a single 8 frame brood and a single super, planning on leaving it on for a couple of days so the bees could clean it up taking the honey down to a super that was about 50% capped. After 4 days I went to take if off the hive but found the hives super full and capped and the top box about 60% capped. My hives are booming, good ‘winter’ rain and the gum trees are heavy with buds and the wattle is heavy in flower. It is looking good around here.
Cheers Rob

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Same here… went to look in the window of the super which is normally a quick check in the mornings which resulted in a swollen face for most of this week.

They are very busy thanks to a number of gums (I think) flowering in the USYD campus next door.

Peter, if they are extremely busy and look to be bigger and bigger orientation flight groups, am I going to need to do the same?

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You climate is a much cooler and longer Winter Rob. Your hive should be starting to build up so you will have more bees involved in orientation flights. That doesn’t mean you need to consider making a split, it just means the hive is recovering after Winter and building up in numbers. So that also confirms you have a good laying queen.
Good hive management, if you have some spce for it, is to now make up a spare hive so that you can do a split when it is needed by having everything you need ready with no last minute panics. Unplanned splits usually leads to basic mistakes being made, so being ready is the way to go…
I’m going to the ANZ stadium in October for the Military Tattoo and spending a day with a relatively new bee keeper in Sydney so PM me if your need a hand, as usual my fee is a big mugs of coffee and a sandwich when the job is done. we are all family, we just haven’t met yet. :grinning:
Cheers

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As they said in the Sydney ABA meet tonight, what winter? :slight_smile: We’ve been so warm that many of the members are getting early busy-ness.

As tends to be the case with me, I may have gone a little overboard. So I now have a 10 frame langstroth with a Flow Hybrid Super on it in addition to my first Flow 2. The 10 frame was a straight out purchase that i converted to a hybrid giving me a few completed frames for use when i need to eventually split.

To that end, i now also have a second 10 frame hybrid and a recently built and painted Flow 2…

So all ready to go for splits. But will wait until october as you suggest.

Two quick questions:

  1. if i do see queen cells etc in the next month, is it better to just give them more room in the brood chamber with an ideal or brood box… or do i split then?

  2. If i do a split before the spring nectar flow, will i lose out on a good honey harvest or will they build up quick enough to take advantage?

DONE!! I’d love to meet and to have the help of an expert! Coffee and sandwich will be on hand! :smiley:

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When I had hive in the outer western suburbs in the Hawkesbury and at Mudgee running double full depth brood boxes was the way to go for the colder winters than in Sydney. I always had a super on the hives over winter for the added stores. In Spring when the ‘August Westerlies’ died out most of my hives went to Mudgee for the Cape Weed and Paterson’s Curse(Salvation Jane) where the hives boomed. I kept some hives in the Hawkesbury that I used to clean up the stickies prior to taking them back out to Mudgee as ‘dry’ frames of comb.
So to your questions, you could add an ideal(half depth hive) under the QX and knock down any queen cells and continue to do that with weekly inspection in the brood box so putting of a split till I can help guide you in doing your first split. If you feel confident you can do a split yourself with out getting jelly knees then you could do it in September if the weather is warming up enough and the colony is really demanding more room. Look for bees in mass hanging out in the roof, if you see that then look for queen cells, if you see both then you need to go into swarm prevention mode quickly. If you can hang out till I’m down in October then I will be glad to guide you in doing a split.
A new split with good weather you eill have a set back while the bees produce a new queen and she mates and a week after that she will be laying, but you can still donate frames of brood to the hive in that time so the hive will still work a nectar flow while waiting for the new brood to start foraging.
Cheers Rob.

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Well, we are just having the cold snap from hell here. Snow, sleet and rain with horrible winds. This is why I hate expanding the hives too early. Now to watch the chilled brood chucked out…

Keep smiling
Rob.

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We are getting the August Westerlies up as far as here Rob, but nowhere near as strong or cold as you are getting it. watched the Blue Mountains on the news last night, really glad I moved away… :smile:

Oh no, sorry to hear it. You’re getting it much worse up there than we are closer to the coast. But it is cold and windy for sure.