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Winter drones abound


#1

it’s still winter here in Adelaide but apparently no-one told the bees? Today they are so active- frenetic- bringing in huge loads of pollen and buzzing like there’s no tomorrow. And amongst all those foragers- all of a sudden- there are dozens of freshly minted drones! looks like I’ll have to have a peek inside very soon to make sure they aren’t brooding upon any insidious swarmy plans.


#2

I noticed similar hear in my hive in Perth before I packed it down for winter (mind you, I feel it’s a sham to claim I ‘packed my hive down for winter’ given where I live…not sure any of our Northern Hemisphere cousins would count my winter as a real winter…). Drones were still present but numbers very greatly reduced. I haven’t seen any about the last few weeks though (but then again, I haven’t been in the hive [too wet and windy] and I haven’t been home during the week [unfortunately I need a job to pay for my hobby…]).

I’ll be interested to hear what you observe on the frames regarding the number of drone cells. I’ve got to wait for the skies to clear before I can get in an have a look (http://www.bom.gov.au/wa/forecasts/perth.shtml). But given I’ve noticed the plants starting to turn as if it’s spring I’ll definitely be taking an early look this year.

I’m anticipating an August harvest…!


#3

What I’ve (jealousy) noticed from afar is all the rain you’ve been having. I see Perth has had 271mm so far this winter (in just two months)! Augurs well for a bumper honey crop in late winter/spring over there I guess…


#4

we’ve had hardly any rain all winter- very dry. Someone told me that that can cause the gums to flower heavily? It certainly seems some gum nearby is flowering heavily judging by all that pollen.


#5

Over here in SE Queensland on the Sunshine Coast we have all the signs that Spring is here early, JeffH is extracting and doing splits already. I am doing the same as swarm prevention. Loads of pollen and nectar coming in and even better bee weather forecast for the next 2 weeks. All indications are that Winter is over and an early Spring with gums and wattle flowering early. Back into T shirts and shorts, 26C today, not bad for what is supposed to be mid winter…
Cheers Jack


#6

True. Water stress most plants and they flower better. Water them profusely and they grow.


#7

My information is that our native eucalypts are opportunistic and will wait for the right conditions before flowering. They may even abort the buds if conditions are wrong.
I see south west WA, SA and Tas are bucking the dry trend happening in the rest of our great continent. I’m seeing many trees with buds on them here as a result, sounds like Jack is too.


#8

Hi @skeggley

Really dry in west of NSW from what I hear. Out of interest I have tallied the rainfall for Perth and then Australia’s second driest and driest capitals (long term that is) for the year to date. Perth 473.8, Hobart 354.4 and Adelaide 186.6