Two Hororata Beehives, spring and on, 2014

12/10/2014
Willow flow has been going about 1 week, some of that weather awful, but last two days awesome. Full flow- most bees seem to be heading to bridge area where there is a lot of willow – young, flowering. Downriver hive has great queen, I gave her extra space – all filled with brood. Heavy upper box, full of honey and lots of pollen – only 30% left for brood. Some fresh honey being capped in upper box. Pushed one frame of brood up higher, above queen excluder, once I found the queen. Gave her 3 frame to lay into in bottom and top box.
Up river hive, also strong. Didn’t see queen. Gave 2 frames below to lay into. Gave one frame in upper box to lay into. Lots of dripping honey in both hives.

Bees hardly needed smoke – honey flow just keeping them very happy. Opened front of both hives. Replaced a rotten bottom box in downriver hive.

No sign of swarming, trying to keep giving them space.

1/10/2014 – fed yet more sugar to hives. Scared they will go backwards… as no honey flow, and waiting for spring willow flow. Fed sugar syrup about 4 times this spring.
15/9/2014
Amazing run of spring weather continues. This spring is like no other. A day or so of gentle rain, but nothing more than about 5 mm rain. McVerna Plum out in full flower. Bees all over the McVerna. Hawera and Ruth’s plum – out in full. Rosemary a big hit with bees.
9 Sep 2014 Amazing spring weather, still lots of frosts, but many days that are calm and warm. Wattle flowering, not many bees visiting, rosemary as always a big hit with bees, basket willow behaving like pussy willow. Some more fruit blossom out.
Up river hive, strong, brought one frame of brood up into second chamber.
PUt one empty frame into side of nest in downstairs, bottom chamber. Great. Fed more syrup. All gone. But signs of nectar/sugar on frames – so bees happy.

Down river hive. Much weaker. Just spread the nest a little. No expectation that they are strong enough to be up into second chamber. Fed syrup. HOping. Bees quiet, like they are happy with queen.

No sign of disease anywhere.

2/9/2014.
Both queens awesome. Lovely big frames of brood. Not much honey in either, third feed of syrup. Will need more in a week or two, as only 1 litre per hive being fed, approx.
Top to bottom for both hives. 4 bavarol strips into both hives. Cleaned bases also. New lid and base to make.
Black basket willow and Acacia dealbata feeding bees pollen, rosemary feeding nectar. Willow flow still some weeks off. Eucalypts at back of barn and elsewhere providing some nectar. More sugar to buy – keen to keep the bees going well, this spring. They starved last year because I wasn’t onto the job… and result was swarm? and no surplus. Ouch.

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