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Category: seasons

First Solo Flight (and over-wintering my bees)

First Solo Flight (and over-wintering my bees)

Yesterday I did the full brood inspection as required by NSW regulation for beekeepers in Autumn.   There is a great pamphlet here from the NSW Govt on how to over-winter  bees.  Over-Wintering bees is the name given to preparing your hive for winter.   The first step is a full brood inspection of every frame to check for disease, whether there is healthy colony,  ensure there is a queen and check the bees have enough honey (food) stores for the winter months to…

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The Sun, The Bees. (Raindrops keep falling on my head)

The Sun, The Bees. (Raindrops keep falling on my head)

It’s been the wettest March on record, so much rain, that the people of NSW eastern seaboard are slowly withering in to a wet clump of humanity.    I’ve check on the bees every day and they were barely leaving the hive.  The flow box was so wet the wood was swelling and it was almost impossible to remove the observation door.    But when the sun came up this morning, there was a universal hallelujah across Katoomba, and the…

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After harvest (and the heat wave)

After harvest (and the heat wave)

I wanted to write a quick update from my harvest post one week ago today.    The following three days after the harvest were the hottest my state has recorded.   In fact there was one day where the top 10 hottest places on the planet were all in New South Wales – the state where Katoomba is.  The bees were bearding nearly non stop. The other thing that happened after I drained one fifth of the middle frame  was…

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First inspection of Spring after the winter lock down

First inspection of Spring after the winter lock down

Last weekend I opened up the hive to inspect everything for the first time since May.   The weather has been getting warmer for about 3 or 4 weeks and I made sure the day was at least 15 degrees as per the research I’ve done on temperature to open your hive at.   I had everyone involved to assist and observe, I figured the more eyes looking, the better chance we had of seeing anything untoward.   Obviously as…

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Spring is coming – but not quite yet.

Spring is coming – but not quite yet.

  Our blossoms are confused.   It happens around this time every single year in Katoomba.  We are only a few days away from the official start of Spring, but it’s almost always a false start.   There are some very warm days for a week or so – then we get another very cold snap late September.   The true spring doesn’t really start until well into October.   Last week we had days that were upwards in the high teens,…

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The Black Ants

The Black Ants

Ants.  I really don’t like them very much.  Particularly when there is a stream of them making their way up the concrete blocks, the base board, onto the hive and up into the roof.    I had noticed them for a little while when it occurred to me – and hopefully not too late – that perhaps they were causing more damage than I realised. As you go through life  it’s just something you see – streams of ants in the…

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Shivering Wings

Shivering Wings

It snowed in Katoomba a couple of days ago.   This is an event of great delight to the locals as it happens rarely.   At least before climate change and humans started destroying our planet. Snow is now almost an annual event.  It’s now snowed 3 times in the last 5 years and in the previous 5 years – zero.    Last year we had the great snow fall of 2015.  It’s still talked about with sparkling eyes and ‘do you remember when’…

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Winter rain

Winter rain

It’s atrocious weather in Katoomba.  Its the forth day of Winter,  pouring with rain and it’s forecast to get worse.  Which caused me to wonder how do my bees cope in such horrible weather.   I have done a bit of looking around the web for information with the most obvious thing being they of course just hunker down and don’t come out for anything.  Pretty much the same us us.   While I was looking I found an interesting article…

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Winter is coming

Winter is coming

  Now that Autumn is closing out and winter is well and truly on the way I am trying to work out the whole ‘should I feed my bees’ debate. I’ve read all sorts of differing opinions on this, the most consistent being that nearing winter a sugar syrup of 2:1 ratio doesn’t go astray. [That’s 2 parts sugar to 1 part water – I made 1 kilo of sugar to 500ml of water].  It helps the bee’s build up reserves…

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The yellow dust of Autumn

The yellow dust of Autumn

Next door to our house just over the fence someone, years and years ago – lets say 60 years ago –  planted an American Cedar tree of some description.     Every Autumn, right about now, everything within about a 20 metre radius of it gets covered in yellow pollen.   We all suffer from what is known as cedar fever  – which isn’t a fever at all – but clogged head, fatigue, small head aches – you get the picture.   Our…

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