2014 08 31 Last day of Winter, Taggerty girls are go.

Spring starts tomorrow, but the last couple of weekends have been rippers.
Adrian and I took the chance to see if the Taggerty hives had made it through, and they look great.
Top box quite empty in both, but plenty of brood, capped honey, etc
A few stray bugs in the empty top boxes, that's about it, very docile

 The Utter hive

 Her Majesty...

And whatever this hive is called, the new one I think...

Her Royal Highness

All good, need to remember to bring a Queen Excluder and a hive mat next time.

2014 08 23 Winter checkup - mould attack!

So it's still officially winter for another week, but today was a mild 20-ish and sunny, so I rode my treadlie over to visit, i was worried they may not have survived, but they are Ok, if a bit soggy...
Metropolis and Other, by the billabong


Under the hood, lots of mould and water in the top box only. Top box in all of them were mostly empty, so I'll replace these frames next time .

 A lot healthier down below, but no capped honey, just some nectar and a very weak population.


once again mouldy top box, but bottom box full and healthy, brood, grubs, honey etc.


 Good brood
 Good view


Over at Dad's place
 Still a bit of sugar left from when I fed them 3 months ago
 Some mould, but capped honey too..
 Doing just allright down in the engine room

No stings, all very docile

Sting Tally:This season: nil
2013 / 2014 3
2012 / 2013 38 (Jonas 16, Edis 6, Rima 5, Jazmina 6, Dave 5)
2011/2012 season: 48 (Jonas 30 Adrian 1 Edis 6 Jazmina 10 Rima 1)
2010 / 2011 season: Heaps
Honey Tally:This season: NIL so far.
2013 / 2014 30 litres
2012 / 2013 52 litres
2011/2012 season: 49 Litres
2010 / 2011 season: 34  Litres
That's about 1 sting per Litre.

2014 06 15 Foreign bees

My brother Andrius is travelling in Turkey, sent me the attached photos, they do things a little different over there, especially the way they package / sell the stuff.

Check out his full blog,


2014 05 17 Feed em Sugar....

So, I know it's not really good practice to feed your bees sugar, you should leave them enough honey to get them through winter, they should be eating honey, that's what they collect it for.
And I really dont like the idea of them eating honey, it probably means the next harvest will be sugarey...? rather than honeyey...?


I took most of their honey mid February, I figured they had plenty of summer / warm weather left to stock of before winter turns up. I figured wrong, between mid-Feb and mid-May (3 warm-ish months when they should have been flying), their stocks were actually more depleted. Not just that, but the population had dwindled massively. Bugger. Anyway, there is no way I want my bees to starve, this happened to us once already, and it was very ugly and sad. Embarrassing. Opening up after winter, their bodies were all dried up, heads stuck in the cells , they died of starvation, while licking the last drop out of the cells. Check out the previous page:


So anyway, there are lots of ways to do this, involving making sugar syrup and putting it in a special feeder, making patties of candy, etc. The simplest I've heard of , is what I did:
- Open up (quickly - cold-ish day, just barely 18 and windy..)
- pour 2 1kg bags of white sugar (not brown) over the hive mat
- Close up
- Hope that there's enough there to get them through.

Whole thing took about 1 minute per box.

While I was there I could have almost taken it down to a single box, but the little honey there  happened to be spread around, and it would have meant pulling apart the whole shebang.

While I was there, I put a little roof on, just to help keep it dry. Very damp spot.

2014 05 11 Alphington checkup

This was a gorgeous weekend, late autumn, probably the last chance to check before winter...?

Alphington bees, on the slope. Idyllic location. The only disadvantage this place has is that I think in winter it is very damp here. South facing slope, 10 metres from a large billabong, in the shade of a big willow.
Amazing location. The bird-life down there is incredible.

3 boxes each, I took them down to 2 each
There's a tan-coloured hive on the left too, not mine.
I snuck a look in a few months ago, it is welded solid, very full.

Looked a bit weak, very little honey, little brood, nowhere near the population as mid-summer.
Looks like they need  a feed before winter.

A little stronger, but also smaller.

I took each of these down to 2 boxes, should have done it a lot earlier. Heating bills are enormous when you have empty rooms to heat.

Some decent brood in a couple of frames