It’s raining so it must be spring! In the last four weeks the bees have been collecting pollen as fast as they can for new bee brood (you can see the pollen on the bees legs on the photo), and most of our queens are laying strongly. Many hives have good numbers of bees and they are starting to burn through their honey stores. The key focus has been to get our spring treatment in for varroa mite and ensure that all hives still have sufficient honey stores until the first flows start. There have been few losses of hives and we have already made splits for new hives and supplied them with queen cells.
Our hives are ready to return to Ohui once the Coromandel gets some drier weather! Spring always seems to be earlier in the Coromandel and the Manuka can be flowering by November in this district. Our site provides for a great spring build-up and so we will look to get our bees back there soon.
So far our hives are in excellent shape. August was cold and bitter, but the bees are now away with lots of bee numbers and they are benefiting from the large honey stores carried through. A few hives are looking weak and these have been boosted with additional brood, honey and pollen as required. Beehive strength is so good that we have already made up an additional twenty new hives from this site.
Our nucs (mini hives) all carried over well through winter and are now into full size units. We’ve had a great survival rate although honey stores are quite low. As such we have had to start feeding a little sugar syrup to get them through early spring until the willows and barberry start flowering. The strong hives now have pollen traps on them and we are starting to collect pollen.
Four Brothers Reserve
The hives left at Four Brothers Reserve have done okay and will be restocked with additional hives in November. We have an additional site for this area which looks to be much more protected from the elements which we will try out this season. We look forward to getting this delicious honey back into stock!
The bees are also doing well at our Hakarimata site with plenty of stores on hand. The beehives have been repositioned to make access to them a little easier and some will also need splits taken from them shortly.