JAmuses: The polluted flatlands

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More thoughts from the day ... not sure this is the place for it, but in an effort to lower Grant's stress level .....

We been on the bees again today, escaping honey, disease checking, and the Apivar arrived so we are putting that in too.
The interesting part is looking at the hives , the strength of the bees at this time of year, and the crops they have produced.
There was a lot of clover around this year, but the yields have been a bit ho hum.
Hives that came home from the coast a month ago onto paddocks white with clover produced us another box and a half. Compared to bees we left on the Rata that made us another three boxes.
The bees on the clover paddocks have no bees ...... correction ..... they have bees and slabs of brood, but the honey boxes are short on workers.
Head up into the honey dew sites and we have bees for Africa ......

I am coming to the conclusion that the flatlands of Canterbury are a polluted land. Something is going on that is killing the field force as it ventures out into the blue, whether that be irrigators, insecticides applied to cow wintering crops ..... or fungicides and herbicides to keep us clean and green.
And the thought occurred that next year we would probably do better to leave all the flatland hives in the foothills where the irrigators aren't needed and the cocky's spray rig can't reach.
The only downer is that we loose the gauranteed pollination income.
 

Bron

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James take your pick! There’s very little permanent grass grazed on the flats these days.
 

stoney

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bush bees can travel a long way to find good pollen/nectar sources if the bush is not providing... I don’t think anywhere is truly safe from spray chemicals except maybe those remote fly in sites.
it’s gutting cracking the lid to see a couple of boxes of honey, 8bd frames in the bottom but barely a box of bees..

Wonder how the manager would feel if he put 100 cows in his paddock.. his neighbour sprayed his paddocks out to re grass.. the manager shows up a week later to check his cows and 40 of them are lying feet up..
recon because our bees aren’t really seen they aren’t really thought of.
 
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The bees on the clover paddocks have no bees ...... correction ..... they have bees and slabs of brood, but the honey boxes are short on workers.
Head up into the honey dew sites and we have bees for Africa ......

I
we have the same thing in our central north island bees. Ok honey, good brood but not a lot of field bees. The neighbouring farm sprayed a huge area next to our site right in the middle of the manuka flow. We got about 12 hours notice that they were going to do it and no info on what they used.
 

stoney

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we have the same thing in our central north island bees. Ok honey, good brood but not a lot of field bees. The neighbouring farm sprayed a huge area next to our site right in the middle of the manuka flow. We got about 12 hours notice that they were going to do it and no info on what they used.
Have you had the batch tested Nikki?
 
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Even named as ‘flat’s disease’, eh @Bron ?
A study of the cause was attempted a few years ago but didn’t have enough money to check all the samples for chemicals
if i remember right a certain chem was found and then suddenly no one would talk about it.
it reeks of big corporate putting the squeeze on.
 
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@James ... I don’t have much data to go on, but some of my hives are out on the flat lands and they are surrounded in clover, but nothing much coming in in the last three weeks or so. Prior to that it was all on and they were building wax and filling boxes fast. Of course, there could be many variables, but the brood boxes are FULL and the honey boxes have a fairly average quantity of foragers. (checking every week looking for improvement before putting on escapes)
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@James ... I don’t have much data to go on, but some of my hives are out on the flat lands and they are surrounded in clover, but nothing much coming in in the last three weeks or so. Prior to that it was all on and they were building wax and filling boxes fast. Of course, there could be many variables, but the brood boxes are FULL and the honey boxes have a fairly average quantity of foragers. (checking every week looking for improvement before putting on escapes)

What have your day and night temperatures been for the last few weeks.
 

kaihoka

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I often wonder why the migrant beeks come all this way with their hives to such an unpredictable difficult bee keeping area.
It may be because there is not a lot of spraying of the forage areas when the bees are here .
I see the helicopter with a spray boom on but I think some of the stuff is liquid fert .
 
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I had hives right up in the mountains this year that did absolutely nothing and fell to bits as well. Nothing to do with sprays, just a crappy season. Bees absolutely can get poisoned but there are a lot of other reasons why they fail to thrive.
Years ago you had to be an idiot to keep hives around the orchard areas of Hastings and even brief visits for pollination work was very risky for bee health. Integrated pest management and more care lead to a number of years where beekeepers got some amazing honey crops in these areas. Crops in these areas are now way down but that is due to gross overstocking, not spraying.
 

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