Really pleased to share with you my blurb about the very first “kiwimana Beebuddies” mentoring meeting, this has been set-up in conjunction with the Auckland Bee Club….enjoy….
Over the weekend we had our first “bee buddies” meeting at kiwimana HQ. It was a good day for it with no rain! ….Yay! Turn-out was less than expected, with 3 out of 8 expected arriving, each of our buddies arriving at separate times so we were able to talk with each of them.
As this mentoring program is still in its infancy we weren’t sure exactly what our buddies needed, so we started by asking our buddies about their reasons for starting beekeeping….the common thread is that we all want to help save the bees…fantastic
One buddie has just got a new NUC which is located in an urban location and the hive is a langstroth…. the other two have their hives located in rural areas – one using langstroth hive boxes, the other using long-hives with langstroth frames. It’s great to have buddies with different types of locations and hives ….as we go along it will make for interesting discussions at our next meeting. All our buddies are new to beekeeping.
We provided some wax comb and a magnifying glass for the buddies to have look at…. along with some propolis, a “kiwimana Drone Management Frame” with new comb being built on it and some wax which was retrieved from our wax-melter. Some of the wax comb had eggs in, so helpful to be used to identify new eggs… without bees crawling all over…when starting beekeeping it can be a bit daunting with lots of bees, so by providing these things to look at it gives a chance for our beeginuzz to have look without that pressure.
We also had some bee keeping books on show, we believe it’s great to read and then apply your learning hands-on, it just creates awareness for when you start working in the hives and with your bees.
We suited-up and opened a hive, disappointedly only to find a queen with chewed-off wings! (at first I thought she had deformed wing virus) – I felt quite shocked at this as have never come across this phenomenon. We never found any new eggs, but did find some capped brood which appeared healthy. Result? …we had to remove her, very sad, Gary added a frame with eggs and brood from another hive and we hope for the hive with the ‘failed’ queen, will raise a new healthy queen. We were going to get her sent off to test her, but after discussions we decided that since the brood appears healthy there was no need.
After the inspection we went and had a cuppa and chat on the deck. As our buddies came and went through the day, we got to know their different beekeeping status’s’s’s. Our next step is to visit our buddies sites and as we do, we’ll blog some more on this as we go along.
All very exciting! Thanks to our new bee buddies for joining us, sharing their adventures and thanks for being part of our very first mentoring meeting, we hope this grows in to a regular event.
We look forward to the Auckland Beekeepers Club meeting next weekend where all buddies across Auckland and ABC club members will be meeting for a Christmas barbie, the last meeting of the year for the ABC.
See you there
Thanks for taking interest in our beekeeping adventures….
it’s the kiwimana buzz…
PS…CHEWED WINGS – QUEEN
Gary searched for some info regarding the chewed wings, and it appears when bees are not happy with their queen, there is some opinion that they “ball” her ….which is described as chewing her wings and biting her …objective to get rid of her. Have an look at David Cushmans Article on this here:- Balling of Queens, A Behaviour of Honey Bees