Adventures in Japanese Bee (Apis Cerana) Keeping

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Zasso Nouka
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Re: Adventures in Japanese Bee (Apis Cerana) Keeping

Postby Zasso Nouka » Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:14 am

It's another one of those grey areas, yes technically you are supposed to register hives but the penalty for not doing it is undefined. Apparently one concern that your neighbours might have is your bees pooping on their washing :shock:, I was unaware that this could be a potential problem but it was mentioned when we contacted our local council to enquire about registering.

Registering is a pretty easy process and once done you've got all your bases covered for the future, you may even be told that you don't have enough hives to need registering when you contact your local authority.

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Re: Adventures in Japanese Bee (Apis Cerana) Keeping

Postby Caleb Fuller » Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:34 pm

Just wondering how everyone is going with their bees?

I noticed a lot of bees taking their orientation flights today around 1:00pm - the timing would be about right, and it is a good sign that the colony is growing. They have been very active today with lots going in and out. I'd love to know where they're going, because I don't see any on my own flowers :think:

I take it you haven't got anything yet Zasso? A shame - it might be getting a bit late in the year now, but you never know. If it makes you feel better, I had empty hives for two years...

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Re: Adventures in Japanese Bee (Apis Cerana) Keeping

Postby Zasso Nouka » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:17 am

Still nothing here :( :( :(

We've been talking to folk around here (not bee keepers as there don't seem to be any native beekeepers around) but several folk have mentioned that because we are surrounded by sugi forest and outside of that have large areas of rice paddies on three sides with only a little area of hatake on the fourth side that it maybe difficult for explorer bees to find us when looking for a new home, as the tanbo would be like a nectar desert for them and then they have to go through dense forest not knowing there is a potential home with plenty of flowers inside. So we may site some of the capture hives away from our land next year and bring them inside if any bees take up residence.

What do you think is happening with the lunchtime orientation flights ? Is it normal for them to do that in the middle of the day and are they returning loaded with pollen or without pollen ?

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Re: Adventures in Japanese Bee (Apis Cerana) Keeping

Postby Caleb Fuller » Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:30 pm

Zasso Nouka wrote:What do you think is happening with the lunchtime orientation flights ? Is it normal for them to do that in the middle of the day and are they returning loaded with pollen or without pollen ?


The orientation flight is the first flight bees newly promoted to foraging duty make - they fly out of the hive, make a few passes back and forth in front of the entrance, then fly in expanding circles around the hive before returning. They are basically scoping out the location of the hive and the lay of the land in readiness for future longer foraging flights.
If a lot do it together, which often happens, it can almost look like a mini-swarm. The difference is less bees in the air, and of course they come back in after a few minutes.
They don't gather any nectar or pollen on this first flight. However, there are plenty of other workers regularly bringing in pollen and nectar! 8-)
One thing I have noticed, watching them, is that, for all their delicacy, bees can be surprisingly clumsy! Returning foragers often miss the landing board altogether, crash into each other, bump their heads on the top of the entrance, and sometimes even trip over themselves and land flat on their back while climbing down the entrance ramp... :oops:


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