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

Post by Zasso Nouka »

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

Post by Caleb Fuller »

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

Post by Zasso Nouka »

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

Post by Caleb Fuller »

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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Re: Adventures in Japanese Bee (Apis Cerana) Keeping

Post by Brandon88 »

Hey there, Im also looking at building a pile hive. The design looks simple enough. When you have 4 or 5 boxes stacked up, and you harvest the top box and add a bottom box, how are you lifting the hive? I saw one video where they had a kinda complex looking contraption to lift the hive with a hand crank, but im not trying to build that. So can I just screw on some wooden handles and lift it all by hand? Im guessing thats how the average hobby bee keeper is doing it, but it seems so sketchy. It must be pretty heavy, but I guess you could do it with 2 people by lifting the hive, setting it aside on some blocks, adding the bottom box, then returning the hive, but im just so afraid of disturbing the colony, dropping them, or accidentally crushing some bees... How has this worked out for you all?

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Re: Adventures in Japanese Bee (Apis Cerana) Keeping

Post by Zasso Nouka »

I've seen one chap do it with a block and tackle set up on a step ladder, seemed quite an easy arrangement. He set the step ladder up over the hive and screwed in some handles to the bottom box and then lifted the whole hive and slid a new box in underneath.

Some folk just lift the whole thing buy hand but it does look extremely heavy and knowing how clumsy I am it would probably go hideously wrong and I'd get attacked by a swarm of very pissed off bees.

We still don't have any bees living in the hives we bought but for the first time in several years we are now getting honey bees coming to our kabocha patch so there must be colonies nearby, perhaps two judging by the different directions of flight they take off in.

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Re: Adventures in Japanese Bee (Apis Cerana) Keeping

Post by Brandon88 »

Nice, yeah rigging up a pulley system to a step ladder sounds pretty easy. even building a wooden tripod with a pulley on top just for the job wouldnt be to hard... Good news on the kabocha visitors! Maybe some will scout out your hive soon!

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Re: Adventures in Japanese Bee (Apis Cerana) Keeping

Post by Wendy »

Any updates anyone??? Woke up this morning thinking BEEES!! Also chickens, but mostly BEES! Would love to capture a wild swarm; we have lots of flowers on their way to becoming nectar producers.

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Re: Adventures in Japanese Bee (Apis Cerana) Keeping

Post by Zasso Nouka »

Sadly nothing to report here, last year we got nothing as well so this year we bought some of the Kinryohen orchids but so far still haven't attracted any bee swarms. We're getting lots of solitary and bumblebees but not seeing any honeybees. We've still got our fingers crossed so maybe some will come later :pray:

@korekaranoka has captured swarms for the last year or two I believe.

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Re: Adventures in Japanese Bee (Apis Cerana) Keeping

Post by Shizuman »

I found a hive of Japanese bees that have taken residence near my field in the hollow of a tree, ill be keeping an eye out for swarms!!
I did however just buy a pack of western bees 2 weeks ago to see how they go, its very exciting right now watching them build the comb and fill out the brood box!