Red Gum is flowering

Alf Brugman Beekeeping Blog

River Red Gum is flowering where we have hives in the northern country of Victoria. It hasn’t flowered well for us for several years so we are excited about the possibilities. When checking hives two weeks ago, there was excellent brood and the brood chambers had large areas of creamy pollen stored in them. This is typical of a Red …

Early spring

Alf Brugman Beekeeping Blog, General Blog

Early Spring is the most dangerous time of the year for the survival of beehives. During late winter as the daylight hours gradually increase, the queen starts laying eggs to produce bees for the upcoming season. During autumn, the queen laid eggs to produce the so called “winter bees”, which will live for a few months rather than the six …

Worst honey season ever.

Alf Brugman Beekeeping Blog

The honey drought in Victoria has affected our apiary like most beekeeping operations this season. None of our sites anywhere in the state have  honey. The hives up north on grey box had to be brought back down south and fed sugar to save them from starving and we are feeding sugar at all sites and all hives. Our main …

Summer honey prospects

Alf Brugman Beekeeping Blog

The cold, wet winter and spring has many beekeepers in the box ironbark areas of Victoria saying that this is potentially the worst season for many years. The reason given is  trees have put all of their energy into new leaf growth . Some trees will not flower for another twelve months and so there is little prospect for honey …

When should I start my hive?

Alf Brugman Beekeeping Blog

This is a frequently asked  question by beginner beekeepers. There is a fair bit to do to put together your first hive, when you buy the equipment it is raw pine and has to be nailed together and painted. The frames have to be assembled, wired and foundation embedded onto the wire. After a colony is added to the box …

Late winter

Alf Brugman Beekeeping Blog

Bees have had a cold and wet winter this year and hopefully have not used up all their honey stores to get them through. We are now approaching the most dangerous time of the year for hives to survive. Queens will now have commenced egg laying as the daylight hours are increasing and field bees will be foraging for pollen …

Eucalyptus budding for future flowering

Alf Brugman Beekeeping Blog, Flowering report

In the box ironbark forests around our beehives, there is some new budding in several species for next season. Yellow gum(Eucalyptus leucoxylon) has some smaller trees well budded for winter flowering and some trees are actually already in flower. Larger trees may bud in the winter and spring. Yellow Box (E.melliodora) has some budding and although not heavy, indicates that …

Late summer flowering report

Alf Brugman Beekeeping Blog, Flowering report

As of the second half of February, our bees are working many species in both northern and southern Victoria. Hives in both areas have excellent brood and good populations of bees, so that if the flowers yield nectar, there should be good honey yields. In the northern country the Grey box(Eucalyptus microcarpa) is well budded and flowering has just commenced …

Flowering Eucalypts Report

Alf Brugman Beekeeping Blog, Flowering report

As of late January 2012, there a several species of flowering eucalypts that our bees are working.  North of the Divide, Yellow Box (Eucalyptus melliodora) is still flowering heavily and has been going since late November.  Red Stringybark (E. macrorhyncha) is well budded and due to start flowering any day now, this tree provides good pollen and nectar for the …