Friday, October 29, 2010

Plenty of Company!

Yesterday afternoon while I was working on the Kiwifruit vines a bee buzzed by my face and I flicked it away....only to be followed by another and another. I then realised a swarm of bees was moving in beside me. As a precaution I moved a few vines away. After about 10 minutes most of the bees settled into a male vine at the end of the row, where they stayed for the afternoon without worrying me.

We rang our bee keeper who happened to be working over here in the BOP with his hives so at 10.30pm he came and collected the swarm. They probably weren't his bees - but it is very hard to tell, as all swarms look alike.
At the moment as there is so much to do I am trying to do appointments ( with the podiatrist ) housework; P and Q work, office work in the mornings so I can spend all afternoon till 5.30 working on the kiwifruit vines.
 As well as removing old clips and spent stems I am now thinning buds.
We are aiming to have 7 buds left on the biggest strong shoots.

 Here is one before I remove the triples.  
The first thing I do is take off the ones that will turn into flat fruit. ( I can tell by the shape of the bud ) Then space the others and pick the most vigorous.
 There can be over 1000  buds left in just one bay, so that's lots of thinning. I will never run oput of work!


molly said...

I read this out to The Bean who wants me to ask you if there's any hope he'll get fruit from the kiwi vines he's been growing for about three years. He has a male and a female plant but they have never flowered. What are the chilling requirements, he wants to know? We are at latitude 28 degrees N.

Deb said...

OMG, that swarm is insane!!!! I would have run for the hills!!

Ali Honey said...

Hi Molly,
We are at 38 degrees South. The more Winter chilling the better as long as it isn't frost on buds or shoots.
I suspect the Beans vines may not have been grafted onto root stock so could take longer to produce flowers. Does he know what variety his plants are? The female will have a different name from the male( which might just be a number. ) Perhaps you could post a photo of his vines?
( Winter chilling is measured in Richardson units )

Diana said...

That bee swarm gives me cold chills, even at this distance!