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BOP Bee Interest Group
  1. What's new in this club
  2. There have been, and are, members from the group that show an interest in providing hives for pollination. It’s not easy, and not a game. This can involve a contractual obligation to provide hives to a written standard on a defined time, and affects someone else’s income too. While most of us can muddle along and manage whatever the bees decide to do, for pollination the beekeeper is definitely in charge, even when the bees disagree. One of the essential skills, useful for beekeeping in general, is the ability to assess a colony’s size or strength, the number of foragers and the amount
  3. Agreed, an age-old problem and I'm not sure what the answer is, but doesn't mean we try a few things. I sure wouldn't be the best demonstrator in the house!
  4. AFB picture from Meeting with thanks to Kakahi Bees
  5. #3 probably not for forum discussion but in passing, this reminds me... In our group most members were standing directly in front of the entrances, each so close to the other that they couldn't see much plus also a pile of bees backed up behind them trying to figure out why the final approach to their hive was blocked by white clothed moving clumsy things. Most members had bees parked/landed on their backs. I think we should have implored people to stand back (not forwards) and for each one of an inspecting team of about ~5 take one frame to a small group of ~6 people away from the hive,
  6. So two posts for this meeting. We want more stories every time, don't be shy! The most important inspection you will do this year will probably be your first spring inspection. I’m not thinking of those alive/dead visits, or the quick peek and heft to check the food stores, but the first proper visit to go through the brood nest, what I’m going to call the ‘disease inspection’. It’s not a good description. In this case the concern is about one disease, AFB, and these days with so many hives around you will always have an eye open for AFB, and everything else. But the moniker ‘disea
  7. The August meeting was hosted by Kevin Kramer and our focus was on AFB inspections. Our local AP2 John brought along two fresh AFB frames for practice roping out. Coming into Spring the meeting attendance was higher than recent meetings due to winter and covid. The meetings normally expand over the warmer months as we meet/visit at individual members. There is a such a variety in different ways people keep bees it is always interesting and then we either admire or advise to help them with their beekeeping. At this meeting the group was split in half to do AFB checks on two groups of hives on
  8. As mentioned last time, for some reason mead generates quite a bit of interest. It baffles me somewhat because, judging by what people will pay money for, mead hasn’t been popular for several hundred years, and can no longer be used for paying taxes. Anyway, for this month’s meeting we had decided to gather and discuss it, and make some. If you are the buying and selling type you can't do this with mead ('cos it's alcohol), but you can turn your mead into Vinegar! I make it occasionally, mostly because I’m lazy about dealing with cappings and wet extractors, but I’m a bit ‘old scho
  9. The group's long CoVid lock-down has been punctuated with Web-hosted virtual meetings for those able to join. This month it was out of the web-world and back to the wide-world with the group's first Honey Show. The BOP group exists to facilitate shared knowledge and experience, in a social setting where potentially everyone has something to contribute, including people that have never (or never intend to), keep their own honeybees. Keeping bees, as a hobby or a business, benefits from good information about many things, for example information about biology and horticulture, carpen
  10. Thanks for that. Our SNI Group is looking into such software.
  11. The cost is zero at this stage because there is a 14 day free trial. Longer term, the cost is USD 14 per month or USD 12 per month if you buy for a year. (USD 144). This is cheaper than the other paid software (zoom) but zoom has a free version if you only need 40 minutes. Wearing another hat (Seaside Bees) we pay more than twice that to hire council community centre room for our beginner beekeeping course each year. So, even paying USD 144 it is a significant saving and allows us use of this for anything we want, so the Bee Group, Sailing Club, Engineering wo
  12. Fantastic. Well done. What is the cost for goto meeting software and use.
  13. March 29. The BoP Group had its first online meeting today. We used goto meeting software for phone tablet computer access. About 24 members attended. We went through a hive, looked at some new robbing guards and our first batch of mead ready to bottle. Then at end of meeting we switched on all the webcams and had a cup of tea and a chat. We finished on time and there was no lost time travelling
  14. The Group's website https://bopbee.weebly.com/ has been updated for the new swarm season and collectors google map. Meetings (last Sunday of month at 2pm) are going back into summer mode; at the apiary of a member each month instead of meeting at TECT park. Anyone (member or non-member) in the region or just visiting (between Katikati, Rotorua and Paengaroa) on last Sunday of the month, that might want to attend a meeting is welcome to make contact via the website to get current newsletter and meeting details.
  15. We have another two samples ready for composite test, but need 5 for the minimum $20 club rate. I thought we were done for the season, but now have 3 empty slots if anyone interested. But you need to be able to get the sample to me in Tauranga.
  16. Gosh, I never go here any more and look at all the messages! Thank you @ChrisM.
  17. We had some early rain that might have put some people off and Maungatapu bridge closed overnight due to a fatal, but the turnout was probably more than 30 people because the urn ran out of water and we got more underway. We started off looking at my own solar wax melters, these are poly fish bins with a polycarbonate window and using cotton paint strainer bags on a metal roof tile. Discussed dealing with old dark brood comb in a bag, under hot water with a brick. Looked at the spectrum of different wax cleaning methods from single hive hobby level to the more expensive wax melters that commer
  18. no more spaces available looks like we are done for the season unless another 5 people spring forth.
  19. that bunch of 5 specimens has gone for testing last week. Right now I have one specimen here plus 3 more slots booked, again leaving one final slot empty/available at the present.
  20. We have one slot remaining and four confirmed for next 5x composite tutin test. $20. Suitable for low Tutin risk confirmation. The extractors are both in use this weekend but there are now no forwards bookings, so most people seem to be all finished now. However if any members need use of a small manual extractor they're currently available from Apr 12th. $20. contact information for testing and extractors is on the group's BopBee website.
  21. Monthly meeting for March was held at Barry Kneebone's place in Katikati. It was a pretty wet day that reduced turnout to about 30 people. We had a bit of a chin wag in the shed. Looked at various feeders and bases and their merits or otherwise. Arataki propolis mats were viewed and discussed. We looked at Barry's home made entrance reducers and so on. Various questions came up so quite a lot of good background knowledge was shared. We spent a bit of time on harvesting, discussing blowers, brushes, bee-gone fume boards and more. Nobody was complaining about the rain, it was nice to have some.
  22. The group's second extractor is a manual four frame that joins the three frame unit that has been in service for two seasons now. At the current time both units are booked and in use with members, but they appear to be the last bookings of the year with demand now tailed off. As most know the whole gubbins comes out for cleaning if you spin off two wing nuts. It will be fun to see if we can invent a top bar hive extractor that mounts with the same two wing nuts. Thus it could become somewhat ambidextrous for hobbyists.
  23. Yep this section is archived. I think we were waiting for functionality to allow us to move the contents from here to the club bit.
  24. now that the club facility is well established, is it now appropriate to combine all the BoP Forum posts and all the BoP Club posts in one place? I don't get to the forum all that often and it seems strange now that posts are in two separate places. Is it possible to consolidate into one focal point?
  25. The group's map has had a layer added for Tutin Test Results. The map now contains blue markers for swarm collectors, green markers for passed Tutin Tests and red markers for failed Tutin Tests. Anyone with a Tutin Test result from any site in the BoP region is welcome to forwards a copy of their test certificate from any year. These are placed on the map so as not to identify any individual nor an apiary site. Members and non-members are welcome to contribute and there is no fee nor block for non-members to view. There are not actually a great deal of test results to see, however, there are t
  26. I'm not sure if it has been mentioned but we also have a group webpage. It is a free one, so the url isn't flash. https://bopbee.weebly.com/ The Tauranga City Council webpage on bees externally links to this website for swarm collection in the BoP area. Members of other recognised clubs, branches and groups in the BoP are welcome to join the collector list; there is no fee. The website contains a map of collectors that can be taken full screen and zoomed in to locate nearest. https://bopbee.weebly.com/collection.html There is also a page on the group's extractor that can b
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