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  2. Watson & Son - Bad News - NBR

    I know very little of the history of all this and I am interested to understand more without causing the thread to be locked... My understanding so far is that Watson has been around for at least 35yrs, maybe starting in West Auckland (?). I heard that he has had extreme highs and lows several times and that he has had a succession of investors fund each expansion (collapse) in a number of phoenix like regenerations. This suggests he has the gift of the gab as a salesman. Steens (Papamoa, Tauranga) was going for a long while before moving to their current location, but I think that Steens has stayed afloat the whole way without the extreme highs and lows, looking to retire eventually and sell the whole setup. I gather that the comvita founders were also similarly in the right place at the right time when it all started to happen. Would it be fair to say that all three of those were going prior to Manuka and were all in the right place at the right time to take advantage when Manuka 'happened'?
  3. Yesterday
  4. Watson & Son - Bad News - NBR

    Me too !
  5. October 2017 Apiary Diary

    Very appropriate Today.
  6. New Zealand swarm dates for season 2017/18

    Two hives came out of the hakea with very little stores but they had two boxes full of brood . There was no nectar flow but lots of pollen to collect. So I fed them. The other hive hive has a weaker queen , only brood in one box and a box of honey. She is only building supersedure cells , one at a time . I have taken nucs from the strong hives so all is not lost. But would have preferred to wait a couple of months to make queens. But I have learnt more stuff.
  7. October 2017 Apiary Diary

    Last year we had lots of showers through Spring, but little wind, it is the reverse this year. I've even got one site that is so exposed to the Westerlies I'm going to change its name to "kaihoka" in my spreadsheet :-)
  8. October 2017 Apiary Diary

    And I thought it was only here that got wind. It's very hard on bees , spring winds
  9. Watson & Son - Bad News - NBR

    No it’s just because it might get nasty. But that’s quite a good pun
  10. If you’ve got single eggs at the bottom of the cells I would say your coreflute nucs probably aren’t queenless. I’d have another look, you may have missed the queens? Sometimes they can lay a few multiples when they first get started too. If your requeening an established hive I’d squash the queen(or move her) the day before you added the new queen so the bees know they’re queenless, and it’s probably a very good idea to cage her, I never do when I move queens I just chuck her in and smoke the bejesus out of them so that they can’t smell anything and I seem to always get away with it, but if I were you I probably wouldn’t risk that. If you wanted you could wait a little longer and see if your coreflute nucs are actually queenless and if they are unite them and chuck your old queen in with them, she might go the distance until you can get another one and she’ll give you some brood to work with anyway, you could eventually squash her when she’s laid it out and leave the bees to make an emergency cell and their own new queen.
  11. Watson & Son - Bad News - NBR

    I wonder if @grant and crew know more than they are letting on having labelled this topic / company "Risk of Closure" ?
  12. Watson & Son - Bad News - NBR

    I did wonder if they were dead actually. One can hope.
  13. Watson & Son - Bad News - NBR

    that sounds about right. they may have replaced them already.
  14. What's happened to these swarms?

    I do wear a hat with a brim !
  15. What's happened to these swarms?

    Collected a swarm last week 4 m up using extending pole, and bucket attached with duct tape. Was thinking, as I pushed up the bucket sharply, standing under bucket without even a veil was maybe not the best idea, had 5,000 bees land on me, 20 grumpy and one stung my left temple. I fled like a scared sheep, and did not try to hurdle the gate. Got my gear on, and poured the bees, including queen, into my trusy cardboard box, and 20 mins later 99% of the bees were in the box. Gave swarm away. My only sound made was laughter, something "Whose a pillock then ?"
  16. Bees out of sorts

    Absolutely 100% classic karaka poisoning.
  17. October 2017 Apiary Diary

    Nope. All my bases are like this.
  18. October 2017 Apiary Diary

    It's definitely the nectar that's toxic. I strongly suspect is narcotic rather than actually poisonous and when the bees are working something else as well is not normally a problem. It does have quite an extended flowering period. This time of year and for the next few weeks is a real death time around here which makes the bees much more vulnerable.
  19. Bees out of sorts

    I've got close to 30 hives affected , some with a few lumps of bees , some with lots .
  20. Watson & Son - Bad News - NBR

    I doubt they’re NUCs now they’ve been there for about 6 months.
  21. Hi all, Well from 4 nucs ( 2 coreflute and 1 hive with centre divider) I managed to end up with two mated Queens. I was hoping for three, 1 to requeen original hive, 1for new split & I was hoping to have a queen I could try keep restricted to a nuc as a back up queen for winter (not quite sure how I was going to keep her colony size down over summer). Anyway so the coreflute Nuc’s were unsecessfull looked yesterday no queens sighted, found small patch of eggs in each which I suspect were payed by workers even though they were centrally placed at the botttom of the cells. Bee’s were in both Nuc’s runnning around the frames not seeming calm. The hive divided into to Nuc’s with divider board both have queens which I marked yellow. I want to requeen the original hive with one of the new queens, then remove the divider board leaving the other queen with a full size hive. Requeening the original hive... Do I remove old queen to queen less nuc, put new queen in a queen cage then in original hive? should I leave original hive queenless prior to adding new queen for a period of time? with the old queen introducing into the queenless nuc... again use a queen cage? Next question is with the divided box after one queen is removed, what should be the process for uniting the two sides? If I just pull the divider will the colony who’s queen I had taken away just adopt other queen or could they attack her? should I cage her? Advice always much appreciated, Thanks, Deon Thought I would add a couple of picks of my little ( nearly 2yr ) helper, I asked him the same questions.
  22. October 2017 Apiary Diary

    It's windy here too, windy windy windy and has been for three or four weeks. And the 10 forecast is for more!
  23. October 2017 Apiary Diary

    @Daley I assume you have full boards? With mesh floors you can not get fully drawn frames till late summer. I run doubles in the spring to rotate the boxes when I can and get nicely drawn frames.
  24. Watson & Son - Bad News - NBR

    absolutely. also loading and unloading times. with the wet we have been dragging around the UTV and it takes a lot of time to unload, load it with gear etc. yeah they employ a lot of them. afaik great workers. they will be all nucs. we have tons of them around. they feed them up, truck em out, bring in the next lot.
  25. Watson & Son - Bad News - NBR

    Some time back I had words with a large commercial who dumped hives right next to me, I was pretty much told to go shove it. That's the attitude of some.
  26. October 2017 Apiary Diary

    Unfortunately, I waxed most of them myself, so I know they’re good lol
  27. Watson & Son - Bad News - NBR

    I think the biggest factor to how many you can inspect in a day for most people is travel time. If you have big yards you’ll be more efficient. I have mine in yards of about 24, it takes longer to get round them, However I think they do a lot better and I make more honey because of it. Keeps them nice and happy and they don’t tend to get scrappy and robby like a yard of 32 can when your reaching the end. I think beekeeper rates vary greatly but I wouldn’t think there would be too many beekeepers working for under $20 and hour, with 3-4 seasons you’d be looking at $30-$40 an hour I’d say depends on skill and amount of responsibility, I’d expect you’d likely have staff to supervise at that rate. I worked a lot faster for my boss then I do for myself, I can still work fast if I need to but it means I end up having to wait for mum and dad to fluff around so now I just fluff around too, I enjoy being a hobbyist who doesn’t have a real job, I’m not sure that I enjoy the not getting paid part but thems the breaks. As far as I’m aware Watson and Son employ Filipino beekeepers here, wether or not that’s true I’m not sure I have never seen them out, they have a yard just down the road from me where they have nudged in between 2 of my bee neighbors sites, I don’t think they’ve been near them since they put them there, I seriously question what they’re up to considering most of them are still singles and some of mine are 3 highs now. I’ll bet the guy they dumped on is fuming but I doubt he will say anything, shame really because if they did that to me I’d be giving them a friendly phone call and asking them politely to shift. His hives would be about 100 meters away on one side and about 700 meters in the otherside. Pretty cheeky placement.
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