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Rob Stockley

Paying for access to swarms - wait, whaaaat?

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3 minutes ago, Dave Aky said:

Hi @ChrisM  do you mind if I ask how you manage to get so many swarms? It still is a mystery to me how some Beekeeper’s can catch so many, but I’m sure the answer is simple. Is it because of have a high number of hives and see them when you are inspecting? Are you a member of a club and get alerted? Do you advertise swarm collections online? Or do you have a lot of friends who are looking out for you? 

Swarms will quite often frequent the same places, like under bridges.

They like to go where other bees have been because of the smell of the honey and wax.

I know of a place I could go and catch easily 3-4 a week.

If your beekeeping and driving around where there are beehives you manage to pick up heaps.

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8 hours ago, Daley said:

Swarms will quite often frequent the same places, like under bridges.

They like to go where other bees have been because of the smell of the honey and wax.

I know of a place I could go and catch easily 3-4 a week.

If your beekeeping and driving around where there are beehives you manage to pick up heaps.

Ahh interesting. That makes sense. Mystery solved. 

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1 minute ago, Dave Aky said:

Ahh interesting. That makes sense. Mystery solved.

My swarms come from a commercial yard up the valley that I keep an eye on. They're past it now I think.

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1 hour ago, yesbut said:

My swarms come from a commercial yard up the valley that I keep an eye on. They're past it now I think.

What’s your tally from them at?

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Hi All,

 

Yes, it was our FREE Swarm Catchers list that was used by this individual.  He called everyone on our list to try and get beekeepers to join his paid service, without our knowledge or permission.  Some of the beekeepers thought we were involved in this business, please understand We have nothing to do with this individual.

 

If you are a new beekeeper, please understand you don't need to pay for swarm calls, Please join our Free Bee Swarm Catchers List.

 

We want to help save bees from Exterminators killing them, which is what was happening in Auckland.  We were involved in a  submission to Council for their call centre to call Beekeepers rather than Pest Exterminators.  This is why we created this free resource for the Beekeeper community in New Zealand.

 

 

Thanks

 

Gary and Margaret

kiwimana

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1 hour ago, cBank said:

What’s your tally from them at?

Seven this year, over the space of four days.

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11 hours ago, Dave Aky said:

Hi @ChrisM  do you mind if I ask how you manage to get so many swarms? It still is a mystery to me how some Beekeeper’s can catch so many, but I’m sure the answer is simple. Is it because of have a high number of hives and see them when you are inspecting? Are you a member of a club and get alerted? Do you advertise swarm collections online? Or do you have a lot of friends who are looking out for you? 

 

Hi, answers to your questions are, "yes, ALL of the above".

But in a bit more detail I would have to say I don't actually know really, but I'm happy to run with it though. Here is some detail if you are interested..

 

We have an out of control hobby that has evolved into a cottage industry renting out hives in urban gardens, we give talks, visit schools and ran an 8 week night school class. As a part of that we have a website. Often when Tauranga people google "phark what do I do, I have a swarm of bees" or words to that effect, it seems to point them at a our website, where I have prattled on about swarms. Whilst facebook is good for one swarm or two, I think the majority are coming from the website. I also know for sure that our phone number has been given out on a couple of occassions (could be more than I know) by a seriously big beekeeper who has passed along our contacts, probably because they are too busy doing more valuable work and maybe because they think we are responsible. Now as well as fb, the BoP Beekeeper Group Collector list and our website, then there is the fact that I have hassled the crap out of Tauranga City Council on a couple of issues and I've certainly gnawed away at WBoPDC with regards to some of their website wording and asking about their use of swarm collector lists and how that works. Then there is the Kiwimana collector list too. I don't think the Kiwimana list really works outside of Auckland, but that easily could change over time such are the mysteries of the internet. But overall you could say I've been a bit like a dog with a bone, trying to consider every avenue. I stopped researching and building on that because about a dozen a year is/was a good fit for us. We have never sold a swarm nor anything like that, we are not bee suppliers. Here, it starts on October 1st. Most of the calls from mid-december onwards are false alarms (wasps) then 100% after January 1st. If overall we get one extra colony for every two call outs the costs do mount up if you consider a nominal rate for time you are doing this instead of working earning income. So, it is probably cheaper to work and buy a dozen Nuc's the problem is that we have so much fun and meet so many nice people. We have a full quiver of fun stories about this sort of thing.

 

Practically speaking the phone rings and the calls come in, I am self-employed and work from home so I/we can jump in the car and attend then and there.

 

Bear in mind we are based in Tauranga and so it is a bit different to Auckland. I'm pretty sure we've not yet had a single hive swarm, but there are a number of contributing factors why that is so, none of them are magical. Some of them are that nearly every hive is in a single hive apiary. So, you're unlikely to miss a hive, if there is only one in the apiary.. Also that it has become a source of part time employment means that the hives are seen regularly on a schedule. Another is that demand for hives means that we are using cells to create extra colonies, so hives with excess brood are being knocked back in order to feed a small production line turning 5 comb Nuc's into 10 comb Nuc's.

 

If I was in Auckland (eeek) and already on all available lists, next I'd be talking to the caretakers of the local schools, cemmetry, park, golf course, water treatment plant, (you get the idea) to ask them if they get swarms and what they do about them (if anything). Maybe you can get a share of those swarms too.

 

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8 hours ago, yesbut said:

My swarms come from a commercial yard up the valley that I keep an eye on. They're past it now I think.

I hope one of my hives is past it .

It was a weaker hive and was only making cells one at a time that I squished.

Now she is no longer laying in the QC that the bees have made but is laying strongly everywhere else.

She is last  late summer's queen and has a good brood pattern and I would like to keep her for a  while longer.

 

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5 hours ago, kaihoka said:

I hope one of my hives is past it .

It was a weaker hive and was only making cells one at a time that I squished.

Now she is no longer laying in the QC that the bees have made but is laying strongly everywhere else.

She is last  late summer's queen and has a good brood pattern and I would like to keep her for a  while longer.

 

Making one cell at a time suggests supercedure. I'd leave them to it.  Bees know best. 

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3 minutes ago, Rob Stockley said:

Making one cell at a time suggests supercedure. I'd leave them to it.  Bees know best. 

a bit tricky. they can get supercedure and swarming mixed up. not uncommon for superceding hives to swarm during swarm season.

it would be better to get through swarm season and then requeen.

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3 minutes ago, Rob Stockley said:

Making one cell at a time suggests supercedure. I'd leave them to it.  Bees know best. 

I found X1 capped queen cell last week in the hive that swarmed last year..

on the theory... bees know best

It could have been left

note taken, ok so

1 minute ago, tristan said:

a bit tricky. they can get supercedure and swarming mixed up. not uncommon for superceding hives to swarm during swarm season.

it would be better to get through swarm season and then requeen.

It’s tricky 

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I don’t leave any cells this time of year. I just write on them RQ if I think they’re superseding.

Too risky during swarm season

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After I squished the last cell I was not sure of my decision .

I thought they were superseding her but because of the unpredictable mating at this time of year I wanted to delay the process for at least a month.

If they build another cell again I will leave it this time .

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8 hours ago, Daley said:

I don’t leave any cells this time of year. I just write on them RQ if I think they’re superseding.

Too risky during swarm season

That was my initial reaction @Daley

squish squish 

you’re not swarming on me this year.. if I can help it

Edited by Beefriendly
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23 hours ago, ChrisM said:

 

Hi, answers to your questions are, "yes, ALL of the above".

But in a bit more detail I would have to say I don't actually know really, but I'm happy to run with it though. Here is some detail if you are interested..

 

We have an out of control hobby that has evolved into a cottage industry renting out hives in urban gardens, we give talks, visit schools and ran an 8 week night school class. As a part of that we have a website. Often when Tauranga people google "phark what do I do, I have a swarm of bees" or words to that effect, it seems to point them at a our website, where I have prattled on about swarms. Whilst facebook is good for one swarm or two, I think the majority are coming from the website. I also know for sure that our phone number has been given out on a couple of occassions (could be more than I know) by a seriously big beekeeper who has passed along our contacts, probably because they are too busy doing more valuable work and maybe because they think we are responsible. Now as well as fb, the BoP Beekeeper Group Collector list and our website, then there is the fact that I have hassled the crap out of Tauranga City Council on a couple of issues and I've certainly gnawed away at WBoPDC with regards to some of their website wording and asking about their use of swarm collector lists and how that works. Then there is the Kiwimana collector list too. I don't think the Kiwimana list really works outside of Auckland, but that easily could change over time such are the mysteries of the internet. But overall you could say I've been a bit like a dog with a bone, trying to consider every avenue. I stopped researching and building on that because about a dozen a year is/was a good fit for us. We have never sold a swarm nor anything like that, we are not bee suppliers. Here, it starts on October 1st. Most of the calls from mid-december onwards are false alarms (wasps) then 100% after January 1st. If overall we get one extra colony for every two call outs the costs do mount up if you consider a nominal rate for time you are doing this instead of working earning income. So, it is probably cheaper to work and buy a dozen Nuc's the problem is that we have so much fun and meet so many nice people. We have a full quiver of fun stories about this sort of thing.

 

Practically speaking the phone rings and the calls come in, I am self-employed and work from home so I/we can jump in the car and attend then and there.

 

Bear in mind we are based in Tauranga and so it is a bit different to Auckland. I'm pretty sure we've not yet had a single hive swarm, but there are a number of contributing factors why that is so, none of them are magical. Some of them are that nearly every hive is in a single hive apiary. So, you're unlikely to miss a hive, if there is only one in the apiary.. Also that it has become a source of part time employment means that the hives are seen regularly on a schedule. Another is that demand for hives means that we are using cells to create extra colonies, so hives with excess brood are being knocked back in order to feed a small production line turning 5 comb Nuc's into 10 comb Nuc's.

 

If I was in Auckland (eeek) and already on all available lists, next I'd be talking to the caretakers of the local schools, cemmetry, park, golf course, water treatment plant, (you get the idea) to ask them if they get swarms and what they do about them (if anything). Maybe you can get a share of those swarms too.

 

Keep in touch on facebook @ChrisM

I have a few contacts down our way who will collect swarms, its a highlight of our season catching and rehoming swarms.

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16 hours ago, Daley said:

I don’t leave any cells this time of year. I just write on them RQ if I think they’re superseding.

Too risky during swarm season

This morning I was inclined to disagree. None of mine had ever swarmed when I suspected supercedure.

This afternoon I'm inclined to agree after one of my supercedure hives swarmed. Oops!

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What is the name of the main bee swarm list in a auckland? 

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15 hours ago, Rob Stockley said:

This morning I was inclined to disagree. None of mine had ever swarmed when I suspected supercedure.

This afternoon I'm inclined to agree after one of my supercedure hives swarmed. Oops!

I had 2 yesterday which I was certain were superseding so I cut out the middle man and squashed the queen

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That would have to be the Auckland bee club list,Fred told me the Auckland bee club has over 300 members on the swarm notification list his year. 

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On 11/5/2017 at 7:26 PM, Dave Aky said:

What is the name of the main bee swarm list in a auckland? 

Martin runs the swarm phone line 021 08898210

 

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Our club (Alameda County Beekeeper Assn) has a policy that anyone collecting a swarm who got the contact via the club's swarm hotline 

A) Cannot charge the caller for collecting the swarm (we have agreements with agencies that refer calls that say we can't charge)

B) Doesn't sell the swarm to anyone else. i.e.  It's HIGHLY frowned upon for the person who collects a swarm to subsequently sell it. '

Our club doesn't depend on donations from swarm removal or extractions to stay afloat.


Our club advertises a single phone number. The system uses a virtual-PBX to cause the phones of a few volunteers to ring simultaniously.

The first person to pick up the call take the information.  He/she then sends out an announcement to an email list of swarm-list subscribers.

The posting does not contain contact info. Just general info on location, size, difficulty, and pictures if that's helpful. 

Swarm chasers self-select. The first to ask for the contact info gets it via a private email message. 

 

The person who takes the call (receptionists) via the vPBX agrees not to take the call, but to pass the info to the email list. 

Receptionists can take calls posted by other receptionists, or take calls that sit around on the email list for at least an hour or some agreed-upon time that is perceived by members as fair. 

It's an honor system, and it works.  

 

Extractions (cut-outs) are done by specialists who happen to be club members who charge for their services; the acba DOES NOT benefit from these activities either. 

All the contact info for extraction calls goes to all the swarm list members via the email list.  Service providers contact the reporter, and bid the job.

 

Contact me if you want a lot more info on how it works, and what the guidelines are. gtp086 at gmail.com  +1 510 407 1146

 

Stake holders:

The club members get relatively fair access to the swarms.

Swarm reporters have simple interface. The operation sounds very professional and efficient.  We get more call-backs. We even get calls from club members who can't handle an extra swarm out of their yard.

City and county agencies have NO worries about (this valuable resource) feeding to a commercial entity. 

The bees are usually collected promptly by beekeepers prepared for what they encounter. Some take easy swarms, some hold out for challenging swarms. 

 

One of our club members, Jonathan, devised this system about 5 years ago as a benevolent dictatorship.  Bad actors can be denied.

He has the support of the club's board, and the 100 plus members of the swarm list.  

This year the system handled 430 calls in the county on the east side of San Fransisco bay.   ~60% are swarms.  Figure out what the value is at the package price you pay...

Club overhead is low. Our 200+ members pay dues of $10, and nothing extra to be on the swarm list.  A modest charge would cover the costs of the phone service. 

 

I'm needling Jonathan to publish an article in one of the bee journals.  Jonathan delivered his first presentation on the topic at our symposium last Saturday 11/4.

The system has been through enough iterations to be stable. It''s proven to be effective. We handled more 100 calls this year than two years ago,

but some of that increase may be on account of the good rain year.

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Your NZBKA has the tools you need to put the kibosh on this from the start.  Set up a "Report a Swarm" page on the website.  If a beekeeper wants to catch swarms they opt in, name, location, phone, email, how far they're willing to travel to pick up the swarm.  If Tom or Suzy or Bill doesn't answer the phone for the swarm, the reporter can go to the next name on the list.

Here's an example:

http://abqbeeks.org/page/report-a-swarm

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On 04/11/2017 at 10:07 AM, yesbut said:

Seven this year, over the space of four days.

Impressive !!

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Collected my first one on Monday after a plea went out on facebook. Easy peasy, then pudding and pie.

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