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Hello everyone,

 

I'm a small certified organic beekeeper living in the Austrian alps. I do beekeeping since 5 years, started with 3 hives - now managing around 50 hives. I have done a little bit beekeeping in Australia (3 days) and Vietnam (1 week).

 

My main yield is honeydew from aphids, I don't move my hives to yields, all apiaries are located above 1.000m. Season is from March - July. Each hive needs about 20kg honey to survive the winter. I use Langstroth 2/3 for honey and brood (2 units). The race is A. melifera carnica (I must use this race by law of our region) and I rear my own queens. 

 

Average honey yield in Austria is different for each region, of course you get the most when you move your hives and then you can get up to 100kg per hive. My average is 20-25kg. This year was really bad, only 8-10kg per hive and a big and difficult melezitose yield, which gives me a lot of headaches/work at the moment.

Most beekeepers in Austria are just hobby beekeeper, with around 200 hives you could make a living (if you move to yields and don't sell all honey on wholesale). The by far biggest beekeeper in Austria is managing close to 10.000 hives on 600 apiaries. 

 

You can sell honey between 8-15 €/kg. I sell wholesale organic honey for 7,5 €/kg and end customers 14 €/kg. (1 € = 1,8 NZ Dollar)

 

Everyone is allowed to keep bees in Austria, by law from Maria Theresia. 

 

- Varroa is a medium threat (because of winter and brood stop), most people using organic acids.

- AFB is in some region more bad than others (Sadly I have had hands on experience with it). 

- EFB is seldom

- Hive beetle (Italy atm.) & Vespa velutina (France , Spain atm.) still not here, but probably will be in 1-2 years.

- Pesticide are medium threat on some fields, laws changing a lot in on this topics

- Shigellosis is sometimes a problem, because the honeydew and strong winters

 

I'm open for any question you may got about Austrian Beekeeping.

 

Few of my hives in winter:

https://i.imgur.com/cayMJBN.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/JpSbP9V.jpg

 

Queen Crafting:

https://i.imgur.com/VgJ9I03.jpg

 

Bee bread harvest:

https://i.imgur.com/t0serPn.jpg

 

----

I will travel to NZ on working holiday visa, when I'm finished to prep. my hives for winter (around November). Current plan is to fly middle of November to NZ (try to get enough money for a car) and fly back around March, when my season starts again. I want to work at least 1-2 months in NZ to experience "NZ beekeeping" as woof'ing or "normal" work. Maybe someone here can give me some tips were to look for jobs or best way to get into the NZ beekeeping scene and maybe some other tips. 

 

My beekeeping experience:

- 5 years of small scale organic beekeeping

- Queen Crafting/Rearing and Mating Places

- Artificial Swarms & Splits

- AFB identification and clean ups 

- various organic Varroa treatments (oxalic acid, formic acid, total brood renew, queen closing)

 

My other skills:

- fencing and stock management (alpacas, cows)

- lumberjacking (I manage a small forest with my father)

- driving tractors and trucks

- programmer (various languages) & good with computers (ex. could help to set up a homepage)

- basic biology (I study biology at university)

 

My job experience:

- junior sales assistant (backoffice, creating graphics, customer support)

- working in saw mill

- working as postal courier

- working on petrol station (book keeping, backoffice)

- my own company (programming and graphic related stuff) (btree.at)

- working on large scale alpaca farm in Australia for 1,5 months (certificate of employment)

- working on tea tree oil farm in Australia for few weeks (mainly house keeping jobs)

 

Current occupation: my own company, organic beekeeper and biology student (did this year some behaviour research in Africa on cichlids)

 

Here is a small video in english I did about a South Korea bee sweeping machine, were you can see some of my hives in the background:

 

 

Cheers

Hannes

 

 

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You must be nuts if you like snow.

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Hi Hannes,

That's an interesting looking machine !!  The bees don't look tooo perturbed at being put through the wringer.

 

 We could offer you work over the summer in our 1600 hive operation  .....    how do we open the line of communication ...?

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Great story, I cant offer any work but if you're up in Northland and find yourself in the Hokianga Harbour - i can offer you a place to stay and a glass of mead!!

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I think the bee sweeper is a great gadget.

But what really impressed me was no veil or bee suit .

You must have really docile bees.

Is the restriction on bee variety a cultural thing or is has it been established that only those type of bees survive in the mountains .

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22 hours ago, kaihoka said:

But what really impressed me was no veil or bee suit .

 

The video was a harvest in the middle of the season, that means there is still yield going on. On the last harvest, when there is no honey coming in, I will use a veil and I work only from 05:00-08:00 a.m. to prevent robbery and fighting between bees. It is not that I never get stung but when there is an aggressive behaviour I will change the queen.

 

23 hours ago, yesbut said:

You must be nuts if you like snow.

 

Actually I really love snow and really hate it that I am not in Austria when there is snow, but sadly it is the only time I can leave for a longer period of time. ;)

 

22 hours ago, kaihoka said:

Is the restriction on bee variety a cultural thing or is has it been established that only those type of bees survive in the mountains .

 

It is an old law from the time of Nationalists. It is to protect the "natural" bee race in our area. In Austria only two regions have this law (Styria and Carinthia). I think in Slovenia it is the whole country. As biologist I do not think the current A. m. carnica is any more natural as other bee races, honeybees are for too long reared by humans that you can say "natural" or "wild". Still I think A. m. carnica (like old cattle races or old vegetables) is worth to be protected and I do not mind the law, but even with the law you can't rear pure carnica queens without mating places (they are even more protected by law and no beekeepers allowed to move in this area) or artificial insemination otherwise you get a hybrid. When you look at the evolutionary bee history the "natural" bee races in our area are A. m. carnica and A. m. melifera, sadly A. m. melifera is not well protected I think only in Switzerland there are a few areas. As to which I think is the best race, I don't think there is one. The best is the one which is reared in your region for a long time, because they somehow know what and when to do. I am not a big fan of "buckfast", because this is a mix of races but most commercial beekeepers say they are the best (most honey).

 

To the machine it is good when you want to create artificial swarms, otherwise a leave blower is the best I think.

 

Cheers

Hannes, btree.at

 

 

  • Thanks 1

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23 hours ago, jamesc said:

 We could offer you work over the summer in our 1600 hive operation  .....    how do we open the line of communication ...?

 

Can't find an option to send you a private message in this forum, my E-Mail: office[at]btree.at

 

Cheers

Hannes

Edited by Hannes_AUT

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OK .... Thanks.

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can you verify your email  address ....  I just sent you a communication and it bounced back. 

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19 hours ago, jamesc said:

can you verify your email  address ....  I just sent you a communication and it bounced back. 

 

Should be ok and working. Already got enough job offers for my start in NZ, thanks. Don't want to plan my whole (holiday) trip ahead.

 

Your community seems great and open, can't wait to visit your country.

 

Cheers

Hannes, btree.at

 

 

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Hi @Hannes_AUT. Do you have a beekeeping research institute in Austria? Do you have a website for it?

 

I can see that you have governmental/EU support for farmers/beekeepers, and that is a very good thing.

 

To enjoy some NZ snow you have to come over from July to the end of September. The Southern Alps are used by the Austrian National Team of Skiers for training camp almost every year. If they like that snow then you will like it too.

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14 hours ago, Hannes_AUT said:

 

Should be ok and working. Already got enough job offers for my start in NZ, thanks. Don't want to plan my whole (holiday) trip ahead.

 

Your community seems great and open, can't wait to visit your country.

 

Cheers

Hannes, btree.at

 

 

I am sorry to tell you but NZ has B  grade snow .

It is mostly wet and slushy.

Snow lovers come here in the off season because there is no where else to go.

Maybe they can go to  Australia , but their snow is even more pitiful than ours .Chille and Argentina may have decent snow .

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4 hours ago, Kiwi Bee said:

Hi @Hannes_AUT. Do you have a beekeeping research institute in Austria? Do you have a website for it?

 

 

No. Beekeepers are organized in societies, with one head organization (https://www.biene-oesterreich.at/). If you want support from the government you need to be member, but actually it is not mandatory and it is not a research institute.

Support -- You can get money as: new beekeeper; equipment; bigger build Investments (total value limited per year); organic beekeeper (EU Only)  all ist more or less based on your current amount of hives. The money support is good and bad, it bumps up the prices for the equipment and dumps down the prices for honey. Without the support surely a lot of commercial beekeeper would stop, so the government needs to keep spending money.

 

As for research is done mostly by universities, example here is "my" university (Karl-Franzes-Univsersity of Graz, http://www.zukunft-biene.at/).

They do a yearly evaluation of hive loss over winter (http://data.bienenstand.at/?setting=5971d9d6aa2ac709da597aa6),

they did check on the diversity of pollen collected (I did also participate) (http://bienenstand.at/uncategorized/c-s-i-pollen-speisekarte-2015/) (my pollen traps: https://youtu.be/bIrqxE0pjoU)

and now they check for the various viruses in a beehive (I do also participate) 

 

 

The most famous person (beekeeping related) from our University is probably "Karl von Frisch (1946-1950) and Karl Crailsheim".

 

Cheers

Hannes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 6/09/2018 at 9:15 PM, jamesc said:

can you verify your email  address ....  I just sent you a communication and it bounced back. 

 

Ahh now I see what you did [at] should be @. As for answering your mail, your mailbox is full. ;)

 

2 hours ago, kaihoka said:

Snow lovers come here in the off season because there is no where else to go.

 

 

When I would travel for snow, I probably would choose Japan. ;)

 

Cheers

Hannes, btree.at

Edited by Hannes_AUT

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14 minutes ago, Hannes_AUT said:

Ahh now I see what you did [at] should be @.

DR Speights taking his toll

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Aaah ..... Grrr..... the mailbox is always full ..... it's something to do with the satellite connection and the fact we only get so many gigabytes. I'll get the Doctor to fix it. And No Yesbut, I was just copying Hannes script but figured it out.... eventually.

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OK ... Try again Hannes . I just defriended a whole heap of Nigerians whose diseased uncles  want to give me a million bucks.

  • Haha 3

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1 hour ago, Hannes_AUT said:

 

Ahh now I see what you did [at] should be @. As for answering your mail, your mailbox is full. ;)

 

 

When I would travel for snow, I probably would choose Japan. ;)

 

Cheers

Hannes, btree.at

My son went to Hokkaido, loved it .

Went in our summer .

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@karuhi is your offer still available? I'm beekeeping at the moment near Auckland but soon (end of next week or earlier) want to make a short trip north before driving south (where I want to be around beginning of January). 

 

My contacts: 

Mail: office[at]btree.at

Phone: 027 215 9408

 

Cheers

Hannes

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