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October 2018 Apiary Diary


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1 hour ago, Philbee said:

Stoney's Bees are just as troublesome, what is it with Christchurch

Not sure what it is with Christchurch Philbee.. coz I’m north of it by a couple of decent rivers.. in the Mecca. 

Varroa Destructor numbers are .. unfortunately for them ... on a large decrease in the Mecca this spring.. 

such a shame. 

on these lovely calm evenings while sipping refreshing liquids on my veranda I can hear the gentle sound of paper tape removal, carried on the floral scented breeze .... so Comforting. 

 

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Seriously hot here today - checked hives top to bottom and they are cranking. They are completely packed in. What I previously considered a grunty hive was actually empty. How commercials get through

This cheeky thing almost got my lunch    

Just having morning tea when I heard the shrill swarm hum. I'd just managed to hive yesterday's lot and thought this was an afterthought. They were hanging on a saw horse next to a hive with a virgin

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32 minutes ago, Alastair said:

I had thought that although honey prices are dropping, if you are making manuka that meets the standard, you are OK.

 

However yesterday I met the owner of the rental property next door to me, he is a Chinese immigrant. For this post I'll call him Lu (not his real name). He owns some rental property, but other than that, his business is beekeeping. He owns 160 hives and is part of syndicate of Chinese people who own beehives and export manuka to China. Lu does not do any beekeeping himself although he took a look at some bees in my back yard and I could see he was familiar with opening a hive. The syndicate he is part of employ people to work the bees, and have been astute enough to put their bees on quality manuka sites, their honey meets the standards.

 

I told Lu my concerns about the falling price of non manuka honey, he was familiar with the whole situation and told me straight up it is because it cannot now be blended with manuka. But here's the interesting part. He told me that the price of real manuka is also dropping. I asked him why, he said there is an awareness in China of the blending and badly labelled product that has been sold to them, it is a reputational thing. 

 

Bear in mind that Lu is Chinese, goes there regularly, and understands the culture and people. He believes the reputation of manuka has been damaged, and the price is based on reputation. He does not know if it will continue to fall, but thinks it likely.

 

Didn't discuss it with him, but afterwards i was wondering if "Ozzy Manuka" will have the same effect. Because firstly it is not regulated like ours now is, and secondly the name New Zealand is associated with the uniqueness of manuka, but an Ozzy product will destroy that uniqueness in the minds of people.

My Opinion Alistiar is that while Lu might be completely credible, his opinion is just his opinion.
The Chinese are among the most astute business people on the planet.
Ive been told by mainland Chinese People that the Chinese consumer sees New Zealand as a very honest place to trade.
Im also cautious about drawing conclusions as to causes.
It may be that the price of Manuka is falling but there could be a number of reasons for that and to attempt to address the issue using inaccurate data is a waste of effort.
It just so happens that I deal with a person who is in China regularly and he tells me that China is facing significant employment problems that are themselves the result of multiple issues including a growing inability to compete with emerging completion.
The Trade war will almost certainly have an effect as well.
The integrity portion of the problem is probably relatively small and or it may be providing downward leverage in a tightening market.

 

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@jamesc you arent the only one with very active bees I have some hives that are tearing the strips right up pulling all the residues including cotton sewing with bits still attached out the door and I put a second round in and the middle ones have disappeared after 10 days.  pumping hives those ones. 

Other hives still great but more sedate about their disposal of the strips.

@Philbee how long do you keep strips in for spring treatment I mean do you keep adding them for 6 weeks or is it 3 brood cycles or are you doing alcohol washes to determine the level of infestation.  

 

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26 minutes ago, fieldbee said:

@jamesc you arent the only one with very active bees I have some hives that are tearing the strips right up pulling all the residues including cotton sewing with bits still attached out the door and I put a second round in and the middle ones have disappeared after 10 days.  pumping hives those ones. 

Other hives still great but more sedate about their disposal of the strips.

@Philbee how long do you keep strips in for spring treatment I mean do you keep adding them for 6 weeks or is it 3 brood cycles or are you doing alcohol washes to determine the level of infestation.  

 

Keep putting them in for at least 2 Drone Brood cycles (56 days/ 8 weeks).

Personally mine stay in until the queen excluders go on which will be next week.
I use the double row  stitch version which last much longer than the single row in those very hygienic hives.

The edge protected ones in various sizes are also an option
One plan that has merit is to use edge protected Staples in the Hives that show an early inclination toward chewing.

So while doing your first round of checks after the treatments have gone in, just replace chewed ones with edge protected ones.
Another option is to just use edge protected Staples but this is a bit of an over  kill as only 15% of hives (give or take) require them.

So to answer you question, aim for 8 weeks total exposure then monitor as you would do anyway, possibly leaving them in untill the Queen excluders go on if that system fits.

 

Another point is that for example I started treating in August so my Hives are now finishing their 8 week period as they start to really pump, hence my lower requirement for really tough Staples and the reason I dont need the edge protected ones in my spring treatments.

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13 hours ago, jamesc said:

That aside,  the bees are starting to crank, or as they say up north .... Pump.    Poly's are up and running with mated queens which we will patiently leave for a  week  to lay out  with brood before catching the mama's and transfering  them  to double brood box hives that will get split down to singles to make up the duds.   Nucs are always a little bit slower getting mated, but are destined for a few pollination contracts later next month.

We bought more  sugar last week as I like to have emergency rations on hand in case things go wrong in this fickle time of year, and we have set up more starter hives in readiness for a big cell raising campaign to direct cell pretty much everything in two weeks time as the bees are starting to tell me they are ready to supercede.

Glynns Nana breeder is looking really prolific. The Betta Bee breeder has gone into a sulk and has less bees than she had in the early spring. I think we might be attending a Wake shortly.

And Stella has been getting a going over prior to the Big Migration. Namely I've been tinkering with the cab interior lights.  The main cab light was that covered in grime and garbage so  I used solvent to clean it. The plastic melted .... Oh crud. But the wonderfull thing with the Ford line is that most parts are interchangeable and Mama's F 150 has an identical cab light and cover ...... but we won't go there  !

How did you get on with the cells

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17 minutes ago, M4tt said:

What is this ?

An inability to compete with emerging competition. Competing on price is a vicious cycle as the money made raises the standard of living, then people need more to live and the product starts to cost more to make. You then get under cut. That’s my understanding anyway, but I’ve not done economics 101 as it would probably kill me.

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19 minutes ago, M4tt said:

What is this ?

China is faced with a rising middle class of sorts and they have higher wage expectations than the original peasants who came in from the fields.
There are now other countries who wish to emulate Chin's growth  model and they are cheaper.
I was told last week that the future of Chinese growth needs to be in high tech areas.
Remember when anything made in Japan was "Jap Crap" and how they changed 

It will be interesting to see if China can follow that path, I doubt it.

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On 25/10/2018 at 11:07 PM, Goran said:

 

I never put honey in someone else's jars. I always put in new jars and repeat to them to don't return jars to me, cause I won't use them. Less worry for me, I don't want to be held responsible for some sickness, my conscious is clear.. At my place glass jars ( 720ml/950 grams)+cap are relatively cheap ( 0,4-0,47 nzd).

 

I totally understand what you say @Goran, however here in NZ it sounds funny.

 

New Zealanders really never had things that in Europe maybe it was normal. So saving became the most important part of people's DNA.

 

Where I have my bees I give honey and people return the plastic pots clean as. However we here in NZ can explain this from a different point of view : "We care so much about the nature that we do not dispose every single thing each time " . You can see that it sounds like WOWwwww.

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1 hour ago, Kiwi Bee said:

 

I totally understand what you say @Goran, however here in NZ it sounds funny.

 

New Zealanders really never had things that in Europe maybe it was normal. So saving became the most important part of people's DNA.

 

Where I have my bees I give honey and people return the plastic pots clean as. However we here in NZ can explain this from a different point of view : "We care so much about the nature that we do not dispose every single thing each time " . You can see that it sounds like WOWwwww.

 

I understand that we are all different (  I am glad for that, cause world would be boring if not). 

But here is reasoning how I think..

Even I am not really immune to gather things which " I might need" some time later ( mostly I don't). Instead of pilling I take it to recycle center more and more and have more space in storage. 

About jars.. the same. When considering time, energy, usage of water, thinking did I wash it properly.. Also measuring, the jar is " standard" for doorstep sale ( whether 320ml or 720ml). I fill in advance and when customer come it's ready to go. If I fill the honey in plastic jars ( new or reused nevermind), here I hardly would sell any.. 

My mentor told me that one beek used the jars which previously were used for pickled vegetables.. it turned to customers complains the honey scent alike ( I presume the lid kept the scent mostly).. ?

 

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15 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

@Goran I make lots of pickles and I am very careful never to put in honey in jars I have used for this .

I mostly use jars that have had jam in them .

 

We also make lot of pickles and jams ( for ourselves, not for sale), and mostly we reuse ones for the same for ourselves which seems in good shape. This is more in domain of my better half..

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11 hours ago, Alastair said:

Most of my excluders look like that at this time of year. I clean them but the bees put it right back. ?

Do you use the 16mm or 22mm excluders?

I wasn't thinking about beespace when I purchased the thicker option unfortunately. I think all you get is just enough additional space for the bees to get creative building ladders, drone comb and storing honey there. Honey under the excluder is a bad start to an inspection, breaking open the comb and pouring honey down the frames; that usually gets the all the bees interested.

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