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March 2019 Apiary Diary


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One respected ( late) beekeeper said over here: " Beekeeping isn't hobby, beekeeping isn't occupation, beekeeping is diagnosis"..

It’s been a while since I posted.. However like our bees I have just been getting on with it.   So, this is what keeping bees is about, for a hobbyist. I hesitate to call myself a Beeke

Makes a change to be the one in the naughty spot. Hopefully it will encourage some people to move their hives away from mine.

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On 7/03/2019 at 7:50 PM, Oma said:

Extracted a couple of boxes today.  The very dark honey in one box I’ve not seen here before it’s like treacle though it went thru the sieve no trouble.  Doesn’t taste amazing a bit of anise seed flavour in the back ground.  Wondered if it’s come from my Gervina trees that have been flowering for the last month? No idea what it could be otherwise.

49D9E61E-A146-42FA-B5E2-AA128EA65A1E.jpeg

 

Mistery of where the bees collected this dark honey is over!!! The Tutin test has come back a fail at 1.23mg/kg.  Yikes I tasted it and have read it can take only a tsp full do do you severe neurological damage! Won’t bother with a pollen count aye, first time I have had bees collect Tutin laced honey.

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2 hours ago, yesbut said:

The mystery is still there.....where does the other  999,998.77 mg come from ?

 

I only extracted 12kg of this dark honey I’ve spent enough on it and it doesn’t even taste nice.  It’s definately not Manuka so according to an article on Stuff tonight only worth $7 a kilo it can go into the compost and help poison the rats that live there. 

Wow @Goran that Black Locust Honey sure looks tasty 😋 

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2 hours ago, john berry said:

At 1.23 you could eat it till the cows came home. The limit just a few years ago was 2.0 and no one got hurt. The limit is now .7 which is well over 100 times lower than would cause any symptoms. Legally of course you can't do anything with it as it is but you could blend it with another honey to take the whole batch below .7.

 

Something i learned at the courses i used to have to attend to be an approved pest control chemical handler was how they determine the limits for poisons we are exposed to.

 

Without writing too much and getting too technical, a poison that may find it's way into our food is first tested on rats to find what level will cause any symptoms, and what level below that causes no symptoms or damage of any kind. Then they divide that by a thousand, and that is the maximum safe level for a human. They figure out how much of a food someone might normally eat in a day, and then the poison level is set so that eating that amount of the particular food would give someone no more than one thousandth of the maximum safe dose per kilogram for a rat. 

 

So although it's not strictly legal, your honey could be eaten with no worries. Or, do what commercial beekeepers do and blend it with some other honey so the level is diluted to below legal requirements.

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On 23/03/2019 at 5:06 PM, Shaun said:

I got tired of having to relearn the forum as the management seemed to be making upgrade changes faster than I could cope with.

Hard case thing is that at the time it almost overwhelmed me also but now I cant even remember what the last formatt looked like

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Only change i would like is more time to edit a post.

 

2 hours ago, Goran said:

When showing jars, for some trivia this is last year black locust honey.. 

 

Why is there a line in the middle of the jars?

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48 minutes ago, tommy dave said:

wow. There has been talk about "water clear" honey on here recently, measuring under 10 on the pfund scale or something - where would this fit in?

 

To don't trick you look. It is tough and thick, especially when is cold, these days it is really hard to pull it out from barrel even it isn't crystallized. When you let it drop from above it slaps in wide thin layers not as beam/stream. 

Its high demand is cause it is neutral in color, taste and You should ask yourself.. how much of sage, lavender honey is in the jar of declared sage/ lavender honey or some even more expensive honey. 

Declarations here are just joke.. Like when is written origin of honey on the jar ( from EU and none EU countries )..  People here don't believe what is written on labels, cause lot of it is false.. So I can freely import honey from Martian Federation and " mix" with my honey in same jar.. 👿

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10 hours ago, Jose Thayil said:

Any thoughts of why this might be? 

I would say that there are probably no natural predators of the bees on the island .

As well as an off season for foraging .

Its very expensive to maintain a standing army with no wars to fight .

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I had a random thought today about swarming.
This season I sort of knew that prices would be well down and I only did the bare minimum of work in my Hives
Spring checks and treatments, excluders and boxes on, Honey off check and treat, Honey back on.
I had more Spring swarms than would be acceptable in most areas because my focus had moved.

My random thought was that there are going to be many Beeks hunkering down, maintaining a manageable number of Hives with little or no intention of maximising Honey production so not worrying too much about swarm control in spring.
The country is going to be overrun with Swarms and Varroa?

 

This thought relates to the completely separate issue of Train Wreck operations that are both potential AFB and probable Varroa Bombs
 

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13 minutes ago, Philbee said:

I had a random thought today about swarming.
This season I sort of knew that prices would be well down and I only did the bare minimum of work in my Hives
Spring checks and treatments, excluders and boxes on, Honey off check and treat, Honey back on.
I had more Spring swarms than would be acceptable in most areas because my focus had moved.

My random thought was that there are going to be many Beeks hunkering down, maintaining a manageable number of Hives with little or no intention of maximising Honey production so not worrying too much about swarm control in spring.
The country is going to be overrun with Swarms and Varroa?

 

This thought relates to the completely separate issue of Train Wreck operations that are both potential AFB and probable Varroa Bombs
 

Done the same and will likely have more honey than last season, with a couple of less hives.

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17 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

@Philbee do you think it is possible that the no of hives  in NZ could reduce by as much as a third to a half in as little as two years .

Its anyone's guess.
However 25% seems like a reasonable guess but I know of Beeks with 300-500 Hives who are getting Jobs and having the Hives on the side in idle mode.

These are "wait and see"Hives so it could be that there is an initial sharp drop then a tapering over a couple of years then another sharp drop if things dont turn around.
 

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56 minutes ago, Philbee said:

Its anyone's guess.
However 25% seems like a reasonable guess but I know of Beeks with 300-500 Hives who are getting Jobs and having the Hives on the side in idle mode.

These are "wait and see"Hives so it could be that there is an initial sharp drop then a tapering over a couple of years then another sharp drop if things dont turn around.
 

Yep .. it's the 300 to 500 guys that are the problem.  The fly by nighters who jumped in to make a dollar and when the going got tough baled, leaving the rest of us to clean up their garbage.

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3 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Yep .. it's the 300 to 500 guys that are the problem.  The fly by nighters who jumped in to make a dollar and when the going got tough baled, leaving the rest of us to clean up their garbage.

Not so sure, those money grabbers have invested a large amount of money over last few years.  Hives were expensive, site rentals, trucks, boxes... Hard to walk away when your investment was 100sK -  If there investment was less, then sure they could walk.   I reckon medium/large will shrink down to become more profitable.  And large might shrink and seek others to harvest honey on their sites.  Who really knows... wait and see. 

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It is not a good thing to see anyone struggling or under major financial pressure but the result of it is likely to be a drop in hive numbers/density which may make things better for those who are still in it a few more years down the track.

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Another issue

Lets say Manuka prices hold which personally I wouldn't bank on, but if they do.

Its going to be a matter of who will pay the most for sites, so nothing changes

Competition just drives Manuka site values up until Manuka margins are only just viable.

Net result, industry value plummets.
Ive always had this inkling that a viable Apiculture industry will be based substantially on pollination.


 

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