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Trevor Gillbanks

April 2019 Apiary Diary

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spent some time at my equal favourite apiary at the weekend. Decided to let every hive there overwinter with a couple of full supers, only so much space in the car and energy/time for extracting honey.

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Today was the first day of the Staples efficacy trial for registration as an Agricultural Chemical 

Ive had an untreated block set aside for this trial and the provisional registration required for such a trial took longer than anticipated to obtain

This meant that the Block went longer than desired untreated so it was a reliefe to get into it today washing, counting and recording.

There were one or two real surprises and it was reassuring to see the results of spring treated hives that should be dead by now but are very much alive and well.
Counts today ranged from 1 mite to 35.
 

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Sometimes the Forum is a bit of a gossip column .... but anyway ...... I had a fascinating day today ..... meeting Bruce from Ceracell on his road trip to bolster enthusiasm in the honey industry.

Thankyou Bruce, for taking the time to get out and about and care about your customers !!

 

We talked about setting up a  Co Op to market honey. As the poet John Donne  wrote many decades ago "No man is an Island" ..... and that was the basis of what twenty plus of us came together to talk over. And as the talk flowed North, and the talk flowed south, I was struck by the range of talent who had come together. Beekeepers, marketers, those who steered products through the paperwork for export regulation and packers of honey with a lifetimes experience. 

 

Something like this has to be a move in the right direction ..... producer ownership of where our product ends up.

So Thanks Bruce for reinvigorating us, and leaving me your "card" , which on one side says 'Three things I want to be remembered for' and on the other is a quote from Theodore Roosevelt  ....

 

'It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievment and who at the worst , if he fails ,at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.'

 

Thank you Bruce, for being daring and  embarking on the road trip !

 

On the way home I picked up a hitchhiker ..... a German man who had come to see if all he had heard about New Zealand was true.  We have lived up to his expectations. We talked about Europe and Brexit , and how as a hard working German he felt about paying to support his Greek Cousins to drink Ouzo and suck Olives on the beach. His response was that  good things take time, and those who can need to support those who can't.

 

 

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@jamesc if your were a press columnist, I might return to the printed word

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I was gutted not to make it to the co op  meeting today...

venom desensitisation day at hospital for my boy today, anaphylaxis again.. adrenaline delivered again. 

According to Dr Tom my boy is the most allergic to bee venom they’ve had in 7 yrs of the program running. 

He is now onto his 2nd vial of venom. A first for CHCH Hospital. 

All other patients are fixed using only one vial. 

We had a couple of guys at the co op meeting so looking forward to the de brief in the morning. 

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1 hour ago, jamesc said:

'It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievment and who at the worst , if he fails ,at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.'

All with Old Glory backdrop

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@jamesc if your were a press columnist, I might return to the printed word

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I had an interesting conversation with a Canadian who lives just west of the Rockies.

I asked him about bee keeping and he said he and everyone he knew had given up because of bears .

They would rip the hives apart and your dog apart .

People tried all sorts of ways  to suspend the hives to keep them away from bears but they never worked and people had just given up .

I have read on the forum about bee keeping in canada but no one has mentioned bears .

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When I worked there I saw an apiary of 50 hives with nothing on the base.The bears had carried boxes of bees,honey and pollen about 30 mtrs away and left such a mess that we burnt the lot.Now this is in the fall[autumn].T he reason being if they do not eat protein to survive the winter they die.

   The wildlife department tried to relocate the bears 250 miles away  and the same bear came back and attacked the apiary again.So they now trap the bears and destroy it.Our Canadian beekeepers can fill in more dtails than I can

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Even the hobby beeks that I have seen online, use electric fences, higher than deer fences to keep them out..

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tHE ELECRic fences did not keep them out.When they are hungry and know where the next meal is an electric fence is nothing. I have seen these fences destroyed

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40 minutes ago, Bighands said:

tHE ELECRic fences did not keep them out.When they are hungry and know where the next meal is an electric fence is nothing. I have seen these fences destroyed

I wonder how far out into the plains the bears stop and big scale bee keeping is safe 

1 hour ago, Bighands said:

When I worked there I saw an apiary of 50 hives with nothing on the base.The bears had carried boxes of bees,honey and pollen about 30 mtrs away and left such a mess that we burnt the lot.Now this is in the fall[autumn].T he reason being if they do not eat protein to survive the winter they die.

   The wildlife department tried to relocate the bears 250 miles away  and the same bear came back and attacked the apiary again.So they now trap the bears and destroy it.Our Canadian beekeepers can fill in more dtails than I can

Do the bears not attack the hives in other seasons than autumn .?

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Posted (edited)

After lunch I headed down to the peat to 9 hives to check over , replace staples and assess temperament so in Oct/Nov I know who to rear replacement queens out of to replace the stingy suckers .....

 

The hives are full on pumping on cats ear and dandelion . Heaps of brood , heaps of bees , heaps of honey , heaps of drones  ...

 

The bees are really thriving in the staples environment . About half had been fully removed from placement two months ago . These were Phil’s 3 deep wides with the single stitch down the middle . They are being replaced with Phil’s EP wides . 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by M4tt
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Since I put the staples in I have seen no dead bees outside .

I would like to open the hives and arrange the staples into a more aesthetically pleasing pattern but while my hives are surounded by a cloud of robbing bees I will not open the hive till the migrant takes his hives .

He has taken his supers .

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I tried uploading some nice pics but the phone camera is so powerful these days, downsizing or screenshotting just leaves a blurry mess unfortunately. 

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, jamesc said:

On the way home I picked up a hitchhiker ..... a German man who had come to see if all he had heard about New Zealand was true.  We have lived up to his expectations. We talked about Europe and Brexit , and how as a hard working German he felt about paying to support his Greek Cousins to drink Ouzo and suck Olives on the beach. His response was that  good things take time, and those who can need to support those who can't.

 

During the "Greek crisis" i met a German lady with a polar opposite view of the Greek work ethic, or need for a helping hand. She told me this joke, which was circulating in Germany at the time. - "Germans wanting to help sent some care packages to Greece, among them a container of twenty thousand shoes. A few weeks later the shoes were sent back to Germany. Why? They were work shoes" 🤣

Edited by Alastair
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Interestingly , the bees have developed some sort of tolerance to the staples because wher they had mined wax from under them last time I checked , they have rebuilt and either filled with capped honey or brood 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, M4tt said:

I tried uploading some nice pics but the phone camera is so powerful these days, downsizing or screenshotting just leaves a blurry mess unfortunately. 

Did you find a good downsizing app ?

Edited by kaihoka
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Germany has made money hand over fist due to countries like Greece keeping the value of the Euro down. Without this form of currency control Germany would have had a much harder time.

I’m sure a market expert can tell me how I’ve got this wrong though, but it stacks up as far as I can tell.

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1 hour ago, kaihoka said:

Did you find a good downsizing app ?

Yes thanks to @Beefriendly

 

Image Size App

 

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48 minutes ago, M4tt said:

Yes thanks to @Beefriendly

 

Image Size App

 

Some times when I try to upload more than one image it will tell me my image is more than 2 mb when I know it isnt .

Then I close the page  and reopen it .

Then it llets me post the photo .

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Nice colour coordinating with your hives Matt ..... bucket included !

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On 5/04/2019 at 7:02 AM, Bighands said:

tHE ELECRic fences did not keep them out.When they are hungry and know where the next meal is an electric fence is nothing. I have seen these fences destroyed

 

I think the electric fences fail quite a lot. If the ground where the bear is standing is very dry it won’t make an earth, so the bear gets to pull the fence over. Likewise the voltage has to be up tothe task. It must be challenging to maintain a decent fence. 

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