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Trevor Gillbanks

August 2019 Apiary Diary

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16 minutes ago, Maru Hoani said:

The highest I've ever seen was UMF 35+

Sounds about right.  That is medical grade.  A bit more than $20.00/ kg

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If it is UMF 40 then it must have a lot of suntan lotion in it.

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7 hours ago, Apihappy said:

Shopping today, jars from the wholesaler and labels from the stationers. Then pak'n'slave for groceries. UMF 40 manuka $9.50 for 500gms. I seriously considered buying the lot (not that much left) but thought that maybe they knew something that I didn't. Are manuka sales this much of a bust elsewhere?

That would be more likely labelled MGO 40, very low quality "Manuka", shouldn't be allowed to be labelled Manuka, would be NPA(UMF) about 2 plus. Genuine  UMF 40 plus would be priceless!

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Posted (edited)

Then of course and correct me if I am wrong....it is local market (NZ) not export so it does not have to conform to any Manuka standard, MPI or whoever other than able to be proven if challenged on false labelling.

Edited by Ali
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OK Team ..... this is totally unrelated to bees ..... sort of .... but not really ..... as we all need diesel to run our trucks. But ..... for a nation that is trying to go electric and be leaders in the world in reducing our carbon foot print ..... how many fuel bowsers does small town Darfield need ? 

 

I am curious. We have a truck stop 10 k's up the road in Sheffield.  We have Mc Keowns in Windwhistle , 20 k's south  with diesel at  $1.07/lt , and we have multiple bowsers in Christchurch 30 k's down the road . We already have two bowsers  in Darfield central, and I read in the local rag tonight that plans are afoot to build a new NPD on the old council office site, 500m down from the Challenge and  the 'other place',   that is going to revolutionize our driving experience, bringing us cheap fuel and a retail experience.

In a time when we are told we are beyond peak oil, this is bizarre.

In the big scheme of things, it really probably does'nt matter, except to be a waste of energy and resources, but someone will have done the maths and have it figured ...

 

Meanwhile up on the farm here we have decommisioned the farm quadbikes and gone feral .....  to four footed horsepower to get around the hills on,  which is a bit slower but far more enjoyable .... and had a forester out here today looking at tree planting to mitigate our carbon output.

 

One interesting outcome of the day was that on our lowland  deer  velvet block where we can no longer run stock in the riverbed, we can apparently get some of Shane Jones's money to do some riparian planting ..... over three  k's of creek flood zone to plant out in flax and poplar for which we can  claim carbon credits ..... but more importantly, will provide sources of bee food and propolis.

Progress indeed.

 

I also had the pleasure of a visit from Paul and Tony from Agrisea ..... the seaweed guys from Paeroa .... Tony is their Beeman who has been charged to get the word out that fat bees need good food .... and seaweed can help. Fat bees are healthy bees, and we need healthy bees to overcome the ravages that todays worlds throws at them.  And Paul, well Paul is a mine of information on the natural habitat that keeps our business running ..... the soil and the plants and  the stuff we put on them and how it affects the returns  to our business.

 

And to cap it all, was Goran's video clip of water bottling.  There's nothing like a good belly laugh and positivety  to end what was, to be honest, a pretty crap week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, jamesc said:

OK Team ..... this is totally unrelated to bees ..... sort of .... but not really ..... as we all need diesel to run our trucks. But ..... for a nation that is trying to go electric and be leaders in the world in reducing our carbon foot print ..... how many fuel bowsers does small town Darfield need ? 

 

I am curious. We have a truck stop 10 k's up the road in Sheffield.  We have Mc Keowns in Windwhistle , 20 k's south  with diesel at  $1.07/lt , and we have multiple bowsers in Christchurch 30 k's down the road . We already have two bowsers  in Darfield central, and I read in the local rag tonight that plans are afoot to build a new NPD on the old council office site, 500m down from the Challenge and  the 'other place',   that is going to revolutionize our driving experience, bringing us cheap fuel and a retail experience.

In a time when we are told we are beyond peak oil, this is bizarre.

In the big scheme of things, it really probably does'nt matter, except to be a waste of energy and resources, but someone will have done the maths and have it figured ...

 

Meanwhile up on the farm here we have decommisioned the farm quadbikes and gone feral .....  to four footed horsepower to get around the hills on,  which is a bit slower but far more enjoyable .... and had a forester out here today looking at tree planting to mitigate our carbon output.

 

One interesting outcome of the day was that on our lowland  deer  velvet block where we can no longer run stock in the riverbed, we can apparently get some of Shane Jones's money to do some riparian planting ..... over three  k's of creek flood zone to plant out in flax and poplar for which we can  claim carbon credits ..... but more importantly, will provide sources of bee food and propolis.

Progress indeed.

 

I also had the pleasure of a visit from Paul and Tony from Agrisea ..... the seaweed guys from Paeroa .... Tony is their Beeman who has been charged to get the word out that fat bees need good food .... and seaweed can help. Fat bees are healthy bees, and we need healthy bees to overcome the ravages that todays worlds throws at them.  And Paul, well Paul is a mine of information on the natural habitat that keeps our business running ..... the soil and the plants and  the stuff we put on them and how it affects the returns  to our business.

 

And to cap it all, was Goran's video clip of water bottling.  There's nothing like a good belly laugh and positivety  to end what was, to be honest, a pretty crap week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pines are a magnificent source of airborne pollen which is an incredible irritant to a lot of humans , and a weed tree , that at the rate they are supposedly being planted , have the potential to take over native forest and other areas that they are not desireable .

Im not sure if anyone has calculated the carbon footprint of harvesting them either , and given they take 25 years to grow , and about the same to rot as outdoor timber , I cannot understand their usefulness for locking up carbon .

They also deface land leaving a large mess behind and ruin soil structure .

Your potential future goldmine and willingness to do what’s right will highly likely turn into a balls up . 

I have a small block of pines which are about to be removed and replaced with natives which will be more useful to the wildlife and look better .

 

Your riparian planting plans are a great idea 😊

Edited by M4tt
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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, M4tt said:

Pines are a magnificent source of airborne pollen which is an incredible irritant to a lot of humans , and a weed tree , that at the rate they are supposedly being planted , have the potential to take over native forest and other areas that they are not desireable .

Im not sure if anyone has calculated the carbon footprint of harvesting them either , and given they take 25 years to grow , and about the same to rot as outdoor timber , I cannot understand their usefulness for locking up carbon .

They also deface land leaving a large mess behind and ruin soil structure .

Your potential future goldmine and willingness to do what’s right will highly likely turn into a balls up . 

I have a small block of pines which are about to be removed and replaced with natives which will be more useful to the wildlife and look better 

Totally agree Matt.

 

We have planted lotsa tree here over the years.

We bought this gorse ridden block many moons ago. It was always my dream to own a run down block and make a silk purse out of a sows ear.

The second winter I was here I set to on the gorse. had an old fellah living her called Bill. he was from  down central way and a horseman of repute and cooked a mean bangers an mash.

The forcast was good for burning. Southerly change, much like tonight, snow to low levels . So I lit the gorse.

Holy Charisma .... does that stuff burn.

I came off the hill for a coffee, and said to Bill 'I lit that gully'.

'You hungry', he said ' I cooked us up some bangers'.

A few minutes later the neighbour arrived.  "You got a fire going up there on the hill James .... Don't worry, Uncle Grahams bringing the fire truck up"

Oh Crap.  Uncle Graham arrived with five of his mates trucks and a chopper on standy.

The funniest thing was young John B arrived from Windwhistle in the old Chev fire truck. It had no cab . John never had such a n adrenalin rush in his life, Roaring up the road with the siren going, the wind howling , heading north where a massive glow lit the night sky behind the hills of LowMount.

She was a goodie, but the snow arrived, and by the morning the gorse was gone and all wthat was left was a smouldering mass of blackened earth.

We planted that earth in the spring.

It was a dirty job, but twenty nine years later it is a pleasure to behold ..... a mixture of larch, oregon and corsican pine. It has colour in the spring and the autumn.

On the other side of the track is a forty year old oregon block. We thinned that ten years ago,  selectively logged it and built a log cabin that we flew in kit set to our over the hill tussock block ..... a pig hunting retreat for those who need to reconnect to the important things in life. 

 

The forester today asked what I wanted to plant.  I hate pines. Their only use is MDF and packaging. Under the district plan here Oregon is classed as a weed, the seed is too light and carries on the wind to infest tussock land.  What a load of Cod's Wallop!   The log pile house would be rotted by now, the shed six by two's infested with borer .... the tree gaurds would be gone.

 

Like I have said many times before......  my hive tool  is sharp and ready for the revolution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by jamesc
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4 minutes ago, jamesc said:

carries on the wind to infest tussock land

Plus 1 on that, I've spent a lot of time yanking out Dfir. 

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81722B14-3BAE-45A7-84B5-5877B39925EE.jpeg

The best pigs are always found on the neighbours place .... right.

9B4525FF-3C87-414E-AFE7-65317E4B800D.jpeg

Contrary to many thoughts, ..... this little Whare did'nt cost a lot to build.

I borrowed a book off my neighbour on log cabin building. If you got no land .... then you got find a piece of dirt, then you if you got no trees , you gotta find a truck load of trees .... trees are cheap right now .... all you need after that is a chainsaw and 40 litres of gas.... and the skill of a Bee Keeper with three months down time.  Nothing to it !!

Oh yeah, the thing I forgot, and this  is the main thing guys ..... you need a woman that don't mind living in a log pile house..

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Posted (edited)

When I came to the bay 40 yrs ago there was lots of scappy land covered in gorse.

Most of it was let go and ignored.

Today that land is covered in  native forest with no one lifting a finger to plant anything or remove the gorse .

Edited by kaihoka
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Uh Huh ..... you got the climate.  I visited Hinawai over on the peninsular a few years ago . That was a gorse filled valley thirty years ago and now is native paradise.

Here in the foothills of the Southern Alps i think that dream will take several generations.

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27 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Uh Huh ..... you got the climate.  I visited Hinawai over on the peninsular a few years ago . That was a gorse filled valley thirty years ago and now is native paradise.

Here in the foothills of the Southern Alps i think that dream will take several generations.

There was a good seed bank in soil  here .

What would have been growing in foot hills 200 yrs ago .

 

 

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

When I came to the bay 40 yrs ago there was lots of scappy land covered in gorse.

Most of it was let go and ignored.

Today that land is covered in  native forest with no one lifting a finger to plant anything or remove the gorse .

Interesting that you should mention that.

The drop dead gorgeous forester that came to visit today kept 'mentioning' all these other schemes on the go ...... taking land out of production and getting paid to do it .....

A lot of our land here is classified as ' outstanding natural beauty' in the the district plan.

I will second that.

  We are priviliged to live in an environment of out standing natural beauty, which to be honest is  8888 hopeless for farming.  We host burnt out Totara trunks at 800m that are the remnants of the forests that once covered this part of the foothills. We have tractor eating holes in the Sunnyside flats that are the rotted stump detritus of vegetation from the time of the Moa Hunters. We have gullies full of Kowhai that are laced with gorse, and when you kill the gorse, you kill the Kowhai ..... so now we don't kill the Kowhai and Ecan are not happy .....

Somedays I am tempted to show them the wrath of my sharpened hive tool ..... conservation is a two edged tool ..... one has to go through the pain to reap the benefit. 

One only has to look at some of that land up n the East Cape of the North island. 

The people stepped back and the gorse took control and every one chastised them. And now ..... nature is restored and everyone wants in.

Edited by jamesc
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2 hours ago, jamesc said:

One interesting outcome of the day was that on our lowland  deer  velvet block where we can no longer run stock in the riverbed, we can apparently get some of Shane Jones's money to do some riparian planting ..... over three  k's of creek flood zone to plant out in flax and poplar for which we can  claim carbon credits ..... but more importantly, will provide sources of bee food and propolis.

Progress indeed.

Re the carbon credits, check the forest land criteria on Mpi's website, particularly the required dimensions and possibly the crown canopy cover requirements

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OK .... it's late, but  whatever .... I'll carry on about trees and Oregons , as we seem to have been  having a tree day today.

Ecan have outlawed Oregons as a tree species for the Canterbury high country. \

But I wonder if they have actually thought through the bigger picture. The trees take thirty to forty years to mature. Whose to say that in thirty to forty years all the treatments that go into tanalising pine will be legal. Organic farmers are already pulling out tanilised pine fence posts because they are not kosher.

Possibly the brave man of today should be telling Ecan to sharpen the pine pole and stick it up where it hurts, because further down the track we will need building timber that is chemical free. 

And finally,  as I am in a lippy mood .....  I will close by saying that the Gvt is totally out of touch. On one hand they are implementing  a  wilding pine program and spending a small fortune on eradication, while on the other hand are  busy handing out money for planting.

Excuse me all you of Irish descent, but this is totally Irish. If a Gvt is intent on saving a planet, then it is at all costs, and if you are getting free trees  , from windblown seed, then live with it and put the money saved in tree  planting into housing the homeless.

 

I tell yah Jacinda .... somedays  I think your people have to get out a little bit more into the provinces and the heartland. The coffee pot at the end of this gully here is always hot.

21 minutes ago, tommy dave said:

Re the carbon credits, check the forest land criteria on Mpi's website, particularly the required dimensions and possibly the crown canopy cover requirements

Uh huh  .... over 5m and thirty percent cover.....

No Offence Jacinda..... you are without doubt the best top dog  we have seen in God'Z'Own for quite a long time  .... but these  are challenging times for humanity, and there is no easy solution to the problems we as a community of human beans face. The solution, if there is one,  is to look at the big picture. And  that is not tomorrow, but two generations away.

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44 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Uh huh  .... over 5m and thirty percent cover.....

Plus an average width of tree crown cover of at least 30m, it's this one that disqualifies a lot of riparian planting. Also worth checking how many years of growth are ineligible for credits if funded from one of the afforestation schemes. Anyway, sounds like you'll get good advice. Although I'm often critical of MPI, I think their forestry in the ets fact sheets are pretty good

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16 hours ago, Apihappy said:

Shopping today, jars from the wholesaler and labels from the stationers. Then pak'n'slave for groceries. UMF 40 manuka $9.50 for 500gms. I seriously considered buying the lot (not that much left) but thought that maybe they knew something that I didn't. Are manuka sales this much of a bust elsewhere?

Maybe "Evergreen' rides again? Court case over and fined, but no embargo on them keeping on keeping on!

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I think the 5 mtr rules are being discreetly readjusted in local programs  eg Esturine planting ,

And there are DOC driven initiatives to plant native timber trees for our grandchildren .

Without some sort of official size limit  the whole program could devolve into farce.

7 hours ago, jamesc said:

Ecan have outlawed Oregons as a tree species for the Canterbury high country. \

That is so dumb .

Douglas is a wonderful timber  and a beautiful tree , there are large plantations along side  the takaka hill  road .

You are right about treatment issues for the most commonly planted pine .

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44 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

Douglas is a wonderful timber  and a beautiful tree , there are large plantations along side  the takaka hill  road .

You are right about treatment issues for the most commonly planted pine .

Douglas F will never be an alternative to poison pine for any use in or close to the ground. There's certainly an awful lot of heavy metals spread around the place. The

issue of wilding trees is really difficult. On one hand we're screaming out for more tree cover, on the other hand the various potentially problematic pine/fir species can spread like fury in open country like the Mckenzie or Canterbury High Country or Marlborough , and without doubt they suffocate everything else and take up a lot of water. I find it very depressing wandering around such places as the Leathem or Branch valleys where for years NZFS pottered around with re-afforestation trials and which by and large have resulted in rampant exotic growth at the expense of everything native. Personally I possibly wouldn't mind Molesworth for example entirely left alone to self convert to exotics

but I'd have to get my head around the multitude of native species endemic to and unique to the area being wiped out.

 

It's all just another straw or two on the back of the groaning planetary camel. I don't have any answers, or at least any answers the rest of the population would find acceptable. 

For example, I will stop using electricity and fossil fuel if you will.

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4 hours ago, yesbut said:

For example, I will stop using electricity and fossil fuel if you will. 

Not a chance .😊

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Posted (edited)

Got though my hives in the sun this morning. Scraped down the frames, base, mats, boxes and shook off the brood frames. 

Things were looking good, lots of brood, possibly a little low on supplies, but wow the varroa. Cut out some drone cells as this seemed a little early for drones and an opportunity to kill varroa. The cells were just full of varroa. I hadn’t seen that before.

Sugar shakes gave me 9, 0, 2 and 9 and new Staples put right over the brood.

It’s pouring now.

 

A308471E-8B23-44E9-B21D-A974B61E4FD8.jpeg

 

04FF111F-5E3C-4364-A983-F00D9E231301.jpeg

Edited by cBank

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When and what was the last treatment? 

 

I have found with heavily infested colonies oxalic staples are much slower to clean them up than synthetic. 

I have turned around a 250 odd counted colony with oxalic but will admit adding 2 frames of good clean emerging brood at the same time definitely was a big part of the turn around. 

 

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30 minutes ago, Stoney said:

When and what was the last treatment? 

 

I have found with heavily infested colonies oxalic staples are much slower to clean them up than synthetic. 

I have turned around a 250 odd counted colony with oxalic but will admit adding 2 frames of good clean emerging brood at the same time definitely was a big part of the turn around. 

 

 

Staples.

I tracked the mite numbers down to being low (0-2, April) and left the staples in all winter. They weren’t near the brood in the two bad ones today though, and one of them had chewed them to death too.

 

There are lots of hives around here, which may have contributed.

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1 hour ago, Stoney said:

I have turned around a 250 odd counted colony with oxalic

Ive turned around 80s and 100s but I think it also depends on the viral load.

 

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1 hour ago, cBank said:

 

Staples.

I tracked the mite numbers down to being low (0-2, April) and left the staples in all winter. They weren’t near the brood in the two bad ones today though, and one of them had chewed them to death too.

 

There are lots of hives around here, which may have contributed.

Sounds like you got to them just in time , just before your mite counts skyrocket with all that brood emerging 

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