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There has been a lot of talk on and off about different additives you can add to sugar when feeding. This includes everything from pollen substitute and seaweed to various methods of stopping the suga

And hey, never let it be said that I am one of those boorish people who refuse to fess up when they are wrong ?

I don't use sprays at all around my hives. Most of my sites have stock and they take care of the problem but those that don't I either grub the grass out from the front of the hive which takes a few s

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On 10/08/2020 at 12:22 PM, john berry said:

There has been a lot of talk on and off about different additives you can add to sugar when feeding. This includes everything from pollen substitute and seaweed to various methods of stopping the sugar fermenting.

I really have to question the wisdom of adding anything to sugar that might end up in the honey. Even without the modern ability to test down to 3/5 of 5/8 parts per billion I am not convinced that adding anything is a good idea.

You can of course make the argument that feeding sugar in itself is a contaminant and personally I save honey to feed back to the hives but I normally end up having to feed some sugar.

There may or may not be some real benefits for the hives from feeding seaweed et cetera but I do know they can and do survive without it.

I believe this is one of those things that the industry needs to look at before someone else looks at it for us.

True, i stopped using agisea because I never noticed any difference in the bees and dont want it ending up in the honey.

I do use inverted food grade sugar syrip because it lasts 2 seasons in the tank withought going off and I do use hive alive on my double brood hives to make back losses and on weaker hives to help build them up but that's after the Manuka flow.

 

We need to work together to keep our honey top notch or it's going to get hard real fast for us, bad enough having the roundup thing on tv wrecking our reputation and it is because of a few big guys, I've seen them spraying hives with grass up to the lids and getting it all over the hives and bees. I weedeat after the seasons over and come back around to spray when the grass is down low away from the bees to avoid this as much as possible.

 

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Me, I think the agrisea thing is little more than a scam.

 

It was developed as an agricultural product, and then like any good business they looked for ways to expand their sales. realized that beekeepers had money (at the time), so some genius in a boardroom goes "hey, why don't we put a label on the bottle that says it's for bees and sell it to those guys".

 

The label claims it contains this or that mineral, that is supposedly good for bees. They do not consider that the bees may already have enough of that already.

 

For any product there will always be some great references that go "Wow, i used product X, and the results were awesome!!" If that is what the advertising is, I am always very cynical.

 

I once kept a marine reef aquarium, and grew corals and other marine life forms which I sold. Corals etc take their minerals from the water and so keeping the water right in a tank is quite a science, and you have to add a lot of things to make up for what gets used. This has given rise to a whole industry creating additives for the reef aquarium hobby, and not all those additives are genuine or do what they claim. A notable case was a very expensive additive of secret ingredients that was supposed to do wonders for your corals. The advertising came with glowing references and photos of brightly coloured, healthy looking corals. The references were genuine and could be traced back to the happy reef owners, who were real. But there was always doubts expressed on chat sites about just what the product was, so one day someone had a bottle analyzed. It was water, food colouring, a little sugar, and vinegar. I think the idea was that if enough was sold, statistically there would be some consumers whose tanks just happened to go through a good period at the same time the additives was used, and those guys would supply the glowing references.

 

Sorry Agrisea but I think your product is somewhat the same.

Edited by Alastair
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its been a while since we used agrisea but from what i recall it did actually help.

but not all the time.

i think its a case of if the site has good nutrition and the weather plays ball, then it doesn't provide any benefit.

with marginal sites and poor weather, providing good nutrition makes a big difference.

downside of course its an added cost and these days its better to keep cost down.

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8 hours ago, Alastair said:

It was developed as an agricultural product, and then like any good business they looked for ways to expand their sales. realized that beekeepers had money (at the time), so some genius in a boardroom goes "hey, why don't we put a label on the bottle that says it's for bees and sell it to those guys".

 

Wrong sorry, it was a beekeeper who approached them about their product after reviewing what was in there.

He had been importing a product from the USA that worked, I bought some of the usa product and I would definitely say it improved my hives. But the imported stuff became to expensive and he looked around for an alternative and the rest they say is history. But like most things there has been no independent study to verify what it does, a bit like ox staples that a lot on here say work, or do they, or was it just a good year?

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8 hours ago, john berry said:

I don't use sprays at all around my hives. Most of my sites have stock and they take care of the problem but those that don't I either grub the grass out from the front of the hive which takes a few seconds or just ignore it. Long grass out the front of the hive might not do them much good but I have yet to see it make any difference to the honey crop. Long grass for me is more of a fire and trip risk than a bee issue. 

It definitely makes a difference if you use meshed bottom boards or hive doctor smart bottom boards, the Kaikuia grass grows through them and up to the top feeder and makes them damp and go backwards real fast.

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49 minutes ago, Maru Hoani said:

It definitely makes a difference if you use meshed bottom boards or hive doctor smart bottom boards, the Kaikuia grass grows through them and up to the top feeder and makes them damp and go backwards real fast.


Just put carpet, or coreflute under your hives. I rate vented bottom boards, hives on pallets and a ground cover to help stop weeds and moisture rising. 

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Also, I feel that most of the Syrup additives On the market are are just like human supplements... the market is saturated and it’s pretty much all advertising. 
 

If you eat nutritious whole foods your body will flourish. Likewise bees. 

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I have been using agrisea for  a number of years now and have observed a significant reduction in nosema like / spring dwindling symptoms in that time. Of course other beekeepers with different hive management and pollen resources around their sites may not see any observable differences with or without it.

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52 minutes ago, CHCHPaul said:


Just put carpet, or coreflute under your hives. I rate vented bottom boards, hives on pallets and a ground cover to help stop weeds and moisture rising. 

I use belt sanding paper from the mill because it's free and doesn't rot also I have 14 inch pallets plus 2 inch smart boards makes the hives 16 inches off the ground and out of the moisture, hives are dry az

20200524_152351.jpg

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2 hours ago, Dennis Crowley said:

Wrong sorry, it was a beekeeper who approached them about their product after reviewing what was in there.

 

Yeah sure. The idea was initiated from a beekeeper enquiry. From there it hit the boardroom, somebody said hey, maybe it might work. We don't know, but maybe. Let's just label it for bees and start selling it. And the rest is history.

 

2 hours ago, Dennis Crowley said:

there has been no independent study to verify what it does

 

Exactly. Therein lies the problem, never even been tested. If Agrisea were confident it worked, they would run trials to prove it, as proven results would be huge for their marketing. They have chosen not to. Wonder why.

 

As per CHCH Paul, bit like the human supplement industry. Sadly, often of dubious benefit, or no benefit.

 

Then another guy says he's been using the product for some years, and over those years he has noticed a reduction in Nosema like symptoms. How does he know it has anything to do with Agrisea? He doesn't. But it is this type of thing that produces the glowing customer reviews that induce others to spend their money.

 

Like I said, I have seen this whole exact scenario play out in a different industry. Would I buy anything untested, unproven, and unresearched, based on nothing but glowing customer reviews? NO.

 

 

Edited by Alastair
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1 hour ago, Maru Hoani said:

I use belt sanding paper from the mill because it's free and doesn't rot also I have 14 inch pallets plus 2 inch smart boards makes the hives 16 inches off the ground and out of the moisture, hives are dry az

20200524_152351.jpg

Yo Maru Man, that's one tall as pallet. Joking aside, I like them.

It's a good idea, though not suitable for me as the load gets a bit high during pollination.

 

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10 minutes ago, Gino de Graaf said:

Yo Maru Man, that's one tall as pallet. Joking aside, I like them.

It's a good idea, though not suitable for me as the load gets a bit high during pollination.

 

I dont do any Pollination as the nearest orchards atleast an hour 40 away, my new forklift can still stack 2 pallets high though

20200809_084844.jpg

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51 minutes ago, Alastair said:

 

 

 

Then another guy says he's been using the product for some years, and over those years he has noticed a reduction in Nosema like symptoms. How does he know it has anything to do with Agrisea? He doesn't. 

 

 

I assume that I am the  guy you refer to here. The fact is that of course I can't be 100 % sure that it was any thing to do with agrisea.

 

My situation is that my spring sites are not the best, most are quite high in altitude and slow off the mark in spring. For a number of years I was seeing a frustrating number of hives really struggle to get going in spring.

 

About 6 yrs ago after talking to others I gave agrisea a go and haven't had the same spring issues since. The only real change was the agrisea and given that the results are consistent over a number of years I am convinced that with my management in my area it has a beneficial effect. Wether this is worth the cost is going to depend on what opportunities the beekeeper has.

 

Like I said before other beekeepers in other areas might see difrent results.

 

Also I firmly believe that hive management, varroa control and resouse availability are much more important that any supplement but once you have those areas sorted best you can their might be a place for supplements for some beekeepers.

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1 hour ago, Alastair said:

Yeah sure. The idea was initiated from a beekeeper enquiry. From there it hit the boardroom, somebody said hey, maybe it might work. We don't know, but maybe. Let's just label it for bees and start selling it. And the rest is history.

I know the beekeeper that approached them, I also know 2 other beekeepers that also started to use it before they decided to mass sell to beekeepers. The factory is just down the rd, a few locals have been using it before hat.

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Fortunately it's a bit cold for kykuyu down this way. I remember 40 years ago on the Coromandel that the damn stuff would grow through any cracks in the floorboard and right up through the hive. I think I would be spraying if I had to put up with that.

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Oh, I get it. You think I am a big supporter of oxalic staples. 

 

Most people here would think I'm the opposite.

 

What I really am is a supporter of TESTING AND TRIALING oxalic staples properly, before they are unleashed on the public.

 

My position is entirely consistent with my position on Agrisea. No pots and kettles.

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9 hours ago, john berry said:

Fortunately it's a bit cold for kaikuia down this way. I remember 40 years ago on the Coromandel that the damn stuff would grow through any cracks in the floorboard and right up through the hive. I think I would be spraying if I had to put up with that.

Unfortunately for me in northland it's just about at every site and if not its pampus which can be just as bad

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On 16/08/2020 at 7:57 AM, Maru Hoani said:

I do use hive alive on my double brood hives to make back losses and on weaker hives to help build them up but that's after the Manuka flow.

 

I too use Hive Alive if the need arises. That's because it is backed by properly done trials that showed exactly what it does, and does not, do, for bees.

 

It's a known quantity, and I can evaluate if it will make me more money than it costs.

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Agrisea claims to contains a number of amino acids and I don't imagine that is in dispute(?). I'm not knowledgable enought to comment whether they are the rights ones or in the right proportions, but I'm pretty confident they are in there and unlikely to do harm.

 

But just as it remains to be seen if you need to feed sugar, it also remains to be seen if there is not enough pollen at your sites. Dump sites may not have enough forage, so it does make sense in that case. That could be sugar and/or pollen patties or a combination in solution if it is simpler and cheaper.  So far we have never used any pollen supplements, we are small, urban with lots of varied pollen sources, but we're very lucky in that regard. 

 

There seems to be a lot of hate in this thread, which seems unnecessary for a NZ made product produced and supplied in good faith, or is this just my imagination?

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