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Well,  Spring has sprung and we are now into the 2020/21 season.

I wish everyone all the best for the current season and everything goes as you deserve.

Beautiful morning here in Manawatu but it is supposed to rain this afternoon.  I see parts of the South Island have snow falling this morning.  Let's hope the snow and rain they are getting will put out the big fire down that way.

 

I have completed my first round and only had 1 hive death with a queen failure, so I am pretty happy there.

I will be putting in my varroa strips starting on Thursday and doing my AFB spring inspections.

 

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Pretty stoked with these bad boys (girls)! ... I also have taken @Maggie JamesQC tutorial 😊, though I am using the double screen board method for production. Got a take of 86 out of 90 grafts. 

Really gotta say I don’t like not having the location visible.   I don’t want to have to check a profile every time I want to see where someone’s from to get an idea of whether there Post is mo

The bureaucrats are the only ones making money right now. When I grow up I want to be a bureaucrat   

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From the August Diary

  

21 hours ago, Maru Hoani said:

If they're dead and havent been getting serviced then why not? And if they had AFB  or not I'd be reporting it straight away.

 

 

Why not just contact the owner and have a polite chat,  maybe offer some help and be a decent member of the beekeeping community .  At some point you may need some help so its  a good idea to pay it forward

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Hmmm .... very funny man Morpork. Anyway , I'm not gonna go there tonight .

On seconds thoughts .... maybe I will.

 

It's been a snow day. I was tempted to stay in bed with the missus and have a lazy Tuesday ....

Instead I took a big truck to town to get her street legal at VTNZ.

And as you do, you wait, and wait, and wait a little bit more.

 

The great thing about Big Truck is it as bluetooth for the mobile phone, so I can laze back in the camper and conduct business from the bunk.

 

Most days I have a  snagging thought on my mind, particularly now as we crack lids and crank bees to make more honey.

The thought process is pretty simple ..... how many tonnes will we make, and how much will we sell it for, and what will my profit margin be on that.

 

First call was to a redundant chopper pilot.  

I told him I had lotsa work but no money.  

'I'll go with that' he said '  I've got lotsa time and want to learn. I'll work for nothing .'

Wonderfull. Pretty simple deal that one !

 

And as I was doing deal one an email came through from a lady I had met a few weeks ago. She came up our gully selling farm stuff. At the end of her spiel she asked if there was anything she could help us with. Seeing as the Missus was with me I politely replied 'Not really ..... but had you ever thought about selling honey ?'

She emailed me asking if I was still keen on selling honey.

 I gave her a call.

She had been thinking about her visit to the honey place, and seeing as business was quiet ..... was looking at other things.

'I got lotsa honey to sell, but not a lot of budget to make it happen.'

'All's good 'she said ' I'm kinda curious about the honey thing, and have lotsa connections in the food trade .... I won't work work for nothing, but perhaps on some sort of commission basis ....?'

 

And as I relaxed in my bunk in the back of the truck waiting for the truck tester to finish his smoko break, the phone rang, again.

It was the mother in law ..... telling me she was just about to jump in the spa pool with the connection to the connection she had given me last week, and had I talked to him.

I hadn't.

Smoko at VTNZ was taking a long time, so I rang the connection.

 

It's taken a bit to get to this part of the story ..... but .....this is the juicy part.

 

 I rang the connection.

 

Been in marketing for 35 years and pushes lotsa stuff north up into China.

A man of experience and connections.

We agreed that selling honey is hard work.

We agreed that with a market like China , a single selling desk for New Zealand honey is the way to go

And he suggested that a budget of a million bucks might get it rolling, and that the likes of Zespri had budgeted about 100 mill to get to where they were.

He was nice. He offered to come out home for a chat.

 

And then I made one last call to a mate up North, who is pushing honey into the market, who also commented the press seemed to have got their honey story wrong.

 

And to quote the old poet Mr Kipling.....

 

'We cleansed our mouths of the mutton grease,

we lay on our mats and were filled with peace,

And the talk slid north, and the the talk slide south

With very puff of the hookah mouth.

 

By which time ..... the boys at VTNZ had done their cheese Sammies and wandered over to look at my lights and brakes.

 

So, sat here tonight, the long and short is that ..... we need people interested in paying it forward to ensure a future for a non Manuka honey industry in New Zealand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, morporks said:

From the August Diary

  

 

 

Why not just contact the owner and have a polite chat,  maybe offer some help and be a decent member of the beekeeping community .  At some point you may need some help so its  a good idea to pay it forward

There is no help in my area, its dog eat dog because of the manuka, guys still moving in when your only getting half a box and there's over 100 hives down a 1km road, I have found sites that look abandoned and just report it but all you get back is "the owner has been busy or due to covid etc" and you dont even get a reply saying the name of the owner. 

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9 hours ago, Gino de Graaf said:

Just received my first Robbed Out AFB hive notice within 2km of my site this morning.

So the robbed out notice been around for a while? 

So they do give robbed out notices, it should never come to this if you have a DECA it's just straight negligence by the beekeeper! Should be fines if your hive gets to this state, and reparation if the neighbour gets it because of this upto the following season.

 

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It really is a shame they get this bad, to make it worse it could have died months ago laden with honey but Mr Beekeeper has only just decided it’s warm enough to crack a lid and bingo there it is..or of course an inspector found it..

 I do like to get my first afb check done round one early August before I scrape it all down. 
there is a fear of opening in colder weather but with an extra mat or 2 you can keep them closed up and cozy while they’re stripped down. 
a rob out suggests it was probably pretty crook well before now. 
hope you don’t have too many in range of it  @Gino de Graaf
as Nick suggested, it would be helpful to get a bit more info regarding the scene of the find, like if there are several other hives at the diseased site which most likely will also be infected. 

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Ah, Mr @Stoney ..... I was thinking of you today.

 

We revisited a yard that we worked a couple of days ago. They were  a little bit light so we took the syrup tank back today.

We treated the bees with O/A staples, mustav been on Monday ..... today lotsa dead bees on the lawn in front of their front doors .....

Too many staples ...... old bees ..... 

Nobody said it was gonna be easy ... eh .

 

Today we halved the amount of staples.

 

 

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17 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Ah, Mr @Stoney ..... I was thinking of you today.

 

We revisited a yard that we worked a couple of days ago. They were  a little bit light so we took the syrup tank back today.

We treated the bees with O/A staples, mustav been on Monday ..... today lotsa dead bees on the lawn in front of their front doors .....

Too many staples ...... old bees ..... 

Nobody said it was gonna be easy ... eh .

 

Today we halved the amount of staples.

 

 

thinking about me.. or cursing me?... 

I’m dropping staples in this round too and equalising trying to de power the tall poppies before the willow flow kicks in.. didn’t see a single Destructor in the Drone brood between broods today so feeling pretty happy at the mo. 
did you end up re soaking them used staples you had in the end or started fresh? 

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44 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Ah, Mr @Stoney ..... I was thinking of you today.

 

We revisited a yard that we worked a couple of days ago. They were  a little bit light so we took the syrup tank back today.

We treated the bees with O/A staples, mustav been on Monday ..... today lotsa dead bees on the lawn in front of their front doors .....

Too many staples ...... old bees ..... 

Nobody said it was gonna be easy ... eh .

 

Today we halved the amount of staples.

 

 

Swarm control. It gave me the chills when I first noticed dead and dwindling after first staples. Did you get the COF? 

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We won't talk about the COF @Gino de Graaf.  Big truck flew through .  The missus took the Beanie truck in today .The front RH indicator was a bit wobbly, and the seat had a rip in it ..... fail.  what the dickens.

Beanie truck is a handy truck ...... Nissan Atlas 4X4 ...... carries two tonne on a class 1 licence ,,,,, drives like a wild boar with three dogs hanging on it's snout. Everyone hates it .....  but she's a survivor.

The Missus reckoned she needed to visit the chiropractor afterwards.

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34 minutes ago, Stoney said:

thinking about me.. or cursing me?... 

I’m dropping staples in this round too and equalising trying to de power the tall poppies before the willow flow kicks in.. didn’t see a single Destructor in the Drone brood between broods today so feeling pretty happy at the mo. 
did you end up re soaking them used staples you had in the end or started fresh? 

No ... all good thoughts Brother  ..... we saw the odd mite, marked the hive and will do an alcohol wash in two weeks ....

But yes ... what da heck are we gonna do with all the brood ..... ?

Make honey stupid ..... at $4/kg we need lotsa honey !

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9 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Uh huh .... bring your hive tool ..... yeah nah  bring the dogs 😘 .... we have problem Houston !

You tried a trap? Can be very effective.. a bit like varroa treatments.. working for you while you warm yourself fireside... 2C4D59AB-BE46-4CCF-B05B-A73C42C01178.thumb.png.fdaebcf6afd37c6dfd4170d036becc8d.png

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