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3 hours ago, jamesc said:

RMP is up for it's six monthly  revue ..... again.

 

So far as I know Beekeeping NZ has been on a crusade to get this 'fixed' and I imagine the other beekeeping 'bodies' are too (?). It is fair to say that MPI are dragging their feet like teenagers and anything else to say on the matter would be moderated if I typed it. Maybe before anyone complains about it here, they should first write to the Minister by email.. Because you know, it is an election year.

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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. 

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9 hours ago, fieldbee said:

Feel a bit silly with this suggestion to such a long time beek.  But  what we are finding is changes from hive to hive and site to site and it seems to be what there stores consist of. 

They came through the winter well but now there are big differences in hives and sites.  All the best have little or no willow crystallized dew.  They are pumping.   Then it starts going downhill depending on the level of crystallization in the honey.  We have come to the conclusion that some are wearing themselves out and failing to thrive just plowing through all those crystals much of which is chucked out.  And we are thinking that some are actually starving even with good stores so we have taken to scrapping some of the frames to get a clear picture of what is under the honey caps.  Some sugar syrup helps them get a move on with laying and expanding and also it seems with cleaning out the crystals.  So site to site other than the occasional one with corrorapa, Queen-less, or drone layer and we feel our problems depend on what they stored at the end of last season. 

Just a suggestion and I don't know how much willow dew you have down there.

Was this issue combined with a warm winter and increased flying hours with no floral sources available?

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Yesterday I got a text saying there was a swarm, could I catch it? I thought that was a bit early, but a photo was provided so it wasn't anything else.

 

This was an easy swarm - it was at ground level. Shook the main bulk off a branch, and scooped up the rest from the ground.  Took the swarm out to the country side to join my one other hive - fortunately I had a couple of boxes of undrawn frames. 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

That is a very early swarm.

Time to get the gear sorted for collections.

 

I understand from a long time beekeeper that BoP is running 3 weeks early this year. 

So that is about now..

 

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Have found several hives with new (uncapped) swarm cells over the last week or so, larvae still small or just eggs.

 

The first swarms in Auckland normally appear mid September, but they are few, things don't get cranking till October.

 

Have found some capped cells but they were for supersedure, old queens probably likely to fail, and just one cell, or two. Had one hive that a couple of months ago had a failing queen laying probably 50% drone eggs, has been replaced at last visit by a nice young one, don't know how she got mated, but somehow pulled it off.

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Here's how it is in Australia (the land of no varroa).

 

My daughter in Melbourne just sent me these pics, friend of hers who is a brand new beekeeper, built the hive himself, just starting to experience the power of a varroa free hive.

 

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1 hour ago, ChrisM said:

I understand from a long time beekeeper that BoP is running 3 weeks early this year. 

So that is about now..

 

is all of nature 3 weeks early or just the hives. ?

it will be difficult for the bees if their forage sources do not come on early too.

 

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51 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

is all of nature 3 weeks early or just the hives. ?

it will be difficult for the bees if their forage sources do not come on early too.

 

I don't know, 'all of nature' is a bit beyond my baliwick :) you'll need Dave Black for that.

La Nina hasn't officially begun, so the Met people are sulking, but they still reckon it is going to happen eventually. Meanwhile a nasty spring can still put things back 3 weeks.. but honestly don't think it will.

So far I think the forage is early too, I'm not sure if sea temperature is 3 weeks ahead of itself but possibly this is underlying reason for all of the above.

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2 hours ago, Alastair said:

Have found several hives with new (uncapped) swarm cells over the last week or so, larvae still small or just eggs.

 

The first swarms in Auckland normally appear mid September, but they are few, things don't get cranking till October.

Implies that brood nest needed opening up in August for expansion?

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Yes and no Chris. Where I am, for what I do, the trick is not expanding the bee colonies too fast, it's more about trying to hold them back.

 

As to the 3 week ahead thing, in some ways we are ahead of normal by maybe several weeks. As regards swarming, my hives anyway are not ahead, they are exactly on schedule. Swarming preperations are exactly where they would normally be at this time.

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As far as I can see most of the flowers in Hawke's Bay are coming out at about their normal time. Hives are probably a week or two behind largely because they are still suffering from the effects of last autumn's drought.

Any drought is damaging to farmers but there is a difference between a Taranaki drought where they get worried if it doesn't rain for two weeks and bees generally do really well when it's a bit dry and a Hawke's Bay drought where everything is dead and stays that way for months.

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10 hours ago, ChrisM said:

I don't know, 'all of nature' is a bit beyond my baliwick :) you'll need Dave Black for that.

La Nina hasn't officially begun, so the Met people are sulking, but they still reckon it is going to happen eventually. Meanwhile a nasty spring can still put things back 3 weeks.. but honestly don't think it will.

So far I think the forage is early too, I'm not sure if sea temperature is 3 weeks ahead of itself but possibly this is underlying reason for all of the above.

Having a real weather nasty today . First one of the winter .

85klm wind gusts . .  Hortizontal rain .    Scattering of hail . Repetive house shaking thunder .

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13 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

Having a real weather nasty today . First one of the winter .

85klm wind gusts . .  Hortizontal rain .    Scattering of hail . Repetive house shaking thunder .

55 mm yesterday and snow on the tops today. I think the season is 3 weeks early. Fuchsia is early and today I noticed some broom starting to flower in Kumara. Quintinnia will be out later.

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Back to the RMP audit .....

 

This morning  I read the fine print for the 'Limited Scope Audit' .... which seems to be a to be a rehash of the full audit, checking that honey processing documentation meets the standard for export approval, transport approval and drum approval.

Mouse traps and honey facilities will not be checked.

Time allowed  is three hours.

If for some reason we cancel the appointment seven days prior to the appointment the full fee is still payable.

The fee is $1284 plus GST .

 

To my simple mind, this double checking will be on record with Asure quality from last time . .... and if it is not, will come out in the wash when the Freight Forwarders start to do battle with ASSQual when they seek permission to move the container to the dock.

 

I have to tread carefully here, for if I rock the boat too much the Missus will refuse to do all my paperwork ,,,,, and our HillBilly operation will fold , not for lack of honey sales, Varroa, AFB , drought, fire, or bee starvation, but because my patience has been ground in the dirt by a beauracratic procedure that seems to be have little relevance  with the real world. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 15/09/2020 at 8:14 AM, ChrisM said:

I understand from a long time beekeeper that BoP is running 3 weeks early this year. 

So that is about now..

 

I agree too Chris. Barberry hedges are flowering now. 
A lot of stone fruit trees flowered 3 weeks ago and obviously had very poor to no pollination due to the rain, wind and cold temps.

 


 

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On 15/09/2020 at 8:14 AM, ChrisM said:

I understand from a long time beekeeper that BoP is running 3 weeks early this year. 

So that is about now..

 

Northland seems to be a week or 2 early aswell, seen swarm cells last week at 3 sites

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