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December 2020 Apiary Diary


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We enjoy your posts in the monthly diary and its great to see the conversation free flowing. Please use this topic to tell us what you are doing in your hives, if it sparks a discussion, we may move it to its own topic for clearer visibility and to generate interest. Creating new topics is a positive feature of the forum, so please don't be offended.

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10 hours ago, Bighands said:

correct.The bees are breeding and eating the nectar as fast as it being gathered. If I did not feed them I would have dead hives and dead hives do not produce honey.It lloks as though this week will be warmer than the last one.

The rata is just opening here . I am pleased there has been a delay in buds opening , my hives are weak this spring and The weather has been bad.

I would like to buy a new queen .

I contacted a breeder and he said caging on tue and it would be $25 to send from nelson to golden bay .

I asked if I could pick up and never heard back.

Is it just a big hassle having someone arrive to collect a queen when you are busy ?

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4 hours ago, yesbut said:

The best time of day would probably be quite inconvenient for you.....getting home at midnight....

The nice man  who has italian queens did get back to me and said I could pick it up from wakefield .

However the beek who has hives on my place has offered me a newly mated nuc.

I really want some new genetics , italian genetics .

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3 hours ago, john berry said:

Bees don't care if they store honey in old combs and why should we. No one gets hurt but suddenly we have this ability to detect something so we do. If bacteria is a problem in honey then what does that say about cheese and yoghurt.

There are good bacteria, non-harmful bacteria and harmful bacteria. Personally I would rather eat honey from natural comb with a few bacteria than from plastic frames.

quite right.

i suspect it probably does people good.

but its really another barrier to export to certain countries. i see china now requires an afb test ?

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7 hours ago, john berry said:

Bees don't care if they store honey in old combs and why should we. No one gets hurt but suddenly we have this ability to detect something so we do. If bacteria is a problem in honey then what does that say about cheese and yoghurt.

There are good bacteria, non-harmful bacteria and harmful bacteria. Personally I would rather eat honey from natural comb with a few bacteria than from plastic frames.

You might be right, but the market is what it is and with high cfu's you are limiting where your honey can go.

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4 hours ago, JohnF said:


What are the chances that those recalcitrant (an excellent word) beeks are exporting any honey though ?

It is an excellent word, had to look it up and had a wee laugh as I think beekeepers have a natural tendency towards that. I agree so, that if it concerns AFB it's a good thing that we have now the ability to detect. But sometimes i suspect some buyers use/abuse science to push down the price, with the excuse of high/low counts of anything in the honey that suits them on the day. 

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21 hours ago, yesbut said:

A good thing surely, if it makes a few recalcitrant beeks rattle their dags.

the catch is i think the limit is zero.

the hard part with commercial beekeeping is your always next door to someone that has afb. its just a numbers game.

even good guys who don't have an afb problem, will get caught out by it.

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On 14/12/2020 at 8:19 PM, Gerrit said:

That's why I have honey boxes (3/4 manley frames) and brood frames, which are FD frames. Always low CFU's. That way you can't mix up honey and brood frames.

on that note,

one thing thats been brassing me off at the mo is the sheer amount of brood thats coming through extraction.

so many crowds simply don't seam to care.

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50 minutes ago, tristan said:

the catch is i think the limit is zero.

the hard part with commercial beekeeping is your always next door to someone that has afb. its just a numbers game.

even good guys who don't have an afb problem, will get caught out by it.

I fill out a harvest dec.  When I sell honey I give permission to the packer/exporter to contact the apiary register re my AFB history and whether my sites were registered at the time of harvest.  I know that my honey on it's own won't show AFB, but when it gets mixed with someone else's it might.

 

Where do you draw the line on the cost to the beekeeper in terms of lab analysis and the associated costs?  The other month we had a glyhosate issue in honey on the news.  What will it be next? 

46 minutes ago, tristan said:

on that note,

one thing thats been brassing me off at the mo is the sheer amount of brood thats coming through extraction.

so many crowds simply don't seam to care.

The extraction plant I use, rejects frames containing brood

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32 minutes ago, Maggie James said:

I fill out a harvest dec.  When I sell honey I give permission to the packer/exporter to contact the apiary register re my AFB history and whether my sites were registered at the time of harvest.  I know that my honey on it's own won't show AFB, but when it gets mixed with someone else's it might.

afb history means nothing and sorry to say but yes they may find afb spores in your honey. you do not need to have afb (or ever had) to have spores present. this is what i mean about good guys getting caught out.

what matters is whats found in the test. just another cost.

 

35 minutes ago, Maggie James said:

The extraction plant I use, rejects frames containing brood

 

12 minutes ago, yesbut said:

So does mine, after last year.

 

trouble is they want all honey, so brood gets cut out. however thats assuming the staff actually spot it.

tho i got annoyed at one lot i sent it back to them.

its a lot better that the beeks deal with it back at the hive. let it hatch or bees clean it up and take those honey frames off next time round.

the other issue of course is that if there is brood, bees don't like to leave brood so we get a ton of bees to deal with as well. 

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11 hours ago, Maggie James said:

 

 

Where do you draw the line on the cost to the beekeeper in terms of lab analysis and the associated costs?  The other month we had a glyhosate issue in honey on the news.  What will it be next? 

we’ve had one company that buys a small amount of our honey ask us to sign a supply doc stating we won’t site our hives within 6km of any area that uses glyphosate. i realise i could just sign and say as far as we know that the case but that’s not how his contract is worded and i’m not keen to sign something knowing i can’t be 100% sure,  i don’t control what others do on their own land.

There were other things like not feeding any syrup and not moving hives just to get a crop.  

i think it’s just a feel like good marketing doc to show potential buyers. When  i questioned how any beek could sign the agreement i was told plenty have.

 

Edited by nikki watts
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8 minutes ago, nikki watts said:

we’ve had one company that buys a small amount of our honey ask us to sign a supply doc stating we won’t site our hives within 6km of any area that uses glyphosate. i realise i could just sign and say as far as we know that the case but that’s not how his contract is worded and i’m not keen to sign something knowing i can’t be 100% sure,  i don’t control what others do on their own land.

There were other things like not feeding any syrup and not moving hives just to get a crop.  

i think it’s just a feel like good marketing doc to show potential buyers. When  i questioned how any beek could sign the agreement i was told plenty have.

I think someone might be living in cloud cuckoo land, not knowing what can get blown or simply float for long distances in certain weather conditions.  Unless, you've got a couple of season's honey stacked in the shed that you can't sell, you definitely need syrup in this neck of the woods.  Not many sites are stationary a whole year now.  If they aren't chasing honey, it's pollination or pollen stores for buildup. And one of the reasons we have Langstroth hives is so bees can be moved in large numbers.  Surprised, they are not advocating the use of skeps!

 

I have always been really lucky.  I don't pollinate crops such as radish.  Some farmers are practising as few chemicals as possible, undertaking rotational cropping, and on one large site I am at the land is fallow every seventh year, and the types of crops are good bee feed, the outer hedges gorse.  Some are using seaweed & fish derivatives as fertilers.  Currently flowering crops on one of these farms are excellent bee fodder, and we have had good weather in the last week, so it's all go & hives looking good.  

 

But I care about when & what I treat with for varroa, don't move brood frames into honey supers, and aware of C4.  A big believer in using hive mats to prevent robbing & lessen the likelihood of AFB & I use escape boards.  

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What a blackmail.. Like once I was searching for a job and at one interview job offerer said if I am selected to get appointed for it I have to sign a paper where is written if I quit after some time the employer gets my house ( at the moment, house is on my parents, not me but same..). The reason why is he searching for this that he will invest in my further education and professional improvement.. What a nutcracker. Of course I said bye, bye.. 

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1 hour ago, Maggie James said:

I think someone might be living in cloud cuckoo land, not knowing what can get blown or simply float for long distances in certain weather conditions.  Unless, you've got a couple of season's honey stacked in the shed that you can't sell, you definitely need syrup in this neck of the woods.  Not many sites are stationary a whole year now.  If they aren't chasing honey, it's pollination or pollen stores for buildup. And one of the reasons we have Langstroth hives is so bees can be moved in large numbers.  Surprised, they are not advocating the use of skeps!

 

I have always been really lucky.  I don't pollinate crops such as radish.  Some farmers are practising as few chemicals as possible, undertaking rotational cropping, and on one large site I am at the land is fallow every seventh year, and the types of crops are good bee feed, the outer hedges gorse.  Some are using seaweed & fish derivatives as fertilers.  Currently flowering crops on one of these farms are excellent bee fodder, and we have had good weather in the last week, so it's all go & hives looking good.  

 

But I care about when & what I treat with for varroa, don't move brood frames into honey supers, and aware of C4.  A big believer in using hive mats to prevent robbing & lessen the likelihood of AFB & I use escape boards.  

i was blown away i was the only one who refused to sign. (or so he said) 

hes in  the south island and said no other beek had a problem with not feeding and the 6km glyphosate barrier. We only have bush here and it doesn’t yield any nectar or, more importantly pollen, for 4-5 months of the year yet we’re warm enough for the queens  to continue laying. if we didn’t feed syrup and pollen sub our bees wouldn’t get a crop. yes we’re really careful about c4 especially as we have manuka so already risk getting elevated  C4 scores. 

 

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1 hour ago, Goran said:

What a blackmail.. Like once I was searching for a job and at one interview job offerer said if I am selected to get appointed for it I have to sign a paper where is written if I quit after some time the employer gets my house ( at the moment, house is on my parents, not me but same..). The reason why is he searching for this that he will invest in my further education and professional improvement.. What a nutcracker. Of course I said bye, bye.. 

i’m pretty sure that would be illegal here, even if you signed. 

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10 minutes ago, nikki watts said:

i’m pretty sure that would be illegal here, even if you signed. 

Thanks. It is good from time to time to get in contact with such lovely persons to remind me where I live, to not relax too much..

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23 minutes ago, nikki watts said:

hes in  the south island and said no other beek had a problem with not feeding and the 6km glyphosate barrier. We only have bush here and it doesn’t yield any nectar or, more importantly pollen

Sounds to me like, someone is in cloud cuckoo land

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2 hours ago, nikki watts said:

i was blown away i was the only one who refused to sign. (or so he said) 

hes in  the south island and said no other beek had a problem with not feeding and the 6km glyphosate barrier. We only have bush here and it doesn’t yield any nectar or, more importantly pollen, for 4-5 months of the year yet we’re warm enough for the queens  to continue laying. if we didn’t feed syrup and pollen sub our bees wouldn’t get a crop. yes we’re really careful about c4 especially as we have manuka so already risk getting elevated  C4 scores. 

 

Be curious to know who the buyer is ....?

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4 hours ago, nikki watts said:

i was blown away i was the only one who refused to sign. (or so he said) 

hes in  the south island and said no other beek had a problem with not feeding and the 6km glyphosate barrier. We only have bush here and it doesn’t yield any nectar or, more importantly pollen, for 4-5 months of the year yet we’re warm enough for the queens  to continue laying. if we didn’t feed syrup and pollen sub our bees wouldn’t get a crop. yes we’re really careful about c4 especially as we have manuka so already risk getting elevated  C4 scores. 

 

Its really strange to me that the hakea in your area does not provide a winter flow .

The beeks in the western golden bay are greatfull for it over the winter .

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