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  2. Unfortunately many NZers (doesn't matter what industry we are talking about) have a boom bust (gold rush) mentality. Currently beekeepers with good beekeeping practises, lateral thinking and low debt will survive.
  3. Good Evening GoED I spotted your comment an hour ago and immediately I contacted Dr Linda Newstrom-Lloyd, Botatnist, Trees for Bees NZ. Please see Linda's reply below and note attacments supplied. I would just like to point out the following: Fat Bees Skinny Bees is a great New South Wales Government publication, but under no circumstance in New Zealand would I recommend bulk feeding of syrup. A bit of a different scenario in the Australian outback when you might be the only beekeeper for thousands of miles. Interestingly gorse, a major stave for spring buildup on the Canty Plains does not feature. We love gorse in Canterbury. I am now going to extend my beekeeping skills, in an attempt to include the attachments that Dr Linda Newstrom-Lloyd has supplied in answer to your enquiry. Westland, Canterbury, Southern Marlborough, Northern Otago are major supporters of T4Bs NZ. T4Bs often feature in Canterbury meetings and Days' Out, and discussions. Well GoEd - I hope Linda's reply with attachments is of assistance. Whoops - Have just been notified unfortunately I cannot upload the Fat Bees Skinny Bees publication (due to MB restriction in my post, so I will give it a whirl in the next post). On another note - Doug Sommerville, Australia publishes some great stuff. Hi Maggie I do not know of anyone else who has made measurements of crude protein content on New Zealand native plants but Doug Somerville in Australia published Fat Bees Skinny Bees with data on crude protein content for exotic and Australian Plants. See Attached PDF. There are a few other academic papers on this topic that can be found in Google Scholar but I have not done a recent search for new work so there may be some new academic or popular papers on this topic. Our data as presented on our website shows that Hoheria populnea x H. sexstylosa Lacebark and Hoheria sexstylosa Long leaved lacebark, ribbonwood both have a medium percentage of crude protein in their pollen. Medium means between 17% and 25% as a category. Many plants have higher values as shown in the attached handout on the measures for many plants in New Zealand. There are also references for pollen load colours for bees but your question was not about this. The difficulty with pollen load colours is that the colours change with moisture content and age of the pollen load (some oxidize such as in clover with yellow pollen but a brown pollen load surface). Our poster on pollen (see attached) describes the problem of many plants having the same colours and so making it difficult to identify pollen just by colour alone especially for white and related tones, yellow and orange. Other colours are distinctive such as brown or purple or mauve. We are including photos of pollen load colours in our new bee flower catalogue and bee pollen catalogue that we are producing for this current project. They will be available on our website in late June and the data will be expanded over the next three years in our new project. Hope this helps. Thanks Linda Linda Newstrom-Lloyd www.treesforbeesnz.org TfB_PollenProteinContent_2013.pdf TfB_PollenProteinContent_2013.pdf Hi GoEd - I can only upload 2MB and Fat Bees Skinny Bees is 4 MB. Check out https://www.agrifutures.com.au/wp-content/uploads/publications/05-054.pdf
  4. Maybe only the big fish will survive through to the end and all the small ones gobbled up. Northland Apiaries has just closed shop and now I'm left with a where will I go now buzz, Trying to sell hives at $250 with no takers yet on trade me and I was buying 10 frames of bees for $500 withought gear last season.
  5. Today
  6. Its those really tough pollen frames that need soaking. My water blaster wont touch them and it also makes a mess.
  7. You are correct on the colour. I notice bees collecting pollen from it more around late June and in to July over here in Putaruru. It is showing flower now but not producing as far as I can tell. It can be a problem with days being changeable weather wise. Bees can leave the hive in a period of warm weather but chill when it clouds over then not making it home this can lead to brood that is being raised on the outer edges of the colony being chilled as the bees cluster during the still, cold nights.
  8. Both those methods I have tried , the latter by accident . Chooks ignore them and wax moths demolish almost everything on a plastic frame but leave more of a mess behind with cocoons and webbing than you started with . They still need water blasting to clean up . I scrape , soak overnight then waterblast , I’m not that convinced they need soaking when you have a decent water blaster . If you leave them soaking too long and the pollen ferments and they stink , which then needs chlorine to deal to them as well
  9. Is it worth trialing a few in a chook house? See if they clean them up? Another thought, put the frames away from all your other gear, and add some wax moth. Wax moth are great for cleaning plastic cell cups out nicely for use the next season.
  10. Spanish Heath forage question- I’m still dredging away on the winter pollens plants make available to bees for The Winter quadrant my pollen loads of bees chart started last November. Went for a walk up at the old Golden Cross mine today in the 11degree mist....amongst all the tussock, rocks and the Spanish heath, Erica lusitanica was in full bloom. Spanish heath makes a nuisance of itself all over nz but it supplies bees with nectar, and that’s good. It flowers Mar-Dec (Walsh, pg 7) But I’m not sure if nectar is available all that time My question is have you seen the bees retrieve any pollen from Spanish heath and at what time? Spanish Heath pollen might be a slight amount of plasticine like grey corbicula pollen, similar to Pink Heath Erica baccans, if has it at all. The chart on the table is the Winter quadrant ……… so you can see I’m having the same problem the bees do. ‘show us the pollen’ …any observations about key late Autumn and Winter Flowering plants would be appreciated . Yep I know we don’t want them raising brood in the Winter but I’m shallow, not being a bee, and it would be great to have the Winter quadrant of the art work a bit more fleshed out to match the other three. The absence of pollen tells its own story. But if people know what to plant for bee forage in times of dearth then they might do that. Plant for bees. The next series will be one chart for each month a series of 12 I’m picking, so I might overcome some of the limitations that affected this first iteration. I’m enjoying the background research so that’s good. I would like to attempt to do a nectar and honey chart too, somehow.
  11. I believe @Adam Boot is right . From the emails I receive , the millions getting talked about to establish a Co op are staggering . The government does not just give money out for good ideas . And then the mega millions required by the beekeepers on top of , I just can’t see where that is coming from . Borrowing money to buy shares in a co op is incredibly risky , with the exception being when there is ‘growth’. When grows levels off or becomes negative , it is very very difficult , to impossible to get your investment out of a co op because there is no money to give back . I am going through this exercise at the moment trying to sell LIC shares , but with the state of dairy , the shares are ‘illiquid ‘ Eyes wide open people. By all means look at a co op , but be fully informed , plus a bit , before you part with cash you don’t have , that will add to your financial problems . When the market no longer wants a product , it’s best to reduce production or do something else . I know that’s very hard to digest , but that is the fact of economics with nil or negative growth . Hats off to the guys organising the thing because their enthusiasm is fantastic , however , Adam is saying it how it is .
  12. Best way Ive found to clean plastic frames is to soak in fresh water for 6 months (trough) then use a 250x100mm concrete finishing trowel end to go under the pollen etc. Much easier than blasting
  13. Why diesel ? I use the most powerful electric Stihl cold water blaster . Dont need earmuffs and it does the job
  14. My apologies if that is how you see my comments. It is not supposed to be a list of why it won't work. It is supposed to be a range of questions that require answers for it to work. Of course Co Op's, in some cases can work. It may well be a good thing to have a Co Op. It doesn't mater what my view is. The point is, it does not matter how much money you get from the government or how much each member puts in. It is still business and if the fundamentals are wrong it will not work. The subsidy will not last forever. The questions remain un answered. How is the Co Op going to reduce cost, increase efficiency, reduce hive numbers, increase yields. How is it going to get the market to pay more for the product. The global market is not going to change because New Zealand has created a honey Co Op. If I walked in your shoes I would want to see a formidable business plan (including funding model) and equally solid long term marketing plan before I jumped in? I would want to know who the decision makers were and what there motives and credentials were? I would want to see that boxes were ticked and scenarios though through? This may well be going on? Every beekeeper involved may have been sworn to absolute secrecy? I can only go from what I here in the industry and what I read in this forum. All I have heard is lots of worm fuzzies about a wonderfull idea. I have not heard or seen anything constructive to this point. In response to: packer that you have religiously supported for many years tells you sorry son but we don't want your product today, and probably not tomorrow. 🤢 I assume that for many years this relationship has been symbiotic? The packer has also religiously supported your business? The packer is hurting just as much as you are.
  15. Hi all We’re looking to buy a diesel water blaster to be used for cleaning up old plastic frames ready for re waxing. Do we need to have a hot water one ??
  16. Yesterday
  17. Not my business, but you don't know his position, his inventory may be bigger than yours....
  18. Knowing how long to hold on? My operation of 3500 hives is in real trouble I have operated through some tough times over the past 20 years, 3$ kg honey but reasonable crops. Once a year local council visits, now twice a year ,wages significantly higher and rising, fuel only cost 48 cents per liter, insurance premiums higher basically everything has gone up significantly. Now today 2019 if I'm lucky I might be able to sell at half production costs ,borrow the other half to make it to this time next year but if the industry at best is still limping along the doors will have to shut ,staff layed off hives givin away . Knowing how much honey is sitting in sheds just around me scares the hell out of me (non manuka) . Are non manuka products moving at all? Is white clover selling? Is this game over? @3-5$ kg I believe it is @6-8$ kg we will survive. @ no sale before next crop harvest starts 10s of thousands of hives will be left to rot in the field. This is a nation wide problem that will affect the entire country of beekeepers. Even the guy that is selling his honey today may think they are safe but his neighbor may not have sold . Look out for each other... the real test starts from today and without a change or perhaps a co-OP situation we as farmers will never be able to make wise business decisions when the packer that you have religiously supported for many years tells you sorry son but we don't want your product today, and probably not tomorrow. 🤢 Years of support for 5 mins notice. Although the concept of a co-OP to some may seem along way off ? (Including me) thanks for the info@Adam Boot but we don't really need a list of why it won't work. What we need is solid advise on how to make it work, government funding will help maybe ? I love my bees,love my job but the dark cloud is getting darker ....
  19. The bees in the honey suppers are foragers and generally fly back to hive position . Probably leave it an hour to be sure . I do this when I am taking honey off during a flow . If it was at the end of the season and there was no flow I would use escape boards , otherwise you would have your nucs robbed .
  20. When I first started beekeeping in the far north we were getting 5 highs full depth on the first Manuka flow and then there was the Kanuka Bush honey which was also massave now I struggle to get 11. 6 kgs per hive on the Manuka flow on a average to good season.
  21. When I went into business about 25 years ago I was budgeting on earning $100 a hive ,with inflation that figure would now be about $170 a hive. At the time 25% of New Zealand's crop was exported and the rest consumed locally. New Zealand's production in 1994 was 12,000 tons from 290,000 hives. This season has an estimated crop of 20,000 tonnes From 890,000 hives. Both those years are top years for their era. That's 600,000 more hives to produce 8000 tons more than we used to. I know at the moment that selling honey for decent prices is a problem but I think we also need to look at what is happening. Average production per hive these days is pathetic. Overstocking is obviously having a serious effect almost certainly compounded by poor beekeeping practices and keeping bees in sub optimal places. Beekeepers, banks and investors need to have a very careful look at just what is happening and why.I believe there are many beekeepers out there whose production is so abysmal it doesn't matter what they get paid for their honey because their production is just so abysmal they will never cover their( often way too high) running costs.
  22. Kaihoka that is a brainwave idea for clearing bees off honey frames I will pinch it for next season
  23. @Jose Thayil what sort of palm is that . I have seen lots of bees on the Nikau flowers .
  24. My hives are a dogs breakfast . Works best with three FD suppers , two under the excluder , then a 3/4 right on top . So if there is a heavy full super up high it is only a 3/4 . But now if I have honey to take off I put 5 frames each in two corflute HD nucs and sit them behind the hive to clear of bees for half an hour. Easy to lift . I have to sit the nucs up on something other wise they get full of ants
  25. Bees foraging together in Kerala, India.
  26. @Dennis Crowley when you talk about joint ventures who do you see as those Joining together ? does the beekeeper who produces good Manuka honey need to look at a JV ? what of those producing multi or low marker mono Manuka do they have anything to bring to the JV table?. What of companies like Comvita who already have a few JV’s which are ultimately bleeding money it hasn’t helped them to be profitable . I’d be interested to know how you or anyone else on the forum see’s it all happening and also is there a place in the future for those that produce non manuka honey ?
  27. You are right about that, world events have not created the current situation but world events are going to affect our recovery Its a bit of a double whamy
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