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  1. 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.
    15 points
  2. 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 more or less relevant to us in our area.
    11 points
  3. Well you can say happy birthday to him again Freeslave, your bees are recovering nicely. I want to keep them for another couple of weeks, then they are yours.
    10 points
  4. Today I received an email notifying me that my RMP is up for it's six monthly revue ..... again. Now .... this cranked up the old record again .... raised my BP and resulted in me seeking counsel with my Doctor. The Doctor prescribed a liquid remedy and assured me that in the end all would be alright ..... but I am not so sure. So, I' say it again ..... '' Why, when we extract honey once a year for six or seven weeks do we need a twice yearly audit of the facilities ?' Why, when we make one honey sale a year, do we need a twice yearly audi
    9 points
  5. Yesterday I was at a Spring Festival for Otago Organics. Had been asked to go and talk about bees. Had a few laminated photos of bees to put up and was looking for a decent way to do it. Was rummaging through the shed looking for something I could use as a notice board and noticed the box of new hive mats. They work quite well as photo frames.
    9 points
  6. the afb levy is worth every cent. i suspect we have probably lost more $$$ to afb than we have ever paid in levy. the catch here is that in a down turn it becomes more important to fund afb pmp. as people walk away from hives, or trim staff and skimp on checking and dealing with afb, the more effect it will have on everyone else. as beeks walk away there is less beeks left behind to clean up the mess. even companies downsizing means less money goes to afb pmp. but failure to fund it properly now will cost us a whole lot more later on down the track.
    9 points
  7. Bee awareness is a great time for me.. I get to hit our local school kids with 45 minutes of facts, passing spring flowering plant branches around and see their little eyes pop as I overload their brains with enthusiasm in everything bee related. My poor boy gets pretty embarrassed about his dad coming to school in his bee suit though. this year I’m going to focus on identifying differences between wasp and bee.. crazy how many people can’t tell.
    9 points
  8. OK. I guess this fits into the thread of ‘finding your niche in beekeeping’. And yes, it is history. And yes, it is all true. I guess, given these are real people, I should check with the family - they are still active beekeepers! But I hope that, given my genuine affection for Trevor, they’ll be OK with it. I came to NZ in very early spring, 1974. I’d left the US on the day that Richard Nixon resigned… Damn, that was a long time ago... And I came to NZ as a 23 year old to work for Trevor Rowe, in Eltham. Trevor had gone through the paperwork to enabl
    9 points
  9. That's exactly what I paid for my first queen, right after the new money came in, I bought a queen from Whites for $0.75. This was funded from my pocket money, $0.20 a week. In my childish ignorance I had only put a 4 cent stamp on the envelope when an 8 cent one was needed, so instead of the queen I got an indignant letter from Whites saying they had been required to pay the extra postage and they now wanted that, the cost of sending the letter to me, and of course I had to pay for a second lot of postage to send that to them . Anyhow in due course after that my queen
    8 points
  10. If you have never stopped by Geoff Ernest's museum, just out of Tirau on the road to Rotorua, you should make a plan to visit. Geoff started beekeeping in the middle 1960s, and now is down to no hives - he has to buy honey, he says! Geoff is a collector of many things, but my own focus was on his honey tin collection. It is without doubt the finest collection of NZ honey tins I've ever seen. The tins hold a history of people and places. Anyone who has been around the industry for any length of time will recognise some of them, beekeepers long gone. I spent a delightful couple
    8 points
  11. First cells of the season. The bees seem to be in the right mood:)
    8 points
  12. Unfortunately it is not a good marketing story. It will have major ramifications, particularly on sole operators that don't have labs that have to constantly pay for an increasing raft of analyses. What will be the next thing we have to test for? Why now do the public think we are the only primary producer that glyphosate is showing up in our produce? Currently our industry's traceability and analyses systems are one of the best in the world, and that's what we should be marketing on.
    8 points
  13. Because I like them ...... They have no foliage in the winter to bring the tree down under a weight of snow. They have a soft light in the spring as the new leaf pops, The pigs love the acorns in the autumn, They produce the most durable of timber ..... Heart of Oak built the Empire .... And they absorb a humungous amount of CO2 as they grow ..... And they should still be here in 400 years time !
    8 points
  14. Hmmm .... and so we roll on ..... I went on the hunt for smoker fuel today ..... coffee sacks . Apparently they are in hot demand and I came home empty handed . When we first started burning coffee sacks in the smokers they came from a a friend down the road who had a coffee roasting business . The first time I met her, I didn't quite get her accent when she asked if I wanted some 'Coffee sex' ..... little bit forward on a first meeting, but we got over it, and had a chuckle every time I asked for some more 'sacks'. We've been collecting pollen lately. The greasy cook
    7 points
  15. Alastair - you are a bloody legend! When all others had given up hope on our little Spartans, and all seemed lost, you arrived on the scene like Gandalf at the Battle of Helms Keep. Thanks so much from Leo and Jeremy, you have made a little boy (and his dad) very happy. And thanks for all the other comments folks, all very helpful. Cheers JJ
    7 points
  16. I'd venture to say it is more like 100%. I don't think there are any of those 2006 bees still alive today... I delivered a bee talk based on the idea "Don't worry about saving the honeybees - save the beekeepers. They'll take care of saving the bees..."
    7 points
  17. Relentless gusty nor wester beating me up again today, pulled the pin about 3:30 due to concerns around tree limbs sending me to meet my maker earlier than I’d like.. popped into the builders to cut out any rogue cells.. pretty happy with the juicy cells.. Thanks @Maggie James for your tips and tricks. However I did revert to cloake board method 2 builders are level above the other and it really shows.
    7 points
  18. Hi @john berry 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 o
    7 points
  19. James. You have two audits a year because that is the way some bureaucrat has interpreted the law. It's like harvest declarations and being a registered beekeeper. Parliament makes the laws and bureaucrats interpret them and then reinterpret them. I doubt most of them even know the contempt the average beekeeper has for their petty expensive little rules. It's not even as if they do any good. All those bits of paper and all that traceability and they still couldn't work out who was stretching manuka. My uncle and my grandfather used to take them on every now and again and they
    7 points
  20. I've got a bunch of 2-in-1 boxes that sat idle last season so I'll be putting bees back into these to get queens mated, which will be sold as queens or as nucs depending on what's in demand (mostly local hobby beekeepers). Since I'm in a city there are also quite a few local hobbyists who come to me for queen cells. They might only buy them in 2s or 3s but I still find it worthwhile. I think it is important for hobbyists to have access to nice gentle bees for their urban and suburban beehives.
    7 points
  21. It has nothing to do with the quality and standard of the facility. 90% of the RMP is about the paperwork and traceability of the crop ..... which was looked at and verified 6 months ago. Absolutely nothing has changed ..... and I have a good mind to tell 'erm to get Rtd. The catch is the comeback in that an export licence won't be granted, which is no big deal because at the moment no export deals are in the offing. Parasites lining the pockets to cover the expenses of the gilded cages they live in .
    6 points
  22. Just done some sums how this will affect me. I have 320 hives. Multiply that by $1.70 and add $40.00, we get a total of $584.00. I guess there are worse things I could do with $584.00. My world will not crash giving $584.00 towards AFB control. A few years ago I got a major AFB infestation, had to burn a lot of hives. The agency identified and took action against 2 neighbouring beekeepers and their issues were resolved, at least for the most part. Had this not been done I would have had continuing losses or closed down completely. The $584.00 I'll pay is the
    6 points
  23. We hold back on the spring staples as much as we feel we can mostly because it suits us to have strips in there in the BoP mite fest (aka avo/kiwi pollination). But we also felt that the colonies can out breed the mites in spring so it is better to let them ramp up and build momentum without the treatment in the batten change period between winter and summer bees. Whereas the opposite situation arises in Feb, getting the OAG in early as possible. Our very small number of hobby hives isn't enough to be significant. So it is quite possibly through dumb luck, we have had a lot of OAG success; usi
    6 points
  24. The AFBPMP have undertaken to investigate every report of a suspected unregistered site, but they do ask that the person reporting the site supply the GPS coordinates. They then match those coordinates against registered sites, and if there is no registered site at that location an AP2 will be sent to investigate. But they are not going to tell any other beekeeper who the owner is, that is private. The agency get a huge number of reports of suspect unregistered sites, most of which turn out to be registered. Realise there are more than 6,000 beekeepers in NZ and many of
    6 points
  25. We are by nature migratory beekeepers. I enjoy it as it gives me time on the road ..... at this time of year we are tripping with boxes of honey sweetening landowners, renewing acquaintances, getting shoved out of sites, and making deals on new sites. In this post Covid era I have become adept at swiping the app at retail outlets, but am still a bit backward in coming forward meeting new people, which is a shame. It's an interesting trip. Many of the old wateringholes are closed down, or we are socially distanced with little inclination for communication. I camp in the
    6 points
  26. Import packages are always a big hit and miss after the trip halfway around the world. We usually plan on losing at least one or two when we get them. I got 10 this year, one had queen dead in the cage when they arrived. What the distributor tells us to do, go ahead and hive them anyways, probably means there is a loose queen in there. Check the next day for a queen on the comb. When I did that, the next day there were virtually no bees left in the box, they had migrated next door to the box with a queen. It happens. 8 of them built up well, then we had one that di
    6 points
  27. First swarm of the season, had to use the spare gear on the back because I'd already used my 2 nucs up taking brood from hives that were trying to develop swarm cells. At this site there were 6 out of 24 getting ready to swarm
    5 points
  28. The person buying my honey can take it back to his country in his baggage and get his family and friends to do the same and their is nothing the government can do. It is all being exported so I see double standards here
    5 points
  29. Bighands, nor any producer under an RMP, should have to think about the odd jar in the post. We would all go broke if it comes down to this mentality. My interpretation of this, if Bighands sells a drum of honey (300-330 kg) at his farmers' market, the purchaser can export this. Yet, if Bighands wants to mail more than 2 kg overseas, he is in breach of NZPost & MPI. This is insane! This is just another example of bureracracy gone mad hindering the sole operator! Are we destined for an industry run by bureracracts (however your spell i
    5 points
  30. All this talk of queen raising.. I did a walkaway split yesterday, so kinda in on the act. my version = a mate wants a hive, well, mainly his 10 year old son. A couple of months ago I chucked beesuits on them and they went through some hives with me. Still keen, so I recommended they get and read practical beekeeping in NZ. Went through a couple of hives yesterday, clearly the kid had been doing his reading! We found the queen in the first hive, and he explained what was going on to his dad. Much focus on the description of what happens to a drone when it's lucky enough
    5 points
  31. Yesterday I was watching bees foraging on some blue lupins I planted on the hillside. I did it to remind me of Texas bluebonnets of my childhood - on which I had never seen a honeybee. Those blue lupins reminded me also of a time when I had some 'inter-species communication... 1975. I hadn't been in NZ long, and was working for Harry Cloake, living near the Pareora River. I had made a 4 (vertical) frame observation hive and was enjoying watching the dancing foragers. I'd been told that lupins weren't attractive to bees - not sure who or why. So when bees with a so
    5 points
  32. Today I had to rush to a site, 2 hives starting to hang and one had swarm cells, things are a few weeks ahead this season. Thought one of my wintering sites was swarming on first sight too but nah just pumping, lucky my Kanuka wasnt extracted until june, wets are heavy az, still 5kgs in them so no more feeding syrip.
    5 points
  33. I had an enquiry from a customer who bought pollen from me at the indoor market in Hokitika. She wants 1 kg to be sent to her in the usa. I packed the pollen ready to post to her only to find that MPI have stepped in and any bee products up to 2 kg need all their bs filled in.MPI have asked that all people sending bee products need an exporter ID,exporter address, and either product ID or batch number, and the parcel need to go to an individual not a company. The parcel cannot weigh any more than 2kg. Today I intend to email MPI asking why we ( beekeepers)were not consulted and the re
    4 points
  34. Well standby for a bit of a rant. I think there are around 6000 hobbyists, practically nobody has NP1 because of the cost (separate topic about the Food Act 2014 causing an own goal). If 6000 hobbyists did post out 2kg of their very small harvest, this would be 12 tonnes of honey in a market that is measured in thousands of tonnes in the MPI Apiculture report. So, in other words well beyond any possible likelyhood and also invisibly small in that unlikely event. Hobbyists = not plausible. If you sell honey at a market with NP1, you are in business; not hobby. In terms o
    4 points
  35. Let say tomorrow I buy 5x1kg of Manuka honey from the local Countdown made by Comvita. Since they are a big, legitimate company, why can't I send the honey overseas? Or am I missing something? It will be good if all this mess up will be sorted in a normal way. I will welcome the idea to have a smart code for each type of packed product we would like to sell(domestically or overseas). And linked to the seller. Have a small annual fee for that like $100/year to ensure people are not getting reluctant because of the high fee. Manuka honey(any grade) should not leave NZ
    4 points
  36. Then there is probably a virgin in the cell raiser.
    4 points
  37. Excess honey ...... I'd be inclined to make sure the brood has four or five frames of honey to see them through to a new flow ..... any excess honey ,s tore it in the shed. If you need more feed because it keeps raining and blowing, then you have it on hand , and when the new honey comes on line, then extract what you have saved. The biggest killer of hives in the next few months is starvation .....depending on where you are . What may seem like heavy hive now could be on deaths door in five weeks. Some years we have poured raw sugar into the brood as we are optimis
    4 points
  38. BTW, had a chat with Freeslave, he is keen as, has joined the Kumeu Bee Club, and seems to me like his and his sons learning curve will be quick, he will be a great member here on our forum.
    4 points
  39. And that my friends is why I do 99% of my Queen rearing in autumn.
    4 points
  40. 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 recor
    4 points
  41. True .... I don't understand it either. They partnered with a west coast bee company a few years ago .... big fanfare ..... west coast development sunk a couple of hundred thousand in, Comvita a couple of million ..... couple of years later, little snippet in the paper that the company had been wound up. Some people have too much money and some people have too much spin and some people are just plain ignorant.
    4 points
  42. Good beekeepers have always subsidised bad beekeepers and they have always had to clean up after them as well. At least the legislation does enable the bad beekeepers to eventually be tracked down and dealt with. I don't mind paying a bit more money if it goes towards tracking them down faster. I do however have a problem with paying what is really a tax with no representation. Under the National beekeepers Association the AGM might have been interminable but at least everyone had a chance to speak their mind. Under Apinz the AGM is over before it starts and dissenting voices ar
    4 points
  43. Oh I am late finding this thread. How are things now Freeslave, the bees still alive? I have bees at Muriwai. If your queen is still alive you could drop your nuc to one of my apiaries and I will fix it for you. We would need to talk on the phone first, about disease and a few things, my phone number is in my profile give me a call.
    4 points
  44. It has a really biting smell, but it doesn't seem to travel far....eg a Miteaway Quick you might smell held at arms length upwind. Any closer and it'll feel like it's taking a mouthful out of you.
    4 points
  45. I'll add another aspect of Trevor's bee management back in the middle 1970s. In the year I worked for him, he did not feed any sugar at all. I'm pretty sure he didn't even have any feeders to put syrup in. Most of Trevor's apiaries were on dairy/sheep land around the south side of Mt. Egmont/Taranaki. For that part of the country, it was pretty light coloured honey through the main part of the season. But Trevor also had sites up the Taranaki coast as far as Urenui, and some in the rough land out behind Stratford. Those hives produced manuka, and plenty of it.
    4 points
  46. New to the site, but I can comment on this. I'm on Vancouver Island, I got 10 NZ packages this spring on March 8. Mine were of the Kintail variety in the square shipping boxes. I know others that got a bunch shortly after I got mine, Aritaki variants that come in the tubes. I can say with some good certainty, at least two palettes of the Kintail packages made it to the Island this year, and a similar amount of Aritaki were in the lower mainland of BC before the flights stopped. With that said, there was a significant kafuffle with our shipment, originally we were supposed to ge
    4 points
  47. Followed this rainbow all afternoon!
    4 points
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