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  1. 21 points
    Hello everyone I am a Male father of 3, Geographer, Master in engeneering that as a good renegade became beekeeper in 2003 because of fighting corruption I lost my job and probably will never have a job again in what I used to do: Rural Services (water, electricity and the like). As I decided to became beekeeper when having wife, kids and a mortgage there was no way to start small and grow. So I decided to try a new model and associated with an avocado grower that need 1000 hives for pollination. Looks like I became a good beekeeper because I was invited by another grower, this time blueberry, to started in 2006 a second project for 2500 hives. I ended my relation with the avocado grower and keep on growing in hives with the blueberry producer, that became also an avocado, cherry and almond producer. We manage between 4000 and 5000 hives at Chile at the moment (you know, we grow in spring and lost hives in winter ) ... in 2015 I was invited to assist another company at Peru, here the project is for 12.000 hives and we are already close to 9000 hives La Libertad province. As a good engenier I like to solve problems, so started to develop diets for the bees, ways to eliminate virus, a good varroa control and now developing schemes forplanting for the bees. There is no way to get bored. Well, the use of Oxalic with glicerin was develop by argentinian beekeepers The Prieto brothers who had been using oxalic in all there form (dribled, sublimation, etc) and with the help of another beekeeper Fernando Esteban ended up with this great Idea of mixing with glicerin and develop monoxalate that when soaked on cardboard strip became an excellent contact treatment. I have been using it non stop since end of 2014 at Chile and end of 2015 at Perú. Fernando and I pushed Randy to try it because we new that if it had his approval lots of beekeepers around the world will benefit with this solution. Still do not know why Randy changed the method for those towels, since it is a contact treatment It must be placed between the frames. The way it is deployed with in the hive is directly proportional to its results. To have over 90% control you MUST cover 8 of the 11 between frames (or super) spaces. I recomend to change the strips after 15 days for a full treatment and also do sugar shaker monitoring before and after treatment. We monitor constantly and treat when varroa is getting closer to 1% (3 varroas in 300 bees). After all this years that end up been between 3 to 4 months between treatments. Because at Perú temperature is constantly higher - much like a constant spring - we still have lots of noise in our monitoring (Varroa Bombs?) so we will change the protocol to 3 repetitions separated 12 days one from the other so as to been able to break the varroa cycle. I end up saying sorry if I do not participate muchand lurks lots, but really I do not have much time with so many hives and people to manage ... Cheers and thanks for existing because I learn lots of you kiwi beekeepers !!!!
  2. 15 points
    Dear Diary ....what a crappy old day it's been..... But brightened by a young fellah who came up looking for a job on the bees. It's not exactly the time to be hiring labour, but he'd been laid off by another operation and I'm behind the eight ball on the schedule of getting bees into the winter. And I had a big think about it ..... how our thoughts and actions dictate how we move forward, and if we are focused on the D-Day and selling bees and winding up, then as sure as eggs is eggs that will happen ..... but if we are positive and plan for the future, then our plans may move forward , perhaps not in the direction we thought, but forward for sure. For life is a journey ....and we need to be open and ready to travel it. So I put a stake in the ground .... and hired him. The bank can go and take a hike, because youth are our future.
  3. 14 points
    The Management Agency has recently implemented changes to its apiary inspections: 1. The number of AP2s inspecting apiaries has been increased from 21 to 37 2. The Management Agency is now actively searching for beekeeping operations with high levels of unreported AFB, and we have changed our processes for managing AP2 inspections to facilitate this. Regrettably - the Management Agency believes that there are many more beekeeping operations with high levels of unreported AFB yet to be identified. Beekeepers can assist the Management Agency to identify beekeeping operations with high levels of unreported AFB by ensuring that they report all cases of AFB they find, both within 7 days and as part of their Annual Disease Return. The Management Agency uses this information to identify geographic clusters of AFB and prioritise apiaries within the clusters for inspection. If we find one or more apiaries with a higher than expected level of AFB we schedule further apiaries owned by the same beekeeper for inspection to make a more thorough assessment of the level of AFB in their hives.
  4. 13 points
    Sometimes the Forum is a bit of a gossip column .... but anyway ...... I had a fascinating day today ..... meeting Bruce from Ceracell on his road trip to bolster enthusiasm in the honey industry. Thankyou Bruce, for taking the time to get out and about and care about your customers !! We talked about setting up a Co Op to market honey. As the poet John Donne wrote many decades ago "No man is an Island" ..... and that was the basis of what twenty plus of us came together to talk over. And as the talk flowed North, and the talk flowed south, I was struck by the range of talent who had come together. Beekeepers, marketers, those who steered products through the paperwork for export regulation and packers of honey with a lifetimes experience. Something like this has to be a move in the right direction ..... producer ownership of where our product ends up. So Thanks Bruce for reinvigorating us, and leaving me your "card" , which on one side says 'Three things I want to be remembered for' and on the other is a quote from Theodore Roosevelt .... 'It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievment and who at the worst , if he fails ,at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.' Thank you Bruce, for being daring and embarking on the road trip ! On the way home I picked up a hitchhiker ..... a German man who had come to see if all he had heard about New Zealand was true. We have lived up to his expectations. We talked about Europe and Brexit , and how as a hard working German he felt about paying to support his Greek Cousins to drink Ouzo and suck Olives on the beach. His response was that good things take time, and those who can need to support those who can't.
  5. 12 points
    Slave labour... making my first 4 layer staples.
  6. 12 points
    Interestingly , the bees have developed some sort of tolerance to the staples because wher they had mined wax from under them last time I checked , they have rebuilt and either filled with capped honey or brood
  7. 10 points
    My apologies for the delayed response. I have just had a very busy and rewarding trip, bouncing around the world promoting wonderful New Zealand honey. I can only give my opinion and view on this topic. There is no single answer that explains the current market position of Manuka honey and the demand both domestically and internationally. There is no doubt that change is occurring and that some markets are maturing and new markets are emerging and others are just starting to really blossom. Whether you are busy and successful or not is dependent upon your brand or brands and the markets you choose to target. I see growing awareness, acceptance, appreciation, reputation and want for Manuka Honey in more and more large international markets. I also see buyer confusion and concern over standards and quality. I still see confusion with labelling and grading systems. Anecdotal, word of mouth, positive feed back for Manuka Honey is spreading faster than I have seen before. Yet, as an industry we are not ready to capitalise on the opportunity. We are not unified in our direction and approach. As an industry we are very immature and a short term, fast cash get rich quick mentality still permeates many quarters. We are very poor at self policing. In fact there are plenty in the industry that treat standards and labelling laws as a burden and costly interference. There will never be a $billion Manuka industry for NZ while these people companies exist. As fast as markets emerge and grow they will be the first to undermine and cause long term damage. I have just travelled extensively and the junk I have seen offered and portrayed as Manuka honey is in my opinion a disgrace and embarrassment. Firstly lets put to bed the Australian issue. It does not look smell or taste like real Manuka. It is like treacle or molasses. It is just honey with MGO. On its own this would be no threat to a united industry with fortitude, foresight and 20+ years of science. As it is, not only can we not agree and join together and garner Government support for the defence and the protection of the name Manuka. We actually have New Zealand producers trading in and offering Australian Manuka as an alternative at a lower price. What does this say for our position? What does it do for our argument? Next we have companies that flaunt the essence of the law. Those companies that ship bulk honey off shore to knowingly pack under far looser, less stringent labelling requirements. The MPI Manuka Honey definition is there for a reason. Like it or not it is there to formalise compliance and strengthen the New Zealand Manuka honey brand and reputation for quality. Those that look for legal grey areas to avoid or get around the standard, simply reduce respect, quality and value of the industry. Next we have the often deliberate confusion and false, detrimental marketing surrounding the use of variable grading systems. UMF and MGO still cause confusion. While UMF appears to be strengthening standard requirements, MGO on its own seems to be often used to confuse. There are many brands that promote MGO 30, 50 and 70 as Manuka honey with the words 'blend' or 'multi floral' very small, unclear or obscurely positioned. The UK is a prime example of a large market that has been saturated with lesser quality product, poor product education and now has a unnaturally low perception of the real value. Then we have China. The golden goose. The number of brands available are countless. Most I have never heard of. Most will not be there next year or the year after but will probably be replaced by the next brand who thinks the market is easy only to realise that the only marketing tool they posses is price. Even the biggest brands seem to be forever chasing volume at the expense of value and credibility. Buy 1 get one free, 50% discount, buy 2 get one free etc etc is common place. I did not see the same discounting for top Champaign, caviar, perfume and branded clothing etc So back to New Zealand and Manuka Inc. One year does not define a market and direction. There are some major corrections taking place. Some very large producers and brands are suffering or reversing and have reduced or stopped buying. Previous errors and direction are coming home to roost. The converse is that other companies and brands are emerging and defining a new standard and direction and value proposition. Genuinely exciting New product development will move Manuka honey to a new level and into new markets. I see growth opportunity every where I look and many untapped markets. From a personal perspective we see multiple new business enquiries every single day. The majority are Manuka related. Many have agressive price expectations. Some tick all the boxes and are worth developing. Time scales are often quite long for new business development but I see a very strong sales pipeline for the next three years. I am not looking beyond that at this point. Adam
  8. 10 points
    Push it over the line @Philbee Over 70 loads @ 2-2.5 cube on one of my wintering sites ready for shifting tonight Shifted 55 more hives to my wintering site, 20hour day yesterday finishing at 12:30 and unloading this morning at 9am then went on to put staples in and feed 3 sites with a bit of chainsaw clearing to let some light in
  9. 10 points
    One respected ( late) beekeeper said over here: " Beekeeping isn't hobby, beekeeping isn't occupation, beekeeping is diagnosis"..
  10. 10 points
    It was great to met up with @Philbee today at the SNI field day at Waireka honey. Great talking with you and listening to your presentation. Over 100 members and visitors in attendance.
  11. 9 points
    @MissOlivia please read everything above... and apologies for the long, but necessary post, below. You are making the same mistakes I did. I spent all summer umming and arring then finally taking the plunge too late. First dead hive. Finding an in the flesh mentor is hard. And you ignore the lessons/advice on this site at your peril And you’re not alone. I was in ecrotek the other day buying syrup for winter feeding, and they were selling starter packs to newbeeks! If those hives had AFB/Varroa that a newbie could spot off a pamphlet cram session, having not understood the difference between visiting and resident populations, then they are already dead and should be burned. Do not buy a hive this season. It will die. Do join a club, they have hives to teach you in. And usually some nice member will/can sell you a cheap healthy nuc when they’re readily available. Do not buy hives off TradeMe. If you do, take a befriended experienced beek with you. Do the AFB course. In time you may even do a revision course and get your deca. Do get registered. A good beek won’t even sell a hive to an unregistered keeper. Do get more than one hive, ie two. Comparison between hives has been my biggest learning booster. Think about out where your second apiary will be, sometimes it’s necessary to move a hive. Do read the book book recommended above. @Trevor Gillbanks has the most relevant videos for New Zealand. And The Norfolk Honey Company, https://www.youtube.com/user/TheNorfolkHoneyCo , is an excellent series too. That should be ample to get you started. Then look at The Apiarist (blog) and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3mjpM6Av4bxbxps_Gh5YPw if your run out of stuff. If if you don’t make the same mistakes I did you will enjoy next season a lot more and waste less money. please don’t see not starting this year as a failure or missed opportunity. You are saving yourself a lot of hassle and will be ready for next season.
  12. 9 points
    We have now had 3 iterations of the standard. The interpretation around the 3-PLA changed with the change from the second to the 3rd. Before that being over 400 had no adverse implications. However the last iteration meand that the 2-MAP had differing levels and suddenly being over 400ppm 3-PLA and below 5ppm 2-MAP meant a non manuka. The first iteration was "scientific", "statistically robust" etc. and portrayed as completely fit for purpose in a country wide road show. The second iteration was because "we've got more data". So just how robust were those first statistics really? - and if any other shortcuts were taken/hidden from view. The third iteration, which caused the over 3-PLA anomaly, was a direct result of threated court action on the standard. The choice of chemical markers to say a honey is or isn't predominantly from a named plant source is problematic. In the case of manuka we have 4 markers, and two of them are used to determine the difference between mono and multi manuka. i.e. more 2-MAP drives a multi into a mono and the same with 3-PLA. So one would expect if this belief system is correct, that as the 2-MAP goes up, so must the 3-PLA... at least kind of.... mostly..... . Since we have nectar data we can eliminate any contributions from other unknown sources for these compounds and can test the theory that an increase in one substance is (at least partly) supported by an increase in the other substance Using a correlation coefficient we can test this statistically. A correlation coefficient has a result from negative 1 to positive 1. A positive 1 inidicates that they are related in lock step. An exact increase or decrease in both. A negative 1 indicates that the relationship is the exact opposite and a zero indicates there is absolutely no correlation. So what does the nectar data say in each of the two seasons? 14/15 season Correlation coefficient -0.10382 16/16 season Correlation coefficient 0.19814 These two numbers (both close to zero) show there is virtually NO correlation between 3-PLA and 2-MAP in the nectar. Pick a value of one marker in the nectar, and you can make no related prediction for the other. And for people who like to see it visually..... hint, for there to be a correlation you need to be able to draw a line close to or through most of the dots! Because of this huge variability in the levels of these two substances, both in seasons and between seasons, there is a fundamental flaw in the reasoning behind using these markers as the basis of the manuka standard - and particularly these two because of they determine proportionality for the purposes of defining mono and multi manuka.
  13. 9 points
    Mid April and only hives that are showing varroa are the handful that I forgot about in far away places. They now have had strips in for 2 weeks but fortunately weren’t in to bad condition due to brood breaks induced by splitting hives. Of note though are splits that had Oxalic strips in with a queen cell, all bar 1 out of 10 failed and raised their own queens. Splits that had queen cell and no strips had 10 out of 10 successful. 🤷‍♂️ Most hives have good numbers of bees and good stores.
  14. 9 points
    Got a good pic showing tongue today. AFB hunting once again, this rounds incouragement for staff is a $50.00 supermarket or hunting and fishing voucher per find.. just to make sure the tempo is kept up and we don’t get complacent this close to winter break.
  15. 9 points
    I’ve given hives away and no one springs to mind that I particularly want to sell any too . I won’t advertise on trademe. Your suggestion is a good one and half my hives are 3/4. The plan was to sell the FD hives, but with current circumstances I’ve moved from plan A to Plan B . 😊 Easy as . First stack of boxes resized and on to the frames . Pozi drive screws all come out and rescrew in the new corners
  16. 9 points
    Here is a photo of a real surprise. This is a August treated hive with the remains of a single stitch staple. This Hive still had some of its Spring Staples intact and had one mite in its 330 bee wash
  17. 9 points
    Took sugar to a site today that around a month ago i took all honey off down to the bottom box and put an empty super on each hive to give the bees somewhere to fit in. So I was expecting the now 2 box hives to be in serious need of a feed, instead I'm trying to prise off the well glued down mats and find the boxes absolutely chocablock. No idea what this honey is or where it came from but i like this site. 🙂
  18. 8 points
    What we have been finding , treated 1st week March
  19. 8 points
    My ole mate who I was talking to the other night
  20. 8 points
    Today was the first day of the Staples efficacy trial for registration as an Agricultural Chemical Ive had an untreated block set aside for this trial and the provisional registration required for such a trial took longer than anticipated to obtain This meant that the Block went longer than desired untreated so it was a reliefe to get into it today washing, counting and recording. There were one or two real surprises and it was reassuring to see the results of spring treated hives that should be dead by now but are very much alive and well. Counts today ranged from 1 mite to 35.
  21. 8 points
    When they are in a line it is often wax moth but this looks more like improperly capped brood caused by what I believe is a genetic variation . Used to see a lot of it years ago and you would get the odd hive where almost hundred percent of the brood was not fully capped. Never seem to make any difference to the hive but it was not something that was selected for. Since varoa I have often wondered whether it would make any difference and if I came across one of those hives I would definitely do some monitoring on it. Whatever the cause it is basically harmless and just one of life's interesting little mysteries.
  22. 8 points
    This is all based on the idea that there is going to be a bounce back in honey prices, towards the former fraudulently jacked up prices. I see no reason for this to happen. The current "glut" may resolve itself over a few years as some operations fold, and new markets are developed. However end of day we sell and compete on the world market and that sets the price. To me, borrowing money to sustain an unprofitable operation is gambling, pure and simple, and could lead to ruin. In my view, within say, 5 years, non manuka beekeeping will return to how it was done 20 and more years ago. IE, run on the smell of an oily rag. The bloatedness of many current operations with high staff ratios and expensive trucks etc, will pull those businesses down, and one way or another things will change.
  23. 8 points
    When showing jars, for some trivia this is last year black locust honey..
  24. 8 points
    I checked my first lot of re-queening today(My own 10 day cells) 28/28 it doesn't get any better.
  25. 7 points
    The old house is quiet tonight. I had an old mate up today. His boy brought him up riding shotgun on a sales trip. It's been one of those stunningly beautifull days in Te Wai Pounamu , that time of year when the trees start to turn and the mornings have an eye watering chill in them ,and the roar and the croak of the stags resound around the valley. The old mates' boy sells machinery, so seeing as the Can Am has been in the fix it shop for two weeks and they are having team meetings over what to do with it , I thought we should look at our options. There are always options. The stockman has been riding Shank's pony. He's been very polite about it. He always is. My new pony has been in the yards getting started ..... and he is a beauty .... a pure bred short coupled Arab that my mare from hell gave birth to eight years ago ..... but good things take time ..... So the Can Am is busted and it turns out my old mate's boy sells Mr Kubota's machinery. So they arrived at 8.00 am with the side by side on the trailer. We seem to go through the bikes. Side by sides, quad bikes, motorcross bikes ..... they all need fixing. The quads diff crapped out last week. The seal went on the back axle and the diff must have ran out of oil and ended up with one wheel drive. We won't talk about the Can Am. So we had a look at the Kubota . A 28hp three cylinder diesel that sounds like the Bobcat , powered by Kubota. She's got hydrostatic drive, oil immersed brakes, phenomenal engine braking on the descents ..... and a half tonne hydraulic tip deck. And she comes dressed in Camo. Eldest boy and Mum did the road testing. Old mate, his boy, and I followed in the cruiser. Climbed the dark side track to the top of the hill and sat in the sun absorbing the view of the foothills, the new snow on Mt Hutt, the mist in the Selwyn and the Torlesse ranges craggy skyline beckoning. And we talked of the old days .... back when .... when we worked for Airborne , about when old Arthur died up the Rakaia on his last mission to the bees, and had to be carted back to Leeston on the back of the bee truck, and the party's me other old mate had, who was my boss , when the young beekeepers passed out under the table at six o'clock ..... in the morning .... and the lack of high viz, and certificates .... and the phone calls on a thursday night to move a thousand bees out of pollination by the weekend and only armstrong cranes and grit to lift them. And as we sat in the sun and reflected .... Old mate , his Boy and I ..... and all was quiet as My boy and his mum went on daring deeds to try and kill the Kubota in some swamp hidden bog hole in the valley below .... I put it to old mate ..... "How d'ya grow such a good boy ?" 'Life and love. Lotsa love.'
  26. 7 points
    @Philbee, I’m impressed !!! I checked these hives and expected to find dead and dying hives.... i thought they were too far gone. they look great !! The number of dead varroa on the tops of the frames and in the cells under the strips showed how high the mite load was. I tried to take photos but the bees were rushing in and removing the dead varroa too fast. Two hives still have visible mites and dwv bees on the frames and bees numbers are clearly down. I’ve treated them with bayvarol, shut the entrances right down and they will sink or swim. The rest look clean and healthy, bees numbers are still good. The queens have slowed right down on brood and hives have heaps of pollen and stores. What brood there is looks healthy and well fed. Half the hives had the staples removed and bayvarol put in, in hindsight I’m not sure we needed to use the bayvarol but will see if it makes any difference. Im a very happy beekeeper. 👍👍👍
  27. 7 points
    For years we had nothing but tin top covers and although mine are all wood now I'm not sure it made that much difference. The bees heat the space they are using and ignore the rest which is exactly what they supposed to do. I've kept some bees in some pretty cold country and I don't really think there's anywhere in New Zealand cold enough to warrant extra installation.As for bottom ventilation I know a lot of people swear by it but I also know experienced beekeepers with some of each who would not use ventilated floors again. The bottom line is bees overwinter perfectly well in New Zealand with solid floors and top boards without any extra insulation.If my hives don't need it, they don't get it.
  28. 7 points
    Bees that for whatever reason won't build queen cells, will also kill an introduced caged queen. There are several reasons for refusal to build queen cells, among them being the hive may have a non laying queen, or the workers may be heading towards being laying workers, even if not laying yet. So, sieving the bees may or may not make it safe to introduce a mated queen. However if you want to save the hive with a new mated queen regardless of how much effort is involved, there is a way. - Make a nuc from a different hive and introduce the mated queen to it. Once the queen has it's own capped brood, reduce the queenless hive to the minimum number of boxes the bees can fit in. Take the lid and mat off and put 3 sheets of newspaper on top. Punch a finger sized hole in the middle of the newspaper sheets then put a queen excluder on top. Put a super on the queen excluder and put the nuc in it, close the hive. Leave untouched for 3 weeks. Even if there is some kind of queen below, the bees will normally still accept the queen above, they may not immediately kill the non functioning queen, but the excluder will keep the 2 queens apart so there is not risk to the good one. If there are laying workers, 3 weeks after exposure to brood they will regress back to normal workers. Three weeks after the combine, assess the hive. If there is still no brood below the excluder, the bees will want to be with the brood above the excluder and this will become the main engine room of the hive, with a smaller number of bees below. It will probably be safe to remove the excluder, but leave it a bit longer if you get "vibes" that something is happening under the excluder that might be unfriendly to the new queen. Normally after removing the excluder, even if there is still a non functioning queen in the hive, the bees figure out which is the good one, and the other queen disapears in time.
  29. 7 points
    Saw these hives when having lunch on a Mekong River cruise They are right around the restaurant for the tourists Their bees are much smaller and very calm. Sampled some of the honey which is light and very runny. They served it with some pollen and tea made from pandan leaves. It was quite nice.
  30. 7 points
    I’m finding obvious mite magnets also.. no real reason why.. one colony out of a site of 28 that appears filthy with them, all treated equally, in the past using synthetics I’d find that original magnet turned into a deadout and it’s pallets neighbour became the magnet.. on and on til the pallet was dead. Now with organic finding the other 3 are clean, while the magnet takes longer to fix. We also cycling out older brood frames and melting them out replacing with fresh white comb.. reducing virus loads.
  31. 7 points
    After lunch I headed down to the peat to 9 hives to check over , replace staples and assess temperament so in Oct/Nov I know who to rear replacement queens out of to replace the stingy suckers ..... The hives are full on pumping on cats ear and dandelion . Heaps of brood , heaps of bees , heaps of honey , heaps of drones ... The bees are really thriving in the staples environment . About half had been fully removed from placement two months ago . These were Phil’s 3 deep wides with the single stitch down the middle . They are being replaced with Phil’s EP wides .
  32. 7 points
    A lot of our international testing is for things that are issues internationally and not just in NZ. Specifically things like C4 Sugars and HMF that are export requirements for many countries. As we run these tests in high volumes, our tests are generally quicker and cheaper than overseas labs so the cost of freight and getting a sample halfway around the world is more cost and time efficient. We do get plenty of requests to test foreign honeys for 3in1 but unless the nectar source is a Leptospermum, the test results are always a non-detect.
  33. 7 points
    spent some time at my equal favourite apiary at the weekend. Decided to let every hive there overwinter with a couple of full supers, only so much space in the car and energy/time for extracting honey.
  34. 7 points
    I'll back it, don't get me wrong I agree with being audited, but for probably the majority of extraction plants operating at most 5-6 months most maybe not not even that, why two?, and agree the hourly rate is next level, like I understand costs and value of time etc but man they are the highest paid people on my books, I guess that's the thing that gets me the most, the other being they waste time checking trace ability twice a year when we are only producing once a year why? They can see the exact same info on one visit why do they need to see it twice. Different if your buying and packing all the time I guess but they are on three visits I believe. But most of those guys have someone employed to make sure there rmp is running as it should, we cant do that we are the ones running it, it's our time they are wasting also on a second visit. That's enough of a whine for now. I guess if we still had a NBA we could put a remit in then out to all the other branches to vote if they agree or not then if they all agreed it would go to the agm at conference then it could be followed up, I guess we don't have that democracy anymore.
  35. 6 points
    @john berry The reason Glycerine is used is that it is a benign food grade substance that Oxalic Acid is soluble in. It is sticky tacky and naturally inclined to get spread around. It also has very little affect on paper strength, unlike water. In the context of carrying a miticide it can be considered insidious All in all it ticks many boxes. Oxalic acid will not dissolve in Vege oil but it will dissolve in water and therefore Sugar syrup However I dont use Acid/sugar solutions because I fear that the Bees will consume the solution and because the water in the syrup will definitely destroy the structure of the Paper staple. Sugar syrup is nowhere near as tacky or viscous as Glycerine, for example a small petrol syrup pump will not budge Glycerine. I didn't invent the Acid Glycerine solution, it came from Argentina and was well tested before it got to NZ. Next season I will give away a couple of hundred Alcohol wash shakers so you can grab one of those as well
  36. 6 points
    Good observation Not an issue if the dripping is from outside frames in a single but gets complicated if the dripping is from the second box where there are few Bees and the dripping is onto the poor Bees below. This is a new issue thats come to light For the years Ive used the Staple system it has usually been in single brood hives and it was known that the outside staples were inclined to absorb water as the Bees move off them and toward a central cluster. My view with regard this happening in my own Hives is that its probably a bit like a winter OA dribble. Some Bees might die in some Hives yet not in others. Come Spring I dont have dead outs from it Best way to avoid it though is to treat earlier and run 50% spent Staples into winter rather than fresh ones. Having said that I currently have a trial going where the Hives received their Staples late, (early Apri)l and will receive another lot early May. This is asking for trouble IMO but will be an interesting test.
  37. 6 points
    I reduced my plastic frames as follows: Make 4 small cuts in the 2 vertical beam, but leave the beam longer by 8mm or so. With a boxcutter, cut off the excess of plastic foundation. You can cut it an break it off. Take the end bar (with or without a slit) of a wooden frame (maybe you have some broken lying around) Cut wooden bar to size. Drill two holes per vertical (plastic frame) for the nails to go in. Place wooden bar in place and lock in place with the nails. Works for me, a bit of work but the frame doesn't warp. Photo's attached.
  38. 6 points
    Very interesting report @Adam Boot. Thanks. Sorry, while you don't deserve a 'but' I need to add one. The unfortunate side of chasing the high value/low volume side of any product, is what happens to the remaining volume, and what effect it has on an industry. For the last ten years the major players have been telling the world if it isn't Manuka, it's not worth eating. They were so successful with this message, that when MPI created a standard that only allowed a small% of product to meet the "new" standard, who on earth would touch the rest of the honey produced in NZ. While in no way am I blaming your company Adam, you are continuing the message. It is an interesting discussion point as to who is most to blame for our industry situation. The exporter who created the hype of endless riches for anything related to Manuka, or the producer who blindly took their greed and produced endless quantities of a product they knew was not Manuka. Now I know it can take years to develop new products/markets, but my question to you Adam is fairly simple. With your market knowledge, is there any chance of creating a sustainable international market for 10000T of native bush flavoured non Manuka honey in next two years that can pay a living return of a minimum $6-$9kg ex gate. Not saying can you do it, just is it realistic. With near a million hives, this surplus is growing every year, and if your answer is maybe, then the false hope many are relying on at the moment is not going to pay the bills. NOTE: Because we all know Manuka varies in quality and quantity every year, your top % Manuka may well disappear if the producer is stuck with their failed Manuka every third year.
  39. 6 points
    Apart from the issue of overstocking I am quite happy with where I am as far as beekeeping and marketing goes. If I went to the meeting the chances of me keeping quiet would be pretty close to 0 and chances of me not being asked for my opinion would be about the same. Establishing a co-op is a big step with a lot of ramifications and I want those that want to be involved to be able to make their own decisions . I like the idea of co-op's but there are not many successful ones.
  40. 6 points
    Olivia, we would love you to join the Auckland Bee CLub.. If you can get yourself to the Auckland Easter Show they have a stall there with very knowledgable club members who can help you heaps, and invite you to our next club meeting, where No Question is a silly question... Or have a look on line when the next club meeting is (second Saturday of each month)
  41. 6 points
    That sounds good Phil .... on that basis Plan B comes into play and i'm closing the operation down here and off to the bach for the winter. Hallalujah .... just like the old days. This seems to be the season of surveys. These are interesting figures Phil , and got me thinking. As we winter a yard down it would be interesting to have a hive condition score survey as well. So we get a graph of the yard at the end which will show the overall status of the yard ..... 38 good ones, five queen failures, and five varroa's that will be DOA in August. I guess this is all part of the research, for if we know that by placing all staples in hives by the end of february we can close the operation down on May 1st, like we always used to, all of a sudden we have an ability to trim costs - labour, fuel ..... and plan ahead for our slack time. Just an on going thought as I put honey on toast and shrink my honey mountain before heading out the door.
  42. 6 points
    Here is one very interesting and informative movie about commercial beekeeping/ queen breeding in Serbia. Made by young but experienced and highly educated people that I had the honor to work with. Enjoy...
  43. 6 points
    So just over two weeks ago we harvested the honey out of the school hives. We were using the scrape technique to get the honey and wax off the plastic foundation. I popped the wets back on the hive they came from. While I was there, I removed the queen excluder. Currently the hive has 2 fd boxes with the 3/4 box of honey super wets on top. Today I popped the lid to see what they had done to the wets (being my first honey harvest and all). To my surprise I saw this. I say surprise but I tried to run the hive without an excluder and found the queen laying in the top box early in the season. So she has a history of climbing to the top. They have drawn out most of the frames, apart from a couple only half done. Clearly lots of nectar coming from somewhere. They are going to be going into winter with a stack of stores.
  44. 6 points
    My day started at 8.30 am yesterday in hives that were cold and grump Its just finished a 1.15 am the next day. This day I finished setting up the staple efficacy trial of 43 Hives, 43 Alc washes and lots of counting Bees and Varroa Then I made a few thousand Staples and then made an E book of trial photos and data. Tomorrow Ill treat some Hives and maybe do a few washes then probably make some more Staples
  45. 6 points
    We had a beekeeping industry before the Manuka Boom, and we will have have an industry after the boom. We went from sustainable(and more enjoyable!) to the crazy, unsustainable place we are now, and we will tumble back to something more sustainable(and I hope more enjoyable) over the next few years.
  46. 6 points
    Those are the latest design staples, 4 layers and two rows of stitch with edge protection The idea is that the large space between the two rows contains a lot more air gaps between the laminates which means that the solution wicks to the surface of the staple from fewer rows of stitch. (the stitch lines compress the laminates aiding wicking). If you look at a new staple sometimes you will see patchy light spots that look like dry paper These are actually air pockets beneath the layers of paper
  47. 6 points
    At 1.23 you could eat it till the cows came home. The limit just a few years ago was 2.0 and no one got hurt. The limit is now .7 which is well over 100 times lower than would cause any symptoms. Legally of course you can't do anything with it as it is but you could blend it with another honey to take the whole batch below .7.
  48. 6 points
    Hi Adam, Perhaps a chat and the opportunity to catch up with other Beekeepers. It costs nothing to listen to ideas. Also perhaps an injection of a bit of positive after harvesting a years crop. I think you are very good at what you do. You have no doubt earnt your salary, and are appreciated for the work you do. However, there are a lot of bee keepers out there right now who are also very good at what they do, who love the lifestyle and can see it eroding around them. The work is done, the crop is harvested, but the honey is not getting sold. Right now any ideas are worth following up.
  49. 5 points
    Went out today and washed a few hives that were outside of my current efficacy trial. They were all good but this one was the best
  50. 5 points
    @Philbee‘s Oxalic acid and glycerine paper tape staples 👍
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