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  1. 26 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. 24 points
    Having been posting on the forums re: APINZ’s desire to represent the industry and claim a Commodity Levy (to cover their work on the industry’s behalf) I decided rather than continuing to spout my own thoughts I’d get on the blower and talk to a number of Commercial Beekeepers and see where the Commercial Sector really stands. I put together a simple survey and started ringing: I thought I’d do it over a couple of days and get representations from beekeepers keeping up to approx. 20,000 hives. Well a week later and I’ve spoken to a good many Commercial Beekeepers all whom have been happy to answer my queries/survey: They represent: Beekeepers: 36 Hives No’s: 73955 Apiaries: 3488 Hive range: 200 – 9000 Note: The beekeepers polled covered a good many areas of the North Island with a handful from the South The survey was simple: Did you attend the Conference Yes: 9 No: 27 Do you know about the APINZ proposal re: collecting a Commodity Levy on Honey Yes: 32 No: 4 Do you support it Yes: 3 No: 33 Reasons for your position: As below (Note some comments are combined and some beekeepers didn’t elaborate /give specifics) APINZ don't represent or listen to commercial beekeepers: They're dividing and conquering Poor timing for new or increased levy's APINZ aren't relevant to the commercial sector / don't represent the beekeepers on the ground Proposed levy unfair on beekeepers producing lower priced honeys Support levy's for R&D, marketing and industry good but aren't convinced APINZ are the ones to do it If levy fly's should be based on sales not volume and catch all sectors incl pollination and queen rearing Can’t see value for money and additionally we're to become APINZ's tax collectors and law enforcers APINZ need to show structured and defined proposals / budgets and more than cursory liaison with commercial sector to be considered APINZ need to present Budgets / KPI's / Specific Aims before asking for consideration APINZ need to represent the commercial sector more directly to be considered Same #### different day! Support at 5c not 10c: Would like to see work on protecting brand 'Manuka' and dealing with the C4 issue No contact / no introduction / no idea who APINZ really are or what they intend to do If we need a levy ('If' being the operative word) it should be controlled by an independent board / authority. Hard for non-manuka producers to afford: Needs better explaining to be considered Absolutely not! Don't want this Resent APINZ meddling in the industry and looking for money to throw at issues? Seen it before and sick of it! APINZ short on details Too much / too big of an increase and can't see the benefits Don't consider APINZ have exhibited support and input for the commercial sector Could be convinced APINZ not favouring the commercial sector and don't have a mandate Real issues around APINZ budgeting; the collection of the levy and the compulsion to pay and join APINZ Absolutely object to having to collect any levy at extraction: Will actively not-collect! Unless a co-operative won't work been through this in other industry's Not in its current form: Not at the moment Don't really know what it's for: Don't see the value: Would need way more details On the fence: not happy for other groups to take over APINZ Feel we're paying enough already Support a Levy but with independent management (Not APINZ) NOTE: I’d have liked to have continued talking to even more beekeepers but quite bluntly I’ve got to get a bit of work done! I’ve previously said on these forums that APINZ should park up their Commodity Levy aspirations and get out and engage with the Commercial Sector and win their support; If they can’t or won’t do this then they have no place in representing themselves to the Crown as the representative body of the Industry. MESSAGE TO APINZ: Forget quoting vague majorities (re: hive holdings) as over 90% of the beekeepers I polled don’t won’t you representing them at this juncture: If you don’t believe me get on the phone and talk to them; almost all would welcome your call and be pleased to talk to you. You were born out of a desire from many to unify the Industry (inclusive the writer): If you feel you’ve got the goods engage with and then win the hearts and minds of the Commercial Sector (on the beat, on the phone, one to one or group meeting), and frankly while you’ll never satisfy everyone or win everyone over if you exhibit the will to engage with the engine room of the Industry and earn their trust, backing and a mandate I’ll undoubtedly come on board as well: If not the Commercial Sector needs to look elsewhere for representation! Additional survey notes: Not one of the surveyed beekeepers backed the (defunct) rise in the AFB Levy with the negative feedback for the current service being universal and scathing: Additionally there were some pearls/bloody good ideas for improving things bandied around! There was also a lot of unsure comments and discussion re: the proposed GIA Levy: Plenty of dialogue/discussion required on this one before it fly’s! Cheers: Keith ‘Frederick’ Rodie
  3. 21 points
    . A beekeeping expedition with my son, his wife, and 2 of their children. Gotta train the grandchildren right. ? Soon as we got there, this happened, he is staying VERY still ? But didn't take long and he was fine with the whole thing. And even his normally timid sister started to enjoy. Nobody stung, a fun day for all.
  4. 21 points
    Hi All I am not convinced by the argument that we need an increase in the AFB levy. The funding levels must have doubled over the last ten years as apiary sites have more than doubled. The problem is, that the AFB eradication strategy designed in the 1990's, and voted on, has never been fully implemented. If it had been, we would have mostly eradicated AFB by now. The Management Agency got confused about its role soon after it was established in 2000 and this confusion has continued until now, and is reflected in the discussion on what the levy increase might be spent on. What we learnt between 1990 - 2000, when we caused AFB levels to drop from 1.2% of hives to 0.25 % of hives, was that beekeepers inspect all hives each year for AFB, and they are responsible for the spread of all AFB. To eradicate AFB, all the strategy has to do is to get beekeepers to do better inspections and / or spread AFB less. We also worked out that using the strategy to try to find and burn AFB for beekeepers faster than beekeepers can spread the disease is a no win game , although it appeals to beekeepers who think their neighbors are the source of their AFB problem. The role of the strategy here should only be to be carrying out default inspection where beekeepers are in breach of the rules of the strategy Following this model, and the other things we did in the 1990s that caused AFB levels to plummet, could easily reduce AFB levels with the current budget if we stopped t using the funding for trying to control AFB for beekeepers Just a reminder to those who are not happy with the proposed levy increase, the most effective thing you can do is write to the Minister of Agriculture and explain why you don't think it is a good idea Mark Goodwin
  5. 18 points
    spent a quality hour at the local school spinning a few bee yarns to kids aged from 5-13, highlight for them was the obs hive which I made them wait til the end for. Followed by some honey tasting. Some very intelligent questions... curly question of the day was “why does the drone only mate once” from a 6yr old.. I printed some A3 photos and glued them to coreflute so had pics of each season which gave them images to look at while I explained the goings on. Great fun had by all. Cheers Loburn school.
  6. 18 points
    Unregistered sites are a problem but there are plenty of registered beekeepers who are just as bad or worse. I think the proposed increase is unnecessary and unjustifiable mainly because the current System while better than nothing is outdated. We will soon have far better tools for identifying afb ln Honey samples Which will allow for far better targeting and should actually reduce costs.mpi is responsible for prosecutions and is not willing to do so just as they are not willing to follow up on honey coming from unregistered apairies. Until we get new laws or they in enforce The laws we have no amount of new funding will change things. Charging competent beekeepers more will not improve things, identifying and dealing with incompetent beekeepers will.
  7. 17 points
    Result of a thoroughbred queen for ya ☺️
  8. 16 points
  9. 16 points
    This person has asked for help and advice. After seeing some of the answers on this thread if I was a beginner in trouble I might hesitate to do the same thing. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone has to learn and those lower on the learning curve will do a lot less harm if they feel confident about asking for advice without fear of condemnation.
  10. 16 points
    good stuff, thanks M4tt thats saved me a failed experiment:-) and to finish up heres a pic that sums up the weather at the moment
  11. 16 points
    But we have Kaka. Taken through the lounge window last September. The flowering cherry 2mt from the window had already been claimed by the tui who created quite a fuss. Kaka just ignored him till ready to fly off. Neither bird was concerned about us observing the antics.
  12. 16 points
    Small things: Why would a disease control agency discourage multiple small sites that are more suitable for containing diseases? Isn't charging a disincentive to register all your sites? Why would you promote a permanent form of large ‘dump’ sites? How come, over five years, the fees increase 255% (!) and the annual expenditure 314%? There is already a lack of clarity about how big an ‘apiary’ is (200m diameter, radius or chain) so that better be revisited if it’s to be a chargeable unit of measure. If the additional $2mil spent each year ‘saves’ 4,100 hives (0.5%approx of the national hive stock) valued at $1200ea, at a cost of $770 each (3,160,000/4,100), is that good value for money? Big thing: The compromise between acceptable risk and logistical or financial constraints is revealed by the application of an analysis of Acceptable Level Of Risk (ALOR), which should make clear what uncertainties are included in the proposition. Like it or not, there is a level at which AFB becomes an acceptable risk. What is that level, and why is it where it is? Where is the analysis?
  13. 16 points
    Sure. But not everyone reads the news, and what's old to you, is new to someone else. Because I interact with a lot of beekeepers, a constant thing I see every year is people thinking their hive in autumn is looking great. - No need to treat. Especially for first season beekeepers the well populated look of their hive can be very beguiling. They delay treatment, then a month or two later they are mystified where all the bees went. The other sad thing about death by varroa, is that right till near the end the bees stay very active at the entrance and flying. Which can camouflage a real mess of dead brood going on inside the hive. People without looking in the hive will say wow they look so healthy! The explanation, and the maths, in this article should be a must read for new beekeepers. And a few old ones LOL.
  14. 15 points
    This is an issue that comes up often There tends to be two ways that Beeks place Staples and one way results in less Brood damage. Some Beeks remove an edge frame, spread the remaining frames out, insert the staples then press the frames back to their original position by replacing the edge frame that they initially removed. This method often results in Brood damage because if there happens to be burr comb or any other proud contour in line with the Staple when the frames move back together this proud feature will cause the staple to be press firmly against the comb which in all likelihood will contain capped Brood. The preferred method is to refrain from placing the Staples until you have completed your inspection and replaced all frames. The burr comb near the top of the frame is cleared away at the desired location and the Staple is jiggled down between the frames This results in a looser fit of the Staple and results in much less brood damage. The newer Staples are now 25% thicker for the wides and 33% thicker for the narrows so are much more rigid, aiding insertion. Another important but unrelated point that needs to be clarified This point came up at the ApiNZ Waikato Hub field day on Saturday. There are photos on this thread and possibly other places that show Staples in Honey Supers above the Queen excluder I also make reference to such arrangements when speaking about the Staple. This is not a practice that I recommend and not one that I use in production hives. In my case this practice is for observation purposes and the Honey is being left on for winter feed. There is one substantial Hive in my operation that has has 20 staples in 4 boxes above and excluder for 2 seasons continuously. This Hive is one of those freak hives that sometimes appear but then fade to mediocrity or die over winter. One of the purposes of this observation Hive should the opportunity arise is to have its Honey stores checked for Oxalic Acid residue. The Hive currently has a Mite count of 1/350 bees and considering its size and forage /robbing power I consider that count to be very low.
  15. 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.
  16. 15 points
    Hi CraBee, MPI and Govt significantly hurt the industry. Their delay after delay to publish their standard meant the whole industry was on hold for ~1-2 years. Then MPI came out with a standard that wasn't a standard i.e. got modified. Uncertainty over product status meant buyers weren't confident, demand decreased, product stockpiled, prices dropped. This plus the extra and long drawn out attention meant news and uncertainty filtered out to all and sundry, affecting retailer and consumer confidence, therefore decreasing demand and pricing. Lastly re. the standard, I think we're all agreed now that it is not accurate enough. Conventional thinking is: Only Manuka honey has DHA/MGO. Only the best and/or purest Manuka honey has the highest MGO (containing anything else would dilute it down). So how can much of the highest MGO Manuka honey not pass MPI's standard? Something wrong with the standard that's what. So beeks that used to get top $ for top MGO now get much, much less for it. Govt should have just done what the now Deputy PM said before the election "Just adopt the UMFHA standard", quick, simple, scientific, already adopted by 80% of the Manuka industry. Support this rather than erode confidence in Manuka, UMF and the industry. Poor weather over the past 3 years, and overstocking has resulted in reduced hive yields, this and the preceding point have been a double whammy. So, overall the gloss has gone off the industry. It is less not more than it was. By trying to 'help' it become a $1.2b industry, MPI/Govt's help actually helped it go backwards, certainly in the short term. Agree they had to set or support a standard, but... As for consumers and markets. In general, there isn't the hysteria/mystique/intrigue that there once was when it was the latest, new/hot thing and (some of) the rich just had to have it. But on the other hand, Manuka has become more widely accepted and written about as factual by more and more in the mass media/lifestyle publications/social media. So it is trickling down from the richest towards those who are well off. We're recently seeing Manuka start to get acceptance and distribution into large format retailers in the States, so taking it's availability and awareness (but not price) to another level, and reducing reliance on Asia, especially China. Awareness, distribution and availability has spread out down the wealth triangle. Australian (and others in future?) "Manuka" is an issue. They can plant/grow/harvest much more leptospermum than we can. Theirs tastes worse than ours does. If allowed to piggyback off NZ's, with very loose standards both of definition and what they write on labels, different taste, higher MGO (in some cases), higher volume, it's not good for us. Let's support and hope UMFHA's Mānuka Honey Appellation Society's efforts starting several years ago succeed. This would result in protection, higher value, demand and prestige for NZ Manuka. So overall we're in a different phase of product life cycle and market maturity.
  17. 15 points
    My 6 yr old son suffered anaphylaxis last October following a bee sting at home, it was his 3 rd sting with the first 2 being on his feet off the lawn (kiwi as) with no real reactions. Yesterday was his first day of the RUSH treatment at CH CH hospital, the plan was 5 stings 1 hr apart starting with a dose of 1/1000 of a full hit. Everything went well up till the last dose.. 15 minutes following it he developed a tiny cough, concern was noted and coughing was timed by the fantastic team of nurses.. increased cough timing was the only symptom, heart rate remained the same as pre treatment hours earlier. We were then seen by the specialist by which time Caleb had become wheezy. Within 30seconds of the wheezing he had the adrenaline needle hanging out of his thigh.. damn. This kicked things up a gear with us bundled into a single room, hooking him up to monitors etc, all pretty scary for him who moments earlier had been quietly watching dirt bikes on the I Pad. With no decrease in his wheezing a 2nd shot of the good juice was delivered, followed by me spending last night in the chair beside his hospital bed... thinking about my chosen path in life.. All his early life I had been pretty casual about my bee suit in the house, I work gloveless and if hot have my sleeves rolled up meaning the venom both on my skin and leaching out in my sweat he was exposed to. Also the dried venom on my suit being spilt into the house as a fine powder to be breathed in. Also washing my filthy suit in the house machine with other clothing on the odd occasion. There is a high number of beekeepers kids doing this program.. this isn’t a coincidence. Bee venom can kill, think about that.. think about the exposure you may be giving your wee ones or even grandkids.., their wee bodies can build a really strong reaction to the venom you can’t see on you or your gear and no one will know until that sunny arvo on the lawn kicking the ball around and you get caught holding a big filthy surprise. Epipens in an easy spot, beesuits not in the house, beesuits soaked and washed with the hose outside, wash/ change before playing with the wee ones. Just some small snippets of advise from someone that found out the hard way.
  18. 15 points
    Hi All, I don't have time to follow every chat group, but I got a notification about this one. I'm interested in your experiences with OA/gly in NZ, so please feel free to contact me directly at randy@randyoliver.com. >From a practical point of view the Hive is very tolerant of high doses of OA/GL that do not go as far as to wet the Bees That is also my impression. For a strong colony, 9 g total OA in glycerin on towels did not give great mite control. But neither did 40 g (4 strips) of the Argentine formula in double-deep hives. But 80 g total did when applied in hanging strips. But the mite control was no better than 18 g OA delivered on towels with the right OA: gly ratio. It's clear that there is a substantial margin of safety for OA between what is needed to kill mites (very little), and the amount that will cause adverse effects to the colony. What appears to be most important is how quickly the OA is delivered to the bees' bodies (via the "wetting" of the bees by the glycerin). And that appears to be a function of the ratio of OA to glycerin. As Philbee said, the key balance to reach is enough delivery of OA over time, but not too much. With the Argentine 1:2 ratio (1 g of OA to 2 mL of glycerin), the acid appears to get distributed too quickly, causing jittery bees and sometimes brood kill. This does not appear to be a problem with the 1:1 ratio. Since I've found that 18 g of OA/hive results in very high efficacy in my climate, I see no need to apply a greater quantity. The thing to keep in mind is that some OA will remain in the cellulose substrate (the staple, strip, or towel), so that amount does not count towards the 18 distributed grams.
  19. 15 points
    On your marks, get set.... Flow
  20. 15 points
    Well , we are truly stoked . The powers that be in the NZ bee industry had no interest in the Million Dollar Nose, but Sarah Hights documentary about Georgie the AFB detector dog has been nominated as Best new comer at the 2018 Jackson Hole science media awards , to be held at the end of September in Boston , USA. I don't think Georgie will be going .... but if anyone would like to help Sarah get there .... let us know. It will be a great plug for NZ 's drug free honey and a little countrys' ability to think laterally when confronted with seemingly insurmountable problems.
  21. 15 points
    It is different in taste, but rarely I get pure lime. It always come with blackberries, tree of heaven, honeydew - in various ratios. It is to me nice, I like it that mixed way. Pure lime is also nice honey. In fact if I have to choose between the rain or drought, I choose this rain. The world cup.. I don't feel such euphoria, while the country is pure mess..and most of us struggle to survive ( around 300 000 people runaway form country in 3 years and still go at same pace..). I am also teared should we stay or should we go.. I keep pushing myself to don't give up and try to stay even I got some ways to go abroad.. Don't want talk about grim things more, here are couple random pics from this year..
  22. 15 points
    Found this post on Beesource, written by user Grozzie2, a Canadian beekeeper. It is stuff that every beekeeper needs to have a good understanding of, and is a very well written piece. So with Grozzie's permision I have copied it here. Just be aware that their summer is our winter. So add 6 months on to any months or time he mentions. Also, their season and drone raising timetable can be a little different to ours, but the principles are the same. The original post is at http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?347723-Anatomy-of-a-mite-crash QUOTE - "Anatomy of a mite crashTo understand the anatomy of a mite crash (often mistaken for a late season abscond by inexperienced new beekeepers), it's important to first understand the biology of the honeybee, as well as the biology of the varroa mite, and more importantly, get an understanding of how the two life cycles interact.I have read extensively on the biology of both the honeybee, and the varroa mite. For this summary, I will forgo the tedious process of finding and quoting all of the references, but summarize what is now my understanding of how the two life cycles interact, along with some basic arithmetic to show the interaction. Over the years I have always equated the progression of a bee colony to the brood cycle of the bees, and just assumed the progression of the mite population would follow the same cycle since the mites are raised in the bee brood. This is a huge mistake.As beekeepers, we should all understand the life cycle of a honeybee during the summer season already. An egg is laid, it emerges as a larvae 3.5 days later. A worker is capped 6 days later (day 9) and emerges as an adult bee 11 days later (day 20). The drone is different, capped on day 10 to emerge on day 24, spending 3 more days under cappings than the worker. Most of us think of a 'brood cycle' in terms of 3 weeks because it is a timeframe that is easily remembered, easily transferred to a calendar, and closely approximates the progression from egg to adult bee of a worker bee, the vast majority of the population in a colony of honeybees.The varroa mite has a completely different life cycle. A fertile female varroa mite has an average lifespan of 27 days during the summer season. The female varroa mite will enter a cell shortly before it's capped to do her reproductive magic in that cell while it is capped. For a worker cell the capped phase is 11 days, and during that time the female will produce one male offspring and averages something like 1.5 female offspring. Since it's not possible to produce half an offspring, for this discussion we will assume the lower bound, and it's one viable offspring. The end result then becomes this. The female varroa goes into the cell, to emerge 11 days later along with one viable offspring. The average length of the phoretic phase is 4.5 days according to much reading on the subject, at which time we will have two viable mites entering cells to reproduce. Both of these mites will produce one viable offspring, but the original foundress mite will be reaching end of life, so at the conclusion of this mite brooding round we will have 3 viable mites in the colony as offspring derived from the original foundress mite. Accounting for 4.5 days of phoretic behaviour before these 3 enter cells, we are now 31 days from the start of the cycle, and have 3 viable mites in the hive. So the simplified way of looking at this, the mite population will triple in 31 days, about once a month, during a period when the mites are propogating in worker cells.Things change when drone brood is present. The drone brood is preferred by the mites because of the longer capped period. After 4 days of phoretic behaviour a foundress mite will enter a drone cell that will be capped for 14 days instead of 11. Literature suggests that the average success rate for offspring in drone brood is 2.5, so again, simplify the numbers and conservatively call this 2 viable daughters for a mite that propogates in a drone cell. After the capped period, we have 3 viable mites emerging, which spend 4.5 days phoretic then enter drone brood which is capped for 14 days. When the 14 days are up, we have 9 mites in those cells, one of which is the original foundress and dies from age, leaving 8 viable mites. This process took 36 days to grow from 1 to 8. An increase by a factor of 8 over 36 days equates to doubling the population of mites every 12 days, for easy comparison, lets call that 2 weeks.So, in a vastly simplified and somewhat conservative set of estimates, we can say the mite population will triple in a month where only worker brood is present, and it will double every two weeks when drone brood is present. Keep in mind, I have ignored the 'half' part of the averages, so this is an extremely conservative description of mite population growth thru the season.Now we look at a honeybee colony that has a stable population after building up. The queen is laying 1500 eggs a day, so there are 1500 bees emerging each day, and another 1500 dieing off. If you do the math on population size, there will be roughly 30,000 house bees, and an equal number of foragers, this is your proverbial 'booming' hive with about 60,000 bees in total, managing on the order of another 30,000 brood cells in various stages from egg to emerging bee. On July 15 we do a mite wash and count 1%. We washed house bees, and, will make another conservative assumption. Mites prefer house bees, so all the mites are on the house bees, foragers are clean. 1% on 30,000 bees is 300 mites (it would be 600 if we include foragers in our population estimate). Keep in mind, this is just the phoretic population, for every phoretic mite, there are 3 more under cappings, so, the actual mite population is 300 phoretic and 900 under cappings, for a total of 1200 mites. There is drone brood present till Aug 1, so for another 2 weeks. Two weeks later on Aug 1 the total mite population is 2400 mites, but we have reached the point where new drone brood is no longer present, so the population of mites will no longer double in two weeks, it triples in a month. This brings us up to 7200 mites on Sept 1, and left unchecked, that mite population will grow to 21,000 mites by Oct 1.Now lets look back at our bee population. On July 15 we had a booming hive with 60,000 bees, but the laying rate of the queen is already starting to reduce and by mid September she is only laying 500 or so eggs a day. The bee population still looks huge as we still have roughly 40,000 bees in the colony, but, the dieoff rate of foragers from age now far exceeds the rate of replacement bees being raised. By early October we are down to 30,000 bees total in the colony as they reduce population going into winter. But we have long reached a crossover point by now, 30,000 bees and 20,000 mites, the infestation rate is more than 50%. We have the queen laying 500 eggs a day, so only 500 worker cells available for mites to go into, and we have a few thousand mites looking for a cell to enter. Every cell ready for capping has a mite, many of them more than one mite.The net result of all this, is very predictable. Timeframes vary by climate, but you can basically set your clock based on when the bees stop raising drones in your area. At this time, the queen rate of laying eggs is reducing, and the mite population triples over the next month, while the bee population decreases and the brood rate cuts in half. By the end of the second bee brood cycle without drone brood present, the mite population is large enough to infest every worker cell that is developing. This results in the perfect storm of bee deaths. We have a generation of foragers dieing off due to natural aging. At the same time, we have a generation of house bees that should be graduating to the forager role, but, many of them were compromised by mites during development, so they are not really healthy and many dieing off prematurely due to various mite related virus issues. At this same time, we have a generation of new bees emerging, all of whom are totally compromised and much of this population is to sick to be of use in the colony. The population is now dwindling so quickly that there aren't enough bees to incubate what brood is left in the hive, so the next generation (which should be your long lived winter bees) are dieing in the cells, chilled. The timing of this rapid decline will correspond with the 3rd brood cycle after they stop raising drone brood in the average case.A 1% infestation based on a wash or sugar roll in mid July left unchecked, is a dead hive in October or November, they just dont know it yet. Ofc, these numbers are based on averages, so, there will be outliers in both directions. Yes, there will be colonies that survive unchecked with this level of mites, and yes, there will be other colonies that dont make it this far into the cycle. But the averages suggest, you can set your clock starting at the time your bees stop raising drones. Count ahead 2 brood cycles, and the colony will look strong, lots of bees coming and going, nothing to worry about. But that's exactly the time the perfect storm of bee deaths due to mite infestation starts to accelerate and manifest itself in the form of a hive that crashes from 'looks strong, going to be a good cluster for the winter' into 'no bees left' just two or three weeks later. An autopsy of the colony will show virtually no bees left, brood frames with a fair amount of spotty capped brood, now dead, probably a few with heads sticking out as they tried to emerge but didn't succeed. For those who have never seen it happen before, these symptoms must add up to 'they absconded' because it doesn't seem realistic for that many bees to die off so quickly. Reality is, they died, and that many bees did die off that quickly".
  23. 15 points
    Little Buddha spam! Starting to get real smiles now, but still very serious! Me and Mum, mostly Mum are setting up for a market soon, Riley is supervising and like your typical foreman she’s asleep on the job. Mums been very productive making soaps and happy feet (slippers). I made a human though so I win.
  24. 14 points
    @Markypoo not my hives , the migrants , nice guys . The coast at the bar is eroding fast . Back to cliffs with coal seams. We found some fossil rocks in the sand a month or so ago . Big chunks of compressed layered leaves . Very heavy rocks , early angiosperms I think , 80 million yrs old .
  25. 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.
  26. 14 points
    Another day, another ton. Manuka too. ☺️ Well actually, gross laden weight a tad over a ton, but once extracted probably around 560 kg's of honey, so, 1/2 a ton.
  27. 14 points
    There’s no way in heck your gonna make these bees not make honey. They were pulling the stuff in today.... high on Philbee’s staples or somthing. At the end of the day bees make honey.... ‘an this trains bound for glory’
  28. 14 points
    So an update on first graft progress. It’s 22 days since my first graft of 66 cells were due to hatch. Went through them this morning and counted 54 mated and laying queens. By my rough calculation that’s over 80%. Very happy with that!! Weather over the last week has been warm 18 - 19 degrees (definitely not 20) with a couple of very windy days thrown in.
  29. 14 points
    We have been over in Norway visiting family but I also managed to nip over to England and visit two beekeeping friends. Saw all sorts of beehives including WBC and National. WBC hives are fairly impractical but they sure looked pretty. Honey prices for locally produced honey were roughly around $20 per kilo retail. My hobbyist friend had mostly black British type bees and while they weren't unworkable you definitely needed veil and gloves. The commercial beekeeper I spent two days with users Buckfast queens from Denmark and they were superb both in productivity and temperament with it being quite possible to take honey off without a veil. Best honey tasted on the trip was yellow sweet clover from the Salisbury Plains, different from anything I've ever tried before and absolutely delectable. Looks like of come back to a bit of a bunfight with all as talk of new levies.
  30. 14 points
    I suspect it will result in even more unregistered sites both small and larger @Chris B.
  31. 13 points
  32. 13 points
    Hi All, I have observed this discussion in full over many weeks and thought it might be a good time to add some of what I know and the views of a different packer/marketer. Manuka multifloral as per the MPI definition is a reasonable seller for us as a company. We also sell a large amount of Mono Manuka as well because we we sit at the premium end of the market in Europe and duty free. I am quite happy in this space because we have kept a large number of our bee keepers in business being happy to buy full packages and not pick the eyes our of stock or leaving them with a shed full of honey. Importantly the Honey is good quality and consumer demand is strong and has not been effected by adding the word "multiflora" to the pack. While there is much debate around the multi vs mono Manuka a lot of which is agenda driven (which is fine) I personally met with MPI Deputy Director General and head of Science last week in Wellington. The current definitions are here to stay and both were more than happy for me to let the industry know this once again. Despite some of the scare mongering, they reported that there has been absolutely no indication at govt to govt level that any overseas regulator does not accept the definition or will deny access in the future. Some have called me out in the past for supporting the multi definition but we are quite happy to say that a number of bee keepers who would otherwise be in a fair bit of trouble have manged through these tough times with our ability to shift their honey. We clearly label the product as per the regulations and we have not seen any push back from retailers or consumers. There is a consumer demand for this type of honey as not everyone wants to pay $100 ++ for a single jar. It also pains me to see some preach a monofloral only approach as it supports their brand stories while still packing multi flora Manuka for private label clients and tendering for new work in this space with Supermarket. As an industry we should accept the MPI definition, work with it and show a united front to the rest of the world. Market our own products and brands on their merits and not run down the direction that competing brands choose to take because that ends up effecting the entire industry. My overall observation of the industry without any agenda other than to sell plenty of ALL NZ HONEY is that consumer demand is there across all grades but a correction in price is here to stay for the immediate future. NZ clover was once very prevalent in a number of markets but priced itself out as we all know. We have recently obtained a new listing into 900 supermarkets overseas for 2 x clover honey products. The price we we have to pay bee keepers is pretty lean but current suppliers have been pretty understanding and see the bigger picture and happy to play the longer game while we do our best to put NZ clover back on the map. We are realistic and don't want only 0-9m clover when we are buying. It is not my intention to get into any endless debate on this page but I will be at conference next week if anyone wants to have a chat. If you want to sign up to our database you can do so by emailing procurement@egmonthoney.co.nz (if this is not allowed under Forum rules, my apologies) Hope this info is useful to some. James Annabell Egmont honey.
  33. 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.
  34. 13 points
    Ha ha ..... I thought that last season too ...... big time , small time ...... seems we all got tooo much honey and are storing it ! I paid my debts at a West Coast drinking establishment last night. It's amazing how the costs rack up when you take a crew of Beekeepers away on a roadie for a few days ..... food, beer, accommadation ..... more beer ...... more food ...... more accommadation.... It goes on, and pretty scary when you're trying to run a high octane business on the smell of an oily rag. Our host agreed to take honey in lieu of our habit as he has busloads of Chinamen passing through every day for Sweet'n' sour and was grumbling at the price of the honey he has to put in the recipe. So I parked the truck on the street and started unloading buckets of honey ...... primo Dew of course. "A man of your word James ... said the publican ... with a big grin on his face. "To be honest, I never expected to see you again". The two old ladies drinking gin on the outside bench gasped in amazement ..... they did'nt realise you can get honey in anything other than a 250gm jar. So sixty kilos of Dew sorted the tab. And then the publican wanted to pay me . I enjoy trading more than selling . " Beers good thanks !"
  35. 13 points
    I have seen all this before. The collapse took three years longer than I thought to arrive but it is here . All those jealous of high manuka prices need not worry too much as the crop for a lot of the country is zero so a lot of those guys will be hurting more than clover produces and have way higher costs and commitments. The next thing you will see is everybody trying to sell their honey on the local market. That won't increase honey sales, it will just mean that existing honey packers sell less and supermarkets use the competition to screw everybody down meaning that those packers that are still buying honey will be forced to pay less and buy less. Prices going up and coming down is nothing new and has happened many times. Perhaps the only thing that is new in all this is that the price of honey for the last few years has been way higher than it has ever been. In the past I have seen hives offered for free. I have seen hives left to die. I have seen things come right. What I haven't seen is just the sheer number of hives involved and what appears to be a deliberate attempt by certain parties to collapse the price of honey below the cost of production. The only rational reason I can see for this is to try and remove a large percentage of New Zealand's beekeepers for corporate interests. Panicking and fighting over limited markets is not going to help anybody. There are only so many things you can do at a time like this but one simple thing is to keep some honey back for feeding the hives in the spring and to leave plenty of honey on this autumn rather than feeding sugar. It's going to be a bit of a bumpy ride but I suspect some of the rats will soon start swimming from the sinking ship leaving those of us who can to man the pumps and in the long run the ship will be a lot nicer without their droppings everywhere.
  36. 13 points
    I had'nt finished .... but Grant cut me off on my edit. To all you beekeepers out there on the forum, and apparently there are over 6000 silent watchers because there are only about 20 or so who seem to commit to cyber space and poke fun at life ... in all seriousnes, don't sell your honey too cheap. It is a valued product that is not just food to be flicked off because you need room in the shed. It is more than food. It's a life giving sweetener that is full of pollen and life giving anti microbials that enables the heart machine to keep on ticking whilst under extreme duress. It is the David in the Goliath battle of life.
  37. 13 points
    It's interesting opening a honey shop 10k's up the end of a gravel road ..... people come to visit. OMG ...... customers ! We had a family show up today un announced ..... they had brought their two wee little nieces up to see where honey was made and could they get some comb honey ? Well, as a matter of fact yes ..... I had some comb honey in the shop and everyone was happy and fascinated !
  38. 13 points
    Hmmm ..... not sure why this has created such a stir .? Many commercials run single brood box hives because they are quicker to work. When staff are employed they can get lazy and the bottom box is never gone into. We went to singles with the advent of varroa as it halved our bill for the synthetic treatments. So these days we run everything as a double over the winter as that gives the bees lotsa space to store food - honey and pollen. By the time we get to this time of year the queen has been pushed down into the singlebrood box. Any spare brood is left above the queen excluder to hatch out, after which the bees will fill the combs with honey. The advantage of singles is that when running many hives with not many labour units, disease checking is very fast ..... you don't have to go into the bottom box. We generally put three honey boxes on for the season. Sometimes four if things are looking exceptional. When flying in we ran everything as a single brood box with three honey boxes. Four hives to a pallet. Generally three boxes was enough on the Manuka. Anymore and they were too heavy four the Hughes 500 to lift out and we'd have to fly in, pull honey boxes off full of bees ,no disease check, number boxes to tie in with brood boxes , stack them on another pallet, strap and fly. then restack them on their original hive when on the load out. Too much honey was time consuming and expensive ! Flying in is only economical on top quality manuka. On the 5 plus stuff at $18/kg I would suggest it is marginal ..... unless you own the machine ! I see the O/A staples as the way of the future. They are cheap, effective and leave little or no residue in the honey and wax. The tape is biodegradable and you don't have the issue of "what do we do with 10,000 plastic strips at the end of the season." And it should give us an edge in a competitive world market to be able to say with hand on heart "Chemical Free". Signed, JC
  39. 13 points
    We saw a few nice frames today and I thought we may give @Alastair a run for his money but he's still got the best one. The last two photo's are both sides of the same frame. The last photo has the tell-tale impression of an oxalic/gly staple.
  40. 13 points
    I always enjoy receiving the BeeKeeper Magazine. As part of our belt tightening measures we trimmed down on subscriptions so it's good to see what's happening in the wider community at least once a year ! I took the time to sit down and read the Commodity Levy Proposal. I'm sorry if I sound like a stuck record, but ...... As an industry I don't see that we have a problem with producing honey. Any beekeeper in business these days has generally mastered to art of the trade and can make honey. We have private enterprise funding research and development because they got so frustrated with the inaction of the Gvt agencies ..... read into that Phil's staple and O/A work, AFB control with Dog technology, track and trace systems with RFID and Barcode systems to name just a few. As an industry we know how to make honey - quality honey that can be traced to source and scientifically proven to be what we say it is. Within the levy piechart I see 3% is allocated to market access. What ever that might be and 40% to science and research, which focuses on bee health, colony loss survey, pesticides .... these are things we as Bee Keepers have mastered. When we get pesticide damage we curse and swear, shrug our shoulders and remake the hives. It's a pain in the butt, but we doit. When we loose hives to varroa we breathe a quiet prayer of thanks to the likes of Phil for having the inquisitive mind and generosity of spirit to share his findings with us for next to nothing ..... If we as a business are going to be paying out in the region of 6 - 10 grand into a levy pool I don't need some one to tell me how to keep my bees. I need someone out there selling the darn stuff, and I'd probably be better off using the 6 - 10 grand myself for building a marketing network. But that does'nt garner and favour the common good and well being of the industry. We need happy and smiling beekeepers, and do that we need to be producing a product that we can sell. Correct me if I am wrong, butI don't see an allowance in the pie chart for that.
  41. 13 points
    I'm trying to work on a submission but am finding myself getting more than a little frustrated with the reasoning provided in the proposed plan for the increased funding. A couple of examples: 1) Quote: “The AFB NPMP is due for review in 2023. The expected one-off cost of completing a thorough review is $250,000. “ From the evidence supplied with the proposed levy changes it is clear that the current plan is not working how it was intended, both from disease elimination and management/implementation perspectives. Surely the best course of action is therefore to fast-track the review of the AFB NPMP and, on completion of the review, decide what resources (levies) need to be in place to carry a new plan forward. 2: A quote from the plans FAQs: Why is more funding required to support overseas market access? “Overseas markets are now requiring proof that honey bee products are sourced from apiaries that comply with AFB Pest Management Plan rules”... If overseas markets are requiring this proof then surely it needs to be supplied by the beekeeper/company exporting the product to ensure this happens? If overseas markets require these standards to be met then this provides an ideal opportunity for the AFB management agency to piggyback on the results of compulsory testing by producers and exporters and identify potential problem beekeepers/areas this way. If anything, it provides a very real opportunity for the Agency to save money rather than spend nearly $1,500,000 more on manual surveillance by AP2s and random honey sample testing. 3: From the FAQ: Why isn't a hive levy proposed? "However, the Management Agency’s operating costs rise in proportion to the number of beekeepers and apiaries registered, not the number of hives registered – so the levy that funds this should reflect the same format." This is a circular argument as the levies are collected based on the number of beekeepers and apiaries registered, not hive numbers. If the current system used hive numbers rather than apiaries the exact same argument could be used to stay with using hive numbers rather than switching to apiaries... "For example, if we see a significant rise in non-commercial beekeepers each with only a few hives, a small hive levy won’t cover the cost of registering those beekeepers and their apiaries. This means that larger commercials paying higher levies are subsidising these beekeepers, and reduced funding is available for disease management." I am interested in the maths on this one. Say for example we have a hive-based levy of $1 per hive. The total income from 1 commercial beekeeper with an apiary of 50 hives would be $70 ($20 beekeeper levy plus $50 from the hives). If those 50 hives were spread amongst 10 different hobby beekeepers the total income would be $250... I understand the cost of registering 10 beekeepers and apiaries will be a little more than just 1 (data-input time etc) but is that difference really this big? I would strongly support a shift to a hive-based levy system. I run small apiaries because I firmly believe it is better for the health of my bees. For example, on a farm capable of sustaining 50 beehives, I would rather spread those 50 hives around the farm in apiaries of 8-10 hives than plonk all 50 in one apiary. I believe this is a much healthier model for the hives. Less competition in a small space, less time to fly to available forage etc. An apiary-based levy system penalises me for this. I am currently okay with absorbing that but at $50 per apiary this would get quite expensive.
  42. 12 points
    The best pigs are always found on the neighbours place .... right. Contrary to many thoughts, ..... this little Whare did'nt cost a lot to build. I borrowed a book off my neighbour on log cabin building. If you got no land .... then you got find a piece of dirt, then you if you got no trees , you gotta find a truck load of trees .... trees are cheap right now .... all you need after that is a chainsaw and 40 litres of gas.... and the skill of a Bee Keeper with three months down time. Nothing to it !! Oh yeah, the thing I forgot, and this is the main thing guys ..... you need a woman that don't mind living in a log pile house..
  43. 12 points
    Slave labour... making my first 4 layer staples.
  44. 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
  45. 12 points
    The levy debate is very much like Brexit vote in Uk. Be careful what you wish for before voting Yes. What you are really voting for is ApiNZ existence. I don't have a crystal ball to call who will be right or wrong in this debate, but there are some simple facts that can not be denied. Research still appears the only reason people are wanting to back this plan and less than half the money is going in that direction. Knowingly giving a 50% discount is never a good business plan. Research is generational. Every dollar being invested in this proposal if successful will only deliver results to select groups 5,10,15,20 years from now. Passing on something worthwhile to the next generation is a responsibility we all have, but don't vote yes if your only goal is for someone to save your business in next 5 years. Saving your business in next two years might happen from some other event already in play, but not from this ApiNZ levy. The initial research funding for Dr Molan was provided by individual Beekeepers and private funding and took over 10 years before anything concrete came through. Yes the media push from Bill Floyd was funded by NBA marketing levy, but the real Manuka boost in mid 2000 was massive corporate investment and then three poor seasons in a row creating huge supply problems. The harsh reality is any results created from ApiNZ research will only be useful if commercialised by wealthy corporates or coordinated small group of individuals. The rest of the "industry" might benefit as a result from the trickle effect, but ApiNZ will never deliver a golden ticket to every beekeeper individually. Domocracy is a loose concept in business and make no mistake, ApiNZ is a business. The actual influence of the average beekeeper levy payer in how money will be spent will be about the same as the average dairy farmer with Fonterra. Pretty much zilch. Yes we can vote on board members and then ring them every night, but actual control or influence, no. Regardless what happens in this vote, current conditions in our industry will dictate some tough changes over next few years, and in every other industry that has gone boom/bust/boom successfully, the outcome has been a massive consolidation and power shift to larger companies. Putting all your eggs into the ApiNZ basket needs to be done with eyes wide open. I actually think there is room for multiple groups providing beekeeping services on a more personal basis, and an independant research trust set up for a research levy identical to the existing honey industry trust. Voting yes now will prevent Beekeepers taking control of this process. The best thing about living in NZ is we have a democratic system that allows divided debate without being locked up and stoned. Happy honey gathering.
  46. 12 points
    Thanks Ali, like everyone I got the odd nasty hive, but not at that site. Doesn't show in the pics but there was a lot of bee activity in a small area, so I just opened the one hive that I know is a very gentle one. Went through the whole thing looking for the queen to show them but missed her. But anyhow they got to see how the brood nest works, with eggs, larvae, a bee hatching, pollen in the comb. I tried to show them how the bees run their house, and let them hold bees, it was all super interesting to the kids. For the kids there was that hint of danger to get their attention, but they followed instructions absolutely, and it all worked out, they loved it. And a fun day for their poppa, I will admit ?.
  47. 12 points
    Thanks for the compliment. I'm male and my moniker is my name. Why hide if you believe in what you say. Ill skip the previous 100 years that formulated a lot of my views, but three years ago we had industry unification in the palm of our hands. I was a supporter, but Unfortunately a small group of individuals pushed through a hasty agenda that was arrogant and completely disregarded a precious and hard fought history. We requested an extra year to work through all the issues and build the best from NBA history, with a modern future. The actual became smaller family run business were dumped on, branch social networks disbanded, NBA history was ignored, and we were told ApiNZ was the only group like it or lump it. Instead of getting an 80% to 90% vote in support of change, ApiNZ had already created enough disconnect to scrap through just over 50%. Personally this was a sad day as an opportunity was lost. Now this same group is asking for $2 million dollars for activities that have not been discussed enough to truly make a decision of this magnitude. Personally if all this was put on the back burner for 12 months to set up structures that took the best from the NBA, family business interests, and yes, larger operators we would have a different situation. Use transparent and truly contestible trusts to hold research money, and put "industry good/administration" money in a trust contestible but all industry groups. So many people have requested ApiNZ to connect to grass roots beekeeping. How long would it take. Probably not long.
  48. 12 points
    12 weeks and a bit. The time has gone so fast!
  49. 12 points
    Growing like a weed Hanging out with her grandies tonight while her daddy’s in Rotovegas
  50. 12 points
    Dubba do time Meet the Flintstones.. This cutter is doing 30 triple laminates ever 23seconds Each of the 3 rolls feeding the machine is a 150m roll of triple laminate https://youtu.be/FiOHNzMkc-A
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