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Showing content with the highest reputation on 03/21/19 in all areas

  1. 7 points
    @Alistair I assume Adam is talking of the Honey Co-op formerly based around Timaru, that owned the Hollands, Sweet Meadow and other brands. The key person of which, and many suppliers switched to Midlands when the Co-op finally fell apart. I had some involvement with the Co-op post demise and while I can't discuss details, let's just say it was far from the ideals of a co-op as postulated by some on this site recently, or a well run company despite the best efforts of some. Without quoting those before in this thread, I'll answer them generally by saying that I largely agree with Adam. A co-op seems to be desired by those who feel disenfranchised by the current system. In reality a co-op seeks to replicate and add to the existing brands, but doesn't create additional value to justify the required commitment of financial resources. If it gets off the ground, all it will achieve in the marketplace is to add additional brands, and competition, to the existing market. How will it find it's place in the market? Generally by starting near the bottom(!), causing more competition, and more choice for the supermarkets to play off against each other, thereby lowering prices for all. Also note, given the "constant bickering" and disagreement of current and historical beekeeping in NZ, how do you expect a group of beekeepers to agree on enough, and put enough money into it, then there's the issue of appropriate skills and resourcing. Who's going to put the time and commitment into all aspects of this? This will take millions of $ and tens of thousands of hours to do even a basic operation with a reasonable modicum of success. Part of the reason the Honey Co-op fell apart was because they were a group of many beeks many (possibly all) of whom were looking out for their own interests first. I heard more than one say they would supply part of their crop/what they had to to the Co-op, but would sell to other commercial buyers for higher prices. Also, skills: while the suppliers/owners are experts at producing drummed honey, they don't necessarily have the skill set and additional time and resources to create and run a successful manufacturing operation and the marketing and sales side of the business. This can't be done part time while you're looking after your bees in the back blocks... Who has the millions of $ to fund this, not just the initial funds, especially coming after the past several years of financial difficulty. The beeks involved will need at least several years of accepting lower returns investing into this. Apart from the Canadian example written earlier in the thread, do co-ops have a good track record? Not in this country, look at Fonterra's track record of destroying farmer wealth for example, and compare that to the privately owned dairy companies. While a co-op is great left wing ideology, history shows it is a great way to create negative equity and below average returns. Private ownership and professional organisations have a much better record of creating wealth. Compare the results of the Honey Co-op, which had a historical and first-starter's advantage over Midland Honey. If disenfranchised beeks want skin in the game, and to own part of a larger enterprise, you'll probably do better financially by buying shares in some other company e.g. Midlands or Manuka Health if you could, otherwise Comvita or Capilano, otherwise other investments Sorry to burst the dream, but while the best side of it is wonderful in theory, unless financed and resourced properly this could be another nightmare, that creates competition, and drags down prices, returns, standards and reputations.
  2. 2 points
    @dansar. By the time she hatches there will be no drones to mate with as the last of the migrants will leave soon. This queen has pretty much laid out most of two boxes so I do not think they are trying to supersede her , maybe to swarm . There was fresh nectar in the box . .that said she was moving slowly and strangely . I had a late mating last season and it was not very sucessfull. If they are really keen to supersede her they will make another which cell which I will leave .
  3. 2 points
  4. 2 points
    Yesterday I put staples in my hives. I reduced entrances And rearranged the honey , or lack of honey supers .. The hive with dead bees out the front did not have the usual chewed look on the honey frames . They may not have been all my bees , they may be the robbers too. The person I got the staples from told me how he did it and I did it the same way . This is quite a busy hive and the top and bottom boxes are full of brood . I found a queen cell which I squished . The bees were not that happy with the reduced entrances but they will thank me when the migrant hives supers are gone . I will report on how the hives look when I open them next. I think its really worth trying new treatments. Resistance is coming and the days will be full of losses. I am happy to be part of the testing .
  5. 2 points
    Guys .... this is the time of year for robbing. It happens every year. Lotsa bored bees, no nectar ..... the perfect storm. Give it a few weeks, bees die, populations shrink ..... end of problem .
  6. 2 points
    I would certainly not spray my frames with an insecticide. Legal or not, it does not sound like a good idea.
  7. 2 points
    In my experience the most reliable people to sell to are Family-owned producer\ packers . All the rest have a tendency to disappear like bees in a Canterbury Norwester as soon as times get a bit tough.
  8. 2 points
    Have you guys considered making your own vinegar. Next time you extract honey soak your capping's in a clean bucket with clean water and put a clean tea towel over it and leave it in a warm place for 3 or 4 weeks. It will initially ferment into Mead but will then slowly convert to honey vinegar. strain the wax out after 3 or 4 weeks and then if you like add some white sugar and apple juice now you have Honeygar its worth a fortune in the shops. If you leave it in a warm place it will get stronger and stronger or put it in a fridge to slow that processes down. Just after you add the sugar and apple juice its very very nice too good for bees.
  9. 2 points
    I’ve got the guys placing 2 staple widths in from the end bars on frames 2,4,6,8 or 3,5,7,9 one left side and next on right side. A leg in each seam but alternating sides. a nice even spread through the total area of the nest. We ran them in a line down the middle at the start but it cut our brood area in half. All season they have sat one staple width in from end bars now to prepare for possible clustering they are in 2 widths from end bars. We run wides.
  10. 2 points
    Cbank, many thanks for this summery about staples, awesome.
  11. 2 points
  12. 2 points
    The line of thinking is that the material that is carrying the OA/ glycerine needs to be positioned in the hive where the maximum amount of bee traffic will pass over it , as it is a contact treatment. I’d even go as far to say that if it’s somewhere offensive to the bees, they will remove it , providing excellent contact . With that in mind, the ideal spot would be down between the frames where bees are most active. The way I see it , is bees don’t travel over the tops of frames anywhere near enough, and especially not if there is a towel or something in the way.
  13. 1 point
  14. 1 point
    It does create a lot of jobs but many things are now done a lot better. Healthcare has a fairly dark past in regards to consent and privacy. I don’t think you can be too careful with data that isn’t yours. Everything used to be in a file somewhere, with physical access required to see it, pages going missing, or long waits for results. Now files can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. This makes things vastly quicker and mostly better, but makes breaches easier and more costly too. People are needed to manage the risks but I’d be pretty sure that more jobs have been lost as a result of the automation and better systems than jobs made. As a student I worked in one of the many radiology film libraries in Auckland. It had full time staff and a floor area that was hundreds of square metres. Staff were employed to sort films and deliver them, 10s of Kgs of film at a time. A library with vastly more data is now held by a series of machines that would fit in your cupboard and is accessible around the country near instantly. It is many orders of magnitude faster, it has images that are higher quality and it is backed up and it is excellent. We have come a very long way in a relatively short time. The system is far from perfect, but I’d prefer the healthcare and privacy available now than than that available in any past era. I think you got me started. Next edition will feature my ad blocker, pi-hole and VPN.
  15. 1 point
    Did some research if if you are an certified organic beekeeper you can use it https://www.asurequality.com/assets/Organic-Files/organics-standard-2015-FULL-V6-Feb16.pdf
  16. 1 point
    How come you destroyed the cell? Possibly in the process of supercedure. If you do that to late in the season you could end up with a queenless hive come spring. Just curious, not berating your decision.
  17. 1 point
    Certan, approved in many contries, is Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies aizawai, This one mentioned here is Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki which is the wrong one. This has been discussed a lot in the past and is not approved in NZ for wax moth. Look back to find the details.
  18. 1 point
  19. 1 point
    Oh ... I found this post after a brain faze on another ...... but anyway, repitition is the best form of learning. I been trying to sell honey today. It was'nt intentional. I was waiting for a fertilizer truck to show up and got bored of doing bee stuff, so sat on the verandah in the late summer warmth armed with a phone and a list of numbers. It would have been a more productive day spent with the crew up the paddock splitting wood. Sales are flat. I love that marketing spin ..... 'The market is slow, we are doing the ground work and things may get more positive in a few months ... we bought ten tonnes and that will do us for a while.' To be honest, I don't think anyone is out there trying to push our product. I am a realist. I know my strengths. It's chopping wood, cracking bee boxes , driving trucks and fixing stuff that breaks. I am happy to leave the clever stuff like 'Pushing the Barrow' and 'Presenting sales figure pie charts' to the clever people ..... But you know what ..... I am having serious second thoughts. The second thought is that these people are'nt too serious about selling honey ..... unless it's Manuka. Which is strange as generally people are motivated by money, and as everyone knows ,there is money in honey. Yeah right.
  20. 1 point
    If the proposition is that hives with staples in them or going into them and are be fed syrup leads to a greater level of robbing than normal, that is not something I've experienced.
  21. 1 point
    some results of breeding hives near shed. Using Gib Oxalic. Queens below excluder, I placed 4-5 Gibs in bottom. A few got 2-3 in 2nds. To see if adding those made any difference. 1st wash- 4 March- 3, 8, 14, 8. Today- 1, 4, 0, 4. Respectively. 3 hives now have 50% reduction - over a 17 day period. Hive with 14- It had a virgin at 4th March- not much brood. Noticed hundreds of mites dropped on board over first few days. Today, queen laying and brood just on capping (no capped brood) The worst hive now the cleanest. The brood break helped clean. Adding the extra in 2nds- didn't seem to make much difference.
  22. 1 point
    Yeah there is a big range of differences between queens. I had one that will lay underneath the staples, one that will not lay within a couple of cells. Both carni, italian and hybrid queens. I had one hive that stripped all the wax behind a couple of staple right down to the foundation. And it seems to have changed between spring and autumn treatments. Maybe with less pressure to produce workers, the queens are a lot more selective, standing out from the queens that do not care.
  23. 1 point
    I've noticed on some frames that the Q has not laid on the other side of the staple, but on most frames she has laid onto both sides of it. The mid-frame positioning or just off mid frame has worked well for me through-out the year so I'm going to stick with it.
  24. 1 point
    They can store it front or back usually over a cold winter when 4 on a pallet they’re hugging the centre for warmth Number 3 width wise now but been at number 2 since moving them from a line down the centre. Not sure if it really matters but it’s how we are running them.
  25. 1 point
    While I agree with the sentiment it sounds more like something my uncle Russell Berry or my father Ian would say rather than a quote from me. I've been to a lot of conferences and have occasionally talked about bees and beekeeping but don't remember giving a talk on marketing. I have certainly been through some hard times with beekeeping and have always tried to live by what the old beekeepers told me which was to not spend last year's money until you got this years. I have a friend in Alberta who supplies honey to the Co-op and if I had to live on what he is paid I wouldn't be very happy.Co-ops and communism both sound good on paper but aren't always fun to live under. We have just moved from an extended period of living in a seller's market to living in a buyers market and that is the fundamental change that people are going to have to get used to.
  26. 1 point
    The company organising these meetings has been seen to dramatically reduce staff in his retail outlet, so he is well aware of the dropping market, probably far more so than the new entrants to beekeeping and honey marketing.
  27. 1 point
    @ctm the thread is here and should be considered required reading for many reasons. I attempted to summarise it here, as it’s a little hard to follow when you are starting out and want something concise to follow (though the summary many soon need a summary). There are a couple of other great threads about it too - for example the one on legalities and relevant NZ legislation (linked to in summary).
  28. 1 point
    The oxalic/gly is transferred to the bees by contact - so that is all that is needed - the chewing etc is a bonus. I don't think mite drop is a good way to assess your pre-treatment levels and post treatment levels. The reason being if you didn't have many mites to begin with you wont get a big drop..... If the towels you used were between two boxes at least one of which had brood in it and both with good bee numbers the bees passing up and down should make contact with the towels. Ox/Gly undoubtedly works, it is more or less what I've used for two years now. IMO the treatment between the frames is much better.
  29. 1 point
    When I started on this system it was a matter finding the most invariable method My goal was efficacy. I quickly became aware of the brood damage issue but from my perspective which was from seeing hives die of pms for years I was just happy to have clean hives The brood damage was worth it in my view. Then once you have a system that works and start telling people about it, it becomes very difficult to change. However if you guys want to take some punts, and get good results, ill follow.
  30. 1 point
    It simple Adam. They come together with a common goal and that is to create value. They do this by forming a solid brand and extract a premium over the commodity price. Number one rule for success in consumer products is own the brand. Bee keepers are getting killed right now because they failed to own the brand, with the brand owner putting the cheapest honey they can find into their brand.
  31. 1 point
    I guess the thinking is that when they went in there were so many bees, rather than damaging brood, put them to one side ......the bees will still have contact with them ..... seems to work ......but I stand to be corrected , I am after all, no scientist !
  32. 1 point
    Sorry CHCHPaul, but I just had a quick look at your profile, your real phone number's on it - let's hope there's no single hackers out there looking for a date with you.
  33. 1 point
    I’m so surprised to see staples so far away from the brood nest. I would be super nervous to put them in like that. ours are in a row slap bang through the middle
  34. 1 point
    While the Honey boys are busy firewooding I been having a look around the traps. This is pretty standard. Staples been in a bit over a month.... bees are still buzzing. No complaints when you consider the treatement price in the region of two bucks!
  35. 1 point
    No flow except what they can steal at the moment, we putting staples in but nothing else, get through about three pallets then they start. so we just do the three and then go to next yard come back in couple of days to fin yard. Sugar feed round will be next week but I got top feeders and dont have to open hives to feed and while putting staples in gives us an Idea of what feed the hives need. Not seeing any mites so far.
  36. 1 point
    it could have been a virgin queen that wasnt able to get through the excluder to mate. We have it happen almost once every season Regarding no brood and the bees moving away from the treatments we dont see to much of that here so not sure its a big problem.
  37. 1 point
    A queen right hive with no brood for some reason sounds like a great time to treat for varroa.
  38. 1 point

    Version 1.2


    A Summary of the OA/GL Staples Thread.
  39. 1 point
    Actually it's a pretty good rule for household harmony not to do anything bee related in the kitchen or using any of the kitchen appliances. Honey is bad enough but wax is unbelievably easy to get onto everything and really hard to get off, not to mention inflammable. Charity shops are are far safer source of household appliances than kitchens.
  40. 1 point
  41. 1 point
    As far as I know this arose in a study on A. ceranae. Different groups of infected bees (control group/thymol/etc were fed a syrup containing thymol and were found to have lowered mortality, better longevity blah-blah. The study concluded that thymol in syrup had 'promise' for controlling A. ceranae. The usual caveats - thymol is a poison (chemically related to phenols and creosote), has short term residues that smell bad, a requires strict does control... Given those, thymol has been succesful at controlling (to an extent) varroa, nosema, and chalkbrood, and lessens the possibility of dysentery from 'off' feed-syrups. For the later, in my opinion, vinegar/acetic acid (if you must - cider vinegar!) does as good a job without the problems. It is of course possible to invert sugar using any of the organic acids, but that is a different subject. Incorrectly inverted sugar can kill bees. I am waiting for someone to convince me that inverted sucrose is better than the intact article, but it is possible. Oxalic has even more problems; personally not a route I would take until I'd exhausted everything else. Spraying or dribbling syrup with oxalic in it onto bees certainly drops varroa. It's done in the broodless period when the mites are exposed. That's also when it's cold, and covering bees in cold syrup isn't very friendly and they will demostrate that. The beekeepers that started this were already familiar with using perizin and knew when and how from that experience. The oxalic is taken up by ingestion, but also through the exoskeleton and dose control is therefore crucial, as is your personal safety. You need to understand weights and concentrations and read labels almost as well as a college chemist! I think several topics have become intertwined in this thread.
  42. 0 points
    So if you have an observation hive like this in your house and it has AFB... does your house have to be burned as well?
  43. 0 points
  44. 0 points
    Just like Mr Berry said, Keep one crop in the shed. Where you been Adam?
  45. 0 points
    Anyone know why my name changed colour? I used to be blue, but am now pink.
  46. 0 points
    Nah james not that shed, but it was that shed couple weeks ago we dropped some honey in after harvesting and we got back late so just dropped it, then next morning it was raining so we opened the window to let bees out, then we thought we'd be smart and shoot out to a area that wasn't raining but while we where gone the weather came out sunny as, when we got back... well man the bees could have flown away with the shed you couldn't see for bees just a dark cloud, there was nothing I could do till dark, amazing though they didn't upset any of the neighbors, phew. My son was so impressed he videoed it he seen nothing like it.
  47. 0 points
    Humanity. Humility. Something like that. Man you're getting a fan club. I'm going to beat my chest now and pour a whisky. That will be all.
  48. 0 points
    Thanks for posting this Abbot. That seems bizarre for a NZer to enquire about importing a jar of comb honey when we already have truckloads of honey here. SMH lost for words really. I was considering getting into selling comb honey myself. Maybe we also ought to import a few possums
  49. -2 points
    ROFLMAO ! just looking at my hands getting cut up. arms are just about falling off. i don't even want to look to see how much extraction i have to go. can't smell honey, it all looks the same now. back isn't as bad as it used to be.
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