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Showing content with the highest reputation on 01/25/20 in all areas

  1. 5 points
    Many of you are in fact correct of course. My comments were however, for Maurice Field, who describes his experience level as Beginner Beekeeper. As a long time Hawkes Bay Beekeeper, who has apiaries in Eskdale and numerous other parts of the Bay, at no point would I recommend removing honey now and not testing for Tutin. It is simply too prevalent here. This honey may in fact have been removed prior to 31 Dec. He may intend to use it only for personal consumption, he may not intend to barter or sell it. Or, he may intend to do all those things. Incidentally, the 31 Dec cutoff date is arbitrary at best, as most sites had Scolopa nymphs by the last week of November this season.
  2. 2 points
    The beekeeper has to decide what the best requeening regime is suitable for their type of operation, climate etc. And of course everyone for multiple reasons has a different opinion. I am in a mid Canty cropping area and when the crops are harvested, it is like a light switch turning off. I like to remove honey 5-10 Feb. Thereafter strips in ASAP for six weeks. Then requeen. I use a combo of laying queens, protected queen cells and top splits. I find the protected cells do best with good pollen sources and late nectar sources (which for me by now are sporadic but stored in the brood box). This regime works well for me. Lets me assess queens and patch up any issues while there are still brood and young bees in the hive. I do a varroa assessment the second week of May. I am not migratory, my sites are permanent, and I have a fairly good idea who the surrounding beekeepers are and when they treat. With this plan, my aim is to go into the main flow, the following season, with the queen exposed to only one miticide treatment i.e. the spring treatment. I have had chance to assess the queen since autumn, and I believe this along with only one miticide treatment lessens the chance of the queen konking out prior to the main flow. Some commercial beekeepers don't have a great success rate with protected queen cells getting back mated, and I wonder if this is to do with lack of natural pollen sources. And also the fact that post varroa we requeen more frequently and it maybe that the old queens pheromones are potentially not so depleted. I don't profess to know everything about queen rearing, I think you would have to be as old a Methuselah to fit this criteria, but I have always surrounded myself with reputable beekeepers that are also good business people. You can learn a helluva lot from older experienced beekeepers; some who may have given up bees but still are interested in the industry and conversant with all sorts of theories and who have great contacts.
  3. 2 points
    Now beeks are thinking that when they dont get manuka honey.
  4. 2 points
    2420-600=1820, 1820 divided by 300 =6.06, 6.06 + 10.5(if this is your npa number) = 16.5. It is just a guide and not accurate, there are other equations so dot take it as gospel.
  5. 2 points
    I can only speak for myself and we have two areas that have only returned MPI standard non Manuka honey for the past two seasons if it’s non Manuka again this season after a very good flowering then we will pull out of those areas. no point in having hives in areas that don’t produce at least a multi.
  6. 2 points
    For us in our area Autumn queens are generally well mated because the weather is more settled and she can go on mating flights multiple times whereas spring being more fickle she may only get out once. As @BSB said the demand for queens is high in spring but those beekeepers have been told the quality may not be as good as the Autumn queens. I think it’s just a mindset and also a time management issue with late spring, early autumn being a busy time with honey harvest etc. Most beekeepers Seem to be doing spring splits and putting new queens in and hope they get up to speed before the flow but to my mind if you requeenin in autumn queens are easier to source, probably better mated and autumn splits will be rearing to go into the early manuka no problem.
  7. 2 points
    I generally only use breeders that have been super productive for two years. When I retire I may go back through the books and work out statistically whether new Queen's are more productive and swarm less than two-year-old queens. I know this is the common consensus but it is not what I see in practice especially since varoa.
  8. 1 point
    So everyone knows that things are a bit 'interesting' in the industry at the moment. There are also some things going on with respect to queens and queen breeding too. A number of beekeepers are all of a sudden 'queen breeders' also. I personally find this a little insulting. We eschewed the honey money and developed our breeding program over the past 12 years. Anyone can produce a few cells, maybe even a few queens but delivering high quality queens consistently to order is a bit more challenging than that! I now hear that some of the new breeders (honey producers until a year ago) are buying from others, marking up and on selling the queens while still claiming to be breeders....yeah that's not how it works. A bit or schmoozing and marketing doesnt make you a queen breeder...and I dont believe that the supplying operation will be as careful with the product when their name isnt on the product. The queen is your hive motor....without a good one you are just wasting money no matter how cheap it is... find a reputable breeder who has a track record and is hands on and spend your money is my advice. Or breed your own and uss a breeder for extra support/diversity supply or to patch up in poor mating seasons.
  9. 1 point
    I think most people strongly recommend following the Tutin standard, even for personal consumption it is there to help save people from themselves. Some of the details are a bit on the very very safe side and open to debate, but it is what we've got. It is a neurotoxin that does irreparable damage to the brain, some might say that death would be preferable... From what I have seen so far, there is next to zero chance of it in boundaries of any major city, but in the countryside it is pretty real. I imagine that braided rivers and waterways around Hawkes Bay are an issue, milkandhoney seems pretty convinced.
  10. 1 point
    What is non active manuka? Now you need to be looking at is it going to be mono or not, or do I have access to a blending tank or someone who does for multi manuka so i can blend it, there are beeks now looking for some stuff to blend to what they have got because theirs dosent meet the markers but with a bit of this and a bit of that they can make it fit. So yes there would still be a bit of interest in multi-manuka sites. But not me. Beeks need to start talking to one another and compare what they have got and see if they can blend their honey together to make a sellable product, which is what the packers are doing, but how the profit share goes is another can-o-worms, and I haven't come up with a system yet.
  11. 1 point
    You do not have to test for tutin if you do not intend to sell your honey. Now if you are going to barter your honey for other services then that is technically still selling your honey. If you are going to give it away to neighbors then be careful. If you intend to consume you own honey then no need to test.
  12. 1 point
    absolutely. its simply down to price. if its high enough they will travel. what will bite is competition. i expect good locations will be in very hot demand, which pushes up site fees until it hits a point of not being worth it. non-active manuka will be worth far more than active non-manuka.
  13. 1 point
    And probably even worse overstocking than there is already I would say yes
  14. 1 point
    northland is in much the same situation. paid manuka sites are testing as non-manuka. i think there will be more. there will be those that stay put and survive on what they get locally. but there is now more push to travel to profitable locations. the other downside is there will be more bee truck crashes. theres been a few hit the headlines (with one death) and typically there is tons that you do not hear about.
  15. 1 point
    I don't know, but it is always interesting to have conversation. For me the late nectar sources are not prolific, just enough for them to pack the brood box for winter stores. Don't have a problem with late pollen, cos I am fussy about sites, like them near river beds.
  16. 1 point
    Do you mean the formula to predict how your manuka honey will grow and change into the future?
  17. 1 point
    Listened to a now semi-retired longterm commercial beek speak who suggested requeening in autumn - reason was that should get excellent matings, and once mated, over the winter the queen has the time to totally mature during a period of lower laying rates, and hit the spring running as a fully matured egg machine. Just one perspective, but rang true to me.
  18. 1 point
    Swarming is really a seasonally affected issue. This spring my brother and I had hardly any swarms. His Queens mostly 2 year, mine 1 year. I usually endeavor to requeen yearly- not this year. Requeen poor cropping/low bee hives only. Bro in past also got expensive Queens, Not worth it. We select good Queens in spring, follow and weed. I now have a few left I like. At harvest of my brothers hives last season I noted a very nice candidate. This is all because it had a decent crop and I 'liked' it. I marked that hive. He found it again recently, and it's still the same. Better than the rest. That one is coming home. Nothing scientific, but drawing on a gut feel. And instinct. But really, who wants to harvest a big crop of 5$ honey....
  19. 1 point
    Most big commercials re queen every Autumn with 10 day cells (much cheaper than mated Queen) pay back is huge. Young robust queens heading their colonies in the spring means less swarming, less failures, easier management and bigger crops. Mated queens generally only used in spring for patch ups and replacing winter losses.
  20. 1 point
    this is what I was told by mentor. Both my mating sites are in relatively small narrow valleys 20km apart. I raise very few queens and never sell them. I don't raise enough to give a percentage, but I have come to expect that mating is a 'given' from those two sites. A couple of times I have put a cell into a full size colony on flat land; well, I wouldn't ever do that again.
  21. 1 point
    Good nutrition and hygiene will carry a Breeder a long way. Same applies to all livestock Breeding.
  22. 1 point
    I think that if you are producing a quality product, and your customers are happy, they come back and recommend you. If not, you have no customers. As for trading, I can't see a problem in that, the same applies. This will all shake itself out in the next few years.
  23. 1 point
    What rips my ration book is that now, as the beekeeper has to put their beek rego on any advert for sale of bees on Trademe, we have people with less than two years beekeeping experience mass producing 'queens' it is obvious as we all know where the numbers are relative to the year they registered and they have maybe even 10 hives. They are blissfully unaware a reputable breeder would usually have hundreds to pick a breeder queen from, after seeing how that queen and her daughters went in hives. Gullible people post on Backyard beekeeping looking for a queen have suppliers suggested, but those recommending suppliers have no real idea about the experience or AFB status of those they are suggesting, much less the type of characteristics the breeder thinks are great. I well remember one who believed that aggressive bees were a good sign in bees as they would produce more, but selling those types of bees to urban hobbyists was a recipe for disaster for not only the beek, but the neighbourhood that copped one of these queens, never mind that gently bees are just as productive.
  24. 1 point
    Here's my take, and i get this not only from my own hives but also that i get numerous requests from hobbyists with near dead hives to go fix them. If the issue is mites but the queen is still alive, the hive can be fixed. First i agree with many of Christi An's comments, but if a hive only has a few sick bees left and will be dead in 2 weeks, shaking them onto new empty combs will not save it because it will be dead before they can get a new cycle of brood through. However the method may be effective in less severe circumstances, and Christi An has found that in his own experience. Katrin you never did say how many bees produced the 40 mites, but by just about any commonly used method or number of bees, a mite count of 40 is very high, and I suspect your hive will be a lot closer to death than you realise. Once all brood is dead or close to it, and the adults are not going to live long, what can look to a beginner like a still well populated hive can go to no bees very quickly. Here is how to save pretty much any close to death (by varroa) hive. From another hive, find a comb of healthy brood that is very close to hatching and put it middle of the brood nest of the sick hive. This is because without that, the hive may be dead in less than 3 weeks. The hatching bees from the healthy comb will at least keep the hive alive long enough for some healthy brood to start emerging once mite treatment has been put in the hive. The brood comb put in must be close to hatching because the sick hive may not be able to care for brood that still has a couple of weeks before it hatches. It must start hatching immediately. If the hive is down to a few hundred bees, more adult bees must be added with the brood, enough to keep it warm. Jiggle the comb a bit so older bees that can fly will fly, the ones still hanging on are young bees that are less likely to kill the queen or rob the hive. In the sick hive put the brood comb with bees next to the comb with the queen, but have the queen on the other side of the comb she is on, from the new comb. This will make for a slower introduction and if all this is done right it is very rare to lose the queen. Me, I don't bother to remove the sick brood, but i do respect the idea of doing it. Bayvarol is my treatment of choice for these situations, a strip should be placed each side and middle of the healthy comb, and other strips placed as needed for whatever the bee population is. Do not place the strips at the end of the comb or outside of the brood. They must be middle of the brood. If it's robbing season reduce the entrance to very small and have the entrance nearest to the bees cluster where the guards are closest to it. Check the hive in 3 weeks. The broodnest might be much smaller, but should be healthy. Bees don't like varroa treatment strips and the small brood nest may have been moved away from the strips. If that has happened, move the strips to centre of the brood nest. Over the next few weeks the hive will start increasing in population and will start cleaning out dead brood and expanding the size of the broodnest. That's my method and i get pretty much 100% success regardless how bad the hive is, I've even brought back hives with a queen running around plus 20 or 30 scattered bees left alive. Only other thing I'd say is that the other hives likely have high varroa levels also, would pay to treat them all. Leave the strips in 10 weeks.
  25. 0 points
    It will be a like a continous loop in Dr Who if we restart the "it's not borage" thread again about Echium Honey.
  26. 0 points
    That show was purely the fault of USA..
  27. 0 points
    everywhere I’ve been has been white with Manuka and Kanuka flower. It seems it’s been a good flowering with good harvests for a lot of the country it could be a hard selling season with so much honey around.
  28. -1 points
    if you are a commercial beekeeper relying on non Manuka honey for your income the chances of being in business after this season are pretty slim IMHO
  29. -1 points
    BORAGE ..... soon as we do e hay carting we’ll go look for more flowers. U gotta be joking Big hands
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