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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/26/2020 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    It wasn’t always like that. Used to be much bigger with staff and all the hassles that go with that! Life is much simpler now and far more enjoyable!!
  2. 3 points
    @CraBee I keep threatening himself with a dash cam, however we love our farmers and have decided that I can do some tracks with my eyes closed, and the “ powers that be” don’t need pictorial evidence.
  3. 2 points
    This stuff is in blocks and could be bought by a hobbyist wanting to make their own foundation. Any risk is too much when it comes to things like European foul brood. Given the reputation of Chinese bee products that would be interesting to see how much paraffin is in this pure beeswax.
  4. 2 points
    Anyway, me and the Main Man were back on the tools today. Man love is a funny thing..... there is respect and decorum in Man Love , but the chatter out in the bee yard is one of things I treasure .... status is levelled as we talk and divulge how we and our families got through lockdown , and is possibly one of the drivers as to why we persevere when offered low prices for what our bees gather. But tonight honey prices and money are boring stuff. OMG ..... this time last year I was pulling my hair out at the dead and dying bees. What a difference twelve months makes. This year we used Apivar as our autumn treatment of choice. Last year we used O/A. We pulled strips from about 150 hives today. They were jammed with honey.... three boxes jammed, the queens were laying and the bees were in the top box . So we left one and took one, leaving the taker sat above the feeder to be taken when we felt the urge. It might well sit there til the spring. It was a funny old day, because as we sat in the low light with a cup of tea at smoko savouring the inner glow of happy bees, and that somehow, this year, we seemed to have got it right .... the phone rang. It was my old mate from up north. Old mate had given up his post on the barricades with his Taiaha and was looking for honey, not some of our insipid whitey honey ..... but the real southern dark stuff .... honey dew. Funny 'ole day Good 'ole day. 'Aint nothing like a bit of Man Love to put things in perspective.
  5. 2 points
    Hi @john berry We did come across a patent application for Varroa detection and laser removal when we first started researching, and a quick search just now reveals some research and a couple of organizations working on this concept: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/313808393_Basic_algorithms_for_bee_hive_monitoring_and_laser-based_mite_control Combplex V-Eliminator The bee drafter idea is an interesting idea. Without having thought about it too much I guess you would still have to pesticide treat with the above options as some mites would slip through, and the population would grow, but it maybe better than just leaving strips in almost constantly, as I believe is beginning to happen, just prevent reinfection from neighboring hives. Incidentally we started out using machine vision to detect and identify Varroa mites (on the bottom of the hive not on the bees themselves) as a way of doing a count, to indicate whether treatment was required, before pivoting to how to treat. We were able to successfully to identify Varroa at a reasonable accuracy, however the big issue is you are dealing with bees who may like to polish the camera lenses, or more likely cover them in propolis, etc. However we didn't go down the path of looking for lens coatings to mitigate the environmental issues before pivoting, and likely there are some solutions.
  6. 2 points
    You’ll have to ask him - but in my case focus on pollination and Manuka. I run a low cost business with no staff other than family for busy times. No flash vehicles and honey is contract extracted (don’t bother extracting any pasture/bush honey. Sugar use age is low.
  7. 1 point
    Hi @NatureAlley, Firstly just want to acknowledge your efforts, and that is some impressive engineering to get 0.3C variation. Am I right in assuming you used this product as the inspiration?: https://www.varroa-controller.com/ We also haven't come across many studies related to resistance to high temperature. Have you read these papers? Heat shock proteins in Varroa destructor exposed to heat stress and in-hive acaricides (we have reviewed the full text, and yes HSP70 response increases with elevated temperatures, they don't really conclude much except more studies need to be done, and that seasonal temperature fluctuations should be considered to maximize the effect of acaricides and minimize costs and residues of controlling mites. They reference this research in moths https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4314281/ that talks about the Trade-off between thermal tolerance and insecticide resistance, which if applicable to Varroa, could mean in the future thermal and minimal pesticide could work well in tandem. Insect Heat Shock Proteins During Stress and Diapause (Not arachnids) We do hope to get an entomologist involved at some point (after we have ascertained product market fit), it's unclear to me whether the HSP70 increase is permanent response from thermal shock, or just a rapid survival process that dissipates, and whether the mutation (sorry probably not the right word for it) gets transferred to some/all subsequent generation Varroa. You have got me thinking about how answering some of these hypothesis, could be a good research project for one of our Universities, especially given the unique NZ industry and product, although I also wouldn't be surprised if we start to see more papers flowing in from international establishments. Your highlight about running a relevant test is something in the back of our minds as well, as you know it needs to be done at scale, with good controls, and possibly blind (unbiased), to get truly representative data. Which is another issue with the thermal treatment products we have seen, generally more anecdotal than scientific. Thanks for your input and sharing your experience and concerns. -James
  8. 1 point
    A niece works for Pic. Apparently he's into a collaboration with BioHoney..... Biohoney, 142 Collingwood Street, Nelson (2020) WWW.BEAUTYNAILHAIRSALONS.COM
  9. 1 point
    Uncle Russell tried for years to get me to try peanut butter and honey and I refuse to try what sounded like a revolting mix to me. I finally tried some against my better judgement and it's now one of my favourite spreads. Clover comb about 50-50 with peanut butter is my favourite.
  10. 1 point
    Fiddled around on the SW Butress and Schultz .... it was scary ..... in the end took the easy way up to the top and looked over ..... Nineteen for a while ....
  11. 1 point
    Hahaaa @Maru Hoani ..... trust me ...you'll never be finished .... I guess that's why we got some men on the moon, eh.
  12. 1 point
    Well there yah go .... I talked to Pics a while ago suggesting that honey and peanut butter would be a big hit in the US ..... after a time I spent communing with El Capitan in Yosemite .... and peanut butter and honey was the food of choice while hanging from a carabiner. Pics told me that peanut butter and honey didn't mix .... new project fro @Boot .... ah ther yah go , I've given the trade secrets away again !
  13. 1 point
    So you've been sucked in too....I get my honey jars from him.
  14. 1 point
    I wonder how pics peanut butter will go with their new honey line . He has been very good at getting people to pay more for a quality product .
  15. 1 point
    Importing honey and bee products | MPI | NZ Government WWW.MPI.GOVT.NZ <p>All imported animal products must meet New Zealand standards and requirements. MPI's role is to help make sure imported bee products (including non-edible products like hand cream) are correctly labelled, safe... Prohibited and restricted items WWW.CUSTOMS.GOVT.NZ All import health standards | Biosecurity NZ | NZ Government WWW.BIOSECURITY.GOVT.NZ <p>Find all import health standards and related information. An import health standard (IHS) is a document issued under section 24A of the Biosecurity Act 1993. An IHS states the requirements that must be met... Compliance Matters WWW.BUSINESS.GOVT.NZ Compliance Matters makes managing government compliance easy. via @business_govtNZ Any of these reources help? Also note file attached IHS-BEEPROIC.ALL.pdf
  16. 1 point
    Why not? Humans mix flavours and ingredients all the types. If it opens up new channels and appeals to a new audience, or expands and existing one, then we have another vehicle for our wonderful NZ clover.
  17. 1 point
    More bees on Manuka. The competition for good sites is going to increase, stock rates will increase.
  18. 1 point
    As a biologist I am interested in physical treatment instead of chemical.. I am a hobbyist, and being retired I do have time but even so squashing each individual Varroa specimen manually is no option . Inspired by the equipment for hyperthermia treatment as it was developed at the University of Tübingen in the 80's and by the results claimed I looked at equipment and prices. The price of a decent instrument that ensures homogeneous temperature distribution and controlled humidity (in EU about €2500 for a 20 frame unit) is in my opinion prohibitive for hobbyists and I agree with PeterS that so far it seems not ideal for commercial application. But I found the idea interesting enough to home build a box for ~ 20 frames, just for personal use. Interesting exercise the past few months.... it turned out to be not so easy to achieve a homogeneous temperature throughout the box so that all frames are treated the same and not one area ends up 'well done' and an other area 'rare'; I would not be surprised if half-baked treatment might result in dead larvae/pupae as well as Varroa in the hotter areas whereas Varroa might survive in the cooler areas. There is another potential risk although I do not think it has ever been looked into seriously: that Varroa surviving the treatment may develop to be more heat tolerant which would get us back to the issue of resistance. So it seemed appropriate to improve the initial build. With a lot of tweaking and rebuilding the variation is now within 0.3° throughout the box during treatment and temperatures can be controlled reliably. Afterwards I did understand the €2500 a bit better..... The thermal box treats brood, so its predominant use is in spring varroa control or at least as long as there is brood. In the meantime (after consulting with a seasoned beekeeper who was friendly enough to teach me the ropes) I decided to use oxalic acid/glycerine strips this autumn. I still struggle with the question "How to perform a relevant test run with the thermal box?"; it will be impossible to achieve with any degree of reliability the way a biologist in a lab would be able to, especially with only two hives. Anyway, it was fun building, I look forward to spring when real testing can be done!
  19. 1 point
    The other week Country Calendar profiled an Otago Cocky practising Regenerative farming . It pricked my ears to the extent that we have had a few conversations via the email. This week The Nice Girl from Farmlands called into the yard and we talked to each other over the truck bonnet. Regen, she said, is becoming quite a hot topic. And then this week , in the Farmers weekly paper was an article on Regenerative Farming. I quite liked it .... and it got me thinking about our Bee operation . The article was written by a dude called John king ..... and he makes some comments which ring true. And I quote .... "Regen Farmers are seldom interested in maximising profit or production - the continual message driven by industry professionals to create dependancy ( on their products). Creating intentional profit is one skill regenerative farmers learn. It starts by dropping the fatal traditional accounting equation of income minus expenses equals profit, to a new practice of income minus profit equals expenses. Mastering this skill forces Farmers to look beyond chasing quick fixes and settle on what they actually need. John writes that , changing the equation reduces boom bust bubbles common with input reliant farm businesses. True success from Regen farming comes from learning self control. Profit don't soar as high in good times as compared to 'normal' neighbours ,yet recovery from difficult times is faster because losses are less ..... and businesses stay in profit for more years." There's a big Hmmmm here as I try to grasp this thinking , but somewhere there something rings true. Perhaps it's a thinking and philosophy we lost a few decades ago with the age of cheap credit and plentiful food. After six weeks of lockdown I look back, not at the wasted time of lost production , but at the slow time of having the time to fix the things that got thrown in the skip destined for the dump, or the joy of having the kids home for home schooling and Nana's hot scones for a late smoko. So perhaps Regen is about more than profit and Yakka .... but about lifestyle , making do with less but with more time to enjoy ...... which is why we got into the Bees ...... right.
  20. 1 point
    Regenerative, sustainable et cetera. I've done the endless hours of shifting, I have worked bees in the light of a torch to get the work finished and I've driven hour after hour to get to hives at the back of beyond. I no longer do any shifting, my hives are all within one hour's drive and even on a big day I'm normally home by 4 o'clock. I spend a reasonable part of the winter doing things like sorting combs, mending boxes and making my own frames from scratch but if I want a day off I just take it. I don't have so many hives that I fall behind and this means the hives get done when they need to be. I now have less hives to live off but I spend less and produce more per hive. Best of all I enjoy getting out of bed every morning. Far away the grass is green in places that you've never seen so travel miles to make a buck while I just putter in my truck and wish you all the best of luck while living in my dream.
  21. 1 point
    having lots of worms in healthy soil is great. Also I think there was discussion on Country Calendar not only making great soil and varied pasture, but also then not over stocking it with more animals than it can naturally support. So, let's see, they are saying they avoid mono-crops, focus on plentiful and varied forage and don't over stock. Seems like it would be sustainable and common sense for both farmers and beekeepers. Not that easy to adopt or solve when the problem is over priced farms, high borrowings and a lot of pressure to over produce to make it pay short term on these farms. Similarly the big M distorts the beekeeping industry, people have to put food on the table too. So, that means the long term plan is to make a good profit from multifloral and leave enough honey on the hives that they don't need feeding except in exceptional circumstances. Btw, welcome, you've all become hobbyists.
  22. 0 points
    Up until an hour ago @jamesc did not know either. But a good session with the Dr after a day with the bees will make anyone an expert on anything.. LOL
  23. 0 points
    Some of them are 3-4km off-road to get in. I'll tell you a quick story. About a month ago I had the truck loaded right up, and I went in. A bk buddy of mine wanted to see the site and he followed me in his (unloaden) ute. When we got in there we stopped and I asked him what he thought of the trip in. He mumbled a bit and didn't reply. I don't think he'll be back. Jacinda could create quite a few hundred jobs working on that access
  24. 0 points
    Is Pics selling honey now?
  25. 0 points
    I have a cunning plan or to say counter plan... I will make mix of honey+chocolate+hazelnuts and with such combo export my honey in disguise to New Zealand. . I just miss couple millions of dollars, bees and such little things.. It will be advertised as: " It has electrolytes"
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