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  1. Pretty stoked with these bad boys (girls)! ... I also have taken @Maggie JamesQC tutorial ?, though I am using the double screen board method for production. Got a take of 86 out of 90 grafts.
    16 points
  2. Well. It is just as well I didn't name and shame because it turns out that that 5% of uncertainty was someone else entirely. I have just had notification that the inspection team found evidence of rob outs and as per the rules they can't tell me who but I do know is not who I thought it was. Sounds like who I thought it was has also got a dose at the same time as I did , of course they wouldn't have if they hadn't dumped a big site between two of mine. This is a good example of why we pay a levy . I reported a problem and it was followed up and dealt with.
    15 points
  3. Riley’s gonna grow into those gloves! She insisted that she have her “work boots” and her gloves on.
    15 points
  4. This morning was a multi tasking day.. a prep day for Monday.. I shifted some new double Nuc boxes to a site ready for Monday’s job of transferring .. time to cut the cold core flute Nuc box from my outfit.. 36 yrs ago I met Pete.. now pushing 80, he taught me how to catch the wily wild pig.. wearing adidas track pants and a swanny with a 1942 303 bayonet strapped to his waist Pete would tear off through the thick deadly flowering gorse into the Ashley forest leaving me.. a 9yr old behind .. to deal to the notoriously fast running boars that his dogs would catch every weekend.. I would be ridiculed at school on mondays as my bare legs filled with gorse prickles and scratched face drew attention.. Pete met me at the farm today, with my dogs dragged out of retirement following a call from the cocky regarding his new grass paddock.. well we found the culprits..in the gorse of course.. this time Pete was left behind as my dogs did their job, a glimmer in his eye as I relayed the action to him. Gorse.. some hate it, I love it. My hives love it and tomorrow’s roast loved it too. Long live the gorse.
    14 points
  5. I have just watched the big expose on TV one about roundup in manuka honey. Man they must be short of news to put on such a anti roundup biased piece of garbage. No mention of other honey types which if they come from pasture you would expect to have higher residues and no mention about residues found in meat or vegetables or anything else we eat. End result will be a drop in honey sales for no practical good. I'm not a huge fan of roundup but it is a legal product used very extensively in New Zealand farming and beekeepers can't avoid it. All right they did mention that beekeepers couldn't avoid it but didn't mention that neither can vegetable growers and animal farmers. It was a sensationalised piece of one-sided garbage and unfortunately typical of the pathetic excuse for journalism we have to put up with so often these days. It deliberately damaged New Zealand's beekeepers to score a few points against a chemical company
    12 points
  6. I think if the AFB was found and reported by a beekeeper then they are far from a useless beekeeper and jn fact are very good beekeepers first for finding it and second for reporting it. It's not good to blame bad beekeeping being the cause of AFB. It's the same as blaming people for catching covid.
    12 points
  7. Straining the last of my sticky Xmas gift from my bees. Means not much to many but heaps to me. Can't bare wasting a scrap. Every drop is a bees hard work. Just the last slow dribble to work it's way through the tasty (yep) cappings that clog up my strainer. Two buckets,a 3 frame hand spinner, some stickiness, and a happy woman.
    11 points
  8. The Basics of Beekeeping This article appeared in the NZ Beekeeper No. 190, Winter 1986, pp 11-13. It appeared under the pseudonym 'Skep'. As I cast about for topics suitable for this column, this issue is always the hardest. Though as I write this, the weather is still warm and pleasant, I know that you will be reading it in the throes of winter. My first thoughts were to write about sources of information for the beginner beekeeping. I've decided to save that topic for the future, while optimistically writing this to give the beginner an overview of the critical operations of beekeeping. Maybe by giving you time to think about this in the less rushed time of winter will allow you the chance to critically examine your own beekeeping practices to see how they compare with these thoughts of mine. Arthur Gosset was a very well respected beekeeper in Canterbury, New Zealand. I worked some years ago for Bray and Gosset. Sitting in the smoko room, I remember very clearly some advice he gave me. At the time I was all fired up with complicated and labour intensive methods of getting as much production from a colony as possible. I was dreaming up all sorts of involved and fiddly gadgets and management systems, involving two queening and strange hive designs. Arthur looked at me and simply said that all beekeeping is a matter of watching out for three main things: You must have a young queen in the hive. You must never let them become short of food. You must give them enough room at the right time to store the crop. At the time, as a young(er) man, that was all too simple for me. Where is the 'art' in beekeeping if it can be reduced to that few words? At the time, I even thought he was holding out on me, not letting me in on his 'secrets' of management. Only with more experience have I now come back to his words and realised how true they are. The complexities of beekeeping come with HOW to do the WHAT of those three questions. The methods and timing that you will use to get a queen in the hive, feed the colony if need be and super it up will determine how successful your beekeeping can be. Sugar syrup mixing and feeding and supering up are really topics of their own. There are plenty of options available to you in either operation. Re-queening is another major topic that should be covered more fully than in this article. Of course, with the goal of messing up such a tidy presentation, I would add another few operations to Arthur's three. Knowing how to properly inspect a hive for brood disease should be listed. Another concept I feel strongly about is that of using methods and materials related to the scale of your beekeeping. Disease recognition for the hobbyist is a real poser. Because it is present in such small levels, the odds say if you have only one hive, it will only get infected once every 200 years. (NB: This is based on NZ's average of about 0.5% of hives being found infected annually. Antibiotics are not fed for AFB in NZ - bees are destroyed, though hot paraffin wax dipping can salvage most equipment) Like many other statistical lies, if you trust to that, you'll likely come unstuck. In fact, as a hobbyist, you have several things going against you. Because you'll see cases of disease so rarely, you'll tend to get complacent and even careless in your inspections. After all, after looking for something you don't want to find for some time, its easy enough to decide to stop looking! Because you probably have your one or two hives in an urban location, your's are relatively close to many other hobbyist hives. All it takes is one careless beekeeper to put everyone else nearby at risk. If you're not confident that you can recognise American Brood Disease, talk with a local beekeeper who might be able to help you. Contact your local beekeeper's club and ask if they might be able to arrange a programme to help with disease inspection. Get a copy of the relevant Ag Link from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries or other good photographs. Don't just trust to good luck and the odds; its up to all responsible beekeepers to keep disease levels down. There is nothing wrong with getting a case of disease; it happens to most all beekeepers at one time or another. There is a problem if you don't know how to properly deal with disease and become a source of infection for other beekeepers and your other hives. My other interest, making sure that your approach to your beekeeping is of the appropriate 'scale' is not a difficult one. It is often overlooked by hobbyist (and other...) beekeepers. What I mean is that you don't need to kill flies with a sledge hammer. You are a hobbyist, and your approach to beekeeping should keep that in mind. You don't need to involve a lot of specialised equipment that will only be used once a year. While keeping your specialised equipment costs down, you can take advantage of the time that you can put into your beekeeping. After all, you are doing this as a hobby, remember? You can afford to be a little more exacting than a commercial beekeeper, and do things that involve more trips to the hive, for instance. A good example of keeping your 'scale' in mind is equipment making. You probably won't save much money by making your own boxes and frames, for instance. If you enjoy doing it, go ahead by all means. The scale of your beekeeping should tell you, though, that you'd be better off buying equipment in kitset to assemble. Similarly with honey handling equipment. What started out as a relatively inexpensive hobby can rapidly change to a major expense if you insist on buying a new stainless steel extractor and building a small honey house in your backyard. Sure, this might suit you, and if you are determined to do it, go ahead. A better method for someone with only a few hives, however, would be to share the bare minimum of extracting equipment with several other hobbyists. Often, a local hobbyist beekeepers club will have the basic equipment that can be rented from them for a reasonable daily rate. If not, why not form your own 'syndicate' of 2 or 3 like-minded beekeeper friends and share one set between you? Extracting together can be a truly social event if approached in this manner. I guess what I'm trying to get across with this column is that there are only a few key points to being a good beekeeper, no matter how many hives you have. If you learn how to properly care for the basics, especially Arthur Gosset's three rules of beekeeping, you will be a good beekeeper. It's not hard to get a good crop in a good year. Have you ever heard the saying 'Bees make honey in spite of beekeepers'? It's often true, you know... If you are a GOOD beekeeper, you'll get a honey crop in that mediocre season when others get little or nothing. Your hives will be gentle enough that you don't upset your neighbours or become a nuisance. Your hives will be tidy enough that an Apiary Inspector will not have to attack the glued up frames with a spade. The details of how you go about taking care of the important aspects of beekeeping, re-queening, feeding and supering at the right time, are the subject of all the talk of beekeepers and the books and the magazines. Learning what methods work for you in your location for a particular season is the 'art' of beekeeping. Now you've finished this short article, sit back and think about your own beekeeping systems. Are you taking care of the fundamentals? Are you re-queening at least every 2 years? Has your hive always had at least two good frames of honey or stores provided by feeding sugar to them? Do you give them the extra room that they need when they need it? If you do, then you can move ahead to the 'fine tuning' of more intricate management systems, such as two-queening or complicated dividing/uniting procedures suited to your local requirements. If you can't honestly say you are taking care of the basics, make that your special goal over the coming season and see what a difference it makes. Young queens, with reduced swarming levels and smooth, rapid, reliable build up. Colonies that never get the set back of running short of food. Hives that get the new honey super before the bees have started to pack out the brood nest. What a difference they all make! Why is it always such a surprise that the beekeepers who consistently get the best crops are the ones that sit quietly at the back of the room and claim they don't have any special tricks or gadgets to share?
    11 points
  9. I'm pretty sure you live a few blocks from me. If you want some help one way or another get in touch. I have a couple of nucs I don't need. Can possibly sort you with either a queen or nuc. Or happy to help out if your in a pinch
    11 points
  10. Took my Year 10 class out to the hive on thursday. Was interested to see how they are going as it has been very wet down here in the South. A huge change from the perpetual drought of south canterbury. They had 2 boxes packed with capped honey and nectar so am going to have to give them another honey super. But i guess being on the edge of town they have been raiding all the local gardens. Took out a honey frame and the kids gathered around spooning up honey fresh from the frame. Even the too cool lads were very impressed.
    11 points
  11. A bit of pirate beekeeping over the weekend and we’re just about finished the first round of supering up, thats quite early for us.
    11 points
  12. I took a mum and 3 girls beekeeping today. They’re keen to get hives but wanted some experience and advise. This little one was amasing. They started out in a full suit but by the end of the day all three sisters had their heads in every hive without any gloves, hood or suit. Tasman and her sisters were so relaxed around the bees, they didn’t get one sting between the three of them. She probably ate close to her body weight in honey, sugar crystals and syrup. We all had a fab day.
    11 points
  13. Really gotta say I don’t like not having the location visible. I don’t want to have to check a profile every time I want to see where someone’s from to get an idea of whether there Post is more or less relevant to us in our area.
    11 points
  14. I recently did a AFB check for a new beekeeper who was really struggling to get someone to check 7 hives. I’m sure glad this newbie was there to explain the history of each hive as I would have been very confused with what I found. There was no AFB evident and I was happy to put my name on the sheet of paper to say so. But 5 of the hives had been attempts to split nukes off the one moderately strong hive due to worries it would swarm. The beekeeper had mistakenly identified drone cells for queen cells. But we had a grand time, they had never seen eggs or lava in the bottom of cells, can now identify stored pollen. Learned to uncap suspect brood and identify when it looks healthy, used a match stick to identify and remove sac brood, learned to checked for Varroa in broken drone brood, looked for DWV. The list goes on. Unfortunately they had been told by someone to keep the new nuks shut down for two weeks. Now I’m a long way from being an expert but the results spoke for themselves, there were some dead and very unwell bees in a couple of the nuks. At least I wasn’t left wondering what happened. This beekeeper has ambitions to get to 50 hives by the end of next season, I hope the pointers I gave them over the 2 hours I spent will show them this is not something you can jump into overnight without some serious input. And I explained where to find a course to get a deca for themselves.
    10 points
  15. At this part of world we have little time to relax while expecting to 2020. finish.. Now we are 2 hours in 2021. aaand I must say this person who invented six packs is mean person.. We were emptying them really fast.. But for once in the year we are on the loose.. Tomorrow reset into new season.. What didn't kill us last season made us stronger.. Take care for loving ones, worrying about things that you can't change won't do you or yours any good. Life is too short, enjoy it..
    10 points
  16. In contrast to a lot of people I've had the most marvellous year ! Thanks to covid emptying a lot of roads down south the motorcycling has been very enjoyable, and also thanks to lockdown I've had a lot more to do with our local community, and thanks to Jacinda (take that Trev) my pension has kept rolling in.....not the tiniest grump from me. Happy New Year All.
    10 points
  17. My first swarm call of the season. Pretty happy that it's the end of October (last year was in the first half of September!). This was quite a big swarm.
    10 points
  18. Well you can say happy birthday to him again Freeslave, your bees are recovering nicely. I want to keep them for another couple of weeks, then they are yours.
    10 points
  19. What a blatant piece of advertising from purity to the detriment of every beekeeper in New Zealand. As for some of the crap from the other beekeeper . Saying that hives have died from roundup poisoning is unbelievable. Hives do get killed by operators spraying gorse but it is not roundup. Poisonings of this type are almost invariably caused by organo- silicate surfactants which the powers that be refuse to label as an insecticide because it's a sticking agent despite the fact that it is lethal to bees wet or dry. We now have the general public thinking our honey is poisonous (except for purity's who if you listen closely actually admit that they do sell honey with residues in it). We have the general public thinking that our hives are regularly drenched in a deadly chemical and that every beekeeper in the country is losing sleep over this. We have a beekeeper on national television saying basically that farmer shouldn't be allowed to use roundup. Way to tell the farmers what to do. I'm sure that will go down well. Selling your own product by rubbishing everybody else's is unethical and despicable. Perhaps TV one would like to know how much spraying goes on amongst the seed growing area where a lot of the companies hives live. This whole thing is a lose\lose situation for everybody as it is the type of thing where any argument no matter how factual will cause negative publicity. I really do believe in freedom of speech but people should at least think before they open their mouths.. Oh and while I'm ranting, journalists what happened to balance and fact checking stop.
    10 points
  20. My very first harvest! Super on for one month, 8 frames harvested...20kgs...beautiful...very happy!
    9 points
  21. If you do find out, first thing to do is send them an invoice for damages. Make it realistic - i.e. fair values but make it complete, travel, time etc cost of digging hole.... At this point you have established a cost. The beekeeper may actually decide to pay the bill. I have experienced this. If they don't, they are now very aware of the cost to someone else that their actions (or lack of) have caused. At this point if they refuse to pay, you can take them to the disputes tribunal. The cost is low, tribunal is less like a court and more like an arbitration. Depending on how good your evidence is and how you present it, you have a good chance of winning. And if the media picked up on it, it might give some beehavers cause for some "positive" reflection.
    9 points
  22. The problem with the Queen Introductions into those 20 splits was almost certainly candy issue, and that places the blame with person who supplied the Queens. Candy should not go rock hard. Probably, there wasn't enough Inverted Sugar in the Candy. There is an art to making Candy, and it is important to get it right. Honey Candy is the most fool proof, you can err on the side of being too firm, and it will still pull enough moisture to keep it soft enough so as not to slow down the release of the Queen. Honey is so good because almost all the sugars in Honey have been inverted by the bees, and it is these simple sugars that give the Candy their hygroscopic properties which keep the Candy from going rock hard. Some people worry about the AFB risk from Honey Candy, but it is negligible, if not zero. The potential of getting an infective dose of AFB from the amount of Honey in the Candy must be close to zero, and in the candy making process if I am using Honey, I take the Honey to boiling point in the microwave(Carefully), and the boiling point of Honey would be well above the boiling point of water. When using Inverted Sugar, it is more important to get the Candy right, even though it is called Inverted Sugar Syrup, all the sugars are not completely Inverted, and because it is 67% Syrup, you are adding more icing sugar to get the firmness right, so the final percentage of Inverted Sugars is less than with Honey Candy, and therefore more prone to hardening. A little added Glycerine also helps keep the Candy soft. Candy that goes hard is a disaster for Queen Introductions. I always Introduce Queens as soon as I make the Unit Queenless, saves a second trip. With making up Splits, if they are going on top, introduce them straightaway, if you are transporting them, introduce straightaway after you drop them on their new site.
    9 points
  23. Collected a few more pollen samples for a research project today. Lots of hawthorn pollen and a bunch of others I'm still hoping to learn about... There's some dark purple/blue tree fuchsia pollen there too. Kind of looks like mouse droppings...
    9 points
  24. This is a rather large cut out from a year or so back, was another one same size at the other end of the building, the Manuka farmer mention he’d seen the “odd”bee going into the wall.. was a little surprised as I peeled off the weatherboard one by one and it kept going.. really wanted the queens as he said they’d been there for 3 or 4 yrs but never found them.. was only the fact he wanted to knock it down he called us in. Brood was really clean. This was chocked out with Manuka honey he was stoked with the comb.
    9 points
  25. That's exactly what I paid for my first queen, right after the new money came in, I bought a queen from Whites for $0.75. This was funded from my pocket money, $0.20 a week. In my childish ignorance I had only put a 4 cent stamp on the envelope when an 8 cent one was needed, so instead of the queen I got an indignant letter from Whites saying they had been required to pay the extra postage and they now wanted that, the cost of sending the letter to me, and of course I had to pay for a second lot of postage to send that to them ?. Anyhow in due course after that my queen arrived, caused quite a stir at the post office they rang us and said live bees had arrived can we come a get them urgently!! VERY important day for me, I spent ages looking at the beautiful golden girl that arrived plus showing it to everyone else who I could get to have a look. I split my extremely vicious hive of black AMM's and successfully requeend the queenless half. Couple of months later the bees in the hive had turned a beautiful yellow, and I was captivated by their quiet behaviour when I opened the hive, up to then evey hive opening had been a stingfest and I had to fully suit up first. I became a convert to yellow bees and have been since.
    9 points
  26. Today I received an email notifying me that my RMP is up for it's six monthly revue ..... again. Now .... this cranked up the old record again .... raised my BP and resulted in me seeking counsel with my Doctor. The Doctor prescribed a liquid remedy and assured me that in the end all would be alright ..... but I am not so sure. So, I' say it again ..... '' Why, when we extract honey once a year for six or seven weeks do we need a twice yearly audit of the facilities ?' Why, when we make one honey sale a year, do we need a twice yearly audit ? And why, the years extraction records and mouse trap kill records have already been checked, and the extraction plant is pulled apart for maintenance, do I need to entertain the powers that be and waste a day showing them exactly the same paperwork I showed them six months ago ? This is bull#### ..... and we as peasants need to once again sharpen our hive tools and rise up out of our complacency and say NO ...../ we do not need a twice yearly audit to run our business.
    9 points
  27. Yesterday I was at a Spring Festival for Otago Organics. Had been asked to go and talk about bees. Had a few laminated photos of bees to put up and was looking for a decent way to do it. Was rummaging through the shed looking for something I could use as a notice board and noticed the box of new hive mats. They work quite well as photo frames.
    9 points
  28. Bee awareness is a great time for me.. I get to hit our local school kids with 45 minutes of facts, passing spring flowering plant branches around and see their little eyes pop as I overload their brains with enthusiasm in everything bee related. My poor boy gets pretty embarrassed about his dad coming to school in his bee suit though. this year I’m going to focus on identifying differences between wasp and bee.. crazy how many people can’t tell.
    9 points
  29. OK. I guess this fits into the thread of ‘finding your niche in beekeeping’. And yes, it is history. And yes, it is all true. I guess, given these are real people, I should check with the family - they are still active beekeepers! But I hope that, given my genuine affection for Trevor, they’ll be OK with it. I came to NZ in very early spring, 1974. I’d left the US on the day that Richard Nixon resigned… Damn, that was a long time ago... And I came to NZ as a 23 year old to work for Trevor Rowe, in Eltham. Trevor had gone through the paperwork to enable me to emigrate here - and for that alone, I am eternally grateful to him! OK. August 1974, and the beginning of another honey production season… Trevor had about 1500 hives, spread mostly across the south of Mt. Egmont, as it was then known. He had, over the years, bought hives - Brewster, Bates, Leatherbarrow - beekeepers whose names resound in the beekeeping of the 1940s and later. Not only for Taranaki beekeeping, but for the NZ beekeeping industry generally... So, round numbers, Trevor and me (the slightly more than boy) ran the 1500 hives on our own. Not very extensive - Trevor had his own ideas about the value of what I now generally refer to as ‘pauper splits’. Providing a queenless colony with a frame or two of young brood and letting them raise their own queen. Me, I was young, and certainly knew more than him. But he was making it work… A typical day through the main part of the season would see us go off in the truck to take honey. Back then, the order of the day was either benzaldehyde, or if it wasn’t such a nice sunny day, carbolic acid, to chase the bees out of the honey supers. I’d have to say that both smells would give me headaches... So by lunch, we’d have a near truck-full of supers, and would bring them back to Eltham. After lunch, we’d extract the truckload. 1500 hives. He had built up from pretty much nothing, buying hives to mostly obtain the sites, I guess. And pumping in heaps of macracarpa supers, and Simplicity frames, with staples for the spacers... Trevor was mostly a Honey Market Authority supplier. I’m not even sure how to best explain that without going into too much detail. I guess it would be fair to say that Trever would expect to sell maybe ¾ of his crop to the HMA at that year’s determined price. It was adjusted for grading - you needed to properly handle and strain your crop. But apart from that, you could expect the HMA to pay you a fair price for for the realisation, a somewhat fair price for your crop. Without you having to pack, market, etc. But Trevor knew that was just the bulk of his crop, and able to be sold (especially) in the good years when packers might not be willing to take your surplus. That was the real reassurance of the HMA as the 'buyer of last resort', the place you could sell your honey no matter how big the crop was, even if the packers didn't want to buy any more. So he had, on the Stratford to Eltham part of the highway, established door sales for Eltham Apiaries Honey. He would sell his own packed honey, but would also fill the consumer’s containers, on a scale. From memory, I’d say he kept two 30 or 40 litre containers going, creaming one while he sold from the other. The creaming was pretty minimal in input - just a matter of stirring in starter and keeping it somewhat (hand) agitated until it got sold. The turnover was pretty good, so as long as the honey could flow to the consumer’s ice cream container (the most common!) it would be fine… So now we’ve accounted for the bulk: bulk supply (in 60 pound tins!) to the HMA. This was a matter of running the bulk honey into the 60 pound tins and putting them away until they were hard granulated. Then a day of taking the lot by truck to the train station, to send off to the HMA depot. And the ‘cream’, if you will - the door sales, which would generally be the most profitable overall, even given the need to have someone there to deal with the customers. New Plymouth was less than an hour away. Trevor used to supply some bulk honey to a health food store there. But each time he would deliver to him, he would go to a Guthrie Bowron’s paint shop. Workers there would stick aside for him a stack of the cardboard outers that their paint was delivered in. And he would also pick up, from their rubbish, a tangle of plastic strapping and buckles… Trevor advertised his honey quite widely, into the Wellington newspapers especially. And he was able to price either 6 kg or even 12 kg sales of honey quite nicely, when it was being compared to the 500 gm pottles, or even to 2 kg containers, quite common in the grocery trade. And both of these larger containers were easy to package into the scrounged cardboard containers. And with a bit of scissor work, even the strapping could be fully used. Trevor never needed to buy anything other than the honey container itself - he repurposed the packaging and the strapping, to the point it looked fully professional… And sent it off by rail, mostly to Wellington... Trevor was an incredibly hard worker. I so remember the sound of the fence ‘twanging’ as he bounded over it, heading for the honey house, long before any one else would be headed to work. Checking the honey melting, stirring the door sales, putting yesterday’s extraction into 60 pound tins. I was just a young beekeeper - of *course* I felt I knew better than Trevor how to run his business. But it is sort of nice now, nearly 50 years later, thinking back on what a family beekeeping business could do back then, and wondering about NZ’s beekeeping future...
    9 points
  30. Hives are absolutely pumping, still 4 weeks left before my bayvarols due out, just wondering if I'm gonna need to super a few weeks early. Doubles are almost ready for splitting and queen rearing in a week or 2
    9 points
  31. Re that. Despite the winter before this one's disaster, I have continued to experiment with OA strips. This winter I just put OA strips in a smallish number of hives, and was more cautious about it. What I have discovered this spring has taught me a lot. In the hives that were weaker last autumn when the strips went in, some of them have come through in pretty bad shape. That is because with the smaller bee cluster they have simply avoided the strips, and allowed the strips to box them in to a small area. And not just that, but with them not being forced to walk on the strips, they have come through weak, and with mites. Hives that were strong when the strips went in, and a breed that like a big winter cluster, have done a lot better. I think that is because the big cluster means they have been all over the strips and maintained a larger number of bees. Plus, that they are walking over the strips all the time means the strips have actually done their job and killed the mites. Below is a pic I took this afternoon of such a hive. it was a strong hive when the strips went in last autumn, and never allowed itself to get boxed in. I could find no evidence of any mites in the hive at all. I think this is how the strips are meant to work as per Phil. Think I am starting to figure out when it would be OK to use them, and when it would not. Oh, these are not Phils staples I should add, they are home made.
    9 points
  32. Yes, despite that some people had difficulties in 2020, especially those in the hospitality or tourist industry, for me anyhow it's been a pretty good year. Other than some incompetencies at the border, we seem to have defeated the pandemic relatively easily, by using what amounts to the fairly simple technique of preventing it from spreading from one to another. Just common sense really. Looking at other countries I realise how lucky we are here. Most countries do not have the suitable politicians or political will, or stupid or selfish populations, that they just cannot defeat the virus, and even have violent demonstrations to oppose measures such as mask wearing or lockdowns designed to defeat the virus. Looking at the stupidity going on in some other countries I am so glad to live here in NZ. Many people myself included have come out better off than we would have been without the pandemic. In my case it's because sales of my honey rocketed when the pandemic struck. But for many people it's because the lack of overseas trips and other ways to waste money were not available, so people have come through with more cash than they would have otherwise have had.
    8 points
  33. Well Jamesc.. I am under influence of warm schnapps aaand I better to don't talk for long. I will try to be short, fogyish weather, treated with OA, seems conditions to it work are superb. Like in some really old American movie " Damn torpedoes, full speed ahead". Jamesc, try warm schnapps instead of voltaren ( recently I got strange headache, I took dose of warm schnapps - I felt like dliverance ? ). While I am in good mood all the best to beeks all over the world, full speed into New Year ( don't look back) ?
    8 points
  34. Bees don't care if they store honey in old combs and why should we. No one gets hurt but suddenly we have this ability to detect something so we do. If bacteria is a problem in honey then what does that say about cheese and yoghurt. There are good bacteria, non-harmful bacteria and harmful bacteria. Personally I would rather eat honey from natural comb with a few bacteria than from plastic frames.
    8 points
  35. Makin more nucs again.... these bees were knocked down to singles last week.... and today ‘spare’ brood sitting above the queen excluder is popped into nucs to cover anticipated winter losses. Two frames of brood n bees and a frame of honey
    8 points
  36. I've put some resources up, including a free online training program at
    8 points
  37. Not a lot so far on the west coast, 5 out of 20 I checked today have filled up the top box and we're half way through the manuka flow, 4 more fine days left and were back to rainy thunderstorm weather. Good news is one of the commercial outfits have just moved in so they've missed the first half and it's not looking too good from here ??? atleast I'm looking like I might cover costs.
    8 points
  38. Ive got a story I bit like that. Happened last year. My veil at the time was getting a bit second hand and had a moderate size hole in it but not too much of a problem in spring when the bees are usually reasonably polite. One of our yards has a big Pukatea tree right beside it and while I quite like Pukatea's for their abundant pollen which nicely fills the gap between gorse and willow eairly and everything else later in spring this particular tree happens to be a favorite for swarms. It's quite tall and not particularly easy to recover swarms from. Anyhow one day about this time last year we were trying to catch a somewhat high swarm, we had managed to through a load strap over the branch that the bees were on and I had climbed up as high as I could with a lid. The load strap was given a good tug and some bees were in the lid, some were on the ground, some were on me, some were in the air, and some were back up the tree. I came down with what bees were still in the lid and was busy looking for the queen in the lid and also amongst the bees all over the ground. Most of our queens are marked and we can often find them quite easy almost a swarm but as this one was well spread around I wasn't likeing my chances and just as I was about to give up I spotted the queen with her big pink dot walking across the inside of my veil. She was the only one that had got inside.
    8 points
  39. Hmmm .... and so we roll on ..... I went on the hunt for smoker fuel today ..... coffee sacks . Apparently they are in hot demand and I came home empty handed . When we first started burning coffee sacks in the smokers they came from a a friend down the road who had a coffee roasting business . The first time I met her, I didn't quite get her accent when she asked if I wanted some 'Coffee sex' ..... little bit forward on a first meeting, but we got over it, and had a chuckle every time I asked for some more 'sacks'. We've been collecting pollen lately. The greasy cook at the pub accosted me a couple of weeks ago to ask if we did pollen. Two weeks later we've collected a bit. There's always a story when people ask for pollen. We know it has heaps of goodies in it ..... and generally we supply it to people undergoing chemo. The greasy cook at the local was no exception ..... her partner is fighting the fight of his life. So I cruised into the boozer tonight. Haven't been there since pre Covid .... so it was great. With a load of bees on the big truck it was the perfect stop for a feed .... Just a burger please. No fries or salad. The boozer is under new ownership. Those who order burgers with no fries or salad are not eligible to sit and eat on the premises. The greasy cook broke down in tears when I said there was no charge for the pollen . The burger was on the house.... but I had to enjoy it in the big truck after a silent prayer for the greasy cooks partner. Magical stuff that Bee pollen.
    8 points
  40. First cells of the season. The bees seem to be in the right mood:)
    8 points
  41. Unfortunately it is not a good marketing story. It will have major ramifications, particularly on sole operators that don't have labs that have to constantly pay for an increasing raft of analyses. What will be the next thing we have to test for? Why now do the public think we are the only primary producer that glyphosate is showing up in our produce? Currently our industry's traceability and analyses systems are one of the best in the world, and that's what we should be marketing on.
    8 points
  42. Because I like them ...... They have no foliage in the winter to bring the tree down under a weight of snow. They have a soft light in the spring as the new leaf pops, The pigs love the acorns in the autumn, They produce the most durable of timber ..... Heart of Oak built the Empire .... And they absorb a humungous amount of CO2 as they grow ..... And they should still be here in 400 years time !
    8 points
  43. There has been a lot of talk on and off about different additives you can add to sugar when feeding. This includes everything from pollen substitute and seaweed to various methods of stopping the sugar fermenting. I really have to question the wisdom of adding anything to sugar that might end up in the honey. Even without the modern ability to test down to 3/5 of 5/8 parts per billion I am not convinced that adding anything is a good idea. You can of course make the argument that feeding sugar in itself is a contaminant and personally I save honey to feed back to the hives but I normally end up having to feed some sugar. There may or may not be some real benefits for the hives from feeding seaweed et cetera but I do know they can and do survive without it. I believe this is one of those things that the industry needs to look at before someone else looks at it for us.
    8 points
  44. I went over to the Hinawai reserve last week. It’s a 1200 acre gorse infested gulley on the Eastern bays that the owner ‘walked away from’ thirty years go. The farm was put into a conservation trust, the owner became the manager... and sat back and waited, and waited and waited some more as the native got brave and oitgrew the gorse. Today the gully is a thick canopy of kanuka, fuschia, fivefinger, kowhai and other stuff. Including great granddaddy gorse. All inspirational stuff as we prepare to fence of a gorse invested block and relabel it ‘Outstanding native beauty’.
    8 points
  45. First day seriously working bees today after a nearly 4 month break, always interesting to see how they have fared over winter. During the day i found 3 deadouts, best I could tell one due to mites and 2 went queenless. Some hives weak some hives strong. But had to take a pic of this one, freakish. It was a big strong hive that did extra well last season plus provided several 2 kg packages of bees to be sold, and has carried on the same. Double brood box absolutely choca with bees. Most hives only a fraction of this many bees I should add.
    8 points
  46. *basis My submission is as below, as you will see I did use some of the points raised by you guys.. (thanks). It will probably not result in anything but I do think that the more people who make a complaint that it will make them think more carefully in future if they know they are going to cause themselves extra paperwork. Given the brevity of my emails I deserve an award for stopping at point 10... Programme: TV1 News Date of broadcast: 26,27 July 2020 Time of broadcast: 6pm Channel: TVNZ 1 The Programme Standards I believe were breached are as follows: Balance - Yes Accuracy - Yes The reasons that I found this programme breached the standards: This programme ran a segment on Glyphosate (Roundup) being found in Manuka Honey and claims that it has killed beehives. These claims are inaccurate and unbalanced. 1. All honey in NZ is subject to roundup, not just manuka honey. Pasture honey is far more at risk than Manuka Honey due to proximity of round up usage. 2. End result will be a drop in honey sales for no practical good 3. No mention about residues found in meat or vegetables or anything else we eat. Why pick on Manuka honey other than for tabloid shock. 4. They did mention that beekeepers couldn't avoid it but didn't mention that neither can vegetable growers and animal farmers. 5. It is not actual glyphosate they are finding, but the metabolites (residue after glyphosate has broken down). 6. Fact is that a high percentage of food consumed in the western world will contain trace amounts of glyphosate. By giving the impression to the average viewer that will associate NZ manuka with being loaded with roundup, long term will hurt us all. 7. A balanced article can be found here: https://analytica.co.nz/DesktopModules/EasyDNNNews/DocumentDownload.ashx?portalid=0&moduleid=1968&articleid=52&documentid=45 8. Hives do get killed by operators spraying gorse but it is not roundup. Poisonings of this type are almost invariably caused by organo- silicate surfactants which the powers that be refuse to label as an insecticide because it's a sticking agent despite the fact that it is lethal to bees wet or dry. 9. Usually Tordon or Grazon is used on gorse with sticking agents. Roundup does work but it is not very effective on gorse and farmers know this. Effectively telling farmers not to use roundup on gorse is nonsensical. 10. The IARC placed glyphosate in its hazard category "Group 2A: probably carcinogenic to humans†along with red meat, hot beverages, and working as a barber. The evidence on carcinogenicity was less robust than for agents such as bacon, salted fish, oral contraceptives and wine."
    8 points
  47. They say there is a first time for everything. I have made an official complaint about the two news items and encourage others to follow suit. I have grown increasingly tired over the years of seeing beekeeping(news) stories that have just been taken word for word from someone with their own agenda . Mostly they have been pointless bits of fluff that do nothing but misinform the general public and raise my blood pressure but this last effort !. A month in the making! You would think even a television journalist would realise they were being led round with a ring in their nose by that time. There are so many things to do with beekeeping that could give them really good in-depth articles on things like overstocking and the effects of having half 1 million hives more than we need.
    8 points
  48. Whilst we're being clear, it would be great if you could clarify yours and your company's position on the following: What are your limits of detection for glyphosate? Who is the independent organisation that offers you certification for being "Glyphosate Free"? To what international standard is this measured against? It's all well and good to say that you didn't initiate this, but there seems to be a lot of misinformation floating around and it's very convenient that you seem to end up at the centre of it weighing in, especially when you insinuate such scaremongering statements as the following on your website: "Glyphosate is herbicide used to kill weeds, but it has been linked to cancers, especially non-Hodgkin lymphoma. By testing for glyphosate and receiving certification for being free of the herbicide, PURITI is further offering consumer confidence when it comes to getting the best Manuka honey possible available in the market."
    8 points
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