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Showing content with the highest reputation since 28/12/20 in all areas

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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 cel
    9 points
  4. My very first harvest! Super on for one month, 8 frames harvested...20kgs...beautiful...very happy!
    9 points
  5. 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 cann
    8 points
  6. Well, thank goodness that 2020 is now in the rubbish bin. Let's hope for a much better 2021, however, I am not so sure that will happen as we still have to deal with the effects of 2020. It looks like the weather has turned into the warm stuff here in Manawatu. I am rather sick of the wet, cold and wind that we have had. Anyway. Enough of the grumping. I wish everyone a very fruitful and prosperous New Year. I pray that your God gives you everything that you need in 2021.
    7 points
  7. You may recall towards the end of last year, I was saddened to hear of the death of one of the software developers and unfortunately the major impact it had on the development of some of the modules we were implementing at NZBees. I've also since seen some considerable impact from changes the software vendors have made to licensing arrangements and access to third party add-ons, which has ultimately had a knock on effect with regards to development growth and updates. As a result I will need to make some significant changes to the site in order that it can remain secure
    6 points
  8. I'm a little far away to provide physical help, ie, not likely to get to your bees even if the border was open. But, I can provide some 'been there' kind of experience to help you relax. Years ago, wife and I had our first bees, we fussed and fussed over them. They swarmed, did everything we didn't want, we kinda gave up. It was early July for us, so, roughly the same part of the season as you are in now. At that point we essentially abandoned the bees for a couple months, distracted by other priorities (our wedding and the obligatory trip after). When we finally got back to c
    6 points
  9. Swift check from above, since one lost early in December all alive so far. There are couple more which are on the edge, but according to varroa strike majority seem normal.. I must keep mouth shut ?
    6 points
  10. Yes that is a worry. What I think was happening was that the governmenmt was desperate for everyone to follow the plan. Cos if enough people didn't, we would be like all the other countries and still have a panmdemic going on now. So because some people were committed, and some less so, and some people crying hardship, the government had to dole out money to just about everyone who wanted it plus some who did not, in order to keep everyone on board and achieve the eradication of the virus. Yes it was a cost. Had the pandemic not be controlled and we still had an out of
    6 points
  11. Well thare yah go.... the coast with most came to the party.....these babies are off to visit Roy at Otira....honey and all. I guess we’ll strip them down when the rain stops.
    6 points
  12. FD box with grotty frames has been successfully adopted by the Queen and her workers.I now have a rediculous amount of bees and brood that I can happily sell.....Or can I?? I have to keep reminding myself that I want to get rid of my FD gear!!! Got covered in bees and got the giggles. Husband reluctantly took a photo from a VERY long way away.? Now the question is. Will I get around to selling it? I am not sure what would be a fair price if I do? 3/4 of the frames are really good. Boxes are fine. As of today there were 7 very full frames of capped brood,but one has reasonab
    6 points
  13. This past year I have watched local commercial beekeepers adding value to their honey and marketing it with skill - facebook pages, great websites, offering attractive packages online, etc. I also find it useful being able to taste the honeys at Farmers Markets and this has led me to buy some - even though I have some at home. But there are other places your honey can be sold other than supermarkets. I have seen specific apiary stands offering honey in dairies, cafes, fruit stalls, and touristy homeware shops. My contribution today is to suggest working backwards from Who
    6 points
  14. So many parts of the country with no excess honey flow. Hives are maintaining weight (barely). Some sites require a hive or two topping up with some syrup. On the positive side, the weather has settled somewhat and finally getting a better percentage of queens mated. Hives that haven’t performed have been used to split for replacements and hopefully a few increases.
    6 points
  15. 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.
    6 points
  16. I don't know if this is what you want to hear but I recall the site was once straightforward simple and intuitive. Last year or so it's gotten fatter with features no-one understands and steadily less intuitive. Going forward I vote for simplicity.
    5 points
  17. The other little job I did today was check a swarm I picked up before Christmas. It was on a fencepost next to some hives we had in pollination. The cocky was a bit worried that he had paid a bit if coin for a hive that had swarmed. So I was relieved to see the queen had a blue dot on her thorax We do ‘nt mark queens, so it must be one if the neighbours.
    5 points
  18. I’d be pretty happy with that....but like they say.... you can always stack the numbers to fit the cause. Going by those numbers I should have about $2,000,000 worth of product sitting in my shed.... and more coming in by the day. Me thinks some of these guys who write the reports should be given a shovel and ride the trolley to the coalface.
    5 points
  19. just unfortunate that we actually needed to. its ironic that our underfunded, under resourced and poorly managed early covid response actually resulted in the best course of action. absolutely brilliant piece of govt BS to call it "fast and early" when it was "slow and late" which forced us into lockdown. had we tried to do it like Australia has done, we would have ended up like everyone else. fortunately our systems where so crap that it completely failed and we had to resort to the lockdown, which was the best move.
    5 points
  20. I am always ready to welcome a New Year. Love it.? Sky was clear last night.Moon still reasonbly full. Had a bunch of friends and neighbours around and lit the outside fire. (An old washing machine bowl ) And yes it is supposed to be Summer! In bed at 3 and up at 8 with not a smidgen of a hangover. Now a decent days work is behind me, I have quietness at last and life is good.? Wishing everybody a fantastic 2021.?Bee happy, bee kind and have lots and lots of fun.
    5 points
  21. A glorious day here in the 'Naki. No pre 31 December harvest here due to a very late start, but Pohutukawa and clover are going nuts, with a bit of lotus and boxes are filling up fast, with the first hopefully coming off next week. Sampling at the hives are indicating a tasty brew.
    5 points
  22. Kind of reminds me of a case from a few years ago. A guy with beehives in his back yard complained to the council about his neighbours dogs that barked a lot. Eventually the neigbour was required to get rid of the dogs. He was not able to re home them, so they were destroyed. Naturally, the neighbour was extremely upset. So he hit back, and complained about the beekeepers bees. They had been pooping on his property and that of other neighbours, but people had been good enough not to complain. But after his dogs were destroyed he called in the Council, who looked at all the poop, sa
    5 points
  23. Urban areas can be extremely productive with a friend of mine on bluff hill Napier once producing 200 kg in a year. At the time the area was probably under stocked. The trouble with urban areas is that most of the area is made up of roads roofs and lawns and while there is usually a very diverse supply of nectar sources they are also very limited and easily over utilised. Up till about 20 years ago there was little or no pressure on beekeeping sites in most areas and apiarys were normally around 2 miles apart with many of them being in the same place for decades. This gave good opportu
    5 points
  24. well happy new year every one, its been a while since i have been on here, whats happened at our end, first off we took no honey off last season, what honey we took off was by the box full this then went onto autumn splits, good thing we did this as we seemed to lose alot of hives for no real reason at all, hive sites have been looked at to the view...are they producing the type of honey we want, if not they are gone, the other thing is are the hives we seem to have to travel from one end of marlborough to the other worth the cost, if poorer producer they are gone, sales.. well if it
    4 points
  25. nice work @Oma
    4 points
  26. For sure it has been an interesting year and there have been some winners and some losers . The thing that i find interesting is the fact that the government has borrowed something like 70 thousand dollars per household from somewhere on our behalf and there are so many people out there that think that they are better off or no worse off. I am not saying that what the government did was right or wrong because I simply don't know but I do know that this borrowing will have a cost somehow, sometime.
    4 points
  27. Sure Daniel - definitely relatable. In relation to AFB work in NZ, dogs have been tested and phages have been isolated (viruses specific for AFB bacteria). But we cant just transplant them into NZ - the bacteriophages wouldnt be allowed across the border and the dogs would be too expensive I guess. Our work is brand new and hence why we're publishing it - so that it can be peer reviewed, improved and hopefully adopted. I am not complaining that there was no beekeeping funding of the work - we never asked for any. But without research and industry funding, NZ beekeepers are goin
    4 points
  28. Detector dogs could help save bees WWW.SUNLIVE.CO.NZ Training dogs to sniff out the highly infectious bacterial disease American Foulbrood in beehives could save New Zealand’s... article on detector dogs with funding support from a number of areas/groups. Not a single word from the management agency, may speak volumes. However since taking a lot of the work inhouse and taking on new staff their stance may have changed? I didn't know "previous methods have led to inconclusive results in the field", does anyone have proof to back up such
    4 points
  29. Last minute change for me, so I'm not doing any manuka this season, so have decided to leave hives in the paddock. Most time i've spent with family this time of year, being run ragged by 3yr old grandaughter, woulndn't change a thing.
    4 points
  30. Yo ..... I was going to get back to this, but thought it too much info for one post. Canine Modus Operandii. Dogs do not like bees, and generally once stung, get stung shy. There is a time and place for their use. Generally the handler goes out very early morning, or late in the evening, when the bees are home. Best results are on the cooler days. Warm nights when the bees are humming at the front door are not ideal. Most of the dog work on live hives is done in the winter, spring and early autumn. In the early days we had on
    4 points
  31. Kick in the teeth ..... no not really. We initiated our dog program to solve a problem that was knawing away at us .... employing overseas staff who didn't appreciate the seriousness of AFB and so making us think outside the square to solve the problem , which we have. What we discovered was that the dogs were quite good at what they did. They aren't a one shot wonder, but a very effective tool to do large scale rapid screening ..... 800 hives in an evening session was the record I think. The kick in the the teeth was when we suggested to the industry that the dogs might be quite a g
    4 points
  32. Hmm.. Bit hard to unravel, but seems like the two players are Gerald Pearce and Roger Pearce. Gerald's property is totally landlocked with no road to it, but he has always accessed it through Rogers property and built a track through it. Gerald farmed his property plus had a beekeeper on it. No issues for some years. Trouble started 2 years ago when Roger decided to also get some bees on his property. Gerald then took legal action to limit the number of hives that Roger could have. This naturally created bad feelings, so Roger decided to hit back, and told Gerald he co
    4 points
  33. That must feel like a bit of a kick in the teeth after all the work and $$ you put into your program. it’s a shame mpi didn’t support you then and we could be years down the track with this research.
    4 points
  34. I put our very low incidence of AFB these days to the fact that we've been running AFB dogs for a number of years ....persistent, patient pressure , screening and quarantines has paid dividends. Somewhere on the Net is Sarah Hights d oco ....'A million dollar Nose' that documents a day in the life of AFB dog Georgie. The agency was against the idea of dogs as a screening method from day one, then back tracked a few years ago to say they might consider the idea after 'rigorous scientific testing' ..... so at last someone has had a quiet word with MPI and persuaded them to fund some resea
    4 points
  35. Here is a graphic representation of that. The hive in question is a double deep lang, and it gets two supers at the start of the flow, both drawn. We try treat it exactly the same year over year as it sits on the scale and becomes our sentinel for measuring and comparing the flows year over year. The only manipulation of the data is to remove the artifacts from adding and removing supers. 2014 was the first year we put the scale under the colony, and the spring honey flow lasted exactly 9 days, those who did not have colonies 'ready for flow' at that time, missed the flow. 2015
    4 points
  36. Common to do in the kiwifruit industry, although there would have been a discussion before hand to decide on price and condition. With out conditions attached it would be hard to hold up in court, Had a case here in the BAY where beek supplied x number of hives for pollination, ochardist got them audited and they were found to be to small so withheld payment, went to court and the beekeeper won, he did supply the number of hives asked for. As there was no size/condition demanded from orchardist, he lost. What size is a hive?
    3 points
  37. isn't that done on kiwi fruit orchards ? all the farmer has to do is to have it in his contract that hives are allowed to be inspected by a third party.
    3 points
  38. Homogenisation ..... When extracting honey we might do a run of 200 boxes in a day . We run yards of 48 hives to a yard, so potentially there are 150 boxes per yard that go into the bulk tank. The bees have already homogenised the brew .... they all came from the same area, right, but buyers are reluctant to buy unless you can say you have stirred the whole tank off ten drums, for as we all know honey settles in layers and each drum might be a little different, and the additional 50 boxes ,might be totally different .... heaven forbid, low quality Manuka. So the stirrer unites everyt
    3 points
  39. I agree it is a lot slower with the beekeeper there, but that is not always practical and I think depends on the circumstance. As an AP2 for exotic surveillance for 15 years, and because of the geographic size of the inspection area and the amount of hives and apiaries to inspect, and working on week days, also round weather patterns etc, I would never have finished my Biosecurity NZ contract, nor would the routes I traveled have been as economic, and my line manager placed a certain emphasis on time management skills. However with a COI for which the beekeeper pays
    3 points
  40. Yes. Also the European or Australian model. We are very fortunate that we were able to shut down a couple of little islands in the South Pacific.
    3 points
  41. this is exactly what I think has happened and is happening. Those of us doing honey before manuka are aware of what it’s like producing low value honey and working through winter or even doing a night job after your full day of beekeeping. Our first honey cheque was $24000 (total) I can still remember that day, it was so exciting it was more than a years wages I had never seen that much money in our bank account. Today I would be devastated if that was our total payment even 4 times that much wouldn’t be much better. Then along came Manuka and we got used to high ret
    3 points
  42. A lot (most?) beekeepers, both long time and new to the industry have experienced an exceptional lift in their incomes compared to before the Manuka boom. Do you see it as a period of a re-evaluating of the expected “lifestyle” some have become accustomed to, and a number exiting as the can earn better incomes elsewhere, even get a better return on investment elsewhere?
    3 points
  43. It was suggested by someone in the scientific community that to get a peer reviewed trial conducted from go to wo would be in the region of 100k. The article in stuff about the new trial mirrors that. It was also suggested by Agency Honcho's at the time that having to come up with that sort of cash might be too much for a backyard operation, and there was no need to get too enthusiastic about the Dog Program taking off. The head Honcho's were right. We weren't really interested in going through the rigmarole of getting the begging bowl out and stuck to sorting our own
    3 points
  44. I agree. I have a great Covid19 time. Apart from having to cancel our overseas trip in April. However, there are a lot of people who have not been so fortunate.
    3 points
  45. Agree. My read = bad luck settlers, and not much sympathy to them
    3 points
  46. Just catching up on this thread. Re the AFB and glyphosate testing issue, my honey buyer has said that all honey will be tested for AFB and for glyphosate. Honey with AFB will not be purchased, cos they don't want it rejected after it gets to China. Honey with glyphosate might be purchased, however they can't send it to Japan, so the extra hassle of having to worry about that may reduce what the honey is worth. I spray around my hives with roundup, so, gonna have to move to something else, probably more dangerous. However this seasons crop, about to be harvested, it will be interes
    3 points
  47. The SNI Group has been assisting with this project for about 3 years. The first part of the project is to identify the volatiles that make up AFB (my words, not scientific). Massey University in Palmerston North is doing the Laboratory work to identify the volatiles.
    3 points
  48. Its been unusually cold here lately . I have not had a swim yet , not even tempted . Thats how I measure how warm the summer is , by when I go swimming .
    3 points
  49. it is a bit like raising teenagers and then you wish them well when they go off to University to get fully trained; onwards and upwards. We hope we have equipped them with the skills to manage it. Also we do hope to get one of them back here when they retire. Meanwhile Blind Low Vision are pretty sneaky; immediately they produce another 8 week puppy to help you take your mind off it!!
    3 points
  50. Been a real dog of a season here in Upper Hutt so far (certainly out here in the side valleys). Our season is normally later than the rest of the North Island, but with the horrid weather we've had lately, the poor girls are struggling to get out to forage. Just come back from inspecting the hives and it looks like we're a few weeks behind where we were last few years. At least food is bountiful when they can get out. We have a large bank of dog rose and St John's Wort at our place and the honeys and bumbles are loving it!
    3 points
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