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  1. Riley’s gonna grow into those gloves! She insisted that she have her “work boots” and her gloves on.
    15 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.
    14 points
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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 cr
    7 points
  6. The make over look. Fresh coat of paint, does wonders
    7 points
  7. Seeing as we are talking about skating cheap .....business is all about cashflow.... spending fifty cents to make a dollar. We toyed with the idea of using Bayvarol this spring, but with limited confidence in being able to sell what we produce this year settled for the cheaper option of second hand staples , saving quite a few thousand k. Same as leaving the Dew honey on last autumn ..... saved buying a humungous amount of sugar, and leaving the bees in the Dew this spring .....saved a lot of truck time moving them down to the willows to get blasted in the Nor'West. I probabl
    6 points
  8. That doesn't matter. Finding AFB in the honey, means there was AFB in the hives it came from. Regardless of source. Finding out which beekeepers have excessive amounts of AFB in their honey, and which beekeepers have none, can target inspection work and save large amounts of money from being wasted in the field. But if that is all you do, you are a mug. to yourself, and to everyone else. So you would only check if legally forced to? Bad plan, and an excellent argument for the need for legislation. No need to wo
    6 points
  9. Today I caught a video of an old queen and the supersedure. Unfortunately I was checking for AFB and shook the comb before I noticed the queens so haven't got them together. The first video shows the old queen she has been chewed at by the young queen and has already lost a wing and had 2 or 3 of her legs damaged, she does not look like she will be around much longer. The next video is the young queen you will see she is very energetic. The bees were pretty riled up cos I had been shaking them off the combs so not really displaying natural behavior. Hop
    5 points
  10. Hi @jamesc, I got three boys too, we could do a swap.....only joking! But seriously I do agree that the young ones should go out and learn somewhere else, I do encourage mine so, to learn something else. Anything. Carpentry, bookkeeping, science, welding, all these things are so useful for beekeeping. Once they've done that and want to come back to the bees they're welcome, with or without apprenticeship, their choice.
    5 points
  11. I'm going to come right out and say that I sold 50 hives to a Comvita Team Leader (guy who is in charge of a team of beekeepers). Before he drove off with them I asked him to go through and check each hive with me. That was really for my protection, so he could not come back later and say they were queenless, or whatever. I was expecting somebody who knew his way around a beehive, but this guy was a schmuck, but arrogant with it. I gained an understanding of two things. First, if this guy is the leader, what the beekeepers are like I couldn't imagine. And second, I realised why Com
    5 points
  12. Ok, I'll take the bait @Grant and get the conversation rolling. I agree, bee-collected pollen is a super food. It was one of the products I managed from a marketing role, I understood it's various stages of production, and I sold it in a sales and promotion role. Not that I'm saying I'm a know it all, but I do know some things despite not being a hands on beekeeper. I entered the industry in 1999, when the Bee Pollen wars were raging. Potentiated Pollen vs natural bee pollen. There were advertisements and advertorials on radio, tv and print media. The then mayor
    5 points
  13. I just collected my first swarm for 2020. Good size. 4 plus Kg of bees.
    5 points
  14. You really notice the temperament of bees when you get a sub optimal day for working bees like today. I like to bring all my breeders home, let them settle for a week or so and then work them in bad weather or really early or late in the day. I would normally find one or two that would get scratched off the list for being uncooperative.. I got one sting today and that was from putting my hand on the top of my veil to pull it off and there was a clump of cold bees that I hadn't noticed. I can remember working bees when there would be hundreds of stings stuck into my clothing and we
    5 points
  15. 5 points
  16. A swarm at one of my sites today. The hive it came from still had a large population. Dannevirke, Manawatu.
    5 points
  17. Nope. I’m still exclusively using staples. Very happy with the results on the whole. Splitting hives because they are bursting and putting supers on some just to give more space.
    5 points
  18. I can't think of anywhere in Hawke's Bay that would never produce a honey crop but there are plenty of areas that don't produce enough on average to be worth keeping hives. They tend to be either the driest areas or the mountain areas. There are also a few areas that are natural wind funnels and they also tend to be a waste of time. The biggest problem I have at the moment is my dry areas which do produce a good average crop as long as there are not many hives. There must be some stunningly amazing beekeepers out there if they can make a crop off 32 hives when beekeepers that have been th
    5 points
  19. On cropping and horticulture, it's not so much the overcrowding. Sometimes the pollination hives have to be moved out on specific dates. Others may be permanent sites, with the beekeeper getting a crop of clover later on. The temperatures here each summer seem to rise/ The last two seasons, nothing for it to be 38 degrees. Also we are seeing more grains grown. Useless for bees. The hotter it is the better the crop, and last year a world record crop was produced in this area. So no doubt we will see more grains. Also seeing more maize. Which because
    5 points
  20. I love the tie dye beesuite.
    5 points
  21. Added 3x 6 frame nucs to some splits then finished my second wintering site today 100 hives, two had practice swarms today but came back and I took nucs from them. Another 10 hour day done and dusted, only got stung about 10 times
    5 points
  22. I'm not an expert on this but my understanding is that the testing is both very sensitive and capable of detecting differing levels of infection. There is currently a lot of work being done on what different levels mean. The selection of the honey to be sampled will also not be random but will be particularly targeting beekeepers with no recorded AFB when their neighbours do have a problem. As I have said before they can't inspect every hive of every beekeeper and even the inspection now wastes a lot of time looking at perfectly healthy hives before you hit the jackpot.No spores, no need for i
    5 points
  23. Finally got @Daleyback to work today! Babies go beekeeping. Uff on baby duty this morning while Daley & I checked her hives, then this arvo Nanny babysitting in the paddock while Uff & Daley looked at the hives. We visited pigs & chooks checked out the coloured sheep & their very cute lambs. Riley had a great chat with our farmer hostess. A bit of play dough & some drawing as well as a few bemused logging truck drivers when Riley & I blew bubbles for them! Lovely picnic in between.
    5 points
  24. I took a couple of days off to pick up three Kaka from Hamilton zoo and take them out to Cape kidnappers. Can't say I was impressed with the traffic in Hamilton but had a wonderful night with Michelle and Byron Taylor and their family and on the way up to Hamilton yesterday I stopped at the Tirau Museum which several forum members have recommended. Spent quite a long time chatting with Jeff the proprietor and man does he have a collection of honey tins . He had a honey extractor which he said he used to use all the time and I have never seen one like it. Will try and post a picture tomorr
    4 points
  25. Ok. So I have split this little section off from the Swarm season thread specially for @Maggie James Here is a couple of photos of my capture buckets and the ventilated lids that I made to keep the swarms alive. The wooden lids are made with 2 layers of 12mm ply with a sandwich of aluminium flyscreen to allow plenty of air into the capture bucket. This allows air for breathing and prevents the bees panicking and stressing themselves to death. The tare weight of the bucket and lid is written on the wooden lids. 1 kg of bees equals about 9000 bees (according to Mr Google)
    4 points
  26. I'll have to sign up my apprentice with north tech to do a beekeeping course then so he'll be eligible
    4 points
  27. Manuka is a Maori word, not an aboriginal word. Aborigines are one of the oldest races in the world. When you google Polynesia, Australia isn't on the list, but NZ is. Therefore the Australians need to think of their own word, or use the appropriate Aboriginal word.
    4 points
  28. 4 points
  29. 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
    4 points
  30. Generally grafted cells are started under queenless conditions and are therefore at least started under emergency conditions. Cells raised totally under emergency conditions are typically capped about a day earlier than those raised under superceedure / swarm conditions snd are theirfor not fed as much and don't develop as fully as queens. This is why most cell raising systems change to a queen right superceedure condition soon after the cells are started.
    4 points
  31. I went through the whole apiary very carefully today . I started with the hives I thought were least likely to be infected and found nothing until the 2nd to last hive which had one newly infected cell on the third frame I checked. Infected material was a very light chocolate colour and had no visual sign on the brood cap. I only checked it because it hadn't hatched when most around it had. Having found four infected hives last time I knew there was a good chance of finding more this time. I have not been doing my normal evening up because of the heightened disease risk. There are t
    4 points
  32. Here you go, @Maggie James, did stay up last night, baking....was a fair mission and result nowhere near as pretty as the one @Russgot, I seemed to have heaps of icing, so just piled it on...and got too tired to do any decorations. With two sons back home from school now, it's half gone and we all agreed that it's delicious, thank you very much for sharing the recipe, @Russ. Did use some of our Kamahi honey, has to be the right one as we had heaps of it standing around in our kitchen...
    4 points
  33. Just collected this swarm. I was notified about it late last night but could not go out to get it. With the heavy rain overnight and today they hadn’t moved. Result is two FD boxes of bees. Interestingly I am the only beekeeper who’s had hives down the end of this road which backs on to native Bush. I haven’t had them there for a couple of years so I am guessing it is from swarmed stock from my hives. property owners confirm there are no hives On their land nor on other property. My apiary is about 6km back up the road.
    4 points
  34. I agree with Alistair. If you have eggs then you have queens. When looking for queens I normally put an excluder between the two brood boxes and then come back four or five days later and whichever half has eggs has the Queen. With older scruffy queens there can be a fine line between swarming and supersedure. If there is no reason at all for a hive to raise swarm cells and especially if the brood is a bit patchy then I will destroy all but one cell and also spread the brood out a bit amongst empty frames and try and persuade them to supersede rather than swarm. I have also seen the oppo
    4 points
  35. Young people seeking a career in beekeeping are being encouraged to apply for this year's Ron Mossop youth scholarship, sponsored by Mossop's Honey and Apiculture New Zealand. The scholarship, set up three years ago as a way of giving young people the best possible start in the apiculture industry, includes $2000 towards best practice training and/or set-up costs, membership of Apiculture New Zealand for a year, and attendance at the industry's national conference in the year of the award. Applications close on October 31. For more information go to The Ron Mossop
    4 points
  36. New snow and a frosty morning. The soothing hum of the bee as cells go out. Bee fever is a strange thing....
    4 points
  37. Since no one seems to want to say something nice about AMM bees I will give you my experience with them. They are nasty, unproductive , swarmy and disease prone. on the plus side they tend to be wasp resistant, frugal with their stores and produce beautiful white cappings. All the plus things can and have been bred into strains of Italian bees so unless you like being stung all of time there's not much point in keeping AMM's. There are societies dedicated to breeding AMM bees in England and when I was there a couple of years ago and worked with some they were every bit as
    4 points
  38. Whoop whoop, Dan did my official AFB inspections and both past beautifully. Rua does still have some mite issues, disappointing, but to be honest, they didnt look all that bad inside of the hive, well to me anyway....and thankfully no where near the amount of swarm cells or proper QC's like last year. Tahi looks like its about to take off rocket ride style, so this week will be seeing me setting up frames to checker board-this time of year so they can have all the drone brood they like which will get moved out over to the honey side. I've got my instructions for th
    4 points
  39. @Trevor Gillbanks, @Alistair you we’re both right. I checked the cell builder today and found old queen and a lovely big young one too. @Maggie James gave me some great advise and my next graft was 8/20.
    4 points
  40. Uh Huh ... we don't run bees on the plains anymore unless it is paid pollination. When I started with Airborne Honey back in the late 90's Cut Comb was the target and we put out thousands of boxes on two queeners . In our final year we put out 200 boxes and most never got finished. The decline in honey production mirrored the rise of dairy farms and irrigation. Back in the day all the bees were wintered n the plains with a couple of hundred moved to the Dew for feed honey for Nucs and stuff. All the bees now live on the Dew for ten months of the year, and get moved to t
    4 points
  41. Heading early tomorrow morning to collect this one. South Waikato. just in time to stock some mini mating nucs.
    4 points
  42. This photo from a few years ago now - one of my favourites. Ian Berry once said to me that when he was at the NBA conference each year, it felt like he was with his family. His smile in this photo says it all. I've got several photos of Kevin Ecroyd when he was only a child. He and his sister used to get used in a range of honey-promoting photographic advertisements. Town buzzing with beekeepers | Guardian online WWW.GUARDIANONLINE.CO.NZ Beekeepers from far and wide celebrated their centennial year at the annu
    4 points
  43. In 1910 Mr W Lenz had extended his operations to Taranaki, but in 1913 decided to sell his Taranaki holdings. A small co-operative was formed to buy the bees to sell them out to the members in lots, and to act as a marketing operation. The New Zealand Co-op Honey Producers' Association Ltd (HPA) was formed by HW Gilling (Matapu), HR Penny (Okaiawa), GH Buckeridge (of Eltham, the agent of the Farmers' Co-operative Organisation Society, which handled produce for export to England on consignment), HW Warcup (Hawera), HB Nicholas (Hawera), AR Bates (Kaponga), WJ Melville (Kaponga) and CE Grainger
    4 points
  44. I hear lots of stories about feral hives that have been there for years but they always turn out to have died of varoa and then been replaced almost straight away by a new swarm. Bees are quite selective about the cavities they use so they tend to go back time and again to the same spot and having wax in their already makes it even more desirable.
    4 points
  45. Not me Mr McGee my Staples have been in since August.. Bees looking good, Replacing chewed out ones at each inspection, overall not much chewing going on this season so far. I’m currently splitting for increase leaving only 5 frames of brood in the parent. new season queens are managing to get out and find love despite the constant Norwesters... fingers crossed for a good solid honeyflow at Christmas
    4 points
  46. Yup, it's hard making those tough decisions, that just a few years ago would have been a no brainer. Leaving honey on not only saves buying sugar, it saves the costs of taking the honey off, extracting it, storing the boxes, etc.. I surprised myself how much work I saved myself by taking a more cheapskate approach last year.
    4 points
  47. Then re join them. Pick the best queens and kill the ones you don't want. Newspaper joint will work great.
    4 points
  48. I haven't mastered how to edit ..... so pic first from phone ..... This round we are making up duds. Went around at the beginning of the week and slid queen excluders in between two strong brood boxes, then cam back after three or four days and split ...... very simple ..... box with eggs gets moved to dead out. No eggs box stays on bottom board to catch drift. Generally the no egg box will have two or three frames and the egg box four. We then insert a protected cell ..... wrapped in masking tape. The cells were due to hatch Friday, but I still like to wrap as extra protection
    4 points
  49. It's a bit before my time but that is my father Ian inside the mobile extracting plant with my grandfather Percy holding onto a 40 lb tin . The extractor is an eight frame reversible tangential which was pretty much standard gear for a long time after this photo was taken. 40 lb and 20 lb Tins were still used when I started beekeeping for storing extracted honey. I am sure that an in-depth study would show that there is more actual harm done from the stress of meeting modern standards than ever came from eating honey from a time when there were none.
    4 points
  50. When Byron Taylor talked at a meeting about three years ago, I asked the question about how much honey was tested for AFB, and he replied 150/year. Those samples were taken from supermarket shelves, and so from large commercials, and he said a number of the samples had high levels of ABF spores - some from companies who had not reported AFB for years. 150 sample over 1 million hives is nowhere near a suitable sample size from any statistical standpoint. The test will help flush out hidden AFB spreaders. Some may see that at draconian, but I see it as science doing it's job for beekeepers.
    4 points
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