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Showing content with the highest reputation since 11/09/20 in Posts

  1. 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 audi
    8 points
  2. 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.
    8 points
  3. First cells of the season. The bees seem to be in the right mood:)
    8 points
  4. 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
  5. 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.
    7 points
  6. I've got a bunch of 2-in-1 boxes that sat idle last season so I'll be putting bees back into these to get queens mated, which will be sold as queens or as nucs depending on what's in demand (mostly local hobby beekeepers). Since I'm in a city there are also quite a few local hobbyists who come to me for queen cells. They might only buy them in 2s or 3s but I still find it worthwhile. I think it is important for hobbyists to have access to nice gentle bees for their urban and suburban beehives.
    7 points
  7. If you have never stopped by Geoff Ernest's museum, just out of Tirau on the road to Rotorua, you should make a plan to visit. Geoff started beekeeping in the middle 1960s, and now is down to no hives - he has to buy honey, he says! Geoff is a collector of many things, but my own focus was on his honey tin collection. It is without doubt the finest collection of NZ honey tins I've ever seen. The tins hold a history of people and places. Anyone who has been around the industry for any length of time will recognise some of them, beekeepers long gone. I spent a delightful couple
    6 points
  8. Hi @john berry Feel a bit silly with this suggestion to such a long time beek. But what we are finding is changes from hive to hive and site to site and it seems to be what there stores consist of. They came through the winter well but now there are big differences in hives and sites. All the best have little or no willow crystallized dew. They are pumping. Then it starts going downhill depending on the level of crystallization in the honey. We have come to the conclusion that some are wearing themselves out and failing to thrive just plowing through all those crystals much o
    6 points
  9. James. You have two audits a year because that is the way some bureaucrat has interpreted the law. It's like harvest declarations and being a registered beekeeper. Parliament makes the laws and bureaucrats interpret them and then reinterpret them. I doubt most of them even know the contempt the average beekeeper has for their petty expensive little rules. It's not even as if they do any good. All those bits of paper and all that traceability and they still couldn't work out who was stretching manuka. My uncle and my grandfather used to take them on every now and again and they
    6 points
  10. Relentless gusty nor wester beating me up again today, pulled the pin about 3:30 due to concerns around tree limbs sending me to meet my maker earlier than I’d like.. popped into the builders to cut out any rogue cells.. pretty happy with the juicy cells.. Thanks @Maggie James for your tips and tricks. However I did revert to cloake board method 2 builders are level above the other and it really shows.
    5 points
  11. It has nothing to do with the quality and standard of the facility. 90% of the RMP is about the paperwork and traceability of the crop ..... which was looked at and verified 6 months ago. Absolutely nothing has changed ..... and I have a good mind to tell 'erm to get Rtd. The catch is the comeback in that an export licence won't be granted, which is no big deal because at the moment no export deals are in the offing. Parasites lining the pockets to cover the expenses of the gilded cages they live in .
    5 points
  12. Just done some sums how this will affect me. I have 320 hives. Multiply that by $1.70 and add $40.00, we get a total of $584.00. I guess there are worse things I could do with $584.00. My world will not crash giving $584.00 towards AFB control. A few years ago I got a major AFB infestation, had to burn a lot of hives. The agency identified and took action against 2 neighbouring beekeepers and their issues were resolved, at least for the most part. Had this not been done I would have had continuing losses or closed down completely. The $584.00 I'll pay is the
    5 points
  13. And that my friends is why I do 99% of my Queen rearing in autumn.
    4 points
  14. Back to the RMP audit ..... This morning I read the fine print for the 'Limited Scope Audit' .... which seems to be a to be a rehash of the full audit, checking that honey processing documentation meets the standard for export approval, transport approval and drum approval. Mouse traps and honey facilities will not be checked. Time allowed is three hours. If for some reason we cancel the appointment seven days prior to the appointment the full fee is still payable. The fee is $1284 plus GST . To my simple mind, this double checking will be on recor
    4 points
  15. True .... I don't understand it either. They partnered with a west coast bee company a few years ago .... big fanfare ..... west coast development sunk a couple of hundred thousand in, Comvita a couple of million ..... couple of years later, little snippet in the paper that the company had been wound up. Some people have too much money and some people have too much spin and some people are just plain ignorant.
    4 points
  16. Must be the season for pressing the flesh. Politicians are hard at it ..... so are beekeepers ...... securing sites for the season ...... losing sites for the season. I met with a landowner today. He owns a rough block with a bit of Manuka on it ....... pulls a low 30-40 mgo ..... but it has the magic M honey and we put half a truck load of bees in. It gives us a bit of leverage when trying to move other honeys .... the carrot in front of the Dew, or the Clover ..... or the Kamahi ..... I got the heave ho ..... the corporates moved in and promised the earth with
    4 points
  17. Good beekeepers have always subsidised bad beekeepers and they have always had to clean up after them as well. At least the legislation does enable the bad beekeepers to eventually be tracked down and dealt with. I don't mind paying a bit more money if it goes towards tracking them down faster. I do however have a problem with paying what is really a tax with no representation. Under the National beekeepers Association the AGM might have been interminable but at least everyone had a chance to speak their mind. Under Apinz the AGM is over before it starts and dissenting voices ar
    4 points
  18. Transport the bar of cells in a nuc you want use and leave the last cell for them
    3 points
  19. I'd venture to say it is more like 100%. I don't think there are any of those 2006 bees still alive today... I delivered a bee talk based on the idea "Don't worry about saving the honeybees - save the beekeepers. They'll take care of saving the bees..."
    3 points
  20. I understand from a long time beekeeper that BoP is running 3 weeks early this year. So that is about now..
    3 points
  21. What I can't understand, if a second audit is absolutely necessary, why it can't be done with the beekeeper sending a video to the auditor, and being billed a very minimal rate. The auditor already knows the layout of the outfit
    3 points
  22. ....and some people are just b....... artists and think they are better than the rest of us - articulate spin doctors with university degrees. That should never have happened. Bully people. The last few years, there have been far to many bullies in our industry. Right now I have a major allergy to administrators.
    3 points
  23. They sunk roughly $900,000 of our money. Another WCRD boo boo, yet the local beekeeoers who wanted money couldn't get anything.
    3 points
  24. One of the most striking pollens I ever saw - it often seems to stretch and drag off the bees legs, rather than remaining as a pellet. Absolutely beautiful.
    3 points
  25. Yes, there's pears, apples, walnuts, hazelnuts (which provide really good pollen), elderberries and maybe some more we haven't found yet. I have never seen bees on elderberries either and we're pretty far south. That's one of the pear trees there, it really is awesome.
    3 points
  26. AFB outbreaks, often in conjunction with the downturns of 'boom and bust' are far from a new thing within the beekeeping industry. The late 1940s/early 1950s are a good example. During that time the (then) Dept of Agriculture inspectors probably exceeded their mandate, acting to destroy abandoned and neglected apiaries, even without first determining that they did in fact have AFB, or who their owner had been. But by the early 1950s, the industry got AFB 'under control' again... And with (about 1950) the outlawing of some of the 'treatments' in use to 'cure' AFB, things settled down somewh
    3 points
  27. Oh I am late finding this thread. How are things now Freeslave, the bees still alive? I have bees at Muriwai. If your queen is still alive you could drop your nuc to one of my apiaries and I will fix it for you. We would need to talk on the phone first, about disease and a few things, my phone number is in my profile give me a call.
    3 points
  28. the afb levy is worth every cent. i suspect we have probably lost more $$$ to afb than we have ever paid in levy. the catch here is that in a down turn it becomes more important to fund afb pmp. as people walk away from hives, or trim staff and skimp on checking and dealing with afb, the more effect it will have on everyone else. as beeks walk away there is less beeks left behind to clean up the mess. even companies downsizing means less money goes to afb pmp. but failure to fund it properly now will cost us a whole lot more later on down the track.
    3 points
  29. Ants already do rule the world. But some years ago I saw a documentary about termites. An insect we don't give much thought to in NZ. But I was amazed. Not sure about individually, but as a group together they are incredibly smart, the construction and maintenance of a termite mound is incredible. Here is one thing that a desert dwelling termite species does. Each morning if it will be a hot day, they go out and select white grains of sand and put them all over their termite mound, to deflect the heat of the sun. Later in the day at a time they choose, they go out and
    3 points
  30. Thanks @Gino de Graaf for raising the question about intentional losses and to @Maggie James for pointing out the text box at the end. I read those comments thoroughly every year so make future improvements in the questionnaire. For example, the fact that we ask about queen replacement strategies at all is due to a comment on a past survey. It's very early days still, but I had a look at the preliminary results for this year a few days ago. At this early stage, it looks like winter loss rates were higher (sometimes much higher) than last year in Auckland, Coromandel, Hawke’s Bay,
    2 points
  31. My queens are looking good too, put down my third graft of the season today, first lots due out on saturday. I just use the emergency response, split the hive, take the queen and put my grafting frame next to cell cups ready to graft
    2 points
  32. And I really don’t want to go out and do a graft
    2 points
  33. The 4% that is AFB if allowed to continue and spread will grow, and very quickly, not only in one beekeepers hives, but the surrounding hives of others, so that is the major difference - it is the only colony loss type with the ability to affect other competent beekeepers.
    2 points
  34. Don't know about others, but I liked immediately seeing where someone was from. It sometimes makes a difference in interpreting regional comments; particularly about hive health, weather, and sometimes practises specific to an area. I went into someone's profile yesterday, and it didn't have the area, which was a bit of a nuisance. And of course, we don't always have time to go into someone's profile or make a post asking them where they are from. Thanks for your answer. Need to fly now before the weather changes.
    2 points
  35. I agree too Chris. Barberry hedges are flowering now. A lot of stone fruit trees flowered 3 weeks ago and obviously had very poor to no pollination due to the rain, wind and cold temps.
    2 points
  36. 55 mm yesterday and snow on the tops today. I think the season is 3 weeks early. Fuchsia is early and today I noticed some broom starting to flower in Kumara. Quintinnia will be out later.
    2 points
  37. So far as I know Beekeeping NZ has been on a crusade to get this 'fixed' and I imagine the other beekeeping 'bodies' are too (?). It is fair to say that MPI are dragging their feet like teenagers and anything else to say on the matter would be moderated if I typed it. Maybe before anyone complains about it here, they should first write to the Minister by email.. Because you know, it is an election year.
    2 points
  38. This is a democracy. There must be channels to approach the right people, put up a well reasoned argument, and see if change can be affected. Or, am I naive?
    2 points
  39. Human nature is a funny thing ..... You got the workersand the dreamers. You got those with vision and those that jump on the band wagon. The bee industry has seen it all in the last few years. We ourselves have seen it all in the last few years. The visionaries and big thinkers that came in with bottomless cheque books and promised the earth have scuttled back to whence they came and left those they sweet talked scratching their heads and trying to figure out what the heck happened. The eloquent talkers have taken the money and run and forgotten the reason they
    2 points
  40. Can't say I've had obvious issues with grumpy bees at that time of year. Down here the hawthorn and broom often come in to flower at the same time. That is when the bees get properly difficult to keep at home. A glut of highly nutritious food just as they are reaching full strength = swarmy bees.
    2 points
  41. Thanks for replying Alastair - Yes my 9yo son developed an interest in bees so the hives were a present for his birthday last week and I wanted to keep it alive at least until then - so that mission complete. - Didn't want to say "happy birthday son ... by the way your bees are dead" But I accept and appreciate that they are a lost cause, and know now that we were a bit naive to take on this lemon. - Having said that the bees were already in the neighbourhood - so I haven't made the world a worse place. And I have learned a bit in the last week (and got very little work done)
    2 points
  42. I do get a bit of it in hives at times. This is what it looks like in a shiny new frame (photo is a few years old).
    2 points
  43. It wasn't collected for nutritional analysis and I don't know the breakdown of different nutrients. These samples were taken to aid methods development for sequencing DNA extracted from pollen, both from single clumps and mixed samples. My bees seem to have access to good and varied quantities of pollen in spring so the fact that they collect the fuchsia pollen certainly suggests that they get something out of it.
    2 points
  44. Remembered that I had a photo from some of the pollen sampling I did last season. Collected at the end of November. Lots of blue pollen...
    2 points
  45. They definitely collect the pollen. Have only really seen it on their back legs where pollen is supposed to be. It is often very untidy looking though, in stringy bits rather than a nice solid clump and it falls off more easily than other pollen. At a number of my apiaries the hives get a dusting of blue in front of the hive entrance (usually a little later in spring but have already seen some this season). Will try to remember to take a photo next time I see it.
    2 points
  46. Just burnt my first AFB since 2018 season but from a previously disease free area since I started. The neighbours got in a beek a few paddocks away a few seasons ago, I fed the hives about a month ago and they were all absolutely pumping with 5+ frames of brood, this time round there was brood in 7 out of 9 frames, luckily I found it before it got weak and robbed out, there were only a hand full of infected cells so hopefully it's the only one that's the only problem with having absolutely PUMPING hives, they rob near by weak hives from beeks that dont do their job!
    2 points
  47. I mix up 25g of solution for every 12g of tape. This doesn't generate any surplus. I keep the lid on the bucket but not clicked down all around and I tilt the bucket on a skirting board, rotating it 90 degrees whenever going past it. When 48 hours it is all soaked in. I turn them over so bottom ones at top and vice versa. After ~5 days they can start to go in hives and are 'dry'. So, I don't do this drying step and don't need to. I'm not even sure that glycerine does 'dry'. It is more a draining step? If you have a lot of surplus solution and then end up drying/draining the amount of sol
    2 points
  48. 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 !
    2 points
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