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Showing content with the highest reputation since 02/28/19 in Posts

  1. 26 points
    Hello everyone I am a Male father of 3, Geographer, Master in engeneering that as a good renegade became beekeeper in 2003 because of fighting corruption I lost my job and probably will never have a job again in what I used to do: Rural Services (water, electricity and the like). As I decided to became beekeeper when having wife, kids and a mortgage there was no way to start small and grow. So I decided to try a new model and associated with an avocado grower that need 1000 hives for pollination. Looks like I became a good beekeeper because I was invited by another grower, this time blueberry, to started in 2006 a second project for 2500 hives. I ended my relation with the avocado grower and keep on growing in hives with the blueberry producer, that became also an avocado, cherry and almond producer. We manage between 4000 and 5000 hives at Chile at the moment (you know, we grow in spring and lost hives in winter ) ... in 2015 I was invited to assist another company at Peru, here the project is for 12.000 hives and we are already close to 9000 hives La Libertad province. As a good engenier I like to solve problems, so started to develop diets for the bees, ways to eliminate virus, a good varroa control and now developing schemes forplanting for the bees. There is no way to get bored. Well, the use of Oxalic with glicerin was develop by argentinian beekeepers The Prieto brothers who had been using oxalic in all there form (dribled, sublimation, etc) and with the help of another beekeeper Fernando Esteban ended up with this great Idea of mixing with glicerin and develop monoxalate that when soaked on cardboard strip became an excellent contact treatment. I have been using it non stop since end of 2014 at Chile and end of 2015 at Perú. Fernando and I pushed Randy to try it because we new that if it had his approval lots of beekeepers around the world will benefit with this solution. Still do not know why Randy changed the method for those towels, since it is a contact treatment It must be placed between the frames. The way it is deployed with in the hive is directly proportional to its results. To have over 90% control you MUST cover 8 of the 11 between frames (or super) spaces. I recomend to change the strips after 15 days for a full treatment and also do sugar shaker monitoring before and after treatment. We monitor constantly and treat when varroa is getting closer to 1% (3 varroas in 300 bees). After all this years that end up been between 3 to 4 months between treatments. Because at Perú temperature is constantly higher - much like a constant spring - we still have lots of noise in our monitoring (Varroa Bombs?) so we will change the protocol to 3 repetitions separated 12 days one from the other so as to been able to break the varroa cycle. I end up saying sorry if I do not participate muchand lurks lots, but really I do not have much time with so many hives and people to manage ... Cheers and thanks for existing because I learn lots of you kiwi beekeepers !!!!
  2. 15 points
    Got my offsiders first set of PPE, shame the smallest size is a 4, apparently babies don’t go beekeeping 😆
  3. 14 points
    We are coping with temps over 30C and at least next week also.. Really dry and hot.. Bees strong ( too strong), not rarely with 10 frames of brood.. Now I can see starting of making honey arches.. There will be quite an army to feed overwinter.. But I believe they know what are doing.. Some queens failed and I will merge mostly with others, since I am motivated to reduce the colony numbers.. The hazelnuts are now in focus for me..
  4. 12 points
    Well, What to say. Another decade is rapidly fading into the past and all the doomsayers are still with us. We did not enter a new Ice age in 1970's. We did not run out of oil in the 1990's. We did not lose the polar ice caps in 2000's. We did not all drown in 2010's (Rising sea levels). And I am not sure what we were all meant to die of in the 2010's (oh yes Global warming) (Climate change) Have a fantastic 2020 people. May your God give you everything that you need in your life. Let's hope for a fantastic bee season also. (however that looks for you) Let's all say a prayer for the victims of the Australian bush fires.
  5. 12 points
    First of the Pohutukawa's in full bloom. May not be the best of honeys but it sure is keeping the girls busy!
  6. 11 points
    Here's my take, and i get this not only from my own hives but also that i get numerous requests from hobbyists with near dead hives to go fix them. If the issue is mites but the queen is still alive, the hive can be fixed. First i agree with many of Christi An's comments, but if a hive only has a few sick bees left and will be dead in 2 weeks, shaking them onto new empty combs will not save it because it will be dead before they can get a new cycle of brood through. However the method may be effective in less severe circumstances, and Christi An has found that in his own experience. Katrin you never did say how many bees produced the 40 mites, but by just about any commonly used method or number of bees, a mite count of 40 is very high, and I suspect your hive will be a lot closer to death than you realise. Once all brood is dead or close to it, and the adults are not going to live long, what can look to a beginner like a still well populated hive can go to no bees very quickly. Here is how to save pretty much any close to death (by varroa) hive. From another hive, find a comb of healthy brood that is very close to hatching and put it middle of the brood nest of the sick hive. This is because without that, the hive may be dead in less than 3 weeks. The hatching bees from the healthy comb will at least keep the hive alive long enough for some healthy brood to start emerging once mite treatment has been put in the hive. The brood comb put in must be close to hatching because the sick hive may not be able to care for brood that still has a couple of weeks before it hatches. It must start hatching immediately. If the hive is down to a few hundred bees, more adult bees must be added with the brood, enough to keep it warm. Jiggle the comb a bit so older bees that can fly will fly, the ones still hanging on are young bees that are less likely to kill the queen or rob the hive. In the sick hive put the brood comb with bees next to the comb with the queen, but have the queen on the other side of the comb she is on, from the new comb. This will make for a slower introduction and if all this is done right it is very rare to lose the queen. Me, I don't bother to remove the sick brood, but i do respect the idea of doing it. Bayvarol is my treatment of choice for these situations, a strip should be placed each side and middle of the healthy comb, and other strips placed as needed for whatever the bee population is. Do not place the strips at the end of the comb or outside of the brood. They must be middle of the brood. If it's robbing season reduce the entrance to very small and have the entrance nearest to the bees cluster where the guards are closest to it. Check the hive in 3 weeks. The broodnest might be much smaller, but should be healthy. Bees don't like varroa treatment strips and the small brood nest may have been moved away from the strips. If that has happened, move the strips to centre of the brood nest. Over the next few weeks the hive will start increasing in population and will start cleaning out dead brood and expanding the size of the broodnest. That's my method and i get pretty much 100% success regardless how bad the hive is, I've even brought back hives with a queen running around plus 20 or 30 scattered bees left alive. Only other thing I'd say is that the other hives likely have high varroa levels also, would pay to treat them all. Leave the strips in 10 weeks.
  7. 11 points
    My apologies for the delayed response. I have just had a very busy and rewarding trip, bouncing around the world promoting wonderful New Zealand honey. I can only give my opinion and view on this topic. There is no single answer that explains the current market position of Manuka honey and the demand both domestically and internationally. There is no doubt that change is occurring and that some markets are maturing and new markets are emerging and others are just starting to really blossom. Whether you are busy and successful or not is dependent upon your brand or brands and the markets you choose to target. I see growing awareness, acceptance, appreciation, reputation and want for Manuka Honey in more and more large international markets. I also see buyer confusion and concern over standards and quality. I still see confusion with labelling and grading systems. Anecdotal, word of mouth, positive feed back for Manuka Honey is spreading faster than I have seen before. Yet, as an industry we are not ready to capitalise on the opportunity. We are not unified in our direction and approach. As an industry we are very immature and a short term, fast cash get rich quick mentality still permeates many quarters. We are very poor at self policing. In fact there are plenty in the industry that treat standards and labelling laws as a burden and costly interference. There will never be a $billion Manuka industry for NZ while these people companies exist. As fast as markets emerge and grow they will be the first to undermine and cause long term damage. I have just travelled extensively and the junk I have seen offered and portrayed as Manuka honey is in my opinion a disgrace and embarrassment. Firstly lets put to bed the Australian issue. It does not look smell or taste like real Manuka. It is like treacle or molasses. It is just honey with MGO. On its own this would be no threat to a united industry with fortitude, foresight and 20+ years of science. As it is, not only can we not agree and join together and garner Government support for the defence and the protection of the name Manuka. We actually have New Zealand producers trading in and offering Australian Manuka as an alternative at a lower price. What does this say for our position? What does it do for our argument? Next we have companies that flaunt the essence of the law. Those companies that ship bulk honey off shore to knowingly pack under far looser, less stringent labelling requirements. The MPI Manuka Honey definition is there for a reason. Like it or not it is there to formalise compliance and strengthen the New Zealand Manuka honey brand and reputation for quality. Those that look for legal grey areas to avoid or get around the standard, simply reduce respect, quality and value of the industry. Next we have the often deliberate confusion and false, detrimental marketing surrounding the use of variable grading systems. UMF and MGO still cause confusion. While UMF appears to be strengthening standard requirements, MGO on its own seems to be often used to confuse. There are many brands that promote MGO 30, 50 and 70 as Manuka honey with the words 'blend' or 'multi floral' very small, unclear or obscurely positioned. The UK is a prime example of a large market that has been saturated with lesser quality product, poor product education and now has a unnaturally low perception of the real value. Then we have China. The golden goose. The number of brands available are countless. Most I have never heard of. Most will not be there next year or the year after but will probably be replaced by the next brand who thinks the market is easy only to realise that the only marketing tool they posses is price. Even the biggest brands seem to be forever chasing volume at the expense of value and credibility. Buy 1 get one free, 50% discount, buy 2 get one free etc etc is common place. I did not see the same discounting for top Champaign, caviar, perfume and branded clothing etc So back to New Zealand and Manuka Inc. One year does not define a market and direction. There are some major corrections taking place. Some very large producers and brands are suffering or reversing and have reduced or stopped buying. Previous errors and direction are coming home to roost. The converse is that other companies and brands are emerging and defining a new standard and direction and value proposition. Genuinely exciting New product development will move Manuka honey to a new level and into new markets. I see growth opportunity every where I look and many untapped markets. From a personal perspective we see multiple new business enquiries every single day. The majority are Manuka related. Many have agressive price expectations. Some tick all the boxes and are worth developing. Time scales are often quite long for new business development but I see a very strong sales pipeline for the next three years. I am not looking beyond that at this point. Adam
  8. 10 points
    Push it over the line @Philbee Over 70 loads @ 2-2.5 cube on one of my wintering sites ready for shifting tonight Shifted 55 more hives to my wintering site, 20hour day yesterday finishing at 12:30 and unloading this morning at 9am then went on to put staples in and feed 3 sites with a bit of chainsaw clearing to let some light in
  9. 9 points
    Why do we discuss temps? Take the big picture, humans consumerism is destroying earth. Business want us to be wasteful, throw it away. Makes production cheap and affordable for all to throw away Because no viable options are available. For a reason, to keep us stuck. Government want our tax, spend please Poor young folk get bombed with adds to spend. The mantra, spending is good
  10. 9 points
    I gotta say as far as the staples go I’m very happy.. round 2 of my own bees complete. Drone production in full swing, no mites seen, fresh staples been in for 4 weeks, bees are clean as a whistle and building well. A trickle of nectar coming in at last.. willow still 3 weeks away. Have split anything building queen cups (14%) Only about 5% are chewing out the EPs. Around 12% lost population this time round.. with 7% creating supercedure cells upon fresh staple placement. Most have been torn down. happy as Larry.
  11. 9 points
    Okay. I'm going to be a bit harsher here. Feral hives living in rotten old trees still die from varroa. Pseudo-scorpions were a nice idea that was looked at quite closely and found to have no real relevance in varoa control. It's another one of those small cell size, foodgrade mineral oil, nasturtiums planted out the front of the hive, top bar hive, AMM, screen bottom boards et cetera ideas that might have worked but didn't and never will. There is little enough money for research without throwing it away. If you want something useful to spend research money on then how about looking at getting parasites from Australia to deal with the passion vine hopper. It's costing beekeepers millions of dollars each year and the kiwifruit industry over $30 million a year, plus it is implicated in the spreading of cabbage tree die back as well as debilitating other native plants. It may be that there are no suitable parasites and it may be that even if there are they won't work but it has got to be worth a try. Pseudo-scorpions have already had their chance.
  12. 9 points
    So this year I got no honey at all... But ive learnt about swarming, queen failure, varoa and wasp pressure. I’ve also rediscovered the fun of local honey, yum. Nothing better than going out for a coffee and leaving with an extra treat for later. Or being given a sympathy jar from a more successful colleague at work Get out out there and buy local.
  13. 9 points
    Randy found that in the dry climate of California shop towels worked in singles However in the humid State of Georgia they were much less effective because Georgia has a humid climate and the Glycerol in the towel outside the Brood nest absorbs that moisture ruining the Oxalic solution. Our New Zealand climate can do the same. However when the shop towel is used in a Double there is a higher chance that it will be within the climate controlled zone of the Brood Nest and therefore work better than in a single. This contributed to the inconsistent results from OA/GL Shop Towel system in New Zealand. Staples on the other hand are much more suitable than shop towels for placement between the frames within the Brood Nest where the Humidity is highly regulated. Shortly I will post a video of still shots of Late Autumn Hives in outstanding condition, all with Staples inserted within the Brood Nest. Here is a Video of stills that I threw together today while out and about tending to my Staple Efficacy trial The hives in the video are Hives opened consecutively for photos and not the pick of the bunch, just typical Hives in my operation. They have all been treated exclusively with Staples for 2 or more seasons and this season just spring and Autumn. Vast majority have low to zero mite counts after a month of treatment and will bolt through to Spring Every one of them has Staples in the Brood nest https://youtu.be/VmFuFjc8JZQ There may be a couple of double up photos, That 4 parts/6 parts works out to 31% OA by weight Does that sound about right to you?
  14. 8 points
    The first New Zealand soil residue study on neonicotinoid insecticides has just been published. Note it is only the 4th study published on pesticide residues in the environment ever published in good old clean green NZ. The cynic in me says "we really do care about the environment!" Chris Pook and Iana Gritcan have published their work in the Journal of Environmental of Pollution in their December 2019 Publication. The abstract s here; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0269749119301381?via%3Dihub Validation and application of a modified QuEChERS method for extracting neonicotinoid residues from New Zealand maize field soil reveals their persistence at nominally hazardous concentrations The study has been published by Stuff https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/117759904/study-shows-chemicals-could-cause-beehive-losses This morning Dr Pook also featured on Breakfast. Available on TVNZ On demand The Study samples were gathered from sites in the Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Gisborne, where beekeepers have reported hive losses over many years, especially immediately after maize harvest. Are you one of those beekeepers? We need these reports guys - no reports then there is no action! This study owes a lot to the challenge I got from Neil Mossop of Mossops Honey who told me of their many years of experience of loosing hives, so much they do not place hives there anymore in these areas after maize harvest . His challenge was to find out what is going wrong. Well we cannot confirm causation at this stage, but it is very apparent that our Ag practices are leaving significant neonicotinoid residues in the soil and environment. Here are the main key points I have got from this study. Why is NZ not monitoring pesticide use? How much is used, where it is used and what chemistry is used? Examples of where this is used include Netherlands, California. Lack of monitoring and research into all pesticide residues in NZ This is the 4th paper published to date. We do not have a clue of what is happening in our environment. There is no testing of new pesticides on effects on native vertebrates. There is no ongoing monitoring and measuring of soil residues and waterway contamination. How are we using our pesticides? Seed treatments are used as prophylactic treatments, not specific targeted treatments. Are we apply to much with respect to seed treatments? Poor enforcement. The EPA has set Environmental Exposure Limits as per the HSNO Act. but has never measured the environment to see if limits are being exceeded. There is one exception 1080. The Minister for the Environment obviously does not care. Honey bees gather what is in the environment when they collect nectar, propolis, pollen and water; the 4 main inputs to a hive. We know they are collecting; pthathlates (detected in propolis) fungicides in wax, glyphosate in honey etc. And we have no research money as an industry to continue this work. Note the study has not yet linked the soil residues to the death of the hive, so we cannot state it is the causative factor or claim causation. The study has correlation because we went to known bee dead areas to obtain the soil samples. The study was funded by AUT. No beekeepers money was used to fund it - so we are all freeloaders. So how do we fund continuing research that could determine causation?
  15. 8 points
    Beautiful day on thurs,trailer refurb completed so tiki toured up the east coast,prospecting ,inspecting,supering and snorkelling...
  16. 8 points
    But in fairness, they introduced their pollen count method before manuka was a thing. They were groundbreaking at the time, introducing a standardised method to correctly identify honey types by the pollen. This was for all honeys, not just manuka. . I suspect that was a resaon they have always been so strident in rejecting the other methods of defining manuka, they felt they already had the ultimate method. And indeed, the passage of time has shown some of the other methods to be wide open to abuse.
  17. 8 points
    Crimson clover seed is planted Now wait and see
  18. 8 points
    Hopefully me. I’m having another baby 😅🤣
  19. 8 points
    On the matter of placement. Ive always put mine in a straight line and killed the Mites but Ive also always had a split Brood as a result That is the Spring Hive has Brood at one end and stores at the other with the row of staples as the boundary. It never bothered me because at least the Hive was healthy and that really what my goal was. Recently Ive realised that the square pattern layout in the central part of the Box is probably a step up. I might try it this season.
  20. 8 points
    Just shows even a beginner can do it. Well done Hayden, if everyone was as good as you we would likely have eliminated AFB from New Zealand.
  21. 8 points
    Here's a couple of July Hives at 550m
  22. 8 points
    A year ago I opened the hives to the horror of seeing mites on bees , so I permanently binned synthetic strips. I then embarked upon successfully halting the decline and recovering them with @Philbee OA staples, mid Winter . Today I started on my June round of beekeeping , which involves checking where the brood is and moving the staples back into the middle of it and the cluster . So it's been 12 months since I started with staples and I will not use anything else. The bees are healthy , all of them . Far better than ever for winter . I believe it's vital to move the staples back into the cluster , monthly , Autumn and winter 😊😊
  23. 8 points
    Still in the drawing board stage, but some knowledgeable people working on this. QUOTE - The basis of the innovation is quite simple. When the queen bee eats something with pathogens in it, the pathogen signature molecules are bound by vitellogenin. Vitellogenin then carries these signature molecules into the queen’s eggs, where they work as inducers for future immune responses. Before this, no-one had thought that insect vaccination could be possible at all. That is because the insect immune system, although rather similar to the mammalian system, lacks one of the central mechanisms for immunological memory – antibodies. "Now we've discovered the mechanism to show that you can actually vaccinate them. You can transfer a signal from one generation to another," researcher Dalial Freitak states...... PrimeBEE's first aim is to develop a vaccine against American foulbrood, a bacterial disease caused by the spore-forming Paenibacillus larvae ssp. larvae. American foulbrood is the most widespread and destructive of the bee brood diseases. "We hope that we can also develop a vaccination against other infections, such as European foulbrood and fungal diseases. We have already started initial tests. The plan is to be able to vaccinate against any microbe". https://www.helsinki.fi/en/news/sustainability-news/the-first-ever-insect-vaccine-primebee-helps-bees-stay-healthy
  24. 7 points
    When you go to a site to harvest today but expecting it to have done poorly. First hive is queenless and confirms your suspicions. But after that, every box, on every hive, like this. 👍 🙂 😎
  25. 7 points
    Are you guys all trying to flush me out with all this anti-carnica fire?! You succeeded. Of course Carniolans are still being sold. There are far more carniolan and F1 carniolan X italian Hybrids being raised and sold commercially than there are so called 'pure' italian Queens. Every single Queen exported to Canada is either carniolan or F1 Hybrids. Every production Queen produced by the Kiwi Bee Queen units, Apiflora, and most of those produced by the big King's Queen units are F1 Hybrids. It would be just as ignorant for me to label all yellow bees rubbish, or claim that yellow bees swarm more than carniolans, or claim that italians are responsible for nasty hybrids. The truth is that both carniolans and italians are good commercial bees. I can't say the same for mellifera. Crosses between the races can be savage, but you can't blame one of the races involved, it is because they are racial hybrids. Most of you carni bashers, either have little experience working with them and manage them the same as you manage your yellow bees, or have never even tried them. If I managed my yellow bees the same way that I managed my carniolans, then my yellow bees would starve before spring. This year has been a particularly swarmy year up north, even though the spring has been crap, and we have had more swarming in our yellow bees than in our carniolans. Any way, back to the original Question- the answer, as I said is yes, the Kiwi Bee Breeding Unit is maintaining and improving two Closed Populations, one yellow, and one carnica. Each season, we cross the two populations, inseminating yellow virgins with carnica semen, the resulting F1 crosses, are utility Breeders from which we rear all of our production Queens, these Queens are very uniform, very vigorous, very productive, and a pleasure to work with. In a trial last year, they performed significantly better than the straight BB's stock in the trial. We sell these F1 Utility Breeders to anyone that is interested in giving them a go.
  26. 7 points
    Life's about ballance, Iv gone down over 50 hives so far, I'm not making my losses back and I'm just putting brood from outside to outside of my singles. That's the only way I could think of getting rid of my non profit sites so that I have a bit more time with my family instead of working 7days a week
  27. 7 points
    This was how we ran them at the start this time last season and later found we had cut the brood nest in half .. a small percentage of them layed past staples but majority didn’t which affected expansion of the nest. We now run a leg in every seam and alternate ends of the frames. Works for us. Always placed on outside edge of the brood, like say half on the brood and half on the pollen/stores band surrounding brood. For us that is most effective. A full box of bees gets 4, a double brood both boxes full of bees with brood gets 7 . A box of bees containing only 5 frames bees and couple small patches of brood I give 1... adding more as they expand up to a max of 4 in one box. Always wiping excess liquid off before placing. This works for us on our sites. We have done a full year ox staples only. First time we used them we lost bees but so far things appear fine this season. They MUST be with the brood and don’t appear anywhere near as effective if brood is away in the corner of the box post winter.
  28. 7 points
    I just spent two weeks wandering around the South Island taking an old mate on a boys trip. South Island roads are so much smoother and less potholed than the North Island roads. Beautiful bush almost everywhere and manuka all over the place including hundreds of acres sprayed to death on the Milford Road. Saw lots of hives but most seemed well spread out and not big sites. Roads were almost empty anywhere away from towns but I was a bit disappointed with roads like the hast pass and the Crown Road over Cardrona which while picturesque were not anywhere near as rugged as I was hoping for and we have more exciting roads here. Milford was a bit more real especially with heavy snow around both ends of the homer tunnel. I like where I live but the South Island is dropdead gorgeous.
  29. 7 points
    And the young guys are doing that as well ? Its a long bow to draw basing such a statement off one beekeeper in my opinion . I don’t like it when derogatory statements of fact are made about the old guard . To me it’s the old time beekeepers who are, on the whole, the real beekeepers. They are the ones that have been able to make a living from stuff all income. They are the ones that were labelled a bit weird when it was known they were beekeepers unlike today where it’s trendy. They are the beekeepers who had to deal with the arrival of varroa and they are the people who have watched as others have entered the industry with a pocket full of cash and no knowledge or care for bees and completely changed their way of doing business . I take my hat off to the old timers I’ve learnt so much from them and continue to learn. give me the knowledge and tenacity of an old timer over a young gun any day of the week.
  30. 7 points
    Just another opinion, personally i would not combine. Couple of reasons, firstly, with proper care the smaller hive can still survive the winter, it may need moving a few Km's to a buddies house to get it away from the wasps, after a month or two it could be brought back. But the main reason, if the hive is weak there could be a reason for that as in some type of infection. If that is the case, you don't want to dump it into the good hive. Me, I never dump struggling hives into good ones. If anything, I would add some brood and bees from a good hive to a small one that needs it, but not the other way around. However, that's just one opinion of many, so go with whatever works. Just some encouragement, a friend asked me to look at their hive as it was being attacked by wasps. Went there, took the lid off, and immediately a horde of wasps flew out. There were 100 or 200 bees left, scattered around, and the queen running around by herself. So i took the hive home and left it overnight so the bees could find each other and cluster. Also took a 1 kilo package of bees from another hive and left them queenless overnight. Next day sugar watered them and dumped them in. Had a look a week later and queen still alive, eggs being layed, bees cleaning out dead brood, things moving the right direction. Suspected possible varroa problem so put strips in. This hive will be ready to give back to the owner once brood starts hatching, so even the hopeless looking cases can be done.
  31. 7 points
    The old house is quiet tonight. I had an old mate up today. His boy brought him up riding shotgun on a sales trip. It's been one of those stunningly beautifull days in Te Wai Pounamu , that time of year when the trees start to turn and the mornings have an eye watering chill in them ,and the roar and the croak of the stags resound around the valley. The old mates' boy sells machinery, so seeing as the Can Am has been in the fix it shop for two weeks and they are having team meetings over what to do with it , I thought we should look at our options. There are always options. The stockman has been riding Shank's pony. He's been very polite about it. He always is. My new pony has been in the yards getting started ..... and he is a beauty .... a pure bred short coupled Arab that my mare from hell gave birth to eight years ago ..... but good things take time ..... So the Can Am is busted and it turns out my old mate's boy sells Mr Kubota's machinery. So they arrived at 8.00 am with the side by side on the trailer. We seem to go through the bikes. Side by sides, quad bikes, motorcross bikes ..... they all need fixing. The quads diff crapped out last week. The seal went on the back axle and the diff must have ran out of oil and ended up with one wheel drive. We won't talk about the Can Am. So we had a look at the Kubota . A 28hp three cylinder diesel that sounds like the Bobcat , powered by Kubota. She's got hydrostatic drive, oil immersed brakes, phenomenal engine braking on the descents ..... and a half tonne hydraulic tip deck. And she comes dressed in Camo. Eldest boy and Mum did the road testing. Old mate, his boy, and I followed in the cruiser. Climbed the dark side track to the top of the hill and sat in the sun absorbing the view of the foothills, the new snow on Mt Hutt, the mist in the Selwyn and the Torlesse ranges craggy skyline beckoning. And we talked of the old days .... back when .... when we worked for Airborne , about when old Arthur died up the Rakaia on his last mission to the bees, and had to be carted back to Leeston on the back of the bee truck, and the party's me other old mate had, who was my boss , when the young beekeepers passed out under the table at six o'clock ..... in the morning .... and the lack of high viz, and certificates .... and the phone calls on a thursday night to move a thousand bees out of pollination by the weekend and only armstrong cranes and grit to lift them. And as we sat in the sun and reflected .... Old mate , his Boy and I ..... and all was quiet as My boy and his mum went on daring deeds to try and kill the Kubota in some swamp hidden bog hole in the valley below .... I put it to old mate ..... "How d'ya grow such a good boy ?" 'Life and love. Lotsa love.'
  32. 7 points
    Saw these hives when having lunch on a Mekong River cruise They are right around the restaurant for the tourists Their bees are much smaller and very calm. Sampled some of the honey which is light and very runny. They served it with some pollen and tea made from pandan leaves. It was quite nice.
  33. 6 points
    C'mon @Alastair and @Philbee Let's tone it done a bit. Everyone is getting rather tired of these personal attacks. If the only way you can communicate is by constant swipes at each other then the moderators will take some direct action. You are both to blame, so please don't point at each other. I have given a lot of tolerance to this thread but I can close it and then delete the thread so all information will be lost. Your thread also @Alastair Sorry for the heavy hand but I have more things to do than police the kindergarten play yard.
  34. 6 points
    Today's newspaper (The Beacon) had the name of the guy so I'm putting it on here. His name is Mark Owen. We still haven't had anything in writing but some of the details in the paper weren't correct but because we dealt with different people (police and prosecuter) usually on the phone it looks like some facts have been altered or left out. It wouldn't have changed his sentence though.
  35. 6 points
    manuka, white manuka, kanuka ,kahikatoa, Red tea tree were all names used for both manuka and kanuka. They are closely related and have been known to naturally hybridise. The two honeys are very similar and certainly in this area almost always come in at the same time or at least overlap. They were always sold together as manuka and this was not to try and rip people off, it was just the way it was. There is more difference between Hawke's Bay and Northland manuka as far as taste goes than there is between Hawke's Bay manuka and kanuka. I have never had a problem with the two being mixed together and up until recently was impossible to tell them apart anyway. It's ridiculous that good manuka honey with a high UMF and a little bit of kanuka doesn't even make manuka multi floral and yet if you mix enough clover with it becomes manuka multi floral. The current standards are plain wrong and I believe should be challenged. The problem with adulterated manuka did not come from beekeepers who have always packed manuka\kanuka together. The problem came with people who mixed everything else in with their manuka\kanuka honey. If you want a high UMF honey then you're going to need some reasonably straight manuka from the right area(or some suntan lotion) but if you just want a nice pot of reasonably priced table manuka with arguably a better flavour then Hawke's Bay manuka\kanuka every time. I wonder if those areas that traditionally called manuka- kahikatoa or kanuka will be selling their honey under those names. I keep feeling like blaming MPI for this debacle but beekeepers had years to get their house in order and didn't so it's no surprise that we got something imposed on us and being that it was done by government no surprise they got it wrong.
  36. 6 points
    I hope the information helps. While I am very encouraged by my experiences so far I am aware that I am really a novice user so please don't take what I say as gospel! I am simply sharing my experiences to date.
  37. 6 points
    I see the latest Beekeeper magazine came out today with twice as much advertising material. I don't mind getting the magazine as it has some good information, but it does annoy me that a lot of trees have died just so I can throw it into the recycle bin unread.
  38. 6 points
    I should add that I for one would be happy to revert back to a much simpler way of life - self sufficiency is something that has always been close to my heart. I just don’t think the majority of society have the will or the ability to take that leap and the small changes being made eg single use supermarket bags will not make enough of a difference to halt the global warming trend.
  39. 6 points
    For some time now I have felt that there should be just one form and combine the COI and the ADR together and get EVERY beekeepers to state that all hives have been checked for AFB by the beekeeper if he has a DECA or a qualified DECA holder if the beekeeper is new and has not had the experience or training to recognise AFB. This would save all the confusion about who should and who does not need to submit which form and give the AFB authorities a clear picture of who is checking hives!
  40. 6 points
    The 3 teams should be finished the first round end of this week. Replacing staples.. feeding etc, overall they look good.. did some alcohol washes at this site on Friday.. 8,2,1,0 this site is coastal and generally winters well. We have the usual amounts of dead’s so far a couple at each site.. the lack of DWV seen is awesome.. mites seen in some smaller colonies that had wintered away from the winter treatment on the outside frames.
  41. 6 points
    What about a system that passes the frame between two rollers, ie the honey gets squashed out rather than scraped off, leaving the bulk of the wax still attached, or sort of, to the frame ? More wax left for the bees to re-use , cleaner honey for further processing.... In fact Granny's ancient washing hand wringer's rubber rollers could easily be shaped to fit the woodwork. Stainless laundry tub with timber stiffener to take the wringer clamps. Change the sprung rotating handle on top to a quick acting cam action....Bob's yr uncle. I can smell the Rickett's Blue already !
  42. 6 points
    And no-one rang to let you know.....pack of low lifes they must be.
  43. 6 points
    With regard leaving honey on, its about principle to me I resent being in a position where all the ticket clippers get to make their margin and the poor old beek gets whats left even worse a bill'. Id rather not work hard to make them money, getting non myself. What really peeved me off was to see one extraction outfit put their prices up as Honey went down. As for your comment about why do I keep Bees, Im sure you didnt mean that in a bad way but if you did just consider for a moment that those Bees have contributed to this industry in ways that a few tonne of Honey never will. So, I have my own reasons for Beekeeping and thankfully I dont need to sell Honey but I do need my Bees. Also, Palletized Hives in the context of this discussion is about Varroa not production. Whatever studies might have been done in the past are not necessarily relevant in today's environment because today's Varroa environment is different from the past. Lots of things are different.
  44. 6 points
    The mBovis was worse than it should have been, partly because of those not keeping their Nait tag information up to date - exactly the same as happens with AFB and unregistered hives and AFB. Having been dairying when both Brucellosis and TB were more prevalent, people are now into factory farming and are shifting huge numbers of stock constantly around the country. Instead of raising their own replacement stock, week old calves are sold to someone to raise to weaning, then on to next owner to raise to heifer near calving, etc. We used to be very circumspect about buying in from a source of unknown or untrusted disease status. I see migrating bees and disease in much the same way.
  45. 6 points
    2 hives ¾ frames 10 frames boxes. No blower and before you know it you’ll have enough gear for 4 hives, 3 nucs 2 turtle doves & a partridge in a pear tree
  46. 6 points
    I reduced my plastic frames as follows: Make 4 small cuts in the 2 vertical beam, but leave the beam longer by 8mm or so. With a boxcutter, cut off the excess of plastic foundation. You can cut it an break it off. Take the end bar (with or without a slit) of a wooden frame (maybe you have some broken lying around) Cut wooden bar to size. Drill two holes per vertical (plastic frame) for the nails to go in. Place wooden bar in place and lock in place with the nails. Works for me, a bit of work but the frame doesn't warp. Photo's attached.
  47. 6 points
    killed this one the other day, photo doesn't do it much justice as I had to drop it to get it under 2 mb, but gives you an idea, was inside a container
  48. 6 points
    The weather has been beautiful - by brother and his wife, who last visited here from South Africa 30 years ago and nearly died of frost bite at this time of the year, had no cold or rain. We headed down to Milford Sound - perfect - the Curio Bay - perfect - stayed in Little Black Barn - perfect - and sent them off after 8 days. Had a little rain last night, and today opened 3 hives all stuffed with honey and with well developed brood nests for autumn/winter, and 5 boxes due to come off in the next few days. A good year thus far, seven more hives to check this weekend.
  49. 6 points
    I agree. We need a lot of further discussion to figure out a way forward for the whole industry. This will not happen until all groups sit around a table and leave all old baggage at the door. It is time to talk together. Not be talked at by any group or individual.
  50. 6 points
    AFB board members are appointed after being selected by consultants. I know several of them and do not doubt their competency or integrity but I would like to see a change to board members being elected. I have put my name forward once in the past for the board but was not selected. I have no problem with that, I just feel that democracy is a better system than selection by consultants.
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