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Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/03/2020 in all areas

  1. 16 points
    Finally my boys big enough to help do a job one less thing for me to do, he smokes my hive I'm working then moves ahead of me smoking and he's really keen too, proud daddy moment
  2. 10 points
    We are told you are always never too old to learn. I never really appreciated that saying til yesterday when I attended Maggie's Queen tutoring session. Thanks Maggie . ..... insights from a perfectionist as to how to succeed at the tricky job of raising cells ....gems of wisdom as too why she doesn't graft when the weather is cold, and photos of clusters of bees that explode into boxes of bees at a 5c temperature rise , and swarm boxes and supersudure boxes, and harnessing the power of the queen pheromone for the reward of cells of quality. And above all how practice, practice, perfect practice makes perfect ! And the Dog Team who showed us the way of the Dog and to remind us again that the dog's nose is more sensitive than many a fan dangled machine .... And the warmth of the people who braved the cold and frozen night to warm their butts at burning drums and savour the tender pork and the South American breads and Kiwi chocolate cake and fill the old shed with the buzz of laughter and conversation. It was good day .... an early Solstice that filled me with enthusiasm for the coming season when I can put Maggie's learning into practice. Perfect practice.
  3. 10 points
    Picking a Deputy Principal position. A rural high school in the deep south. We picked up 8ha of land in Central Otago, near Alexandra, last year that we want to start building on. Will be the flashest bach around for a couple of years till we move there full time. The neighbours are an organically managed vineyard and other, similar sized blocks of land. When they were developed they were planted out in white clover and grasses. The whole area is white with clover late spring. Aside from being good for my bees, the view isn't bad. Was down there last week to mark out the building platform with the builder. Despite the snow the views were rather spectacular. Plan to leave the hives there as I will have an easy commute home on the weekends. Plus I will bring a couple to park up at my new school.
  4. 9 points
    I don't know which particular case the Waikato branch is referring to. But it sounds very much like a case that has already been publicly commented on in the Beekeeper magazine, so I can comment. In that case, it was a several hundred hive outfit with out of control AFB that was brought to the attention of the AFBPMP after several neighbouring beekeepers started getting AFB all around him. Upon inspection by some AP2's they found that one hive in every three had AFB. Several hundred hives. The infected hives were burned by the AP2's. The beekeeper could understand the need for that. But then, it was realised that honey boxes had been taken off the hives, extracted, and then stored in a shed. The beekeeper did not know which boxes came off which hives. Unfortunately, around a third of the boxes in the shed were likely to be infected with AFB. Putting them back on hives next season would have unleashed another wave of AFB. Because the beekeeper had clearly not been doing his job of monitoring and destroying AFB infected hives and had let the disease run rampant, the decision what to do with the boxes was taken out of his hands and all the boxes were burned. Because this represented a huge financial loss to the beekeeper he convinced other beekeepers he was a vistim of huge injustice and attempted to rally support against the AFBPMP. But to consider the situation logically, what would have been the outcome if the boxes had not been burned. Almost certainly it would have eventually cost that beekeeper more, not to mention his neighbours. Re the reference to floor scrapings, it is true that floor scrapings were taken from the shed and found to have AFB spores. But it was not just that that caused the boxes to be burned, it was the whole situation I have described. To put a personal perspective on it, what would you or I do if we had a shed full of boxes and 1 in 3 of them had AFB. Me anyway, I would not be putting them on my hives. Hard as it would be, I'd burn them. Loose money to save money.
  5. 8 points
    Had a similar experience. Put it down to an Apitraz failure, not resistance to Amitraz. We seemed to get good initial knockdown with the Apitraz, but later in the treatment period its' efficacy dropped away dramatically, and we had hives damaged by high mite levels. Like you, I used some Apitraz in 2019, and had no issues. With Apitraz and and Apivar we have 2 strips which carry the same amount of amitraz, but they are very different strips. Apivar seems to deliver amatraz to the surface of the strip for a very long period of time, in fact months later you can see what I take to be amitraz crystals on the surface of the strips, but with Apitraz, I fear that the amitraz is released more quickly at first, and within a couple of weeks stops being released quickly enough to be effective. OR we just got a bad batch of Apitraz.
  6. 8 points
    The only case of AFB I ever had in my own hives was found when it was the first hive I went to in the spring. Even worse (?) it was in the burr comb between the boxes - I had cracked the top box and there in the bit of comb was an infected cell - not one doubt about it. I hadn't even, strictly speaking, lifted a beehive that season yet! Already, I was anticipating a massive level of infection through all my hives. That cell was the only one I ever found in the colony. Having AFB may not be a beekeeper's problem, but continuing to have AFB is the problem. And, as we know, it can be dealt with, whether a single case or a near disaster. In my case, it was an increase in full frame inspections, ensuring no gear was moved between colonies unnecessarily, and a hive level quarantine. It took a bit of planning and marking, but at my beekeeping size it was do-able. And that did it.. The "yellow book", Elimination of AFB Without the Use of Drugs, is an incredible resource for NZ, and we owe both Mark Goodwin and Cliff Van Eaton a great deal of thanks. Now if only people would read the book and recognise that following the precepts will get rid of AFB, and will cost less than continuing to have AFB.
  7. 7 points
    But anyway.... I is on holiday now....so won’t volunteer to melt yer wax....
  8. 7 points
    Just going to jump in here and say if you have AFB, do report it. This enables the management agency to see if there is a problem in an area that should be investigated by an AP2. All AP2's do is look through hives to find AFB. The beekeeper is then advised if it is found and told what to do. The management agency in the first instance see their role as assisting beekeepers, and a beekeeper with AFB is given advice, and possibly help, to deal with the problem. It is only when there is a raging, out of control problem, and normally an uncooperative beekeeper, that the agency has to step in and remove control measures from the beekeeper and deal with it themselves, which may involve burning of gear that is considered likely to be a source of ongoing infection. AP2's are only allowed to take such actions if specifically instructed by an AP1. And by the time it gets to that stage, wether the management agency got involved or not, the end result if things had followed their natural course, would probably have been the write off of all the equipment anyway. In pretty much every case where this has occured it has taken several years for the beekeeper to get into such a bad state. If the beekeeper had reported to the management agency earlier in the piece, or asked for their assistance, the matter could have probably been resolved at small cost to both the beekeeper, and the agency. Example, I know of a case some years back where a commercial beekeeper only one year in found what he thought was 8 cases of AFB. He contacted the management agency and an AP2 was sent to inspect all his hives. The AFB was confirmed and dealt with, and more advice was given. The beekeeper was able to wipe out the infestation early, at a minimum cost, and went on to be a successful beekeeper. Could have been very different had he turned a blind eye to the problem. This whole thing was set up by beekeepers, for beekeepers. Report AFB if you find it, do yourself and others a favour.
  9. 7 points
    This didn't happen in isolation, it was after a major issue was discovered. But this sort of scaremongering is the wrong message being sent out there.I was talking to a waikato beek last spring, he had a few afb's showing up, asked me what to do as he heard from to be careful as the AFBPMP would come and burn his outfit. After I read him the riot act and made him aware of his responsibilities, he was all good. He only had 6-7 hives out of 800 that were infected and they were all in one yard, so likely a local issue close by, but the information he getting about businesses getting burnt is so wrong and needs to stop. No what I'm saying is that the beeks are responsible, and if they don't take responsibility for their hives and end up with a infection running rampant, they will/should be dealt with.
  10. 7 points
    I will be declaring honey sent by post as natural sweetener or something similar in future. how many of us have friends and family overseas that we send honey too. its ridiculous of course and just another layer of bureaucracy to keep the boffons in their Wellington offices employed. i get so tired of all the rules and regs that are constantly dreamed up all throughout life in NZ.
  11. 7 points
  12. 6 points
    OK .... Tonight I have been in deep thought about selling honey ..... and after a few comments last night, and after reading a post today from the Green mussel man ..... I had a thought. Bruce tried it last year with the Co Op . We have made no progress, and we have made no headway .....and to go for a full year with no progress is essential a regress. So .... I am looking for expressions of interest to form a Honey Collective. The goal is to sell honey that is light in colour and low in MGO that generates a return to the producer that will keep them and their employees in the lifestyle that they are accustomed to. The means to that goal will be to hire a person who has the skill and knowledge to achieve the goal .... to go where men have been before selling honey , but to tell a story that has a spin and story to the target market that captivates them two spend the extra dollar to attain a product that is a little bit special ..... and worth paying for. It will require funds upfront. Venture capital to float an idea of risk and adventure ..... It requires people with skill sets beyond making boxes..... It requires people who can dream big and work for the common good.... It requires people of imagination and courage, who may receive no reward for a year for so..... And It requires people who have a determination to succeed in trying times, and who are prepared to look beyond yesterday . So, if you have taken umbrage at the price being offered for your honey, lets try again and get something to work that does justice to the effort we put in to make it. Expressions of interest sent to email at gowanleagold@ farmside gratefully accepted .
  13. 6 points
    Bought a new little Camelia for my bees. Within a couple of minutes one bee had found it. Then there were two and then there were three In one pic you can see the bee flying with big pollen sacs on it's legs. I am suppoed to be weeding,but watching the bees much more fun. ( And possibly why I never get the weeding done!)
  14. 6 points
    Maggie came up today to prep for her queen raising tutorial ....to be followed by a get together with whoever feels the urge to come out and chew the fat over some wild pork slow cooked on the spit. you just need to let Maggie know as we are still contact tracing. For those who worry aboit such things... we spruced up the LongDrop. It’s a great place for a quiet chat.
  15. 5 points
    The group's long CoVid lock-down has been punctuated with Web-hosted virtual meetings for those able to join. This month it was out of the web-world and back to the wide-world with the group's first Honey Show. The BOP group exists to facilitate shared knowledge and experience, in a social setting where potentially everyone has something to contribute, including people that have never (or never intend to), keep their own honeybees. Keeping bees, as a hobby or a business, benefits from good information about many things, for example information about biology and horticulture, carpentry, engineering, business, to legal, employment, and compliance matters. It’s valuable then, that the group appeals to a wide range of people with different life interests. With beekeeping at the core of what we do, providing opportunities to lift the skill of beekeepers beyond proficient to real expertise is an essential process. Rather than teach, our collective role is to provide opportunities to learn, and to learn by doing, by participating, communicating, and by seeing what is possible. Honey Shows are supposed to be a test of some essential beekeeping skills. They examine the ability to harvest and pack honey and other bee products while maintaining the highest standards for quality and hygiene. They should also be aspirational and provide examples of the best that can be achieved. Some of the more peripheral talents, like brewing, making polishes and cosmetics, and cooking with honey, provide an opening for more diverse interests and supply ideas for innovative revenue streams. Creative arts exhibits celebrate novel perspectives on what we do and broaden our horizon. These are all things that provide opportunities to grow, learn, and improve. We are aware that some members are not confident about being 'tested'; about the competitive nature of such 'Shows', but that needn't be so. Yes, larger Shows can seem merciless, and pedantic, to the uninitiated. In our event you are meeting the standards we explain in advance, testing only yourself. For some classes of entry there may be guidelines or no standards. If you think you have created something that merits sharing and discussion amongst our social group then display it, it need go no further. If you wish to 'practice' or test or exhibits for larger Shows you can do that too. The BOP event is intended to be a greater test of the group than of its members. This month's test produced a range of outcomes. I can confidently say that none of the many entries in the honey class could have been prize winners in any Show so you have nothing to beat! However, every one had something to teach us, (like the use of a torch!) and all of them were available for tasting, so even bystanders got tips and a taste. The wax exhibits however included one or two entries of a high standard (potential 'winners' elsewhere) as well as some 'tutorials'. The mead section too overwhelmed us with varieties. We used a lot of lolly-sticks and tasting glasses. The DIY entries were all versions of robbing guards (!), and the 'Crafty' people supplied a decorated hive, photos, a photomontage, and pieces of wool and needlework and so on. We had more than we could comment on in the two hours-odd we had available, and more than we expected given the short notice exhibitors had to prepare.
  16. 5 points
    Uh Huh .... not a bee box, wax melter or some freaking broken down machine in sight.
  17. 5 points
    Tommy you have it wrong again, I do not know the beek involved in that situation. I was annoyed at you being a hobbyist passing judgement on a commercial beek going through a very tough time, even though it may be their doing. You have no idea what they have to be thinking as to how their family may suffer etc. All yo have to worry about if you lose your hive is what to put in its place, a bird bath perhaps, this person has banks and family homes to think about. I never once mentioned I was ok with what they did and have said time and time again that those who don't take care of their afb need to be dealt with. APINZ is not ok with this situation at all, once again you got your facts wrong, but as a hobbyist you quite happy to blame a commercial beek as if you the moral guardian off beekeeping. I have been in that situation, I do know what they went/still going through, have you? All you got to worry about is what color birdbath to get. Moderators is this OK third time lucky.
  18. 5 points
    Money well spent ... elimination .... ? Cleaning up someone else's laziness ..... remember the Greendale burn up last year ..... we are still cleaning up that man's laziness with no help from the agency .... As a last resort, we have 15 pallets of frames due to go for melt down shortly . Thats 540 honey boxes , 4860 frames ..... so many the dog is telling me I need to upskill and resit my DECA. . Last year I was very polite about the beekeeper concerned, but his legacy has cost us a lot of money. With all due respect, like with Covid , if the Agency wants to gain a bit of Mana , it needs to drop the privacy concerns and start informing beekeepers about who is registering a problem within their area so we can plan accordingly where to put hives. We know who has Covid. We know who has Bovis . We know who has Tb cows. But I have no idea what my bee neighbour is upto, except I see a lot empty bottom boards on site, and the agency charged with monitoring is unable to tell me if there is a problem. I tell yah Bro..... we in the Bee industry have a lot to learn if we want to move forward and build a vibrant industry that will help pay back some of Jacinda's massive borrowings.
  19. 5 points
    There is a company owned by 8 beekeepers based in Mosgiel called Honey Products NZ. They have already established a Brand, set up a packing and exporting facility and made a substantial investment in taking control of their marketing. It might be a good idea to talk to them and see if they are keen for new shareholders considering how much blood and sweat it takes to get something like this started.
  20. 5 points
    I was hesitant initially to actually name the product but apitraz is what seems to be causing the problem with my friends hives. I will see if he can find the batch number. It seemed to work fine on my hives and those I checked with an alcohol wash had zero mites. The only reason I went away from Apivar is that ripping the strips apart aggravates a bit of arthritis I have in my hands (so much for bee stings preventing arthritis). It does look on the surface anyway as if there has been a problem with the product rather than resistance which is great for the on going use of the product but pretty tough on the affected beekeepers.
  21. 5 points
    At one time, I think Dr Goodwin used to refer to 'uninfected', 'contaminated' and 'diseased' hives. More commonly, they might be 'uninfected/clean', 'sub-clinical' and 'visual'. A few quotes from Mark. Remember, he has worked with 'sub-clinical' infections since the early 1990s, and has seen the efficacy of the plating/testing method improve dramatically. "Uninfected means that the colony does not contain any AFB diseased larvae or any AFB spores. However, I have heard it suggested that if you looked hard enough you would find AFB spores in all hives. This is probably true of outfits with high disease levels. For example, we tested bees from hives belonging to a commercial beekeeper with a 25% AFB incidence. 82% of 400 hives with no symptoms of disease tested positive for AFB sores. If we had looked hard enough we would have probably found spores in the remaining 12% of hives. However, this case is not typical. No positive results were obtained from samples from 200 hives belong to a beekeeper who had not reported any AFB hives for many years. These hives probably contained few if any spores." "Generally the numbers of spores in a hive will decline over time if no further spores are introduced to a hive. Contaminated honey is consumed and contaminated bees defecate outside or die and are removed. While it is possible that enough spores will find their way to a larva to create an infection this will become less and less likely with time as the number of spores reduces." And absolutely. If we can find a method to identify these sub-clinical infections - be it plating, PCR or labrador, and have confidence in the results enough to actually do something about it, then we might be on the way to reducing/eliminating AFB...
  22. 5 points
    Hi John, I have not posted much on here but do have a read now and then thought I would put my 5 cents worth in as this is something I have encountered this season. We used Apitraz last Autumn (2019) successfully and have used Apivar for many Autumns prior to then with no problems. We use this product in the Autumn due to the withholding period. This season we stuck with the same treatment program throughout the year but with a totally different outcome. We were still seeing mites and losing some hives after 4 to 5 weeks of Apitraz going in and bee numbers were dwindling so we moved strips as the brood nests had shrunk. After 10 weeks we were still seeing mites and deformed wing etc and loosing hives. Sugar shakes at this stage confirmed that we had a problem. I don't think re-invasion was an issue but in my experience re-invasion with treatments in your ok. Re-invasion without treatments in spells trouble At this stage (week 10), and rather late I must admit, we started replacing Apitraz with whatever we had on hand (Bayvarol and Apivar) until we could lay our hands on more Bayvarol. Within a short time things improved. The interesting thing to note here is that even the hives that were re-treated, effectively with the same chemical, improved. This leads me to believe I can rule out resistance to amatraz? Which leads me to wonder if I have received a faulty batch of Apitraz?? I would be interested to know how your friend got on and if he has recovered ok. If your friend happens to know what the batch number is on his packets I would be interested to know if we have the same batch numbers. I suppose one thing I have learned from this is not to put all your faith and trust the products you use and monitor more frequently. (should have listened to Randy) Keen to here any thoughts.
  23. 5 points
    I have seen plenty of incompetent beekeepers with AFB problems . I have also seen far more competent beekeepers with AFB problems caused by incompetent neighbours. I was in this situation last year with two becoming infected in my home apiary. I was asked to join a study on subclinical AFB and was not surprised to find that the majority of hives in my home apiary had subclinical infections . That is what happens when a neighbouring beekeeper has robbed out hives (I am right next door to Arataki and it wasn't one of theirs). The vast majority of subclinical infected hives do not go on to become clinical cases but do require extra vigilance for a couple of years. There is a fear that competent beekeepers with a level of subclinical infection caused by someone else will end up having all the boxes burnt. Personally I think this fear is unfounded but like I said I would like a very clear statement from the management agency to this effect. For the record I have been calling for tougher measures for many years and have no problem with those who are completely incompetent or negligent suffering the consequences. It's not that I don't feel sympathy for them because I do but their actions affect everyone around them and that is why something has to be done about.
  24. 5 points
    I used to work in Greenshell Mussel research. The structure, culture, strengths, weaknesses, profit margins and outlook of that industry were similar to what the bee industry presents today. To get out of the stifling fragmented situation the Greenshell Mussel industry organisation decided to first get a better price for the product. That was achieved through a big, very professionally executed generic marketing campaign. Underneath the generic NZ Greenshell brand that became well known throughout the world the big producers/exporters developed their own brands. Soon profits were made in all parts of the industry. Government was convinced of the potential value of shellfish aquaculture which led to increased research funding so that ambitious game-changing projects could be funded. That research has led to major international technology advantages for the NZ industry (e.g. selective breeding, smart management of food safety) that is giving the NZ Greenshell Mussel industry health and happiness throughout. I believe the bee industry could learn a lot from similar industries that have moved on. As mentioned by an earlier contributor, the wine industry would be another good example.
  25. 5 points
    I wouldn't mind an inspector to do a few of my sites in 3 or four weeks, they can pull strips out while they're at it plus its always good to get another professional in to have a look once in a while.
  26. 5 points
    Morena,funny you say that,cos the block i now have access to,the landowner preferred my kanohi to kanohi exactly as you describe above....than the big players who turned up,spouted this n that or the others who let their other half do all the talking and couldnt look him in the face.
  27. 5 points
    Warning: I am not a honey specialist, but I do like Van Morrison. This is mostly from memory of the history and science, and without checking things, I may well make a mistake or two, and trust some on the list who really know this stuff to correct me. The ratio of dextrose:levulose (Damn sugars always have more than one name, and I can never remember which to use - fructose?) is significant. If the dextrose predominates (Viper's bugloss, peppermint, most honeys?), the honey will granulate very slowly with big crystals, an unpleasant texture for many people. If there is more levulose (cf. Southern rata, pohutukawa) it will granulate quickly, and with a fine grain. Sucrose (a.k.a. glucose - see what I mean about names?) is present as a quite small percentage in many honeys, but doesn't play so much a part in the granulation process, I think. Diastase, an enzyme in nectar, is used to break down the complex sugars (sucrose) into simple sugars (dextrose, levulose) for the most part. The lack of the complex sugar in honey is one perceived health advantage, as the human body doesn't break sugars so easily as the honeybee does... If you use enough heat to liquify all the sugar crystals, and not so much heat that you really over-heat it, eventually it will crystalise again. Honey is a super-saturated sugar solution. If the honey you are starting with is fine grained, it is likely that will be the one to set the entire container. If, after re-liquifying - no longer hot, but not starting to recrystalise - you add some fine grained honey and stir, you've got the rudimentary principles of creamed honey... And to leave you with a misc. factoid: Tupelo honey, produced in the SE of the US has so much levulose content that it will stay liquid almost forever, even in conditions suitable for granulation. Van Morrison made it famous: "She's as sweet as tupelo honey."
  28. 5 points
    Haven’t made up my mind on that one yet. What I would like to know is how would legalisation affect work place drug testing? Presumably most workplaces have a zero tolerance drug policy and this wouldn’t change after a legalisation change?? Therefore anyone who is employed and a recreational user still runs the risk of dismissal if randomly tested?
  29. 4 points
    I think back in the day we had Beekeepers with Mana ...... Beekeepers who were running large operations that produced, packed and sold their honey, run by people who had done their time in the bee yard with a hive tool and smoker and aching back. These days we have the corporate bee companies dictating supply and price ,run by people who have hardly cracked a lid, let alone pulled a frame out to check the brood pattern. Unless you have done your time on the tools, it is my thinking that you don't appreciate the finer complexity of the bee hive which follows through to the grassroots problems of the industry.
  30. 4 points
    AFB spore testing in extracted honey should be mandatory so as to know who needs inspecting for the better of the industry.
  31. 4 points
    I think the biggest issue with most people with Day 9+ cells in the carricell is that they get heat on the carricell. At that age, unless we have sleet or snow the day i want to put out, I don't bother plugging in the carricell. Day 9+ cells are a lot more durable than most people give them credit for. People have rocked up for cells using the polystyrene box, with hotties under the foam, and for their operation this seems ok. I guess that the biggest issue could be too much heat, which is difficult to regulate.
  32. 4 points
    Gets them out of the Cell Builders, gets them away from Rogue Virgins, actually saves having another group of cells builders. There is quite a bit of resonance from the fan! You can manipulate emergence time with temperature setting.
  33. 4 points
    With our Cell Building System, we graft every 3 days, cells go into the Incubator on Day 8 from grafting, and go out late on Day 10. We use Caricells to put cells out, but they are only plugged in on the way to the Nuc yards, don't mind the temp. dropping away as we put out cells, even if it takes an hour or so. We sometimes put cells out on the morning of Day 11, but sometimes during the season, or depending on the incubator setting, you can have the odd virgin hatch after lunch on Day 11. As for Incubator accuracy, Honey Bees have evolved to have very precise thermal regulation within the Brood Nest, there must be a reason, and if it is important to them, it is important to me.
  34. 4 points

    Time Left: 2 months and 12 days

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    Beecroft Health is a beekeeper involved in manuka honey production, specialty honey, and as a supplier of queen bees and live bees to the New Zealand beekeeping and honey industry.


    Dairy Flat, Auckland - NZ

  35. 4 points


    Yes. it was a thoroughly enjoyable day. Those attending the tut thought it was worthwhile. The dog demo was great - made AFB detection look eazy peezy, and we saw the latest AFB sniffer dog in action who happened to be a rescue dog with spunk. It was a wonderful opportunity for those attending to meet Marco and have a chat. Pre dinner duck salami provided. The pork spit roast was fantastic, shoot the night before and cooked with beech honeydew. A great array of home made salads accompanied the meat with wonderful home baked corn bread - South American recipe. One beekeeper stunned us with the most fabulous homemade chocolate cake he baked earlier in the day. It was a really enjoyable day and evening. Thanks to NZ Beeswax for goody bags. This event attracted some long term people in the industry who don't normally attend beekeeping events. Very scenic drive in the a.m. through hoar frosts. The newly painted long drop functioned well! The log burner in the tut room made it warm and snug. Unfortunately we couldn't use the pond, cos the ice was too thin. My thoughts are - a great venue for beekeeping events, socialising, and patting horses.
  36. 4 points
    Study? Historic documentation? A generalist comment of opinion....nothing more.
  37. 4 points
    I keep forgetting... Are we wanting to curb the draconian powers being wielded by the evil empire Mgmt Agency? Or are we wanting to give them even more powers so that we can complain about that, too? Personally? I have no problem with a beekeeper who is willingly non-compliant being assisted from the industry by way of orderly reductions in hive numbers.
  38. 4 points
    You guys might well be right about this, but I've got no knowledge to comment either way. What I can say is that everything else they've said/done or tried to do has made complete sense to me and so on balance I'm going to remain a member and strong supporter of NZ Beekeeping until shown otherwise. I also paid my AFB rego fees normally and I'm very happy with the revised charging regime. I could not get my head around that invoice issue either. But you guys need to be careful just quoting that one passage of Waikato minutes. They previously went into quite a bit of detail about what happened to the beekeeper in Masterton (?) who was riddled with AFB and it really smelt of the MPI/Bovis/Jackboot/administrative incompetency most people are really afraid of and apparently for good reason. Nobody in any group wants to prolong nor generate AFB outbreaks. But there has been plenty else written on this and it does NOT appear to be claptrap. I've long held the view that the AFBNPMP needs to have greater power, fines, backbone and teeth. So, you have to be careful what you wish for. I also now hold the view that this power is good but it needs to be used very wisely. On the basis that NZ Beekeeping has exceeded my expectations on all other areas, I'm prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt in this opaque area where nothing is transparent from either side and I'm doubtful anyone commenting so far has any direct knowledge of what actually took place. I don't think it is anything to do with APInz that the AFBPMP has underperformed for years and I think that the AFBPMP has made a load of fantastic changes and improvements. But during this kind of re-structure (if I can call it that) there is always a risk of the pendulum swinging too far. If NZB acts as a watch dog with checks and balances this is a good thing for all beekeepers.
  39. 4 points
    Camellias are great value for the bees at this time of year. Mostly pollen but some nectar too. Usually the wasps are hard at them too, but since I have dealt to them there is not one to be seen. So the bees have them all to themselves
  40. 4 points

    Time Left: 2 months and 6 days

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    Otto’s Bees is a small Dunedin-based beekeeping business supplying bee colonies, queens, queen cells and advice to local commercial and hobby beekeepers. Honey produced is sold to the locals here in Dunedin. If you want any of these please get in touch with Otto using the email link provided.


    Dunedin, Otago - NZ

  41. 4 points
    Absolutely right, and I'd be willing to bet there's easily ten times more, or a hundred times more chemical components in propolis above what is already known. Some of the flavonoid/CAPE testing is definitely done in-house by companies selling the stuff. I doubt they test for anything other than what they're required to test for, so there will be lots of untested contaminants flying under the radar. It's the pretty standard head-in-sand approach to testing though. Every industry is guilty of it, including honey, dairy, kiwifruit, wine, etc. When you look too closely, you will invariably find things someone doesn't like.
  42. 4 points
    The current limit is set at 100 times lower than what would make you feel even slightly ill. The best solution if you have hives in a high-risk area is to take some scrape samples from each batch before extraction and if they are high then just save the honey for feed. It's a real pain when companies extract from other people and one pallet of very high tutin ends up mixed with the whole days extraction. Some contract extractors now make it the responsibility of the supplier and if you're not careful you can end up paying for massive losses. Blending is absolutely fine but only if the honey is something like 1.0 or 2.0 . I have heard of some samples coming back at 50 or 60 and it would just not be practical to try and blend that. Note that even at that level it should have no effect on anybody although I'm not sure I'd want to try. From what I've heard random scrape sampling tends to give a very similar test result as after final extraction.
  43. 4 points

    Time Left: 2 months and 3 days

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    Our small family business produces high quality honey from the hills and plains of Hawkes Bay and delivers direct to your door at a great price - we believe everyone should have our honey on their table! Check out our website for pricing or contact us directly, we deliver nationwide and look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!


    Maraekakaho, Hawke's Bay - NZ

  44. 4 points
    Hi uncle @Ted , I hope you had a nice day. The weather here has been great , and we finished wintering the bees at lunchtime. I had a thought we go to the pub and celebrate. Instead I went to the Dentist and lost a little bit of wisdom. Meanwhile my wife , I don't think you've met her at our wedding because you were busy with your bees , went grocery shopping in Methven. She commented that a local brand of clover was selling for $10/500gm. That 500gm jar had $1.75 of honey in it .At the price the honey company is paying for that honey. I thought it was hardly worth putting the honey in the jar ! Anyway, thankfully the bees are all wintered down. They look good, so I am going on my winter holiday. I'll send you a post card when I get there. Love, Your nephew, James.
  45. 4 points
    Hi Ted It is complex, time-consuming and costly. The more value you want to achieve above market price then the more complex, time consuming and costly it becomes. When you look at this topic You have to start by asking questions. How much volume do we want to sell? How much is available to sell guaranteed each year? How much above market price do you want to achieve? What is the point of difference? - Give me three points of difference (NOT - NZ, GMO or Clean Green) that makes the honey more valuable than honey from Ukraine, Hungary, Spain or Argentina for example? The answers to these will lead to some more questions, then maybe some more before we even start to form a picture of the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How?
  46. 4 points
    If you can sell your M at 50 a kilo do your own protection. M is the wedge prying apart beekeeping, by creating many negative outcomes.
  47. 4 points
    Good question . I think in reality marketing is a personal thing . We have seen the lack of interest in supporting Bruce Clowe's co op ideas.... so lets put that on the back burner and rely on market force sorting the situation. AFB ..... The agency is in charge, for better or for worse, and again, the final outcome is upto the diligence of every beekeeper. I would suggest that the biggest issue facing Beekeepers at the moment is Varroa Destructor. The research project that might have the most benefit is O/A and following up on all the work that Philbee has put in. We sort of know that at some stage we are all going to have to face the reality of synthetic resistant varroa. If we can fine tune the O/A process and make the back shed manufacture of staples foolproof , that would be a game changer for many business's. Forewarned is fore armed. I know for a fact that I would be smiling if I could confidently use a treatment that would save me many thousands of dollars. We are told that the o/A thread has gone underground . There is probably a lot of experience and knowledge out there that can be tapped into for the benefit of the wider community.... right ?
  48. 4 points
    Took a drive over the hill today, as we do every day, to shift cattle breaks.....
  49. 4 points

    Time Left: 2 months and 17 hours

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    Drive to 168 Old Renwick Road Blenheim, Monday to Friday. Five types of honey, beeswax, candles, and beehive supplies. We have been selling export honey direct to the public for over 100years. Bring your container or buy one of ours. Come and see us, and tell us you saw this ad on NZ Bees


    Blenheim, Marlborough - NZ

  50. 4 points
    A bit more progress on that Mac log.
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