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Showing content with the highest reputation on 01/24/20 in all areas

  1. 6 points
    We have a number of clients booking in for the next seasons spring or over wintered queens towards the end of the season. If you are just after small numbers later in the year is fine. In the past the question from new clients generally revolved around availability, not breeding or practices and some times not even cost. That seemed crazy to me tbh and I always talked through what we do to ensure everyone was on the same page. In part that was to ensure that the extra effort and care that we put into what we do was recognized, and if I'm honest, in part to differentiate our business from others. I have always maintained that good breeding is part science part art....I have spoken with other beekeepers about the different types of beekeepers around. The first should be no where near a hive cause they are sloppy, the 2nd kind is a technician who can follow a plan and is fine but limited, and the 3rd is the intuitive beekeeper who can feel, almost sense, what is going on in a hive when opening it. Breeders are the same. If you are looking for a breeder I would say do your research on their years beekeeping and breeding, how they run their operation and their scale. I would personally not buy from anyone running less than 400-600 supply hives or who didnt at least buy in some genetics. I also wouldn't buy from anyone where the owner/manager wasnt out caging and celling themselves. I believe that without full and direct oversite beekeepers and workers often cut corners...its a hot and hard job after all. I dont believe that at the end of a long day or week when you have a last site to pull honey from or the last queens to get that you are doing as thorough disease checks on hives or queen quality checks without oversite. Queens are a little different to other stock in the range of their open matings ie less control however good breeders should be able to largely mitigate that....cells well it's a cheap option and you are getting a lot of quality genetics and ip but still only controlling half the equation on the matings. There is a fair bit of evidence around nutrition and its importance in cell development and therefore queen development so buying in from breeders is still well worthwhile. Right, better go put some cells out before the sun comes up and I lose the will to live in the heat 🙂
  2. 4 points
    For us in our area Autumn queens are generally well mated because the weather is more settled and she can go on mating flights multiple times whereas spring being more fickle she may only get out once. As @BSB said the demand for queens is high in spring but those beekeepers have been told the quality may not be as good as the Autumn queens. I think it’s just a mindset and also a time management issue with late spring, early autumn being a busy time with honey harvest etc. Most beekeepers Seem to be doing spring splits and putting new queens in and hope they get up to speed before the flow but to my mind if you requeenin in autumn queens are easier to source, probably better mated and autumn splits will be rearing to go into the early manuka no problem.
  3. 4 points
    Swarming is really a seasonally affected issue. This spring my brother and I had hardly any swarms. His Queens mostly 2 year, mine 1 year. I usually endeavor to requeen yearly- not this year. Requeen poor cropping/low bee hives only. Bro in past also got expensive Queens, Not worth it. We select good Queens in spring, follow and weed. I now have a few left I like. At harvest of my brothers hives last season I noted a very nice candidate. This is all because it had a decent crop and I 'liked' it. I marked that hive. He found it again recently, and it's still the same. Better than the rest. That one is coming home. Nothing scientific, but drawing on a gut feel. And instinct. But really, who wants to harvest a big crop of 5$ honey....
  4. 3 points
    Yep and I push that too....heavy spring demand is a relatively new thing.
  5. 3 points
    Listened to a now semi-retired longterm commercial beek speak who suggested requeening in autumn - reason was that should get excellent matings, and once mated, over the winter the queen has the time to totally mature during a period of lower laying rates, and hit the spring running as a fully matured egg machine. Just one perspective, but rang true to me.
  6. 3 points
    I generally only use breeders that have been super productive for two years. When I retire I may go back through the books and work out statistically whether new Queen's are more productive and swarm less than two-year-old queens. I know this is the common consensus but it is not what I see in practice especially since varoa.
  7. 3 points
    It is the opposite down here. Manuka is very dark and strong . Kanuka lighter and milder.
  8. 2 points
    Drier than a dead dingo’s didgereedoo now..... but the honey is still flowing.
  9. 2 points
    Same here. Manuka is amber, rich tasting with slightly bitter aftertaste which leaves your tounge a bit numb. kanuka a almost cleat light green colour and milder taste.
  10. 2 points
    One of these photos is manuka pollen grains and the other is kanuka, both taken from the actual plants. The colour difference is just because they are two different samples (nothing to do with the type of pollen). To the best of my knowledge, GNS Science in Wellington are the only lab that can differentiate between the two types with confidence. Xun Li has presented about this at the api conference in the past. We're always employing pollen technicians if anyone wants to give it a crack!! 😄 This is what an actual honey sample looks like...!
  11. 1 point
    @kaihoka no she won’t be worn out by spring. just do your usual thing in Autumn. You might need to pull some brood in spring if you are running single broods.
  12. 1 point
    One suggestion is to clear the bees from the supers and them put them on another hive for safe-keeping. Then you can treat with colony without worrying about contaminating the honey. Is there mite resistance to Bayvarol yet in NZ? It was one of the treatments of choice in the UK (along with Apistan) for a while until resistance built up - the reisitance wasn't really noticed until winter losses started to increase and people figured out why.. Thymol based treatments are used in the UK, and MAQS is also used for a quick (1 week) treatment as it penetrates the brood cappings if it's available in NZ. If a colony has a high mite load and there are deformed wings, it's possible that there is a lot of dead or duff pupae in the brood area that the colony is trying to look after (a rather pointless task and a waste of time of course). Look for bees that have died as they have tried to get out of the cells. If the numbers of bees is falling, once it's been treated for varroa, it might need a frame of (varroa free) brood to help it get going again. Once the varroa has gone, it takes, I understand, a couple of brood cycles for the colony to rid itself of the viruses associated with varroa, so it's a long-haul to get the colony back to strength.
  13. 1 point
    Are they definitely not coming back or are they returning to the wrong hives and get killed perhaps?
  14. 1 point
    There has been no set of standards from queen breeders, for their cells or their queens, and some times it would be hard to quantify. Im not sure if it could be done. I know a couple of beeks who have used very very expensive breeder queens and had better results out of a swarm queen or their own stock queens. So what do they fall back on if a queen turns out to be a dud.
  15. 1 point
    What do you see as the current market price for kanuka Maggie?
  16. 1 point
    Maybe it's because they get sick of reading stuff like this....
  17. 1 point
    We have always sold to hobbyists, the only sticking point with them in the past has been that orders often come in the week that they need it and we are often fully booked out with others who order months or years in advance. While dealing with large clients is sometimes easier in terms of queens per interaction, just in amount of time. I have always found that the enthusiasm of hobbiests is quite up lifting. I agree breeding is like a pyramid general hives at the bottom then drone supply hives with breeders at the top. The more that you have in your pyramid the better the breeders are and therefore queens/cells. We are constantly monitoring and marking hives/queens that we may want to use. The other aspect is that inexperienced breeders ( or those who dont care) cage anything that is laying not taking into account what the pattern is like, if they are drone laying etc....anything we are not sure about has a line put on its cage and is run through another nuc for at least a further 2 weeks before we make a call on it. Anything laying poorly is pinched.
  18. 1 point
    Thin GL from farmlands is for Dairy farms in cold climates, so Ive been told. Clarks products stock food grade heavy GL made from Palm Kernel. Its probably $4 per kg in a 25kg drum.
  19. 1 point
    it would be good to get some reactions from others about length of the tapes if you have time to answer. My hives are essentially single jumbo depth for brood with two inches of capped honey at the top of 300mm deep combs. I've been using Phil's tapes 600mm long to very good effect. But as others have said, sometimes this did divide the brood when I went down the middle. I know about putting them in a diamond pattern around the spherical brood cluster... but I worry about the brood contracting over autumn and losing contact with the treatments, so I wanted to ask about something else... Are there bk's using FD singles and 400mm tapes? I presume there is a gap around the bottom of the tape for the queen to get to both sides without rubbing on the tape? Did anyone doing that still find brood only on one half of the hive? How big do you think that gap need to be in order to work? I'm thinking about cutting some tapes to only 500mm instead of 600mm so that a 50mm gap is left for access. I might do some hives like that straight down the middle to see what happens. Unless there is a resounding "no". Maybe 400mm tapes are ideal for my case to provide a big gap around the bottom, but it looks really short I must say. So I guess this idea is to make the tapes as long as possible for a treatment to work, but also short enough to avoid dividing the hive. If I end up with less treatment in the hive due to the shorter strips I can compensate by putting two tapes in the middle of the brood instead of one. Would it be fair to say that if Bayvarol strips were 238mm long that they too would also divide the brood in half? Phil is no longer supplying 600mm long tapes, but he kindly sold me some rolls, so I can cut them to length to Jumbo depth. I'm thinking about what length(s) to use next once my current batch of 600mm tapes runs out..
  20. 1 point
    Yes you are quite right . Good perspective 😊
  21. 1 point
    I've done my harvesting, squashed them down to three boxes, treatment coming up soon when they've sorted the wets & cappings .
  22. 1 point
    Im not sure that a 2 mite drop is the same as a 2 mite wash. Dont trust em Boss
  23. 0 points
    if you are a commercial beekeeper relying on non Manuka honey for your income the chances of being in business after this season are pretty slim IMHO
  24. 0 points
    how come you are always employing them? Is it because they wear out or because they breakdown after a while?
  25. 0 points
    I think he has come up on the forum a while ago, he is reportedly already a beekeeper, so he will be used to working for nothing https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2019/03/20/morgan-freeman-converted-his-124-acre-ranch-into-a-giant-honeybee-sanctuary-to-save-the-bees/#4004b5fcdfa5
  26. 0 points
    The bees are OK once you outfit them with little tin hats.
  27. -1 points
    BORAGE ..... soon as we do e hay carting we’ll go look for more flowers. U gotta be joking Big hands
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