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  1. Well you can say happy birthday to him again Freeslave, your bees are recovering nicely. I want to keep them for another couple of weeks, then they are yours.
    9 points
  2. Today I received an email notifying me that my RMP is up for it's six monthly revue ..... again. Now .... this cranked up the old record again .... raised my BP and resulted in me seeking counsel with my Doctor. The Doctor prescribed a liquid remedy and assured me that in the end all would be alright ..... but I am not so sure. So, I' say it again ..... '' Why, when we extract honey once a year for six or seven weeks do we need a twice yearly audit of the facilities ?' Why, when we make one honey sale a year, do we need a twice yearly audi
    9 points
  3. Yesterday I was at a Spring Festival for Otago Organics. Had been asked to go and talk about bees. Had a few laminated photos of bees to put up and was looking for a decent way to do it. Was rummaging through the shed looking for something I could use as a notice board and noticed the box of new hive mats. They work quite well as photo frames.
    8 points
  4. First cells of the season. The bees seem to be in the right mood:)
    8 points
  5. Relentless gusty nor wester beating me up again today, pulled the pin about 3:30 due to concerns around tree limbs sending me to meet my maker earlier than I’d like.. popped into the builders to cut out any rogue cells.. pretty happy with the juicy cells.. Thanks @Maggie James for your tips and tricks. However I did revert to cloake board method 2 builders are level above the other and it really shows.
    7 points
  6. James. You have two audits a year because that is the way some bureaucrat has interpreted the law. It's like harvest declarations and being a registered beekeeper. Parliament makes the laws and bureaucrats interpret them and then reinterpret them. I doubt most of them even know the contempt the average beekeeper has for their petty expensive little rules. It's not even as if they do any good. All those bits of paper and all that traceability and they still couldn't work out who was stretching manuka. My uncle and my grandfather used to take them on every now and again and they
    7 points
  7. I've got a bunch of 2-in-1 boxes that sat idle last season so I'll be putting bees back into these to get queens mated, which will be sold as queens or as nucs depending on what's in demand (mostly local hobby beekeepers). Since I'm in a city there are also quite a few local hobbyists who come to me for queen cells. They might only buy them in 2s or 3s but I still find it worthwhile. I think it is important for hobbyists to have access to nice gentle bees for their urban and suburban beehives.
    7 points
  8. Alastair - you are a bloody legend! When all others had given up hope on our little Spartans, and all seemed lost, you arrived on the scene like Gandalf at the Battle of Helms Keep. Thanks so much from Leo and Jeremy, you have made a little boy (and his dad) very happy. And thanks for all the other comments folks, all very helpful. Cheers JJ
    6 points
  9. If you have never stopped by Geoff Ernest's museum, just out of Tirau on the road to Rotorua, you should make a plan to visit. Geoff started beekeeping in the middle 1960s, and now is down to no hives - he has to buy honey, he says! Geoff is a collector of many things, but my own focus was on his honey tin collection. It is without doubt the finest collection of NZ honey tins I've ever seen. The tins hold a history of people and places. Anyone who has been around the industry for any length of time will recognise some of them, beekeepers long gone. I spent a delightful couple
    6 points
  10. Hi @john berry Feel a bit silly with this suggestion to such a long time beek. But what we are finding is changes from hive to hive and site to site and it seems to be what there stores consist of. They came through the winter well but now there are big differences in hives and sites. All the best have little or no willow crystallized dew. They are pumping. Then it starts going downhill depending on the level of crystallization in the honey. We have come to the conclusion that some are wearing themselves out and failing to thrive just plowing through all those crystals much o
    6 points
  11. It has nothing to do with the quality and standard of the facility. 90% of the RMP is about the paperwork and traceability of the crop ..... which was looked at and verified 6 months ago. Absolutely nothing has changed ..... and I have a good mind to tell 'erm to get Rtd. The catch is the comeback in that an export licence won't be granted, which is no big deal because at the moment no export deals are in the offing. Parasites lining the pockets to cover the expenses of the gilded cages they live in .
    6 points
  12. Pretty stoked with these bad boys (girls)! ... I also have taken @Maggie JamesQC tutorial , though I am using the double screen board method for production. Got a take of 86 out of 90 grafts.
    4 points
  13. BTW, had a chat with Freeslave, he is keen as, has joined the Kumeu Bee Club, and seems to me like his and his sons learning curve will be quick, he will be a great member here on our forum.
    4 points
  14. I'd venture to say it is more like 100%. I don't think there are any of those 2006 bees still alive today... I delivered a bee talk based on the idea "Don't worry about saving the honeybees - save the beekeepers. They'll take care of saving the bees..."
    4 points
  15. And that my friends is why I do 99% of my Queen rearing in autumn.
    4 points
  16. Back to the RMP audit ..... This morning I read the fine print for the 'Limited Scope Audit' .... which seems to be a to be a rehash of the full audit, checking that honey processing documentation meets the standard for export approval, transport approval and drum approval. Mouse traps and honey facilities will not be checked. Time allowed is three hours. If for some reason we cancel the appointment seven days prior to the appointment the full fee is still payable. The fee is $1284 plus GST . To my simple mind, this double checking will be on recor
    4 points
  17. What I can't understand, if a second audit is absolutely necessary, why it can't be done with the beekeeper sending a video to the auditor, and being billed a very minimal rate. The auditor already knows the layout of the outfit
    4 points
  18. True .... I don't understand it either. They partnered with a west coast bee company a few years ago .... big fanfare ..... west coast development sunk a couple of hundred thousand in, Comvita a couple of million ..... couple of years later, little snippet in the paper that the company had been wound up. Some people have too much money and some people have too much spin and some people are just plain ignorant.
    4 points
  19. I would consider that an honour esteemed Sir. The good thing was that before Freeslave contacted anyone, he had registered as a beekeeper, and owned a copy of Practical Beekeeping in NZ, so he will make an admirable addition to our merry band at Kumeu Beekeeping Group.
    3 points
  20. Campbell River on Vancouver Island. That is the west coast of Canada for folks that aren't aware of our island.
    3 points
  21. Excess honey ...... I'd be inclined to make sure the brood has four or five frames of honey to see them through to a new flow ..... any excess honey ,s tore it in the shed. If you need more feed because it keeps raining and blowing, then you have it on hand , and when the new honey comes on line, then extract what you have saved. The biggest killer of hives in the next few months is starvation .....depending on where you are . What may seem like heavy hive now could be on deaths door in five weeks. Some years we have poured raw sugar into the brood as we are optimis
    3 points
  22. And that would have been a fair conclusion. With such hives there is a method to follow. Adding brood is a high risk thing to do because the bees will not be able to care for it. Adding brood with bees may work but bear in mind the brood will have the queen substance of the other queen all over it and risk the introduced bees will see the other queen as an outsider and kill her is higher. So just adding bees is the safest plan, the bees should be left queenless for a minimum of 2 hours first, and then heavily smoked immediately before dumping into the hive which helps.
    3 points
  23. Transport the bar of cells in a nuc you want use and leave the last cell for them
    3 points
  24. The 4% that is AFB if allowed to continue and spread will grow, and very quickly, not only in one beekeepers hives, but the surrounding hives of others, so that is the major difference - it is the only colony loss type with the ability to affect other competent beekeepers.
    3 points
  25. Here's how it is in Australia (the land of no varroa). My daughter in Melbourne just sent me these pics, friend of hers who is a brand new beekeeper, built the hive himself, just starting to experience the power of a varroa free hive.
    3 points
  26. I understand from a long time beekeeper that BoP is running 3 weeks early this year. So that is about now..
    3 points
  27. Yesterday I got a text saying there was a swarm, could I catch it? I thought that was a bit early, but a photo was provided so it wasn't anything else. This was an easy swarm - it was at ground level. Shook the main bulk off a branch, and scooped up the rest from the ground. Took the swarm out to the country side to join my one other hive - fortunately I had a couple of boxes of undrawn frames.
    3 points
  28. So far as I know Beekeeping NZ has been on a crusade to get this 'fixed' and I imagine the other beekeeping 'bodies' are too (?). It is fair to say that MPI are dragging their feet like teenagers and anything else to say on the matter would be moderated if I typed it. Maybe before anyone complains about it here, they should first write to the Minister by email.. Because you know, it is an election year.
    3 points
  29. This is a democracy. There must be channels to approach the right people, put up a well reasoned argument, and see if change can be affected. Or, am I naive?
    3 points
  30. ....and some people are just b....... artists and think they are better than the rest of us - articulate spin doctors with university degrees. That should never have happened. Bully people. The last few years, there have been far to many bullies in our industry. Right now I have a major allergy to administrators.
    3 points
  31. They sunk roughly $900,000 of our money. Another WCRD boo boo, yet the local beekeeoers who wanted money couldn't get anything.
    3 points
  32. One of the most striking pollens I ever saw - it often seems to stretch and drag off the bees legs, rather than remaining as a pellet. Absolutely beautiful.
    3 points
  33. Yes, there's pears, apples, walnuts, hazelnuts (which provide really good pollen), elderberries and maybe some more we haven't found yet. I have never seen bees on elderberries either and we're pretty far south. That's one of the pear trees there, it really is awesome.
    3 points
  34. Plenty of whitestuff here the other morning. We pulled the bees out of it though!
    2 points
  35. Thanks @Gino de Graaf for raising the question about intentional losses and to @Maggie James for pointing out the text box at the end. I read those comments thoroughly every year so make future improvements in the questionnaire. For example, the fact that we ask about queen replacement strategies at all is due to a comment on a past survey. It's very early days still, but I had a look at the preliminary results for this year a few days ago. At this early stage, it looks like winter loss rates were higher (sometimes much higher) than last year in Auckland, Coromandel, Hawke’s Bay,
    2 points
  36. Don't know about others, but I liked immediately seeing where someone was from. It sometimes makes a difference in interpreting regional comments; particularly about hive health, weather, and sometimes practises specific to an area. I went into someone's profile yesterday, and it didn't have the area, which was a bit of a nuisance. And of course, we don't always have time to go into someone's profile or make a post asking them where they are from. Thanks for your answer. Need to fly now before the weather changes.
    2 points
  37. Agreed and good explanation Nick. It's a contagious disease Mischief. You know what can happen if one case of covid 19 gets into the community? If we do not deal with it right, not long and we have a big problem. See AFB the same way.
    2 points
  38. Yes and no Chris. Where I am, for what I do, the trick is not expanding the bee colonies too fast, it's more about trying to hold them back. As to the 3 week ahead thing, in some ways we are ahead of normal by maybe several weeks. As regards swarming, my hives anyway are not ahead, they are exactly on schedule. Swarming preperations are exactly where they would normally be at this time.
    2 points
  39. That is so true, even more so with acquisitions. Comvita's made many acquisitions over the past 20 years, of products outside their core bee products range, and other 'investments', sunk lots of $$$, all of which have destroyed shareholder equity; most of which sunk without a trace. And then you could look at the many, many, many millions of dollars wasted on new product development, marketing, advertising, supply chain costs etc. of loss making new products that were quickly deleted... About 20 years ago the General Manager, when discussing the annual profit result wit
    2 points
  40. Here's a nic pollen pic . Don't ask me what sort I'm not well educated in ID'ing pollens Just a nice pic
    2 points
  41. Human nature is a funny thing ..... You got the workersand the dreamers. You got those with vision and those that jump on the band wagon. The bee industry has seen it all in the last few years. We ourselves have seen it all in the last few years. The visionaries and big thinkers that came in with bottomless cheque books and promised the earth have scuttled back to whence they came and left those they sweet talked scratching their heads and trying to figure out what the heck happened. The eloquent talkers have taken the money and run and forgotten the reason they
    2 points
  42. This is the other side of the argument applyig Donald Trump’s philosophy A) In the UK Beekeepers don't have to be registered so you have a free for all because bee keepers have no single voice, (how the pestcide idustry wants it) 1) The Centre of Ecology and Hydrology used to test for pesticides in honey, they got bought by the pesticide industry last year, now they don’t 2) Reading University have the equipment to test but don’t have the staff to do it, but is being funded millions for a “posh bee” research program by the pesticide industry promoted by the British
    2 points
  43. Remembered that I had a photo from some of the pollen sampling I did last season. Collected at the end of November. Lots of blue pollen...
    2 points
  44. They definitely collect the pollen. Have only really seen it on their back legs where pollen is supposed to be. It is often very untidy looking though, in stringy bits rather than a nice solid clump and it falls off more easily than other pollen. At a number of my apiaries the hives get a dusting of blue in front of the hive entrance (usually a little later in spring but have already seen some this season). Will try to remember to take a photo next time I see it.
    2 points
  45. Well done that’s a really good first attempt you should be stoked with that.
    2 points
  46. AFB outbreaks, often in conjunction with the downturns of 'boom and bust' are far from a new thing within the beekeeping industry. The late 1940s/early 1950s are a good example. During that time the (then) Dept of Agriculture inspectors probably exceeded their mandate, acting to destroy abandoned and neglected apiaries, even without first determining that they did in fact have AFB, or who their owner had been. But by the early 1950s, the industry got AFB 'under control' again... And with (about 1950) the outlawing of some of the 'treatments' in use to 'cure' AFB, things settled down somewh
    2 points
  47. Good beekeepers have always subsidised bad beekeepers and they have always had to clean up after them as well. At least the legislation does enable the bad beekeepers to eventually be tracked down and dealt with. I don't mind paying a bit more money if it goes towards tracking them down faster. I do however have a problem with paying what is really a tax with no representation. Under the National beekeepers Association the AGM might have been interminable but at least everyone had a chance to speak their mind. Under Apinz the AGM is over before it starts and dissenting voices ar
    2 points
  48. Oh I am late finding this thread. How are things now Freeslave, the bees still alive? I have bees at Muriwai. If your queen is still alive you could drop your nuc to one of my apiaries and I will fix it for you. We would need to talk on the phone first, about disease and a few things, my phone number is in my profile give me a call.
    2 points
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