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Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/25/2020 in all areas

  1. 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.
  2. 4 points
    Dreaming Big. Mr Boot has asked several times for my marketing strategy for selling honey to the world. In the the predawn quiet of mid winter a gentle snow falls in the foothills of New Zealands Southern Alps. The log burner simmers. The coffee brews . And the old kitchen is lit by the glow of the computer screen that allows me to communicate with the world..... google searching trails of names and jobs and connections that unearth people of influence in far flung corners of the world. It is that quiet time of reason and thought ..... The dream is a story of the people of Aotearoa , The Beekeepers, , The farmers, the Families ..... the people with the passion to create and craft and market to the world a story that draws the customer in to become a part of that dream ..... to taste the buzz and the sweetness of the nectar from the mountain valleys, that is sold for money that feeds and clothes and shelters the people of the land to raise their families in peace with full bellies ..... that the circle of life may go on. And by choosing a jar of Honey from the far flung islands of the earth and cracking the seal and dipping the spoon and savouring the sweetness and aroma and sharing the experience, the customer closes the circle and secures the link in the chain that is Humanity. The Dream is Big, but as we all know, The world is round.
  3. 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.
  4. 3 points
    Ok so i dont post here much but i have done lots of reading over the years . during this covid break i had no work for a long period of time so had some time up my sleeve. over the last few years ive developed a vaporiser for treating my bees here in new zealand i got sick of using a wand as it took to long so developed a quick blow in system out of junk in my garage and a couple of parts from china. i re built it a few times during covid. Then i decided to make 10 stainless steel units to sell to help make ends meet due to not having a job. so here they are im hoping to sell them to people in the auckland end of nz so i can get feedback and discuss the operation of them. If they work well i am thinking of setting up making them more often but need to see feedback first. im looking at selling them for 800 each as they where quite a bit of work to make but they are fast treating the bees. and oxalic acid is cheap so i feel there worth it. I had a friend who was using one of my older versions on his commercial operation (who wants to remain anonymous) and found that during the warmer months he would just use it to treat each apiary just after he worked it as a extra boost in conjunction with his strips and then he would do a full 3 hit treatment during mid winter and found that it helped keep the varroa down. I only have 10 hives and i have never used strips in any of my hives, not for any major reason i just started with the vaporiser and haven't felt the strips where necessary. here are picture's of the unit and a video showing its operation Accidentally i did leave out of the video the cleaning process. All i do to clean it is to poor water down into the chamber which melts any bits stuck inside and then poor it back out again. This also has the benefit of cooling down the device before putting it in the truck to go to the next spot.
  5. 3 points
    Through the 1990s, we came just *so* close to losing the regulatory protection of what is now in our PMP. That is, unless the industry developed the (then) PMS that we did, there would have been nothing to stop the feeding of antibiotics. Nothing to compel a beekeeper to inspect for AFB. Nothing to make them destroy infected hives so they don't threaten the rest of the industry. No way that anyone else could destroy them, either... As as industry, we held firm, and got the regulatory environment that we wanted. The industry had enough confidence in the industry body, the NBA, to vote for a commodity levy to pay for the NBA (reputable and effective), disease control (the first PMS actually produced *by* an industry such as ours) and marketing (raising the profile of honeys generally, but - in hindsight - with manuka taking the centre stage). I am sad that the industry, even through those years of incredible prices, doesn't have the same feeling toward 'organisation' that it once had. And a clear and unwavering belief that the PMP can and should be seen as our plan, not one that has been imposed upon us...
  6. 2 points
    I was going to start up the forge yesterday and make some hive tools. This was going to be my last beekeeping job for the winter but a bad dose of man flue has kept me inside for the last four days. I was really crook yesterday so my darling wife gave me some Harker herbal deep lung support. It's stronger tasting than Lanes emulsion although perhaps not quite so unpleasant and once you start breathing again you seem to get a different flavour or scent every time you breathe in or out.If I had to guess I would say it had almost every essential oil you can get plus a bit of horse liniment mixed in with a base of drop bear droppings to give it that eucalyptus plus flavour. It could definitely use a teaspoon or 10 of honey . I wouldn't touch it again with a bargepole except that last night I slept just about right through with hardly a cough and no more choking on excess saliva. I think a bit of honeydew may complement the flavours and that is what I'll try to tonight. It's either that, a teaspoon of cement or trade in my Y chromosome.
  7. 2 points
    Ok.... of things wax....couple of photos to get the talk happening. I got the melting pot at a clearing sale for twenty bucks. A local engineer charged me quite a bit more to water jacket it. The result works well, but needs the wax drawing tap shifted a bit higher.
  8. 2 points
    Really sad seeing fake news recorded in their minutes.... According to the AFB presentation at the last Rotorua conference each of the beekeepers who were asked to destroy used beekeeping equipment had unacceptable levels of Afb not because they got confused between Afb and PMS, but because they decided not to comply with their DECA requirements and the AFB PMP. The affected beekeepers and no one else were to blame on the level of Afb in their hives! I you comply with your DECA there is no way someone will inspect your hives and find >10% of your hives Afb infected. From memory all 3 affected beekeepers mentioned at the conference had above 30% Afb and one above 50% Afb
  9. 2 points
    Aaah .... you need to head south young man ..... we run 48 in a site over summer and get three, four or five boxes a hive if the conditions are right ......
  10. 2 points
    Here's the web site of a bee hire business. Scroll down near the bottom to get their prices. https://hirehives.nz/
  11. 2 points
    Another big Hmmm ...... she's a bit quiet out there tonight ...... so I'll throw out some thoughts from some of todays reading . The Gospel according to Stuff .... I was reading a bit about business resilience in trying times . And quote from a guy called Harve who runs a company called Business intelligence. 'New power requires you to drop the ego, be open and lift the diversity and creativity of your team. It means exploring and experimenting how to draw it out of your team, your people, your community, and focus it.' In the wider circle , the Team is the Bee keeping community.And I am thinking that selling honey has to become a team effort. If we can make $9/kg on white honey, how about sharing that. If we can successfully treat hives with o/a staples, lets share that. The Seaweed man came to visit again the other day. Paul is a mine of information on soil and soil health, seed mixes and getting the best from the land. It costs us nothing for his advice. His explanation was that he is employed by AgriSea to sell seaweed products. But people only buy when they have money to spend, so if ha can impart advice and knowledge to up the bottom line of his Cockies, then they will have more discretionary income to improve the biological performance of their patch of dirt. There is no doubt we are all in for tough times in the coming season. If we can lift production and price then we will survive . If we all draw on the Waka paddle at the same time we will move forward. If not, we will go around in circles. Ah yes ... and how did we achieve $9/kg for our white honey ...... we put it in pots and sold the stuff to discerning customers. For many of them, it took a very large Waka to get it there !
  12. 2 points
    Just your run of the mill 'white' honey ....... didn't sell a lot, but it shows there is a market out there .....
  13. 2 points
    Sorry. That is from the minutes of the last AGM of the Waikato branch of NZ Beekeeping Inc.
  14. 2 points
    I luv Apivar. It's stiff and easy and quick to put in. And has worked exceptionally well for us this year..... which is why I'm flat out like a lizard ...... .... celebrating nine bucks
  15. 2 points
    But anyway.... I is on holiday now....so won’t volunteer to melt yer wax....
  16. 1 point
    Yes. Teresa managed to get right around on her travel scoot. Track is a bit rough. We could only manage to the water tank on the summit track
  17. 1 point
    I have spent a few days in the Mount, killing time while bikes getting looked at. It's completely unfathomable to me the attraction of a place where you have to fight for a cafe table.
  18. 1 point
    Hope The Trev is okay, cos the new month seems to have been his call sign
  19. 1 point
    So , I'm gonna jump the gun and say welcome to July ....... Dry July ...... only another four weeks til we start cracking lids and looking at the State of the Nation. And with that comes some big decisions for a lot of people . You gonna work another year for nothing ....? You gonna think lateral .... find another job .... or maybe you're gonna Dream Big , take a risk , tie in with with a few neighbouring beekeepers and take the world by storm .....
  20. 1 point


    Last week's Beekeeping Knowledge very successful & participants extremely happy with delivery of tutorial, facility & lunch & some socialising over the break. Last thing I expected there to be avid note taking on, was the soup recipe which I didn't have because I am a Guess By God cook. Thanks to NZ Beeswax for goody bags. Already a nice group number for 12 July, can take more registrations.
  21. 1 point
    I thought the lockdown would've put paid to the flu and colds this winter...turns out I was wrong...again four out of six here got unisex flu
  22. 1 point
    The sugars make the gutbacteria more efficient at utilizing low quality feed.
  23. 1 point
    @jamesc the question was was why are you not making use of the forum's produce finder ?
  24. 1 point
    So - just to poke the bear - if there was a commodity levy vote tomorrow with 30% spent on R&D and 30% on the NZ story/marketing and the remainder on the other items that were originially proposed then who would vote in favour? Or against? And if against, would you vote if the split among activiites was different??
  25. 1 point
    Wool and Honey Industries, the only two primary industries that don't have an industry commodity levy, and the two primary industries that are struggling.
  26. 1 point
    'We are better than that' is not a storey - You need to expand and validate this. The Argentinian and Canadian producers also believe they are very good and have wonderful natural environments. If the market price is $4 and you want $8 then your story needs to be worth $4. You then need $$$ to get that story to your target market. So how many $'s per kg are you prepared to invest in marketing your special honey?
  27. 1 point
    If you have mesh floors and a vaporiser that pushes out a decent amount of vapor like the one shown you extend the nozzle and fit an elbow then just vaporise from below the mesh floor quick and effective , don't see a need to block anything. Not good for those plastic floors though.
  28. 1 point
    Not sure .... got this as second hand info off facebook ..... I just put it out there ..... But ... we all know the rules ..... believe 90% of what you see, 50% of what you read ..... and about the same of what you hear.
  29. 1 point
    Yes, I'm not flushing the toilet every time .
  30. 1 point
    I think we knocked about 10kmhr off for you @kaihoka
  31. 1 point
    If you have mesh pallet floors @jamesc take my word for it... you’ll need a way of blocking it. When I worked for James we vaped the whole outfit but found without blocking the floors was no good.. first we tried sacking to block them, but was slow so made up a piece of ply with a screwed on wedges on one end and would slide it under two hives on one end of pallet then place another wooden wedge under it to secure it to the hive mesh, blocking it. this unit I like because you can do 3 before a refil unlike the provap but the operating temps for vaping oxalic is also important so it’s not heated past 230deg.. is there a controller here to maintain the burner temp?
  32. 1 point


    Everything on track for tomorrow's beekeeping tut. I can take one more booking.
  33. 1 point
    I find with apivar is i fold the triangle back in half and put it between frames and as it springs back it holds itself there.
  34. 1 point
    I do build new comb at times each season. But it makes life a lot easier early spring if you can recycle. Wax gets brittle in cold weather, and is easily broken. Once they come out of the freezer, the bags are all stored in a shaded space in the shed; also avoiding being knocked & broken during winter.
  35. 1 point
    I'll have to get back to you, I only have a invoice and it's at home, I cant remember the company name but they're commercial beeks. I'm currently on my way home from a engineering shop, they're making my 4x4 fork lift up only been wanting one for the past 5 years
  36. 1 point
    Can't make up my mind so I think I will try one from each supplier. So far I have a nice looking veil from ceracell ,It's white with red racing strips . Might be a bit heavy for summer use.
  37. 1 point
    It would make a great thread like the old philbee queen cell carriers if you put on a few photo's and explain your approach. They cost a lot more than that to buy and it would a great reference to anyone going diy in these tight fiscal times we now find ourselves in. Did you design it yourself or copy from somewhere else with improvements? I'd be keen to make a smallish version ~50 litres, I imagine yours is 250l huge. Trev had a smallish ecrotek one he did a video demo on, looks great but those are quite expensive in comparison.
  38. 1 point
    They’re a workhorse but can be pretty noisey, I’ve had a briford tandem for 15 yrs it’s done some serious work in my past life as a stone mason, dragged up and down the Waimakariri riverbed loaded up with stone, had to re do the swivel part of the suspension a couple times but the deck still looks new due to sheets of 12 mm ply used as a buffer pad. Good solid well built trailer.
  39. 1 point
    It’s hard to find a paper or article these days that doesn’t begin with a reference to “Declines in the number of global pollinator insects” or some other form of the bee or insect ‘apocalypse’ sentiment and the potential economic or ecological damage to be wrought. While one reaction to this is to prevent or mitigate the circumstances that cause it, finding alternatives to natural biotic pollination is another one to consider. At times there are clear reasons why forms of ‘artificial’ pollination are valuable, but the cost of harvesting pollen to use, and the manual or mechanical means to deliver it are expensive and imperfect. Two scientists at the Advanced Science and Technology in Japan have applied some ‘blue-sky’ thinking to the problem and come up with an unusual suggestion. They observe that is pretty easy to indiscriminately spread pollen around in an orchard, in fact the waste involved is a large part of the cost. Rather, a system must be gentle, precise, thrifty, and aerial, so what better to choose to deliver the pollen than bubbles! They see bubbles with different eyes. Bubbles can be chemically functional, light-weight, steady-liquid, bilayer molecular membranes, low cost, and bio-degradable. The pollen grains can’t scatter as they are bound by the thin film, and the bubbles are easy to create and control in flight. They can’t damage the delicate parts of the flowers, but (it’s a good thing) they are somewhat sticky. It’s obvious really. So the paper describes how they set out to show just how obvious it is. They needed to show the bubbles could be made, that they would work well as a pollinator, and that there was a practical way of controlling them. A ‘proof of concept’ was what they were attempting. This is how they describe the outcome; “…we demonstrate that (1) chemically functionalized soap bubbles exhibit unique properties, such as delivering pollen grains to the targeted flowers in a simple manner, reducing the usage of pollen grains, effectively attaching soap bubbles on the pistils of the targeted flowers using the high stickiness of the soap bubble membrane, preventing severe damage to delicate flowers using the softness and high flexibility of soap bubbles, and enhancing the pollen activity by promoting germination ratio and length of pollen tube; (2) chemically functionalized soap-bubble-mediated pollination can be used for practical Pyrus pyrifolia var. culta pollination at orchards aside from its contribution toward the healthy expression of fertility for various pollen grains; (3) mechanically stabilized soap bubbles capable of withstanding windmills due to robotic pollination can be successfully prepared; and (4) an autonomous controllable unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) equipped with a mechanically stabilized soap bubble maker can fully automatically transport pollen grains to Lilium japonicum flowers, thus successfully aiding in plant pollination.” These weren’t just any old bubbles. They used a particular surfactant that aided bubble formation, but which did not harm growing pollen tubes, in proportion to the size and number of pollen grains it had to ‘host’ (2000/bubble – 4mg/ml). The liquid was the right pH, with added boron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium salts, proteins from Gelatine, and an inert, cellulose-based viscous polymer (your eye-drops) to fuel germination and control the properties of the bubble membrane. Truly ‘functional’ bubbles. The drone, and the bubble maker, were off-the-shelf toys, although, beyond the ‘proof-of-concept stage, you can imagine them being much more sophisticated, intelligent even. Where will this end up? Probably nowhere, like 99% of such ideas, just creating more ideas. But that 1%? That 1% changes things. Yang and Miyako, Soap Bubble Pollination, iScience (2020), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2020.101188
  40. 1 point
    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.
  41. 1 point
    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!)
  42. 1 point
    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
  43. 1 point
    Just to be sure APINZ is marketing the NZ honey story as NZ honey is the best to buy. We not placing honey on shelves or endorsing any particular brand. Sort of along the lines of the wine industry that lets individuals sell their own product but with the same messaging.
  44. 1 point
    Oahh ... yep .... we gotcha now .... I got some of those executioners for my 4x4 truck .... awesome in a ten tonne sllde !
  45. 1 point
    Should see one of my sites they wanted to inspect in mid winter a few years back, had to take the quad way out the back of a farm with no metal???, lucky I had a 500cc quad with executioners on I told him first, can we do a close site but no, that's the one he wanted to inspect.
  46. 1 point
    so at $10-$12 a kilo on the shelf, what does that equate to in bulk? I don't know supermarket mark-ups, nor high volume cost of jarring and the jars themselves, nor distribution costs. Search results for "honey" WWW.PAKNSAVEONLINE.CO.NZ online supermarket is an easy way to get on-the-shelf proices.
  47. 1 point
    IMHO Something has fundamentally changed In the honey market. I know of many beekeepers including ourselves who have Manuka honey of all the different NPA levels and no buyer even slightly interested. I don’t know what has changed but something most definitely has.
  48. 0 points
    The only downside is all the muck in the shed after !
  49. 0 points
    Lots of bugs come from unisex
  50. 0 points
    Wonder what the reason is for staying in bed for Apiary Diary July
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