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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/20/20 in Posts

  1. 7 points
    It's been a while since I posted on OA/G, but I'll add a comment on my experience as a 2 hive hobbyist. Last time I have used anything other than OA/G staples was Spring 2018. An alcohol wash in March 2019 with no treatments over summer gave a Varroa count of 92/220 yet hives still strong with good brood. Added OA/G cardboard staples and another wash in June showed zero mites and still brood present. Left staples in and just added more as they disappeared until the Spring flow. Downside is that I get a build up of chewed cardboard on the bases that needs cleanup. I have just had the AP2 inspector through (first time in 30 years!!) and he was impressed with the hives, but most of the staples have been chewed out and I need to put more in as there was still lots of brood. No mites still so I'm happy. Staples must stay in the cluster otherwise the glycerine attracts moisture which is a no no and can seep badly, so I have to move staples (and staple bits) to follow the cluster, especially as I winter as 2FD. I am hesitant to try the lick test and have never done so and therefore do not pull staples out after a set time. Others in the local club have had mixed results with larger apiaries, and some have gone back to synthetics, and I have been ready to do the same, but so far so good.
  2. 5 points
    I’ve got the narrow edge protected strips in hives at the moment. and have been for 3 1/2 months. The strips have been relocated in some hives as the bees moved the cluster away from them, the majority haven’t been bothered by the strips though. Hives are looking good and most certainly would have been dead by now if the treatment didn’t work. They have been through 3 seasons now solely with Oxalic glycerine strips. I am confident now in my mixing of the chemicals and use of the delivery system that if a hive fails it is not from the lack of efficacy of the treatment.
  3. 4 points
    Anyway, me and the Main Man were back on the tools today. Man love is a funny thing..... there is respect and decorum in Man Love , but the chatter out in the bee yard is one of things I treasure .... status is levelled as we talk and divulge how we and our families got through lockdown , and is possibly one of the drivers as to why we persevere when offered low prices for what our bees gather. But tonight honey prices and money are boring stuff. OMG ..... this time last year I was pulling my hair out at the dead and dying bees. What a difference twelve months makes. This year we used Apivar as our autumn treatment of choice. Last year we used O/A. We pulled strips from about 150 hives today. They were jammed with honey.... three boxes jammed, the queens were laying and the bees were in the top box . So we left one and took one, leaving the taker sat above the feeder to be taken when we felt the urge. It might well sit there til the spring. It was a funny old day, because as we sat in the low light with a cup of tea at smoko savouring the inner glow of happy bees, and that somehow, this year, we seemed to have got it right .... the phone rang. It was my old mate from up north. Old mate had given up his post on the barricades with his Taiaha and was looking for honey, not some of our insipid whitey honey ..... but the real southern dark stuff .... honey dew. Funny 'ole day Good 'ole day. 'Aint nothing like a bit of Man Love to put things in perspective.
  4. 4 points
    It wasn’t always like that. Used to be much bigger with staff and all the hassles that go with that! Life is much simpler now and far more enjoyable!!
  5. 4 points
    Yes agree. In my amateur accountants mind we should be saying what is the market prepared to pay for the product I am going to produce. After taking out the cost of production is there still sufficient margin to make the effort worthwhile. If not - why would I produce it.
  6. 4 points
    As a biologist I am interested in physical treatment instead of chemical.. I am a hobbyist, and being retired I do have time but even so squashing each individual Varroa specimen manually is no option . Inspired by the equipment for hyperthermia treatment as it was developed at the University of Tübingen in the 80's and by the results claimed I looked at equipment and prices. The price of a decent instrument that ensures homogeneous temperature distribution and controlled humidity (in EU about €2500 for a 20 frame unit) is in my opinion prohibitive for hobbyists and I agree with PeterS that so far it seems not ideal for commercial application. But I found the idea interesting enough to home build a box for ~ 20 frames, just for personal use. Interesting exercise the past few months.... it turned out to be not so easy to achieve a homogeneous temperature throughout the box so that all frames are treated the same and not one area ends up 'well done' and an other area 'rare'; I would not be surprised if half-baked treatment might result in dead larvae/pupae as well as Varroa in the hotter areas whereas Varroa might survive in the cooler areas. There is another potential risk although I do not think it has ever been looked into seriously: that Varroa surviving the treatment may develop to be more heat tolerant which would get us back to the issue of resistance. So it seemed appropriate to improve the initial build. With a lot of tweaking and rebuilding the variation is now within 0.3° throughout the box during treatment and temperatures can be controlled reliably. Afterwards I did understand the €2500 a bit better..... The thermal box treats brood, so its predominant use is in spring varroa control or at least as long as there is brood. In the meantime (after consulting with a seasoned beekeeper who was friendly enough to teach me the ropes) I decided to use oxalic acid/glycerine strips this autumn. I still struggle with the question "How to perform a relevant test run with the thermal box?"; it will be impossible to achieve with any degree of reliability the way a biologist in a lab would be able to, especially with only two hives. Anyway, it was fun building, I look forward to spring when real testing can be done!
  7. 3 points
    I want to revamp how we help your business, whether its large or small, fully commercial or local farmers market. We've had the marketplace for you to list your products and whilst that was intended to be a farm gate type approach for those who do not have online purchase facilities, most of the attempts at sales have been for equipment or bulk honey between beekeepers themselves. So lets take a different tack on marketing your wares and try and expand that market. There have been a few discussions recently and I'd like to ask for your input on a section for local honey producers - or wax or candles, or beer/meade etc. My intial thoughts (and this has altered based on the feedback received, so thank you for that), is that we sales pitch the various types of NZ based honey and product types. Then allow the public to "find a local supplier". That then goes to a regional search that lists suppliers - YOU - and what you offer and where they can get hold of you. It would be a free service listing initially, you would create a "classified" add in the listing and put in the information of your choosing. I'm thinking there are 3 elements here. Those with no direct sales process at the moment Those with a website but only physical sales Those with a website and online sales The intention is that we can cater for and help with all 3 aspects, so that those with existing channels maintain their brand and identity. We can help by filling in the gaps through features either coming or already available on this site and help you build your brand. The difference from what we've offered previously, would be that we cater for direct sales to the public in your required format. Feedback and brainstorming ideas below please.
  8. 3 points
    This was on the Zoji La .... young and mad! Enroute to the Sacred Mountain
  9. 3 points
    Yep ....spent most of my youth climbing .... North Wales on weekends , winter ice in the Cairngorms, summer s at Zinal in France, then into the Italian alps with my mates Jamie and Malcolm. Never went down to the Dolomites, but my cousin did and took quite a fall, then hit paradise in New Zealand and the southern alps , couple of weeks at Yosemite plus a few forays into the Himalaya. Well there ya go ....That was back in the good old days . It all took a back seat when bee numbers started to grow and I took a wife ! The young fellah lost my Iceaxe in a 'Glory hole' in the creek a year or so ago when he was digging for gold and the crampons are under the bed. The dog has commandered the sleeping bag and the tent has long rotted. But like Sir Ed said once "I still get a buzz just seeing the snow and ice in the gullies from afar".
  10. 3 points
    Hi @NatureAlley, Firstly just want to acknowledge your efforts, and that is some impressive engineering to get 0.3C variation. Am I right in assuming you used this product as the inspiration?: https://www.varroa-controller.com/ We also haven't come across many studies related to resistance to high temperature. Have you read these papers? Heat shock proteins in Varroa destructor exposed to heat stress and in-hive acaricides (we have reviewed the full text, and yes HSP70 response increases with elevated temperatures, they don't really conclude much except more studies need to be done, and that seasonal temperature fluctuations should be considered to maximize the effect of acaricides and minimize costs and residues of controlling mites. They reference this research in moths https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4314281/ that talks about the Trade-off between thermal tolerance and insecticide resistance, which if applicable to Varroa, could mean in the future thermal and minimal pesticide could work well in tandem. Insect Heat Shock Proteins During Stress and Diapause (Not arachnids) We do hope to get an entomologist involved at some point (after we have ascertained product market fit), it's unclear to me whether the HSP70 increase is permanent response from thermal shock, or just a rapid survival process that dissipates, and whether the mutation (sorry probably not the right word for it) gets transferred to some/all subsequent generation Varroa. You have got me thinking about how answering some of these hypothesis, could be a good research project for one of our Universities, especially given the unique NZ industry and product, although I also wouldn't be surprised if we start to see more papers flowing in from international establishments. Your highlight about running a relevant test is something in the back of our minds as well, as you know it needs to be done at scale, with good controls, and possibly blind (unbiased), to get truly representative data. Which is another issue with the thermal treatment products we have seen, generally more anecdotal than scientific. Thanks for your input and sharing your experience and concerns. -James
  11. 3 points
    @CraBee I keep threatening himself with a dash cam, however we love our farmers and have decided that I can do some tracks with my eyes closed, and the “ powers that be” don’t need pictorial evidence.
  12. 3 points
    This stuff is in blocks and could be bought by a hobbyist wanting to make their own foundation. Any risk is too much when it comes to things like European foul brood. Given the reputation of Chinese bee products that would be interesting to see how much paraffin is in this pure beeswax.
  13. 3 points
    You’ll have to ask him - but in my case focus on pollination and Manuka. I run a low cost business with no staff other than family for busy times. No flash vehicles and honey is contract extracted (don’t bother extracting any pasture/bush honey. Sugar use age is low.
  14. 3 points
    Ok, years ago honey was probably viewed as good value. No matter if it went up or down. It's relative. I believe honey has become poor value. What's going on, on the shelf at 14 and bought for 4?? Do you believe then that even if it became cheaper people will buy the same? I chuckle tho, relatively folks buy take out coffee at 5, lasts 10min. Value per 100gm similar or more... Ted you're probably right
  15. 3 points
    This recipe was gifted to me from the estate of the person who supplied the Damsons for the Gin. There's also a recipe for Cock Ale if anyone is brave enough
  16. 3 points
    You need to stop panicking about varroa treatments. Yes the best way is to alternate the different treatments. If you used bayvarol in autumn and all you got in spring is bayvarol then use them, when you go to buy some more treatment then buy another sort. Your hives will die from you not treating at the right time way quicker than they will die from from you using the same treatment in any calendar/season.
  17. 3 points
    Started beekeeping at 17 now I'm turning 30, just finished spreading the last 2 7cube loads then dropped the digger off to the cuz for a borrow, sprayed 3 sites, fed 4L hivealive to my winter DBs and back to upgrading pallets. What a journey of labour it has been, I have nearly completed building my business to what I always wanted, just need a really good 4x4 fork lift now but just took the truck in for a blast, treatment and paint with a 4.56 turbo engine due next hopefully so most probly be next season.
  18. 3 points
    Just trying to drive volume and value in the clover market. Anything that encourages new consumers to try honey of find alternative uses for honey is good with me. They can get away with 'Active" because it was packed in Australia.
  19. 3 points
    How many hives you can look after depends on a lot of different factors including how far you are going to work them and what else you do i.e. do you extract your own honey,shift hives for pollination et cetera. We used to run 2000 hives with two people including a lot of comb honey production and pollination but no extraction. I now run 370 hives by myself with comb honey but no extraction or pollination. On the other hand I'm now considerably older and work about three days a week on average and generally less than eight hours a day. There is a beekeeper who comes down from Cambridge(Five hours) and stays just down the road from me and then drives for another I would guess 2 1/2 hours to get to his hives.Hate to think what the economics of that is. 370 hives as a paying hobby for me and keeps me out of mischief but it sure ain't a full-time job. I hate varoa but my long-term records (over 50 years) strongly suggests that honey production has gone up since varoa and the extra production would more than cover the costs of treatment at least up till the last few years when overstocking has become so problematical.
  20. 3 points
    Alls quiet on the bee front. Main man comes back next week and we'll crack into wintering bees. Thursday we have the lovely Chantelle coming out to sign off the six monthly audit, which I guess means that tomorrow I need to hang onto the end of the hot water blaster and clean the mess up in the extracting room. In the meantime ..... to celebrate the end of lock down the boys and I cut loose and made some tracks up the river ...... Living the dream .... eh!
  21. 3 points
    The other week Country Calendar profiled an Otago Cocky practising Regenerative farming . It pricked my ears to the extent that we have had a few conversations via the email. This week The Nice Girl from Farmlands called into the yard and we talked to each other over the truck bonnet. Regen, she said, is becoming quite a hot topic. And then this week , in the Farmers weekly paper was an article on Regenerative Farming. I quite liked it .... and it got me thinking about our Bee operation . The article was written by a dude called John king ..... and he makes some comments which ring true. And I quote .... "Regen Farmers are seldom interested in maximising profit or production - the continual message driven by industry professionals to create dependancy ( on their products). Creating intentional profit is one skill regenerative farmers learn. It starts by dropping the fatal traditional accounting equation of income minus expenses equals profit, to a new practice of income minus profit equals expenses. Mastering this skill forces Farmers to look beyond chasing quick fixes and settle on what they actually need. John writes that , changing the equation reduces boom bust bubbles common with input reliant farm businesses. True success from Regen farming comes from learning self control. Profit don't soar as high in good times as compared to 'normal' neighbours ,yet recovery from difficult times is faster because losses are less ..... and businesses stay in profit for more years." There's a big Hmmmm here as I try to grasp this thinking , but somewhere there something rings true. Perhaps it's a thinking and philosophy we lost a few decades ago with the age of cheap credit and plentiful food. After six weeks of lockdown I look back, not at the wasted time of lost production , but at the slow time of having the time to fix the things that got thrown in the skip destined for the dump, or the joy of having the kids home for home schooling and Nana's hot scones for a late smoko. So perhaps Regen is about more than profit and Yakka .... but about lifestyle , making do with less but with more time to enjoy ...... which is why we got into the Bees ...... right.
  22. 3 points
    Regenerative, sustainable et cetera. I've done the endless hours of shifting, I have worked bees in the light of a torch to get the work finished and I've driven hour after hour to get to hives at the back of beyond. I no longer do any shifting, my hives are all within one hour's drive and even on a big day I'm normally home by 4 o'clock. I spend a reasonable part of the winter doing things like sorting combs, mending boxes and making my own frames from scratch but if I want a day off I just take it. I don't have so many hives that I fall behind and this means the hives get done when they need to be. I now have less hives to live off but I spend less and produce more per hive. Best of all I enjoy getting out of bed every morning. Far away the grass is green in places that you've never seen so travel miles to make a buck while I just putter in my truck and wish you all the best of luck while living in my dream.
  23. 2 points
    Tree Dahlia time of year again....can't quite see the bee & bumble...
  24. 2 points
    Where’s @yesbut to do the proof reading...? There’s a doozie up there
  25. 2 points
    Absolute prohibitions are not common. For animal products, many factors could be taken into consideration when an import permit is sought. The risk analysis would need to take into account: likelihood that the product carries a pathogen etc volume of the import overall volume of the individually packaged wax labeling, either promoting or discouraging a particular use value vectors by which the product might be exposed to bees if exposed, what is the likelihood of an infection Some bee products have an inherently higher risk. Think honey, think second hand bee equipment, think pollen... Others, such as processed beeswax, may be allowable in some formulations depending on potential. I think that their rationale here might be that the product: is packaged in small quantities probably has quite a high value (so would be discarded so readily, etc) has a potential to cause infection (?) I questioned that last one, as I am out of touch somewhat with the literature. Beeswax foundation, even made from wax from infected AFB hives, is considered a low risk, and EFB doesn't make such as persistent spore as AFB. I'd have to see what research work has been done to start guessing at risk of infection. Does 'no' always mean 'no'? No. Honey can be imported into NZ, for instance. You will often see it listed as a minor ingredient in other foods. But so long as it is not likely to be discarded, would not have any attraction to bees if it was, etc - and those products can be allowed into NZ containing honey... The industry has worked tirelessly to avoid the introduction of pests and diseases. But I think we'll just have to 'play the game' when it comes to specific opposition. It needs to be science based...
  26. 2 points
    Mt climbing on a bike now that's how i would do it- but it would have a motor
  27. 2 points
    Hi @john berry We did come across a patent application for Varroa detection and laser removal when we first started researching, and a quick search just now reveals some research and a couple of organizations working on this concept: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/313808393_Basic_algorithms_for_bee_hive_monitoring_and_laser-based_mite_control Combplex V-Eliminator The bee drafter idea is an interesting idea. Without having thought about it too much I guess you would still have to pesticide treat with the above options as some mites would slip through, and the population would grow, but it maybe better than just leaving strips in almost constantly, as I believe is beginning to happen, just prevent reinfection from neighboring hives. Incidentally we started out using machine vision to detect and identify Varroa mites (on the bottom of the hive not on the bees themselves) as a way of doing a count, to indicate whether treatment was required, before pivoting to how to treat. We were able to successfully to identify Varroa at a reasonable accuracy, however the big issue is you are dealing with bees who may like to polish the camera lenses, or more likely cover them in propolis, etc. However we didn't go down the path of looking for lens coatings to mitigate the environmental issues before pivoting, and likely there are some solutions.
  28. 2 points
    from what I can see during recent times supermarkets have lowered their prices to more of a common sense level at what they think the market can stand. But the damage has been done by inflated/blending prices that was forcing everyone including supermarkets to charge more, killing the local market and shelf space. Similarly beekeepers still asking $28/kg aren't helping. I am doubtful that consumers were buying at farmers markets because generally the price there wasn't any cheaper than supermarkets. So, I think high prices did kill sales, I think the shelf space was reduced because supermarket margins and volumes got squeezed. Jam on the otherhand is a lot cheaper and tastes nice. It will take a long time to repair that damage. Underpinning the high domestic price, I think 2/3 of retail honey was going overseas through daigou trade, because the per capita consumption figures for tonnes of honey and size of NZ population were/are completely at odds with other western nations. So, we were either eating huge amounts of honey or it was going onboard ocean liners and passenger planes. The reality was that the high prices were still cheaper for Daigou buyers than in their home country, so they were probably laughing at those prices as too cheap. Now that ocean liners and planes are few and the resident local population largely ceased to buy over-priced honey, beekeepers are in a precarious position. Wine clubs are not really clubs, more of a business actually, they are more like the group of beekeepers you mention. They sell wine in competition to supermarkets and those issues of price, shopping experience and loyalty are the 3 issues discussed above. So, in terms of your idea, that's a YES from me. Right now you can google search Trader Joe's and find products that are five or six small containers of various honey. A gift pack of 4 jars of different honey each at 250g could be a great offering to sell. Then be ready with 500g containers when they come back to order what they liked. You can put a QR code on the pot that sends them straight to a 500g buy-now. Clover, Beech Dew, multifloral, and finally a monofloral that can be Kamahi, Tawari, Rewa, Kanuka or what have you. A real pain in the neck to do those four at 250g in a cardboard box, but maybe someone has a better idea... Maybe a second prong could be sending honey in small parcels to consumers in China directly in a reverse version of aliexpress [ that Grant will soon install ] using China Post and empty car carriers.
  29. 2 points
    Until the craziness of high prices, that were obviously unsustainable, long term, there used to be a whole bay dedicated to honey in most of the big supermarkets. Currently at my local supermarket honey is now below eye level and less than half a bay. Consumers are either choosing to buy local at farmers markets or not as much through supermarkets and as a result honey has lost premium location and shelf space. Theres also less choice and variety. A group of beekeepers with different options could garner a market with wider choice, tastings and native varietals, once the world comes back if we make it through the dark tunnel.
  30. 2 points
    Note: This section is for alternative beekeeping discussions that differ from "mainstream". If you do not agree with what is being discussed you are asked to refrain from posting. If possible, beginner beekeepers are encouraged to learn about keeping bees first using standard equipment, before migrating to alternative methods.
  31. 2 points
    In my local area more than one beekeeper is selling their honey retail for $16/kg and the facebook group New Zealand Made Products is awash with honey, first one I saw was $14 for 500g. If the supermarket price is $14-$17 /kg and the wholesale price is $4/kg then it seems crazy to be charging $16 to $28/kg when competing against supermarkets who are much more convenient; since you are pushing your trolley past this stuff regardless and it takes 20 seconds to select something nice. If this honey was being sold by beekeepers at $12/kg it would undercut supermarkets and give the consumer a bargain; buying from the 'cellar door'. At the same time, if you deemed that your honey 'cost' $8/kg it would give you a $4/kg overhead for packing and labelling. It may not be the path to riches, however fancy wording in your facebook post is not going to validate charging $28/kg. I'm sure that the honey is selling at $14 per 500g, however, it isn't going to be a significant quantity and it is hardly competition the local supermarket will even notice. So, to me that just seems silly and self-defeating. I think beekeepers really need to look from the customer's point of view and choices available. People really really want to support small business during this strange time, it is a golden opportunity that doesn't come along all that often, everyone should be making the most of this chance to embed themselves in the retail supply chain.
  32. 2 points
    An interesting way to calculate your sale price, maybe even a little Irish. For me at least I decided to operate any hives left in bush / multi-floral under a very very very light management regime this year ie low cost. And while I took some kanuka honey off, because I really like kanuka, I couldn't be bothered with the rest. This coming season I'll have none of those sites left, all hives moved out. We'll have hives in sites for one specialty monofloral honey we have a market for, manuka sites, and some remaining historical urban sites that used to be honey monsters, but that we can pull nucs out of to make up numbers. Sink or swim, we're swimming but hopefully not gonna end up resembling a submarine...
  33. 2 points
    My best endeavours to locate any updated info have come to naught...what a surprise. The website doesn't and email bounces.....in same ways it seems sort of unfair when failures are quietly wrapped away and never heard of again.
  34. 2 points
    as requested @ChrisM @Ted
  35. 2 points
    Beekeepers who have been living in the synthetic dream need to wake up and realise that they are failing. Unfortunately the organic acids are either dangerous, not always effective or both. For thermal treatment to be practical for me it would have to treat a pallet of hives at a time without causing damage to the bees or brood. Given that bees are remarkably good at controlling their own temperature and the fact that they die very quickly when overheated I somehow doubt there will ever be a successful commercial treatment but then scientists and engineers have been coming up with brilliant and innovative solutions for all sorts of problems for years so don't give up just because of my pessimism.. This is way out in the left field but what about using visual recognition software coupled with a laser. Current varoa control tends to try and kill all or the majority of mites at one time but something that killed a few mites continuously so that there reproduction rate fell below one would actually give better permanent control. It would be difficult but not impossible to have a system which identified Infected bees entering and leaving the hive , They could then be redirected for either some kind of treatment or destruction. PS if someone can make the last idea work then don't forget to add wasps to the software.
  36. 2 points
    It's a long time since of shifted any hives using a cradle but I have done many thousands and one thing I found very useful was to get some bobbles of weld along the top surface of both forks. It didn't happen very often but every now and again a hive would slip forward slightly off the forks which would create a wobble effect leading to more slippage and the whole pallet on the ground. I was with my father once when he was showing a kiwifruit grower how the new hoist system worked and next thing the whole pallet was upside down on its lid. Never had any trouble with single hives. I have used both forklifts and hoists and they both have advantages but for safety I would go with the forklift every time. We used to have easy loaders and I have had some very near misses when things broke and the pallet of hives came crashing down.
  37. 2 points
    My new bee truck, first try out today and it went well, can't carry many boxes but it's cool to drive and I get a few looks from the fairer sex, but I'm told they are looking at the car, not me.
  38. 2 points
    Just took the grandkids for a walk and there was willow honeydew raining down like a fine drizzle.
  39. 2 points
    Hmmm. I think you’re right. Also I suspect high humidity may cause a reaction in the OA
  40. 2 points
    Hi @tommy dave, thanks again for your taking the time to share your thoughts, it is really appreciated. Is it fair to say then that your skepticism is more about the implementation of thermal treatment more so than the science? If the science is also a sticking point, there are white papers and articles both for and against thermal treatment that we have collected, and happy to share. It is also our experience that the products historically or currently available are lacking in terms of usability, cost, or simply poor design that isn't conducive to efficient beekeeping. Part of that can be attributed to timing and technology availability, now helping our cause: The rapid evolution of IOT hardware, cloud computing, and satellite short burst data communications Advances in Lithium Ion Battery capacity, and reducing costs Advances in Solar Cell efficiency and reducing costs Machine Learning (AI) Incidentally one solution at least, the Might Mite Killer, despite several short comings, including possibly dubious marketing tactics, setup, efficiency, and labour, does seem to be getting a user base, which is inspiring some confidence. A bit about us: We are a team of 4, currently self funding, but yes looking for funding, in the first instance so that a fully fledged research trial can be done with support from a research institution, starting in spring. One of us is a hobbyist beekeeper of 3 years and SME owner. Three of us are Engineers who have worked together for more than 14 years with a range of disciplines, mechanical, software, simulation, optics, and thermal design, etc. Prior to this endeavor we were working in the user experience group for a large global automotive company (Delphi / Aptiv). So we take user experience and reliability seriously. It is a complex biological and mechanical challenge to solve, and we want to do it in a transparent and ethical manner, otherwise we can be added to the list of fools. Thanks James
  41. 2 points
    This is the time of year I get my true reward.. freezing off the gumboot clad toes spinning yarns and playing hot potato as we wait for the bus.. quality. Won’t be enjoying any bee work for a while with a complete distal bicep tendon rupture to live with but on the bright side... glad it’s happened now and not October.
  42. 2 points
    I’m going cross eyed YesBut Hey got some lovely sources using first hand observation....hope they aren’t colour blind. Top left chart = spring pollen loads Top right chart = summer pollen loads Bottom right chart = autumn pollen loads Bottom left chart = winter pollen loads -had to work hard to find these having each chart full makes it look like there are no times of dearth Or hardship for colonies -The compositional aesthetics over rode other considerations here. There were many more sources I had to leave out for Spring and Summer in this draft. That’s why you produce drafts.
  43. 1 point
    Funnily enough a couple of months ago I couldn't even give away a hive. I'll have another go in spring. And I can live without the swarm gathering.
  44. 1 point
    So you've been sucked in too....I get my honey jars from him.
  45. 1 point
    @Timw It's a couple of years down the track now, how're your TBH/Warre/other hives going ? Things have got out of hand and you've gone semicommercial, or are you managing to keep to hobbyist level ?
  46. 1 point
    When I used thymol I noticed increased robbing and also I believe increased honey consumption. I could put up with both if it actually worked but I found that while it reduced mite numbers somewhat it certainly didn't kill enough to be useful in one application.
  47. 1 point
    di-ammonium phosphate is sold as a good source of nitrogen for yeast. Wine Nutrient 100g - Grow & Brew WWW.GROWANDBREW.CO.NZ Supports yeast to achieve undisturbed clean fermentation free from residual sugar.
  48. 1 point
    When hives get demoralised enough nothing will protect them from the wasps and it sounds like your hives are in this position. If you have a very strong hive you could swap it with the weak hive. You could hunt down and destroy the nests, this is often really quite easy but sometimes impossible. You could get some vespex. This stuff is amazing. It comes with proper bait stations which do work but I have found it far more effective to place one of the little bait containers inside a dead hive with all of frames removed. Top feeders also make very efficient wasp traps, they come into the hive and for some reason exit through the top feeder where they seem to be unable to find the way out. There are numerous designs for wasp traps most of which work to a greater or lesser extent. You can make a very basic model by cutting the top of a plastic soft drink bottle and inverting the lid thus creating a funnel which they can get in but don't seem to be able to get out of. This can be baited with protein such as roadkill rabbit or fish based cat food. This time of year you would probably get away with using some sugar water although you would have to watch you don't catch the bees. When all else failed the usual commercial approach was just to move the hives away until the wasps starved.
  49. 1 point
    Sounds a reasonable combination. Are you expanding? With 300, a truck is added costs in maintenance. And it will sit around a lot. Those cofs.... Plenty of Beekeepers use a Ute and trailer. It all depends on your situation.
  50. 1 point
    Re. the market, there has been a significant increase in demand for Manuka, and not at discounted prices, so yes it's still being demanded and paid for as a Giffen Good. Re. your vehicles comment, do you buy $100-200 honey (for 250g)? If not, then you're not one of the Manuka consumers I was describing, which may be reflected in your car choices
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