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  1. 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.
    15 points
  2. Really gotta say I don’t like not having the location visible. I don’t want to have to check a profile every time I want to see where someone’s from to get an idea of whether there Post is more or less relevant to us in our area.
    11 points
  3. 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.
    10 points
  4. 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
    8 points
  5. 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
    7 points
  6. 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
  7. 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..."
    6 points
  8. All this talk of queen raising.. I did a walkaway split yesterday, so kinda in on the act. my version = a mate wants a hive, well, mainly his 10 year old son. A couple of months ago I chucked beesuits on them and they went through some hives with me. Still keen, so I recommended they get and read practical beekeeping in NZ. Went through a couple of hives yesterday, clearly the kid had been doing his reading! We found the queen in the first hive, and he explained what was going on to his dad. Much focus on the description of what happens to a drone when it's lucky enough
    5 points
  9. The person buying my honey can take it back to his country in his baggage and get his family and friends to do the same and their is nothing the government can do. It is all being exported so I see double standards here
    4 points
  10. Then there is probably a virgin in the cell raiser.
    4 points
  11. Time to make some splits? The hives i have near that early flowering are bringing in nectar from somewhere up in them hills,i dont think its from the manuka. By the way,thats not me in the pic...its the landowner keen to see wat we do and wat the bees get up to!
    4 points
  12. 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
    4 points
  13. 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.
    4 points
  14. 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
  15. @Maggie James You were interested in Barberry flowers? Took these photos here this afternoon. This is the barberry we have locally (Darwin's barberry). It is coming into flower at the moment. It looks different to the photo @dansar posted in the September diary. This is another quite weedy plant, especially down in the Catlins where some hillsides are covered with it in the same way gorse covers things elsewhere in the country.
    4 points
  16. 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.
    4 points
  17. And that my friends is why I do 99% of my Queen rearing in autumn.
    4 points
  18. 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
  19. I had an enquiry from a customer who bought pollen from me at the indoor market in Hokitika. She wants 1 kg to be sent to her in the usa. I packed the pollen ready to post to her only to find that MPI have stepped in and any bee products up to 2 kg need all their bs filled in.MPI have asked that all people sending bee products need an exporter ID,exporter address, and either product ID or batch number, and the parcel need to go to an individual not a company. The parcel cannot weigh any more than 2kg. Today I intend to email MPI asking why we ( beekeepers)were not consulted and the re
    3 points
  20. Bighands, nor any producer under an RMP, should have to think about the odd jar in the post. We would all go broke if it comes down to this mentality. My interpretation of this, if Bighands sells a drum of honey (300-330 kg) at his farmers' market, the purchaser can export this. Yet, if Bighands wants to mail more than 2 kg overseas, he is in breach of NZPost & MPI. This is insane! This is just another example of bureracracy gone mad hindering the sole operator! Are we destined for an industry run by bureracracts (however your spell i
    3 points
  21. I have asked MPI how they are going to police it.The way it is worded is open to corruption.Another way to shut down the small producer and hurt our reputation as a fair and open country.Now we are just another police state
    3 points
  22. Plenty of whitestuff here the other morning. We pulled the bees out of it though!
    3 points
  23. 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
  24. thats is of concern. usually with boomer hives brood pattern is pretty solid. one of the issues is the strongest hive is the one that searches the furthest and tends to be the one that finds AFB. check before doing anything. splitting, i would only do a single split. multiples throw up a few challenges which are best avoided. you can do the split next to the hive. simply move the hive to the "new" spot facing the opposite way, then take back a box of brood WITHOUT the queen (make sure it has eggs). i typically just shake all the bees off to make sure the qu
    3 points
  25. Campbell River on Vancouver Island. That is the west coast of Canada for folks that aren't aware of our island.
    3 points
  26. Interesting Kaihoka. Once as an experiment I made a batch of cells mid winter and put them in small nucs to see what would happen, as some of the hives had a few drones. Epic fail, none of them mated. However a few years back I looked in a hive a bit after mid winter, and found it queenless and with one only queen cell. Not having any other options i closed the hive and left it to it's fate. Couple months later surprise surprise, I open the hive and there is a beautiful young laying queen in it .
    3 points
  27. LOL, that's about exactly it Yesbut. The maestro LOL, Donna, you're my best friend I'm making and selling packages atm so I just tipped part of a package into it a couple days ago, and it was as simple as that. In Freeslaves photo the bees did look about had it, but he did tip a cup or two of sugar straight into the comb which was exactly the right thing to do, it revived those bees and kept them alive until the hive came here. The queen is a little beauty, even despite the sorry circumstances she had kept on laying eggs bravely, and the poor
    3 points
  28. Transport the bar of cells in a nuc you want use and leave the last cell for them
    3 points
  29. 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
  30. 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
    3 points
  31. 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
    3 points
  32. I was having a good day today until the 2nd yard when I found an infected cell in the fourth hive. I could only see one cell and it was a very light milk chocolate colour. After sterilising everything I went back through the first three hives and gave them a thorough going over but they were clean. Careful checking of the 24 hives yielded another three cases of disease with all of them being very light infections. I know that it is possible that I caused this infection but given my AFB history it's pretty unlikely and I would be 99% certain that somebody within flying range has allowed
    2 points
  33. Good news Brothers in Hive Tools ..... sometimes the little pricks in the side of the rhinos eros work ...... And good on yer Asure quality for reacting to the little prick ..... Apparently the RMP procedure is up for revue shortly,,,, and we may well see a bit of logicity (new word) in how RMP's are worked by those who rule us. Hallelujah ..... or words to that effect.
    2 points
  34. Well,iv been reading,asking,watching as much as i can about queen rearing and today was the timed day for my first ever attempt at grafting some larvae. My attempt at a timing frame,for correct age larvae was a big fail. I put a drawn frame into middle of bottom box of a double,filled the rest of box with capped brood frames and food and hoped she would start laying in there Mon night,ready to graft today (pic 1). As you can c,only eggs in that frame,so looked to another hive for donor frame ( pic 2 ). Overwintered nuc was the donor ( pic 3 ) Pulled cell frame from 24h
    2 points
  35. We get good mating around 14deg witch is about what we'll be getting for the next few days. Couple of my hives had good numbers of drones two weeks ago and one with a freshly made empty swarm cell. Id say they'd be all good to go if if i let them.Am looking through them today for more swarm cells,moving strips onto fresh brood. Cant wait to have a look in them.
    2 points
  36. Not a good plan, put it at the least 2 meters away. Some people put the queenless hive in the original place and move the queenless hive away, which reduces drift. Exactly. Yes they will. Wether or not the robbing happens depends just how you have set everything up, and wether there is a nectar flow on to keep the potential robbers otherwise engaged. No nectar flow ='s high risk. It's a risk some people take. But, why take risks. A thought. Success with getting a mated queen in a walkaway split is often around
    2 points
  37. Yes. I know that. I am just lazy
    2 points
  38. Yes quite a catch 22 for those in the North. Bring the hives up strong to collect manuka, risk swarming. Get a good flowering and good weather, all good. Get a few weeks of rain, disaster. Wether to feed? How much? risk high C4's, don't feed enough, risk dead bees. Lot's of skill and judgement required where you are Maru
    2 points
  39. My queens are looking good too, put down my third graft of the season today, first lots due out on saturday. I just use the emergency response, split the hive, take the queen and put my grafting frame next to cell cups ready to graft
    2 points
  40. Cant wait til you venture back up these ways Maggie,to share your know how,il definitely be attending!
    2 points
  41. Good work on your cells Phil exciting times.. it’s a bit like fishing I recon.. waiting to see that new brood from the queen you have just produced a bit like setting the bait. My mating nucs I make up as 1honey 2brood , 1 drawn 1 foundy, willow is starting here and I make nucs up in coreflute boxes for transport to mating yard close to the cell builders (1km) then drop them in their double nuc placing cell later or the next day. with the weather we’ve had the last few days I’m expecting this Friday and Saturday will be an insect sex fest.. fingers crossed.
    2 points
  42. It might be safer to put the cells in after you have move the nukes but on the other hand if you open them up after shifting to insert the cells then you will probably have quite a few bees flying away. The wing buds on the young Queens are quite delicate and if you damage them by rough handling then they cannot mate so whatever you do be very gentle. On balance I think I would put the cells in after shifting the hives but either method should work as long as you are really gentle.
    2 points
  43. I understand from a long time beekeeper that BoP is running 3 weeks early this year. So that is about now..
    2 points
  44. 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?
    2 points
  45. 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
    2 points
  46. 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 .
    2 points
  47. 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
  48. Well,not too bad,obviously room for improvement. So,the queenless nuc was a 3/4 extended heightwise making it large enough to take the FD graft frame . The 3/4 double brood hive wasnt lol.So,i had to shoot home and modify a 3/4 frame to fix this amateur fupar! (pic 1) Brushing n smoking the bees off graft frame,i counted 11 out of 16 cells started. ( pic 2 ) I swapped rails over hoping i didnt cause any damage and put frame into double box queenright hive.
    2 points
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