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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.
    16 points
  2. Finally my boys big enough to help do a job? one less thing for me to do, he smokes my hive I'm working then moves ahead of me smoking and he's really keen too, proud daddy moment
    16 points
  3. Well. It is just as well I didn't name and shame because it turns out that that 5% of uncertainty was someone else entirely. I have just had notification that the inspection team found evidence of rob outs and as per the rules they can't tell me who but I do know is not who I thought it was. Sounds like who I thought it was has also got a dose at the same time as I did , of course they wouldn't have if they hadn't dumped a big site between two of mine. This is a good example of why we pay a levy . I reported a problem and it was followed up and dealt with.
    15 points
  4. Riley’s gonna grow into those gloves! She insisted that she have her “work boots” and her gloves on.
    15 points
  5. 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
    15 points
  6. This morning was a multi tasking day.. a prep day for Monday.. I shifted some new double Nuc boxes to a site ready for Monday’s job of transferring .. time to cut the cold core flute Nuc box from my outfit.. 36 yrs ago I met Pete.. now pushing 80, he taught me how to catch the wily wild pig.. wearing adidas track pants and a swanny with a 1942 303 bayonet strapped to his waist Pete would tear off through the thick deadly flowering gorse into the Ashley forest leaving me.. a 9yr old behind .. to deal to the notoriously fast running boars that his dogs would catch every weekend.. I would
    14 points
  7. And as I was cruising around the juice ran...... Anzac dawn Blood red sky Stand to yer post As a nation mourns Anzac morning Nor'west breeze rustles an autumn still Stand to your posts As a nation heads a warning Anzacs Proud, resilient Seperate , but one Neighbours, friends .... united in their pain. In an ideal world yes ..... not a lot of surplus this year. Forgive me . Jimmy C has a book called "Jimmy's Book of Big Ideas" It is my book of drawings , poetry ,and daydreams. The
    13 points
  8. I have just watched the big expose on TV one about roundup in manuka honey. Man they must be short of news to put on such a anti roundup biased piece of garbage. No mention of other honey types which if they come from pasture you would expect to have higher residues and no mention about residues found in meat or vegetables or anything else we eat. End result will be a drop in honey sales for no practical good. I'm not a huge fan of roundup but it is a legal product used very extensively in New Zealand farming and beekeepers can't avoid it. All right they did mention that beekeepers could
    12 points
  9. I think if the AFB was found and reported by a beekeeper then they are far from a useless beekeeper and jn fact are very good beekeepers first for finding it and second for reporting it. It's not good to blame bad beekeeping being the cause of AFB. It's the same as blaming people for catching covid.
    12 points
  10. wintered down my taranaki apiary and added the autumn varroa treatments yesterday... was supposed to be end March, but at that stage there wasn't enough clarity around what was and wasn't ok re COVID-19. Since then, it's been a combination of time available due to work and weather forecasts. I was a little worried about what i might find in the hives, especially the one i had left to emergency re-queen itself. Last visit to these hives was waitangi weekend. drove up from wellington in the morning, did what needed to be done in the afternoon, slept in my car, drove back this morning
    12 points
  11. NucMan, Your allegation that the Management Agency has not acted on the information you provided is not correct. The Management Agency has followed up on the information you provided and undertaken investigation and enforcement actions as described in the Operational Plan https://afb.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/AFB-Operational-Plan-January-2020.pdf Inspection of some of the beekeepers apiaries resulted in the Management Agency identifying a few cases of AFB and multiple non-compliances with plan rules. The AFB hives have been destroyed and
    12 points
  12. Straining the last of my sticky Xmas gift from my bees. Means not much to many but heaps to me. Can't bare wasting a scrap. Every drop is a bees hard work. Just the last slow dribble to work it's way through the tasty (yep) cappings that clog up my strainer. Two buckets,a 3 frame hand spinner, some stickiness, and a happy woman.
    11 points
  13. The Basics of Beekeeping This article appeared in the NZ Beekeeper No. 190, Winter 1986, pp 11-13. It appeared under the pseudonym 'Skep'. As I cast about for topics suitable for this column, this issue is always the hardest. Though as I write this, the weather is still warm and pleasant, I know that you will be reading it in the throes of winter. My first thoughts were to write about sources of information for the beginner beekeeping. I've decided to save that topic for the future, while optimistically writing this to give the beginner an overview of the cr
    11 points
  14. I'm pretty sure you live a few blocks from me. If you want some help one way or another get in touch. I have a couple of nucs I don't need. Can possibly sort you with either a queen or nuc. Or happy to help out if your in a pinch
    11 points
  15. Took my Year 10 class out to the hive on thursday. Was interested to see how they are going as it has been very wet down here in the South. A huge change from the perpetual drought of south canterbury. They had 2 boxes packed with capped honey and nectar so am going to have to give them another honey super. But i guess being on the edge of town they have been raiding all the local gardens. Took out a honey frame and the kids gathered around spooning up honey fresh from the frame. Even the too cool lads were very impressed.
    11 points
  16. A bit of pirate beekeeping over the weekend and we’re just about finished the first round of supering up, thats quite early for us.
    11 points
  17. I took a mum and 3 girls beekeeping today. They’re keen to get hives but wanted some experience and advise. This little one was amasing. They started out in a full suit but by the end of the day all three sisters had their heads in every hive without any gloves, hood or suit. Tasman and her sisters were so relaxed around the bees, they didn’t get one sting between the three of them. She probably ate close to her body weight in honey, sugar crystals and syrup. We all had a fab day.
    11 points
  18. 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
  19. Trevor Palmer-Jones started research initially into mastitis, but then in 1944 was made the chief NZ beekeeping scientist. He worked through until 1975 - and was made a life member of the NBA. In the middle 1980s I had dinner with Trevor and his wife Claire. I asked Trevor what was the most amazing advance in beekeeping research that had come about during his time as a researcher. He didn't hesitate. "The photocopier!" In all of those early years, a magazine might come by on circulation. If there was anything you wanted to read more closely, or save to be able
    11 points
  20. My bubble is still intact @Dennis Crowley .....and yes , there are many operations that run a clean ship. What always amazes me is the job ads running looking for beekeeping managers .... 'must have two years experience' ..... to be honest .... IMHO .... a beekeeper of two years is still just a boy and in no way would I let Him loose disease checking my hives. And yes ..... I have often been reminded that I am a control freak !
    11 points
  21. Found this critter. Isn't it cool.
    11 points
  22. I recently did a AFB check for a new beekeeper who was really struggling to get someone to check 7 hives. I’m sure glad this newbie was there to explain the history of each hive as I would have been very confused with what I found. There was no AFB evident and I was happy to put my name on the sheet of paper to say so. But 5 of the hives had been attempts to split nukes off the one moderately strong hive due to worries it would swarm. The beekeeper had mistakenly identified drone cells for queen cells. But we had a grand time, they had never seen eggs or lava in the bottom of cel
    10 points
  23. At this part of world we have little time to relax while expecting to 2020. finish.. Now we are 2 hours in 2021. aaand I must say this person who invented six packs is mean person.. We were emptying them really fast.. But for once in the year we are on the loose.. Tomorrow reset into new season.. What didn't kill us last season made us stronger.. Take care for loving ones, worrying about things that you can't change won't do you or yours any good. Life is too short, enjoy it..
    10 points
  24. In contrast to a lot of people I've had the most marvellous year ! Thanks to covid emptying a lot of roads down south the motorcycling has been very enjoyable, and also thanks to lockdown I've had a lot more to do with our local community, and thanks to Jacinda (take that Trev) my pension has kept rolling in.....not the tiniest grump from me. Happy New Year All.
    10 points
  25. My first swarm call of the season. Pretty happy that it's the end of October (last year was in the first half of September!). This was quite a big swarm.
    10 points
  26. 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
  27. What a blatant piece of advertising from purity to the detriment of every beekeeper in New Zealand. As for some of the crap from the other beekeeper . Saying that hives have died from roundup poisoning is unbelievable. Hives do get killed by operators spraying gorse but it is not roundup. Poisonings of this type are almost invariably caused by organo- silicate surfactants which the powers that be refuse to label as an insecticide because it's a sticking agent despite the fact that it is lethal to bees wet or dry. We now have the general public thinking our honey is poisonous (except for
    10 points
  28. It appears even Crims can be good guys. Our landi was delivered back to our mechanics today. Whoever dropped it off just parked it up and walked away without saying anything. @jamesc how did you get on with your gates.
    10 points
  29. We are told you are always never too old to learn. I never really appreciated that saying til yesterday when I attended Maggie's Queen tutoring session. Thanks Maggie . ..... insights from a perfectionist as to how to succeed at the tricky job of raising cells ....gems of wisdom as too why she doesn't graft when the weather is cold, and photos of clusters of bees that explode into boxes of bees at a 5c temperature rise , and swarm boxes and supersudure boxes, and harnessing the power of the queen pheromone for the reward of cells of quality. And above all how practice, pract
    10 points
  30. Picking a Deputy Principal position. A rural high school in the deep south. We picked up 8ha of land in Central Otago, near Alexandra, last year that we want to start building on. Will be the flashest bach around for a couple of years till we move there full time. The neighbours are an organically managed vineyard and other, similar sized blocks of land. When they were developed they were planted out in white clover and grasses. The whole area is white with clover late spring. Aside from being good for my bees, the view isn't bad. Was down there last week to mark out the building platform wi
    10 points
  31. In no particular order: Factors that relate to consistently high honey production e.g. climate & flower sources. Bees need plenty of supplies to consistently generate lots of RJ in addition to their other activities Economies of scale. I've been in warehouses and freezers containing untold tons of RJ, where one batch is a metric ton. Think of how many cell-scoops that is... Specialisation, these people specialise in RJ production, they're not doing it as a bit on the side while e.g. chasing higher value honey crops. This is a whole family vocation. And several factors r
    10 points
  32. Through the life of the HMA - early 1950s to late 1970s - the HMA held moneys back (esp in a good year), with the concept that these funds went into an 'equalisation fund'. Theoretically, that fund would be used to increase the payout in bad years. Remember, the HMA's payout to beekeepers pretty much dictated the price packers' had to pay for honey - if a packer was not willing to meet the figure, the bkpr could always send it to the HMA. When the HMA was to be wound up, there was a lot of discussion about where the money should go. Should it go only to those who supp
    10 points
  33. Good luck with that Alistair, I have managed to bring a few like that thru winter in the past and usually are good hives by late October, just helps to have a kind winter. Shortly after varroa arrived here I was looking around the web for info on living with the little beast and came across some research from U of Guelf where they had trialled 10 frames V 9 evenly spaced frames per brood box, what they say they found was that there was fewer mites in the nine frame hives than the 10 framers. now this might be because the nine framers had less brood , but I doubt that , they t
    10 points
  34. My very first harvest! Super on for one month, 8 frames harvested...20kgs...beautiful...very happy!
    9 points
  35. If you do find out, first thing to do is send them an invoice for damages. Make it realistic - i.e. fair values but make it complete, travel, time etc cost of digging hole.... At this point you have established a cost. The beekeeper may actually decide to pay the bill. I have experienced this. If they don't, they are now very aware of the cost to someone else that their actions (or lack of) have caused. At this point if they refuse to pay, you can take them to the disputes tribunal. The cost is low, tribunal is less like a court and more like an arbitration. Depending on how
    9 points
  36. The problem with the Queen Introductions into those 20 splits was almost certainly candy issue, and that places the blame with person who supplied the Queens. Candy should not go rock hard. Probably, there wasn't enough Inverted Sugar in the Candy. There is an art to making Candy, and it is important to get it right. Honey Candy is the most fool proof, you can err on the side of being too firm, and it will still pull enough moisture to keep it soft enough so as not to slow down the release of the Queen. Honey is so good because almost all the sugars in Honey have been inverted by the bees,
    9 points
  37. Collected a few more pollen samples for a research project today. Lots of hawthorn pollen and a bunch of others I'm still hoping to learn about... There's some dark purple/blue tree fuchsia pollen there too. Kind of looks like mouse droppings...
    9 points
  38. This is a rather large cut out from a year or so back, was another one same size at the other end of the building, the Manuka farmer mention he’d seen the “odd”bee going into the wall.. was a little surprised as I peeled off the weatherboard one by one and it kept going.. really wanted the queens as he said they’d been there for 3 or 4 yrs but never found them.. was only the fact he wanted to knock it down he called us in. Brood was really clean. This was chocked out with Manuka honey he was stoked with the comb.
    9 points
  39. That's exactly what I paid for my first queen, right after the new money came in, I bought a queen from Whites for $0.75. This was funded from my pocket money, $0.20 a week. In my childish ignorance I had only put a 4 cent stamp on the envelope when an 8 cent one was needed, so instead of the queen I got an indignant letter from Whites saying they had been required to pay the extra postage and they now wanted that, the cost of sending the letter to me, and of course I had to pay for a second lot of postage to send that to them ?. Anyhow in due course after that my queen
    9 points
  40. 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
  41. 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.
    9 points
  42. Bee awareness is a great time for me.. I get to hit our local school kids with 45 minutes of facts, passing spring flowering plant branches around and see their little eyes pop as I overload their brains with enthusiasm in everything bee related. My poor boy gets pretty embarrassed about his dad coming to school in his bee suit though. this year I’m going to focus on identifying differences between wasp and bee.. crazy how many people can’t tell.
    9 points
  43. OK. I guess this fits into the thread of ‘finding your niche in beekeeping’. And yes, it is history. And yes, it is all true. I guess, given these are real people, I should check with the family - they are still active beekeepers! But I hope that, given my genuine affection for Trevor, they’ll be OK with it. I came to NZ in very early spring, 1974. I’d left the US on the day that Richard Nixon resigned… Damn, that was a long time ago... And I came to NZ as a 23 year old to work for Trevor Rowe, in Eltham. Trevor had gone through the paperwork to enabl
    9 points
  44. Hives are absolutely pumping, still 4 weeks left before my bayvarols due out, just wondering if I'm gonna need to super a few weeks early. Doubles are almost ready for splitting and queen rearing in a week or 2
    9 points
  45. Re that. Despite the winter before this one's disaster, I have continued to experiment with OA strips. This winter I just put OA strips in a smallish number of hives, and was more cautious about it. What I have discovered this spring has taught me a lot. In the hives that were weaker last autumn when the strips went in, some of them have come through in pretty bad shape. That is because with the smaller bee cluster they have simply avoided the strips, and allowed the strips to box them in to a small area. And not just that, but with them not being forced to walk on the strips, they have come t
    9 points
  46. I don't know which particular case the Waikato branch is referring to. But it sounds very much like a case that has already been publicly commented on in the Beekeeper magazine, so I can comment. In that case, it was a several hundred hive outfit with out of control AFB that was brought to the attention of the AFBPMP after several neighbouring beekeepers started getting AFB all around him. Upon inspection by some AP2's they found that one hive in every three had AFB. Several hundred hives. The infected hives were burned by the AP2's. The beekeeper could understand the n
    9 points
  47. I will be declaring honey sent by post as natural sweetener or something similar in future. how many of us have friends and family overseas that we send honey too. its ridiculous of course and just another layer of bureaucracy to keep the boffons in their Wellington offices employed. i get so tired of all the rules and regs that are constantly dreamed up all throughout life in NZ.
    9 points
  48. 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!
    9 points
  49. 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 ...
    9 points
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