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Otto last won the day on July 29 2018

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About Otto

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  1. Got a call from the Valley Project. They were a bit worried given the proximity to the school and footpaths and school finishing with bees everywhere. Some people from the Project and NEV school showed up keen to take some photos for talking to the kids about it. Another guy showed up taking photos and asking questions. Found out after he left he was a stuff reporter...
  2. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/115932126/hundreds-of-bees-swarm-house-in-dunedin Can't say too many of my own bees look ready to swarm just yet but someone else's bees are obviously doing alright.
  3. If you have any native bush nearby the really light coloured pollen is likely to be five-finger pollen.
  4. Bees don't need supplements when they are kept in sustainable numbers. Put too many bees in one place and there will be times of the year when they struggle to forage for what they need. I doubt that 100 years ago we had more beehives in an area than that area could sustain. Generating more beehives was almost all done by collecting swarms from existing and feral colonies (i.e. the bees decided when more colonies could be in an area). Beehives would not have been moved around to chase flows. The number of beehives an area can sustain obviously changes drastically with changes in land use so there will be large differences there for many places between now and 100 years ago.
  5. Australia does not have varroa so no, absolutely not.
  6. I think that would be very difficult. The problem is the queen/cell provider has absolutely no guarantees about how their product is being introduced. You can give all the correct advice and instructions but people still refuse to follow it or interpret it in a way you never anticipated...
  7. To know what someones queens are like, the easiest way to find out is to buy some and give them a go. I would certainly recommend giving feedback to the queen breeder/producer, whether it be positive or negative. Not all queens will work well in all different areas of the country. I imagine experienced breeders will have repeat customers who may be happy to vouch for the product? If a cell fails to emerge it is possibly the fault of the person raising the cells, although cells are easily damaged if you're a little rough with them. If it "Doesn't take" (i.e. it emerged but no mated queen results) that is in my opinion in no way on the seller. Everyone surely knows it a game of percentages? The same goes for introducing mated queens. If they don't take it is probably how they were introduced that will be largely to blame.
  8. Otto

    Whats this?.

    The second insect is a fly rather than a bee, probably a kind of hoverfly but hard to tell for sure from the picture. The brown round 'object' is part of the fly, from memory this part at the posterior of the top of the thorax is called the scutellum.
  9. @Sandra-Lee Please read the post two up from yours. These are not legal here. I would suggest keeping a normal (Langstroth) beehive at your school instead. I have been keeping a beehive at my children's primary school (also an enviroschool) for quite a few years now. To get started the best bet would be to find a local beekeeper with some bee experience that is interested in helping out. Spring is the best time of year to start. There are also plenty of legal options for observation hives that would work in a classroom, they just need to have removable frames so that the brood can be inspected.
  10. Also from the same web page: “What this result illustrates is missing, is the common ground that is characteristic of other industries when identifying, deciding and actioning priorities. We recognise that we need to keep working with the wider industry to find that common ground and to build stronger relationships through shared goals and priorities,” says Mr Wills. Easy to focus on negatives and typographical errors but please don't just cherrypick the bits that suit your argument. The above sentence does demonstrate that ApiNZ are aware that it was more than just the financial situation of the industry that resulted in a no vote. Admittedly it is also easy to shoot this comment down as I think it should read "We recognise that we need to START working with the wider industry..."
  11. What! You mean the same as in our general election to elect our parliament where someone who pays $5 tax a year gets 1 vote and someone who pays $10,000,000 tax a year also gets 1 vote?
  12. I agree. I had a bit of a rant about this very topic a while back...
  13. I haven't had complete read of this paper yet but what they suggest (hypothesise) is that DWV is actually a far less virulent virus than some of the other viruses, which are apparently eliminated due to their virulence. Not sure I completely agree with this conclusion... One of the viruses they used to test this was sacbrood virus, which I think still seems to be prevalent at much the same rate as pre-varroa (judging by the odd encounter I have with what looks like sacbrood). I think the more likely scenario is that DWV is very efficiently vectored by varroa while these other viruses are not.
  14. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190129195223.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fplants_animals%2Fviruses+(Virology+News+--+ScienceDaily) The scientific paper on which this article was based is available at: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2018.2452 Abstract The arrival of the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor on the western honeybee Apis mellifera saw a change in the diversity and prevalence of honeybee RNA viruses. One virus in particular, deformed wing virus (DWV) has become closely associated with V. destructor, leading many to conclude that V. destructor has affected viral virulence by changing the mode of transmission. While DWV is normally transmitted via feeding and faeces, V. destructor transmits viruses by direct injection. This change could have resulted in higher viral prevalence causing increased damage to the bees. Here we test the effect of a change in the mode of transmission on the composition and levels of honeybee RNA viruses in the absence of V. destructor. We find a rapid increase in levels of two viruses, sacbrood virus (SBV) and black queen cell virus (BQCV) after direct injection of viral extracts into honeybee pupae. In pupae injected with high levels of DWV extracted from symptomatic adult bees, DWV levels rapidly decline in the presence of SBV and BQCV. Further, we observe high mortality in honeybee pupae when injected with SBV and BQCV, whereas injecting pupae with high levels of DWV results in near 100% survival. Our results suggest a different explanation for the observed association between V. destructor and DWV. Instead of V. destructor causing an increase in DWV virulence, we hypothesize that direct virus inoculation, such as that mediated by a vector, quickly eliminates the most virulent honeybee viruses resulting in an association with less virulent viruses such as DWV.
  15. Not sure I agree with this (although I am no business expert). Corporate beekeeping (I like @john berry's definition of a beekeeping business run on someone else's money) has only come through on the back of very high honey prices. I am not convinced this model is sustainable or profitable with lower honey prices. I think there will be more that just a place for the smaller, family business which used to be the norm and that these will likely out-compete the corporate model. I think a well run smaller business is very competitive as it does not have layers of managers that need to be paid.
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