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Otto last won the day on November 16 2019

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About Otto

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  1. I routinely pull them out of the finishers 5 days post-graft and have never had issues with cells not emerging properly.
  2. A polystyrene box is all I use when putting cells out. I fill a 2L milk bottle with warm water (around 35 degrees is fine when it goes in) which sits beside the foam. I tested the temperature inside the box when I first started using it and it holds it pretty well. Unless it is a cold day the temp inside the polystyrene box is still around 25 degrees after much of the day sitting on the passenger seat in the ute. Overall it holds the temperature just fine. The insulation works both ways. If left in the sun inside the ute it takes a long time to get warmer inside the box.
  3. Otto

    Otto's Bees

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    Otto’s Bees is a small Dunedin-based beekeeping business supplying bee colonies, queens, queen cells and advice to local commercial and hobby beekeepers. Honey produced is sold to the locals here in Dunedin. If you want any of these please get in touch with Otto using the email link provided.


    Dunedin, Otago - NZ

  4. This is the bit that get me too. You can take it with you in your luggage but sending is not allowed.
  5. A friend asked me a while back for some comb honey to send to family in Israel. I queried whether there were any issues getting things into Israel but she assured me there aren't. She went to send her parcel and was flatly told you are not allowed to send honey overseas. Did a quick search and found: Sending honey overseas | Biosecurity NZ | NZ Government WWW.MPI.GOVT.NZ <p>Honey is an animal product, and only registered exporters can send animal products out of New Zealand even if it’s a gift or for personal use.</p> Appears that this is indeed the rule (need to be a registered exporter to send ANY quantity of honey overseas). It wasn't one I was aware of previously so I am wondering if this is a new thing? Would appreciate some feedback from people that know.
  6. I've struggled a bit with this patent. I wasn't a big contributor to that thread but I am of the opinion that discussions and brain-storming ideas on a public forum shouldn't lead to a product patent for one of the people contributing ideas. Then again, maybe Philbee was up front about his desire to get a saleable product out of it... I never did exhaustively read through the thread. I think there is lots of information to generate and share regarding treatment timing, where and how many staples to put into a colony, side-effects of the treatment on the bees, effects of the treatment on other hive pathogens etc... None of these have much to do with a specific delivery system.
  7. My understanding is that Philbee's patent is quite specific for edge-protected staples. I think there is still plenty of scope to do work here. I hope to have a little more time to actually start collecting some data from my own hives from this coming Spring onwards. I predominantly used staples in autumn last year and this season they are all I have used. I am completely comfortable that they are giving me adequate varroa control but at the moment I don't have field data to back that up...
  8. I completely agree. It is one of the reasons I will never use a carricell. A metal box left in the sun for even a very short period of time can overheat and kill queen cells. I just use a polystyrene box with a foam insert and bottle of warm water. I live in town so power cuts are a rare thing. I do remember one time we had one during the night. I woke up and realised so got out of bed, filled a couple of old milk bottles with warm water and put these in my incubator with the cells to make sure they didn't cool down too much. @frazzledfozzle If your queen cell incubator has a decent amount of spare space putting a couple of decent sized bottles of water or a jerrycan or some bricks etc in to help stabilise heat and help slow cooling could work quite well (same concept as a nightstore heater).
  9. Hi Frazz. I have been using an incubator like this for years but bought mine from TradeMe rather for around $200 rather than this $500 version (mine doesn't have the foam inserts). This is an incubator for keeping cells outside of a beehive environment (i.e. once they are sealed and you want to free up space in cell raiser/finisher colonies), rather than a carricell alternative. These would be rather clumsy for that purpose I think and you'd have to adjust the power input away from a mains socket. When making queen cells I (presumably like most) use cell bars that are the internal length of a standard frame. The dimensions of these incubators are perfect for these. My cells stay on their cell bars until they are ready to go into colonies. Kids need the computer for school meetings now...
  10. I don't make my own but one of my landowners regularly gets some macrocarpa milled. He is a builder by trade so every so often I get him to make me a bunch of kitset boxes. I really like them but don't have the expertise or equipment to do it myself. I love having my bees in boxes made from trees grown on the same farm. Good luck with yours. I hope they work out well for you.
  11. DNA is a very stable molecule and you'd be surprised just how much of it is "floating" around. Labs doing routine DNA testing have to be very careful and pedantic with clean surfaces and equipment as it is super easy to contaminate things otherwise. Part of the issue for labs working with DNA is that many tests rely on amplifying (making many millions of copies of) particular bits of DNA, which makes cleanliness and sterilising super important.
  12. Don't believe so no and don't see it as necessary. Can't say I've exhaustively read this whole thread but I'm pretty sure the stitching came about once Gib papertape was decided on as a medium for holding the oxalic/glycerine mix. As multiple layers were required the layers needed to be held together...
  13. @Don Mac Sorry, was obviously not very clear with my previous post. My disagreement with your post was only with regards to using this particular example to support the need to rewrite the rules as this was not a gene editing approach but quite a substantial genetic modification of a gut endosymbiont. I have no issues at all with using genetic modifications in research. It is an invaluable tool without which we would still know very little about how biological systems work. I utilised it extensively when I did my PhD and as part of subsequent research projects I was involved in but that was all in containment and using laboratory strains of organisms. I know that this is an area in science where new techniques and technologies are changing the way things can be done very quickly. Rules written >20 years ago will not necessarily fit with the tools available today and I am all for the these rules being overhauled. Ideally how well the rules fit with new technologies needs to be looked at quite regularly. With respect to market development, my opinion is that our understanding of biological systems is not complete enough for us to be releasing genetically modified organisms into the environment (although I do realise that there are already multiple examples where this has happened).
  14. @Don Mac Not sure I completely agree with you here. Other than it being a different bacterium that got genetically modified I don't think this is really a "new genetic technique". This is clearly an example of genetic modification and not one of gene editing. They have introduced DNA that does not naturally occur in the gut symbiont to constitutively express RNA that also does not naturally occur in it. While I like the idea of utilising RNA interference, as it can be made to specifically interfere with a single species (in this case Varroa), I really don't like the idea of introducing genetically modified bacteria into the environment. It certainly raises a few pretty big ethical questions. Once something like this is allowed out of containment there would be no controlling where it ends up. I am not sure about not being able to undertake this sort of research in NZ - pretty sure if you can meet the containment requirements then it would be fine.
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