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Everything posted by Otto

  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 lan
  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
  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 c
  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
  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
  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
  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
  16. I would certainly echo this. For various reasons I've got hives with entrances in different places (e.g. nucs with front entrances or side entrances). Bees always store honey furthest from the entrance. I also find this helpful to know with putting a hive back together (I like to put it back together exactly how it was). If you've pulled a frame out of a brood box and you're not sure which way round it was in look at which end has more honey and that'll be the end that was furthest from the entrance.
  17. I still struggle to see how one could administer a quota-type system when the vast majority of beehives are on private property. Quotas may work for the fishing industry where the fish/crayfish etc live in the sea and you go there to catch your quota. How would you administer quotas on private properties? I doubt the government would have any interest in trying to set such a scheme up.
  18. @frazzledfozzle@JohnF Yes, John can probably do this. Maybe he could also put together a list of all the co-ordinated funding the industry has put into getting such research done? The amount of money the industry has put into research during our boom cycle is ridiculously close to $0. I find it hard to believe that you can expect researchers to contribute to your bottom line when this is the case. Yes, there have been contributions from some beekeeping businesses but, considering the money that has been made in the industry over the last 10 or so years, this is a very small percentage of
  19. Okay. Not a method I have come across. Good to learn something new. Keeping queens in cages is relatively easy. Need to keep them at a decent temperature (others will have more knowledge than me but I tend to keep them at 20-25 degrees). I do not do it on any great scale so tend to use my hot water cupboard. The most I've had at any one time is a few dozen. Looking after them: A drop of water on each cage every day or two to give them a drink if they need it. Attendants need to be replaced every 1.5-2 weeks (put fresh nurse bees into a new cage and move the queen across).
  20. I'm interested in why you would be doing this? I understand caging queens from mating nucs and putting a cell back in for the replacement queen but why is the caged queen also going back into the nuc? The whole point of mating nucs is to use the queens elsewhere once mated. If you're not immediately using the mated queens they can be kept in cages with attendants for weeks if you look after them a bit. I'm with @Rob Atkinson, why fight biology? The chances of getting a second decent mated queen from a nuc while leaving the first one in must surely reduce drastically? I have admittedly ne
  21. A little confused... Don't see how the statement I made could undermine anything. All I said was that if you take non-manuka honey (like honeydew) and blend it into manuka this is guaranteed to reduce the amount of manuka in that blend. Standard or no standard, if the brand is manuka this practice surely should diminish the value and credibility of that product?
  22. I'm with @yesbut on this one. The question of what is manuka is irrelevant if you're trying to defend blending other honeys and honeydew into it. The only certainty with this blending into manuka had is that it's manuka content diminished.
  23. Small larvae can easily survive for a few hours. There is significant variation in how much food they are provided with from one hive to another though so the time varies. They do get much harder to remove from their cells once they've been out of a hive for an hour plus as they consume the food they sit in. Straight after removing a frame from a hive is when they are easiest to remove from their cells. Again dessication is the biggest problem for small larvae. They seem to handle cool temperatures just fine for shortish spells.
  24. Should also have said that eggs survive very well outside a hive for hours. Dessication is the main thing to avoid, hence the damp cloth.
  25. If you're set up for raising some cells at home I'd grab a frame with plenty of eggs and/or small larvae, wrap it in a damp cloth and take it home. Put that in a hive at home and graft when you have some small larvae to use.
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