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Everything posted by Otto

  1. @dansar and @tristan I am completely happy with my queens thanks.
  2. I don't believe that a really good queen can outlay a box of 10 good quality 3/4 frames, if all that space is dedicated to brood. The problem is that the bees end up storing food in those frames as well and that is where I end up not being able to run singles. In spring brood frames can get clogged up with pollen very quickly and in no time the queen is struggling for laying space. My ideal is definitely 2 brood boxes either a 3/4 box and a FD box or both 3/4 boxes.
  3. The brown stuff is likely clover pollen.
  4. Personally, I am very happy that they have listened and are changing the levy to be based on hives rather than apiaries. After all, the unit every beekeeper bases their hobby or business on is hive number not apiary number. I don't think it comes down to a couple of vocal rental hive operators at all. For me it comes down to making sure that they are not encouraging large apiaries. For good beekeepers I wouldn't see these as a major disease risk but I have always seen them as detrimental to hive health. I firmly believe it is better for beehives to be spread out in small apiaries and I th
  5. Laying workers lay unfertilised eggs which can certainly result in adult drones. I have done quite a bit of work with the University over the years looking at workers with active ovaries. In a queenless environment there is huge variation in how many workers activate their ovaries, how many eggs they lay and how much policing there is. How good the (drone) brood pattern looks has less to do with the fact that it is workers laying the eggs and more to do with the size of the cells they lay into. If they are laying eggs in an area of drone comb you can get some decent looki
  6. I saw the same thing in a hive I checked yesterday and see some of it pretty much every season. As @Scutellator suggested, this is due to workers that are laying above the excluder (anarchist workers). Not sure about there being at least some laying workers in every hive but I've seen it often enough that I know it definitely happens. If the queen is getting through the excluder somewhere there would also be worker brood in the super and I've seen it a number of times where it is only drone brood. It is frustrating when you are trying to run dedicated honey supers!
  7. Depends how long they've been queenless. If they've been queenless for a long time then yes, it is difficult to get them to accept a new one. If they haven't been queenless for very long it should work just fine. I make lots of splits this time of year and dequeen nucs in mating yards. All of these get unprotected cells a day or two later and almost all are accepted.
  8. Warmer day in Dunedin today... Got a call from a hobby beekeeper saying his wife thought the bees were swarming. Got there and she told me she thought they'd settled down now. I pointed to the hose reel and she was a little taken aback.
  9. @kaihoka I never saw this thread this time last year so never saw your photos of the rata scale insect. We get these in Dunedin too. When I was working at the Otago Museum I came across a couple of small rata branches/leaves in the collections that one of our local entomolgists (Tony Harris) had collected. These were fair covered in this scale insect. I've seen it quite regularly on rata here since. Severity seems to vary greatly from season to season but it doesn't seem to have lasting detrimental effects on rata trees here.
  10. In Dunedin we get a bright red pollen from (horse) chestnut trees when they're in flower. They're still a wee way off down here though but might be earlier up your way (if there are any)?
  11. Had to add an "eep" but then it worked fine (capitalbeekeeping.co.nz). Thanks?
  12. Does anyone have children's bee suits for sale? I am trying to source 5 or 6 for our local primary school. I know I've seen them on here before but a search didn't give me any fruitful leads... Cheers, Otto
  13. If you get a very high emergence percentage and your queens are good then you know? My incubator is an egg incubator and I don't really know how tightly the temperature is controlled. I'll be switching it on today as I have my first batch of cells coming out so will stick a min/max thermometer in there for a few days to see what sort of fluctuation there is.
  14. Thanks for the information Alastair. I also thought Frazz's set temp was a little low. I have mine at 34 degrees. Haven't really tested how much it fluctuates but will sometime when I get my hands on a datalogger. In terms of calibrating - I tested my incubator with two different independent thermometers to get an indication of how accurate it was. I thought it unlikely all three would be out by a consistent amount so trust that it is pretty good.
  15. I assume this is for cells? I think your cells would be absolutely fine with this fluctuation. They can handle a bit. If you look at where queen cells are built in a hive they are often on the edges or along bottom bars (because this is where there is space for them). In these positions you cannot help but get some temperature fluctuations with environmental up and downs.
  16. I hope todays Dunedin meeting is a useful one. Was certainly intending to come but have two sick children at home with me...
  17. @Dennis Crowley Just wanted to check that there is no need to RSVP for the meeting in Dunedin on Thursday?
  18. If you put the shoe on the other foot for a minute and pretend to be someone from government looking at the bee industry, would you honestly think it an industry worth financial input and competent staffing?
  19. I produce some honey (maybe a little over a tonne in a good year) but none of it goes through an RMP facility and it is all sold on the local market. I assume from all the information that the commodity levy will only ever apply to RMP honey (as RMP operators are where honey crops that get levied will be calculated)?
  20. I struggle to see how it would create a "massive workload". Once you've passed a DECA test it costs $20 a year to be a registered beekeeper (no work at all). Anyone who has a decent amount of beekeeping experience should be able to pass the test with their eyes closed. I would have thought for many employers this would provide a perfect opportunity to offer their employees a chance for professional development. I didn't have a specific definition in mind. I was just wondering how things worked in businesses where the owner of the beehives isn't the one doing the beekeepin
  21. It is my understanding that for our AFB NPMP every hive needs to be inspected annually by someone who is qualified (i.e. has a DECA). If beekeepers employed by bigger enterprises that are working/inspecting the hives do not have DECAs then the vast majority of beehives in NZ are not meeting this criteria. This strikes me as rather a big hole in our NPMP. What penalties???
  22. These are just questions as I don't know how larger beekeeping firms handle these things. With respect to AFB levies/inspections etc, how does corporate beekeeping work? Who is responsible for signing AFB declarations? Are the beekeepers who work as employees registered as beekeepers with the NPMP? If not, should they be captured under the NPMP?
  23. I noticed a link to this at the bottom of the AFB website. It is a reasonably comprehensive briefing document regarding the Management Agency's vision for moving the AFB NPMP forward. Quite a long read but one we should all at least have a decent browse through. I don't think anyone else has submitted it to the forum but apologies if it is already here somewhere. I do not know how long it has been available through the website but this is the first time I've noticed it. You have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the home page and the link is there on the left hand side.The bit I don'
  24. Yes. It is referenced in the AFB levy thread...
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