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Posts posted by Otto

  1. 27 minutes ago, M4tt said:

    I'm pretty sure the queenless hive will tear them down if they're not protected 

    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.

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  2. @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.

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  3. On 5/09/2018 at 2:02 PM, Rewi1973 said:

    Can anyone tell me what plant the red pollen might be from? Have seen a bit of it coming into the hives over the last couple of weeks. I’m in urban Auckland so lots of different garden plants around. 


    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)?

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  4. 11 hours ago, Philbee said:

    Cells ok but realistically who really knows.


    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.

  5. 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. 

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  6. 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.

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  7. 1 hour ago, Sailabee said:

    No government minister has the right to decide how many groups he will liaise with, that is not how democracy works, and especially an industry that has had very little financial input or even competent MPI staffing from the said ministers government. 

    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?

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  8. 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)?


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  9. 1 hour ago, tristan said:

    yes/no. bit of a hole but its the business that takes the fall out and that having all those extra staff be registered would create a massive work load.

    i'm not sure on the actual wording of the law so can;t comment on that.


    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.


    55 minutes ago, Philbee said:

    What is the definition of a Corporate?


    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 beekeeping. Maybe corporate wasn't the right word.

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    1 hour ago, tristan said:

    he takes the word of his staff.

    if hes taught them well and he makes sure they do their job, its not an issue.

    being registered and knowing what to do are two different things.


    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.


    1 hour ago, tristan said:

    the penalties are applied to the company not to the field staff. 


    What penalties???

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  11. 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?

  12. 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't understand - why was this not sent to beekeepers at the same time?

    I've included the document here for anyone wanting something to do with the wet weather coming our way.

    BRIEFING DOCUMENT - MPI Government 01112017.pdf

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  13. Just now, Jose Thayil said:

    Did anyone get the email from AFB PMS Management saying about the results from the survey they did and due to the amount of people who are against the levy increases they are not going to do it this year? 

    Yes. It is referenced in the AFB levy thread...

  14. 1 hour ago, Ali said:

    It is possible they did. But I think majority of beekeeping enterprises should thank Mr berry for speaking up!


    I would never dispute that Russell Berry has done our industry many a great service over his whole lifetime in it. I was merely pointing out that the opening sentence of the article stated:


    Apiculture New Zealand's proposed compulsory industry levy has stung beekeepers into action with claims it could put small operations out of the honey business.


    That would lead me to believe this article is about small beekeeping operations. The only people mentioned in/interviewed for the article are Karin Kos and Russell Berry, neither of whom fit into this category and therefore (for me) the article was missing a vital ingredient to give it credibility.

    At what point in this debate do we (small operators) get to put our hands up, have our say and (crucially) actually get heard?

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  15. 10 hours ago, Jose Thayil said:


    The first two lines of this article:


    Apiculture New Zealand's proposed compulsory industry levy has stung beekeepers into action with claims it could put small operations out of the honey business.

    President of New Zealand Beekeeping Russell Berry said his family-owned company Arataki would have to pay about $100,000 a year.


    Gotta love an article that introduces the idea that the levy could put small operations out of the honey business then straight away quotes Arataki honey...

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  16. 3 hours ago, Ali said:

    @JohnF, I think quite a few have been incensed by some of the responses or lack of to a few questions asked here.

    Regarding the use of proposed funding for research, I would imagine there is an inner circle already established that would likely benefit to quite a large degree (yes the beekeeping industry may benefit as a result) but it would not be beyond the realms of reality to see funding going into hands the people funding the levy would be unhappy about.

    It would be quite disturbing to find we are supporting the research arms (directly or indirectly) of the large beekeeping or marketing entities.

    Tracking the money/benefit trail would prove very interesting.


    Projects that could get funded from such a fund should not be (and don't think will be) predetermined before the fund is in place.


    Some of the reasons for establishing an industry research fund (through this proposed levy) would be:

    1) To ensure there is some money available for research deemed critical to the industry.


    2) So that there is somewhere researchers can apply to for a grant to do research they think would benefit the industry. It would be up to a granting panel to identify those projects that are worth funding. Such a panel would usually be made up of a mix of industry and science representatives so that the expertise to identify a worthy project that is technically sound in how it is set out are there on that panel. 


    3) To provide leverage to get government funding for MBIE grants, Sustainable Farming Fund grants etc for large (costly) research projects. Large scale research projects often require matched and/or in kind funding or partly matched funding from stakeholders (like in this case the beekeeping industry) to stand any chance of getting funded. At present this is a huge obstacle for researchers as there is basically no funding available from industry.


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  17. @Dr Mark Goodwin

    Just out of interest. Have the AFB NPMP Board consulted with you over the proposed increases, what they would be for and whether this is the right way forward? With your expertise in this field and your input into trying to get the strategy right from the outset this surely should have happened. From your post above it seems likely that you weren't, which is hard to believe.

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