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Posts posted by Otto

  1. The internet was up and running in the year 2000 and had been for a while :)


    I was only meaning that it was not the ubiquitous source of information on anything and everything it is today:)

    • Like 1
  2. Ok so how much water to a 25 kg bag of sugar to make 1:1 syrup.

    You university types can never answer in a simple manner :geek::what:

    This university type was trying to answer the question that was asked:)

    But yes, I could have added that a 1:1 solution would (as Jay and Yesbut point out) require 25L of water for a 25kg bag of sugar.

  3. When I used to mix a single 25kg bag of sugar at a time I found that a 2:1 solution gave me around 30L of sugar syrup (i.e. 25kg sugar mixed with 12.5L water). So to make that into a 1:1 solution I'd have to add another 12.5L of water to the 30L of sugar syrup.

    So to convert 100L of 2:1 sugar syrup to a 1:1 solution you'd need to add around 42L of water to it.

  4. I don't have an " irrational anti-carniolan agenda" and am not "driven to blame you for the arrival of DWV but in all that I have read no one has ruled out it coming in with the semen.

    Cannot rule that some DWV came in with the semen no. But I am certain that DWV was in NZ prior to it. Studies around the world show that wherever there is varroa there is DWV. An epidemiological study carried out in Hawaii when varroa was establishing itself there demonstrated just how much impact the mite has on both the distribution and the amount of DWV present in beehives. If varroa is present DWV is guaranteed to be there. The only thing the Te Ara encyclopaedia page demonstrates is that we did not test for it before 2007.

    • Like 2
  5. In the year 2000 the world had had varroa long enough to have also had plenty of DWV so I'm sure it would have come up in an internet search ?

    @frazzledfozzle. I think you're slightly underestimating the speed with which our lives have changed thanks to the internet and google. You'll find the term "just google it" was not particularly prevalent in the year 2000 (the company Google was founded in 1998).

    • Like 4
  6. Hi all I want to get a microscope to get up and closer to my bees this year.

    Dumb questions

    1, is x600 going to be ok or do I try for x1k

    2, what sort of money am I up for

    3, I'm thinking AliExpress is not the place to look but trademe one are all from there


    Thank you for any help

    What specifically are you wanting to look at under a microscope?

    Getting up and closer to bees themselves would require a dissecting microscope of some sort - magnification ranges from about 10x to 50x. Bees are too big to view under a compound microscope. Dissecting microscopes are for looking at whole things with the light usually coming from above what you're looking at. As I said, you could use this to look at whole bees or parts of a bee. Samples being looked at could be sitting in a petri dish, microscope slide or any other small container that fits under it.


    To look at gut microflora you would need a compound microscope. Magnification ranges from 40x to 1000x. As Philbee says, 1000x requires oil emersion (increases the resolving power of the microscope), but you're unlikely to need as magnification as high as that. A compound microscope is usually used to look at things on a microscope slide with a coverslip over the top (such as a preparation to look at the contents of a bees gut). With a compound microscope light comes through the sample from underneath so what you're looking at has to be small and (ideally) somewhat transparent.

  7. didn't one of the scientist do genetic testing a few years back (was shown at first rotorua conference) and found nz has its own line of bees thats not found elsewhere. quite remarkable what isolation can produce.

    @tristan @JohnF

    Yes, that would have been Peter's presentation. I'm not sure exactly what he covered in that one but the work we did certainly made it look like bees have been evolving quickly in NZ. While that would be remarkable there simply hasn't been enough similar work done anywhere overseas to prove this (which has unfortunately also made it difficult to publish).

    This work was still done using the CSD gene as a measure of genetic diversity but used a high-throughput sequencing approach to gather sequence data from whole apiary samples at a time, rather than from individual drones.

    • Like 1
  8. We generally grade it by taste in the extraction room..... highly scientific. After that it goes for a pollen count and will come back as a percentage. Typical results coming back are 70% clover with a balance of borage, brassica, and honey dew, depending on where the bees have been.

    We also get a colour test done. 0-9 is good but raraely achievable. The average is 20-40.

    Do you really get honey dew coming out in a pollen count result?

  9. I don't think that is correct. We register and maintain several hives that we don't own, we look after those hives on our register and we fulfill all regulatory requirements on behalf of the owner as well as physically doing the work to maintain those hives. As an approved beekeeper with a deca we manage the paperwork and follow through with the AFB requirements. Are we in breach of some rule I have overlooked?

    Sorry, yes, of course you can do it that way. Plenty of businesses where the owner and the person doing the actual work are different people. I didn't think that through!

    • Like 1
  10. I have kept a beehive at my kids primary school for years now. We have a willing school and understanding staff and Board of Trustees resulting in no paperwork. The beehive is located in the schools vegetable garden area, which is not a general play area for the children. They are only there with teachers and the school's gardener.


    I think the most important consideration is exactly where on the school grounds you place the beehive. When first installed we had a few issues with the bees flight path being low over the garden beds so we put a light shade cloth fence around the hive (around 2m tall). This forced the bees up over head height straight away and completely resolved this problem. It also works extremely well for showing people the bees. I can be working the bees and have people standing half a metre away on the other side of the netting without them having bees buzzing around them.


    I should probably mention that I am also on the school's Board of Trustees. One of the fundamental requirements of a school is to provide a physically and emotionally safe environment for their children. No one in our current school community thinks the beehive has any negative impact on this responsibility. If a parent really kicked up a fuss over it though the easiest (and therefore most likely) course of action would simply be to remove the beehive. From the schools perspective the main concern is students with serious allergies to bee stings. We don't have any at our school but should we get one it would probably result in the hive being removed from the school. Schools need to have an active management plan in place for any children with serious allergy issues so will certainly be aware if there are children in this position.


    A local Dunedin rent-a-hive business also has several beehives located in schools (where the schools pay a yearly rental). I believe these all run very smoothly too. I'll ask the owner about their paperwork requirements next time I chat to him but I doubt there is much (other than their rental agreement).



    In the case of the community garden we sold them the hive and colony (at a noncommercial rate, our bare cost). If you sell the school your hives for $1 each then they belong to the school and this may avoid a lot of hassle you describe. Your sale agreement could be that they give you first option to buy back the hives for the same price; should they ever want to get rid of them. You could have some agreement about management/maintenance that covers your time or part of it.

    With respect to ownership, I think that school ownership would significantly increase the paperwork requirement and make it more likely to not happen at all. This is because school ownership would result in someone at the school needing to register as a beekeeper and register the apiary and look after the resulting AFB management paperwork. I think it is much easier to have an experienced beekeeper register the apiary as one of theirs and look after the bees.

  11. PCR is used to test for DNA. This is a reaction that depends on an enzyme. There are lots of different compounds/chemicals that can inhibit or reduce the efficiency of this enzyme. Maybe methylglyoxal is one? Would have hoped this had been tested as part of working up this test. Maybe @JohnF can comment or has more information on that?

    Although in saying that, I wouldn't expect MG to come through the DNA purification step prior to the PCR reaction...

    • Like 1
  12. Jakes Manuka 5+ has a DNA of 27.4. Our Non Manuka 9 UMF has a DNA of 40. Our sample is also way above on the 4,2,2 and 3.

    It's a mystery, or should I just keep my mouth shut and carry on sweeping the floor ?

    Was your DNA number (of 40) given as a percentage or as a Cq value?


    The DNA count (on Jakes table) looks to be Cq data which is generated by a PCR reaction that quantifies the amount of that particular DNA in the sample. The LOWER this number is the more manuka DNA there is in your sample. Each number increase means approximately 1/2 the amount of DNA present in the sample (for example, if something with 1000 copies of manuka DNA has a number of 30, something with 500 copies should generate a number of approximately 31).


    When you look at the numbers in his table the Manuka 16+ has a Cq number of around 34 while the 5+ sample has a number of around 27. This actually means the 5+ sample has around 100 times the amount of Manuka DNA in it (compared to the 16+ one). The DNA test taken by itself would suggest the 16+ sample only has a very limited amount of Manuka in it and how, from that result, it could be passed as monofloral Manuka is beyond me.

    Not sure if any of that makes sense but I tried:)


    The main thing I get from that table is that the different tests give wildly different results. For me it does not inspire confidence in the testing. Luckily, I am not a Manuka honey producer...

  13. @Janice @tudor

    Dunedin did have a fairly low incidence of AFB if you go back a decade ago but to describe it as "very low" now is unfortunately not accurate. Approximately 3/4 of my apiaries are red on Apiweb. These are within 3km of reported AFB cases. As I mentioned in another thread, I had one of my own hives pick up AFB from somewhere recently. It's definitely around so be vigilant and don't assume you won't come across it.

  14. We cannot work out where the biggest problem areas are with our current system. But by saying the problem lies in the areas where it is most reported the negative stigma associated with reporting it is very strongly reinforced.

  15. My point of setting up this thread was not to (yet again) start talking about theories as to who is to blame for AFB (the blame game is never going to work). There is a definite negative stigma associated with admitting you've found AFB in your own beehives and I see this as one of the biggest stumbling blocks to moving forward and decreasing it's prevalence as it prevents people talking openly about it.

  16. thats a flawed concept.

    there is getting less and less of places where any hive is in isolation in nz.

    even when you think there is none in range, you will be surprised at how many are tucked away out of sight.

    which of course makes the concept of "AFB is largely a commercial beekeepers disease" is completely untrue.

    especially when you look at afb maps and the bulk of the afb is in hobbyist only aeras.

    You are misquoting me leaving out the "with respect to hiveware" part of it. I never suggested completely isolated from other hives.

  17. When I first started beekeeping saying you had AFB was like saying you had AIDS, you got tarred with the label as a useless beekeeper and should not be trusted and that would stay with you for years.

    Do you think this attitude has now changed? I think it is not as strong now but to an extent still prevails.

  18. Good on you Otto.

    Given your mention in the previous AFB thread about strong hives robbing an infected hive, you now mention the often-heard 'AFB is a beekeepers' disease'. I can understand that where hives are being split, frames of brood boosting weaker hives, wets going back on different hives to be cleaned out . ..mostly techniques used by commercials or those with more than the typical 1-2 hives of a hobbiest.

    Is it still a beekeeper disease for hobbiests then? If they are looking at their particular hives once a week/fortnight then if they are getting AFB to the point of collapse then it seems that it is a recognition issue - or a technique issue (e.g. not banging all the bees off the frames to inspect brood).


    I guess I'm just challenging what we know about AFB to be fact and what is just. . . . often heard

    I believe AFB is largely a commercial beekeepers disease. When Mark Goodwin did his research around risk factors for AFB, feral colonies (thought by many to be a major problem for AFB spread) were found to be a negligible risk factor. I think that a single hive belonging to a hobbiest that is kept in isolation from other hives (with respect to hive ware movement) is not really any different to a feral colony in a tree somewhere and does not pose that much risk.

    Your second point - recognition issues and technique issues are very much beekeeper issues so fits very well under the beekeeper's disease umbrella yes.

  19. What sort of levels were in the nuc Otto? 1 cell? A few . .?

    Enough to be obvious. More like 50 or so cells. All the AFB there seemed to be at the same stage, likely because it was a brand new queen that had been laying for 3-4 weeks.

  20. And therefore how can you blame someone for finding AFB in their hive while still strong? "Your fault, your hive was obviously pumping. Now looked what happened"


    It does raise the random question (for me) - is there a hive management technique that could be used to weaken or otherwise occupy a hive to minimise its robbing tendencies at particular times of the year? Just trying to think outside the . . hive

    Not sure why blame came into this? I think most of us aim to keep hives strong and healthy.

    Not that I'm aware of. You can split them yes but you want to keep hives strong enough to make sure they go into winter well.

    As for occupying them, with what? Feeding has the opposite response - they get more active.

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