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ChrisNZ

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ChrisNZ last won the day on December 24 2011

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  • Beekeeping Experience
    Hobby Beekeeper

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  • Location
    chch

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  1. I trained as an AP2 back in the day in 2009 or 2010 (I think). There were probably 30 people on that course in Christchurch alone. I have never been asked to do anything as an AP2 and presume my authorisation has now expired. I wouldn't know because I never heard anything after I got the letter of authorisation. On a personal level, I can argue that the AP2 course improved my knowledge and skills as a beekeeper. I don't know how much that round of training cost, but it won't have been cheap. As an investment strategy, I'd like to know what it achieved for the industry?
  2. Is there any indication whether the proposed increases would be phased in over a number of years or should we expect a big hit in one go? I'm not sure the AFB Management Plan is actually working. I have had two notifications that AFB has been found within 3km of my apiaries in the past year and to be honest, I think it's just a matter of time before it spreads to my hives too. I'd support an increase in fees if I thought that it would actually help. Sorry to say, I'm not convinced it will.
  3. Are you refering to the poisonings in 2008? According to media reports, Projen Apiaries were selling into retail outlets and a lack of knowledge and experience appeared to be as much, if not more of a problem than the number of hives they owned - Novice-beekeeper-so-sorry-at-poisonings And with all the hype over manuka prices, I suspect we are already seeing inexperienced 'entrepreneurs' moving into the industry to make a quick buck..... Yup, that's one way. However, beekeeping is becoming more and more popular and the vast majority of new entrants are smaller-scale hobbyist
  4. I appreciate the point about eggs coming pre-packaged (although I have to say that I'd trust my honey over ANY eggs any day). Shaun's comment about a low cost small producer compliance option was what I had in mind. There is a similar exemption in other parts of the world for hobbyist honey, so it is viable and I'm sure the tutin standards could still be met under a low-cost compliance scheme.
  5. Interesting that egg producers with fewer than 100 chickens are exempt from the requirement to have a Risk Management Plan providing they sell their eggs direct to the consumer and not on for resale. It strikes me that a similar arrangement could be introduced to cover hobbyist beekeepers who want to sell their surplus, but don't have enough boxes to get them extracted commercially and probably couldn't/wouldn't be able to set up a licensed extraction facility of their own. Just a thought....
  6. I was at the South Island conference. My general conclusion from the day is that VSH does not and will not 'solve' the varroa problem, but instead offers one more tool in the beekeepers' arsenal. Bees with the VSH trait tend to 'open up' capped brood, thereby allowing the mature female mite to escape. The immature mites cannot keep the feeding site on the larvae open and so they die. VSH bees do not kill varroa and the varroa will overwhelm the hive if left untreated. Mark Goodwin (MG) spoke about the need for beekeepers to use a variety of tools and techniques to keep varroa in check. Hi
  7. I totally agree with Tony on this. I'm quite struck that people are happy to chat about varroa (search how many times varroa has been posted on this forum) but AFB seems to be a subject we all avoid. Any ideas why it seems to be that way?
  8. I made half a dozen 4 and 5 frame nucs out of corflute, but they were next to useless for mating queens. I only got one mated laying queen from 18 attempts and that nuc developed chalk brood and went down the gurgler. I think it is too cold at night down here and the corflute doesn't hold enough heat, even when they were stacked together and covered with polystyrene sheets. There was a lot of condensation inside the lids when they were well stocked with bees, even after I heated up a 4mm drill bit with my blow torch and melted holes to improve ventilation. The corfluters are good for transp
  9. Kiaora, I've been hectic lately, not had chance to post for a while. But...... ......I have been raising queens on a slightly larger scale this year than I have in previous years and have experimented with hatching queens into 'hair roller' cages several times this summer. I tried various timings with about 30 queens to see how long I could keep them caged in the breeder hive before releasing them into nucs. I would make the following observations: The nurse bees will keep feeding and grooming virgins through the cages for as long as you leave them in the hive, even if a mated, lay
  10. A couple of local keepers here in Chch were using these two or three years ago. They added Thyme Oil too. I was given a few and then made my own. Keep them in an icebream tub in the fridge til you need them. I tried them in a couple of hives with mesh floors, but can't say they made any real difference. My varroa drop didn't increase and the patties tend to melt and spread as soon as the sun started to warm the hive. I put them on a piece of newspaper to try and limit that, but the bees tended to eat the paper. I tried them on top of the frames between two brood boxes and also on the h
  11. I'll be starting treatments in a couple of weeks, sooner if the weather doesn't improve. I left it until late March one year and paid the price. The downside of treating in February is that I lose any late honey flow. However, I'm happy to leave the bees with whatever they collect after I have taken my supers off and I don't usually have to feed them over winter.
  12. While I don't doubt you, I am genuinely surprised to hear that. I always thought honey was 'sterile' on the basis that the high concentration of sugars kills bacteria and germs and whatever else. After all, honey is one of the few (if not only) natural food that doesn't go off in the jar. Honey has been used as a covering for wounds for centuries for that very reason. I might have to change my sales pitch.......:giggle:
  13. Hi Phil, I see that you're quite far north, but what has your weather been like? Down here, I often find that queens stop (or at least slow down) their laying at this time of year if the temperature drops. I'm a lot further south than you, but it has been unseasonably cold here for a couple of weeks and I thought a couple of my hives had gone queenless. In both cases, the bottom brood boxes had a bit of honey, a lot of pollen and only a few capped brood cells. Just as I was about to despair, I found the queens tucked up in the top brood boxes with a small cluster of eggs and larvae. T
  14. This season was very, very busy for swarms, but I'm not sure what you mean by 'did they turn out any good?' In the past, I have caught swarms that have turned into thriving, highly productive hives. Others have left again as quickly as they arrived or had really nasty bees that were too difficult to work. These days, unless they came from my apiaries, I am wary of swarms for a number of reasons: 1. I don't know their health. If they are diseased, they run the risk of cross-infecting other hives. Not good if they have AFB. 2. I don't know their temperament. 3. I don't know the
  15. I saw those when I went to Thornes Bee Superstore during my trip to the UK last October/November. They look very nice in cedar. Off-the-shelf timber sizing would be a bonus for building your own, provided you can make/buy frame components to suit. I have often wondered if the vast majority of Kiwi beekeepers use standard boxes and frames because that's what we want or because that's what we can buy.....:rolleyes:
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