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neil miller

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Posts posted by neil miller

  1. I can't wait till I get to have a good look around up there, we hope to spend next winter travelling around seeing as much as possible and hopefully doing some fishing all around the place

    If it's fishing you are after Hauhora harbour is the place, half an hour north of Kaitaia.

  2. For the most recent year that data is available (2013) from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, New Zealand's largest company used 410,000 tonnes of coal to turn liquid milk into powder, earning total revenue of $22 billion in 2014. Altogether the dairy industry burns 512,811 tonnes of coal.


    Based on one tonne of coal producing 2.86 tonnes of carbon dioxide, Fonterra's coal-powered factories pump out 1.17 million tonnes of the climate warming gas. Add to that its gas-powered plants and tanker fleet, and the company becomes one of New Zealand's top greenhouse gas polluters.


    And thats before you factor in the methane from the cows.

    • Like 1
  3. Ok, Joe Blogs being a typical hobbyist has two or three hives too many and has a surplus of honey. He harvests in accord

    with the tutin regs, but that's the only bow to officialdom he makes. He extracts and jars and labels at home & flogs them off at his gate. What does he actually risk on first offence ?

    This scenario sounds very familiar. What happens is the food police confiscate all of the honey.

  4. The bees in my back yard (that get played with often) are no different to my bees on farms.... I highly doubt they get used to being inspected, more likely that because you are more familiar with that hive you know the gear better and take it apart in a more careful way.....


    Interesting take on familiarity of gear but I give the hive a lot of credit for knowing what is going on but yes confidence and familiarity must play a part.


    I did a cut out the other day through very rotten weather boards so pretty gentle goin in, obviously a totally undisturbed hive .I had 50+ stings stuck in my gloves. Perhaps just aggressive bees but maybe they were unused to being disturbed.

  5. thats more about clubs etc simply removing anything thats not nice and gentle.

    ever inspection is an invasion on a hive. thats why i don't like beeks playing with hives.

    i prefer doing least possible but doing the right work at the right time. ie get in a do the work but otherwise hands off, let the bees do their thing.


    So you are suggesting to someone who doesn't know what they are doing to act like a commercial keeper. I can see a problem with that approach.


    Overinspecting is clearly preferable to underinspecting for a novice.

  6. Sounds as though we have very similar set ups and experience (or lack of in my case) I should probably inspect more often than I do but my philosophy is that it only upsets the girls and half the time I don't really knowe what I am looking at anyway.




    Kind of what I was getting at with my posts about my 3/4 hives. I found that they need slightly more attention not less.


    My philosophy is the more you manage your bees the less upset they get, they get used to interruptions. Check out bees at bee clubs; gentle and constantly inspected.

  7. Sorry. We were talking about a hive that swarmed. In the spring I run 3 x 3/4 brood boxes.

    If I had a 5 frame nuc now (which I do) then they will stary in that 5 frame NUC until spring time. Then they will go into a 10 x 3/4 frame etc until they get to 3 x 3/4 boxes.

    I am interested in this configuration and I do like my excluder (there is something terribly unromantic about picking larvae out of your honey) sounds like it needs more regular attention than the double FD next to it.

  8. A small caution. I have been experimenting with some different set ups and the only one that I haven't got on top of is 3/4 with 3/4 brood boxes. It was the only configuration that got away on me and swarmed. FD and 3/4 supers are standard but limiting if, like this year, there is a stop-start flow. You have to rely on the bees to empty the brood box of nectar to allow the queen to continue laying. With FD supers the BK can lift the frames and replace with empties from the hive. us mortals can unpack a 38kg super rather than going the full ACC.

  9. Up at the ridge apiary yesterday to take off the wets and cappings. Got to the excluder and found a hundred of so dead bees so I looked for some sign of disease. While doing that I thought a hive had started to swarm but it was robber bees. I had no idea it was so intense.


    I checked the weakest hive and it was completely empty of stores and home bees, just robbers and wasps. I reduced the entrances on the other hives and I'm up there today with the vespex.


    Any suggestions on how to avoid or reduce robbing? I suspect having the wets on might have started it all off. Do your own bees rob off each other in the same apiary?

    • Like 1
  10. The ACC are working on getting registered compliance officers, sometime in the future. In the meantime it is being left to private contractors or MPI, you need licensing and a safe food plan,even if you are hiring a commercial kitchen,so all of the fees still stand.

    There are a couple of exemption clauses that I will explore.


    Selling honey from the gate to help pay for hardware and running costs is a thing of the past. It seems unnecessary for such a low risk food.

  11. @neil miller .. all councils are different, I am currently working with the Hauraki District Council and after visiting them last week they gave me the 'Scope of operations ' - MPI form . I can then lodge this form with them at a cost of $100 and then I had to complete their form .. "Application for Registration under the Food Act 2014".

    They will then come out and inspect my kitchen ( I can elect if the inspection is to be carried out by MPI or local Council) Our Council will charge $160 plus mileage. Council is the cheaper option.


    Wow that's more like it. I can't understand Auckland CC bailing on the inspection as they charged over $900, if you council can do it for $160, that's quite a bit of profit they are forgoing. I will double check but I got my info from the food safety people.

  12. I have seen them in Zinc coated and painted. I think the zinc is ok, however the regulators will not accept that.


    I've just sourced a chromium plated one ( West Auckland natch') which will do for home use, homogenisation is so important to get good Tutin analysis.

  13. No. to both questions.

    You need to extract and bottle in an approved kitchen/premises.

    Your paint stirrer would only be acceptable if it is Stainless Steel. Plastic is not strong enough.


    The first surprises me as the frames are pretty dirty things to take into an A grade kitchen, meh rules are rules.


    I was thinking of one of those passivised helixes that run on a cordless drill, designed for 20l paint pots. I wonder if they come in stainless?



    The answer is to control yourself and acquire only enough honey for yourself. That way, no worries.


    I have little in the way of self control, I over-do, blurt like I have Tourette's and frequently hit my head on inanimate objects.

  14. To go way back in the thread, Bron, could you please confirm / clarify about extraction and bottling. Can I extract in my bee shed and take my buckets of honey to a kitchen for bottling?


    Also would mixing with a sterilised and food dedicated paint mixer be enough for low volume homogenisation?

  15. Hi, I've just taken off some honey for Christmas and want to return the cappings and empty frames. The hives have undrawn rising to semi capped supers above the brood box.

    My question is where do the wets go, immediately above the brood box, above the undrawn frames or at the top immediately below the cappings?

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