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neil miller

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Everything posted by neil miller

  1. I really understand the idea of not introducing a suspect hive into a healthy apiary and it would seem wise not to pick up any swarms at all, as by definition there has been some neglect in letting your hive end up in a tree. I have just hived a swarm at home and it might be the last one. I will keep listening to what keeps are saying about the risks of AFB in swarms. It might be splits from now on.
  2. Hi Rob, from this and your other post about destroying a suspect swarm you are obviously very serious about this. When you say quarantined for two years do you mean isolating the hive from other bees? Or simply not swapping frames from an outside swarm within the apiary.
  3. Fake manuka honey test unveiled I love the statment that "there is more Manuka honey exported than we produce" it reminds me of what an art expert said about how many of Colin Mccahons' paintings there are in Australia.
  4. I think the scoparium testing was initiated in the U.K.
  5. Alternative chemical markers that confirm Manuka honey as being produced from leptospermum scoparium the NZ Manuka tree.
  6. There are scientific tests to identify Manuka honey other than by methyglyoxyl levels, scoparium testing for instance. This is bad science it is basic to identify your source; before making conclusions about it based on your assumptions. As an aside it is interesting how many of these studies are produced and conducted by big Manuka honey companies, the vested interest is pretty obvious.
  7. An explanation of why the MGO level in manuka honey does not show the antibacterial activity Paper explains findings of removal of methylglyoxal from Manuka honey and it retains its anti bacterial qualities therefore MGO should not be used as a measure of the honey for this purpose.
  8. Had a lovely time with a commercial beekeeper in the far north last weekend, he just wrote swarms off as not important or worth chasing.
  9. "* That said, it's a market led thing, and if people are willing to pay that, there's nothing implicitly unethical about charging that, as long as you are honest about what you are selling." Hi DJC, I agree with much of what you have expressed and it reflects my experience of swarm catching. It's the market led part that is the problem. Just like the Auckland property market,rising prices cut out the less well off and makes beekeeping less of a hobby, more commercial or just more bourgeois. On the plus side two of the swarms that I was asked to remove last season had already been poisoned by f*ckwit property owners. With a serious commercial value on a swarm,this is less likely to happen. Also hobby beekeepers will probably sharpen up and be more vigilant about hive management; there will be less swarms to be had. This season if I turn up for a swarm removal I will price my removal cost to match what the property owner wants for the swarm. I've already promised the first two swarms to newbies but with this kind of crap going on they will be getting splits instead. I really hope you are right about this being a limited occurrence.
  10. Joining a bee club would be the best way to getting freebees or a cheaper nuc. Buddying up with someone on the swarm register is a good initiative at the Auckland club, and club members are less likely to follow market trends when they know their bees are going to a good home.
  11. I have had one swarm abscond, I saw the queen on the wall behind the hive and then they were all in the air and settled 30m up a kaihikatea. I made a gate, from a plastic queen excluder, after that but I never remember to use it and it hasn't happened since.
  12. The first sunny day in ages and I had to check a mates apiary as well as ours. She had a nuc box with the old queen in it and the old hive had 10-15 capped cells. There were so many bees that they were developing a small village of comb in the top feeder. I split her off another nuc for luck. On the ridge apiary the two brood boxes that I exchanged sites last week were heading in opposite directions. One was solid with bees and brood the other have superceeded the queen. I saw three uncapped but inhabited cells on the first frame I took out, so I just packed it up then and there. One of the single brood boxes at home turned out to be a 3/4 I can't find any notes in the diary about it. It was unsurprisingly stuffed to the gills, I added another two 3/4 boxes of drawn comb and an excluder. I am curious to see how a 1 1/2 brood box works out.
  13. Odd that the MAF spokesperson on the BBC clip suggested that the hornet may have flown over from France,when the site where they were found is way over on the Western side of the U.K. She was either making things up or the problem is much worse than they are saying publicly.
  14. We had perennial wasps in our valley last year and I hit them with vespex in late December. I did not test with cat food as the wasps were predating on a hive continuously during the morning, twenty to thirty seconds apart. The little #######s were clearly flying back to their, very well hidden, nest. One week later only one of the 20 outlier bait stations was touched, but it was emptied and we had no more wasp problems over summer. We do have some early signs of another wasps' nest and I hope it wont be so obvious when to bait, using a good bee hive as test bait is pretty horrible. The idea is for the wasps to be ferrying back enough bait over a fairly short time to poison a developing brood nest. The awful fact is that at the point when you get a decent knock, down the wasps will be killing and eating a large number of your bees.
  15. Are bees in decline? Unmanaged, wild, bees yes from the numbers managed bees are obviously not in decline. And a slightly sensationalised report from the USA about the honey glut and tariffs. http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/08/honey-laundering/
  16. NZ's bee population is buzzing - industry Avoiding the sensationalism of poisoning theft and 'the Manuka wars' hive numbers in NZ have increased from 300,000 to 700,000 in the Manuka boom period. A win for a world where bees are in decline.
  17. I did my weekly check on the ridge apiary today, pleasantly serenaded by several frogs in the cattle troughs. Three of the four hives were doing ok with brood and drones but very little food all around. The fourth hive had no food at all and decreasing numbers and quite a few queen cups, so perhaps a failing queen and not enough guard bees to keep out the robbers. All the hives were fed. What to do? Swipe frames from the other hives up on the ridge, to bolster the numbers in the weak hive and hope the Q is ok, or bring the weakening hive back to the home apiary, dispatch the queen, and combine with the weakest home hive? Any other ideas?
  18. The ad states that for your $500 you nominally own the hive for five years. That could mean you are liable for ongoing costs including the cost of replacing bees if/ when they fail.
  19. I read that there is a project to get rid of a couple of hundred acres of pines off the island. If this project was tied up with that one, as an ongoing regeneration effort, profits returned for reforestation and pest controll, I'd be interested. As it is it's just some guy asking the public to pay for the plant for his business with no returns. I just don't think this way but maybe that's why the marketing is aimed at the USA. Give me free money, eat from a bucket, vote for Trump etc.
  20. It would have been hilarious selling that nuc on trademe.
  21. Unnecessary unhelpful & inflammatory. What's so wrong being smiley, positive, and happy to let newbs maybe discover things for themselves ? Over here in the shadow of Mt Atkinson we call that passive aggressive.
  22. Seems to have turned to La Niña with the N - NW - NE winds, warm temperatures and wet as. The hives are full of Kawakawa pollen but not much nectar, waiting for the rewarewa to flower.
  23. Hi Tim, talk to Martin Garside at the ABC he is managing the swarm register again this year and he has asked other club members to team up with beginners to house swarms. Oh and another vote for the langstroth.
  24. Hmm had Kim over this week as we have the FB in the district, it's a damn lottery. Checked the other apiary for sign of the disease and it's all clear, they are all booming except for one, I had to run home and get some food as they were nearly out. lots of Kawakawa pollen and some Manuka blooms. The weak hive has four frames of brood through to empties at the ends and maybe a dozen queen cups. If there were less cups I would have thought supercedure, I guess I will have to keep an eye on it.
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