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Dave Black

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Dave Black last won the day on November 8 2017

Dave Black had the most liked content!

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About Dave Black

  • Rank
    Guard Bee


  • DECA Holder
  • Beekeeping Experience
    Hobby Beekeeper


  • Location
    Bay of Plenty
  1. I thought all the old posts had been locked!! I think there is no doubt we should be studying this. I don’t happen to think competition for nectar is important, and I’m not convinced by NZ data, but there are likely to be circumstances where competition for pollen resources might matter. However, I’d be very cautious about drawing any conclusions from recent media reports, and pay careful attention to the detail. There is bound to be a difference between the effects within a honey bee’s natural range compared with the effect where it is an introduced species. Context matters. With regards to the promotion of weedy species, visitation means very little. We have to think about pollinator effectiveness as well as visitation frequency. Pollinator networks are most robust when there are diverse connections between plants and possible pollinators. In that way a permanent or seasonal absence of one does not adversely affect the other. Loss of a pollinator will not necessarily lead to a decline in pollination success, because the loss can be followed by a shift in the composition and abundance of remaining pollinators. It isn’t a given that introduced honey bees always have a negative effect. But there are circumstances where we should be paying attention. For example, Mallinger et al suggest; “The many solitary bee species with a single spring generation, as well as overwintered queens of native social species, are spared competition for forage with managed honey bees because most migratory beekeepers do not move their hives to wild-lands until mid-summer. Also exempt from competition are native bees that use flowers that honey bees ignore, such as nectarless flowers of ‘buzz-pollinated’ plants…Although more studies are needed to quantify daily pollen depletion of bee-pollinated wildflowers, extant evidence indicates that pollen is frequently a limiting resource in these wild bee communities….Also vulnerable are gynes (future queens) of bumblebees and social sweat bees (Halictini) that emerge in late summer and must quickly accumulate fat reserves to endure the winter.” Cane, J. H., & Tepedino, V. J. (2017). Gauging the Effect of Honey Bee Pollen Collection on Native Bee Communities. Conservation Letters, 10(March), 205–210. https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12263 At the end of the last year a useful review paper was published all about this. They had this to say; “Our review found that the majority of studies reach the conclusion that managed bees negatively affect, or have the potential to negatively affect, wild bees through competition, changes in plant communities, or transmission of pathogens. However, there was significant variability in study results, particularly in the areas of competition and plant communities, with some studies finding no or even positive effects of managed bees. We also found that many studies to date do not show direct or causal relationships between managed bees and wild bees. That is, studies lack controls or experimental manipulations, or do not measure critical parameters [like the ‘bee population]… recent, more comprehensive studies largely mirror the conclusions of the literature as a whole: competition studies were highly variable (55% reporting negative effects, 33% no effects, and 11% mixed effects), studies on pathogens provide strong evidence for the transmission of pathogens between managed and wild bees, but the effects of these pathogens on wild bee health and fitness are variable and/or unknown, and the effects of man- aged bees on native plant populations can be positive in some contexts.” Mallinger, R. E., Gaines-day, H. R., & Gratton, C. (2017). Do managed bees have negative effects on wild bees? A systematic review of the literature. PLoS ONE, 12(12), 1–32. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0189268 So there is certainly no consensus about the effect of ‘invasive’ honey bees, bumble bees, or anything else. It also matters whether you read a botanist’s study or an entomologist’s study, and whether you are more interested in preservation than conservation, which is often the case in Australia and New Zealand. In the grand scheme of things though, I would far more concerned about habitat fragmentation and loss of biodiversity. The local reference everyone uses is Catherine Beard’s (botany and ecology, not entomology) report for DOC from November 2015, as below. It make interesting reading. I’m not quite sure why the media have picked up on the subject, probably just taking a lead from Europe. Beard, C. M. (2015). Honeybees (Apis mellifera) on public conservation lands: a risk analysis. Department of Conservation, Wellington. 21 p. Science and Technical Publications, ISBN 978–0–478–15054–4 Others from my library include; Willcox, B. K., Aizen, M. A., Cunningham, S. A., Mayfield, M. M., & Rader, R. (2017). Deconstructing pollinator community effectiveness. Current Opinion in Insect Science, 21, 98–104. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cois.2017.05.012 Ballantyne, G., Baldock, K. C. R., & Willmer, P. G. (2015). Constructing more informative plant – pollinator networks : visitation and pollen deposition networks in a heathland plant community. Proceedings B, 282. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.1130 Kaluza, B., Wallace, H., Keller, A., Heard, T. A., H., Jeffers, B., Drescher, N., Bluthgen, N., Leonhardt, S.D. (2017). Generalist social bees maximize diversity intake in plant species-rich and resource-abundant environments. Ecosphere, 8(March). https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.1758 honeybees-on-public-conservation-lands.pdf
  2. Has anyone used Vaseline in a Hive

    Was quite common to use it on sticky boards; old boys used to use on woodwork to stop boxes sticking together. I remember the honey judges got a bit sniffy if you used it to keep your 'comb for extraction' clean. Can go a bit liquid at hive temperatures.
  3. NZBF Should I requeen?

    Old-timers will argue that defensive behaviour is promulgated by Drones. They are probably wrong - inheritance of these traits is complex - but in any case using brood, even from a selected hive, is just another roll of the dice. If you want to sort the problem out re queen with a reputable mated queen.
  4. Manuka standards

    It's not my fight, but this all just paints a picture of abject chaos, hardly likely to provide confidence to overseas buyers, and quite likely grist to Australia's mill. It doesn't look over to me. I read the peer review, and two things struck me; In response to industry's feedback we've increased the required level of one of the chemicals (2’- methoxyacetophenone) that has only been found in mānuka plants to date. And; MPI did consider using a formal quantification of losses within the [...] models to numerically take into account the misclassification of some honey types. This was explored as an option in initial analyses. However, with no reference standards for identifying any of the honey types, and the likely variability associated with the labelling of the honey samples by the suppliers, the quantification would be difficult to justify... a formal loss was not incorporated during building of the CART model... MPI notes that such a formal quantification of losses would need careful justification and may introduce bias into the model outputs. Summary of MPI response to international peer review of the classification modelling methodology (CART) used to produce identification criteria for mānuka honey, Ministry for Primary Industries, May 2017.
  5. NZBF Queen Cup with grub advice

    You can do this without finding the queen if you want.
  6. NZBF Queen Cup with grub advice

    A common view, but erroneous, or maybe a little harsh. The reason there are different ways of doing things is that we all have different starting points, and are trying to get to a different place at a different speed. Not unlike the personal computer, or a personal smartphone. No two are alike.
  7. Trademe bees

    Maybe if this was written in English Grant wouldn't have missed your point! Perhaps you could make it again so I understand it.
  8. NZBF Queen Cup with grub advice

    Well, the queens fighting isn't necessarily the issue. If the workers are shared they may have no need to have a second queen. Most of the time its bees that destroy queen cells, not the queen. Putting aside things you might get away with, if you want a split make a split.
  9. NZBF Queen Cup with grub advice

    Think about how the virgin queen will get out to mate and return.
  10. Document Dead Bees After Moving Hive

    Shifting hives open was a new thing for me, before New Zealand we always closed them, and generally moved them in the daylight. From experience I can tell you that if you close a hive a ventilated floor 'aint worth spit, as others have pointed out. I'll also say that adding a top screen is only part of the job. For any reasonable sized hive you must add an empty super, then the screen. It is important the bees can get off the brood and comb, and if you have stopped them going out the door and clustering on the front, the eke will give them that clustering space. If you don't, you won't just smoother the bees, the combs melt and you can pour bee-soup out of the entrance. Somewhat disheartening. It might have escaped everyone's attention that you have to have all the frames in, a filler in the frame hanging ledge might keep them tight, but doesn't stop them rocking. @Trevor Gillbanks has pointed out it's best if you have not just inspected and loosened all the frames. This is especially good advice for a new hive when there hasn't been a build-up of wax and propolis yet to hold the frames - in an old hive it doesn't matter so much.
  11. Trademe bees

    In the many years before I started, in central Europe, England and Scotland, by custom and superstition it was considered wrong to buy bees. When I started my bees were a gift, failing that I would have to catch a swarm. That was the tradition. You could buy equipment, but not bees. Bees were not given to anyone, nor could anyone catch a swarm, mostly because they didn't know how, and if they did, it usually died within the year... In some places you could barter, but exchanging actual money - no. For example, in a famous 19thC literary journal (Notes & Queries) in Hampshire a beekeeper writes "there is not one peasant, I believe, in the village, man nor woman, who would sell you a swarm of bees. To be guilty of selling bees is a grievous omen indeed, than which nothing can be more dreadful." In Wales it was believed stolen bees would make no honey and die, but that a hive gift would bring good luck. There are many stories from all over France and Scotland. Beekeepers were just that, and controlled who joined their ranks. I like tradition.
  12. Trademe bees

    Related to a recent, now closed thread*, the following short report this morning; https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/summerreport/audio/2018628758/push-for-tighter-rules-for-selling-bees-on-trade-me *
  13. Varroa versus lithium chloride

  14. Yes, but I don't think so. LiCl is well-known, particularly as medicine for humans. There will be the usual problem with amateur chemists of course.
  15. Yes, I've read the paper. Potentially very useful, it was a lucky discovery. Work to do still. Was there something in particular..?