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Dave Black

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Dave Black last won the day on July 16

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

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  1. Dave Black

    Pollen Colour Chart

    For protein etc consult the following (all free downloads): Somerville, D. (2001). Nutritional Value of Bee Collected Pollens Somerville, D. (2005). Fat Bees, Skinny Bees. I'm jealous of such skill, but it suggests you might appreciate a related project I'm following; https://3dpollenproject.wixsite.com/main I would like to be a fine arts photographer, but I just take pictures.
  2. Dave Black

    Pollen Colour Chart

    Any photographer will tell you about colour matching, and so does Kirk! Unless you have a very fancy monitor and properly set up white balance yes computer colours will vary from print colours. Nor are print colours constant, but CMYK values will be better and more constant than photography or VDUs. The colour of the light you are using will affect the colour you see; Kirk tried to standardize on an indirect, overhead, bright sunlight source, and to be careful about reflections. Even holding the pollen load was avoided, he tried to spear it with a pin and hold it over a plain white card so reflections off his fingers didn't affect the perceived colour. The colour usually darkens as it ages, so he tried to use only freshly collected, uncontaminated samples. The colour of the collected 'load' is different from that in the flower, because of the way bees treat it, and similarly, they are different from the same pollen collected by other kinds of bees. In his book there are often three colour samples for each showing the natural range of colour for the species in question. As well, our eyes all differ slightly (sometime hugely!) in the way we perceive colours. I suppose my message is, close enough is good enough. Colour is not the only identifier. I can't tell you much about flax, I have two types, tenax and something variegated. Both are bright orange (smoked salmon). As you are not very far away we might be able to come to some arrangement with respect to Kirk's little book, as long as that includes me keeping it. I know it's possible to buy copies on Amazon at around UKP20, and I would think IBRA might be a source too, but buying one is a bit excessive for this use I'd think. It was designed as a field guide, so it's not an extensive reference work. (54 pages, wire ring-bound, A5)
  3. Dave Black

    NZBF Bumblebees

    Not unusual to have them around, even, in, hives. They won't do any harm, and they ones that die aren't going to change the future of the bumblebee's colony. My advice is to forget about it.
  4. Dave Black

    Pollen Colour Chart

    Seasonal posters are a good idea. As a practical application beeks have to learn to look and spot seasonal and geographical forage dearths and limitations and watching for pollen variety is part of that. Strict biological accuracy is not required. If we are going for biological accuracy choose Kirk over Hodges, but they cover the same ground. It's interesting that current work in the field does not always show diversity is the thing for honey bees, but can be good to support a variety of other pollinators. What TfBs advise is to identify your local forage shortfall and plant to correct it. Whatever scenario you prefer, the fact remains that somehow you have to spark an interest so that people are thinking about it, and art is a way to do it that. I wouldn't get hung up on the work being a source of data and facts. Something else you might find stimulating is Heather Angel's Pollination Power (ISBN 9780226366913), but it is expensive. Put it on your Xmas list.
  5. Dave Black

    Pollen Colour Chart

    Nicely done. Better than Walsh (for this sort of thing) published in 1994 "A Colour Guide to the Pollen Loads of the Honey Bee" by William D.J. Kirk.ISBN 0860982165. However, there are no references for endemic NZ flora. I have suggested constructing one as a sort of 'citizen science' project using 'Colours of New Zealand' paint charts.
  6. Dave Black

    Afb website

    So I'm pleased this has been upgraded, a bit of aimless clicks and it certainly looks better. And then there's this; "Elimination of AFB is seen as possible in New Zealand both because the country has a relatively small population of honey bee colonies (estimated to be 550,000 including feral colonies)..." Really?
  7. Dave Black

    Comvita Purchase

    Did I miss it? I would have thought Comvita's purchase of David Daykel's business might have warranted a mention on the Forum. http://www.voxy.co.nz/business/5/326271
  8. Dave Black

    Laying Worker

    As we have discussed before, requeening laying worker colonies with protected cells is the most succesful. Sucess rate 60-70%. Search the Forum.
  9. Dave Black

    Honey firm hits sweet spot at business awards

    Maybe Scots or Irish? It's 'och'. Rhyme with 'troff' animals use. Makes perfect sense.
  10. Dave Black

    uniting swarm with hive of origin

    You can, but I wouldn't. You're planning to keep the swarm queen? Why? I'd run both hives and not unite until the new queen is laying, then I'd dump the swarm queen and unite onto the new one. Either way you'll still have to sort the queen cells out, but if you unite now you need to requeen in the autumn.
  11. Another sign. There's a question asked, and I think "you have that many hives and this is the question you're asking?" Is it just me...
  12. This is an intelligent piece from Newsroom’s Farah Hancock. Quite apart from how Manuka came to be considered a tree, and why shrubs are part of the Government’s Billion *Trees* programme, it also says something about the wisdom of the hasty Government ‘picking winners’ strategy. Quoting Unitec associate professor Peter de Lange and University of Otago associate professor Doctor Janice Lord the article raises some interesting issues we haven’t considered much. Here’s the gist of it: “Mānuka honey as an industry is going to make us quite a lot of money but in fact there are chemical compounds, essential oils in particular, that are way, way more valuable than mānuka honey.” “We know chemically there are very distinct chemical races of mānuka throughout the country and these chemicals have a lot of potential as medicine and industrial use. If you hybridise that you are going to lose that potency.” “There still could be properties found in different types of mānuka in different parts in the country and you wouldn’t want to lose that genetic resource by too hastily planting what’s considered the best mānuka at the moment into areas where there is wild mānuka.” So is the drive for a fast buck despoiling the future? You can read the full article here; https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/10/18/282086/fears-billion-trees-drive-could-dilute-mnuka-properties?preview=1
  13. Dave Black

    Varroa carrying bacteria. See link

    Hmm. There are two papers, one I gave the reference to, and the one from @Emissary Anyway, I think you are reading too much into my post. My questions are not deliberately provocative, I actually want the answers. I don't play games. If anything irritates me its when links are dropped into the Forum with no explanation or discussion. These arrived almost as Press Releases, and that is not what academic papers are for. They have a context, and are meant to be read critically. That is their purpose, they are not undisputed encyclopedia entries, but an on-going work in progress; they may not be worth learning and they are not easy to read. I did not ask if they had any value, I asked if people thought they were important. I don't (I have said why and I may be proved wrong), but I am interested to hear from people who think they are, because I know that I don't know everything, and because that is what the Forum is for. It is not meant to be a tutorial. That is why people write books.
  14. Dave Black

    Varroa carrying bacteria. See link

    It is a good practical question Tom, and I think you're right not to push and reuse such frames. While we may have been able to get away with in the past now that we can't be sure of the health or our bees and how they might respond to such a challenge I'd be far more careful to recycle comb, sterilise drawn comb, and move bees onto clean comb or foundation. There does seem to be some benefit in having 'used' brood comb ( in terms of humidity control for example) but I'm not a fan of the 5-year old black stuff. It will be harbouring all sorts of stuff, pathogens and chemicals, which we do well to get rid of every now and again.