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Don Mac

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Don Mac last won the day on July 5 2020

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  1. This issue has been around for sometime. Residues of glyphosate have been detected in honey worldwide. Glyphosate was first released to market in NZ since about 1980, so you are well soaked in it by now. In 2015 the IRAC declared that glyphosate was a probable human carcinogen. USA 2014 US Study detected glyphosate in 41 samples of honey out of 69 tested. Doi: 10.4172/2161-0525.1000249 2015 USFDA detects glyphosate in honey tests. ○https://www.huffpost.com/entry/fda-finds-monsantos-weed_b_1200868 (2018) Glyphosate residue concentrations in ho
  2. @ChrisM all sheep and goat milk is A2. These farms are supplying driers that convert the milk to powder and incorporate in infant formula.
  3. Hi Folks I am looking for beekeepers who have pollinated blueberry crops and have had problems when the grower has used SWITCH fungicide. If you have had this experience, you can contact me by email as below. SWITCH fungicide is a mixture of two fungicides and it is recommended for application at 'full bloom' of the crop. Factor 1; This would not be a problem if the bees were not in the crop at the same time. Factor 2; our research reveals that SWITCH fungicide contains a physical insecticide. It works by damaging the cuticle of the bee and absorbs the lipids. No
  4. There is a lot of money being invested in goat and sheeps milk. Local goat farm, milks 3000 will double production this spring - have built another 3000 goat operation almost next door to the first farm. And a friend is building a brand new dedicated sheep milking and plans on milking 800 ewes this spring, so long as he finishes the milking shed. It is his second year of operation and the returns out perform dairy cows....
  5. @Maggie James I do not have any data that suggests salt can influence honey production in bees. I do know that if you have excessive salt in the soil, plants and trees will die - so that may make a significant drop in production. Salt is one of those substances that have a dual edge - too much salt and you will die, but to survive mammals require salt. Traditional thought is that bees do not thrive well in strong wind conditions, they use more energy to forage. Manuka production often sees hives placed in sheltered spots amongst the manuka. It maybe blowing
  6. The West Coast is 15 km from my property, the Manukau Harbour is within 3 km (Tahiki River), 5 km to Clarks Beach. Whenever there is a good westerly blow we get a layer of salt on everything. I am not surprised that bees will collect salt especially from surface water supplies.
  7. @Otto I think one needs to read the Royal Society Te Aparangi report on the legal issues that beset Genetic development in NZ before stating research in containment is possible. The challenge is that working with bees in a containment facility is very difficult. I quote from their paper.' Furthermore, a High Court decision in 201416stated that the exemption list was an exclusive list, not a list of examples for guidance, and it could not be interpreted to include other techniques that were similar to chemical mutagenesis. https://www.royalsociety.org.nz/assets/Uploads/Gene-Edit
  8. Last summer, Royal Society Te Aparangi called for a new discussion on Gene Editing and other new genetic techniques. https://www.royalsociety.org.nz/major-issues-and-projects/gene-editing-in-aotearoa/ This paper on RNA interference by altering the RNA of the bacteria and feeding it to the bees demonstrates these new genetic techniques. At the moment in NZ this work cannot be undertaken and we cannot access it if it is developed commercially. Are the majority of NZ beekeepers ready to embrace these new genetic techniques? My concern is that we will all agree to
  9. I would like to see how we could create added value to our bee products. Experience to date is that this will not happen overnight, it will take time and it will take enlightened beekeepers, blenders, exporters etc. Now you might think Beef if beef, but two MPI funded Primary Growth Partnerships, both of which took 7 years to complete focussed on improving the quality awareness of their offering. https://farmersweekly.co.nz/section/beef/view/new-markets-for-new-products What interested me is that ANZCO a Japanese owned NZ meat company now has a Healthcare Busine
  10. Seed coatings include many products that are not insecticides or fungicides - the main pesticides used. Most common are fertiliser coatings, but some seeds are coated in lubricants to ensure even sowing. Colours are often added to seed coatings to deter birds from eating the seeds and make the seed attractive to buyers - YES. Here is a sale brochure from a NZ seed coater. You will note there is no mention of any pesticide. http://www.seedinnovations.co.nz/assets/PRODUCTS/FILM COAT LIQUIDS WEB.pdf One discussion item I missed above about this research which sort
  11. Just saw this thread. This study may not apply to NZ. In NZ you cannot use a neonic seed treatment on clover. No treatment is registered. But farmers can sow grass seed treated with neonic chemicals, and mix this with untreated clover seed to establish a mixed ryegrass/clover crop. All the info I have seen suggests that the neonic will be absorbed through the soil into the clover. Thiacloprid is not registered as a seed treatment in NZ only as a foliar spray on kiwifruit, pip fruit, stone fruit, onions and potatoes. No application on clover is authorised.
  12. It maybe a race to the bottom, but it can get a lot worse than just low prices. I can remember when my father had to pay the freezing works to take and slaughter his cull ewes. It was the early 70s. Today fat ewes are worth more than new seasons lambs. As @kaihoka observes the price of food has always been cyclable - up and down. But today we face a single dominant buyer - China. They have always used their market clout to dominate the market and the price they pay. @Jamesc if no one even the local householder does not wish to buy your honey, we have a ma
  13. I would like to see this discussion get back to how we can improve our honey markets to make this business a long term sustainable proposition. So I am not going to mention any drinking. My aim is to see a 500 g jar of honey in every household in NZ - provided as a low cost option. The goal to get rid of the inventory overhang. I cannot believe it is to hard. Secondly I do not expect that the pariahs who run our supermarket industry will be interested in supporting it. This example has been published recently by the ABC. https://www.abc.net.au/news/
  14. It does not matter where you keep bees, NZ's problems are the same for beekeeper's overseas. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/07/honeybees-deaths-almonds-hives-aoe?CMP=share_btn_fb&fbclid=IwAR3hx5PwIUNtNFTQ8n16grm8gLR_u-Shb-2XM3ZEeG9jvRL5Zkzth1xSfAk This US Beekeeper has to compete with honey imports......we do not. What concerns me is this huge market overhang. NZ should have cheap honey if that volume of honey is sitting in storage waiting for rich customer. Many years ago the NZ Dairy Board bought up large volumes of butter in storage in Europe
  15. @Pinnacle you are correct, but fortunately due to some major customers overseas for our fruit our growers have stopped using them. The major use for imidacloprid was for foliar spraying of kiwifruit and pip fruit (apples and pears). When the link between bee deaths and neonicotinoids was established in Europe the major supermarket buyers such as COSTCO, TESCO, Sainsbury, ALDI, etc (companies we love to hate and COSTCO are moving here soon) said they did not want the fruit they purchased sprayed with neonicotinoid chemistry. When you biggest buyer says do not spray these chemicals, gr
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