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Posts posted by Sailabee

  1. 2 minutes ago, Philbee said:

    True, but there is another Bee Forum apparently and the person involved feels that they were victimized there.
    My view is that bullying or forceful approaches need to be tempered with a degree of understanding.
    Definitely works with horses which are a very sensitive but potentially highly productive animal. 


    I bet they felt less victimised than the poor devil who paid $3000 for a nuc because of unchallenged false claims.

    • Like 1
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  2. 4 minutes ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

    To be fair.  @Alastair only asked questions that the unnamed person would not answer and subsequently left the forum.


    The Questions Alastair asked did need asking, and answering as some were signing up to pay something like $3000 for supposed treatment free nucs, and even in those golden times was preposterous.

    • Agree 1

  3. 4 hours ago, Gwenyn Gwesty said:

    I am dumbfounded and confused by all this talk of low prices.


    Earlier this year my tutor on my course said we will get 50 - 80 kgs of honey per hive and sell it for $20 per kg. Boy, did my fellow students eyes pop out of their heads when they tried to calculate the riches. The tutor actively encouraged us all to go to the bank to borrow heavily and go into business ourselves. I did query the honey prices but he was adamant. 


    And he wasn't talking about Manuka.


    Think I'll stick to my two hives for now.


    So called tutors who talk like that often then say 'boy have I got a deal for you' and sell you 'bargain nucs' at three times the going rate.

    • Agree 4
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  4. 1 minute ago, kaihoka said:

    Do you think the supermarkets have reduced their margins or that Airbourne is taking the hit .?


    I don't know, but either way, the beekeeper worked for diddly squat. I very much doubt the supermarket took a hit, but the upside is that it may bring honey back on the shopping list for more families.

    • Agree 1

  5. 6 minutes ago, yesbut said:


    And how exactly is a "snapshot" of today's hive going to explain anything ?  You buy a trial product on anecdotal evidence, you take your chance. 


    I spent a couple of decades working in chemical product development and the wider the information base, and the wider the distribution of product assessment and trialing, the greater relevancy  of the results. Personally, hives which had no honey crop taken off do not really compare with any commercial operation that I know of, and indeed many hobbyists.

  6. 2 hours ago, nikki watts said:

    For the record I’ve had success and failures with the staples too. Some hives are booming and just about as many have dwindled.

    I believe we need to understand the differences in location, climate and hive condition when first treated. 


    I would have thought that the very experienced like Alastair who had both ox/gl and Bayvarrol in each apiary trialed to eliminate most of those variables.


    1 minute ago, Ted said:

    All the more reason for Phil to go on a road trip to observe first hand what is going on in other people’s hives rather than focusing solely on his own.  


    Particularly where it would mean the opportunity to observe hives in a real commercial situation where last seasons honey was taken off the hives.

  7. 23 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

    Comvita own how many hives ?

    how many hectares of manuka have been planted ?

    how many hectares would need to be planted to support the amount of hives they run ?

    the maths don’t really add up IMO.


    these big companies that are running their own hives must be hurting big time.

    They are in the same position as the rest of us regarding saleability of honey difference is they have massive wage bills and infrastructure costs that a lot of us don’t have.

    i don’t see how they can survive keeping their own bees I can see them going back to packing and marketing but buying in the honey they need rather than producing their own. 

    Never mind the out-goings of a bloated board of directors, who would be hard pressed to lift a single frame of honey, never mind a full super, but quite able to make all the decisions.

    • Like 1
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  8. 4 hours ago, jamesc said:


    Oh.... we got some results, i’ll have to check later as we are stuck at “lights”

    but i think u said u wre gonna rin somthing else....

    Realise you are at the traffic lights, but you may have sent the newly hatched pink queen bee into the screaming abdabs with that post.

  9. Put treatment strips in  asap, and they only need to be in there for a week if there is no sealed brood yet. Difficult to give idea of how fast they will draw out frames, as most of us use foundation, and here anyway, been blowing for weeks, so little pollen or nectar being bought in. If you have cruddy weather, consider feeding - even dry white sugar, they will only take it if they need it to prevent starvation.

    • Like 1

  10. 11 hours ago, Alastair said:

    I remember that, i too had a boat then. And that at the time some local resident / s had taken it upon themselves to run an unauthorised wallaby poisoning campaign. There was a huge outcry as people were finding poisoned wallabies. Whoever did it was never found out, and probably would have been lynched if they were. But the complainers were not really considering the damage the wallabies were doing.


    So what happened Sailabee, the wallabies have been eradicated?

    Governor Grey introduced the wallabies, and like typical Aussies, quickly got out of hand. Last I heard there were non left. Those that started the poisoning were strongly and invisibly supported by DOC I believe, as eradication was the only way to green up the island. As a brown one, it was a huge fire waiting to happen, with no reticulated water to fight it. The bird life was stunning five years later - both weka and kereru in abundance, I often saw several kereru at a time - and that was just on one six acre block.

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  11. Kawau Island is a prime example of just what can be achieved with baiting - in that case wallabies and possum. When I started sailing, whole island was brown - dead and dying trees, all native and then the non latte lot started fencing their weekend properties 2 metres high with wire netting, and as the walkways had always provided access to all the private properties they crossed, so the yachtie lot put in gates with weights and pulleys so they automatically closed. Of those that were longterm residents without the means, the townies subsidised the missing bits. Within five years, island was lush green. Best bit was when DOC captured some of the wallabies and sold them back to the Aussies - bonus!

    • Like 2

  12. 2 hours ago, Christi An said:

    that whole 1080 discussion just seems like a big distraction to me...


    councils and farmers are spraying roundup and neonics (some of which are banned in more developed countries) like its water, while cancer cases roar... and nobody cares...

    While not zero, the usage level of most sprays has dropped dramatically nationally since the regulations changed and buying anything other than domestic quantities requires a suitable certificate - much like the Vestex system. The total imports of agri-chemicals has dropped, so the system is moving in the right direction. It is now unusual to see vast tracts of paddocks totally sprayed out for re-grassing, compared to twenty years ago.

    • Like 1

  13. 12 minutes ago, ChrisM said:

    This is a paper from 1979 regarding the 1080 baits and birds eating them. Weka is listed as medium risk, but as they discuss in the paper some birds would/will probably be reclassified lower or higher risk. The point being that Weka weren't high risk in 1979 and anecdotally might be reclassified low risk now. However, there are a whole lot of birds out there that are high risk. Still this advice was effectively ignored by industry. I suppose it reminds me about the importation of bee semen, where the experts said it would be safe, but it turned out wrong actually. Thus we are still none the wiser when it comes to all the 1080 spin. What worries me is that the rats always bounce back faster than anything else but it is not acceptable to me to poison continuously to eternity. The other worry I have is the sheer bravery of the SPCA to go against the government putting much at risk to publicly make a stand against 1080 on grounds of it being inhumane. These things are not done lightly and so both worries point to something that is unsustainable in the longer term but we have not defined what time span it would stop.




    I was told that on the basis of that information, the baits were changed to flavours that do not attract birds.

    • Good Info 1

  14. Have you switched any of the boxes around yet? Often there is very little laid up brood in bottom box as it has all hatched - if that is the case, that box needs to be at the top for the queen to fill up.

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  15. 8 hours ago, Bron said:

    That very clever niece is coming to live in Gissy in two weeks! I’m very excited for five reasons...


    1. She’s an active relaxer, give her an idea and she’s like a dog with a bone, she worries it until there’s a solution. She’s very outa the box. She has mad management skills & the paperwork to go with it.


    2. She loves coming beeking, and is very bee friendly (so much so, I’m gonna buy her a suit)


    3. Her partner is awesome & also bee friendly. Gonna get Daley to teach him how to make queenie babies. He also can lift heavy weights, loves helping out.


    4. Dales on permanent maternity leave,  so stoked, to have options for lifting heavy weights!


    5. Gmas hard work, and what with the promise of a new great, grand baby & another handy grand baby, I’m a third less Gma already!


    Win, win!

    @Bron, your niece sounds just like the perfect person to be the CEO of ApiNZ - she has a real grasp of the problem solving processes available, and the science of it all and the skills to implement them, oh that beekeeping would be that lucky!

    Enjoy the grandies while they are all shorter than you, because suddenly, they all  tower over you, although last weekend while rehabing from new hip, sixteen year old 6' 5" grandson could scarper down a steep bank and collect a swarm for me - bee suit paid for in one go, and he is able to lift full boxes, bonus!


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  16. 36 minutes ago, morporks said:




    Is that not a result of all the hype and gloss when the reality is that Beekeeping is hard work and depends on world markets,weather patterns and plants

    Research will not bring the money back into over hyped industry

    Across all types of business, 75% of those becoming self employed for the first time do not last beyond the first 18 months, and those that go into something at a boom time are probably well above that percentage. Many who have been employed all their working life have no idea how things change when the buck stops with them, with no 'boss' to blame.

    • Agree 1

  17. 6 hours ago, Jose Thayil said:


    We have most of the bee viruses that we know of present in nz. There are some bee pests which we don’t have. But all those risks can be eliminated with today’s technology that we have. But I guess we will have people who think the risk is too great at this stage. Maybe when we get to a stage where varroa or something else becomes too big a problem where our best treatment and bees are not able to withstand, that may be the time we are forced to look outside nz for better genetics which can cope with those issues. 

    Personally I like both the Italians and Carniolans that we have in nz, and there is a reason they are the most wide spread bees in the world. But I think we are missing a trick in not taking advantage of the bee development work done in Europe, Africa and America. 

    Thanks to Otago Uni, the NZ bees have been genome mapped, and we have far greater diversity than most areas - particularly Europe and the USA, where they have breed intensively to increase the VSH characteristics - last year I met a Swiss beekeeper who was part of a program where they took queens with a high probability of carrying the VSH trait, and mated it with one drone only with equally high rates of VSH, and bred intensively from the mating getting up to 92% showing it, but even the most basic knowledge of breeding would show how very quickly that would arrow our present overall diversity. While many of us source Betta queen cells and the like, they are generally open mated, so while the increase in the positive trait VSH increases more slowly, at least overall vigour is preserved. With science, sometimes patience is the greatest virtue.

    • Like 3

  18. 47 minutes ago, Jose Thayil said:

    We can nail the mites but will need genetics from outside nz to do that. Maybe when no treatment work anymore, we might start looking at it again. 

    Overseas sourced genetics would have only very limited effects on varroa, as we still don't have true brood breaks in many parts of NZ, and that is a major driver in the efficacy of managing varroa in Europe and the USA, and after the previous effort, I think hell would freeze over well before there was another importation.

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