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About shazoom

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  • Beekeeping Experience
    Commercial Beekeeper


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    USA - California

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  1. shazoom

    I need help with a project

    I suggest, not to feed and not to medicate. Let the bees do what they have done for a million years....... they are "The Professionals"!
  2. shazoom

    NBA vote "Against" and Unification

    I am strictly a TBH beekeeper ... Warre Hives and things are going great for me. I am fairly confident in landing a $250K educational research grant (thanks to the Obama family ....) all hives placed in Organic gardens. Is money important - of course it is! Remember, there is various ways to make money. And that is doing what you enjoy and like, the rest comes automatically, if you are not greedy...
  3. shazoom

    NBA vote "Against" and Unification

    Can I predict the future here - no, not really! But. this is the category one must monitor closely ...... A not so distant internal vote to simplify administration, moving this category under the Beekeeper Club/Affiliation, may be the next step ..... thus "watering down" the individual voting rights greatly. I state this from personal experience here in the USA. The above statement is only an opinion. But at least it gives you a "heads-up" warning - monitor events closely.... All the best and "happy beekeeping" is what we all want anyway. Regards - Richard
  4. shazoom

    NBA vote "Against" and Unification

    I totally agree with both statements voiced by api mania and Rob Stockley. I have come to the same conclusion here in California and have now registered with our Federal Govt. completely, by signing up to the Farmers Bill. For years I have complained about the Farmers Bill subsidizing the agri. business here in the USA. Bare in mind the budget falling under this bill is the second largest by $$$ amount (2nd to our Military budget) in the USA. Well to cut-to-the-chase, there have been a lot of changes under the current Obama Administration who was able to make small amendments (100's of them..) without approval from a "lame" congress. The major overall change being full recognition of the small time organic farmers and the numerous farmers market that are popping up everywhere (even a clause for beekeepers..) - yes, I get the same subsidies and benefits that used to be exclusively reserved for the BIG GUYS only. Of course it is still proportional to size - fair and just, but equal rather than nothing. On the responsible Health & Safety issues of imports. The final onus must ultimately fall back on the importer since you cannot police or trust other outsiders. BTW, NZ does perhaps, one of the world best efforts in this area (I spent 2 yrs setting up a business in Auckland area and I was very impressed with the way locally produced food was handled, complete with the numerous Controlled Atmosphere [CA] rooms spread throughout N & S islands). I believe NZ can be fully trusted in this matter and I spread this message. Now, things may have changed since my visit in year 2000?! But, I doubt it... In conclusion, as individuals, you still have the right to vote for new and better solutions (beekeeper or not). Find the "right" folks who seek a new way of doing things and willing to make positive changes away from the BIG Capitalists and back to the communities. As usual, it is just my opinion from a distance.. All the best ... Richard
  5. shazoom

    NBA vote "Against" and Unification

    Well folks, now you will really get to know if your individual rights as a beekeeper can truly be be voiced and counted upon! Sad to say, you are going down the same path we have in the USA. Now your "lobbyists" (nice way of saying groups ready to apply corruption...) will influence the packers, the honey brokers, the "Yellow Jacket" motorcycle club etc.. etc.. whoever can sign up to the ApiNZ. Here in the USA, your state beekeeping associations basically classify the beekeepers as hobbyists or Commercial (per my best recollections, the break point being 50 Hives). The "hobbyists" are a fairly large group, who are told to sign-up to local associations who have the right to then "affiliate" with the state assoc. and are entitled to one vote representing their entire group. Great way of watering down the rights of a beekeeper ..... I have no doubt you will see similar adjustments occur in your new setup, time will tell. All the best to individuals in NZ practicing the great, profession or art of "Beekeeping", one hive or more... Richard Raine Soundy
  6. shazoom

    NBA vote "Against" and Unification

    ChrisM, this sentence "caught-my-eye" and encouraged me to reply: I personally believe it is NOT POSSIBLE. And, as such ask a question? Why not separate it by forming a non-commercial organization only? I have a shrewed idea I know what your answer will be. We are all just people and true representation should be counted/directed by the number of people. A corporation can only be represented by 1 vote (if at all....). The Commercial beekeeper can encourage their employees to belong to a beekeeping org. thus having a larger representation, but at least it is subject to scrutiny via the "public" beekeeper who is also a fellow member (..... Hell, I had difficulty trying to express this in writing ... and, I hope you get my meaning!). The NBA is a beekeeper association not a bee hive or colony association. What makes an organization work - [1] The social aspect, [2] The educational process and [3] Full recognition that as a body your voices count. I do believe that NBA, structured correctly can meet those criteria. It is only my opinion with full disclosure that I respect the right of the NZ community and that I am in the USA.
  7. shazoom

    NBA vote "Against" and Unification

    Philbee said: "Controlling hive density is fundamental to the future of bee keeping." Yes it is, except it need not be "controlled" by us the humans. The bee is quite capable of doing this on their own, it is called SWARMING - they have been doing this for eons!
  8. shazoom

    NBA vote "Against" and Unification

    Forming an association of beekeepers is fairly easy, define the function of a beekeeper clearly and perhaps write a single page document that sets a basic SOP (Standard of practice). Very simple in my opinion. A mission statement "to protect the bees, and educate the beekeepers in the noble profession of beekeeping" can sum it up. Keep it simple and make sure it is a plus for the community you serve. I bet, most of the beekeepers will join such an association and as such you will ultimately have a unified voice. Of course you will get a mish-mash of sign-ups from all sorts - hobbyists, small timers, big timers, but ultimately the qualification must be "beekeepers" - if your organization wants to vet their members, that can be built in per review from field qualifications. From my aspect you collect a fee that assures 80% of funds are earmarked for EDUCATION and such fee should be minor. Operate as a not-for-profit org. Frankly, this can be done with ease and the results will speak for themselves. There are templates for this type of thing - I have one applicable to the USA easily modified to your local conditions....
  9. shazoom

    NBA vote "Against" and Unification

    I respect the fact that this is strictly a matter for the "beekeepers" of NZ and ultimately the final outcome will be decided by NZ folks. I wish you well in your endeavours. When I read this thread, I can only offer advice to you, to focus on one, and only one primary function and that is in the name itself NBA. An association of BEEKEEPERS. Beekeepers are defined by the function they perform, working with bees upto the point of harvesting the product being produced. Any functions beyond that point should not be considered as bona fide members. Hence, one member one vote! Commercials may employ 5 or 10 beekeepers to carry out their function and each beekeeper may sign-up as member thus appearing to make it lob sided, but each individual casts his vote based on his personal preferences as a "beekeeper". All those various catagories should be abandoned.... What you are proposing seems to mirror our current situation here in the USA - do yourself a favor and stop mimicking what is going on here - we are in decline in this industry and very much due a change to current operations. Yes, just my personal opinion that I believe has very strong merit. Regards - Richard Raine Soundy
  10. shazoom


    Mason Bee Hive - shown as free standing
  11. shazoom


    Mason Bee Hive - Roof removed
  12. Alastair, sorry we cross posted here - the above response was @yesbut. The Blue Orchard Mason Bee is basically native to California or Pacific Coastline - West of the Rocky Mnt. That is why I use them. But, there are many, many solitary bees that perform the same function and generally do the same "tube thing". The earlier descriptions in this post already confirm this. I am relatively sure that they (not by name, but actions) are already their, no need to import anything. NZ has done a good job regarding protecting your own flora & fauna and I would never suggest or encourage anything contrary to this fact. The strange thing is that the tube size and dimensions serve many, many species. 20,000 different kinds of bees in the world and new ones are continuing to be added to this list, as we speak. Nothing is commercially viable, until you try it! All the best
  13. As you may already know, Honey Bees collect pollen and basically stuff it into their small leg pouches. Other type of bees, especially the solitary types, basically coat themselves with pollen, by rolling around in the blossom or flower, allowing the pollen to adhere to their hairs for transportation. So, as a pollinator, they are ~10 times more effective in a bee-to-bee comparison. So a thousand Mason bees can do the job carried out by 10,000 Honey bees. And, as in life generally (applicable to us as well BTW) competition, especially with different species, can increase productivity. Thus lowering the total numbers required. As soon as time permits, I will be posting under a different category "The pollination process in the USA" which will explain the reasons why our honey bees need a break. Currently, our honey bees are "hammered" and treated worse than the slaves of cotton-picking days....
  14. Trevor, thank you for that feedback on NZ mason bees. Glad to have an answer! Keeping mason bees is fairly simple and the best analogy I can provide is its similarity to keeping silk worms (when I was a kid, we all indulged in this hobby - great for education on that whole metamorphosis thing ....) Yes, they are solitary, insects (bees), lay eggs in a tube - roughly ~7 to a tube, the emerging grub will spin a tiny cocoon, and hibernate/morph until following season to fly out as a bee. Their season, like the silk worm is well co-ordinated with the season of blossoming trees ( the silk worm or grub co-ordinates to the Mulberry tree leaves and has a voracious appetite for those leaves - do not put them on the trees. pick the leaves and feed them separately in a box). Since the seasons for both Mason bees and silk worms is relatively short, most of the year they are stored in a cool/dark area - not a lot in labor requirements. So, the requirements for Mason bees is to collect the tubes when no more tree blossoms around. Gently break the mud walls that separate the cocoons, clean (wash & dry) cocoons and store. Thoroughly, with small brush clean the tubes (this is very important - there are mites and pests that quickly develop in those tubes) and store in sealed container for next seasons use. Yield, one Mason may pack between 1 to 3 tubes - depends on fertility. Each tube will hold 7 cocoons, and the two or three closest to opening will be males (they emerge first). You can do the calculations here.. Basically, you can increase your bee numbers 4 times on average per season. I will send some pictures per your requirement in the next few days. I also suggest you go to G+ "communities" section and look at World Wide Beekeeping scan posting Mason Bee hive pictures will be clear to identify. Since I make Warre Hives, using the same foot print was a no-brainer. I offer both integrated Mason hives with Warre hive or stand alone just different mounting. All the best and thank you for your interest regarding the use of alternatives bees for pollination - give our honey bees a break!
  15. Perhaps, I should also post something about how Pollinators operate here in the USA (again, strictly as a "heads-up" warning), but I am not sure which forum would be adequate - Bee Hive Management??? Or, is this even the right site for such discussions at all???