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ChrisM last won the day on August 11

ChrisM had the most liked content!

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About ChrisM

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    Guard Bee


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    Seaside Bees
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    Hobby Beekeeper
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  1. I get your points, but you need to re-read what I said. Repeating myself... those strips went in to the hives in February, for our Autumn treatments, they were the sole treatment for ~50% of our hives and when we ran out of them, the remaining hives got the newer 4x and EP strips. At this point we are going into Spring and those hives are fantastic regardless of stitching. We will be inserting Spring treatments around Mid September. This might seem late to some, but as a lot of pollination hives come into the region Oct/Nov it is good to have our treatments in phase with the visiting mites. Those Spring strips will all be 4x stitching coz that's all we've got these days. So, just to be clear I have reported back some months after the last single stitch strips went in. We don't have any single stitch tapes to use this Spring because we have run out. Last year, when single stitch strips was all that we had, they worked fine for us in previous Spring. Yes, some did get chewed out, but in Spring we are checking the hives for stores and/or expansion space much more regularly, so it is easy to replace any that are gone in the Sept-Nov period.
  2. we did once have a situation like that. I sent Sheryl a note about it and if memory serves me correctly she sent a note of thanks and did pass this along to the beekeeper concerned. In this regards the people in the AFBPMP are very good in what is actually not an AFB issue and I think that it is faster, direct and easier to give them this information than for the original person to put it on facebook where the chances of getting the right person are less sure. The current system has its problems but most systems do.
  3. Tauranga: Our red camelias have finished, white camelias are on now and pink camelias are getting ready to fire. Flowering cherry has been going strongly. Not about cabbage trees yet, but gorse and manuka are both going.
  4. We've placed our OAG tapes with one leg down each seam of brood, even if there is only a small amount of brood in that seam; as was suggested at that time. We haven't placed OAG over bars where neither seam had developing brood. We are at sea level, relatively warm at night due to the sea. For no concious reason, I mostly alternated the placement in zig zag fashion 25% of the way along top bars, but always in contact to brood; so NOT a straight dividing line down the middle and never more nor less than one leg per seam containing brood. So far, soooooo good. Also, we were still getting through some of the old single line of stitch tapes in Autumn, we still rate the single stitching as good or better in our location. We have not seen anything special change with the overlocked edges or 4x stitching, but no complaints either. I have to confess I still have not used any of the narrows yet. I mix up the OA and G in batches to suit about 150 strips at a time, so at my scale I use 10 litre buckets and just keep the dry ones in the 20L pail.
  5. Hi, I use a blackridge 1700W unit for a similar style of vapouriser. However if you are having problems then you should plug it in to mains power at home or work and check to see if it goes ok. That way you can establish if it is a power supply problem or a vapouriser problem.
  6. I developed some level of allergeic reaction. Regardless of sting site, I normally got a reaction going around my body, itchy soles of my feet, itchy balls, itchy scalp, heat, irritation, hives, scratching of hives == 10x more hives. Nausea was quite rare, but irritation from a single sting could last up to a week. On rare event of mowing the lawn at home I got stung on the eyelid between my eye and my glasses, that was a real bad one. So, I started wearing gloves full time and really hunkered down. However, in the season just past, I still got a few stings along the way. One was just a week ago. Aside from minor pain at the sting site there was no other reaction all of this season. So I was definitely on the 'scale' and I'm not saying I am cured; this season anything could happen, but it is interesting to me, that I was part way up the scale and now just as randomly I have gone back down the scale. I don't have any explanation, but it is a lot nicer.
  7. We have lots of cockroaches here too. The hives are warm and dry, it seems logical to breed there. The bees don't seem to mind and rarely do I ever see a cockroach inside a hive. However, I never need to kill them because the chickens gobble them up like potato chips. When a hive is being opened I call for them and they know the drill for a free meal. Very satisfying to watch.
  8. Dennis, ok fair enough this as they say 'is your party'. Over time, people will vote with their wallets and it will sort itself out. Meanwhile, I've had pleasure to attend a large conference like this held at the University of Auckland where they have space, for commercial booths and large lecture theatres available out of term time and I've also seen the Ellerslie Racecourse used for both small events (school balls) and also some quite large events where they have indoor/outdoor space and catering. There is the ASB (Easter Show) showgrounds where you need less than half, there is Alexandra Park, then there is North Harbour Stadium. According to the news, all around NZ there are Racecourses struggling to make ends meet and faced with closure. I have been to one non-rugby event at Eden Park a few years ago and the catering was great. The Ellerslie Flower Show and Auckland Boat Show are both held in NZ and are bigger than the conference. There is the ILT Stadium in Invercargill which has a roof and the footy is soon to be finished. Nearer to home the AIMS games have used the ASB Stadium for opening ceremonies, car park is huge and Baypark itself is adjacent if you really need more outside display space. How about hosing it down and then doing some time trials in bee trucks? I completely agree any of these venues would not be the same, and you would have to use your imagination, but in these trying times we all need to be flexible. And it might be good if they aren't all the same, Forrest's mother said life is like a box of chocolates.
  9. I'm sure the conference could be run in any of the main centres (including AKL, WLG, HAM, TGA, CHC and Dunners) and quite a few of the smaller ones (including Rotorua, Whangarei and Taupo) if a little imagination was used. It seems logical to rotate the venue around the country.
  10. I had no clue what way it would go, except it was clear that something was going to happen. So, I was waiting with a feeling of trepidation. At this point I think the pendulum may have gone too far the other way now, but we may have been lucky given some of the suggestions... In the past I've been critical of the management agency, but many of their latest emails have promoted things I said were missing and so I feel suddenly I'm dealing with a different 'person' how that is even possible I don't know. One key issue is charging noncompliant beekeepers costs. I don't know what the means either, hopefully they wont go to the other extreme. But it seems like a good move and if the mere threat of action produces greater compliance that is a good thing. My preference would be that unregistered hives and/or apiaries are confiscated; on the spot and charged for use of trucks to get them moved out. Another thing I like is that they will bring more stuff inhouse instead of being done through Asure Quality. I've nothing against AQ, but the budgets and accounts of the Management Agency are unintelligible to mere mortals and it would be great if the financial reporting was only spun once instead of twice. Given all the handwringing and upheavel in this area I think it would be good to run with this for a couple or 3 years and give them a decent chance at turning around their performance. So my 'vote' is that we give them a second chance on a blank sheet of paper.
  11. A while ago there were threads on the new food act and NP1. The new food act (2014) is actually not very new any more. Since that time (moaning about costs) the situation in Tauranga has changed. Current details are rego under NP1 $290, biennial rego renewals are $150 and verficiation can now be done by TCC $142/hr and likely only to take one hour if you have your act together. So, this means for $433 you can "expand" your business into extract/buy/sell of honey in Tauranga with ongoing costs of only $75 per annum. Whereas before there were no verifiers at all based in Tauranga, and quotes from private verifiers were quite high, the situation has flip flopped into something quite manageable. RMP beekeepers in Tauranga could consider local retail direct selling to give themselves a second form of outlet. Hobby beekeepers who were put off by the high costs could review the situation because the audit is a one off cost and the ongoing costs amount to only $75 per annum. So, even if you have only 30kg of honey annually to sell it enables you to get something back to cover costs. This scenario was actually one of the justifications for having the new food act where you can extract the honey in your kitcken at home; provided the methods you use are shown to be safe. So, I think that counts as one piece of good news. I know the domestic honey market in NZ isn't enormous, so this doesn't 'solve' all the problems out there. But I do think that people at Farmer's markets are more likely to buy local honey whereas at the supermarket they might walk right past the honey section altogether. Having some online cottage industry presence seems logical too to allow customers to conveniently repeat their purchase with a follow up jar. National Programme 1 Guidance.pdf National Programme Factsheet & Application Form.pdf Scope of Operations - May 2016.pdf Template - Verification Agreement with TCC (Final) (A8062247).pdf
  12. Right now the BoP Beekeeper group consolidates 5 specimens at a time for composite Tutin testing in low risk areas and this reduces costs to members. Similarly we have 3 manual extractors that you can rent for $20 per week. I think we could look at the concept of a dog team to check a number of hives and work out a way to do this effectively. It would need to be organised so as to minimise travel time between apiaries. It is possible that it would not be economic, but it would be a worthwhile exercise just to figure out a rough hive cost spread over members and to see if members would be interested to pay accordingly. But, it doesn't require anything from the 'agency' and if various hives were indicated, it would be entirely up to the individual beekeeper as to what was done about it. We've recently had a proliferation of alerts where before there were almost none so a number of people I've spoken to are a bit concerned. Can anyone recommend who I should contact nearest Tauranga to try to work out what it would take?
  13. We have another two samples ready for composite test, but need 5 for the minimum $20 club rate. I thought we were done for the season, but now have 3 empty slots if anyone interested. But you need to be able to get the sample to me in Tauranga.
  14. agreed you especially don't want to risk a robbing debacle. But even 'attempted robbers' will go home at sunset, so if it is done late afternoon an hour before sunset, the Nuc's can be collected after sunset if it is a home situation and now that it is a bit chilly in most places bees will not want to hang around overnight. Taking a double brood hive down to only one box for winter, we did more or less the same thing the other day with largely empty frames that had a skerrick of honey across the top.
  15. In respect of poor brood pattern and/or a hive with a low population that is below par compared to all the rest. I follow the advice of my mentor, that is to boost any weaker hives that are struggling in Spring with brood and bees. However, any hive falling behind only gets boosted once. If the hive falls behind again and needs a second boost, then at that point it is blamed on the queen; she is swapped out with a queen from a Nuc and we watch what happens next. It sounds like this policy is compatible with the findings in the OP and validates what we were told to do.
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