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ChrisM

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ChrisM last won the day on July 20 2017

ChrisM had the most liked content!

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About ChrisM

  • Rank
    Guard Bee

Converted

  • Swarm Collection Area
    Tauranga
  • Business name
    Seaside Bees
  • DECA Holder
    Yes
  • Beekeeping Experience
    Hobby Beekeeper
  • Business phone
    +6421492006
  • Business email
    seaside.bees@gmail.com
  • Facebook
    https://www.seasidebees.nz

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  • Location
    Tauranga

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  1. ChrisM

    January 2019 Apiary Diary

    by way of example, another beekeeper friend I know uses poly mini mating nucs there must be 50 or more of them. These use 3 or 4 little rectangular combs on top bars. During the season honey combs are removed from these as they run out of space and are stored. During winter the hives are fed back these honey combs. The only reason I mention it is that is a bit similar to the ross rounds. In order to store these combs of feed honey, he keeps them in the shed spaced apart by about a top bar width between each comb. This allows air and light and space between combs with no hive mat or covers. If they are placed together in a box in the dark the moths can generate heat and take over, but with the combs spaced apart and ventilated he has no problems. But if you have freezer space, that is the low stress option for sure.
  2. I'm not sure if it has been mentioned but we also have a group webpage. It is a free one, so the url isn't flash. https://bopbee.weebly.com/ The Tauranga City Council webpage on bees externally links to this website for swarm collection in the BoP area. Members of other recognised clubs, branches and groups in the BoP are welcome to join the collector list; there is no fee. The website contains a map of collectors that can be taken full screen and zoomed in to locate nearest. https://bopbee.weebly.com/collection.html There is also a page on the group's extractor that can be booked & borrowed by group members for $20. There is a link to the facebook group and a link to this forum and details about meetings and newsletters.
  3. View Offer Queencell Carrier This is a home made queen cell carrier. It is a hot/cold chilly bin 6L that has a temperature controller which is set to ~34C. The heating plate goes above and below 34C but air temperature at cells is good and they always come out fine. It holds up to 28 queen cells. The unit plugs into a car cigarette lighter (12VDC). This item has been made from new parts. It has been tested, but it has not been used. I can also include a 230V adaptor if would like to run this overnight indoors, but let me know as I'll need to set up a separate auction I think; additional $50. external dimensions are 27cm high x 33cm long x 18cm wide approx. Separately to queen cell use, they can be used on the cold setting for your lunch/drink. It is aimed at hobby beekeepers and price reflects a simple unit that is not intended for heavy duty bashing around. You can read up about this and/or make you own one up by reading older threads on this forum. Shipping nationally and rural is included in the price for the two main islands. It is my first time setting up one of these adverts; my intention is advertise them at $150 each available to buy individually, we have stock of 10 and to make more on demand. There are 51 of these in service around the country, plus my original one at home. Previously assembled by our in-house alien, they are now being put together by his younger sister. The price includes GST, my GST number is 60 022 135, beekeeper number D7196 Price $150.00 Submitter ChrisM Submitted 17/12/18 Category Equipment For Sale
  4. This is a home made queen cell carrier. It is a hot/cold chilly bin 6L that has a temperature controller which is set to ~34C. The heating plate goes above and below 34C but air temperature at cells is good and they always come out fine. It holds up to 28 queen cells. The unit plugs into a car cigarette lighter (12VDC). This item has been made from new parts. It has been tested, but it has not been used. I can also include a 230V adaptor if would like to run this overnight indoors, but let me know as I'll need to set up a separate auction I think; additional $50. external dimensions are 27cm high x 33cm long x 18cm wide approx. Separately to queen cell use, they can be used on the cold setting for your lunch/drink. It is aimed at hobby beekeepers and price reflects a simple unit that is not intended for heavy duty bashing around. You can read up about this and/or make you own one up by reading older threads on this forum. Shipping nationally and rural is included in the price for the two main islands. It is my first time setting up one of these adverts; my intention is advertise them at $150 each available to buy individually, we have stock of 10 and to make more on demand. There are 51 of these in service around the country, plus my original one at home. Previously assembled by our in-house alien, they are now being put together by his younger sister. The price includes GST, my GST number is 60 022 135, beekeeper number D7196
  5. ChrisM

    Paying for access to swarms - wait, whaaaat?

    Hi sorry for the late reply. but we are in swarm season so I suppose it is topical. This year I've collected 9 and have passed along another 9 for others to collect. The phone calls seem to come from our website and from the BoP Beekeeper Group collector page. So, answers are no, yes, yes and no. This year the BoP group has tried out a new system that I've been a part of and now the Tauranga City Council website also links directly to the same url from their other animals/bee page. The link is as follows: https://bopbee.weebly.com/collection.html there is a google map that can be taken to full screen and zoomed in. I should mention that this is a method I saw on the Wellington beekeeper website and seemed very effective so we did something nearly identical. The key aspect I like is that it requires very little input from a "swarm officer" because the map puts the swarmee and the swarmer in direct contact with each other.
  6. ChrisM

    Paying for access to swarms - wait, whaaaat?

    Hi, answers to your questions are, "yes, ALL of the above". But in a bit more detail I would have to say I don't actually know really, but I'm happy to run with it though. Here is some detail if you are interested.. We have an out of control hobby that has evolved into a cottage industry renting out hives in urban gardens, we give talks, visit schools and ran an 8 week night school class. As a part of that we have a website. Often when Tauranga people google "phark what do I do, I have a swarm of bees" or words to that effect, it seems to point them at a our website, where I have prattled on about swarms. Whilst facebook is good for one swarm or two, I think the majority are coming from the website. I also know for sure that our phone number has been given out on a couple of occassions (could be more than I know) by a seriously big beekeeper who has passed along our contacts, probably because they are too busy doing more valuable work and maybe because they think we are responsible. Now as well as fb, the BoP Beekeeper Group Collector list and our website, then there is the fact that I have hassled the crap out of Tauranga City Council on a couple of issues and I've certainly gnawed away at WBoPDC with regards to some of their website wording and asking about their use of swarm collector lists and how that works. Then there is the Kiwimana collector list too. I don't think the Kiwimana list really works outside of Auckland, but that easily could change over time such are the mysteries of the internet. But overall you could say I've been a bit like a dog with a bone, trying to consider every avenue. I stopped researching and building on that because about a dozen a year is/was a good fit for us. We have never sold a swarm nor anything like that, we are not bee suppliers. Here, it starts on October 1st. Most of the calls from mid-december onwards are false alarms (wasps) then 100% after January 1st. If overall we get one extra colony for every two call outs the costs do mount up if you consider a nominal rate for time you are doing this instead of working earning income. So, it is probably cheaper to work and buy a dozen Nuc's the problem is that we have so much fun and meet so many nice people. We have a full quiver of fun stories about this sort of thing. Practically speaking the phone rings and the calls come in, I am self-employed and work from home so I/we can jump in the car and attend then and there. Bear in mind we are based in Tauranga and so it is a bit different to Auckland. I'm pretty sure we've not yet had a single hive swarm, but there are a number of contributing factors why that is so, none of them are magical. Some of them are that nearly every hive is in a single hive apiary. So, you're unlikely to miss a hive, if there is only one in the apiary.. Also that it has become a source of part time employment means that the hives are seen regularly on a schedule. Another is that demand for hives means that we are using cells to create extra colonies, so hives with excess brood are being knocked back in order to feed a small production line turning 5 comb Nuc's into 10 comb Nuc's. If I was in Auckland (eeek) and already on all available lists, next I'd be talking to the caretakers of the local schools, cemmetry, park, golf course, water treatment plant, (you get the idea) to ask them if they get swarms and what they do about them (if anything). Maybe you can get a share of those swarms too.
  7. ChrisM

    Paying for access to swarms - wait, whaaaat?

    agreed. Our count of swarms collected personally, is running between 2 and 3 times higher than either of the last two years (which were both about the same 12 and 13 swarms respectively for the whole season). If everyone else in urban areas are getting that much more, then it would be at a rate higher than the increase of hive numbers. If that continues it is scary to think our total could be between 24 and 36 based on the first month of our local 3 month swarm season. If so, we'll be giving them away to other club members because that's getting pretty crazy. Also a lot could change between now and Dec 31.
  8. ChrisM

    Paying for access to swarms - wait, whaaaat?

    In a commerical or rural setting that makes perfect sense. But I think what we are seeing in Tauranga and reading about in Auckland is lots of hobby beekeepers with hives swarming due to mismanagement. These are probably well bred bees with great genetics that are swarming honey bound in combs full of syrup that never needed feeding nor stimulating in town. It has been predicted that with the upswell of new hobby beekeepers we would see an upward spike of AFB for the same reasons. It could be that the surge in swarms is reflects that the average ability of beekeepers is reducing and that the risk of a huge AFB outbreak is lurking in the background.
  9. ChrisM

    New Zealand swarm dates for season 2017/18

    drones enjoy a good party.. who is going to stop them? if they get bored, they might fly to another hive and doss there.
  10. ChrisM

    Paying for access to swarms - wait, whaaaat?

    Ideally, I think join a club, if you are in Auckland there several Franklin and Auckland Beekeeper Clubs are probably most well known but I think there are others too. Purchasing from a fellow club member (albeit commercial or hobby doesn't matter) is often a safe bet.
  11. ChrisM

    Paying for access to swarms - wait, whaaaat?

    Our local BoP Beekeeper Group swarm list contains about 60 people. There is also the swarm collection facility of this forum and there are a number of other avenues such as the National Kiwimana swarm collector list (previously this was Auckland but now seems to have gone national) and the facebook group: Bee Swarm NZ which I help to admin. All of these different avenues are FREE. I have my own name is on every list I can find that covers my area and as far as I am concerned it is one of the things I like doing. It is unlikely that all 60 will be phoned and offered a swarm. So, demand seems to exceed supply and whenever that happens I suppose it is a business opportunity for someone. I don't promote that, but it almost certainly ensures the person will actually collect the swarm very prompty and completely if they paid $. I'd prefer the swarm to go to club members who are dedicated and not to someone who will simply pay $35 for an amusement ride. This year we have snagged twice as many swarms so far as compared to the same point in previous years, so maybe the upsurge in new beekeepers is leading to an upsurge in swarms or maybe it is global warming and Trump's fault.
  12. ChrisM

    NZBF Varroa in New swarm

    I normally wait 3 days for them to draw some comb and start to make a committment on their new home. Then before there is likely to be any capped brood I give them a burst of Oxalic Acid vapour with a passive vapouriser in the late afternoon or early evening when most are home. If anything I think that they always respond well to it, so far touch wood, I've never had a swarm leave.
  13. ChrisM

    Carniolan queen, bees and brood

    My impression is that the Carni queens last longer. We actually have several blue dotters that are firing on all cylinders still. It seems bizarre, but so far as I can tell they all have all their legs and wings and are maintaining huge brood nests. This is not to say that they all last longer, but my impression is that our yellow ones don't have the same longevity. It hardly matters if you raise your own queens, but it is interesting to know if more experienced beekeepers see the same thing.
  14. yeah, some beekeepers kill more than that every time they put a box down
  15. ChrisM

    New Zealand swarm dates for season 2017/18

    strange out of 33 swarms over last while I've never had one abscond (so far, touch wood). Is absconding something that happens regularly in some areas or weather or situations?
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