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ChrisM last won the day on June 10

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. 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
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Is there a link, report or newspaper article on the one poisoning from extracted honey?
  7. the company is called flybusters, they sell a number of pest control products here is a link to the one I am talking about. I have not bought any recently but shipping used to be free if you purchased over a certain limit so it would pay for a couple or three people to purchase together if they are in the same area. https://www.flybusters.co.nz/shop/DIY-Pest-Control-Services/DIY_Cockroach/Permex+Insect+Dust+2kg.html
  8. I use the insect dust approach and the 2m issue discussed above has not been a problem because I have a broom handle with a washing machine powder scoop taped to the end that I only use for wasps. I can tip in 2 tbsp of the insect dust and easily reach 2m and so far (touch wood) have not ever been nailed by wasps. I prefer this to petrol. But ok whatever works. The Kiwicare no more wasps is often sold in 60g for $20 and is fine for minor use. I purchased 2kg of fly busters permex insect dust for $40. It is pretty inexpensive and highly effective.
  9. We had some early rain that might have put some people off and Maungatapu bridge closed overnight due to a fatal, but the turnout was probably more than 30 people because the urn ran out of water and we got more underway. We started off looking at my own solar wax melters, these are poly fish bins with a polycarbonate window and using cotton paint strainer bags on a metal roof tile. Discussed dealing with old dark brood comb in a bag, under hot water with a brick. Looked at the spectrum of different wax cleaning methods from single hive hobby level to the more expensive wax melters that commercials might use to try to put it all into context. Then the weather cleared and members from Waihi/Katikati direction said they had a clear run, so we opened three hives. Silvana opened the front hive with half the group, and I opened the back top bar, followed by a Lang. We found colonies in good health with plenty of stores, these hives contained the tail end of the single stitching OAG strips (Phil Haycock). We had some quad stitched ones on hand but they were not needed. The Lang was nearly ready to squash down from two into one FD. The Top Bar had 10 combs of brood. The OAG strips were fairly dry but mostly still intact, they were left in place and none were replaced. I'm certainly not tasting them. Top bar was closed down a bit for winter with 9 bars/combs removed to make a smaller volume, but essentially the same volume of 2xFD was left in the hive. A long while ago the OAG strips had dealt to the finger tips of an old pair of leather gloves I had been using for strip placement, so I cut off all the finger tips at the first or second knuckle so there were "fingerless". From Blackwoods I had some gloves with rubber palms and a mesh back (originally purchased for concreting). I put on the rubber gloves first and the fingerless bee gloves second. This gives me rubber finger tips for the OAG strips and beekeeping gauntlets over the top. I find it very comfortable even to the point I might use then even when I am not placing OAG strips. Bee gloves only ever wear out in the finger tips (in my experience) and I hate throwing away disposable gloves and the sweaty nature of most of the disposables too. So, I had those gloves on show too in case anyone was interested. Actually I hate throwing away anything.. We had a bit of discussion about ants, cinnamon, bay leaves, DE, cut grass and moats. This was followed by cockroaches, chickens ducks and the storing of empty dry combs and discussing that wax moth do not like sunshine, cold and ventilation. Some members who had trouble with wax moths in previous seasons discussed that they would change their strategy on this where they had them stored in the dark, close spaced frames and fully wrapped up with zero ventilation; in other words creating a heaving mess of moth maggots. Dennis Crowley dropped in and just for our info, showed us the bee iq hive gate which looked pretty good; I'd describe it as a horizontal periscope or tunnel. The Lang in question already had a reduced entrance (no wasps around here) but we discussed that, vertical periscope mesh wasp guards and also landing boards generally (a.k.a. dining plates for wasps as Dave Black has described previously). We observed that some people put landing boards on flush hives and some people choose to cut off the landing boards on landing board hives: proof if it were needed, that you can't ever please all the people all the time. Then it was back around the front for tea/coffee/biscuits/baking and a bit of a chin wag. One of the Tutin test samples was poured into a specimen container and so on. Tutin testing demand has dropped off so I think we are done for the season.
  10. no more spaces available looks like we are done for the season unless another 5 people spring forth.
  11. Hi, this photo I got off the internet several years ago sorry I don't know the source. I've never done anything like this, but I always thought for parks, pedestrian walkways and so on, that the idea had merit. It might also act as a robbing screen of sorts. In the longer run when grapes are gone and they are back to regular flight paths, once they get out of this thing they will still fly in the direction they want, so if the neighbours deck is any distance away the flight path will be exactly the same. But if the deck is adjacent this could give some relief if it moves the flight path higher up.
  12. that bunch of 5 specimens has gone for testing last week. Right now I have one specimen here plus 3 more slots booked, again leaving one final slot empty/available at the present.
  13. I agree completely and not something to do for the sake of it. But I'm not suggesting a get rich quick scheme. If you look at the actual cost of a 3/4 box, new base, lid, hive mat it isn't that high. So the actual price you need to sell at to do better than chopping 1000 brood frames isn't massive. Selling good hives at a modest price actually helps put some of those trademe people out of business. It could help a beekeeper that you already know if it was below his cost and there are plenty of people struggling who might appreciate help for one reason or another.
  14. 1000 frames is one hundred boxes. This could be 50 doubles? Next Spring you could split these into 100 hives each set up with an FD brood box at the bottom and a new 3/4 brood box above. When fully populated, you could put all the 3/4 boxes together and all the FD boxes together. Then you could sell all the FD hives; each as a going concern. This would transition all your brood onto new 3/4 virgin comb, new bases and new lids. You wouldn't make much honey if all their energy was going into making bees and/or wax. But since honey is now worthless it might be a way to do the transition that involves less work and that the work involved might pay for itself.
  15. We have one slot remaining and four confirmed for next 5x composite tutin test. $20. Suitable for low Tutin risk confirmation. The extractors are both in use this weekend but there are now no forwards bookings, so most people seem to be all finished now. However if any members need use of a small manual extractor they're currently available from Apr 12th. $20. contact information for testing and extractors is on the group's BopBee website.
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