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john berry

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john berry last won the day on October 14

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About john berry

  • Rank
    Guard Bee


  • Beekeeping Experience
    Commercial Beekeeper


  • Location
    Hawke's Bay
  1. Watson & Son - Bad News - NBR

    The price of manuka is where it is today because of the hard work of scientists, beekeepers and marketing by the old National beekeepers Association funded by a compulsory marketing levy. Watsons et cetera only came along after all the hard work was done.
  2. Watson & Son - Bad News - NBR

    My wife tells me that as I was reading the article last night I was chuckling evilly to myself.
  3. October 2017 Apiary Diary

    Things aren't looking too bad here but I suspect were in for a real dearth over the next two or three weeks especially in the pasture areas. The bees were sniffing foundation boxes the other day which is a sure sign there is nothing happening. The plastic excluders I use are much better than the old wire ones . I gave my wire ones away years ago. I generally lift the two oldest looking brood frames from the second box above the excluder and replace with new foundation (wooden).
  4. Watson & Son - Bad News - NBR

    I don't know why everyone is giving Mr Watson such a hard time. I'm sure he treats his workers and shareholders with the same honesty and integrity as he treats his fellow beekeepers.
  5. Hive tasks

    I would use foundation and wires. It's easy enough to remove wires by snipping them at each end and wiring up an old pair of pliers to a car battery. You hold the wire at one end with the pliers and touch the other end of the wire with something like a nail wired onto the other terminal and zit it's gone. For comb honey I use thin super foundation. If you really must go wire and foundationless you will find the frames work just as well and are a lot stronger if you put a central bar horizontally through the middle of the frame. I use a 10 mm times 23 mm bar which is the same size as my simplicity bottom bars. Melting a strip of foundation onto the top bar and mid bar will help get them started. As for the varoa it's your choice but I have found even very low numbers at this time of year lead to major problems before the autumn treatment.
  6. Some new research on Varroa

    Interesting video. He starts off by mentioning coffee depending on bees for pollination which may be right but all coffees New Zealand relatives are wind pollinated. How long before someone can come up with an artificial bee fat that's attractive to varoa and can have something unfriendly added to it.
  7. Breeder queens

    Local selection of local bees leads to greater production, less costs, less losses and helps to retain genetic diversity and genetic improvements that have been bred by local beekeepers for generations.
  8. AFB outbreak

    Hi Dale. I have changed my email address and although it's supposed to automatically reroute it doesn't always. My new email address is listed in the latest New Zealand beekeeper magazine on the back page under Hawke's Bay. The bees were not happy with the weather today. It was warm enough for them to fly but for whatever reason they just went interested. Really weird grey clouds sort of quilted and folded. I've seen them before but not for a long time
  9. AFB outbreak

    I assume there is some way to caption my photographs but I haven't worked it out. It was a very light infection with only a few infected cells. One in the photograph is very obvious but there is another cell with a tiny pinhole. Interestingly this turned out to have an early stage chalk brood mummy although apparently AFB can be masked by chalk brood.
  10. AFB outbreak

  11. AFB outbreak

    Well the hive is dead. I also did a thorough check on my other site in the area and it was fine. The farm manager assured me there are no other hives in the area so it was either a latent infection that has laid dormant for many years or an infected swarm left over from the previous beekeeper. Of the two options I prefer the first but suspect it's the second. I will be doing some pretty close inspections for the next year. I have seen PMS rope exactly like AFB, it doesn't usually but it can. Chilled and poisoned brood can also rope to some extent but it is generally a muddier colour and are more soupy consistency. There was certainly no doubting what the infection in this hive was and no need for any further tests. I will keep one frame (under permit) for teaching purposes.
  12. AFB outbreak

    Had my first AFB in about four years today which is a bit annoying. A bit weird as well because it's in a really isolated spot and as far as I know I have the only hives within five or 6 km. I see you still can't report how bad an infection is on API web although you can on the AFB website. There were only a few infected cells and they were all a very light milk chocolate colour so at least I found it early and I just have to hope I don't get any more. The cost and time involved an AFB destruction is depressing but for me the worst thing as having to kill a hive.
  13. Randy's Towel method

    I have no idea what oxalic acid does to queens but by all accounts it can't do much harm. The harm comes from disturbing hives with new Queens . For some reason new queens up until the point where they have sealed brood are vulnerable to their own bees when disturbed. For whatever reason when disturbed the bees occasionally ball and kill the new Queen, it certainly doesn't happen every time but it definitely happens and whenever I find a new Queen just starting to lay I put everything back together as quickly and quietly as possible. It may be that an oxalic trickle will do no harm at all. It's something to watch out for and I would suggest minimum smoke and disturbance should prevent most attacks hopefully. I think Mark Goodwin has been looking at using oxalic during the broodless period but I don't know if he has run into this problem or not.
  14. AFB test kits

    Interesting. I have certainly never seen AFB in drone brood and I have seen a lot over the years. Doing a differential diagnosis between dead manky brood and AFB can be tricky but dead manky brood is something you could expect to see in a drone layer. A couple of times I have been unsure and have used a test kit just for confirmation and both times they were negative.
  15. Randy's Towel method

    I have to admit that when I first heard of this method I thought it was just another snake oil product but even an old cynic like me is starting to get interested. One thing of obvious concern to me is the talk of using two day cells to get a broodless period. This will work but disturbing hives with newly mated Queen's will result in some losses. It's not something I've ever quantified because it's something I've always avoided whenever possible but I have seen it happen. Continual use of oxalic acid also concerns me as initial research suggested that it should only be used once a season and that overuse could damage hives. Is anyone using oxalic\glycerin as part of a proper controlled study including control hives. As for the shop towels I doubt they will do much harm but MPI consider even sealed drums of honey to be at risk of contamination if transported without a silly bit of paper.