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john berry

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john berry last won the day on December 9 2017

john berry had the most liked content!

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About john berry

  • Rank
    Guard Bee


  • Beekeeping Experience
    Commercial Beekeeper


  • Location
    Hawke's Bay
  1. Harvest declarations

    I don't know if anyone else has mentioned it but for all of you who have to fill out harvest declarations when you take off honey the declarations have changed from 5 February and you need a new form. This doesn't appear to have been broadcast widely and I suspect quite a few people will be caught out by overly officious auditors.
  2. NZBF Reaction to Honey

    Pasteurising won't make any difference. I would strongly suspect tutu poisoning and see no reason why there wouldn't be passion vine hoppers especially in the warmer parts of Christchurch. Another possibility is rhododendron honey. If there is a lot of rhododendrons near your hives that could be a possibility. It is very easy and (relatively) cheap to get your honey tested for tutu. Don't know if there is a test for rhododendron. If in doubt you could approach MPI who should arrange to get your honey tested for you. On the other hand your two visitors may have eaten a dodgy chicken pie on the way to your place which is probably the most likely scenario.
  3. Apivar strips

    If I have a part packet at the end of the day I will reuse it as long as it's within a few days. If in doubt, throw it out. If not in doubt but still worried then I put one opened strip and with three new ones. I was told years ago by a bee scientist to keep opened strips out of direct sun shine. I get all my strips ready before I start the bees in an apiary with the appropriate amount of strips for each pallet sitting in the shade until used. Apivar would be better for me if you didn't have too rip the strips apart and if they came in packets suitable for treating four hives or multiples of four with a lot less packaging it would be an improvement. I occasionally get strips that I cannot physically rip apart and have to cut. It's beyond me why they have to be joined together.
  4. February 2018 Beekeeping Diary

    Yesterday I killed a large wasp nest in a friends sleepout. It had chewed right through the internal wall and was building out into the room. I used fly spray which actually works quite well on wasps and doesn't make them angry or at least not any worse than normal. Given there was already a large hole I dragged the whole thing out onto the floor. Today karma came and bit me on the bum. I was topping my front paddock with my old tractor when I felt something stab me in the back. Right out in the middle of a flat paddock and there is a wasp nest which didn't like being topped. I'm afraid I have once again damaged my karma and they had a visit from Mr Poison. I haven't seen any wasps around the hives yet but it won't be long now.
  5. Australian honey and peroxide activity.

    As far as I know all honeys have peroxide activity. For that matter the physical properties of all honey help with wound healing. I don't know how much of the peroxide activity is left in medical grade manuka honey after all the processing it endures . Certainly the UMF testing involved non-peroxide activity. Capilano talking about honey adulteration. lol'
  6. Manuka standards

    I agree with a lot of the comments that the manuka standards will allow and lead to a lot of blending and I have had honey pass that I would not call manuka but I stick by what I have said that some honey that really is manuka is failing. Given the number of variables from the age of the honey to different manuka subspecies and probably lots of others I don't know why it's happening. On another manuka related topic when I was selling my comb honey at the farmers market on Sunday I was asked if it is true that high UMF manuka honey cured cancer. This little gem of information apparently came from someone selling high UMF honey. A new low.
  7. February 2018 Beekeeping Diary

    I have always blamed those PMS type hives on poorly mated Queen's but it could be any number of causes including inbreeding, a queen raised from to old a grub, an unfortunate genetic mutation or even a heavily virused Queen. An academically interesting question but whatever the reason the cure is the same. Not sure why you would want a brood break before introducing a new Queen. The best time to introduce either a cell or a new Queen is immediately after removing the old one. The longer a hive is queenless the less likely they are to accept a new Queen.
  8. Manuka standards

    I haven't seen the manuka samples in question but like I said I know the people that have produced them. They know what manuka looks like. I have seen inexperienced beekeepers bring in a load of honey they were convinced was manuka when it was obviously clover or something else but these and that sort of beekeeper.
  9. February 2018 Beekeeping Diary

    Apparent PMS without varoa= dud Queen. These hives happened before varoa but do seem to be more common now even in properly treated hives. A lot supersede successfully but if I find them, I kill them.
  10. Manuka standards

    I have been talking to a few people I trust and getting some interesting replies. Some very good manuka honey is failing even the multi floral with manuka test and some obviously multi floral with some manuka is passing with flying colours. Manuka honey from different areas is passing no trouble. These inconsistent results are very troubling especially if you have some really good manuka honey which should but doesn't meet the new standards.
  11. Wasps and ignorance

    The first time I used the vespexs it worked incredibly well. Last year it was not as effective and I had to repeat several times. Like Alistair says you don't have time to test what they are doing and it's easier and cheaper just to put some poison out while you're there. I also tend to wait till I see a problem and I have to start putting it out before there is a problem.
  12. Manuka standards

    UMF is unfortunately relatively easy to obtain in a drum and when you see 20+ or more honey for sale you really have to wonder. Maybe some areas do produce ratings like that but it sure never happens round here. If the beekeepers had agreed on a standard then MPI would not have had to step in and fill the void. My main concern with the new standard is that many packers will blend down to a pass rate. If nothing else makes it really hard for honest\ethical beekeepers to compete. The new test is also very expensive. We could always go back to the old test i.e. looks like manuka, smells like manuka, taste like manuka and won't extract just like manuka. Probably as manuka!. And after that in the good old days the next question was how much of it you could blend into your light amber pack without getting too many complaints. On a personal level the only time I would worry about UMF levels was if I was treating an external infection, for me the important thing about manuka is the taste which I find truly magnificent and well worth a premium.
  13. COF

    I had a busted fog light once and was told I had to fix it. Took it to the auto electrician and he just removed it. Apparently it was something you didn't have to have but if you had it, it had to go. I have to say our local crowd has not been anywhere near as bad as they were a few years ago and one or two of them have even been known to smile. I agree on the brakes. I really give them a good working before I get there.
  14. AP2

    I and many others I know were fully trained and warranted and as far as I know all that was needed was a simple renewal, that is what happened in the past. They have obviously had a change in policy but at the very least they could have informed those of us that have put in years of voluntary service of their decisions and reasons for them. I guess I would still like some sort of explanation but I am much more interested in making sure that A. The job gets done properly and B. There are extra qualified people available to help when it hits the fan.
  15. AP2

    For many years I was an AP 2 but like many in the last few years I have been dropped off the list without any explanation. After making a few inquiries I have been invited to reapply but would have to agree to inspect 100 apiarys per year. This is way more than I have time or inclination for. What I did in the past was to inspect hives upon the request of individuals (which I can do anyway) help with diseaseathons and occasionally when a bad outbreak occurred be called in for emergency inspection work. I did not do this for remuneration and usually donated any fees to a charity. I do not object to (competent) beekeepers being paid to do this job either full-time or part-time, that is as it should be but I do think beekeeping has lost a lot if very experienced beekeepers such as myself and many others I know will from now on be unable to help when help is urgently needed and believe me history has shown it will be needed. Any thoughts on the matter before I make a formal reply.