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john berry

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john berry last won the day on June 14

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About john berry

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    Guard Bee

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  • Beekeeping Experience
    Commercial Beekeeper

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    Hawke's Bay

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  1. The only reason for blocking the hive in when trying to destroy wasps would be if you were using a poison bait that was attractive to bees as well is wasps and that would be a threat to every hive in the area and illegal. Get some vespex which is a ready mixed bait and Safe to use around bees.
  2. As far as I know Arataki does not import propolis . Comvita certainly used to and probably still do. This should be illegal as it is a high risk product and they should be shamed for doing so . They also I believe import Royal jelly, another high risk product.
  3. For many years it was compulsory to belong to the National beekeepers Association and because of that it was very important to make conferences as accessible and affordable as possible so that any member that wanted to could attend. I knew people who hitchhiked to get their and either stayed with friends or backpacker accommodation. For many beekeepers it was the only holiday they had all year. Conferences are now run more professionally but also more expensively and to some extent without the fun and spontaneity they had in the past. No one has to belong to Apinz and it's up to individuals to decide whether to belong and whether conference cost too much. I have helped run a few conferences in the past and we certainly had a policy of charging nonmembers more and I have no problem with that. I am a member of Apinz and I am quite capable of saying when I don't like something they are doing. If enough people who agree with me joined as well then things could and would change but for now the majority seem happy and that is how a democracy works.
  4. Raul Island has honeybees of probably quite old lineage and possibly even directly descended from the old English black bee but I have been unable to interest anybody in actually studying them. I certainly saw no sign of honey bees on codfish or anchor Island and I would be surprised if most of the fiordland Islands were not free of bees given the climate. I have also spent considerable time on Little barrier over the years and have never seen any bees there. Wasps used to be quite common but mysteriously seem to have either disappeared or become a lot less common.
  5. I do well over 200 hours community service every year and I am not even a criminal. In cases like this jail might not be appropriate but judges should have the ability to do some creative sentencing and banning the person from keeping beehives would be a good start as would confiscating the vehicle used for committing the crime.
  6. I wouldn't have said that beekeeping was more laid-back in the good old days. You had to run so many hives to make a living that you were always chasing your own but . I certainly saw more starved hives in the good old days when sometimes you just couldn't get around fast enough. Production has gone up steadily in the last 60 years up until the last few years when it has started to decline. This increase is undoubtedly down to better beekeeping and better bees as floral sources have not improved and in many cases have declined.. Feeding sugar syrup is probably necessary but it is debatable whether it is best practice. Adding anything to that syrup for whatever reason is I believe extremely doubtful as some of it will end up in your honey. My averages are certainly way above the national average and except for a few trials I don't feed any magic formulas to my hives and only give pollen substitute to a handful of sites once or twice in the spring and I think I'll stop doing that as well. Varoa has certainly been a game changer but hives had Nosema and sometimes hundreds would die from if you did something wrong and I haven't seen anything like that for a long long time.
  7. Just a general observation that treatments that disturb the hives like thymol seem to cause Increased consumption of winter stores. I don't know if this is the case with death strips but you have to wonder.
  8. I have a recipe for merkin wax somewhere that uses both honey and wax.
  9. I would be surprised if testing didn't run into millions but the major cost is honey that just can't be used. It's not talked about much but there is a lot of honey out there which is too high to blend and is valueless and if it's your prime manuka it doesn't take much to make $1 million.With the current surplus of honey it has become even more of a problem as packers can pick and choose and they are either not buying or very heavily discounting anything with even moderate levels. There is always the risk as well of some well-meaning born-again top bar hive enthusiast killing themselves and their friends which also has a cost albeit hard to quantify. As for using feral hives as an example, it was my way of pointing out that pseudo scorpions have never saved a hive from varroa under any circumstances and from the available evidence never will. I will be delighted if I turn out to be wrong on this one but so far all the science I have seen says it's a no-go.
  10. Okay. I'm going to be a bit harsher here. Feral hives living in rotten old trees still die from varroa. Pseudo-scorpions were a nice idea that was looked at quite closely and found to have no real relevance in varoa control. It's another one of those small cell size, foodgrade mineral oil, nasturtiums planted out the front of the hive, top bar hive, AMM, screen bottom boards et cetera ideas that might have worked but didn't and never will. There is little enough money for research without throwing it away. If you want something useful to spend research money on then how about looking at getting parasites from Australia to deal with the passion vine hopper. It's costing beekeepers millions of dollars each year and the kiwifruit industry over $30 million a year, plus it is implicated in the spreading of cabbage tree die back as well as debilitating other native plants. It may be that there are no suitable parasites and it may be that even if there are they won't work but it has got to be worth a try. Pseudo-scorpions have already had their chance.
  11. I don't know of anything being done at the moment with pseudo-scorpions but there has been a fair bit of past research in New Zealand. I see the odd one when I am working hives. It seems to be one of those ideas that could have worked but didn't .
  12. Properly run and recorded and repeatable trials are science whether they are done by scientists or not.A lot of work has also been done by beekeepers under the supervision of scientists. Collaborative work is often better than pure science , pure science also has its place but so does observational science and it should be possible to get this reviewed by scientists. As I've said before I would be delighted to take part in some double-blind tests and for that matter I would be really interested to look at well-kept records of how effective dogs were especially over several years.
  13. Dave Black is quite right that AFB is the beekeepers own problem. The management agency is there to educate and to deal with those beekeepers that for whatever reason fail to deal with their own AFB problem. Thay actually do have some pretty Draconian powers such as the right to enter properties to inspect hives and the right to order the destruction of hives with no compensation. Compensation has been discussed in the past but especially at times like this when there is a downturn in beekeeping it would be an absolute disaster as people deliberately infecting their hives to gain compensation. High levels of AFB are always the results of PPB .
  14. Winter flows are a mixed blessing. Around here you could get a full box of eucalyptus honey over the winter in a good year but it is hard for the bees to dry the nectar out which can cause damp hives and Nosema problems ,plus you can lose a lot of bees to the cold when a cloud comes between them and the sun.Honey flows over winter also cause the Queen to lay all winter which will prematurely age her to some extent and increase the amount of varoa in a hive. Every hive is different and every winter is different but in general really strong hives can do pretty well and weaker hives tend to just fizzle out.
  15. Good beekeepers have always subsidised bad beekeepers when it comes to AFB. The management agency has actually made some quite significant changes and while these won't stop the subsidisation completely they will put more of the costs onto the people that are creating them and that has got to be a good move. As for dogs surely they are proven for identifying any number of things and a simple double-blind test should be all that is necessary to prove their efficacy.
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