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john berry

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john berry last won the day on July 7

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About john berry

  • Other groups   Gold
  • Rank
    Guard Bee


  • Beekeeping Experience
    Commercial Beekeeper


  • Location
    Hawke's Bay

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  1. And that sadly is what passes for journalism in New Zealand today. If only stuff would look a bit deeper into the story they would find a fascinating little back story.
  2. This was a mistake that should have been quickly and quietly fixed in-house. It has detracted from the good work that has been going on and overall I think both the board and the management team have been doing a really good job with a lot of new initiatives that have and will reduce the incidence of AFB. I would still like the board to be made up of elected members rather than appointed members. The current process leaves many beekeepers feeling disenfranchised.
  3. Pine needles are definitely my fuel of choice. Dry needles are great on days when you just need a little bit of smoke but I like to have one dry bag and one quite damp bag. Once the smoke is going well on dry needles then top up with damp needles and it will go for hours. Do not use Maritime Pine, needles unless you want to work with a headache all day.
  4. Sorry Adam it was not meant to be harsh. It was intended as a wry comment on the difference between beekeeper dreamers and marketing realists. I tend to side with the beekeeper dreamers but I have been round for a while and understand that the price you can get for export honey basically sets the price for local honey. I also know that 10 new brands on the market doesn't mean 10 times as much honey sold. It just means someone gains some sales and someone loses them. The other thing that seems perennial in marketing is that producer packers do everything they can to maintain the price of honey at sustainable levels while some packers(Not all) are more than happy to buy honey as cheaply as possible for short-term gain without a thought for the long-term damage.
  5. I can and do put apiarys into a quarantine system in which I can identify that hives either to an apiary or having come from that apiary. I have never done quarantine on my own honey boxes but I have many times used a gear quarantine when taking over someone else's hives, normally just for the first season. When it comes to finding AFB in newly purchased hives I have found over the years that it is least likely to show up in early spring and very likely to turn up during a dearth period in late spring followed by a splattering when taking off honey in autumn. When purchasing hives I used to be really keen to change everything over to decent standard gear but found it was much better to just run the hives on their own rubbish for the first 12 months.
  6. And they say marketers have no souls.
  7. Symptoms for covid are very similar to common cold symptoms except for covid having a dry cough. I along with half my friends have a wet cough which is not one of the symptoms fortunately. I don't know why everybody is worrying about the foreign seamen, I'm sure they behave themselves impeccably and keep at least 2 m away from the ship girls.
  8. Day 10 of man flu . Had fun coughing all night. Glad I don't have any beekeeping to do at the moment.
  9. I was going to start up the forge yesterday and make some hive tools. This was going to be my last beekeeping job for the winter but a bad dose of man flue has kept me inside for the last four days. I was really crook yesterday so my darling wife gave me some Harker herbal deep lung support. It's stronger tasting than Lanes emulsion although perhaps not quite so unpleasant and once you start breathing again you seem to get a different flavour or scent every time you breathe in or out.If I had to guess I would say it had almost every essential oil you can get plus a bit of horse liniment mixed in with a base of drop bear droppings to give it that eucalyptus plus flavour. It could definitely use a teaspoon or 10 of honey . I wouldn't touch it again with a bargepole except that last night I slept just about right through with hardly a cough and no more choking on excess saliva. I think a bit of honeydew may complement the flavours and that is what I'll try to tonight. It's either that, a teaspoon of cement or trade in my Y chromosome.
  10. Can't make up my mind so I think I will try one from each supplier. So far I have a nice looking veil from ceracell ,It's white with red racing strips . Might be a bit heavy for summer use.
  11. Unless like me you have done a lot of inspection work over the years you just wouldn't believe some of the things I have seen. Totally abandoned apiarys (with and without AFB), years of varoa treatments all still in the hives, Starved hives, robbed out AFB, stolen hives, apiarys spread to the four winds(With and without AFB), hives that fell apart with rot, hives seven or eight boxes high with honey that hadn't been taken off in years, Apple box hives and of course lots of well looked after hives a lot of which had contracted AFB from one of the aforementioned idiots. As inspectors we were really only allowed to deal with the AFB problem and were certainly not allowed to talk about what we saw which I think was fair enough although I used to get pretty disappointed that there was not more follow-up in cases of sheer incompetence or ignorance that you just knew was going to lead to more problems. It was under the old apiarys act not the current legislation but I have participated in the destruction of an entire beekeeping outfit including all hives, boxes and frames and it was certainly a sobering occasion.
  12. I found the quickest way to put in apivar was to grasp that little triangle shaped tag and give it a quick firm tug to the point of almost ripping it off. It then sits quite nicely and although doing this is a pain is not as bad as sticking matches or nails into it.Another way that worked quite well was to rip them all apart and then bend the top over and give it a good whack with a hammer on either side. They hang nicely this way. I have talked to the suppliers about the problems with this product and how some pretty simple changes would make it a lot more user-friendly
  13. I am loathe to make long-term weather predictions but I have been chasing bees around for a long time and when mother nature gives me weather like l have had this autumn\winter I tend to make sure my mud tires are ready for the spring and will have another look on the net for a rain proof bee veil. I don't know why but it has been many many years since we last had a truly awful spring, they used to be pretty common and I remember having three bad ones in a row. Can't say that I miss them..
  14. I was hesitant initially to actually name the product but apitraz is what seems to be causing the problem with my friends hives. I will see if he can find the batch number. It seemed to work fine on my hives and those I checked with an alcohol wash had zero mites. The only reason I went away from Apivar is that ripping the strips apart aggravates a bit of arthritis I have in my hands (so much for bee stings preventing arthritis). It does look on the surface anyway as if there has been a problem with the product rather than resistance which is great for the on going use of the product but pretty tough on the affected beekeepers.
  15. Someone like Dr Mark Goodwin could give a much better picture of how prevalent subclinical AFB was in the past but I do know there were large areas where it was exceedingly prevalent and that was using the old testing methods. The new test is incredibly sensitive. Given that this new tests can detect the merest sniff of a wiff I think we can expect positive results from hives within cooee of your own or someone else's infection. There is ongoing research to quantify just what different spore levels mean in terms of infection potential. This is amazing science and has huge potential to help with the AFB fight.
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