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john berry

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Everything posted by john berry

  1. AMM vicious, unproductive, swarm and very susceptible to chalk brood. They are survivors and there are a few left in the back blocks of New Zealand. Not because they are resistant to varroa but because they haven't contacted it yet . Their genes are incorporated in all New Zealand strains of bees (not Carneolan). Having spent most of my life trying to eradicate these bees from our hives we finally succeeded with the help of varroa. Unfortunately we now have to contend with hybrids from Carneolans . There is no comparison between our modern Italians and some of the strains from 40 years ago .
  2. hi Peter I didn't realise your problem was quite so bad. Normally around here if you move the hives away during the winter the wasps will die out. In my experience it is quite unusual for wasps to be bad at this time of year and I suspect you have a mega nest somewhere. Farmlands used to sell large fly traps which should be quite effective baited with fish waste. The off label use of fipronol (small drop in a tin of sardine catfood) is said to be effective but at the very least it should be put in a container that only wasps can enter. Early morning or evening is definitely the best time to
  3. two weeks ago I was asked by MAF to collect a swarm from near the port in Napier.after taking samples I destroyed the swarm as requested. Africanised bees are impossible to visually tell from ordinary bees and apparently are not overly aggressive when swarming. I haven't heard anything back so I assume it was a false alarm. The problem with African bees is that they are so genetically dominant. Most things disappear into the gene pool but these bees become the gene pool. To answer your question.is something being done. Yes. Is enough being done to prevent this from happening. No. Remember
  4. while NBA has many members that do not like top bar hives it does not have overall control of the National American foulbrood pest management strategy . this is run by people from several different sectors of the beekeeping industry and is independent from although administered by the National beekeepers Association. Alternative hives can be fun and interesting but I would suggest using a long hive rather than a top bar hive as it meets all legal requirements. bees are remarkably adaptable but they do prefer to work in a vertical rather than a horizontal hive. Top bar hives are also touted a
  5. For the first time I can remember I don't think we lost a single hive to wasps this year.we did hunt down and kill several wasp nests using insecticide powder but our biggest break came from Autumn floods which drowned all the local wasps in the riverbeds. some bees are definitely more resistant to wasps then others with the old black bees and their hybrids being the best but of course are not much use for anything else . in my experience aggression and wasp tolerance are not necessarily related and some beautifully quiet Italian strains stand up very well to moderate wasp pressure.I do not s
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