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john berry

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Everything posted by john berry

  1. So what does that make the corporate beekeepers.?
  2. Beekeepers are notorious hoarders with the only difference between them being some are tidier than others. I try and go through everything at least once a year and if it's passed its use by date or broken beyond repair then I get rid of it. This of course does not apply to tools, timber or something that might come in handy.
  3. A hive has to be pretty weak and demoralised before wax moth take over. The odd wax moth don't do much harm and a lot of hives have one or two here and there but if you are seeing multiple moths with extensive webbing then you have a serious problem with the hive as well is with the moths. Strong hives will utilise crystallised honey when they get hungry. It is generally not good practice to feed honey and water back to hives. I would suggest if you have spare honey to freeze the boxes for a week and then seal them up to prevent reinvasion from wax moth although at this time of year with it be
  4. I have a friend who has a lot of ornamental manuka and most of them are sick or dead because of the blight. I believe it is caused by a scale insect that was deliberately introduced from Australia many moons ago to help control the spread of manuka. He is looking for a spray to control this problem, preferably non-toxic. Any ideas on whether a summer or winter oil would work. My father remembers the introduction of this pest and he said that the time it was fantastic because the bees worked clover rather than the normal manuka and they could sell the clover.
  5. Macrocarpa makes good and durable if slightly brittle boxes. You could make frames from it but they would tend to split when you are stapling or nailing them .Making simplicity frames is about all that modern pine is good for but it is good for this job. I would love to have portable mill to play with.
  6. Removal of someone's deca means they will have to get someone else to inspect their hives at least once a year at their own cost. From what I have seen it is not done lightly and I think it is a useful tool for getting people back on track.
  7. Inspecting for AFB once a year no matter how thorough that inspection is will not solve anybody's AFB problems. It may help identify that someone has a problem but that is all. Inspect your brood every time you work them and you will find and eliminate AFB.
  8. Resistance is definitely starting to occur and needs to be watched for. Reinvasion also occurs but these should be killed very quickly after entering the hive if the strips are working properly. I was on the way home from taking out the last of my strips today when I got a phone call from a friend who hasn't even treated his hives yet. Even with treatment immediately it's a fair bit that they will be dead by spring. There are so many variables when it comes to varoa and treatment but one thing I am certain of and that is that it takes a lot less varoa to damage a hive than it did 10 years ago.
  9. Nobody knows why but wasps have disappeared from some offshore islands notably Little barrier. They were certainly common enough there 20 years ago but since the eradication of the Pacific rat they seem to have disappeared or at least become a lot less common. Personally I suspect it's something like the kakako eating the Queen wasps in the spring.On the other hand it might be something as simple as old rat holes being preferred nest sites. I would love to do a study on this problem.e Posts below split to new topic
  10. I have been shot down in flames before for talking about robbing out wets. Funnily enough I can't think of a single hive with AFB that I could atribute to this practice despite nearly 50 years of experience with it. This is a much less worser than practise with fewer side effects.
  11. I have found the AFB PMS to be lacking in teeth and it does have some serious shortcomings which it wouldn't have had if beekeepers had been able to get the legislation they wanted but I wholeheartedly agree with Nick that to not have it would have been a complete disaster. I think the NBA did an amazing job getting what they did given the obstacles placed in their path. Robbing wet boxes from clean hives poses no risk to anyone but if people don't like the idea then they should keep away from my hives like they should have in the first place. AFB comes from robbing out dead outs that ign
  12. Pulled strips from an apiary today that had more wasps than bees three weeks ago and over half the new Queen's weren't laying at all. Vespex has taken care of the wasps and a feed of sugar last time has all the Queen's laying nicely except for a couple that were actually queenless last time.
  13. I have used water both with and without artificial smoke added and I have found is easier just to go without most of the time. Misting is however quite useful when doing things like making up mini nukes or when you need a frame of very quiet bees to show people and they need to stay that way for a while. Smoke loses its effect after a while but misting has more effect the more you use it. There is a big difference however between misting one or two frames and trying to control a strong hive.
  14. I'm lazy and poked. I'm too lazy to work tomorrow so I did everything I needed today. Wintered down 143 hives, removing strips , Feeding when necessary and doing wasp control including one of my farmers turning up and asking me to destroy two nests he had found (and I found two more for him). It's just as well I will have all day tomorrow to recover. Being lazy takes it out of you.
  15. I am starting to feel like a failure as I seem to be the only one on the forum with zero ability to weld anything. Normally if I want something I just build it out of wood but if I absolutely need something made from metal I either pay for it or if it's a small job I have a tame engineer who loves a taste of my manuka comb honey. My uncle Russell Berry tried to teach me welding in my youth but welding and backing trailers seems to have been left of my DNA strands.
  16. I prefer to poison wasps whenever possible but I also use top feeders as wasp traps quite successfully. When you have finished feeding the hives just leave the safety cover off and for some reason the wasp tend to go up through the hive and into the feeder where they don't seem to have the brains to get out again.I took a photo today where the feeder was about a third full which is thousands of wasps. I would post a photo except as you all know I am technically deficient.
  17. Apiculture New Zealand, New Zealand beekeeping Inc and southern North Island should all be commended for working together on this problem. Some years the last month wouldn't have mattered much to me but we have had a particularly bad autumn and I would have lost a lot of hives to starvation if I hadn't been able to feed them and I shut down my hives a lot earlier than most as well is leaving them a lot of honey. I agree with Alistair to a certain extent about beekeepers not getting on,however in the past this would not have stopped most of us from hopping over a fence and putting lids ba
  18. Interesting. I suspect the main ingredient in this new product is bovine excretion. I do know from experience that bees do extremely poorly in a glasshouse environment. I cannot see how you could grow enough flowers within the glasshouse to economically produce honey . Perhaps they are feeding them sugar syrup which would be why they are getting consistent results. At the last farmers market that I did before lockdown I had one lady quiz me extensively about whether my comb honey was raw honey. She took quite a lot of persuading that yes, comb honey is raw honey. I'm still not sure whet
  19. My guess is all those bees around the transformer were caused by hives robbing other hives. Bees work by scent but also sight and when they are robbing badly anything even vaguely shaped like a beehive including a house will attract bees from kilometres around.
  20. Most of my sites have stock but if I get really annoyed by long grass in the entrance I will very occasionally get out the grubber and clear it that way. I am not convinced that grass in the entrance does any great harm and have had plenty of hives do really well with grass two feet high all round them. You do seem to get more ants with long grass. My preference is for short grass mainly because of the fire risk but I don't lose any sleep over long grass, I think it helps to keep the wasps and the robbers away as well. Having said all that Hawke's Bay always tends to be a bit on the dry side s
  21. Wiring frames all day and probably all week. Normally do this in winter but it's a good job to get over and done with.
  22. I guess I do know a fair bit about beekeeping , what scares me is that every year it seems to be getting just that little bit harder to get things right and if I'm having trouble what is happening to those that don't have my experience. The proliferation of beehives has not only reduced production per hive and increased costs, it is also increased the likelihood that resistant varoa will occur and also made it a lot harder to breed for resistance. My initial plan for varoa was to select hard for resistance and then open mate in an area where I had about 1000 hives and there were no other
  23. Did an alcohol wash on a few hives today just to make sure the strips are still working on my hives. They have been in for about six weeks . Mite count zero .
  24. I have just had a report of high hive losses caused by varoa .Despite the fact that these hives have had treatments in for 5 to 6 weeks They are now crawling with varoa and many have died.I know the beekeeper personally and hives were treated on time with the correct amount of strips. Is anyone else out there having this problem.
  25. Two interesting things working bees in the last couple of days. The first is that today there were a lot of hives that weren't laying. They were re-queened with two day cells over five weeks ago. A few were obviously queenless as I would have expected but a lot looked fine except for no brood. I have seen this before when you get no autumn stimulation because of drought (or cold) and I have found the easiest thing to do is just too assume all the good-looking hives have queens and give them a feed sugar (they were all a bit hungry anyway) and next time it will be obvious who does or doesn't ha
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