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john berry

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Everything posted by john berry

  1. Try as I may I cannot understand why with no change in the law it has become a illegal to post honey overseas. I had several very disappointed customers today at the farmers market. I don't know a lot about what has happened but as far as I can see it is because of a ruling from MPI. It is way past time beekeepers stop being pushed around by bureaucrats with no idea of reality and the damage they cause and this is by no means the only situation where gross stupidity from people that are supposed to be helping the beekeeping industry have caused immeasurable harm. You can take ho
  2. I have seen the sort of scenario a few times over the years and even 10 years ago everyone would have pitched in and helped even if they didn't like the beekeeper involved. Times have changed and most of the new beekeepers round here treat the existing beekeepers with total disdain and it's hard not to reciprocate. There are still a few people I would get out of bed to help but there are probably more that I would fall out of bed laughing which is a pretty sad state of affairs.
  3. Lemon honey never used to have any honey in it at all. Honey should be just honey. I also have no problem with people adding different products to honey but it absolutely should be labelled as such i.e. honey and raspberry or honey and vanilla. Creamed honey is generally the name given these days to crystallised honey . In the past it was only called creamed if it had been crystallised in a tank and then stirred and pumped to make it into a softer product. Raspberry honey is honey from the flowers of raspberries.
  4. There is a lot of rubbish talked about entrances from people who have ideas that sound good but don't work out in practice. Hives don't need nearly as big an entrance as most people think and while they will use a top entrance so will robbers. Years ago we used to run a few big two queen hives and they could be 8 full depth boxes high and yet they still all went in the entrance at the bottom. Most of the time you will get away with a top entrance but I don't believe it is of any benefit.
  5. I have eaten it in Norway from wild raspberries and it was a nice honey. I wouldn't think there would be enough raspberries anywhere in New Zealand to give you a crop.
  6. They might care if you were able to take a civil action for damages and if I find out whose hives they were I very well may do.
  7. I once had an anaphylactic reaction to a drug being administered in hospital. It was the scariest thing I've ever been through. Fortunately the doctor realised something was wrong and stop the intravenous drug and I came right pretty quickly but I would not like to do that again.
  8. Back to the same apiary today and another hive with one cell infected. Every time I find an AFB it's pretty much a whole day wasted by the time I pick it up and burn it. This one also has close to a box of honey so I will need a deeper bigger hole this time. This is hive number seven. One idiots carelessness and the cost to other beekeepers is pretty staggering. I have been inspecting two frames in each brood box every time I visit. You could ask why I don't do a full brood inspection and I would reply that it's partly a matter of time and also to keep robbing down which i
  9. My dream honey house would be in another country where they didn't have so many stupid rules. Other than that I would have 2 eight frame tangential Extractors like we used to have years ago and hand planes but they would be electrically heated rather than the steam ones we used to have. I would probably settle for a spinner for removing the wax but I would have a good look around to see what's available. The old extractors were a lot gentler on the frames and were almost indestructible and you had very little downtime. Hand planes are a lot kinder on the frames and also have a lot l
  10. I had a copy of this book but lent it to someone. From memory it covered most things but was a bit precious about things like sterile conditions and damp tea towels to protect freshly grafted cells. My father always grafted with the sun over his right shoulder while sitting on an upturned bee box, out in the paddock. You don't need all the bells and whistles.
  11. Protector safety I think , but you normally need to order them and the last lot I got were a bit small. There is no way I would wear rubber gloves without inner gloves as going down that road leads to nasty nail infections.
  12. I use PVC gloves with white cotton inner gloves to soak up the sweat. You just need to get the softer type as some of the gloves are very inflexible. They do get hot but you don't get stung through them and they don't absorb honey, stings, varroa treatments et cetera.They also get washed every day unlike a lot of beekeepers leather gloves that I see that to be honest are pretty manky.
  13. Bees can and do make a real mess and over the years I think I heard more complaints about bee droppings than I have about stings. The more hives you have in one spot the more spots they leave. Some people get really uptight and then you have situations like car sales yards which I think rightly hate having bees nearby. Having said all that most people manage to keep a hive or two in town without causing any grief.
  14. Any prudent beekeeper expects to make a loss some years, usually because of adverse weather conditions but poor honey prices have occurred before as well, in fact for a long time they were the norm. I have had the luxury of some good years and can survive a bad year but if I was to lose a thousand dollars a hive it would be the end of me in one go .Oha is not the only company haemorrhaging millions and I just cannot understand how banks and shareholders can keep propping them up when they have no hope of ever making a sustained profit. In the meantime they are wrecking it for the rest of us.
  15. I like to have the beekeeper there when I am checking someone else's hives because I like to educate at the same time as I am doing a disease check. Having said that it is always a lot faster when the beekeeper is not there.
  16. I have seen a whole pallet of hives cut in half by a hedge trimmer. I can get nostalgic about all my years doing pollination but the reality is I don't miss it.
  17. Larvae is one of the words that the Dragon NaturallySpeaking does not seem to recognise and one of the words I find most difficult to spell so I generally use baby bee or grub. Antidisestablishmentarianism is easy with voice recognition software so why isn't la vie.
  18. I was always told to make candy with piping sugar rather than icing sugar as icing sugar contains starch which is not supposed to be good for the bees. Is this just an old wives tale?
  19. The ad reminds me of the time we had a beekeepers protest rally in Wellington. Frank Lindsey gave us all maps so us country cousins wouldn't get lost but unfortunately the map sent us the wrong way up a one-way street. There were rumours for years afterwards about bee trucks driven by a long-haired,, bearded and wild eyed beekeepers wandering lost in the streets of Wellington,
  20. My guess is that the Instruction came from a book that is at least 100 years out of date. Leaving a hive queenless so that they are desperate for a new Queen sound like a good idea but it is not and never has been.
  21. There was a swarm on a fence post beside one of the local corporate apiarys today. I wouldn't take a swarm next to someone else's apiary anyway but I definitely wouldn't take one from next to these hives. So far I have had very little swarming and have gone through around 200 hives this week without finding a single one raising cells. That can change with the weather so I will keep looking closely for a while yet.
  22. I see that China has banned one New Zealand exporter of manuka honey because of AFB detected in the honey. I will say this for Chinese honey. You would be very unlikely to find any spores in it.
  23. Found another AFB in the same apiary today. Once again just one or two cells infected. It was the last hive I checked and I was just thinking I was going to get away with it this time. I hope person responsible for this outbreak reads this. I am happy to take their apology and would be even happier if they paid some compensation for my lost hives and time.
  24. In some areas manuka was called kanuka and in others kanuka was called manuka and then there was those areas that called manuka kahikatoa . I have no problem with area differentiation of manuka honey as the different areas tend to have different subspecies with often quite different flavour characteristics but it would definitely be confusing.
  25. I understand what is meant by manuka and kanuka but they were words that were used differently by different tribes and in some cases were used for the complete opposite plant. Kahikatoa Is another name for manuka . Tea tree was a common name when I was growing up and the two species were differentiated with the name white and red.. It's only now that there is money involved that anybody gives a toss and personally I don't care what the Australians call it . If people want to be really pedantic it should be labelled under the name that was used in the local area but that would be rea
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