Jump to content

john berry

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by john berry

  1. It's a bit before my time but that is my father Ian inside the mobile extracting plant with my grandfather Percy holding onto a 40 lb tin . The extractor is an eight frame reversible tangential which was pretty much standard gear for a long time after this photo was taken. 40 lb and 20 lb Tins were still used when I started beekeeping for storing extracted honey. I am sure that an in-depth study would show that there is more actual harm done from the stress of meeting modern standards than ever came from eating honey from a time when there were none.
  2. I wonder if the taste varies between different subspecies. Our local one has a distinctive chemical taste similar to brake fluid and people that try it are normally still trying to spit the taste out of their mouths half an hour later. I would rate it as worse than ragwort .
  3. I'm not an expert on this but my understanding is that the testing is both very sensitive and capable of detecting differing levels of infection. There is currently a lot of work being done on what different levels mean. The selection of the honey to be sampled will also not be random but will be particularly targeting beekeepers with no recorded AFB when their neighbours do have a problem. As I have said before they can't inspect every hive of every beekeeper and even the inspection now wastes a lot of time looking at perfectly healthy hives before you hit the jackpot.No spores, no need for i
  4. My preference would be to burn or give a full AFB paraffin treatment to the pallet and also to dig over the ground in front of the hive. Infected ground isn't supposed to be a huge risk but it is a slight risk and is something that can be easily dealt with.
  5. I am not keen on any levy increases especially at the moment but I am also not keen on my hives picking up any more AFB from neighbouring hives. The testing of 1000 honey samples will be expensive but also hopefully find some of those hidden, unreported AFB hotspots. There are some very large beekeeping\having operations out there that consistently report little or no AFB despite lots of evidence to the contrary. Large-scale Honey testing will identify whether they are being honest or not. It has always been difficult to identify who has a problem until the problem is so big it can't be h
  6. If anyone gets any kowhai honey this year they should try a finger full. It's a unique taste that you won't forget in a hurry.
  7. I would name and shame if I was 100% certain but I'm only about 95% . Over the years I have had AFB hives where I was 100% certain of the source but I have always tried to work with people and educate them as this is more productive in the long run but with corporate bee havers you might as well hit your head on a brick wall . Most beekeepers are capable of learning from their mistakes. Beehive owners , not so much.
  8. A month ago I treated a hive with formic acid pro. Before treating it I did an alcohol wash and got 21 varoa. I did an alcohol wash on the same hive today and got one varoa so it did work although I would have to say it was pretty harsh on the hive with several handfuls of dead bees over the first few days and the grass is still scorched out the front of the hive. The hive is only about the same strength it was a month ago and although it still has the original Queen she is not laying startlingly well and there are a lot of dummy cells. The hive next door had five varoa a month ago
  9. Arataki did produce a thistle probably around that time . Despite being a beautiful honey it didn't sell well probably because of the name Thistle. You have to remember this was back in the days when New Zealanders ate clover honey, mild cheddar used fat for frying and anybody that ate anything different was either foreign, Communist or both. Mind you I still think food fried in fat tasted better.
  10. Inside are the nice ,quiet and productive Italian bees from Arataki. Outside are robbers and wastrels (probably AMM/carniolan hybrids). I have to say that eight shillings per queen seems a bit steep. You would have had to have sold close to 200 lb of manuka to pay for that (3p per lb - 1 p per lb seals levie).
  11. I am 100% sure that winged Thistle produces a purple pollen. I'm pretty sure nodding Thistle is purple as well and Scotch Thistle has a cream-coloured pollen but maybe I have mixed the last two up. We used to get major crops of nodding Thistle honey every four or five years but the introduced parasites have pretty much destroyed it as far as honey production goes. Nodding Thistle was a beautiful honey, in my opinion even better than clover or pumpkin which are both some of the nicest white honeys around..
  12. When that ad was made I wasn't even a twinkle in my father's eye . I don't remember granddad ever smoking and my father Ian certainly didn't. I certainly remember the descending fug of tobacco smoke at the beekeepers meetings (or any other meeting for that matter) in the good old days. One of my first jobs as a lad was raising queens but they were for Canada rather than the local market. I haven't seen that ad before. Nick is there any chance you could send me an email copy. Thanks.
  13. Winged and nodding Thistles have purple pollen. I once saw a white nodding Thistle , from a distance it looked pretty good but close up it resembled a small cup of maggots . The other day my bees at home were working a silver birch, quite freely for pollen. This is a wind pollinated plant.
  14. I could name the beehaver corporate that I believe is responsible but without proof it would be slanderous although still true.
  15. I believe that there are pheromone traps available for cotton moth.
  16. I was having a good day today until the 2nd yard when I found an infected cell in the fourth hive. I could only see one cell and it was a very light milk chocolate colour. After sterilising everything I went back through the first three hives and gave them a thorough going over but they were clean. Careful checking of the 24 hives yielded another three cases of disease with all of them being very light infections. I know that it is possible that I caused this infection but given my AFB history it's pretty unlikely and I would be 99% certain that somebody within flying range has allowed
  17. If you put a ripe cell in at the same time as you make the nuke up they are less likely to start raising queens of their own and I believe less likely to swarm. Every area and every hive is different so you can only generalise when it comes to swarming.
  18. I was once to a little bit of re-queening at home and had a couple of cells left over which I forgot about and left on a hive lid. The next morning they were hatching out quite happily. I think it pays to be as careful as you can be with temperature but there is no doubt you will damage ripe cells a lot quicker with heat then you will with a little bit of cold.
  19. I know how you feel. The strong winds up here are really knocking my broomstick around.
  20. It might be safer to put the cells in after you have move the nukes but on the other hand if you open them up after shifting to insert the cells then you will probably have quite a few bees flying away. The wing buds on the young Queens are quite delicate and if you damage them by rough handling then they cannot mate so whatever you do be very gentle. On balance I think I would put the cells in after shifting the hives but either method should work as long as you are really gentle.
  21. The bees are no longer lost. They have all mysteriously turned up right next to my apiarys. Would those that have lost them please come and take them away.
  22. Personally I think there is a benefit from having a mix of ages in your brood when making up a nuc.I find that nucleus hives made up with at least some young brood hold onto their bees better. It pays not to put your nucleus hives too close to strong Queen right hives as a lot of bees can drift into them. As for cells I put them straight in and the same for cage Queens. There was an old theory that leaving them queenless for 24 hours or so made them more accepting of cells\queens et cetera but that is not the case and a truly queenless hive is generally harder to re-queen than one that h
  23. As far as I can see most of the flowers in Hawke's Bay are coming out at about their normal time. Hives are probably a week or two behind largely because they are still suffering from the effects of last autumn's drought. Any drought is damaging to farmers but there is a difference between a Taranaki drought where they get worried if it doesn't rain for two weeks and bees generally do really well when it's a bit dry and a Hawke's Bay drought where everything is dead and stays that way for months.
  24. I would not be happy about a per kilogram fee as my average is a lot higher than the pathetic New Zealand average. This also means there are a lot of beekeepers out there who produce next to nothing and they are often the ones that cause the problem.
  25. James. You have two audits a year because that is the way some bureaucrat has interpreted the law. It's like harvest declarations and being a registered beekeeper. Parliament makes the laws and bureaucrats interpret them and then reinterpret them. I doubt most of them even know the contempt the average beekeeper has for their petty expensive little rules. It's not even as if they do any good. All those bits of paper and all that traceability and they still couldn't work out who was stretching manuka. My uncle and my grandfather used to take them on every now and again and they
  • Create New...