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john berry

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Everything posted by john berry

  1. My father is a real fan of taking everything off and scraping the floor every spring. Personally I find it hard on the back and when the hive is strong later in the spring it will clean it off itself. I swap any rotten boxes or those that need repainting, I sort through any combs that the bees are not currently using and swap out any old black or damaged combs. I check one frame of brood with minimal disturbance to the brood nest and feed frames of honey if necessary. I generally don't scrape anything on the first round as any queens killed or damaged at this time will not be replaced. I
  2. I was mostly thinking of having a scale of infection for people reporting their AFB finds. I think this would be really useful to the management agency. They could of course use different colours for different threat levels. 2 km is a pretty short distance and I have seen many AFB outbreaks where many of the infected hives would be more than 2 km away from the original source. Forget about hobbyist\commercial who was worst at spreading AFB. AFB outbreaks are caused by individuals from all sectors of the beekeeping community and I'm not talking about those that get AFB I am talki
  3. I have always thought that when AFB is reported there should be several categories i.e. light infection (five or less infected cells per brood frame) moderate infection (most of the brood is still healthy) heavy infection (most of the brood is infected and hive is losing strength) followed by dead and not robbed and dead and robbed out. One light infection in your zone is certainly a lot less of a worry than 50% heavy infection in an apiary of 40 hives.
  4. I have just finished my spring round and a quick tally up shows a 2.5% winter hive loss for hives with one-year-old queens and 5% loss for those that were autumn re-queened.Three starved (robbed out in autumn) and the rest (16)were split evenly between queenless and drone layer . Most of the queenless and drone layer hives were still alive but as they would not survive I class them as dead (Schrödingers beehive). Given the terrible dry late summer\autumn we had I'm pretty happy with this result but that I do expect to find a fair few failing queens on the next round which is just
  5. Sorry Grant. The attempt was made by my beautiful wife. She is younger than me but obviously not young enough.
  6. Sorry Grant but telling me to wave a magic wand would make more sense to me . I will try and get one of the kids to do it. Don't get me wrong I love this modern technology but why they can't make it simple is beyond me.
  7. Well I have my answer from the broadcasting standards authority and as expected none of my complaints were upheld. I am happy to post it here if someone can explain how to post an email. Not really sure that anyone will want to read it as it's a pretty long winded piece of legalistic butt covering. Suffice to say they think they put together a wonderful balanced and fair news item. Like Chris I'm not sure I will take this any further although I am tempted to send it to the ombudsman for their opinion. My email is on the back of the New Zealand beekeeper magazine if anybody
  8. I have just finished putting the last of my treatments in except for two hives I have at home for experimental purposes. I did an alcohol wash on them today and one had 21 mites while the other which showed quite a lot of resistance last year had five. Neither hive showed any obvious mite damage but the one with 21 was definitely behind the five. I will leave both these hives for 3 to 4 weeks to see how they progress and then if necessary treat with formic acid Mite away pads which is not something I have used before. I am not all that keen to use formic but I have a friend in Canada who
  9. If Apinz had been more upfront about problems like overstocking when it first started happening many years ago we might not be in quite such a bad situation as we are now and the same goes for things like manuka adulteration. It's a shame the innocent have to suffer along with the guilty. Being honest and upfront might also have saved a lot of banks and investors quite a few million dollars. I like most of the people of Apinz but their continued rarara life is wonderful, save the bees, plenty of room at the inn has been unhelpful. MPI have if anything been worse. I think
  10. If someone has a better beekeeper than me then fair enough. If they are a better marketer than me that's also fair enough. What annoys me is when the only thing they are good at is borrowing and spending other people's money. It's not a level playing field when people start throwing millions of dollars around. When all the money has gone because of lousy crops caused by gross overstocking and multimillion dollar payouts to themselves they use their borrowing skills to borrow some more. Perhaps I should just change with the times and crowd fund a few million dollars to save
  11. I have just finished my first spring round and fortunately there were no surprises. Hives have come through but weaker than normal which is not surprising given the hard late summer\autumn caused by drought. Every year since varoa the hives seem on average to be just a little bit weaker every year. If this trend continues we will eventually get to the point where we get some pretty massive losses. On the plus side thanks to vespex I did not lose a single hive to wasps this year and there were a fair few around before the poison went out. I really encourage everyone to participat
  12. To be fair comvita was haemorrhaging money when beekeeping was doing really well so it's not really a good test case.
  13. It's still only mildly damp here which is great for getting around but I would like to see a bit more rain. It's probably saving itself up for when the willows get going properly. Saturday was one of the most glorious early spring days you can imagine with temperatures in the early 20s and not a breath of wind.
  14. Apparently it took a month to make that news article so goodness knows how long it will take for them to make a balanced and informed reply. I wonder if the news item about honey being the best thing for coughs was their way of an early apology.
  15. I just checked up and my complaint was sent in on 29 July. They stated that they would reply within 20 working days so they still have a few days up their sleeve.
  16. I received an acknowledgement very quickly but have heard nothing since.
  17. I brought some Matagouri seedlings home with me last winter . Turned out they were porcupine shrub which is a small leafed relative of Mahoe. They are growing nicely but I still don't have any Matagouri . You might get better germination if you feed the fruit to birds(I assume it has fruit). A lot of people know the bigger more showy trees but New Zealand also has a huge range of small leaved shrubs which are absolutely fascinating. Matagouri is not only good for bees but it also doesn't succumb to the first sheep that gets through the fence.
  18. I find broom to be a bit of a two sided sword. It is an unbelievably productive source of high quality pollen and does yield honey if it is wet enough but it also causes a lot of late season swarming just before the main honey flow.
  19. I do all my splitting at the same time as I re-queen in autumn. This gives me spare hives to patch up losses and dud Queens in the spring . It also gives me the whole spring to patch up any mistakes and get ready for the honey flow rather than splitting in spring when the weather tends to be less reliable and if things go wrong you don't have enough time to save the honey season. I can and have done plenty of spring dividing in the past but on average I think autumn is better.
  20. I don't suppose insulation and bottom ventilation does any great harm but I'm not sure it does any great good either. I have plywood inner covers now but for donkeys years we had tin inner covers and before that we had the telescopic lid sitting straight on top. I believe in doing everything necessary but no more than that. It saves time and money. If hives get a bit damp around the edges they will soon clean it up as they get stronger in the spring.
  21. By now there must've been an of beekeepers in the world infected to give some sort of idea of whether they react the same as normal or not. The whole thing is probably a waste of time but it might just have something in it. I have also heard that consuming large quantities of honey on a daily basis has a protective effect.
  22. I can certainly recall plenty of hive losses before varoa but there was always a reason such as wasps or terrible mating as a result of a very bad drought (we had moved a lot of hives away from the Bay to over near Taupo where they sat in the rain and did nothing ( They were re-queened there in autumn and from memory were over 90% drone layers). Since varoa there have been a lot more losses to Queen failure both over winter and the rest of the year. These losses have been manageable and are just a nuisance but I have also noticed that on average my hives seem to be getting just a little
  23. Pain is in the hand of the bee holder.
  24. I have never treated over winter. I do get the odd yard with a bit of varoa damage in the spring but the vast majority come through fine.
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