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Harlan Cox

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Everything posted by Harlan Cox

  1. Rear diff lock as standard too on the Mahindra. Beauty
  2. Nice one @kaihoka I like these types of agreements. My plan for the coming spring: head down bum up I've dropped hive numbers back a bit and streamlined the business over the past year. About to start feeding honey back to hives, I've changed my strategy away from feeding syrup and set aside a few hundred boxes of honey for my hives. I've also left a box of honey on them this past autumn. Other than that just business as usual for me, with one eye watching my costs.
  3. @Maru Hoani no not Arataki, we should have an end of season beer and compare notes
  4. I recently sent off about 1000 mats and the return definitely didn't cover the time and hassle of putting them out, pulling them in and palletising etc. The time before I recieved about $5 per mat but this lot closer to $1.50 so I've pulled the pin.
  5. I'd put money on these bad bees being waspies
  6. Hi there, sorry to say it but your hive sounds doomed. Where did you get the bees from? You didnt just put in a caged queen with attendant bees into your hive ware by chance? Autumn is the wrong time to be starting out unless you have a well established colony complete with everything that bees need to survive the winter. My advice is get someone who knows what they're doing to take a look at what you've got, then make a plan to have a proper crack next Season. Look at joining your local bee club, there are a whole lot of ways to kill a honeybee colony. Sort out what's going on with your bees before looking at replacing the floorboard. Also check that the entrance is open, if it's an older type hive dr base the the broodbox slides back to shut the entrance, which could explain why bees are getting stuck in the vents. Could be robbers. Could be lots if things.
  7. Thanks for that. Yes the speed controllers run fine off my power source - the variable speed drives on the extractors work perfectly- so no worries there. For bigger chunks of comb I've been saving up then filling cappings bags that then fit into an extractor, and spinning the honey out. It's actually working really well. I have a Boutelje semi automatic pricker and two older Lyson 8 frame extractors that I've had fully reconditioned, they actually work really well too while being fairly lightly built. The honey drains from the extractors to a single sump from which I pump it up into the rotary sieve which is located on the top of a vat. The rotary sieve is set up on a timer and rotates 270 degrees every three minutes - it rocks back and forth. With just me in the plant I'm only doing about 60 boxes a day at the moment, which is about right for the rotary sieve as it has a fair bit of wax in it by this stage. I leave that switched on over night and by morning I have a good collection of sticky cappings that has the majority of honey drained out. I have a pretty good mid sized compressor for running the pricker, everything runs off the solar no trouble the only issue is heating. I'll be putting in a solar hot water set up this winter with radiator type heaters in the clean room to keep everything warm. Sounds like the self cleaning filter might be the go for me for further cleaning of honey that's been through the sieve? I guess I could set up the sieve so I'm pumping through it when I am drumming off .
  8. Great information here, thanks team. Anecdotally with my own test results I found maybe half of my manuka from the 2017/18 season failed the five attributes test, with the fresh honey testing in at a 10+ and DHA over 2000. Good manuka from good manuka sites in Northland. 2map levels were under 5 and 3pla well over 400 so non manuka. Interestingly this past seasons manuka with similar MG and DHA has flown through with 2map up to 10. It seems to me like we're taking part in a big science experiment with this level of variation over just two seasons. To MPIs credit we had someone come and take a bunch our and other Northland beekeepers manuka and kanuka samples this year for furthering their research. I'm left wondering how our manuka will test next season..? In the meantime I'll just keep on doing my thang, tending to my bees and spinning some honey. Lifes good and bring on winter, can't wait to do something that doesn't involve bees for a bit I've just about had my fill for the season
  9. Great info thanks, I've just set up a small basic honey plant of my own and am putting this years kanuka crop through it at the moment. Currently just pricking frames and using a boutlje rotary sieve for removing wax, problem being this gravity sieves honey to just 1000 microns. So I've been investigating whether to add a spin float, and filter centrifuge or a self cleaning filter like you've just described to further filter the honey. I have a flexible impeller type pump so low pressure. Also the whole plant is run off a solar power set up so the lower the energy consumption the better. The plant is run through a 6kw inverter off the solar and I have a 7kva generator for back up if need be. What do you reckon @tristan what filter set up would you go for? Or anyone else for that matter? Thanks
  10. I haven't had any issues with willow dew this year, very little of it coming into hives in the Far North. Last year there was definitely more, and the year before was a real nightmare.
  11. I can't comment on prices but I will be leaving all my Bush honey on hives this year for feed, so I'm doing my part to reduce supply
  12. Here's a question I've been pondering, do the other industries that currently have a commodity levy in place pay their levy when the commodity is produced or when the commodity has been sold?
  13. No rain in the Far North since Christmas, none forecast either. Getting dry!
  14. Thanks for the ideas. I'd like to track my route in and out much like the chart plotter does, so I can follow my tracks at night. Don't think Google Earth will do this? I'll investigate the suggested apps and see if I can't get something working on my phone. Needs to work off line too as a lot of my orchards are out of mobile coverage
  15. Hi all, So I was out dropping hives throughout orchards last night with plenty of time to think and scheme. Finding these hives again when it's time to work them and especially pick them up in the dark of night can be a bit tricky. My boat has a chart plotter that lets me find reefs and pinnacles in the middle of the ocean, do any beekeepers here use a similar set up to mark as waypoints the hives they drop into pollination? Ideally I'm after a recommendation of an app or gps unit if anyone does this? Thanks in advance
  16. I have 100s leaking like that. Slowly moving back to wooden bases. Big pain
  17. That's it you have described the driving situation spot on. Definitely need to balance the throttle so I roll around corners. Can be difficult up hill or with a load on. Lots of clicking and some clunking around tight corners on the seal. But all in all I would fit the same again, definitely not for those who live in the city. Have to be mindful in the wet. Great traction in gravel and mud, the traction control system has much less work as it doesn't spin the inside wheel all the time coming out of corners
  18. There you go, my understanding was they are much the same. I bought mine through locker.com.au they refer to them as the Ozzie locker. Like you say it's awesome in mud and gravel. Fine on the highway but a pain around town. Lucky we live in the bush so I really like it. Traction has increased dramatically. Basically these diffs are locked until you drive around a corner and the outside wheel spins faster than the inside and the diff unlocks. That's the short story. Doesn't always unlock but by and large I'm really happy with it. I am a semi reformed boy racer however
  19. Oh before I got carried away detailing the dmax breakages I meant to say we spent a month last winter in North India near the foothills of the himalayas. The Mahindra Bolero was everywhere and I left with a huge RESPECT for them. Now we think we overload our bee trucks from time to time but we have nothing on those Indians and their Boleros. Massive loads trundling up steep steep roads in 35 - 40 degrees. I'd buy one. Hung out with a beekeeper out in the country for a while, he was living on site in a tent keeping an eye on about 100 singles. As the honey came in he would harvest frame by frame and spin it out in a hand extractor in his tent. The bees were super docile and the honey delicious. Varroa was giving them a hard time however.
  20. I service my Dmax with my local mechanic every 10,000km. It broke 3 front CV joints in the first 25,000km. This was due to the lift the angle of the CVs was too extreme and they couldn't cope. Fitted a front diff drop kit which corrected the angles and haven't had an issue since. Put a rear locker (an "ozzie locker" or Detroit locker) in recently and the mechanic found bits of spider gear in the oil and the bearings were shot at 40,000km! to be fair on the Dmax it has had a 3" exhaust and ecu chips worked their magic over her from new, she works hard. So rear diff rebuilt with the locker and hopefully that's that for now!
  21. I'm going to weigh in on this truly unusual thread. In my opinion good on ya @adamboot you have created quite the stir on this forum. We all need marketers to on sell the amazing honey we mass produce, and putting our fantastic unadulterated, traceable and mega tested honey into fancy little jars that are true to label is just what's needed.
  22. There isn't a heap of nectar early on other than manuka. Some years a little off the Hakea, mingimingi in some spots. Really we wait for manuka and Rewarewa. Plenty of gorse in flower now though that seems to kick things off @kaihoka
  23. Our hives are up and running, especially the warmer coastal sites. I wasn't too happy with how most hives looked going into winter but they've come out the other side really well. Now just to make sure I stay one step ahead with feed, the strongest are starting to chew through their stores at an alarming rate. Left the best part of a box of honey on most and it seems to be paying off.
  24. I've yet to decide whether I'm for or against. As Dennis Cowley suggests I'll be going to meetings and doing more research before deciding which way to vote. A couple things jump to mind however. 1) we already pay plenty of levy in the way of tax to our government. I know the government has plenty of bills to pay, health care, social welfare, education etc etc which I really value. However isn't it also their job to use our tax dollars to support industry, R&D and the like to grow their tax base? 2) RMP operators proposed to be tax collectors. Will they be compensated for the extra time, effort and costs? 3)If I were to support a levy I think paying it when the honey is sold is fair. IMO taxing it during extraction, then leaving beekeepers to find a market for the lower value honey, honey dew and the like, is a bit rough. Just a few thoughts, on the flip side our industry does need more funding for all sorts of R&D, market access and the like. I guess the question for me is should government fund that or industry. Will the levy be tax deductible? so many questions.. Guess I'd better get researching and rsvp my local meeting..
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