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Everything posted by jamesc

  1. Yes, I've been quite impressed with the cell raising this year, but the reality is that this is the quality and quantity a commercial would expect when paying someone to raise queens for them day in day out for a couple of months. Highly stressful I'd expect !
  2. Running a bee operation well is incredibly labour intensive. Especially so if you want to requeen every second year. When we were doing comb honey we 'Two Queened' six hundred hives every year that then went together as a double broods at the end of the season, and the bees sorted out whether wanted a new or an old queen. These days we run a lean operation , should probably take on a cell raiser in the busy times so we have heaps of cells coming out over a short period of weeks ..... but the money isn't there for an extra labour unit at the moment, so I do all the cell raising and
  3. might double as a Covid vaccinator?
  4. Nice article Nick . I'm always a bit cautious about direct celling in October , only on account of the fact that the weather can be so fickle. I prefer to wait un til now when the days are warmer, and a hive will make a crop on the hatching brood, whether there is a queen or not . Meanwhile, a few years ago a mate did a whole heap of direct celling with a large corporate in late January. It was a total disaster and lotsa hives went into the winter queenless. I think there is a small window of opportunity .... mid December/mid January. A lot of the times we let the bees d
  5. I had a look see at some hives in the gully here this morning ..... warm, clover, manuka flowering .... popped some lids no veil .... and got hammered . Even as I walked away the bees kept coming .... even as I jumped on the quad and tried to find the start button, they kept coming ..... Dog was running for cover ...... strange ..... no flow maybe . Sometimes the hassle of putting a veil on is less than the pain of taking a few up the nose.
  6. True ..... the interesting thing at this time of year is that as six frames of brood hatch out overnight, all of a sudden you have another 10,000 hungry mouths looking for food. A couple of litres of syrup keeps them going for couple of days, so while one week maybe cold and wet and you're putting match sticks in yer eyelids to prop them open, it only takes a day of 26c to make the good stuff run, and hey presto , you can use the matches for lighting candles at the top end and fill the syrup tank with water ready for firefighting. Anyway, better slurp the coffee and crack the whip to g
  7. I guess it depends on your scale of cold . Been 26c here today ..... honeys flowing .... coast seems to have been 10c behind us for a while ....
  8. If you google ‘how to make a million bucks’ there is a strategy sStep 1 Buy 1000 hives Step 2. Place them on manuka Step 3. Harvest $1000 of honey per hive. Step 4. Split yer hives and double your numbers, or walk away.
  9. Might be flowering , but my look see early in the week revealed that it has been too cold for the blossom to yield any quantity of honey ....?
  10. Funny man @southbee.... the hamster wheel needs new bearings too
  11. Where the heck is goat hill @Bighandsl ..
  12. Been having a think about your post @Jay Ngatai .....and concluded that you need to do one of @Maggie James courses ..... and then find a job raising queens for a commercial operation where you will earn wages and the employer will cover the costs of your mistakes ...... and then when you are up to speed ..... branch out on your own.
  13. We pulled the bees out of this property this year...... tooooo much glyphosate.
  14. Good question ..... we used to run bees up there when I was with Airborne. Back then I worked for a wage and enjoyed going up there for a picnic, honey or no . I don't think we ever pulled a great deal of honey out of there, and that was before the Manuka craze. I was sent up in the spring to work the bees, but was never sent back to harvest. When we put the bees in, there were very few other hives floating around. One year the blossom lasted a week.
  15. Hmm the buck wheat we extracted the other year smelt like Pig poo .... Yuk ..... I still got it in the shed .
  16. We sent our Honey Hummer wax separator into town for a pre season check up the other day. The engineer rang today with the good the bad and the ugly ..... new bearings, seals , a few sheared bolts ..... the fix it bill should be in the region of $6,500. "Wonderfull" , I said "Can I pick it up Friday ?" Sometimes you just gotta keep on rolling on the hamster wheel.
  17. Was that the man across the tracks from you ... @Bighands ..?
  18. I think I've figured out how the Corporate Bee operation owned by NgaiTahu made such a large loss last year. On my look see tri[p to the coast these last few days I noticed they had moved bees into he high country around the upper Waimak..... chasing Manuka. We've chased Manuka up there. We've also chased clover ..... and it was all a bit ho hum. I remember coming back across the Bealey Bridge one night in early January and the the temp was hovering just above zero. I always chuckle when bee operators change at sites quite frequently. If a site is a good site
  19. Ah .... brings back memories of the other year when DOC took us to court for having bees on their land ....I'm still shaking my head in disbelief at their total ignorance .... the thought of it still makes me as mad as a Rattlesnake .... that a Gvt office who are one of the largest landowners in the country could be so small minded, mean and petty in their dealings with us who pay their wages .....
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