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About Gerrit

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    Commercial Beekeeper


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  1. And where I live in Katikati: Horizontal the months and vertical mm Rain14.pdf Well that's not working, I have the monthly rainfall in a graph yearly over the last 6 years, but the file doesn't seem to upload properly. I will try to work it out.
  2. All my excluders are like that, only 4 to 5 cm open at either end. Have used them for more than 15 years, and you get very little pollen above the excluders.
  3. Bumblebees have only few worker brood cycles, after which the colony (queen) switches to produce queens and drones. No workers will then be added. As with honeybees, build up is dependent on availability of pollen and nectar. If pollen in particular is scarce, the few brood cycles to produce workers will not produce too many workers. Red clover is a real attractive source of pollen and nectar for bumblebees.
  4. Not really the right way of looking at it. When you don't do pollination your honey crop will go up. We are in the same area, I have done pollination for a long time but not anymore. Honey crop now is 50Kg + over the last four seasons.
  5. Honey is spread out over a large area, around 30 sq. metres and "dryish" air from the dehumidifier(s) is blown over the surface. All done in a small polypanel room, where the dehumidifiers extract the moisture from the air. This little room is upstairs; honey pump from the holding tank below to it and the honey drains by gravity down into the holding tank again. Honey temperature is controlled by the room temperature, which is controlled by an air conditioning unit. The system takes a certain amount of water out of the honey per hour, so you circulate the honey for a time depending on starting moisture content of the honey, target and quantity.
  6. I can only speak for what we do. Dependent on where the honey is harvested, the moisture can vary lots. Have seen nice capped honey of over 20% and even capped honey, where cappings "blow" due to fermentation (see it sometimes during extraction). So, how is ripening defined? We only dehydrate to make the product safer and the method we use is similar to what the bees do sort of. When honey after extraction measures 20% moisture; leaving it at that is no option; so we have to lower it. And as I said, most of this honey has ripened and had been capped. I have chosen to lower the moisture by trying not to damage the honey by heating. I always thought we did the right thing and hope we'll get confirmation of this.
  7. No, after extraction it goes through the dehydrator until the required moisture level is achieved and then drummed off.
  8. You say that moisture removal is a new thing. We have done it for about 15 years and we do it before the honey goes in the drum. We have lowered the target to 16.5 %, because honey gets stored for longer. The honey is not heated (< 30C, below hive temp.) during the moisture removal, so all the goodness of the product stays.
  9. OK, I know lots of people want to do it their way, but bees do what they do and only that we can use to our advantage. And that takes some learning, although the honeybee is pretty resilient.
  10. Yes, I like that, everybody does it their way. I have to make sure that I produce a product that sells in these challenging times. I want to be able to control as much as I can in order to have a good product. I am not sure if it best that you learn from the start or later adjust your beekeeping.
  11. Yes, I all understand that very well, no problems. It is also best to decide early on how you want to do your beekeeping. Not mixing your brood and honey frames has some advantages, such as: easier storage of honey frames (not as much wax moth problems), lower CFUs and generally easier to get clean honey (just wax and honey are easier to separate than that there are other parts in). I like to have clean honey. In the end it is a choice and I think when you learn beekeeping, it is good to start the right way. Only my opinion.
  12. The difference is: you want to mix brood and honey frames and I don't.
  13. Agreed that 8 frames per box is for honey production only, but totally disagree with the remainder of this statement. My honey boxes are all 3/4 and Manley frames and my brood boxes are all FD with Hoffman frames. That way I keep honey frames always separate from brood frames (have done so for the better part of 20 years). If honey frames and brood frames were the same size, it would be more difficult to keep them separate.
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