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Everything posted by BJC

  1. Yes it is quite distinctive, Flotum describes it as "light, minty flavored yet aromatic honey with a unique flavour that is not appreciated by everyone. If we get lots of wind the blooms are blown to bits and the bees miss out. Last years honey was significantly like this, I have to say though I struggle to describe honeys just like I struggle with describing wines, I either like them or don't.
  2. We have five Linden trees on our 2.5 acres, one of them is massive and was probably planted by the family who settled here in the 1850's that's about 100m from my hives the others are about 20m. They spend their time on the big one 100m away which flowers generally late November early December and has a scent that fills the whole of our back garden. I think there are a couple of varieties and are called Tillia. The Americans call it the Basswood tree and the story goes that "A. I Root planted a basswood orchard on the outskirts of Medina, Ohio and put his queen rearing operation in the heart of it. He used the basswood for three things: the trees provided shade during the heat of the summer and when the trees matured, the blossoms provided a nectar source in June and July. Finally when the trees were of the correct age, they were thinned and the timber provided the special wood needed to make the basswood sections for section comb honey." (Kim Flotum, The Backyard Beekeepers Honey Handbook, p37). The honey is almost clear but quite tasty with a small after taste. Photo of one of the girls on the tree out back.
  3. Interesting isn't it, I could have sworn my bees were making the most of the Linden trees and Phacelia here and my pollen test came back with 52% clover 26% kanuka 11% trefoil and 11% other ??. I think I will sample the honey throughout the season rather than wait until the end and just see how it varies. It is much easier as a hobbyist.
  4. until
    We are pleased to be running our Honey Competition again this year and welcome Farmlands for providing the major prize of a 3/4 depth hive, we will have just 3 classes light amber, amber and dark amber. Alessandro Tarentini will leadi the judging panel along with John Berry. Entry is $5 for club members and $35 for others which includes a years membership. The prizes will be the highest point scorers out of all entrants with small prizes for second and third place getters, Entries should be made before 31 January on the entry forms provided by emailing beekeepershbinc@gmail.com, honey jars will be supplied for entrants by the club. The honey competition will take up the meeting but Val Nicholson will be discussing his recipes for Mead.
  5. Hi there Maurice, Beekeepers Hawkes Bay have an extractor for use at a reasonable rate I would need to check but I think it may be $25, contact us on the club email at beekeepershbinc@gmail.com and we can see what we can arrange for you. Membership is $25 per year and being affiliated with APINZ members are eligible for discounted lab tests including Tutin. Sorry for the tardy reply but up to my armpits in alligators at the moment.
  6. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/02/antarctic-greenland-ice-melt-less-bad/ emphasis on less bad
  7. What did you do for your pollen test?
  8. Certainly there are signs of major horticultural entities looking to partner with reliable beekeepers for the pollination of clover and other vegetables. Discussions recently have suggested that farmers diversifying are more inclined to enter long term relationships to get their commodities pollinated and have evicted the short term Manuka chasers who are never there when the pollination is required.
  9. until
    Monthly Meeting at the Pakowhai Community Hall Pakowhai Road, Pakowhai at 7 pm to 8 pm. The usual agenda with what we should be doing this month, whats going on around the district and a discussion regarding this years honey competition and next years weekend workshop. See you there.
  10. Flight cancelled no trip South and lots of civil defense action on the Westcoast I understand. 5mm of rain in two day here.
  11. Happy to take the lot but I might regret that when I visit Westport on Tuesday that is if I dont get blown out of the sky with the expected winds
  12. Hot and dry here we could desperately do with some of your rain from down south. 29 degrees on the Eastern Verandah this afternoon with the promise of more hot weather to come, no rain forecast for the next ten days.
  13. The USA had great difficulties with genetic diversity in relative recent times, we were fortunate to have met Megan Taylor a PhD student who had participated in identifying the demise of genetic diversity in the Queen breeding population relatively recently. The research looked at the comparison of USA genes compared to old world bees, the decline was massive and extremely serious leading to the import of germplasm from old world bees to inseminate local queens. Her earlier studies concluded "Although we tried to sample as many queen producers as possible, we were limited to the major queen producers of the western United States. Being able to sample other queen producers from around the country (the southeast in particular) would provide a more complete picture of the diversity. Secondly, there are several countries that currently have honey bees to support their agricultural system, yet these honey bees were not native. Assessing levels of genetic diversity of honey bees from other countries where honey bees are not native (Australia, Canada, Chile, Brazil, etc…) would provide additional knowledge of the genetic diversity of honey bees globally. How would these countries compare to the diversity of honey bees in the United States? Could the incorporation of Old World germplasm improve their stocks? There are many new questions left to be answered." https://projects.sare.org/project-reports/gw14-011/
  14. That's the difference I guess my staples didn't absorb moisture but I would have thought that would have reduced the efficacy of the OA. I haven't been happy with the moisture in the hive but haven't noticed any detrimental effects
  15. Interesting you say that, I have only one hive that has over wintered in the dampest conditions under the shadow of a very large poplar tree. I lifted the hive mat and was concerned at the levels of condensation under the lid, this hive is a folly that we beginners sometimes make, a full depth box with a 3/4 depth of honey over winter. So now it has two 3/4 depths and a full depth with an intention to transition to 3/4 depth to support the transition to old age. The last couple of days I have been moving it meter by meter into the sun but I have to say it hasn't missed a beat with OA autumn and spring treatments but it is only one hive and cant form any conclusions. There is not much around here over winter although the farmers around here are getting lazier and there is more growth of native trees that may support the bees earlier in the season.
  16. I don't quite understand all the hype that is being generated here. You have an experienced beekeeper willing to share his ideas on OA, spend sometime and money developing a variety of prototype strips that we now call staples. He is conducting a carefully run trial to satisfy MPI of the treatment regime he has found successful, oh and he is prepared to help anyone who asks on how to use it, and how he mixes his OA and Glycerine. Many of us have given it a go, mixed are own, made our own staples, bought staples from someone else, got someone else to make us a brew to our specs. Some of us have had great results and others what may be called disasters. Give Phil a bit of space to get on with his trials in the knowledge that he will share his results when their ready to made public. As far as I am concerned he doesn't owe anyone anything.
  17. The National Botanical Gardens of Wales has extensive DNA profiles of Honey and Pollen https://botanicgarden.wales/science/saving-pollinators/honey-bee-foraging-2/
  18. Understand all that but included in their findings where the impacts of OA ingestion. I thought it was food for thought and I have used the staples as recommended in 14 hives and they are in great condition right now, 11 out of 14 hadn't chewed the staples.
  19. Perhaps the answer is in one of the research papers Alastair provided "OAD is one of the most important organic acids used for the control of V. destructor. It is indispensable but must be dosed precisely and applied as seldom as possible to prevent sublethal damages which eventually lead to the loss of bees. Long disposition in the bee hive can cause accumulation of the acid and therefore induce further damage." Perhaps this is the reason there are some losses rather than the bees have an unhealthy disposition.
  20. Beekeepers HB Inc will be holding a tree planting morning at their community apiary on Prebensen Drive, Napier, opposite Mitre 10 / Farmlands. Please contact beekeepershbinc@gmail.com to establish what to bring. We need to ensure PPE is worn wear necessary and there will be some broom clearing and then we will be planting a number of native trees for bees that we hope will become a focus for the public. The community apiary has been established to support club members who live in an urban setting to place their hives in a socially acceptable setting and learn along with like minded club members. The hive sites cost $5 per year per member and club membership is $25 per year or $35 per year for a family membership.
  21. John Berry is once again hosting a healthy brood day, the day will kick off with a look at some of Johns hives identifying healthy brood and a the bee life cycle. Followed by a sausage sizzle and question time. Please remember to bring clean PPE and hive tools, no utes with gear that attracts bees.
  22. until
    Regular monthly meeting of Beekeepers HB Inc Thursday 3 October at 7 pm at Pakowhai Community Hall. Follow up from last months meeting concerns over Karin Kos statement that a pilot project addressing boundary stacking and overcrowding in Hawkes Bay has resolved the mystery behind the project and Club President Brian Cowper will provide his follow up after talking to Campbell Leckie from HBRC and Dennis Crowley Board Member of APINZ. Rod Williams of Hive World will present on what his company has to offer. Kath O'Halloran will present on her experiences in making a split last year. Dave Hills will present the last piece on the video from the Honey Competion in the UK and we will end with what we need to be looking for this month.
  23. until
    BHBI Club regular monthly meeting. Top of the agenda is discussion around members concerns of the CE Karin Kos comments in the September NZ Beekeeper about her, Dennis Crowley, a group of beekeepers and the HBRC establishing a small pilot project on boundary stacking that will inform where APINZ go with strengthening their code of conduct. Details of the project have been requested from the CE of APINZ but it is unlikely we will have a response by this evening. We will return to our proposed agenda once we have satisfied that discussion.
  24. until
    Club meeting 7 pm through to 8 pm at Papakowhai Hall. Members enjoyed a weekend at the Guthrie Smith Arboretum at Tutira north of Napier. The arboretum has an Education Centre with rudimentary accommodation for 38 people, the accommodation is designed by the Arboretum Trust as one step above camping. Members enjoyed a guided and insightful tour by Chris Ryan Arborist around the areas specifically planted for bees and Chris who has been a beekeeper shared his reasons for planting the many plants and trees especially for bees. Botanist Dr Linda Newstrom-Lloyd provided members with an understanding of the biology of flowers and the many varieties that are both easy and difficult for our pollinators to work and the reasons why. Linda discussed pollen as an essential food source to early bee development and some nutritional values of pollens, with some of our members capturing bees entering the hives David Hills brought along for the weekend. Kyle from Bee IQ presented his innovation for wasp management and his accompanying dialogue regarding wasp behaviour was very informative. Our Treasurer and experienced beekeeper David Hills led a presentation on AFB recognition and management culminating in members splitting into groups and reviewing scenarios for AFB Management. The weekend ended with Trevor Gillbanks delivering lively and well received presentations on Varroa Management , requeening and preparing for Spring. The weekend was judged by attendees and the Trust as enjoyable and fun. Thanks to everyone that made our first workshop a success.
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