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BJC

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Everything posted by BJC

  1. I would be keen to see it planted on pine plantations, come to think of it they could skip the pines and just plant the buckwheat. I found it great for parasitic wasps when I had an organic lemon orchard
  2. Not quite winter here but we now have a small amount of much needed rain
  3. I expect that is because MPI approved Amitraz treatments for a 10 week period with a two week withholding period making timing critical for those with honey flows in the lead up to Christmas
  4. I found this an interesting read http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0199124
  5. Last Friday our oven wouldn't work so I checked the RCD at the meter box, it kept tripping. I pulled the oven out and found a mouse pinned across the connections to the main power cord. I had to have the cord replaced as it shorted out the plug. Must have moved in to the warmth of the oven after cooking our roast veggies the night before.
  6. I found this to be an interesting article that sheds some light on the timing of certain minerals https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180530113226.htm but none of the supplements I have looked at have offered anymore than the claim they are a resounding success for bee health.
  7. There is a lot of hype about WorkSafe and the imposition of OSH practices. I have worked with OSH in Australia and NZ at the highest levels. It is fundamentally not about the paper work it is about the communication and work practices. At the risk of committing myself to paper, I have 8 apiary sites in partnership with my farmer neighbour. I transverse steep slopes and wet conditions to get where I am going. Is there anything unusual about that, no. Do we record an OSH assessment of weather conditions, steep slopes, lifting etc NO. What we do do is discuss things like it is going to be wet, lets take the Hi Lux, just do three apiaries because it is going to be hot and I will be ######ed at the end of the day. You got your water, yep lets go for it. If you have an explanation of your approach to being safe then I would be surprised if you would be called out. If your a commercial operator then it is important to communicate the same information on a broader scale if you employ staff. If there is an investigation and your staff are interviewed they need to tell the right story, that is our work practices are safe because ..........!
  8. That's a particularly alarming observation John when there are blanket recommendations of Hebe as being great for bees. I have seen many Koromiko growing wild throughout the HB region and thought on the base of it it was a good thing. Clearly it is a good thing to consider in bee management. Despite a large amount of Tutu within a 5 km radius my Tutin results have been extremely positive but I have noticed that the nectar flow is on the decline and robbing is easy to incite when checking hives. Perhaps the Tutu results of any honey harvested now will be a problem. Despite seeing an early flow of honey dew in the Willows from what I determined was the GWA that has stopped. I am wondering now if it was the GWA as I understand it is generally a problem from February/March when they start to have the biggest impact. Wasps are a major problem and despite killing 8 nests I have the larger of the two patrolling the house from early morning to late at night. More work to do on that one.
  9. @kaihoka We dont have the the lemon orchard any longer unfortunately, work and family took us to Wellington and we came here in 2014. We are on the river flats were the Aropaoanui road crosses the Aropaoanui River. I have to say it was much nicer four years ago before the impacts of logging but it is an isolated valley for the bees and my neighbours 4,000 acres provide some good opportunities and challenges. The lemons were up in Gisborne, great silt loam with huge amount of all the essential elements, I couldn't quite get why conventional growers were pouring on the Ca, Mg and K when it was in abundance and I did learn a lot by doing a couple of papers at Massey and working with other organic growers on how to free up the elements in the soil. I did some very rudimentary research over a three year period that indicated through leaf analysis that the organics were working to free up the Ca and Mg but it was very rough. The other thing I found it was significantly cheaper to purchase fish emulsions from Port Chalmers and Seaweed from Tauranga than all the inorganic chemicals being poured on the orchards and crops around me, as well as a reason to leave home when we sprayed the fish emulsion, my partner and neighbours were not as keen.
  10. Thank you, we like it. Reasonably remote here but indeed a great spot, we live in the old homestead that has a bit of history to it.
  11. Not entirely true, I had an organic lemon orchard with Bio-Gro certification. I was told by conventional growers that I would have reduced production and inferior fruit that wouldn't make export grade. This was my first orchard experience and planted the 1500 lemons and 100 limes myself, planted subterranean clover between rows to fix nitrogen and keep the weeds down, provided an environment for parasitic wasps. We sprayed fish emulsions and seaweed and yes we used some copper sprays within organic limits but 94% of our fruit was export quality and our production was 2 years ahead of forecast. The purpose of this post is to say there are many benefits of organic growing far beyond the premium price and marketing. It was about creating a self perpetuating environment that with a helping hand managed itself. When other growers sprayed orthane and cleared their orchards of everything around them they were inundated with scale, at the same time if scale entered our orchard it would be descended upon by steely blue ladybirds. In any event I am not promoting organic beekeeping rather defending the fact that there is a lot more to organic farming than a marketing ploy for some. Scan.pdf
  12. I have a major problem with wasps here following the honey dew from the Willows they are everywhere and I have looked high and low for the nests but cant find them. As soon as I open the door to my shed I get about 30 or 40 in the door in minutes. I have been sucking them up with my industrial vacuum cleaner along with a puff of "no more wasps" and sending them on their way again.
  13. Interesting fact sheet with plenty of scope for research regarding diapause and parasitoids I would have thought
  14. Found this tree at the local Arboretum on Sunday covered in bees and flowering profusely it is an Australian Water Gum and ironically called Kanooka in Australia. Not sure of what the honey would taste like but fragrant yellow flowers.
  15. Its designed to put the onus back on us, we have to respond to MPI within twenty four hours with the form which includes the MAF (I sure MAF doesnt exist anymore despite the Apiweb site using it to ID apiary sites) ID's of where your boxes come from. Then of course they have to work out post extraction what box and from where caused any issues, an impossible task I would have thought for anyone in the supply chain pre and post extraction. Next they will be asking for every box to be tested prior to extraction.
  16. Familiar topic, I have worked in a variety of industries and companies, some requiring staff to wash their own PPE and some with a commercial laundry. One company I worked with decided to rely on peer pressure to make sure everyone turned up spic and span I noticed one of the guys sporting a black eye and I asked him how he got it, his response? "Peer pressure".
  17. Its now extremely dry here in the valley and at Ridgemount over the back of us. I am told it is the driest they have seen at Ridgemount for this time of year in at least 20 years. Te Pohue still has a lot of moisture in the soil and the clovers and other flowers such as catsear, yarrow etc are blooming away but the ground is drying out rapidly. The high levels of humidity are not helping the bees reduce the moisture content and we do need a good drop of rain soon.
  18. I understand Housing New Zealand will be in touch with you shortly regarding choices for the colours of entrances, boxes and lids as no bees should live in poverty in this day and age. Apparently there is no subsidy for air conditioning at this juncture.
  19. Hi Courtney, there was a thread with the research paper attached regarding lithium chloride on the forum somewhere recently, a good read.
  20. Manuka gold chasers with nowhere else to go?
  21. Thanks Tom much appreciated, I will hold off adding anymore supers and understand the need for them to be capped.
  22. I am noticing that despite the honey flow continuing around here albeit a little slower, I am adding supers despite the two existing supers not being fully capped. I am assuming the high humidity will be making it difficult for the girls to reduce the moisture content prior to capping.
  23. Some of the follow up comments from readers are disturbing
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