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Lawrence Smith

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About Lawrence Smith

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    Hobby Beekeeper


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  1. Lawrence Smith

    NZBF Selling honey

    @Rob Stockley Brilliant, thanks. Being urban and SI, we have two factors removed. But it feels too hard for this year. I'll be interested in how it turns out for you. Would be awesome if appropriate to share your plan.
  2. Lawrence Smith

    NZBF Selling honey

    Thanks Rob, that's kind of what I was expecting. In some respects it looks like just ticking boxes and showing "a plan". I'm still unsure looking thru all the MPI stuff if you 1. need to be food safe certified individually and 2. whether you need to extract in a food safe kitchen? What has been your experience so far? cheers Lawrence
  3. Lawrence Smith

    NZBF Selling honey

    BTW, I have a colleague in the US who is also a hobbyist. He can sell up to $60K worth of honey with no certification ... Different world eh. cheers Lawrence
  4. Lawrence Smith

    NZBF Selling honey

    So we've just enquired to the Christchurch City Council, as we could have 300kg of honey this year, as a hobbyist ... Basically: 1. Good to give away to freinds 2. Can charge or ask a donation for a charity. But if we wanted to sell any, here's the response ... Good morning, I understand you hope to register your honey business. Under the Food Act 2014 this appears to meet the category of National Programme 1 (low risk). On MPI's website you can see the step-by-step guide to registering: http://www.mpi.govt.nz/food-safety/food-act-2014/national-programmes/steps-for-national-programme-1/ Guidance information can be found here: http://www.mpi.govt.nz/food-safety/food-act-2014/national-programmes/ I have also attached guidance information available for as general information for all National Programme licences. The registration + scope of operation forms can be found here: https://ccc.govt.nz/consents-and-licences/business-licences-and-consents/food/notice-of-registration-food/ The cost of registration = new application: $430/2 years (renewal $335/2 years). The additional cost will be the cost of onsite verification (if the first visit is an acceptable outcome, you will not require any further verifications). This is done by an approved third party verifier. Please note, different businesses may charge different fees so please have a talk with a few businesses before choosing. Once chosen (verifier list in attached document or on MPI's website), they will send you a letter confirming they will verify your business. For application submit the forms in the above link together with the letter from the verifier to the council. Kind Regards,
  5. Lawrence Smith

    Two swarms or one?

    Thanks Rob, that was always a question I had, it's the old queen that has left not newly hatched one(s)? In which case, this swarm might have just split and needs combining into a single box? I'll fully inspect the hive in the weekend and see what's happening.
  6. Lawrence Smith

    Two swarms or one?

    Ah right, yes that makes sense regarding the frames. They were empty frames from the same box, but still, good point. Thanks!
  7. Lawrence Smith

    Two swarms or one?

    I dropped a couple of drawn frames in each Nuc, so that should help speed things up. But I guess the question is, assuming that this is a single swarm from one hive, does the fact it split mean there might be two queens? I did consider dropping them all into a single box, but thought two Nucs gave me more options ...
  8. Lawrence Smith

    Two swarms or one?

    Hi All Got a call at lunch that one of my hives had swarmed, so home I went to collect it. Must have missed a swarm cell 10 days ago, ######! Anyway, it had formed into two balls. Wrangled them into two separate Nucs, as I was unsure if there were two queens or one (didn’t see a queen). Letting them settle down in before I take a closer look. But, is this likely to be two queens, or simply one swarm that has split for some reason? Cheers Lawrence
  9. Lawrence Smith

    NZBF Moved hives a few metres/flying bees

    I've found it varies on the hive. Most of my hives I can generally move 4 - 5 m easily, by closing them for a day (they have ventilated bases) and then obstructing the entrance with a branch or similar to force them to reorient. Had to do this for some earthworks near them. But I have one hive that won't. It's 1m a day or nothing. Basically lost a lot of bees discovering that.
  10. Lawrence Smith

    NZBF Hive Doctor Bottom Board.

    That's interesting with the tape, I have some of both models and hadn't noticed that, I'll look! I like the new bases, and like Trev just keep one entrance open, seems plenty for them. Also figured out if you have some spare corflute you can relatively easily slip it into the slots underneath. If I had one complaint, it would be that it's a little trickier to center the hive straps. On the old bases the slot was a lot larger and you could wriggle the strap and it would fall into place. On the new one there are just two small ribs to center the strap. but that's a minor niggle.
  11. Lawrence Smith

    PMS Strategy?

    That's good advice and sounds logical to me. Thanks.
  12. Lawrence Smith

    PMS Strategy?

    Yep, lesson learned. I think you are right. To be honest, I was probably less vigilant about this hive, as it lost the queen mid summer and so had a broken brood cycle, which I understood might help break (or slow) the Varroa cycle as well. And then I probably got treatment in a little late. So yep, need to keep a closer eye on mite buildups. There seems to be many differing opinions around monitoring mite levels, do people like the sugar shake, or ...? Appreciate the feedback.
  13. Lawrence Smith

    PMS Strategy?

    Yes, interesting, but maybe red wine rather than chocolate! I'd say I did see 3 or 4 bees with what could be DWV, but then, the brood affected was in the bottom (colder?) with a lower population as the queen and all new brood was in upper box. And yes, we're in Canterbury and it's been cold. What I then did is swap the boxes, so I took the queen and brood down, dropped in an excluder, and moved honey up, as the bottom box was not overly full. Maybe that will also help with the clustering, with things not being so far spread out?
  14. Lawrence Smith

    PMS Strategy?

    Thanks Ted, there are around 4 healthy looking frames of brood in the second box, so hopefully that is enough. Appreciate the reply.
  15. Lawrence Smith

    PMS Strategy?

    Loos like a missed recognising varroa levels in one of my hives and on a quick inspection today I noticed a number of dead, fully developed bees in the cells in one of the brood boxes. Initial thought was AFB, but pulled a number of cells and there were no dead larvae and no ropiness. So, it looks like PMS to me. The second brood box was far healthier, possibly because the Bayvarol is kicking in (?) (added 3.5 weeks ago) - 8 strips - 4 per brood box. My question is, have a dodged a bullet here maybe and is there anything else I might be able to do to help them through? Obviously better Varroa recognition next time ... cheers Lawrence