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Old Timer

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Old Timer last won the day on April 7 2018

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  • Beekeeping Experience
    Semi Commercial


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  1. If anyone is interested in collecting swarms from wherever you are situated in the country, your best bet is to notify your local council offices that you are a willing beekeeper to collect swarms that are reported to them. Every year or so I update my details with the Dunedin City Council and express my willingness to collect swarms. Many people ring the council first when a swarm arrives on their property. The council then rings or texts me with an address, name of property owner and contact number and I follow it up. It is a cheap way of increasing hive numbers. All I need to have is
  2. Way back in 1996 it was a bad year for the honey crop, too cold if I remember right. So I didn't shift my hives to the high country, kept them all on the Taieri Plains. It was a hard season for the bees, but they did get Kanuka honey in. Not a lot, only about 1800 kgs. Once it was creamed and packed t was being sold through a local health food shop in 500g jars. One day I was called by the shop owner to fulfill an unusually large order, upon questioning her I discovered that a nearby breeder of race horses had been treating a large infected wound on one of his prize stallions. I arranged to pe
  3. After reading through all these posts I think you should have an idea of what is involved, most start up topics are covered with excellent advice from the semi experienced hobbyist through to the expert commercial beekeepers. I have nothing further to add as it is all covered. I hope you make a wise decision based on this advice. Beekeeping is not just a hobby, it is a lifelong enjoyable experience with it's ups and downs. The more you learn about it, the hungryier you become for more information. (hungryier is not actually a word) Happy beekeeping!
  4. Plenty of great advice from the boyz up north, I don't need to add another spoke in the wheel. Just follow what they say and you'll be right as rain.
  5. I'm in Dunedin, the weather is ####e, forecasting snow to 500 metres, and tomorrow I'm taking honey off my high country hives. It is all on escapes so it is easy going. Depends on where you are and mite levels in your hives. Down here (inland) the mite levels are low but I still treat anyway, regardless. Better safe than sorry I always say. Good to see the MPI working hard to incorporate beekeeping as an Essential Business so we can carry on with running our bees, extraction and packing. We produce honey as part of the food industry. We can't just sit down and leave our hives to fen
  6. The honey press shown on this trade me advert doesn't look particularly ' Food Grade ', paint on steel is not something I would trust. Having read most of the replies, I'm in agreement that it is Kanuka honey. Every year I get some from my town hives in Dunedin. I extract what I can and whatever is left in the combs is used for winter feed. The honey that does come out is bucketed, and at a later date I heat up water in a small stainless steel tank and place the buckets one at a time into the near-boiling water and liquify. Keeping a close eye on it, turning off the power every so
  7. Paragraph one - why do you breed bees that are so aggressive? I'm down in Otago where we take breeding bees seriously. Good mannered, hard working, non swarming with clean housekeeping habits. They are so good to work with, very rarely do I wear a veil. A bee suit is only used to take the honey off to prevent the drips of honey running down the legs into the socks. How many stings from a days' work?, only about 5 - 6, usually from my carelessness of where I've put my hands. Most summers you'd see me working the hives in shorts, T shirt and jandals, sometimes no T shirt when it's bloody hot.
  8. Slightly off topic - Woke up this morning 01/01/20 and the clouds had an orange hue to them, a slightly eerie feeling. I guessed it was the smoke from Australia's fires, but yet the 'feel' outside didn't seem right. I looked out the window at the bees toing and froing from one of my home hives and something didn't look right. In our back yard we have a Southern Rata standing 12 metres tall and in full bloom, a spectacular sight usually covered in bees, bumble bees and native bees, and of course bellbirds and waxeyes. But today was different, hardly more than 300 insects on it. I went outside
  9. The biggest problem we are facing here is the lack of knowledge. Unfortunately Ecrotec has made the unwise decision to sell beekeeping gear through Farmlands, thus encouraging many people to start up with bees on their farms. Farmlands staff know very little about beekeeping, organizations attached to beekeeping, local clubs or where to get assistance from those with expertise. If Ecrotec wishes to sell their merchandise then they should be held responsible for entrusting the farmers/ landowners with a livestock that in most cases they know nothing about. At every Farmlands store Ecrotec shou
  10. I am aware of the problem of allergic reaction to bee stings, and the ingestion of pollen and other bee products. I have seen first hand a severe reaction to eating one small lump of pollen from a bee's leg, resulting in an ambulance being called. All ambulances carry epi pens, therefore the patient receiving medication more promptly, resulting in less admittances to hospital unless patient has a severe reaction. I personally think that the best reduction of bee stings to the keeper is all down to breeding. I have been keeping bees for 40 years. When I started the bees around Dune
  11. I feel that I need to inform you that there are still some pockets of southern New Zealand where varroa hasn't found it's way in. These areas used to be prime sheep country until some fool discovered more money to be made in milk production. Hundreds of square kilometres turned into cow country, and now are void of bees. This has formed a natural barrier between clover producing areas - (a bit like Cook Strait), and a large beekeeping operation way down somewhere near Tuatapere. I believe that to this day he hasn't needed any varroa treatments as he keeps all his hives - some 3000 - in the dee
  12. Hey Raewyn, I'm in Dunedin. I could look at it for you if you want. I'm a retiring beekeeper with a little more time on my hands, so it wouldn't be a problem. Only problem we have is the weather at the moment, Thursday coming is fine but then it turns cold with snow to 600m. Give me a ring or text if you want some sound advice : 027 6258606
  13. On this note, I have watched my honey bees land at the base of the long Fuscia flower (fuscia - not sure of the spelling), and chew a small opening through the petal then proceed to draw out the nectar with its tongue. I watched with great interest as the bees went from flower to flower making the perforation at the base as described.
  14. I have not read all the posts as they seem to be going off subject after 1 1/2 pages. I note that you inspected the hive close to the time of shifting, and all was well inside. A good brood pattern, laying queen, strong bee numbers - all good. The complaint from a neighbour worries me, as does the pattern of brown damp looking spots on the floor entrance. I have seen this before, it is a sure sign of the bees landing after feeding from a poison trap. Their feet and lower bodies have been touching a tacky poison probably laced with honey or sugar to attract the bees. They carry it back to
  15. Thank you John for 7 very worthy reasons against my earlier response. Seven, eight and nine are looking like you are scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel to fill your quota. Down here in the lower South Island we don't suffer from ants, cockroaches, humidity nor aggressive bees. Every hive that I have seen that has died from varroa has had less than 100 bees left remaining, therefore no rotting/maggots and no smell. There are reasons why people usually keep the bees within, usually the cost of removal outweighs the nuisance value. As a beekeeper I would try to remove them or at l
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