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  1. It could be Sirex Woodwasp, Sirex noctilio Fabricius "The female ... is a steel-blue colour except for the legs which are reddish-brown. " http://www.nzffa.org.nz/farm-forestry-model/the-essentials/forest-health-pests-and-diseases/Pests/Sirex-noctilio/Sirex-noctilioEnt20 https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/resources/identification/animals/bug-id/what-is-this-bug/bugs-with-legs/6-legs/bees-and-wasps/wood-wasp
  2. https://teara.govt.nz/en/wasps-and-bees/page-4 a short video on this page
  3. Mason wasp pictured here: https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/resources/identification/animals/bug-id/what-is-this-bug/bugs-with-legs/6-legs/bees-and-wasps/mason-wasp "The female builds a nest of several cells made of mud, often in folds of curtains or keyholes She lays an egg in each cell and provides a paralysed orbweb spider as food for the emerging larva Adults eat nectar" Is there a Mason bee too? Can anyone know a site or book that has all the NZ native bees listed with photos?
  4. The dribble method of oxalic acid and sugar syrup mixed promoted ingestion of the OA and apparent negative effect on bee health. This interesting study (reference below) was looking at alternatives to sugar syrup and the findings indicated glycerine was not attractive to bees for ingestion and the earlier von Frisch reference shows that it is not attractive mixed with 25% sugar water. My understanding is that OA mixed with GL is not attractive to bees for ingestion, rather the success of the OA/GL shop towels/strips/staples is that it is not attractive. Perhaps actual honey on the strips (from robbing or spills) could prompt licking and ingestion (as opposed to chewing and not ingesting) but it seems unlikely condensation would? https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01201291/document EvaRademacher,AnjaFahlberg,MarleneRaddatz,SaskiaSchneider,KathrinVoigt. Galenics: studies of the toxicity and distribution of sugar substitutes on Apis mellifera . Apidologie, Springer Verlag, 2013, 44 (2), pp.222-233. <10.1007/s13592-012-0174-5>. <hal-01201291> "The applicability of the substances as carriers for medicinal ingredients is discussed under the following aspects: attractiveness to bees, properties in individual application, effect on grooming behaviour, toxicity to honey bees, residues on equipment and distribution on the bee and in the colony. Since none of the substances was attractive to bees an undesired ingestion of a medicinal ingredient combined with one of them can be excluded assuming that the ingredient itself is unattractive. Even combined with sugar water (25 %), glycerol would not be ingested by honey bees (von Frisch 1934)." "In general, it can be concluded that glycerol 85 % is most suitable as a sugar water substitute. It had the best distribution properties and stayed moist long enough to assure a prolonged contact of the bees with the substance. After drying the powdery consistency of the residues might contribute to a better distribution and adhesiveness on the bees. An oral uptake can be excluded. Possible residues of glycerol after colony treatment can be considered as harmless. Glycerol distributes quickly and uniformly in the colony and can provide a good dispersion of medicinal active ingredients as a carrier substance. However, glycerol actually was not tested in combination with a medicinal ingredient. In any case, it must be clarified if glycerol can be combined with an active ingredient without showing combinatory toxic effects to the bees and to make sure that its effectiveness is not impaired by the combination with glycerol."
  5. Oregano (Origanum vulgare) and Marjoram (Origanum majorana) have been flowering in the herb garden for last two weeks are getting a lot of attention from bees; this week it's like they are having a party. It's a hardy culinary herb and forms dense patches of plants that last for years and flower through the hot part of summer as other nectar sources are reducing. Several countries produce oregano honey. It could be a good option for someone with a couple of hectares.
  6. @tommy dave This $78 work platform is a great option to save your back. It has adjustable legs, so works on a sloping site, will fit two boxes so I usually stack supers on left and top brood on the right. I use a the hive mat under the supers, and take an extra hive mat for the brood box to give some beespace and save squashing bees. Strong enough to stand on with a heavy super. It fits across the back seat of the car too. https://www.bunnings.co.nz/rhino-work-platform_p00861589 "Adjustable height from 0.58m to 0.87m Aluminium construction 120kg domestic load rating" "Product Dimensions (mm) W:305 H:900 L:1100"
  7. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-27449-3 "Phytochemicals-mediated production of hydrogen peroxide is crucial for high antibacterial activity of honeydew honey Marcela Bucekova, Monika Buriova, Ladislav Pekarik, Viktor Majtan & Juraj Majtan" 13 Jun, 2018 http://www.apimondia.com/congresses/2013/Apitherapy/Symposia/Slovak Honeydew Honey - Juraj Majtan.pdf "Slovak honeydew honey – from basic science to clinical applications Juraj Majtan Institute of Zoology, Slovak Academy of Sciences Department of Microbiology, Slovak Medical University" See the map on slide 10 "honeydew honey produced in Cergov mountains (Abies alba Mill) has pronounced antibacterial activity • it is more effective than manuka honey UMF 15+ • kills multidrug-resistant bacteria such as Stenotrophomonas maltophilia and wound pathogens including MRSA." (from slide 11) http://www.honeytraveler.com/single-flower-honey/honeydew-or-forest-honeys/ "Silver fir honeydew honey (Abies alba) Is considered as one of the best honeydew/ forest varieties in Europe particularly in central Europe where it is widespread. The aphids responsible for its production belong to the Cinara genus." http://beefarm.sk/index.php/en-gb/fir-honeydew "Honeydew does not come from the nectar like other types of honey. It is made from fresh sweet juice byproduct produced by aphids (Cinara Pectinatae) living in large colonies on the fir trees. Aphids consume sap and produce sweet secretions. The secretions are collected and then processed by bees. The final product is honey with exceptional properties." "The production of honey of the highest quality is irregular and depends on many factors. Čergov Mountains consists of many older fir trees that are ideal for the development of Aphids. Very important role have weather conditions, which are in Čergov Mountains unstable in recent years. Due to this weather changes the byproduct of Aphids can be washed from the surface of Fir trees before it is collected by the bees. On rainy years there is very little or no production of honeydew." http://influentialpoints.com/Gallery/Cinara_pectinatae_Green-striped_fir_aphid.htm "Cinara pectinatae feeds on firs (Abies species), especially Abies alba (silver fir) but also Abies nephrolepis, numidica, pindrow, sutchuenensis (= Abies fargesii var. sutchuenensis) and veitchii. Oviparae and alate males are found in October. It is not recorded from any North American firs. Cinara pectinatae occurs throughout Europe eastward to Turkey." "The population dynamics of Cinara pectinatae have been studied in both France and Germany because it is a copious honeydew-producer, important to forest bee-keepers in Central Europe. In a seven year study, Maquelin (1974) found that the number of eggs laid in autumn was inversely related to peak numbers in summer. Bloc et al. (1984) monitored populations in France over two years. They concluded that rainfall was an important factor affecting numbers. When rainfall was heavy during the development of the first virginoparae generations, it prevented Cinara pectinatae populations from reaching high levels. This in turn reduced honeydew production and a prevented a heavy 'fir honey' harvest by bees."
  8. @Bighands Have you priced locally manufactured jars from O-I NZ? http://recycleglass.co.nz/o-i-new-zealand/ "O-I NZ is New Zealand’s only glass bottle and jar manufacturer and has been operating from its Penrose, Auckland site since 1922. We have a diverse product range, making glass packaging for New Zealand’s world-renowned wine, beer, juice and water brands. We proudly operate 3 furnaces and 6 production lines, managing multiple colour changes, 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year. As makers of glass, the world’s most natural and sustainable packaging, O-I New Zealand has incorporated sustainability into our business practices for more than a century. Once it’s made, a glass container can be reused repeatedly. A glass container is also infinitely 100 per cent recyclable. At O-I, our view of sustainability encompasses our people, the planet and profit. We are focused on continuous sustainable development and improvement." Product catalog here (I didn't find any price options). http://recycleglass.co.nz/product-solutions/food/
  9. Both these delicious NZ products are in glass jars and support recycling and might be worth asking them how they source their jars. https://www.picspeanutbutter.com/nz/ http://raglancoconutyoghurt.co.nz/ http://raglancoconutyoghurt.co.nz/bee-friends/ I save these jars, friends pass me theirs too, then clean and use them again for honey. Just use hot water for removing the Pics and Raglan labels. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80V3wTyHo4w For the hobbyists other jars with tougher glue on the labels try using old olive oil.
  10. It appears that further research is required to substantiate benefits of manuka honey on toast for digestive health and tooth decay. Anyone found anything more conclusive than these two studies? Lin, S.-M. (Sam). (2010). The effect of manuka honey on enterobacteria (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/3972 "Manuka honey (Leptospermum scoparium) produced in New Zealand has been shown to exhibit substantial antibacterial activity against a broad range of pathogens causing wound infection, and is being used in wound management with excellent results. This activity is due to both hydrogen peroxide and non-peroxide components. Manuka honey, however, may not be useful for treating bacterial gastroenteritis because the gastrointestinal environment may be unfavourable to the antibacterial action, and because a sufficiently high concentration for effectiveness may not be achieved. The research in this thesis is set out to evaluate in vitro the efficacy of manuka honey as an antibacterial agent against enterobacteria, taking into consideration some factors that may be involved in the gastrointestinal environment." Beena JP, Sahoo P, Konde S, Raj SN, Kumar NC, Agarwal M. Manuka Honey: A Potent Cariostatic Agent—An in vitro Study. Int J Clin Pediatr Dent 2018;11(2):105-109. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6034044/ "The aim of the study was to test the antibacterial activity of manuka honey and compare its efficacy with another commercially available honey (Dabur honey) on the cariogenic bacteria on Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus."
  11. @kaihoka Other acacia varieties do have Extrafloral Nectaries (EFNs). I could not find anything about Acacia melanoxylon specifically. Perhaps the answer is in this study that many others refer to. STRUCTURE AND SECRETION OF THE EXTRAFLORAL NECTARIES OF AUSTRALIAN ACACIAS Robyn Marginson , Margaret Sedgley , Trevor J. Douglas & R. Bruce Knox
  12. Try a comparison with google images for the gamochaeta / cudweed varieties: e.g. Gamochaeta calviceps, Gamochaeta subfalcata or Gamochaeta purpurea?
  13. This is a beautiful video in Portuguese from Brazil's Globo Rural channel of farmland reforestation with cattle, pigs, goats, horses, mules, and bees. This 34000ha farm (14000ha totally preserved) in Mato Grosso state has planted 3500ha of acacia mangium (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acacia_mangium) a native of Australia and Papua New Guinea. They run 10000 head of Nelore cattle (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelore) and use high protein leaves and silage from the nitrogen fixing acacias to feed cattle and pigs. The trees are planted 300per ha, including cultivation at a cost of approx (R$2.400 BRL) $925 NZD/ha planted. The trees flower twice a year and the growing foliage has extrafloral nectar glands that produce nectar the entire year, giving four honey crops a year. The farm has 1000 hives and invested approx (R$2 million BRL) $770,000 NZD in apiculture and a modern automated processing facility; payback on investment in 5 years. A recent crop (Jul-Oct) yeilded 12 tonnes of organic honey that processed on the farm and sold in 5 Brazilian states at approx (R$80) $30 NZD per kg. One website states hives on acacia mangium can produce up to 110kg of honey annually. Note the capped comb honey in a single serve plastic packs. The wood is suitable for furniture after 9 years and can earn approx (R$3000) $1150 a cubic metre, and is used for all their hiveware. As well as all that it keeps the cattle and soil protected from the sun, and improves soil fertility. Acacia manguim is a major plantation species in Asia Pacific and the honey is regarded as very healthy; a link below to a published study "Antibacterial activity of selected Malaysian honey". Not to be confused False acacia / Black locust; “Robinia pseudoacacia”. (In the video: intro on the farm and acacia trees from 30sec-5 min, honey production 5-7 min). https://g1.globo.com/economia/agronegocios/globo-rural/noticia/2018/12/09/de-mel-a-porcos-e-madeira-conheca-fazenda-que-aposta-na-diversidade.ghtml "From honey to pigs and wood: meet farm that bets on diversity. Property in Serra do Roncador, in Mato Grosso, is an example of integration of agriculture, livestock and forest, ILPF. It all started because of a tree." "De mel a porcos e madeira: conheça fazenda que aposta na diversidade Propriedade na Serra do Roncador, em Mato Grosso, é exemplo de integração de lavoura, pecuária e floresta, o ILPF. Tudo começou por causa de uma árvore." Por Globo Rural 09/12/2018 https://healthywithhoney.com/acacia-mangium-honey-made-from-a-real-acacia-tree/ "Acacia honey is very well known worldwide. But the term can be deceiving (just as tea tree is). European Acacia honey is a different product than the acacia honey made in Malaysia. In the US it is known as black locust honey or American acacia honey and in Europe as simply acacia honey but this is actually made from a false acacia, from a tree also known as black locust, on its scientific name “Robinia pseudoacacia”. Real acacia honey from an acacia tree is produced from Acacia mangium, a species found more in Malaysia and Australia." "Extrafloral nectaries: On the abaxial side of the basal part of every leaf stalks of Acacia mangium there are special nectar producing glands, called nectaries. The lens-like nectaries mature with the leaf, expanding with the development of the leafstalk and peaking at the stage at which the leafstalk itself has reached its mature size." https://healthywithhoney.com/acacia-honey-is-made-of-false-acacia/ "It’s true: Acacia honey isn’t made from acacia! There are some unifloral types of honey that are similar all over the world, like acacia honey or linden honey. Others are only appreciated in specific parts of world, like honeydew honey (fir or pine honey) is in Europe. Other types like eucalyptus, thyme, orange blossom honey are appreciated more in their origin places. But all Americans love acacia honey. Probably because the tree originates from their country, or because of the purity of the color and distinct flavor. But I don’t think they know they are not exactly eating acacia honey, made from the flowers of acacia tree.It’s from false acacia! The acacia honey as we know it, is made of BLACK LOCUST tree, on its scientific name: Robinia Pseudocacia. False acacia!" https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3716576/ Antibacterial activity of selected Malaysian honey 10 Jul, 2013 "Antibacterial activity of honey is mainly dependent on a combination of its peroxide activity and non-peroxide components. This study aims to investigate antibacterial activity of five varieties of Malaysian honey (three monofloral; acacia, gelam and pineapple, and two polyfloral; kelulut and tualang) against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa." "Honey samples were obtained from local apiarists and stored in the dark at room temperature. The identification was performed by the bee hunters based on their geographical hunting area and floral availability at the location of bee hives (foraging radius). These were supported by organoleptic confirmation of the honey. The five types of honey used were: (i) acacia; honey derived from a plant widely used in the forest plantation industry from Sarawak state of Malaysia known as tropical acacia species or Acacia mangium, (ii) gelam; honey derived from mangrove swamp in Johore state known as Melaleuca cajuputi powell, (iii) kelulut; this type of honey is harvested by a stingless bee species, Trigona spp., and derived from multifloral foraging activity of bees, (iv) pineapple; a monofloral variety derived from pineapple flowers, Ananas comosus, and (v) tualang; a wild polyfloral honey produced by Apis dorsata located on one of the tallest tropical rainforest trees from species Koompassia excelsa. To ascertain the reproducibility and reliability of our study, the standard commercially available medical grade honey derived from manuka tree was included (Comvita Wound Care UMF 18+, New Zealand)."
  14. Malaysia's honey hunters defy angry bees to harvest treetop treasure AFP•13 March 2018 https://nz.news.yahoo.com/malaysias-honey-hunters-defy-angry-bees-to-harvest-treetop-treasure-39494688.html ""There's a lot of nutrition in this honey. You can make it into medicine, for your cough or cold." Like New Zealand's manuka honey, also hailed for its supposed medicinal qualities, Malaysian tualang honey is expensive, fetching 150 ringgit ($38) a kilo -- a huge amount for people from poor, rural communities. But the generations-old practice faces myriad threats, from environmental destruction and falling bee numbers to a lack of interest among the young. The die-hard hunters remain optimistic -- for them, there is no greater buzz than climbing trees 250 feet (75 metres) tall to gather honey made by bees gorged on sweet nectar from exotic jungle flowers." Review of the Medicinal Effects of Tualang Honey and a Comparison with Manuka Honey Malays J Med Sci. 2013 May; 20(3): 6–13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3743976/ "Tualang honey (TH) is a Malaysian multifloral jungle honey. In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the number of studies published in medical databases regarding its potential health benefits. The honey is produced by the rock bee (Apis dorsata), which builds hives on branches of tall Tualang trees located mainly in the north-western region of Peninsular Malaysia. This review collates the results of the various studies of TH that range from research on tissue culture to randomised control clinical trials. Findings thus far show that, TH has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimutagenic, antitumor, and antidiabetic properties, in addition to wound-healing attributes. Some of its properties are similar to the well-researched Manuka honey (New Zealand and/or Australian monofloral honey). Distinct differences include higher phenolics, flavonoids, and 5-(hydroxymethyl) furfural (HMF). Compared with Manuka honey, TH is also more effective against some gram-negative bacterial strains in burn wounds."
  15. Heather (Calluna vulgaris) is an invasive species in NZ and Australia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calluna Invasive species "The plant was introduced to New Zealand and has become an invasive weed in some areas, notably the Tongariro National Park in the North Island and the Wilderness Reserve (Te Anau) in the South Island, overgrowing native plants. Heather beetles have been released to stop the heather, with preliminary trials successful to date." https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/central-north-island/places/tongariro-national-park/about-tongariro-national-park/pests-and-weeds/ "Heather (Calluna vulgaris) Originally planted by one of the early park wardens around 1910, heather was introduced to the area as a food source for pheasant and grouse which were to be introduced to Tongariro National Park as gamebirds. Public outrage stopped the birds' introduction in the park, although they were released in neighbouring areas. The birds did not survive the harsh climatic conditions of the Tongariro area, but unfortunately the heather did. It spread throughout the tussock country, smothering and pushing out the red tussock." "Measures to control heather Heather is difficult and expensive to control. The plant is so successful in this area that most control methods are inadequate. Pulling out the plants generally loosens the soil and releases lots of other seeds, ensuring that heather is usually the first thing to grow back. If you spray heather, large areas of vegetation are killed, including desirable native species. At present a form of biological control is being attempted in the form of the heather beetle (Lochmaea suturalis). This beetle is from Scotland and feeds only on heather. To be sure of this, there have to be many tests and trials to ensure that the beetle will not feed on any of our native plants. In 1996, the heather beetle was released on two sites in Tongariro National Park. It will not get rid of the heather all together, but hopefully it will slow its spread and allow the native species to regenerate with less competition." https://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/invasive/weeds/publications/guidelines/alert/pubs/c-vulgaris.pdf "C. vulgaris has been recorded as a weed in many overseas regions, including the high country of New Zealand where it covers an area of over 6000 square km. It is closely related to several other species that are weeds in Australia, including bell heather (Erica cinerea) and Spanish heath (Erica lusitanica). The latter is an invasive weed near Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra and has a very similar growth pattern to C. vulgaris, although Spanish heath is better adapted to drier conditions." https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/20463/Heather_Beetle.pdf HEATHER BEETLE Lochmaea suturalis The history of heather beetles in New Zealand "Heather was planted in Tongariro National Park (TNP) in 1912 to provide food and cover for introduced grouse. While grouse failed to establish, heather thrived and has now invaded more than 50 0000 ha of the Central Plateau, North Island." "Heather beetles are native to north-west Europe where large scale outbreaks can devastate heather. They were first imported from the UK by Landcare Research in 1992 and were released into TNP in 1996 after being cleared of a protozoan parasite. Beetle populations have been slow to establish here and poor climatematching, genetic bottlenecking and low foliar nitrogen levels appear to be contributing factors. A few large-scale outbreaks have severely damaged about 100 ha of heather at high altitude sites on the Central Plateau 10 years after the beetles were released."
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