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About NickWallingford

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    Wannabe Beekeeper - I do not have bees yet


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  1. A rather strange request... I would sure like to get a copy of the March 1977 magazine if anyone would be willing to let me have it. Even just to borrow would be fine - I plan to scan it, and can happily return it to you. Nick Tauranga
  2. I think the research that debunked the 'smoke causes the bees to fill their honey stomachs so they can prepare to leave the hive' was done in Australia. The issue came down to the time it took them to fill their stomachs with honey - it was shown that by the time the bees would have all filled up in order to abscond, the colony would have burned. That explanation of why the bees are calmer to work simply didn't stand up to scientific investigation. I think the accepted explanation now is related to disruption of the phenomenal communication.
  3. Honey granulates most rapidly at about 11degC. Such honeys as pohutukawa (and rata and some others) have a higher ratio of levulose:dextrose, which means they will crystalise both quickly and with a very small crystal - that is why they are favoured as a starter. Honey crystals, once formed, can be smashed about physically, resulting in a texture that is more desirable. I would count the agitation (with cooling) of a traditional 'creaming' process to be more aimed at continuous distribution of the new (fast, small) grains as they form, rather than the physical grinding or smashing about process. The device for 'grinding' up the honey was invented by Allan Bates, who was living in Taranaki at the time (He also invented the honey packing machine used by many, many beekeepers over the years. Honey 'ground up' in such a way has never appealed to me, but it took away a lot of the complications and work of the creamed honey method. NZ beekeepers developed the process of 'creamed honey' (initial heat to destroy any existing crystals, addition of a starter of fine grain, stirring, cooling) back in the 1920s/30s. An American beekeeping prof, Dr. E.J. Dyce, visited NZ, and then published the results, and claimed a patent on the process. It was over-turned in 1935 by the (NZ) Honey Control Board that protected NZ bkpr interests - imagine if we had had to pay a royalty to get our honey into the UK since he had the patent!
  4. Research some years back concluded that the adult wax moth: will almost always try to enter a stack of boxes from the top (with other holes in supers all bets are off...), and is not inclined to enter if there is any air flow coming up through the stack. Practical import? You can put the stack of supers up off the base, so there will be a 'chimney' of fresh air being drawn in from the bottom and flowing up through the stack to the top. From memory, some of this may have come out of the Waikato many years ago (?). Mostly open sheds for storing supers would be built with a slatted floor (and mesh for the mice!), so that the air flow would always be there. With the prevalence and availability of freezing units now, I'm not sure sure of the need for this level of activity - freezing wax moths is, IMHO, a much better way to go... Nick Tauranga
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