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Everything posted by NickWallingford

  1. Doug Briscoe was a beekeeping advisor for the Dept of Agric. I knew him when he was based in Tauranga, in the late 1970s/early 1980s (by then, Min of Agric). He said that given that he was responsible for the areas where tutin might be found in honey, he felt sort of obliged to have a taste of some (confirmed by others' illness!) to see if the effects were as bad as it was described. He said it was about the worst sick he had ever been, lasting a day or more. Never again, he said. I don't think I would have had the nerve to do that...
  2. until

    I sure wish I could be there to meet some of you guys, Maggie. Even as a vegetarian (piscitarian, in fact - I love seafood) I would have enjoyed an evening up there to meet you all. I figure it as something like 45 years since I worked with Jasper Bray, up the Rakaia - but I think the other side of the river. I wish you all well!
  3. The only case of AFB I ever had in my own hives was found when it was the first hive I went to in the spring. Even worse (?) it was in the burr comb between the boxes - I had cracked the top box and there in the bit of comb was an infected cell - not one doubt about it. I hadn't even, strictly speaking, lifted a beehive that season yet! Already, I was anticipating a massive level of infection through all my hives. That cell was the only one I ever found in the colony. Having AFB may not be a beekeeper's problem, but continuing to have AFB is the problem. And, as we know, it ca
  4. I don't have a great sense of smell. (That's not the same thing as saying that I don't smell good.) But that cutting, sharp smell of lots of alarm pheromone in the air has always been sort of offensive to me.
  5. I remember a beekeeper saying something to me some years back that he sure enjoyed the money from selling venom, but said the collection was sheer hell. It involved a thin latex (?) layer, with criss-crossed series of wires below. Voltage to the wires, and the bees would stick their stinger into the latex. Inject poison. And hopefully withdraw to live another day. But the alarm pheromones made the whole apiary a difficult place to be during the collection...
  6. @Drone bee Which plant are you talking about in this reply?
  7. Warning: I am not a honey specialist, but I do like Van Morrison. This is mostly from memory of the history and science, and without checking things, I may well make a mistake or two, and trust some on the list who really know this stuff to correct me. The ratio of dextrose:levulose (Damn sugars always have more than one name, and I can never remember which to use - fructose?) is significant. If the dextrose predominates (Viper's bugloss, peppermint, most honeys?), the honey will granulate very slowly with big crystals, an unpleasant texture for many people. If there is more lev
  8. The levy order came into place in Nov 2003, and there was a quick, part year, levy demand that brought the dates into line for the levy order. The first full year of levy collection came in early 2004. It used 31 March 2004 as the calculation date, and was due for payment on 1 June 2004. Every year after that, for nearly 20 years now, 31 March has been the calculation date, and the levy paid on the following 1 June. That has been the model for all that time: 31 March levy calculation date, beginning of levy year 1 June of the previous calendar year, end of levy year and collecti
  9. A levy year has four elements in the Order: A calculation date - just as referred to by @ChrisM above. The Order states it to be 31 March. A start date - the 1 June that precedes the calculation date. Note it is in a different calendar year, but that is the 'start' of the levy year. A finish date - the 31 May that follows the calculation date. A levy due date - on or by 1 June, the first day of the *next* levy year, effectively the same as the end of 'this' levy year. Every levy year has a calculation date 'inside' it. So if you want to know which levy year appli
  10. And would be allowed entry based on a minimal risk profile: presumably clean - will have been heated strained and likely bleached? packaged in small units - not so likely to be made into foundation for instance? relatively high value - indeed, as anyone who has sought to be such small beeswax blocks will tell you... would not be highly attractive to honeybees if it were to be exposed - Maybe a mild interest, but not likely to be avidly foraged upon would not provide significant risk when discarded, and again, as high value would not be likely to be discarded.
  11. Old Allan Bates, starting beekeeping in Taranaki, used to site his apiaries to be convenient to a trout stream coming off (then) Mt. Egmont. There were some idyllic looking bee yards.
  12. Since the Biosecurity (American Foulbrood—Beekeeper Levy) Order 2003 was first put into place, it defined 'levy year' as the year preceding a levy payment. 'Levy year' is the in which someone had beehives, and had to pay a levy. Levy year looks 'back'... Beekeepers, almost as soon as that levy order came into place, reverted to talking about 'operational years' and 'budget years' - the time *after* the (legislatively defined) levy year. Beekeepers, naturally, were naturally forward looking - the spending of the levy. But contrary to some things I've heard, this levy
  13. I could be wrong (it happened once before) but I think this relates to the selling of drone larvae, 'extracted' from the comb (?) and then consumed. High protein, high fat, apparently sorty of nutty in flavour, suitable for frying...
  14. Indeed, Dennis! I sure didn't think about that as I worked down through it. Thanks for spotting and highlighting that. Times change. And even within my time (young as I am...) I worked for a beekeeper who used carbolic acid boards to get bees out of the honey supers...
  15. You'd think the Internet would have enough to look at without going back into the past, but there you go... Nearly 25 years ago I created a conversion programme for beekeepers. It contained the 'mathematical' conversions - feet to metres, etc. But more importantly (I feel) it collected together a lot of the more esoteric rules of thumb - the ones you don't know until you have already done something, often. Obviously, those have particular assumptions that can be challenged. But I thought you might enjoy seeing it, all these many years later... Back in *th
  16. I'm doing my individual best - promoting mustache wax made from NZ beeswax and coconut oil. I figure I should be able to get through maybe up to a 100gm a year with this???
  17. Absolutely! Though the volume is not great, I guess, we certainly could/should be ensuring that NZ beeswax satisfies the needs. Given the nature of the product (small, discrete, relatively expensive) I would think that should be possible...
  18. Yes, biosecurity is a tenuous thing. But on the other hand, adherence to an approach like NZs could be very reassuring for our industry, assuming our trading partners would all do the same! When the issue of importing honey from Oz, for instance, is proposed - we can use the science of "sanitary/phytosanitary" to resist. We can't say "We don't want honey from Australia because it will wreck our market". We can't say "Ours tastes better than theirs". We can't even say "There would be no demand for their honey." We had to make the argument that there was an identifiable and real
  19. Absolute prohibitions are not common. For animal products, many factors could be taken into consideration when an import permit is sought. The risk analysis would need to take into account: likelihood that the product carries a pathogen etc volume of the import overall volume of the individually packaged wax labeling, either promoting or discouraging a particular use value vectors by which the product might be exposed to bees if exposed, what is the likelihood of an infection Some bee products have an inherently higher risk. Think hon
  20. You might also get good info from: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/importing/food/honey-and-bee-products/
  21. Hi John... Best phone number I could see was 0800 80 99 66, but that is MPI's 'report exotic pests/diseases'. You'll likely get shoved about, but that should get you into contact with whoever would be able to confirm that the item has an import permit. To get such a permit for such a risk item, it would need to have gone through a consideration of risks. That would consider what pests/diseases might be introduced, what risk of actual exposure, etc. I have not been aware of such an import before, but I've not been following things for some time.
  22. I'm not suggesting that the market is the same today. But at that time, yes - based on that evidence people would not buy more if it was cheaper. I don't think honey has become poor value. Back then, when people mostly bought it on the basis of "do I already have a container in the cupboard?", it didn't have an especial 'value' - it was just a spread, and one of the more expensive of those available. Over the last 25 years, NZ consumers have learned (IMHO) to appreciate honey more, providing opportunities of all sorts to create something that is more than just another spread.
  23. Years ago, back when domestic consumption was est. 2/3 of production, there was some interesting marketing research. It was trying to establish how honey was positioned in the minds of families, esp. At that time, even with no honey being imported, the domestic returns were seen to be tied to export returns. This marketing guy seemed to take a different tack - asking what motivated the purchases of honey. Remember, most honeys were being treated strictly as a commodity back then... The shoppers were asked "If the price of honey were to be cut in half, would you buy more?" Resp
  24. Through the life of the HMA - early 1950s to late 1970s - the HMA held moneys back (esp in a good year), with the concept that these funds went into an 'equalisation fund'. Theoretically, that fund would be used to increase the payout in bad years. Remember, the HMA's payout to beekeepers pretty much dictated the price packers' had to pay for honey - if a packer was not willing to meet the figure, the bkpr could always send it to the HMA. When the HMA was to be wound up, there was a lot of discussion about where the money should go. Should it go only to those who supp
  25. That lifter looks a lot like the old Ward Loader. Good for both hives and stacks of honey boxes. Driven by someone who was careful, it was very efficient. But as someone said, prone to have problems if the site was not level...
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