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Alastair last won the day on October 20

Alastair had the most liked content!

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About Alastair


  • Beekeeping Experience
    Semi Commercial


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  1. Watson & Son - Bad News - NBR

    Some time back I had words with a large commercial who dumped hives right next to me, I was pretty much told to go shove it. That's the attitude of some.
  2. Watson & Son - Bad News - NBR

    Agreed. I wondered if I should use that example as it could set a bad precedent. In that site everything was ideal. Flat, not floundering in mud, etc. I also could work with the sun behind my shoulder so could just dump bees of each frame and the sun could shine into uncapped cells so as well as checking for abnormal capped cells, I could easily see if any slumped larvae in cells that had been uncapped. On other days with less well arranged hives my productivity can be way lower.
  3. Watson & Son - Bad News - NBR

    Couple weeks ago I afb checked someone elses apiary, 38 hives mostly singles only the odd box of honey to lift off, and laid out well so they easy to work. Only perhaps 4 or 5 ish brood combs in each one, job done in 2 hours, which is what I charged for it.
  4. Watson & Son - Bad News - NBR

    There was a discussion about that a while back, how many hives would someone check for afb in a day. The consensus seemed to be about 50, although personally I felt that was rather low. It's about what I'll do now but I'm well past working in a normal commercial environment.
  5. Watson & Son - Bad News - NBR

    Young guy who has hung out a bit & helped me with the bees the odd time has just landed his first job with a manuka producer, starting wage 50K and told there are good prospects to climb the ladder. Suspect he may be in for a culture shock after doing things at my leisurely pace though LOL. But he's keen, and fit, that may be what swung it for him.
  6. Nice work Craig, good looking nuc .
  7. Watson & Son - Bad News - NBR

    Always enjoy the quirky humour in the NBR. A few quotes from this article - Bad buzz plagues Ngai Tahu honey venture Honeymoon's Over What, if any, due diligence the iwi did before putting it's money into what now appears to be a sticky situation.
  8. OK, I have seen those. They work OK on a strong hive that is going to have bees everywhere and will easily go down those mesh things to get the syrup. But for me, often working with weak nucs, I don't have any float, but fill the feeder with loosely packed barley straw. Just my own view that works better when conditions like temperature are less friendly to the bees. However your nuc is reasonably strong, and the weather is getting warmer. If you put the feeder next to the bees and dribble a bit of syrup around to lead them in the right direction and get them started, your current set up should work fine.
  9. View Advert Free empty wooden nuc box Old nuc box cluttering my yard cos I don't use this type any more. Free to good home, pick up only, Mairangi Bay, Auckland North Shore. Advertiser Alastair Date 20/10/17 Price Category Equipment For Sale  
  10. Time Left: 6 hours and 10 minutes

    • FOR SALE

    Old nuc box cluttering my yard cos I don't use this type any more. Free to good home, pick up only, Mairangi Bay, Auckland North Shore.


  11. Which to buy - Jenter or Nicot

    Yes if I can be bothered. For the normal plastic grafting type cups I had a tool made from a hacksaw blade designed to give a twirl in each cup to remove whatever grunge and old royal jelly was in there. After that the cells were put on bars and into a hive for further cleaning, for used and scraped cups a couple of days is best. But even new cups need cleaning by the bees to remove mold oil plus do whatever else it is bees do to them, not essential, but will increase the take of grafted larvae.
  12. Watson & Son - Bad News - NBR

    Oops, you are correct. Guess I should check my own facts and failing memory, before shooting my mouth LOL I've now googled to check up, so for those who are wondering, the rest of my story is correct. Just delete Ben McKee from what I wrote and replace with Simon Mulvany, and you have the correct story.
  13. Watson & Son - Bad News - NBR

    Rare, but internet chatters can be sued for libel. Couple years ago in Australia a guy called Ben McKee set up a SAVE THE BEES facebook page, specifically so he could attack Australias largest honey packer and exporter, Capilano Honey. From his page he made constant attacks against Capilano Honey. The kind of stuff he was saying gradually attracted a following, many of them being vegans, hipsters, save the bees types, and others. Capilano became aware and also signed up, and answered his critiques with the truth as they saw it, but Ben McKee owned the page and simply deleted, or edited, whatever Capilano had to say. So after a year of this, and seeing McKees growing following and being disturbed by the comments the followers were also making, Capilano contacted McKee and said they expected to have right of reply, or they would get their lawyers involved. McKee ignored them. Capilano followed up by making quite a few attempts to resolve things without lawyers, McKee was not interested. So, enter Capilanos lawyers. Last I heard, McKee was now saying Capilano was ruining him and making him homeless. He set up one of those give a little type pages to beg for money. Not sure where this ended up, but from what I read it did sound like McKee was not always truthful, plus seemed like something of a fanatic. However the take away from this, is that the internet being what it is, untruths are spoken, about probably every large company. The company itself will not gain by suing everyone. But in Capilanos case they first went with the cheap option, some emails and phone calls seeking a resolution. Only when patently clear none of this was going to work, and in the face of long term and extreme provocation, did they end up coming down with the full force of the law.
  14. NZBF Springtime feeding

    Re pollen, it depends where you are. Often the bees will be collecting plenty of pollen but there is not much nectar, so just feeding sugar only, is all they need. There's a couple of things you can do. Have a look at the bees flying at the entrance. If you see plenty of bees coming home, loaded with pollen on their back legs, likely you are OK for pollen. Also, take a look inside the hive. If you see pollen stored in the combs, it will not be necessary to feed them pollen. If you see no, or little, stored honey, then yes, feed them syrup. But if there looks to be plenty, don't feed them. Many places you can forget about bees pollen needs because there is always enough. But some places pollen shortage can be an issue. The kind of places where pollen may be short, is "green deserts". IE, large areas of only grass. If the hive is in the suburbs, or out of town but there is bush and scrub around, you should be fine for pollen. But do the investigation, check inside the hive to see what the situation is, and then act accordingly.
  15. Also, the nuc looks reasonably well stocked with bees, would recommend putting one of the empty frames in the middle of the nuc so there are bees on each side of it and they will draw the comb as they consume the syrup. And, to get bees started in a feeder, what I do is tip a bit of syrup over the bees to perk their interest, plus pour some over the feeder to lure the bees into it. Where did that float type thing come from that is in the feeder, was it bought commercially? I don't like it, it will slow down bees getting syrup especially if weather is very cold or a hive is very weak.