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Alastair last won the day on February 17

Alastair had the most liked content!

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About Alastair

  • Rank
    Field Bee


  • DECA Holder
  • Beekeeping Experience
    Semi Commercial


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  1. Alastair

    Honey demand, facts not speculation

    Reinvasion has always been a problem and something longer term beekeepers will have procedures in place for, and may even know where it is most likely to occur.
  2. Alastair

    Quick! Send her some Kanuka Honey!

    Actually not a stupid suggestion. With the herd mentality of American teenage girls (not to mention the grown ups), if KK used Kanuka and claimed she got better, 1/2 that population demographic of the US would be screaming out to buy NZ Kanuka. Then 2 years later the Ozzy's would be claiming Kanuka is actually an Aboriginal word. Like they ever cut the Aboriginals a fair deal.
  3. Alastair

    Honey demand, facts not speculation

    Wildly optimistic I am afraid. Bit like me my honey this season is various bush varieties, and a bit of manuka none of which quite makes the grade. Pretty much nobody wants it except 2 buyers one offering $4, the other $7. So I made my choice beggars can't be choosers. Won't say who the buyer is but originally $7 got mentioned, then when we talked again later he said "well i got to sell it first". He is pretty interested in just what honey type each batch is and expresses pleasure when blendable types come in, but always mentions "you don't get any more for it though". Anyhow at $7 i can live. Not well, but i can live.
  4. Alastair

    Honey demand, facts not speculation

    Been thinking about that for a while. It will happen. However, the bees are not treated, they die, end of problem. Hard attitude yes, but that's just how it is. Better than pre varroa days when uncared for hives just lived on until they got AFB then died, then infected everybody else. Now varroa take care of the issue for us.
  5. Alastair

    Tasman Fires

    What. Nobody allowed into forestry areas?
  6. Alastair

    February 2019 diary

    If you say so Northernbee, they are bees. My explanation about wasps mating areas was in response to this comment from Jas.
  7. Alastair

    afb bonfire

    Yes, that practise is more common than you may think.
  8. Alastair

    February 2019 diary

    Poisoning of paper wasps is much more difficult. Because German and common wasps take live insects but are also happy to eat carrion so can be lured to vespex bait. Paper wasps it's live insects only, or occasionally sweet juices but that can't be used cos of the danger to bees.
  9. Alastair

    February 2019 diary

    Kind of. But seriously, it's what wasps do at this time of year and for the next 2 - 3 months. The underground nesting wasps select some prominent landmark such as a tall tree or group of trees, and you will see hundreds of wasps flying around at the top. It's a mating thing, there will be lots of males and next years queens. Easy to identify because you can see they are not hunting or achieving anything, just flitting around. The Asian paper wasps do the same thing but their preferred location is bare timber with the sun shining on it, often at ground level. Such as timber decks, garden landscaping with railway sleepers, or bare tree stumps. Long as it's in the sun and hot.
  10. Alastair

    afb bonfire

    Thought i'd throw this pic in for interest, a few years back when i had a big outbreak, 11 hives in there, 3 and 4 deckers. Pretty heartbreaking.
  11. Alastair

    February 2019 diary

    If you take a close look you will find they are using it as a honeymoon area.
  12. Alastair

    Varoa death strips

    The Death Strips have arrived. They look pretty much like Phil's staples but already soaking with chemicals. I was expecting to get a smell of some of the OE's they say are in them, but other than the faintest ever thymoly type smell when I opened the pack which quickly dissipated, no odour at all. I had a little taste, very strong taste of oxalic acid. Here's a scan of the instructions that came with them.
  13. Alastair

    afb bonfire

    And about that, as it applies to honey harvest. The bottom line for most beekeepers in this day and age, is you just never know if your bees may have been exposed to AFB in the recent past. In my view it is essential that hives are checked for AFB at honey harvest, nothing worse then finding AFB in a hive after harvest but by that time you have lost track of the honey boxes that came off it. I thought this was standard procedure, but apparently not. I caught up with an old friend who has worked for 2 different corporates in the last 2 seasons, he was middle of the honey harvest. I asked him about their methods, and how they do the AFB check. He told me there is no AFB check they just take the honey. I expressed that in my view that is dangerous in a big outfit and they will never eliminate AFB if they do that, he agreed. I asked if they have much AFB in their outfit, his reply was "yeah, heaps". For small hobbyists who know exactly what frames came off what hives, you probably do not need to do an AFB check when you take the honey. But for everyone else, if we want to even have a shot at eliminating AFB, an inspection at harvest is a must.
  14. Alastair

    afb bonfire

    You can get something written into your DECA. A large beekeeper i know of has an AFB room. During times of fireban or whatever other reason they cannot burn immediately, infected material is stored in this room until it can be safely burned. I recall a few years back, and the news report was linked on this forum, a beekeeper burning AFB during fire ban season, set fire to surrounding bush and it became a major requiring helicopters and a lot of manpower. Never found out if he was covered by insurance, but if he wasn't, probably would have ruined him. Pays to keep that type of thing in mind.
  15. Alastair

    Manuka fail

    Wasn't that part of the plan? To differentiate us from the Aussie stuff?