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Everything posted by Alastair

  1. It's not like they did nothing, there is a philosophical problem. Some Iwi think the word manuka should be trade marked, and I think Shane Jones shares that opinion. But Ngai Tahu, one of the most powerful tribes, is against it. The reason is this. - Many things Maori have been missapropriated, often in an insulting way. For example the face of a respected chief who had an impressive facial tattoo being put on a bottle of beer. Certain Maori words and artwork has been used and abused both here and overseas, and an overseas company tried to trademark some Maori words. So
  2. Looking to me, like the new guy, Banfield, could be on the right track. In the past, it was astounding how a company in an industry that should have been wildly profitable, could have dismal results. From reading the media, plus experience with some of their guys on the ground, it seemd to me anyway, that incompetence in the company was endemic, from the bottom, to the top. The rot started when they decided the whole thing could be run from a champaigne filled boardroom, and they ditched Claude. Although they did have some areas of high competency and innova
  3. Like all living creatures, bees are driven to reproduce, and propagate the species. That's why they swarm and if they did not, we would be in a world with no bees. However about your hive in particular. The queen cell may have been an attempt to replace a poor queen, and if so, that would be a good thing. My recommendation is this. Keep an eye on things, and if they only build two or at most 3 queen cells, consider it supersedure and allow the process to continue, you will get a nice new queen. But if they build more than 3 queen cells, more like a dozen or so, the plan is to
  4. I'm going to come right out and say that I sold 50 hives to a Comvita Team Leader (guy who is in charge of a team of beekeepers). Before he drove off with them I asked him to go through and check each hive with me. That was really for my protection, so he could not come back later and say they were queenless, or whatever. I was expecting somebody who knew his way around a beehive, but this guy was a schmuck, but arrogant with it. I gained an understanding of two things. First, if this guy is the leader, what the beekeepers are like I couldn't imagine. And second, I realised why Com
  5. That's interesting Kaihoka, was the young queen mated by that time or still unmated? If a virgin, not totally rare for people to see them fighting because the urge is so strong in them. But if you saw a mated queen attacking the old one, you have seen something a lot of beekeepers never see, because as soon as the hive is opened, the natural behaviour often stops. People just see the two queens near each other, but not the fighting that has been going on.
  6. Today I caught a video of an old queen and the supersedure. Unfortunately I was checking for AFB and shook the comb before I noticed the queens so haven't got them together. The first video shows the old queen she has been chewed at by the young queen and has already lost a wing and had 2 or 3 of her legs damaged, she does not look like she will be around much longer. The next video is the young queen you will see she is very energetic. The bees were pretty riled up cos I had been shaking them off the combs so not really displaying natural behavior. Hop
  7. LOL. Time at a site of AMM's on South Island West Coast. Drive in and see skid marks in the grass someone driving away in a hurry. A lid off a hive, a comb part out, and an axe left laying on the ground where it was dropped and abandoned.
  8. You say the queen cells are in various stages, but both hives have eggs. The timing of that means that the queen cells were started while the queens were still there. So the only reason you think there are no queens is you didn't see them. That can happen. Me, I would not be 100% there is no queens. The hive that built 10 + queen cells while the queen was still there is preparing to swarm. We know that not from the position on the comb of the cells, but because there are 10+ cells. Superseding hives build one or two queen cells, or very occasionally, three.
  9. This is not new news. Honeybees when introduced to countries they were not native to, take the food of other pollinators. That's just a fact. However, beekeeping is just another form of farming. All the farm animals we have introduced displace native species. Take a look at the average NZ farm, covered in introduced grasses, then imagine what that land would have looked like before people arrived. I'm not justifying anything, in fact it's sad. Just saying, beekeepers do not have this on our own, and in fact only a miniscule proportion of the environmental d
  10. Shop towels laid over the top of the frames just don't work. Don't kill bees or queens, but don't kill mites either. Experiment if you wish, but unlikely you will be pleased with the results.
  11. CBD is still illegal in NZ unless you get it via a Dr, and based on what I saw on TV last night it's looking like the majority will vote against legalising cannabis. One of my site owners already does a home made honey CBD blend, just, it's got THC as well, but he calls it honey CBD. Also makes a hand cream that gradually soaks through and is a sleep aid and a bunch of other things, which is made from leaf, to keep the THC down. There's a bunch of products out there but looking like it's going to stay illegal.
  12. How is it swarm control? Please describe your method.
  13. hey that brings back some old memories John, those whiter than white cappings they used to make. Awesome for nice looking comb honey. Nowadays I see a constant stream of people on the net with black bees, claiming they are AMM's. They often claim they are gentle, which tells me they are not AMM's. Some people have a romantic notion of AMM's, and just "decide" that their black bees are AMM's. But the white cappings, to those who remember them, could be another proof these bees are not AMM's. I'll bet these black bees do not make the white cappings like we used to see in
  14. How much do they require you to buy, to get it at 80 cents a liter?
  15. Thanks Kiwi, the Ecrotek one doesn't look like Bens one though. Typical American ones are going for that price, which is really pretty outrageous. But Bens one was a lot cheaper, hence my interest.
  16. Exactly John, that is actually a real useful post. I still have the painful memory of killing the nice young supersedure, then finding the drone layer walking around, since that experience that still causes me pain to think about, I always investigate thoroughly and if I cannot figure out who is who I just leave things as they are. Mostly drone layers are dodery old things and it's obvious, but they can also look pretty good sometimes, fool anyone.
  17. Maggie I said i visited the area years later. Which does not mean now, it was probably 15 years ago or slightly more. I do not know what the situation is now. Back when I visited, I was shocked. Some of those farms had been owned by friends I would visit or even have dinner with. Or as there was a need, help with haymaking, stockwork, or similar. It was sad to go back years later and see the state they were in. By weeds, I wasn't talking gorse.
  18. Not meaning to be cheeky or anything, but that sounds exactly like Stoney a year or so ago. Before he decided to bite the bullet, spend a lot more money, and go bayvarol. Do I judge a man by what he says on the internet, or by what he does. just saying..
  19. Can't speak for Maggie but the decline in Canterbury has been sad. Back when I was there you could plonk a beehive anywhere in Canterbury and expect to get at least 2 full boxes off it. Visiting the area years later was a shock. The money has gone out of sheep, farms are run down and full of weeds and fences that should be replaced. Little clover in the grass. Irrigation is not what it used to be. Farms converted to dairy, which can be a bit of a bee desert. Beekeepers there who I knew from way back, have told me keeping bees in Canterbury is a whole new bal
  20. Any time I have seen bees on macrocapa it's to collect propolis, of which macrocapa is a good source. Just, the propolis is rather fragrant and makes me sneeze .
  21. Yup, it's hard making those tough decisions, that just a few years ago would have been a no brainer. Leaving honey on not only saves buying sugar, it saves the costs of taking the honey off, extracting it, storing the boxes, etc.. I surprised myself how much work I saved myself by taking a more cheapskate approach last year.
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