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Everything posted by Alastair

  1. No. They are attracted by the smell. If lucky there may be a couple teaspoonfuls of honey on the net but that is quickly removed and then they get nothing. I'm about to go out and i'll bet in ten minutes there will barely be a bee. But if I did not go out, within 2 or 3 hours there will be almost no bees. They are also not an aggressive nuisance like they would be if actually getting honey from combs, their behaviour is more calm and investigative.
  2. Just looked out the window and saw my truck with a bunch of wets i loaded yesterday and put a net over, covered in bees attempting to rob. Luckily they will not get much and will soon give up. This is the suburbs on Aucklands North Shore. Years ago at this time of year, not only would there have been no robbing interest, but any hives would have been pumping. Filling multiple boxes and working hard. I don't have any hives at home to look at but do look at the hives of hobbyists in the area, and have seen over the last few years nectar coming in getting less and less. I looked at some hives in Auckland a couple of weeks ago and they were close to starvation, in an area where years ago they would have easily packed in 100 kg's in a season. Is it climate change, or is it that people don't want to put in the time needed to maintain a nice flower garden. Either way, in the words of Bob Dylan, the times they are a'changing.
  3. In Auckland the Council rules around nuisance caused by bees are similar to other kept animals. If a person is experiencing nuisance they can contact the Council. An inspector comes and has a look, and if he deems it a genuine nuisance (he has discretion), he can enforce that the bees are moved. With lots of bee poop he will most likely tell you to move the bees. I'm not sure Ned which house at your site has the problem. But what I have found in similar situations is that bees will fly over houses that are at the same level or lower than the apiary, but much less likely to fly over them if they are higher than the apiary. Unless there is a natural flight path caused by trees or similar over that house. If the houses in question are higher than your apiary, I would suggest moving the apiary down the drive to a lower location on the same property, this will almost certainly make the problem go away. But if the new houses are lower on the property there may be little you can do. It would be good to act before this goes to the Council cos then you will have no discretion. I would find another site on the property, lower, and out of site, of the people making the complaints. Then I would visit the complainants and politely tell them you will move the bees, and give them a date. This will keep them quiet and stop them going to the Council. Then move the bees by that date. Me, I wouldn't tell them where you are moving them to, hopefully they will just see the bees gone, notice the problem reduce, and all will be well.
  4. Gotta say Ned, when we worked your hives together last week, I was impressed with what nice bees they were, and also how much honey they have gathered thus far. 🙂
  5. Yes that's interesting Kaihoka. My own belief is that in pre human NZ manuka may have been less common than it is now. After land was cleared, or burned as in the far north, it opened the way for manuka.
  6. Not sure he would want to disclose, by his comments, who he is. 😉
  7. You raise an interesting point Kaihoka. The manuka honey we produced when I worked in the far north (probably should add in 1970's) was a strong dark honey, it had an almost smokey taste and a slight bitterness. Manuka produced where i am now has a milder flavour, and some supermarket bought manukas I tried a couple years ago didn't even taste like manuka at all. (Think i know why). The local kanuka produced by my own hives is a really delicious honey when freshly harvested, but loses it's flavour after a few months in storage to become a more run of the mill "bush" honey. Best i can tell, kanuka has always been sold mixed in with manuka, if it was extracted at the same time, up until the new standard. And after the standard, i know of a mix that was 90% kanuka passed the standard and was exported as manuka. Happy to disclose the packer by PM if anyone wants to know.
  8. Date was last week? 😄 Phil i like your brood comb, but have you got any useful data yet, in line with the purpose of this thread? . I am still wrestling with why my hives did so badly.
  9. Knew you'd show some brood once you hunted down a reasonable one 😄
  10. Yes. As a young guy I did 2 years in the far north, in manuka country, at that time as much as it was possible we kept the hives away from manuka as it was hard to extract and didn't meet the taste requirements for most people. But what we got, manuka and kanuka were just bundled up and sold as manuka. I don't recall ever seeing a pot of honey on a supermarket shelf labelled as kanuka, I think there would now be a good case to do it though in fact I am considering producing my own brand.
  11. They will have little oxalic crystal boggle eyes. 😉
  12. Straight up, I don't know. I would assume the + to mean the count is that, or over. As a young guy i was friendly with Richard Benseman (now deceased), who later became a partner with Peter. One day he was in Auckland and called into my house, excitedly showing me samples of their latest range of mono honeys and describing the pollen count method they had developed. This was way before manuka was considered anything other than suitable for making biscuits.
  13. But in fairness, they introduced their pollen count method before manuka was a thing. They were groundbreaking at the time, introducing a standardised method to correctly identify honey types by the pollen. This was for all honeys, not just manuka. . I suspect that was a resaon they have always been so strident in rejecting the other methods of defining manuka, they felt they already had the ultimate method. And indeed, the passage of time has shown some of the other methods to be wide open to abuse.
  14. Very interesting. Gosh I have not seen Peter Bray since he was a schoolkid, but he has grown to look very like his Dad. Also has the same no nonsense attitude as his Dad, and the same logical thought processes.
  15. Phil does your machine do all the stitches at once, or do you have to do each row of stitch individually?
  16. For me anyway, it was while the staples were in, but t hasn't been long enough since the staples were removed to see if the process is ongoing. Just based on pure observation, the supersedure in my hives did not look to be a direct result of the OA (although i cannot know that for sure), but looked to be the bees response to a swarming urge, and then changing their minds after queen cells were under way, due to a falling bee population. However I am not inside their heads and able to totally understand their motives. I also don't see supersedure as a bad thing, provided it is done properly, ie new queen is of good quality, and the old queen is present until after the new queen is laying.
  17. Thing is, they want 10 to 15 bees per sample. Cost was $85 per sample so I didn't want to submit too many of them. If i just submitted one sample, and it just came from one hive, that would not be a statistically correct result for the apiary either. Could have been the sick hive, or, could have been the well hive. My samples were 16 or so bees taken from 8 hives. In my view those 16 bees taken from 8 hives will be more representative of the apiary, than the same number of bees taken from 1 hive. Having said that, i can see how if one hive was sick and the others were not, you could get a diluted result. However if most hives are well, I'm OK with knowing that. As it turned out, despite taking bees from multiple hives per sample, I got a high reading of pathogens. That is the useful info I needed, I know there is an issue across the apiary.
  18. What I've found with the blacks is they can be pretty docile in nice weather and a flow. But when there isn't a flow, let's just be polite and say I'll take italians.
  19. I have been and worked in such gardens, in Ruatoria. Communal effort cos way back that's what people had to do. Digging kumara, at days end you walked back in a line with each hand in one handle of a kete (or however you spell it) and someone else got the other side. Had a good laugh one day when I asked this very old lady what this particular kind of potato was called, she told me tutai kuri. And yes, that's pretty much what it looked like. 😄 I'll bet it is still done in places further from a town.
  20. Yes well of course, meth is a worse problem. Regarding minimum wagew and drug use, I can say that i have done my own fair share of work on little over minimum wage, and did not find this on it's own, caused me to use drugs. A lot of those guys have my sympathies though, there are a whole raft of reasons why some people just don't know any different, or see any reason to be any different. I can see the problems, just, I don't know the solutions.
  21. Plenty labour up there. Problem being, smoking a pound a week leaves them mentally incapable of productive work.
  22. Overstocking would have happened because that is caused by the money that manuka brought in, imports would not have changed it. However the boom and now bust would largely not have happened had not non manuka honey been blended with manuka and brought more money than it's worth as a stand alone. IE, if people had only ever been paid the real price for non manuka honey, a boom in that kind of honey would not have happened. I think there would still have been overstocking though as manuka hives are moved around.
  23. But if i want to find average infection level across an apiary, it would work?
  24. LOL. This advice often holds true. People misjudge their dates and freak. 😄
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