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About Chrisdub

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  1. Up near View Hill / Oxford Forest I see there is a big bee farm - 2,500,000 bees according to the gate sign. They were flying over 1km away at the view hill car park and getting into the Manuka?? bushes there. The number of beehives in the Mt Oxford area is absolutely massive - would blow your mind - all there for honey dew as that is the predominant honey sort. What little manuka is there would just infect good honey dew (a far nicer honey anyhow)
  2. The weather is the critical issue in this area though. it might flower but it is too cold for active bee flying, or just too darned windy. Its not easy gathering a crop of anything unless you get a bit of leeway with some fine enough and warm enough weather, aside from all the other factors.
  3. Ha well that shows how long it has been since I was last at a forestry convention! I suppose that like kanuka was re-classified as kunzea ericoides ... as do other species over time as more data comes to the fore.
  4. The scale insect (depending on its range) can and does produce manuka honey dew (taps into the sap stream and it drips the sap which the bees collect in the same manner) and have had it come in on the odd lean year but it seems to be only collected in certain conditions, although the scale insect is usually confined to the nothofagus species. The one year is was in extractable quantities several years back, the manuka looked amazing in jars when it set naturally over time, the liquid surrounding suspended crystalline masses like a slurry of coffee crystals in light-ish coloured honey dew, but of course tasting of manuka! Sometimes fascinating things happen but you don't often record them as you are busy!
  5. The squint is for the understandings of how to make anything work without an iron fist approach perhaps. And I agree re the overall health comment. However, if several medical practitioners were in one locale and the general health of the populus was thus, one might have to question it a little. 🤔
  6. The production part - this sort of comes back around to the idea of a hive numbers per region type quota which was bandied around a while ago as a way of limiting hives:forage availability. No amount of squinting could make me see how that could be made to work without offering to bail out some "businesses" (incentivise them to exit) to reduce the pressure. Of course, that would have to come from open accounts and proof that they were running a sustainable business prior, so I think, it won't fly. Bee health - challenged by some general incompetence in the actual management of bees as a livestock type, you mean?
  7. yes, I got between $5.10 and $6.30 ish plus GST / kg on a range of prices. As it has been said plenty, depends if you are carrying debt. It would be nice to see prices "lift" to this in NZ and have sales going ahead. So, who is pulling the chain?
  8. Perhaps it will need "farming" like everything else - or at least some form of management to ensure it is kept producing and the senescent manuka is replaced by new seedlings, if it doesn't propagate itself adequately.
  9. I would highly doubt it unless of course the boxes are still intact and containing frames .... 😁
  10. You must surely have somewhere beeproof where you keep your honey boxes, at least? In a manner that minimises (or eliminates) risk could also mean strapping up with boards top and bottom and pallet wrapping and storing in a cool shady location or somewhere all together where it can be monitored, from time to time, and assessed for bee-tightness? There are ways to work it out, I'm sure. In applying a written code of good management practice to not keep deadouts in random places that could at some point unbeknownst to the owning beekeeper become infected with AFB and therefore become an unwitting source/spread of it, does it not make sense to just blanket apply a common sense rule of 'deadouts kept in situations that minimise (eliminate is difficult) the risk of AFB' in order to just resolve that particular issue, especially going ahead with the carnage that is unfolding from abandoned hives as some people literally walk away and leave them to die out . We are seeing incidences of AFB popping up from moribund/abandoned hives more and more this spring. Those of us mad enough to keep going this season are mopping up a lot of mess behind from those who have walked away (with no little or no conscience it appears). I think I would rather anyone who chose to exit the industry (if selling is not a viable option) euthanized the bees and dealt with the hiveware responsibly. But, that isn't the case for a portion of those who are the fly-by-night get-rich-quick easy-come easy-go sorts. This goes against my better principles but I wonder if its actually the only way forward. Then, at least if you decided to begin again, you know that you have clean gear ready to go, wax moths aside ... Why does the bee industry do this to itself - seems like disagreement for the sake of it sometimes (rhetorical)
  11. Well, its a bit of a squint at your annual accounts and look at where the absolute expenses lie and what can be spent for a season and what can't. After paring down to the nub, then compare against your average production I guess would be a starting point or something like that. I reckon @Alastair has a fair handle on it.
  12. With a few people actually saying large crops are achievable - and they certainly are given the right circumstances (the roulette wheel ...) its a bit of a moot point given the lack of real selling/buying right now. 150 kg at $1.50 per kg might cover some costs but not enough in this day and age. Its a hard one with the season on the cusp and what do we do with yet more honey that we have to store under RMP compliance to ensure that it is fully exportable, at some time, perhaps. Talk about actively not wanting to produce a honey crop whilst maintaining bee health and bee stocks! Any positive stories, anyone?
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