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  1. The August meeting was hosted by Kevin Kramer and our focus was on AFB inspections. Our local AP2 John brought along two fresh AFB frames for practice roping out. Coming into Spring the meeting attendance was higher than recent meetings due to winter and covid. The meetings normally expand over the warmer months as we meet/visit at individual members. There is a such a variety in different ways people keep bees it is always interesting and then we either admire or advise to help them with their beekeeping. At this meeting the group was split in half to do AFB checks on two groups of hives on
  2. As mentioned last time, for some reason mead generates quite a bit of interest. It baffles me somewhat because, judging by what people will pay money for, mead hasn’t been popular for several hundred years, and can no longer be used for paying taxes. Anyway, for this month’s meeting we had decided to gather and discuss it, and make some. If you are the buying and selling type you can't do this with mead ('cos it's alcohol), but you can turn your mead into Vinegar! I make it occasionally, mostly because I’m lazy about dealing with cappings and wet extractors, but I’m a bit ‘old scho
  3. The group's long CoVid lock-down has been punctuated with Web-hosted virtual meetings for those able to join. This month it was out of the web-world and back to the wide-world with the group's first Honey Show. The BOP group exists to facilitate shared knowledge and experience, in a social setting where potentially everyone has something to contribute, including people that have never (or never intend to), keep their own honeybees. Keeping bees, as a hobby or a business, benefits from good information about many things, for example information about biology and horticulture, carpen
  4. March 29. The BoP Group had its first online meeting today. We used goto meeting software for phone tablet computer access. About 24 members attended. We went through a hive, looked at some new robbing guards and our first batch of mead ready to bottle. Then at end of meeting we switched on all the webcams and had a cup of tea and a chat. We finished on time and there was no lost time travelling
  5. The Group's website https://bopbee.weebly.com/ has been updated for the new swarm season and collectors google map. Meetings (last Sunday of month at 2pm) are going back into summer mode; at the apiary of a member each month instead of meeting at TECT park. Anyone (member or non-member) in the region or just visiting (between Katikati, Rotorua and Paengaroa) on last Sunday of the month, that might want to attend a meeting is welcome to make contact via the website to get current newsletter and meeting details.
  6. We have another two samples ready for composite test, but need 5 for the minimum $20 club rate. I thought we were done for the season, but now have 3 empty slots if anyone interested. But you need to be able to get the sample to me in Tauranga.
  7. We had some early rain that might have put some people off and Maungatapu bridge closed overnight due to a fatal, but the turnout was probably more than 30 people because the urn ran out of water and we got more underway. We started off looking at my own solar wax melters, these are poly fish bins with a polycarbonate window and using cotton paint strainer bags on a metal roof tile. Discussed dealing with old dark brood comb in a bag, under hot water with a brick. Looked at the spectrum of different wax cleaning methods from single hive hobby level to the more expensive wax melters that commer
  8. We have one slot remaining and four confirmed for next 5x composite tutin test. $20. Suitable for low Tutin risk confirmation. The extractors are both in use this weekend but there are now no forwards bookings, so most people seem to be all finished now. However if any members need use of a small manual extractor they're currently available from Apr 12th. $20. contact information for testing and extractors is on the group's BopBee website.
  9. Monthly meeting for March was held at Barry Kneebone's place in Katikati. It was a pretty wet day that reduced turnout to about 30 people. We had a bit of a chin wag in the shed. Looked at various feeders and bases and their merits or otherwise. Arataki propolis mats were viewed and discussed. We looked at Barry's home made entrance reducers and so on. Various questions came up so quite a lot of good background knowledge was shared. We spent a bit of time on harvesting, discussing blowers, brushes, bee-gone fume boards and more. Nobody was complaining about the rain, it was nice to have some.
  10. The group's second extractor is a manual four frame that joins the three frame unit that has been in service for two seasons now. At the current time both units are booked and in use with members, but they appear to be the last bookings of the year with demand now tailed off. As most know the whole gubbins comes out for cleaning if you spin off two wing nuts. It will be fun to see if we can invent a top bar hive extractor that mounts with the same two wing nuts. Thus it could become somewhat ambidextrous for hobbyists.
  11. Hello, Please excuse the interruption. You should all now have been invited to join the new facilities within the clubs feature of NZBees. https://www.nzbees.net/2/clubs/ If you haven't seen your invite, please just request to join. Upon arrival you will have your own forums, gallery and calendar, which can be run as you see fit, giving you more autonomy within the NZ Beekeepers umbrella.
  12. The group's map has had a layer added for Tutin Test Results. The map now contains blue markers for swarm collectors, green markers for passed Tutin Tests and red markers for failed Tutin Tests. Anyone with a Tutin Test result from any site in the BoP region is welcome to forwards a copy of their test certificate from any year. These are placed on the map so as not to identify any individual nor an apiary site. Members and non-members are welcome to contribute and there is no fee nor block for non-members to view. There are not actually a great deal of test results to see, however, there are t
  13. I'm not sure if it has been mentioned but we also have a group webpage. It is a free one, so the url isn't flash. https://bopbee.weebly.com/ The Tauranga City Council webpage on bees externally links to this website for swarm collection in the BoP area. Members of other recognised clubs, branches and groups in the BoP are welcome to join the collector list; there is no fee. The website contains a map of collectors that can be taken full screen and zoomed in to locate nearest. https://bopbee.weebly.com/collection.html There is also a page on the group's extractor that can b
  14. The first meeting of the winter programme was on Sunday. Besides the coffee, tea and feel-goodness we are going to try a little piece of structure this year to try and give everyone an opportunity to join in. For each meeting well have some pre-arranged discussion points. One will be of the ‘would you believe it/I never knew that /cunning devils’ variety, from me probably. For example, one random one might be “Is it likely Honey bees have clocks in their antennae?” Fun, not a lecture. The other will be much more open-ended and general, something where anyone regardless
  15. Our October meeting was joined by the BOP Branch of the New Zealand Tree Crops Association (NZTCA) which is a voluntary organisation promoting interest in 'useful' trees. The Association had its beginnings in 1974 and, in its own words, thought that; "If farmers could be persuaded to establish a gentle landscape of shelter and windbreaks, woodlots, orchards, fodder crops and mixed associations of all kinds of trees and useful plants, then those farmers would benefit from enhanced pasture production through the combined effect of leaf litter, shelter and nitrogen provided by the judicious use o
  16. For our first apiary visit of the year the weather was reasonably kind to us, the temperature somewhere in the 15-17C range, a gentle breeze rising on a sunny but increasingly overcast afternoon. Our host had one hive to look at, the biggest problem so far being wasps, responsible for the loss of two others in the past and worrying at this one. The hive had three full depth boxes, and had an entrance screen doing a passable job of defending against the constant presence of wasps, although they were elsewhere today. The top box was full of unused combs, pretty well devoid of bees, s
  17. Guest

    August/September meeting

    @ TECT park. Arrival Centre, Whataroa Road, Tauranga. We will discuss swarming and AFB checks, Certificate of Inspection and DECA. Please bring something to share for afternoon tea and a gold coin donation for the club.
  18. @Dave Black you are listed as owner at the moment @Judy K you are listed as a leader Now you may need to bear with me but I think an owner and a leader can create options under management So in topics, I've re-created your forum and called it BOP Bee Interest Group Forums. You can create a gallery, your own group calender, your own downloads and classified adverts. Also please ad a club profile picture and a cover photo, you make it look nice.
  19. Invites to all previous members of the BOP Bee Interest Group have gone out to join and test the new "club features".
  20. Our garden visit this month was in Tauranga, with Seaside Bees. This top-bar hive was kept in a local communal vege garden, sitting slightly exposed on a ridge that kept the flight paths over the heads of the reapers and tillers. It hasn't done particularly well, with a poor queen that has been changed and a bout of chalk brood. We have talked about chalk brood before; if you want to cause chalkbrood (and some people do) chill brood the day before its sealed down to 19C, and then keep it cool-ish (25C) for the next three days. Other combinations of time and temperature will cause some chalk, b
  21. This month's meeting was not too far out of Katikati, on a warm and sultry afternoon. Herman and Natalie have roughly half a dozen hives they keeps for pollination in an avocado orchard on a lifestyle block, and intends to split some to increase the count slightly. While the main hives are double broods this year has not been particularly kind and the hives are not particularly strong or well provisioned. Taken together, it should be possible to take a couple of nucs out, but it's getting a bit last minute and there could be a cost trying to take them though the winter. There could be quite a
  22. We have been visiting the (TECT) All-Terrain Park for a while, but only for ‘non-beekeeping’ meetings. This weekend was first time the group was to see the apiary at the Park. We met up at the Visitor Centre as arranged, and car-pooled for the five minute drive through the park to the apiary. The apiary is currently being operated, with the help of a local beekeeping business, for teaching students on a tertiary-level Apiculture course and has about ten FD Langstroth hives. Often, the back-yard hives we meet on our apiary visits are not particularly well populated; the colonies, by commerc
  23. On Sunday we visited the Seaside Bees home apiary in Papamoa that we saw at Christmas last year. The turnout for the occasion was great; I'd have thought more than 40, maybe 50 people. Some new, some young starting out (teenagers), and some old friends. It must of made it hard to see and hear everything that was going on. We worked on the same two hives, a large Top-Bar, and a hybrid TBH/Langstroth. We seemed inundated with photographers but unfortunately none of the output has come my way yet! Com'on you people, share! Four caged queens had been obtained, and the plan was to use the hyb
  24. The mixed weather continued this weekend for our visit to Aongatete. A blustery wind tempered what sun there was, and we just got a look in the hives before the heavens opened. Two hives had been set up to be 'flow' hives, and another had been fitted out with a super full of Ross Rounds. There has been quite a bit of discussion of Flow hives and frames on the Forum already, and there isn't much to add to that. They still generate a bit of interest, often sceptical, and equally, incredulity at the cost. Some group members come across these from time to time but as yet none in ...(ahem)... f
  25. If this weather keeps up I’ll sell my chickens and buy ducks. The winter ‘talk-fest’ meetings are over, or so we thought. This weekend the first of the apiary meetings kicked off at one of the member’s home apiary in Katikati. A good number made the trip out, despite continuous rain and mist, so we retired to the shed and sat around on the hive boxes. Luckily even with all the equipment there was still enough room for the thirty or so in attendance. Our host had a number of unusual bits of equipment to keep us all amused, and about 100 hives around the Bay to try it all out on. Half of the
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