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Objections, obstacles and obligations for using alternative hive types in NZ


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8 hours ago, Kiwi Bee said:

The Perone hive is not based on removable frames.

We discussed about it few years ago here on the forum and our law to have removable frames is a must.

Yep it looks like good kindling with that "leave alone space" full of twigs and what not- it would be an illegal hive here surely. 

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12 hours ago, Kiwi Bee said:

The Perone hive is not based on removable frames.

We discussed about it few years ago here on the forum and our law to have removable frames is a must.

So if we had no AFB or varroa or other diseases that a hive needs checking for it is a perfectly functional hive .

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Just now, kaihoka said:

@Trevor Gillbanks @Kiwi Bee there is often criticism of hive designs .

But it seems that the problem with these hives is that bees are so domesticated that they can not survive without us .

And I wonder if there were no pests and diseases what would the most practical user friendly hive would be like .

Unfortunately we will never know.  Bees have been domesticated for so long that i doubt you could find anywhere, where there is not diseases and pests. 

Plus our laws require managed bees to be on removable frames.

Would'a, could'a, should'a does not count. Sorry

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2 hours ago, yesbut said:

I could gather all my neighbour's swarms into a giant skep in October,  sulfur the thing at mid January, and call beekeeping quits until the next October. I wonder what the levy would be on 1 hive for three months ?

 

40 minutes ago, Bighands said:

u still have an apiary

 

Yes.  Unless you make your apiary seasonal and then delete it for a couple of weeks at the correct time.   Then re register the site later. (not sure of the dates required)

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I will probably never bother with an alternative hive .

But people of been keeping bees for 100s of years in what in NZ  would be  illegal hives and they must have worked ok for them .

How did bees stay alive without removable frames .

Things must have been very different once .

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35 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

I will probably never bother with an alternative hive .

But people of been keeping bees for 100s of years in what in NZ  would be  illegal hives and they must have worked ok for them .

How did bees stay alive without removable frames .

Things must have been very different once .

It's a shame they have been bred so the bees we have now are less inclined to propolise and have to rely on the beekeeper to reduce their entrance. Still such useful creatures though I doubt I would ever call them domesticated, managed for our convenience maybe and at least we don't require a honeyeater bird to find them or climb a tree or precipice to get at them. If it weren't for our genetic drive to seek out sweet things to eat I doubt they woud be in as much difficuty as they are now.  

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1 hour ago, Jean MacDonald said:

It's a shame they have been bred so the bees we have now are less inclined to propolise  

 

This theory has been chucked around a lot just recently.

 

Personally anyway, I doubt we have had much affect on how much our bees propolise. Although people talk about selecting breeders who don't propolise, there is much more emphasis on honey production, gentleness, and low swarming. In a big outfit with several thousand hives it is reasonably easy to select breeders with just one trait, say, honey production, and out of those select ones that are also gentle. But add to those requirements a bunch of other traits, it gets pretty hard.

 

I'm also pretty sure that after a day working bees my hands are every bit as sticky as they were following a day of bee work 45 years ago.

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I have no problem with 'alternative hive designs' when tried by experienced beekeepers, but what rips my ration book is a new beek who has been sold the idea that something other than a Langstroth is easier to learn on. When it all turns to custard, it's those of us who are not just there to make money out of the new beeks who are left trying to resolve the problems in the 'superior hive design' and often, the results of ineffective alternative varroa treatment. @Jean MacDonald, one of the leading women in the Sun Hives is on FB Women in Beekeeping, and she rejoices in her bees sending out as many swarms as possible - not just to capture and manage - thank God she is in the USA, she is barking mad in kiwi terms. She runs expernsive classes to show how to make the skeps which she covers with fresh cowpats - bizarre but entertaining from my point of view!

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34 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

Agree @Alastair. I also think the amount of propolis in a hive has more to do with how many plants suitable for propolis are close by,  how many gaps are in the hive and how clean the beekeeper keeps the hive. 

This winter I have been scrapping every bit of propolis off boxes and frames in storage.

Sometimes I scrape a bit off when I am looking in the hive .

Do commercial beeks take the time to scrape propolis off when they are in the field .?

Do the bees feel happier and more secure  when the hive is all stuck together.

It's a pain for me all the propolis but I think they will just replace it if I scape it off and use up their resources doing so .

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33 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

This winter I have been scrapping every bit of propolis off boxes and frames in storage.

Sometimes I scrape a bit off when I am looking in the hive .

Do commercial beeks take the time to scrape propolis off when they are in the field .?

Do the bees feel happier and more secure  when the hive is all stuck together.

It's a pain for me all the propolis but I think they will just replace it if I scape it off and use up their resources doing so .

I only take off as much as I need to work the hive and not squash bees putting it back togeather. Usually what’s on top of the frames and if they’ve waxed frames to the sides of the box. I think would be the same commercial or hobbiest. I agree if you take all the propolis out they will just put it back, they put it there for a reason. 

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41 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

Do commercial beeks take the time to scrape propolis off when they are in the field .?

 

As per Nikki, not so much. Me, I'll scrape the top and bottom bars of a hive during the spring round, and that's it for the year unless something is in the way.

 

43 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

Do the bees feel happier and more secure  when the hive is all stuck together.

 

Pretty sure they do, yes. To us, looking at a wild hive with combs curving around, little holes, and everything coated in propolis, it looks a mess. But to a bees eye view it must be nice and cosy to walk around in. Having unbuilt gaps between top bars and the bottom bars of the next box is totally unnatural for them.

 

Also, people overseas keep coming up with theories to explain the supposed "beepocolypse". The latest one is that bees use propolis to fight infection in the hive (which is actually true), but that humans have bred propolis collecting out of the bees (which I have my doubts about).

However it is a great theory, that bees were doing fine, then evil beekeepers and breeders came and messed it all up.  Which seems plausable, and appeals to exactly what some people want to hear.

 

I noticed propolis in hives increased in the years following the introduction of carniolans, and my personal feeling is that in NZ anyway, bees propolise more now than they did when we were just working with italians. AMM's propolised more but are mostly gone now.

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The scrapings, and filled propolis mats are well worth sending to Arataki - even that which looks like it is mainly wax turns to dollars quite nicely. I didn't bother until I heard a commercial talking about how much he made from 1800 hives, and I did the math.

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52 minutes ago, Sailabee said:

The scrapings, and filled propolis mats are well worth sending to Arataki - even that which looks like it is mainly wax turns to dollars quite nicely. I didn't bother until I heard a commercial talking about how much he made from 1800 hives, and I did the math.

 

 Do you think it’s worth the extra time involved if scraping?

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17 hours ago, Alastair said:

 

This theory has been chucked around a lot just recently.

 

Personally anyway, I doubt we have had much affect on how much our bees propolise. Although people talk about selecting breeders who don't propolise, there is much more emphasis on honey production, gentleness, and low swarming. In a big outfit with several thousand hives it is reasonably easy to select breeders with just one trait, say, honey production, and out of those select ones that are also gentle. But add to those requirements a bunch of other traits, it gets pretty hard.

 

I'm also pretty sure that after a day working bees my hands are every bit as sticky as they were following a day of bee work 45 years ago.

Can't say I've noticed much of a difference in my lifetime either. Any decision to select for this was made well over a century ago when it was decided to stop destroying skeps to get at the bees and to instead use frame hives. With that piece of history in mind I'm always puzzled by the "beekeepers are the scourge of the earth" mentality. Taciturn, opinionated and grumpy possibly but not evil generally. 

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