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Everything posted by jamesc

  1. Pulled a heavy load of honey off coast bees last week. Just hanging out for the sun in Canterbury.... Tipped 30 ml of rain out of the guage this morning.
  2. PS .... Mr Blueskie?s suggested more of the same East coast cloud and drizzle for the next six weeks ..... lotsa rain north of Kaikōura , including NorthIsland ..... bit of sun on the coast.
  3. Pulled a heavy load of honey off coast bees last week. Just hanging out for the sun in Canterbury.... Tipped 30 ml of rain out of the guage this morning.
  4. Hear no evil, see no evil ..... one or two obviously swarm but we never hear about it , and generally pick up the issues as we disease check taking honey off.
  5. The other little job I did today was check a swarm I picked up before Christmas. It was on a fencepost next to some hives we had in pollination. The cocky was a bit worried that he had paid a bit if coin for a hive that had swarmed. So I was relieved to see the queen had a blue dot on her thorax We do ‘nt mark queens, so it must be one if the neighbours.
  6. Did some real work today, making a start on htaking off pre season crop, ready for main crop clover. We break the hives down, disease check, place an empty box above the queen excluder, then stack the full boxes up above the feeders. The feeders act as an escape, so hopefully no bees on friday.
  7. We will do . We try to keep the different types of honey seperate .... mainly by area ..... so vipers will probably have clover as well. Homogenised of course.
  8. We have a paddle in the sump beneath the uncapper. Extractor honey and cappings meet in the sump and get mushed before getting pumped through yhe heat exchanger to the hummer. works ok Here’s another gadget i saw at j brooks yesterday.... an ultrasonic switch that controls a variable speed sump pump. The faster the honey flows into the sump, the faster the pump rotates.$1100.
  9. Homogenisation ..... When extracting honey we might do a run of 200 boxes in a day . We run yards of 48 hives to a yard, so potentially there are 150 boxes per yard that go into the bulk tank. The bees have already homogenised the brew .... they all came from the same area, right, but buyers are reluctant to buy unless you can say you have stirred the whole tank off ten drums, for as we all know honey settles in layers and each drum might be a little different, and the additional 50 boxes ,might be totally different .... heaven forbid, low quality Manuka. So the stirrer unites everything and makes crap honey good honey. One sample covers ten drums and gives the packer certainty of what they are buying and keeps their testing costs down. It is what it is. But hey, if you want the big bucks for your product, you need to supply what the market wants. Right. Yeah. And if you want the low bucks, seems like you still gotta do it.
  10. For a minute I thought Philbee was out of detention and back !
  11. I've been away for a few days .... doing the migratory migration thing. On my return, in the office is a mug shot of JC with a reward offered of $1000 for any sightings ..... very funny, not. No sooner home and check the cleaning crew in the extraction room and I went off to see my mate. My mate does stainless fabrication. The buzz word for the year is Homogenisation ..... every one wants homogenised honey, so we've set too to upgrade the homogenisation process in the bulk tank. I like stainless man. He's of Polish descent, and loves a Steinlager at smoko. He has a sense of humour that revolves around Beer, Bikes and Babes . We get on quite well. I told him I wanted a Homogenising paddle for the bulk tank. He sent me away to town for bits, which included an electric motor and a right angle reduction drive that has an output of 14rpm. The price of the goodies gobbled up one pollination cheque. I went back to his workshop and talked Bikes and Bizzo. Generally his craftsmanship gobbles up another pollination cheque. The box of beer I provide doesn't seem to alter the price. And as I drove home, I reconciled to myself that if the bees go in the hole this year ..... @southbee might get a bargain on a honey tank homogeniser.
  12. So there is truth in the moral that 'A watched kettle never boils' .
  13. I’d be pretty happy with that....but like they say.... you can always stack the numbers to fit the cause. Going by those numbers I should have about $2,000,000 worth of product sitting in my shed.... and more coming in by the day. Me thinks some of these guys who write the reports should be given a shovel and ride the trolley to the coalface.
  14. Can some please explain where MPI are getting their figures from ...quoting an export price for multiflora honey at $20/kg. Is that multiflora manuka .... and are they not hrave enough to quote clover export prices.... just curious.
  15. Well thare yah go.... the coast with most came to the party.....these babies are off to visit Roy at Otira....honey and all. I guess we’ll strip them down when the rain stops.
  16. Was looking at the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise website this morning, in particular their short video'Made with Care'. It was interesting .... showcasing what New Zealand does best ..... produce high quality food for the top end export market. Selling honey at the Farm shop or Farmers market is a great little slush fund earner to buy bread and milk for the week, but you 'aint gonna generate the impetus of cashflow to generate the 62k I need to get my crop into the shed and the bees out of the hole. A steady export market that takes a container of product every second month might do that. The NZTE video was great ..... but it needs tweaking . We know Manuka honey sells , but it's only the top 20% of the drum, so to speak. The honey industry is languishing in the doldrums because the remaining 80% of the drum is unwanted . Perhaps NZTE could tweak their video a little bit.
  17. It was suggested by someone in the scientific community that to get a peer reviewed trial conducted from go to wo would be in the region of 100k. The article in stuff about the new trial mirrors that. It was also suggested by Agency Honcho's at the time that having to come up with that sort of cash might be too much for a backyard operation, and there was no need to get too enthusiastic about the Dog Program taking off. The head Honcho's were right. We weren't really interested in going through the rigmarole of getting the begging bowl out and stuck to sorting our own operation out. What it did show was the lack of forward thinking and wish for the industry leaders to move forward with innovative thinking and fight a disease that is highly social and has no friends. Anyway. Today is a new dawn . What is done is done so lets move forward. The new dog program has funding to kickstart the initial ground work. Lets hope the industry will get behind it and supply expertise and knowhow as and when needed. I know we greatly appreciated @JohnF's generosity with his lab testing.
  18. Life is not a Hamsterwheel ..... the missus can work for a month cutting velvet and make four times what I pull in for three years of work. It 'aint right Sister. And anyway, driving a digger is very therapeutic and it don't take too long to dig a big hole.
  19. Good question @Bighands .... I guess it's an addiction . A bit like WakaChangi and the brew my good mate The Doctor puts down. You do a few and life's not so bad. Crack a few lids and grunt a bit at the weight and you start dreaming. I just get really peed off that the effort is worth sht.
  20. True John we were reluctant to spend 100k on a trial for a project that had met a stonewall of negativity from ‘The Industry Body’. Hopefully these are different times and something usefull will be achieved.
  21. I been trying to flick off a bit of honey recently ..... and to be honest it's quite hard work ..... somewhere along the line we fell out of the loop on what packers are looking for , but if our facilities and recording systems obtain an RMP and export cert every year, it sort of means that the quality control and systems are there. To be honest, I have no enthusiasm for taking honey off this year, and am contemplating digging a big hole and shoving the bees and honey into it along with 20litres of diesel and a match. Bye Bye Hampsterwheel !
  22. Yo ..... I was going to get back to this, but thought it too much info for one post. Canine Modus Operandii. Dogs do not like bees, and generally once stung, get stung shy. There is a time and place for their use. Generally the handler goes out very early morning, or late in the evening, when the bees are home. Best results are on the cooler days. Warm nights when the bees are humming at the front door are not ideal. Most of the dog work on live hives is done in the winter, spring and early autumn. In the early days we had one client who employed us to scan hives prior to taking his cop off. We travelled from Westport to Hokitika, starting at about 9.00pm and finished at about 3.00am, and did , from memory, about 200 hives. We marked issues and told him to visually inspect. Out of curiosity we popped into a couple of hives the yards the next day for a look see. All the honey was gone. We surmised that no visual inspection had been done .... and never did hives with crops on for other people again. The success of the dog program is all down to the Handler. The Handler needs to be able to read the dog's body language, the ever so slight lift of the nose or the change of pace , and make a decision based on climate, scent patterns or whether the dog is just messing about. It's not for me to go into all the details and skill required because I just pay the bills for a service ..... you know how it is.... you employ a professional to get a good result. Scanning dead gear or suspect gear in the shed is a lot easier. There are no breezes to waft the scent pattern of the AFB around the area .....think deodoriser in the toilet ..... a quick puff of the can and the scent is all around the room ..... so too with AFB. Scanning dead gear or quarantine gear before it goes back on the bees is a great way to minimise AFB spread.
  23. Went swimming today... it was quite warm!
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