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berengaria's Achievements


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  1. I'm hearin' ya, hence my use of apostrophes in reference to 'clean green'...
  2. I find centering the frames in the brood box crucial to preventing propolis build up between the frames, which can make them difficult to handle and means that you need to scrape them all the time. On the other hand, be careful when comb is built on the gap between the outside frames and the wall of the box - this should be removed each time you open the hive to prevent build up, as damage can be done to the queen if she happens to be on the outside and is injured as you pull the outside frame out - due to the burr comb here breaking and rolling the queen against the wall of the hive...
  3. Yup be careful with regards to new beekeepers - I got anaphylaxis and I had probably had about a dozen stings over the years, so I guess I was one of those people who got more sensitive to stings... Taking antihistamines definitely helps and if I was a new beekeeper I'd probably take one every morning before working the bees and (especially if you're working on your own or in remote areas with a lack of cellphone coverage) I'd almost consider carrying an epipen even if you hadn't had a reaction before... This might seem like overkill, but I sure was glad there was one on hand when it happened to me... Thanks to desensitisation I'm back in the field but it was a pretty big fright / wakeup call for everyone involved when it happened. I wonder what commercial beekeepers think about this sort of precautionary measure with regards to the new health and safety legislation... I presume its going to require a lot of new practices as far as health and safety in the workplace goes...
  4. Yea this is normal. On a similar note, saw a five frame nuc with a trail of honey and melted wax trailing out of it at one of the sites I was at after a really hot day last week. Has this frame melting ever happened to anyone else??!
  5. Hmm personally I don't think marketing and mythmaking is necessarily a new or bad aspect of the beekeeping industry... I mean, the prices fetched for manuka have been partly driven by the asian health food supplement market even though the efficacy of consumed manuka has already been disproven. The stories attached to products and brands is something creative that modern business people are embracing. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing (as long as there is no dishonesty involved) as it can add value to our New Zealand products, especially in the international market. Any associations with New Zealand as an innovative and modern producer of honey, through the branding of companies like Comvita, will probably add value to NZ honey, just like our association with 'clean green' New Zealand does. I just hope like hell that beekeepers and businesspeople in general in New Zealand practice what they preach when it comes to benefiting from these 'clean green' or 'innovative' aspects of brand New Zealand... On that note, please use reusable queen cages and queen cups... I hate seeing plastic being burnt or unnecesarily thrown out!!!!
  6. Good stuff. When I was learning the first mistake I made was selecting grubs that were too big - you want to get the ones that have only just hatched out of the egg and these are very hard to see. The second mistake I made after this was not grafting enough royal jelly into the queen cell, because when you select grubs which have just hatched, they don't have much royal jelly with them. The trick is to graft some royal jelly from a cell with a larger grub into the queen cell, followed by a tiny grub afterwards. This way you have a good amount of royal jelly, with a freshly hatched grub - and the acceptance rate of my grafting improved greatly once I followed this method.
  7. The guy who trained me in queen raising said the point of putting the cells into a queenright hive for finishing is so that they are fed more royal jelly. So, apparently the bees don't hurry to cap the queen cells so much in a queenright hive, as opposed to a queenless hive, and as a result feed them more royal jelly... This can also be assessed - if there is ample royal jelly in the queen cell after she hatches this means she has had more than enough food. Whereas if all of the royal jelly has been eaten then it was probably on the light side and didn't have as much food to develop on before hatching...
  8. I was wondering how much less a queen raising in a small polynuc would go for, as opposed to one raising in full frame nucs (where the laying pattern can be properly assessed...) Also, how much do you think the reputation of the queen raiser comes into it... ie; what sort of premium would commercial beekeepers be prepared to pay for queens from a queen raiser who had a strong reputation, as opposed to a new entrant into the queen raising market?
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