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  1. I was cleaning a few frames from a robbed out hive today and found one of these ladybirds. I thought that I had seen a few of this species around hives during the summer but first one I'd caught to compare to the photos. Interesting info and links above thanks.
  2. https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/112501889/comvita-forecasts-6m-loss-after-third-poor-honey-harvest-in-row (6 May 2019) "Honey producer Comvita is predicting a $6 million after-tax loss for the financial year after a series of setbacks has affected its business. On Monday its share price tumbled 11.7 per cent to $3.70, its poorest performance in four years. Adverse weather, the overcrowding of mānuka sites with hives from competing beekeepers and the tough mānuka honey standard have combined in a third poor year in a row for the Te Puke-based company." https://www.nzx.com/instruments/CVT Comvita shares listed on NZX at $3.25 (at close 24 May). CVT $3.250 -$0.080 / -2.40% 52 Week Change: -$2.710 / -46.16% Instrument NameComvita Limited Ordinary Shares Issued ByComvita Limited ISINNZCVTE0001S7 TypeOrdinary Shares
  3. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/112879049/honeybased-solution-for-cold-sores-just-as-effective-as-antiviral-treatments-research-shows "After more than three years, a trial led by researchers at the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand (MRINZ) has proven a medical-grade honey formulation derived from the kānuka tree is just as effective in treating cold sores as standard aciclovir cream."
  4. It could be Sirex Woodwasp, Sirex noctilio Fabricius "The female ... is a steel-blue colour except for the legs which are reddish-brown. " http://www.nzffa.org.nz/farm-forestry-model/the-essentials/forest-health-pests-and-diseases/Pests/Sirex-noctilio/Sirex-noctilioEnt20 https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/resources/identification/animals/bug-id/what-is-this-bug/bugs-with-legs/6-legs/bees-and-wasps/wood-wasp
  5. https://teara.govt.nz/en/wasps-and-bees/page-4 a short video on this page
  6. Mason wasp pictured here: https://www.landcareresearch.co.nz/resources/identification/animals/bug-id/what-is-this-bug/bugs-with-legs/6-legs/bees-and-wasps/mason-wasp "The female builds a nest of several cells made of mud, often in folds of curtains or keyholes She lays an egg in each cell and provides a paralysed orbweb spider as food for the emerging larva Adults eat nectar" Is there a Mason bee too? Can anyone know a site or book that has all the NZ native bees listed with photos?
  7. The dribble method of oxalic acid and sugar syrup mixed promoted ingestion of the OA and apparent negative effect on bee health. This interesting study (reference below) was looking at alternatives to sugar syrup and the findings indicated glycerine was not attractive to bees for ingestion and the earlier von Frisch reference shows that it is not attractive mixed with 25% sugar water. My understanding is that OA mixed with GL is not attractive to bees for ingestion, rather the success of the OA/GL shop towels/strips/staples is that it is not attractive. Perhaps actual honey on the strips (from robbing or spills) could prompt licking and ingestion (as opposed to chewing and not ingesting) but it seems unlikely condensation would? https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01201291/document EvaRademacher,AnjaFahlberg,MarleneRaddatz,SaskiaSchneider,KathrinVoigt. Galenics: studies of the toxicity and distribution of sugar substitutes on Apis mellifera . Apidologie, Springer Verlag, 2013, 44 (2), pp.222-233. <10.1007/s13592-012-0174-5>. <hal-01201291> "The applicability of the substances as carriers for medicinal ingredients is discussed under the following aspects: attractiveness to bees, properties in individual application, effect on grooming behaviour, toxicity to honey bees, residues on equipment and distribution on the bee and in the colony. Since none of the substances was attractive to bees an undesired ingestion of a medicinal ingredient combined with one of them can be excluded assuming that the ingredient itself is unattractive. Even combined with sugar water (25 %), glycerol would not be ingested by honey bees (von Frisch 1934)." "In general, it can be concluded that glycerol 85 % is most suitable as a sugar water substitute. It had the best distribution properties and stayed moist long enough to assure a prolonged contact of the bees with the substance. After drying the powdery consistency of the residues might contribute to a better distribution and adhesiveness on the bees. An oral uptake can be excluded. Possible residues of glycerol after colony treatment can be considered as harmless. Glycerol distributes quickly and uniformly in the colony and can provide a good dispersion of medicinal active ingredients as a carrier substance. However, glycerol actually was not tested in combination with a medicinal ingredient. In any case, it must be clarified if glycerol can be combined with an active ingredient without showing combinatory toxic effects to the bees and to make sure that its effectiveness is not impaired by the combination with glycerol."
  8. Oregano (Origanum vulgare) and Marjoram (Origanum majorana) have been flowering in the herb garden for last two weeks are getting a lot of attention from bees; this week it's like they are having a party. It's a hardy culinary herb and forms dense patches of plants that last for years and flower through the hot part of summer as other nectar sources are reducing. Several countries produce oregano honey. It could be a good option for someone with a couple of hectares.
  9. @tommy dave This $78 work platform is a great option to save your back. It has adjustable legs, so works on a sloping site, will fit two boxes so I usually stack supers on left and top brood on the right. I use a the hive mat under the supers, and take an extra hive mat for the brood box to give some beespace and save squashing bees. Strong enough to stand on with a heavy super. It fits across the back seat of the car too. https://www.bunnings.co.nz/rhino-work-platform_p00861589 "Adjustable height from 0.58m to 0.87m Aluminium construction 120kg domestic load rating" "Product Dimensions (mm) W:305 H:900 L:1100"
  10. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-27449-3 "Phytochemicals-mediated production of hydrogen peroxide is crucial for high antibacterial activity of honeydew honey Marcela Bucekova, Monika Buriova, Ladislav Pekarik, Viktor Majtan & Juraj Majtan" 13 Jun, 2018 http://www.apimondia.com/congresses/2013/Apitherapy/Symposia/Slovak Honeydew Honey - Juraj Majtan.pdf "Slovak honeydew honey – from basic science to clinical applications Juraj Majtan Institute of Zoology, Slovak Academy of Sciences Department of Microbiology, Slovak Medical University" See the map on slide 10 "honeydew honey produced in Cergov mountains (Abies alba Mill) has pronounced antibacterial activity • it is more effective than manuka honey UMF 15+ • kills multidrug-resistant bacteria such as Stenotrophomonas maltophilia and wound pathogens including MRSA." (from slide 11) http://www.honeytraveler.com/single-flower-honey/honeydew-or-forest-honeys/ "Silver fir honeydew honey (Abies alba) Is considered as one of the best honeydew/ forest varieties in Europe particularly in central Europe where it is widespread. The aphids responsible for its production belong to the Cinara genus." http://beefarm.sk/index.php/en-gb/fir-honeydew "Honeydew does not come from the nectar like other types of honey. It is made from fresh sweet juice byproduct produced by aphids (Cinara Pectinatae) living in large colonies on the fir trees. Aphids consume sap and produce sweet secretions. The secretions are collected and then processed by bees. The final product is honey with exceptional properties." "The production of honey of the highest quality is irregular and depends on many factors. Čergov Mountains consists of many older fir trees that are ideal for the development of Aphids. Very important role have weather conditions, which are in Čergov Mountains unstable in recent years. Due to this weather changes the byproduct of Aphids can be washed from the surface of Fir trees before it is collected by the bees. On rainy years there is very little or no production of honeydew." http://influentialpoints.com/Gallery/Cinara_pectinatae_Green-striped_fir_aphid.htm "Cinara pectinatae feeds on firs (Abies species), especially Abies alba (silver fir) but also Abies nephrolepis, numidica, pindrow, sutchuenensis (= Abies fargesii var. sutchuenensis) and veitchii. Oviparae and alate males are found in October. It is not recorded from any North American firs. Cinara pectinatae occurs throughout Europe eastward to Turkey." "The population dynamics of Cinara pectinatae have been studied in both France and Germany because it is a copious honeydew-producer, important to forest bee-keepers in Central Europe. In a seven year study, Maquelin (1974) found that the number of eggs laid in autumn was inversely related to peak numbers in summer. Bloc et al. (1984) monitored populations in France over two years. They concluded that rainfall was an important factor affecting numbers. When rainfall was heavy during the development of the first virginoparae generations, it prevented Cinara pectinatae populations from reaching high levels. This in turn reduced honeydew production and a prevented a heavy 'fir honey' harvest by bees."
  11. @Bighands Have you priced locally manufactured jars from O-I NZ? http://recycleglass.co.nz/o-i-new-zealand/ "O-I NZ is New Zealand’s only glass bottle and jar manufacturer and has been operating from its Penrose, Auckland site since 1922. We have a diverse product range, making glass packaging for New Zealand’s world-renowned wine, beer, juice and water brands. We proudly operate 3 furnaces and 6 production lines, managing multiple colour changes, 24 hours per day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year. As makers of glass, the world’s most natural and sustainable packaging, O-I New Zealand has incorporated sustainability into our business practices for more than a century. Once it’s made, a glass container can be reused repeatedly. A glass container is also infinitely 100 per cent recyclable. At O-I, our view of sustainability encompasses our people, the planet and profit. We are focused on continuous sustainable development and improvement." Product catalog here (I didn't find any price options). http://recycleglass.co.nz/product-solutions/food/
  12. Both these delicious NZ products are in glass jars and support recycling and might be worth asking them how they source their jars. https://www.picspeanutbutter.com/nz/ http://raglancoconutyoghurt.co.nz/ http://raglancoconutyoghurt.co.nz/bee-friends/ I save these jars, friends pass me theirs too, then clean and use them again for honey. Just use hot water for removing the Pics and Raglan labels. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80V3wTyHo4w For the hobbyists other jars with tougher glue on the labels try using old olive oil.
  13. It appears that further research is required to substantiate benefits of manuka honey on toast for digestive health and tooth decay. Anyone found anything more conclusive than these two studies? Lin, S.-M. (Sam). (2010). The effect of manuka honey on enterobacteria (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/3972 "Manuka honey (Leptospermum scoparium) produced in New Zealand has been shown to exhibit substantial antibacterial activity against a broad range of pathogens causing wound infection, and is being used in wound management with excellent results. This activity is due to both hydrogen peroxide and non-peroxide components. Manuka honey, however, may not be useful for treating bacterial gastroenteritis because the gastrointestinal environment may be unfavourable to the antibacterial action, and because a sufficiently high concentration for effectiveness may not be achieved. The research in this thesis is set out to evaluate in vitro the efficacy of manuka honey as an antibacterial agent against enterobacteria, taking into consideration some factors that may be involved in the gastrointestinal environment." Beena JP, Sahoo P, Konde S, Raj SN, Kumar NC, Agarwal M. Manuka Honey: A Potent Cariostatic Agent—An in vitro Study. Int J Clin Pediatr Dent 2018;11(2):105-109. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6034044/ "The aim of the study was to test the antibacterial activity of manuka honey and compare its efficacy with another commercially available honey (Dabur honey) on the cariogenic bacteria on Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus."
  14. @kaihoka Other acacia varieties do have Extrafloral Nectaries (EFNs). I could not find anything about Acacia melanoxylon specifically. Perhaps the answer is in this study that many others refer to. STRUCTURE AND SECRETION OF THE EXTRAFLORAL NECTARIES OF AUSTRALIAN ACACIAS Robyn Marginson , Margaret Sedgley , Trevor J. Douglas & R. Bruce Knox
  15. Try a comparison with google images for the gamochaeta / cudweed varieties: e.g. Gamochaeta calviceps, Gamochaeta subfalcata or Gamochaeta purpurea?
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