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Alastair

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Everything posted by Alastair

  1. This discussion is now continued on the new forum, link here - https://forum.nzbees.net/threads/aussie-beekeepers-fight-for-manuka.38/
  2. I am sure someone will help. But just incase not, what I did a few years back when I broke my hand was put a strong plastic bag over the cast and taped it up my arm. That was after exactly what you were fearing happened to me, bees got up inside the cast. I can take a few stings, but not much fun when you can't get access to them to scrape them out ?
  3. For this purpose though it would not be about hive numbers, it would be the number of beekeepers who are sending honey overseas.
  4. Interesting. This, from the Advocate - "Released in December, the report detailed an increase in export volume in 2020, but a reduction in the per-kg price commanded. Since February export volumes are well above the five-year average and this is expected to continue in the next six months, leading to a predicted total value of $470million for the year ending June 2021. That would be a 10.7 percent increase on the $425million of honey sent offshore in the previous reporting year" So off my head I'm not sure how many commercial beekeepers are in NZ but is it something around 700? Let's say it's 700, if we divide that into the $470 million, we come out with $671,428.00 dollars per beekeper. Sound about right?
  5. Yes that is a worry. What I think was happening was that the governmenmt was desperate for everyone to follow the plan. Cos if enough people didn't, we would be like all the other countries and still have a panmdemic going on now. So because some people were committed, and some less so, and some people crying hardship, the government had to dole out money to just about everyone who wanted it plus some who did not, in order to keep everyone on board and achieve the eradication of the virus. Yes it was a cost. Had the pandemic not be controlled and we still had an out of control pandemic here now like say, in America, that would also have been a cost. In America their president has said we can't lock down because it will kill the economy. But what they are now finding, is the cost of caring for the more than 20 million sick people they have now had, time off work, and eventually being forced to have lockdowns anyway, has been huge and is growing. They have lost more than 3,000 doctors and nurses to the pandemic, those people have all been trained at considerable cost, and their deaths is a cost, they will have to be replaced. Me personally, although I found the almost willy nilly dishing out of money here a worry, I would still prefer the NZ model to the American one.
  6. Yes, despite that some people had difficulties in 2020, especially those in the hospitality or tourist industry, for me anyhow it's been a pretty good year. Other than some incompetencies at the border, we seem to have defeated the pandemic relatively easily, by using what amounts to the fairly simple technique of preventing it from spreading from one to another. Just common sense really. Looking at other countries I realise how lucky we are here. Most countries do not have the suitable politicians or political will, or stupid or selfish populations, that they just cannot defeat the virus, and even have violent demonstrations to oppose measures such as mask wearing or lockdowns designed to defeat the virus. Looking at the stupidity going on in some other countries I am so glad to live here in NZ. Many people myself included have come out better off than we would have been without the pandemic. In my case it's because sales of my honey rocketed when the pandemic struck. But for many people it's because the lack of overseas trips and other ways to waste money were not available, so people have come through with more cash than they would have otherwise have had.
  7. Good question Dansar, pre manuka boom, beekeeping was hard work and not a way to get rich. When I've seen how some of the new players think and act I could see disaster on the horizon for them, as all agriculture tends to have cycles of boom and bust, and I did wonder what would happen to whole families making a living from 250 hives, once the pendulum swung back towards the median, as it has. There are still some people making good money though. The situation of the last several years reminds me of the sharemarket crash of 1987, where I was one of the fools who lost a lot of money. People, myself included, thought all that was necessary to make big bucks, was after reading the daily paper, pick up the phone and make a quick call to place an order with your broker. And for a while that worked well and made good returns. But it was the old timers who had been around and seen the nature of the market forces and how no bull market lasts indefinately, who for the most part survived.
  8. Great info Roy. I'll be visiting RD1 who have an extensive collection of chemicals, and picking their brains.
  9. I've heard that claim before. A landowner claiming to be a beekeeper, or that part of his operation is beekeeping, because he recieves money from a beekeeper with hives on his land. I just wonder how much of this may have been caused by the beekeeper, who when he discovered that Roger was getting hives, approached Gerald and told him that will reduce his crop, and therefore Geralds cheque. Probably not expecting things to go as far as they did though, with him now having to rent a helicopter if he wants to visit his bees. Unexpected consequences.
  10. Since they are both Pearces and their properties adjoin, it would seem likely they are family who have each recieved part of an estate. When whoever bequethed it chopped it up, it was assumed at that time that access would be granted via a track that probably already existed, the mistake was in not having that enshrined in law. While I can see Geralds point that he had bees there first, he can raise objection to Roger getting bees nearby on his place. But it's different if someone is doing it on their own land. I don't think I would have the gall, if a neighbour to one of my sites got their own bees on their own land, that I would tell them not to do it, much less go to court over it. I am surprised he succeeded in court, because I thought how many bees you have on a farm block was not regulated. The case was not related to nuisance, but overstocking.
  11. I'll update about that in due course
  12. Just catching up on this thread. Re the AFB and glyphosate testing issue, my honey buyer has said that all honey will be tested for AFB and for glyphosate. Honey with AFB will not be purchased, cos they don't want it rejected after it gets to China. Honey with glyphosate might be purchased, however they can't send it to Japan, so the extra hassle of having to worry about that may reduce what the honey is worth. I spray around my hives with roundup, so, gonna have to move to something else, probably more dangerous. However this seasons crop, about to be harvested, it will be interesting to see if any glyphosate is detected as I've sprayed around them this season in the normal way.
  13. Kind of reminds me of a case from a few years ago. A guy with beehives in his back yard complained to the council about his neighbours dogs that barked a lot. Eventually the neigbour was required to get rid of the dogs. He was not able to re home them, so they were destroyed. Naturally, the neighbour was extremely upset. So he hit back, and complained about the beekeepers bees. They had been pooping on his property and that of other neighbours, but people had been good enough not to complain. But after his dogs were destroyed he called in the Council, who looked at all the poop, said it was not acceptable, and ordered removal of the bees. Beekeeper then went to the media, complaining about his mean neighbour. But my view, he should have thought harder before initiating the bad vibes by complaining about the other guys dogs.
  14. Hmm.. Bit hard to unravel, but seems like the two players are Gerald Pearce and Roger Pearce. Gerald's property is totally landlocked with no road to it, but he has always accessed it through Rogers property and built a track through it. Gerald farmed his property plus had a beekeeper on it. No issues for some years. Trouble started 2 years ago when Roger decided to also get some bees on his property. Gerald then took legal action to limit the number of hives that Roger could have. This naturally created bad feelings, so Roger decided to hit back, and told Gerald he couldn't use the track any more. My view? Before Gerald took out legal proceedings against Roger, he should have thought a bit harder, and realised his access to his own property depended on Rogers good will. You don't really expect to sue someone in court, but continue to get favours from them. Hillbilly stuff.
  15. Bit of an embarrasement for Phil Sutton, shows you got to be careful what you say to reporters. What he said clearly related to honeybees not bumblebees, the reporter probably called him and said "there's lots of dead bees congregating in an area on the road, what could cause that?" So Phil thinks it could be a swarm, and the way it ends up getting reported ends up making him look like a monkey. And, can you get stung stepping on a dead bumblebee, yes.
  16. Here's some info on the NZ situation- "Black queen cell virus is found in all New Zealand apiaries in the Bee Pathogen Programme. Because our tests are so sensitive, virus can be present without any clinical signs of disease. Clinical (observable) signs are the queen dying and turning yellow after capping, which can be confused with half-moon syndrome. With BQCV, the queen larvae eventually turn black, sometimes leaving a black spot on the outside of the cell. Bees affected by chronic bee paralysis virus. To reduce the damage this virus can do, keep bees well fed and clean grafting tools between uses with flame or ethanol. In further data analyses we will be looking at the association between the viral concentrations of BQCV and other variables we have collected". https://www.mpi.govt.nz/dmsdocument/29348/direct
  17. There's a number of plants you can use to repel insects from under your hive lids, but it's a never ending mission. Any nice safe sheltered place you put in your garden is likely to become host to any number of insect species, and the gap under your hive lid is one of those places. Me, if they are argentine ants in my hives I deal with them. Anything else I just shrug my shoulders and ignore them, live and let live.
  18. I guess that means you are asking what it is? Easiest way for a small beekeeper to discover it is if you are squishing queen cells in a hive preparing to swarm, and you find the odd one that instead of a normal healthy larva, has a dead mushy larva, only just pre pupal and in a capped cell, it is white but has black streaks in it. It might be positioned central brood nest where temperature was good, the cell was well built and the larva well fed. No reason for it to die. Other than disease. BQCV is the reason why commercial queen breeders will often candle queen cells before putting them in a mating nuc.
  19. That's interesting. Is that both the nosemas John?
  20. Looks like an interesting series. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDHgt2vDvAI John Rooth and his Toyota ''Milo'' are Australian 4x4 Legends. This is the 1st of his reviews on their Mahindra camera vehicle
  21. Give it another week. Not seeing the first eggs is easy, you'll spot them better in a week. Could also give them another frame of eggs just to test for queenlessness. A question. Has this hive been treated witha lot of oxalic acid? Just, too much of that can cause eggs to disappear.
  22. Yes they were not here back then. But you well know I tried them later Roy, I even sent you some ?.
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