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Everything posted by EmmetHuttValley

  1. Our current place was covered in escallonia when we bought it. A nightmare removing it; formed thick growth with multiple regrowth everywhere a branch touched the ground. Like something out of Grimm's Fairy Tales. Couldn't get it into the mulcher either so burnt it all. Still have nightmares ? . Bees do love it though...
  2. I always like to keep an eye on the honey my local supermarket stocks. Apart from the usual mainstream brands, they sometimes have some nice raw honey varietals from around the country which is good to see. However this caught my eye this morning...vegan 'hunny'. The makers call it an "ideal substitute for...honey". As I said in another post a few weeks back, I think the growing vegan lobby have honey in their sights. Like rust, they never sleep.
  3. Spent the morning in hives, first time in 2021 as I've been down south since 30 December. We had left a long run of bad weather and my last inspection showed our girls struggling to get out and forage. Well, while we brought the crappy weather down south with us, my boy tells me it was glorious up here. What a difference a week makes at this time of year. Some nice fully capped boxes just about ready to harvest ? Also a small swarm I captured about six weeks ago are settling in nicely and building out and filling comb as they're going. Doubt I'll take anything of them this year but looking forward to seeing how they turn out. Still debating in my head whether I should re-queen them in Autumn or wait until next spring. Oh, and my sympathy to all the beeks and farmers in Otago. We got caught up in the flooding out from Duntroon. Awful. Lots of fruit destroyed and saw a bunch of drowned hives along the way.
  4. Is this the same project that the brilliant dog trainer we had at Bee Green Camp Rangi talked about in February this year Trevor?
  5. Been a real dog of a season here in Upper Hutt so far (certainly out here in the side valleys). Our season is normally later than the rest of the North Island, but with the horrid weather we've had lately, the poor girls are struggling to get out to forage. Just come back from inspecting the hives and it looks like we're a few weeks behind where we were last few years. At least food is bountiful when they can get out. We have a large bank of dog rose and St John's Wort at our place and the honeys and bumbles are loving it!
  6. Thanks Alastair, good perspective thanks.
  7. We have an earwig population explosion at our place this year. Not only are the ######s decimating our Silverbeet, but they are also in my hives more than I've previously noticed. I happened to be watching a video on super storage from Ceracell's Bruce Clow last night where he recommended winter storing the boxes with bunches of Tansy to repel wax moth. This got me thinking about Tansy as a general pest treatment. I've come across a few interesting articles like the one below on Tansy use (they're mainly North American articles) and wonder if anyone has thoughts or experience from an NZ perspective. My wife planted some years back around our citrus trees to ward off bugs and I was thinking of trying a few sprigs between the hive lid and top cover as an experiment. Crushed some and they have quite a strong scent. Thoughts? Honey Bees and Tansy | Berkshire Beekeeping BERKSHIREFARMSAPIARY.WORDPRESS.COM It's late July and the bees are kicking into gear on the tansy. I never gave tansy much thought, in fact I never really took much notice of it at all until It started growing in my yard years before I kept bees. Tansy is...
  8. A few of them were just a bit too manky and mouldy and, frankly, couldn't be bothered cleaning them so into the fire.
  9. A wee bit of drama here the past few weeks in our bit of Upper Hutt paradise. Got a notification two weeks back from the Management Agency that there was an AFB case within 2 kms of us and that they were doing mandatory inspections of all apiaries in the area. This notification came while I was working through a diagnostic process with one of my hives that was foremost on my mind. A previously strong hive had gotten slow and groggy; just not happy and healthy. I re-queened the hive, did all my disease, mite and health checks, changed out old brood boxes with new, replaced (and burned) old frames in the hive, normal spring treatment, treated again with ApiLifeVar when the temperature rose...all to no avail. Mite levels weren't high from alcohol test, no fully presenting sign of AFB, hmmmm... Thought I'd give the hive one last smash so ordered some Formic Pro. Ouch on price, but it read up like a good emergency mitigation. Applied it to the hive on the same day I received the Management Agency notification so lots of speculation was going through my head. Removed the Formic Pro treatment the day before the Management Agency inspection (I had briefed the inspector on my hives' health a few days before) and was pleasantly surprised to find a bounced back, happier hive! Inspection was all-clear and that hive is rapidly growing in strength. So, an interesting case study for me on the use of Formic Pro as a treatment.
  10. Thanks for the refresher @Trevor Gillbanks. The HD original is still a great piece of hive ware but the new base is simply awesome. I'm finding the three dial entrance a really sophisticated tool and it is certainly a better fit base to fix to hive stands.
  11. There is another rather troubling aspect to this 'animal product' categorisation that I've only recently become aware of. Recently had a morning tea at work and I brought along some of my wife's amazing Irish soda bread and my honey. We had two vegans in our group and, while I wasn't surprised they didn't go for the soda bread (contained butter milk), they would touch my honey either. They explained that honey was verbotten as it was an animal product that we were "stealing" from "enslaved creatures" (their words). Trying to calmly correct this incorrect perception went nowhere but it did strike me at the time that, as more and more people (especially young) go vegetarian or vegan, we may start to see the beekeeping industry targeted as another 'animal exploitation' focus for the protest brigade. MPI's categorisation has some important future ramifications then beyond just export rules IMHO.
  12. Yep, @Stefan SchloglWellington Club organises box dipping sessions a few times a year in Wainuiomata. $5 a box if I recall. Another reason to be a member of a local bee club.
  13. Thanks for the pictures @Phil46, great document of your journey and helpful for my new adventures next year.
  14. Cheers @yesbut . My wife thought it was a Wool Carder Bee but I had other notions! Thanks for the tip on male/female. Time to study up on this.
  15. Hi All - twice in the past few weeks my wife and I have spotted this little lady on our white lavender. She (I presume) is about the size of a honey bee but quite box-like in body shape. Her thorax is distinguished by fairly broad and distinctive brown and white bands. She seems quite territorial and has chased honey bees and bumbies off the lavender when they've tried to forage on the bush. She got quite curious with me when I was photographing her hovering about a foot away from my face looking straight at me (I didn't feel like she was going to have a go). Have only seen one at a time so wonder if this is a solitary native species. Any ideas as to who she is?
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