Went along to the Auckland Bee Club today, wow… it seems every meeting has more people. Which is a good thing indeed, hopefully the new people will take up Bee Keeping and join us to help save the Bees.
Coincidently, our neighbours from just up the road from our home, were at the meeting and they are looking at taking up Bee Keeping. Interestingly they commented that “…no one around us has Bee's” … so I think they were surprised to learn that we had hives. ( There's an open invitation if you'd like to come and have a look at our apiary. )
Topics covered today were:-
Paul Walsh discussed a rather ingenious extractor made from a washing machine that was built by another club member, what a great idea.
He also discussed the drip bucket system that looks like effective; this is a perfect idea for our de-capping issue. The plans for this are available in the latest Bee Club newsletter – as a bonus for any of our readers that are also ABC Members, you can contact the club to become a member by clicking HERE.
Richard demonstrated his method of using a round hair brush with plastic bristles to aid in easier extraction of Manuka honey which is thicker than, for example, clover honey. The brush is rolled over the capped honey, piercing the capping thereby releasing the suction within the cell. Our first extraction this year has been a lot thicker so this method is one we will give a go on our next extraction.
Other Hive Issues (Wasps, Ventilation etc)
Dennis explained some methods on how to prevent German wasps (yellow jackets for our American readers) robbing out your hives, which appears to be common this season in Auckland.
He discussed reducing the hive entrances down and the use of Carbaryl to remove wasps.
Other methods were discussed on how to find and destroy a wasp nest and other methods of destroying these pests.
I have tried the “freeze a wasp trick…then tie a piece of cotton on to it”, the idea is that the wasp is easier to follow with a dangling of cotton attached to it….alas though… I think 4 minutes in the freezer may have been too long for the wasp I tried it on ! It may have slowed him down too much readers…so will try again…
Terry also mentioned an ingenious method of using a bottle of Bunderburg Ginger Beer to attract wasps; the wasps fly in to the bottle but can’t get out. I will have to try this method soon.
Dennis also discussed how you can use a screened bottom board and also inner hive covers with a ventilation hole – to provide some much-needed ventilation in Auckland's current humid temperatures.
Thanks to ABC for another interesting meeting.
Here is a DOC website about Germans Wasps and how to control, Please Click HERE
…back home at the apiary…
I noted today that one of our hives has started “bearding” out front.
(PLUG) Please note… Kiwimana design and produce the “Kiwimana Meshboard” and we are currently field-testing a new designer “Kiwimana Hive Roof” 😀 which we will add to Honey 1 and monitor results. We believe that by using both these products, this combined approach will aim to serve the Bee's well both over the “Bee Season”, and the “Closed Season” and of course all our wood and materials are sourced from local suppliers.
Here are some photos of the day (click on photos to expand them):-