Apiary Awesomeness in Splitsville – KM098

This week we are talking about Splitsville, Magical Skincare Face Wash, Miss Beehaven in Paihia and Poison Ivy Honey? This is Episode Ninety Eight of our beekeeping podcast.

(…not long to go now to 100


This week we would like to thank Gavin Webber

He have been supporting the kiwimana buzz for over 15 months

Thanks for your support Gavin !!!

Yum 🙂 If you are into Cheese-Making check out his podcast at LittleGreenCheese.com

If you find what we do of value – please consider supporting us on https://kiwimana.co.nz/banana


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Welcome To the kiwimana buzz..

Hi, it’s Gary and Margaret here, we are beekeepers from the hills of the Waitakere Ranges on the Wild West Coast of Auckland, New Zealand. Our podcast is about beekeeping, Gardening and a bit of politics about environmental issues relating to Honey Bees. We also have been known to go off on tangents about other issues.

Big Shoutout to our listeners in Alberta in Canada this month.

  • 200,000 free pancakes are served at the Calgary Stampede
  • The world-famous annual rodeo that has been celebrated for more than 100 years!

What’s happening at kiwimana


  • Huge thanks to our Donators Aaron and Ron, and new Patreon Supporters, which we will talk about later on.
  • We had to upgrade our newsletter software, as the number of readers has now passed 2500 🙂
  • We have a promo for all you Mead Makers out there, lets have a listen to MeadDrinker Tysen
  • Shocking News from the USA this week
    – Grown Men were seen to cry into their Beer
    – History was made …No not the US presidential elections
    – The All Blacks lost to Ireland in the Rugby breaking an 18 Game unbroken record!
  • Still need to sort out our Quarantine Beeyard * All Infected hives have been destroyed


  • margaret-and-swarm
    Geez what have I been up to?
  • Beeginuzz inspections – what did we find? (Bees for sale)
  • Donations from Aaron with his support, the Education Apiary comes to fruition.
  • Bee Breeding in Splitsville at kiwimana HQ
  • DECA – AFB checks coming to deadline for getting to www.afb.org.nz

Blog Recap

Top three Blog Posts Last Month

  1. Plant Them and they will come
  2. Collecting Bee Swarms – We talk to “Swarm Patrol” – Andrew Guzowski
  3. Beginner Beekeeper – Greece Spring and Summer 2016

Plant Them and they will come – EP 96 FeedBack

In Episode 96, lots of feedback regarding this article called: “Here’s the colony-killing mistake backyard beekeepers make”
From the episode…
Margaret asks…is it true that backyard or urban beekeepers are killing Honey Bees, well this story spreads some views which claim this is very definitely the case….

Using my broad shoulders to take this feedback on-board…and sharing the love.

Love you guys!

I have to disagree about treatment free beekeepers being irresponsible and propagating more varroa.

I have lost 70% of my original genetics from 5 years ago. But now my losses are less than anyone else I talk to in my area. I have been completely treatment free for 4 years. The bees that have survived are thriving. I see varroa in my hives and they seem to have found a balance with them.

The varroa are not an enemy but are a symptom of unsustainable beekeeping practices and weak genetics. (In my observation and opinion)

I understand the hesitancy of large scale beekeepers for doing what I have done because they have a lot of responsibilities and overhead costs that won’t allow them to lose 70%+ of their stock to breed bees that are resistant.

I am always skeptical of claims made by researchers that are financially backed by the companies and products that they research.

I proudly and loudly do not treat our bees ever. The most “treating” I do is splitting and requeening. If adaptation wasn’t real then we wouldn’t be seeing all of these feral bee colonies making such a strong comeback without any treatments.

I am a live and let live kind of guy, so treat if you want to but don’t blame treatment free beekeepers for all of the problems with pest and disease in the beekeeping world.

Keep up the good work y’all ?? I am working on some high production quality intro and sound effects for our podcast and promise it will be back as soon as we can. I hope to have y’all on again ??

Aaron Jennings – Jennings Apiary

Margaret Responds:-

Phew…it’s great to get feedback and sometimes tough to have a view… as we are all on a journey to help save the bees…I also feel that it’s important to hear and share others views.

I stand by organic treatments which will give the Bees the ability to change their beehaviour without making Varroa any stronger.

…I really don’t blame treatment free beekeepers “for all the problems” so I think thats been a bit harsh and perhaps misinterpreted because the article makes those claims

…my personal view stems from the sadness of the loss of colonies and strongly believe that with organic treatments, these losses could have been prevented because with survival, this will help the bees genetics develop further

…death does not allow any bee behaviour to change…the Bees are not dying because they are weak – they are becoming weak from the viruses the varroa spread…

…other contributory factors such as loss of habitat and loss of variety in foraging is causing losses also and chemical residues

appearing in the hive from the areas they do forage in, being fed sugar-syrups from white sugar that is bleached and highly processed.

Ways to discourage Varroa Destructor Mite without treating?

Splitting – YES !

I also continue to believe that splitting is a useful tool in breaking varroa breeding cycles as do treatment free beekeepers, letting the colonies raise their own Queens, we pre-empt the ‘swarm effect’ so we split before we see queen cells.

Killing Queens Seasonally – NO WAY !

Replacing queens every season with ‘bred and artificially inseminated’ queens is definitely keeping genetics too narrow…

New Season Queens – YES !

…breeding from surviving colonies is most desirable, then split and create new-season queens who are mating on the wing with other surviving colonies is strengthening genetics naturally…we do this

Brood Breaks

This method is when you have two Beehives and only one queen. The methodology is that you remove the queen to pause laying and therefore create a break in the varroa breeding and brood cycle of the Bees meaning that the varroa can’t take hold as nothing for varroa to breed and feed from.

This method requires strict management as you don’t want to have the queen absent from each hive for too long as the hive may get a laying worker

Drone Management – YES !

Putting in frames that enables the colony to have drone brood helps keep the drone-laying to a frame and put in the end of Winter will mean the colony will draw-out for drones, then you can manage and check for varroa presence…it will stop the girls from laying drones in-between hive-box levels…you can wipe-out a whole batch of varroa by having a couple of these in your brood box.


…if a Beehive fails – what measures are being taken to stop ‘robbing bees’ from going in and perhaps picking-up varroa and/or viruses from the hive/bees/honey – do the treatment-free beekeepers monitor regularly to prevent this from happening? Are older comb or general comb from these failed hives being used again?

Always lots to ponder….as I sit by my Beehives this Spring…

Thanks Aaron, love your good works, as always – we look forward to hearing more updates on your treatment free endeavours…yeehaaa…

Here’s the link to the article Aaron is commenting on HERE

Beekeeping News

Hives worth $15,000 stolen from Coast property

More Bees are being stolen, this time from north of Gisborne near Anaura Bay.

An East Coast beekeeper is outraged that someone went on to a property where he operates and stole a dozen of his prized beehives worth $15,000.

Hives worth $15,000 stolen from Coast property

Your Feedback

No Comments, but Senior Sergeant MACMILLAN from the NZ Police have been in touch and joined our newsletter. Perhaps we can get some tips from him on how to prevent Hive thiefs.

This story about natural skincare provided by honey…but good quality honey required…read this article to hear how honey works it’s magic on this face-care trial…


Honey has a very low pH, so a lot of bacterias cannot survive in honey,î says Carla Marina Marchese, the founder and beekeeper behind Red Bee Honey. It’s about a 3.5 on average on the pH scale, and a lot of bacteria needs to thrive in closer to a 7 on the scale.

It has magical calming and moisturizing powers as well. “Honey is moisture-grabbing because it’s a super-saturated solution, meaning the bees mix a lot of sugars into a little bit of water” says Marchese.

I Replaced My Face Wash With Honey – And Here’s What Happened

Yes it’s true folks, they are Miss Beehaven in Paihia !!
Small article on a new business venture…which lets tourists see the workings of the magistical world of the bees.


Bee Haven also sells honey, and 100 per cent of the profits going to the Bay Bush Action Trust, to help meet the cost of pest control in the forest where the bees gather their nectar, to protect the bush and the kiwi that live in it.

Tourist destinations are supposed to give visitors a buzz, and that’s just what Bee Haven is delivering

Watching bees new buzz in Paihia

You can visit Bee Haven website HERE

Writer Dakota Kim went to Seoul to discover Urban Beekeeping is popular in this South Korean city. Beekeepers are teaching city folk that Bees are not dangerous…


On a rooftop high above the brightly-lit beauty shops and potato tornado vendors of pulsating Myeongdong, a young man stands amongst crepe myrtle trees and tigerlilies, carefully lighting a flame and igniting the contents of a funny-looking little stainless steel pitcher. He walks over to a wooden box on stilts and lifts the roof off of it, funneling smoke inside from the stainless steel container.

When it comes to bees, city people think they’re dangerous, Park said. “Changing people’s opinions is really hard, so we use media and education to raise awareness of how they are. There haven’t been any incidents, so people are realizing that they’re safe”.

Park understands the appeal of connecting food and bees.

Urban Bees Seoul Lures More Believers With Honey

Your Feedback

Dakota Kim (author) – So glad! It was an honor to go there

This reminds me a bit of the Tutin threat because of these “sweet tongued pests” but creates risk for our honey bees not humans. Interesting article from New Zealand


“The great unknown” is how a Bay of Plenty dairy farmer is describing the future of the willow tree on New Zealand farms.

Fraser McGougan is just one of hundreds of New Zealand farmers who are watching helplessly as a newly-introduced pest, the giant willow aphid, takes its toll on the iconic species of tree, causing it to blacken or die.

Under threat from a sweet-tongued pest

Your Feedback

Jahanna Hollis – Thank you! We were wondering what was wrong with our willow, this explains so much.

Rusty from Honey Bee Suite solves the issue of does poison ivy product honey and does it harm the bees. Talks of experience with poison ivy


It’s apparent from watching honey bees that they enjoy a tasty snack of poison ivy nectar. Having observed this, a reader asked “Is there such a thing as poison ivy honey?”

Do bees make poison ivy honey?

Your Feedback

Jude Purenti – Interesting and I spent a week cleaning up ivy from my lazy neighbors lol, so it would not affect my hive..

Questions from you


How do you register your bee hive in New Zealand – Hector in Northland, New Zealand

Visit this PAGE

How to use Mavrik to treat Varroa mites – Tom in Dunedin, New Zealand

Control of Varroa Book
Control of Varroa Book

Quick Answer – DON’T
Mavrik in an insecticide that Contains fluvalinate (Same Active Ingredient as Apistan)
Not recommended, According to Dr Mark Goodwin (pg 84 Control of Varroa Book) this produces mites that are resistant fluvalinate, because it doesn’t slowly release the active ingredient.

Mavrik is a not an approved treatment for Varroa Mites in New Zealand.

Bees in bait hive how long to leave – John – Perth, Australia

Well it depends on:-
How big the box is? And how big the swarm was?

If you have a question, email us at [email protected] and the team at kiwimana will do our best to answer it. Or visit our speakpipe page HERE

Feedback from You

Voice Mails


We got a message from Rosely about our Beekeepers 101 post.


This month we have these great new supporters.

  • Christopher and Laura Brown from Britmana in England
  • Lisa Morrissey from Auckland, who is enjoying her new kiwimana cap 🙂
  • MeadDrinkr Tysen from the Mead Maker Podcast, thanks guys for your support check out there show HERE

Feedback from you guys!!!


Michael Jordan

Love the show, and all the great keepers you have on. we need more world beekeeping. Many are losing the edge it takes to have honey bees.


Thanks Ron for your recent Donation 🙂


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3 thoughts on “Apiary Awesomeness in Splitsville – KM098

  1. Avatar photo
    Jeff says:

    More Bees are being stolen, this time from north of Gisborne near Anaura Bay.

    These sods’ when caught, should be tossed in the nearest Germanic Wasp Nest.
    Perhaps we all need a small personal identification mark per frame that could be added at frame assembly. Does not need to be electronic or micro-chip, just some kind of addition or mark that is peculiar to that apiary and could be registered with police or local bee society?
    Also, as DECA inspectors, commercial keepers or serious hobbiests, can people make themselves known to police to assist/inspect hives under investigation as subject of theft? I don’t think the victim should be responsible for this and your average “Bobby” is not going to want to crack the lid of a brood box without a bit of training.
    Also, we can all be vigilant for online sales. You don’t have to buy or bid, but use the question feature to challenge the knowledge of the seller. Odds are someone stealing hives to on sell is not going to know a lot about the contents, Varroa treatment types and times and general management. Any “wrong” or hesitant answers should ring alarm bells and the seller can be reported.

  2. Avatar photo
    Cho says:

    Hi, I am a beekeeper in Korea

    I wonder vitex agnus castus

    Can you help me?

    vitex agnus castus If seeds are planted on the ground, is it true that you can not see the colorful flowers you see in Google?

    I am learning about vitex agnus castus

    Bumblebee and butterfly love agnus very much and I know that our honey bee does not care about it

    Is that really it?

    Korean beekeepers are just about to plant vitex agnus castus

    This is a very curious topic for Korean beekeepers

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