Bee Aware it’s almost Spring – KM146

This is Episode One hundred and forty six of our beekeeping show – Bee Aware it’s almost Spring

We are Gary and Margaret, We are kiwimana.

kiwimana are beekeepers who keep bees on the Wild West Coast of Auckland in New Zealand. We love to teach about beekeeping. We sell beekeeping supplies and share information to help you keep honey bees organically.

It’s Bee Month in New Zealand!! In this episode we talk about Mass Bee Deaths in Russia and is Live and let die the way to save the bees, The Apriast in Scotland doesn’t think so.  

We also have roving reporters checking in from Poland, England, Canada and the United States of America.

September is Bee Aware Month

A month fully dedicated to celebrating bees!

Apiculture New Zealand has been running Bee Aware Month for nine years, and it gets bigger and better each year!

We hear from Charlotte who is Communication Coordinator from Apiculture New Zealand.

Want to Learn More…

Find out more about Bee Aware Month Here:-

Cheers Charlotte and may we all Bee Aware about Bees through September

So Margaret what have you been doing in the apiary ?

  • Gosh, it’s been very frustrating.  The rain has been consistently irregular, one minute wet, next minute wetter, then hail and then more rain, so it’s been really difficult to go into the hives. Basically not been able to open the hives at all !

What are your plans to get ready for Spring ?

  • I am aiming to continue to continue monitoring Varroa and treat with OAV to keep mite numbers down, regular treating means we are knocking back build-up.
  • I always like to start with an assessment inspection and do these at about 4 weeks before the start of the new season. This lets us know what is happening in the hive – this check tells me know what the current status of the hive is.
  • Then 2 weeks later we go back in to see what has changed. The changes will tell me what work the girls are doing – I really want to know of any changes to the type of brood the queen is laying – this tells me how close the colony is in preparation to Spring.

Okay so what do you see the Bees doing at the moment ?

  • The girls are taking any opportunity to get outside and I am seeing lots of pollen coming in as we have had through all of Winter.  Interestingly – Most days they are all back in the hive around 2.00pm in the afternoons.

It appears Winter has arrived late …so how is this affecting your preparations ?

  • It is making it difficult – so I have had to rely on checking the entrance for indicators and my inspection boards.  

What things are you looking out for?

  • Wax waste – robbing 
  • Fighting out front
  • Deformed Wings
  • Any dead Bees
  • Seeing what are they bringing in 

So what’s your conclusion for the start of Spring ?

  • I think it’s too late,  because winter seems to have come late. So this means that my preparations are beehind…
  • I am hoping that the next fortnight we start to see an increase in evening temperatures – so will be watching out for that

Roving Reporters

This week we hear from Krobia, Indiana, Hampshire and Ontario

Weronika from Miód Wasiaka – Krobia, Poland

Weronika is a fourth generation beekeeper who we met late in 2018 when she traveled to New Zealand.

Follow her adventures on Instagram

John and Jeanne from Tulip Tree Adopt a Bee – Indiana – USA

John and Jeanne are from Huntington in Indiana in the United States of America. Check them out HERE

Thanks guys for supporting kiwimana

Yolande – Ontario – Canada

Yolanda is from Kingston in Ontario and keeps bees in very cold winters, check out her podcast HERE

Chris from Three Hares Honey – Hampshire, England

Chris is a beekeeper and vet from Three Hares Honey in rural Hampshire.

For the most Exceptional raw honey from rural Hampshire, check out his web site Three Hares Honey. Thanks Chris for supporting kiwimana

Help Chris by voting for his company Three Hares Honey HERE * Closes 7 Sep 2019

Do you want to bee a Roving Reporter?

It would be awesome if you can help create the kiwimana buzz by being part of the show –  reporting  in from your location while in the field

If so…Could you record a quick update of one to two minutes of your local weather conditions and what other people should be doing with the bees in your area.

To Learn how to get your report to us, check out:- How to become a Roving Reporter

Beekeeping News

Bee flu reaches Russia, heralds major global food crisis

Mass bee deaths affect Russian Bees, beekeepers are concerned that unrestricted use of chemical spraying is the major cause.

Specialists started looking into the problem, but the research will take months. However, scientists already say that bees die on a massive scale because of the use of pesticides and herbicides on agricultural fields. uct.

Talking Points

  • Over 300,000 colonies have been lost.
  • Article recaps CCD that started happening around the world in 2006
  • Scale of problem difficult to access says Russian Ministry of Agriculture 
  • In the summer of 2019, over twenty areas reported mass bee loss.
  • Friponol banned in Europe has been sprayed on flowering rape seed crops.
  • No warning system is in place to advise beekeepers of pesticide spraying
  • Beekeepers are blaming cheap pesticides that are banned in Europe?  Sellers trying to offload product?

We have a video featuring Viktor Morozov from Bobrovka

Pesticides are expensive, and sometimes they “farmers” dilute them with cheap toxins and ignore application rules
Anna Brandorf – Head Russia’s national beekeeping research centre

Better Story Here – Buzz kill: mass bee deaths sting Russian beekeepers

Anatoly Rubtsov looked despondently at the beehives lining his property. “The farm used to be loud, it sang,” he said. Today just a faint buzz is audible but an overpowering rotting stench hung in the air after his bees were likely poisoned by a pesticide.

Your Feedback

Aileen Smith “Bee flu” makes it sound like a communicable disease when we all know it’s pesticides. I mean, sure the Varroa mite is partially to blame, but you can’t blame the Varroa for the disappearances of all the other insect species.
Stéphane Zanoni Reads like fake news.

Leave and let die

David “the” talks about folks who are deciding to consciously NOT treat their colonies for the Varroa Destructor Mite – the term pathogen was used but I am not sure in my mind whether this parasitic-mite should be classed as a ‘pathogen’…just sayin’

Talking Points

  • Evolution is a numbers game
  • Viruses are some of the fastest evolving Organisms
  • Study: Polish Study Comparison of treated vs untreated colonies over 3 years
  • Main point raised by David is that not treating so therefore letting the Honey Bee colonies die – which in my view, won’t work
  • If you have one Beehive, it won’t work
  • Good to hear the research was taken over 3 seasons – so its reasoned that it will take more than 3 seasons to help evolution but unfortunately the Bees keep dying
  • Most losses occurred in Winter
  • Failure to treat definitely contributed to death of colonies
  • Conclusion: If you don’t treat your colonies THEY WILL DIE

Margaret – Although there are different countries referred to in this article, its important to be aware that most of them have heavy winters, so the methods often involves complete brood breaks over winter – thats where New Zealand Beekeepers – particularly those in the warmer parts –  have brood year round so in my view – research taken using brood breaks can’t be used reliably for us kiwi beekeepers. If evolution requires increased ‘hygienic’ behaviour, it would also require survival of colonies for this behavior to adapt.

Your Feedback

Philip Vercoe And here I was hoping for an easy way to breed varroa resistance into bees 😅
Katherine Steeds Very good article. Raises a lot of cost-related questions of course.
Paul Jenkin Randy Oliver had the same idea as me, and really I think it’s the only ethical way to do it.

Test all of your colonies for mite levels regularly. Treat any high mite colonies. Don’t treat the low/no mite colonies. Remove any treated ones from your breeding program. Keep doing this until you either have colonies surviving with no treatment, or you have none left in your breeding program because they’ve all needed treatment.

Bringing in new queens from outside your operation regularly gives you more colonies back on the potential breeder list.

Joe Ibbertson Do I have to show how confirmation biased, inaccurate and unbalanced this piece is? Want me to start with the papers that were used or the opinions trying to pass as fact? Or maybe a list of quotes from the world’s top entomologists suggesting we work away from treatments?

Feedback from You

UFF Da – Michelle Scheidler Emails Us

UFF DA!!, I just wanted to take a quick minute to thank you both for all of your hard work. This is my first year beekeeping and I found your podcast a couple months ago. For the last two months I have been working through ALL of your podcasts and have had you in my head for many, many hours now. 

I will admit I am a little sad to be ending the marathon listen and will be looking forward to the new content. (I have started The Beehive Jive and then on to BeeKeepers Corner – another marathon) 

I think similar to children it takes a village to raise a good beekeeper and want to thank you immensely for being a part of my village. Sending wishes of a warm and wonderful spring, 

Michelle Scheidler

End of the Show

Who helped us in bringing this show to you?

Did you enjoy that show, This show is made possible for you by our amazing supporters.

Every show we read out our top Supporters and on the first show of each month we read out all the supporters.  Thanks to you all.

This week we would like to thank:-

Lisa Morrissey, Sana Wynne-Lewis, Christopher Brown, Greg Parr from Parrs Products, Trish Stretton, Nathan Buzzinga Beekeeping From Buzzinga Beekeeping

Shout out to our New Supporters

Huge thanks and shout out to Boris Brockmann for becoming a supporter of what we do at kiwimana.  Thank you Boris!!!

Also Super Banana shout out to Scott Wiltshire from Auckland for becoming a supporter.

Bee Like Boris and Scott and become a supporter, thanks guys!!!!!

Show Times

  • September is Bee Aware Month 00:01:23
  • What has Margaret been doing in the apiary? 00:08:02
  • Roving Reporters 00:13:14
  • – Krobia, Poland 00:13:38
  • – Indiana, USA 00:16:25
  • – Ontario, Canada 00:19:07
  • – Hampshire, England 00:21:41
  • Do you want to bee a Roving Reporter? 00:24:57
  • Beekeeping News 00:25:32
  • Bee flu reaches Russia, heralds major global food crisis 00:26:11
  • Leave and let die 00:31:50
  • Feedback from You 00:42:54
  • Who helped us in bringing this show to you? 00:45:08
  • Shout out to our New Supporters 00:45:46

Media Credits

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