Bee Buzz Build Up – KM128

This is Episode One Hundred and twenty eight of our beekeeping show.

We are Gary and Margaret, we love Honey bees, we are kiwimana and we are Beekeepers who live in the Waitakere Ranges, on the Wild West coast of Auckland, in New Zealand.

kiwimana is a place where the beekeeping community can share a conversation and connect and in this episode we are talking about

  • Maybe that new treatment isn’t the best for your bees “Glycerine and Oxalic Acid”
  • Bees, Bright colours, the buzzwords in Gardening
  • Welsh bees invade Manchester streets

..we also – as if that wasn’t enough – build and sell beekeeping supplies, we teach beginner Beekeepers and provide beekeeper services and advice. And we are the “beesknees” Club, Facebook group

Great to have you joining us, we know life is busy for you so we appreciate that you have taken the time to join us today – thanks so much for being part of the kiwimana buzz.

We also have been known to go off on tangents about other issues.

…Like chemicals, conservation, consumerism

It’s Spring in New Zealand!!! Sssssssss Swarms, splits, support clematis blooming, kowhai, Magnolias, Cherry Tree, dandelions and buttercups appearing in the lawns and even some daisies What has been happening in the weather?..and this means the bees are dealing with…!!!

Paul Writes from Wellington

We are about 3 weeks away from splitting in Wellington. One advice I received was to keep the existing Queen in the old hive. The other I is to split the Queen away to prevent swarming! Your call?…


Yeah we are about at the same stage as Wellington I think

What’s been happening at kiwimana?


  • We have removed the podcast app, it wasn’t as popular as we thought and there are many options now for podcast players. Have a look at for some ways to subscribe.
  • Miracle of miracles !! Our Storm damaged bees are OK !!
  • Sorry we didn’t get the show out with Paul and Tracey, it’s on it way…
  • And busy working on interview with Nigel Costley.
  • Feeling heaps better after being Struck down the flu that lasted for a couple of weeks.


  • We have done a few videos last month, check out my moves on YouTube channel. Check out for the “Beekeeper Boogie”
  • Working with beeginners and helping with splitting their colonies and helping also to sell them – always helpful in getting some extra money to help buy new gear
  • Auckland Bee Club have purchased one of our LifeStyler long Bench hives and I will give a session on my recommended beehive management tips specifically for this product
  • Two of our stronger colonies are going to be split – the queens have really ramped- up their laying and drones hatching in around 18 days
  • Two smaller colonies I was thinking of merging but one has started to build-up well – so now confused !!
  • Varroa course – running this to help others who may be struggling with how to deal with this little murdering mongrel !!! Including going over some integrated pest management tools and methods
  • Glycerin and Oxalic Acid ?? Just not sure about this we talk more on the news about this
  • Just got word from bee breeder who said he has gotten queens and now preparing nucleus production.

Beekeeper Boogie

Here is Margaret’s latest dance video:-

kiwimana Global Roving Reporters

We didn’t hear from Niklaus but he asked us to do a little video on our treatment methods for a video from treatments used around the globe, so we guess he has been busy working on that.

Here the video about treatments we did with Niklaus

Varroa TREATMENT explained by BEEKEEPERS FROM AROUND the globe

Ron, our Roving reporter in Canada did send us his report despite Ron having a cold – shout to Ron for your effort – thanks you.

Ron from Bad Beekeeping – Calgary – Canada

Check out Ron amazing Bad beekeeping blog HERE

Avari from Rascals Apiary – North Carolina

Avari is 16 years old and keeps bees with her parents and older brother.

Follow Rascal Apiary on YouTube HERE

They are also on Instagram HERE

Chris Brown – The greatest beekeeper in Sheffield

We heard from the greatest beekeeper in Sheffied, what’s happening in Britmana.

Do you want to bee a Roving Reporter?

It would be awesome if you can help create the buzz by beeing part of the show – reporting in from your location whilst in the field ; ) – we need more kiwi reporters…come on guys !

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

Please send us a sound file to [email protected], titled Roving Reporter

Or join the mailing list to get a reminder when we record the next show (monthly) HERE

What should you be doing with your bees?

  • In New Zealand Assessing your colonies in terms of drone production and brood status = population growth and health, AFB checks for the annual disease returns and finishing your treatments. Checking population levels, types of brood being laid and progress of drones and splitting opportunities
  • In UK Wintering down would still be your plans now as the weather has changed, treating and conducting cell checks for brood health and assess varroa presence, Treating so as to remove as much as possible if not eradicate varroa presence in the hive before the bees population declines but where your Winter Bees are coming on – the Winter Bees live longer but you don’t want them to have varroa illnesses so the colony survives through Winter – Bees are amazing !
  • In USA Gosh you guys over there are having so much to deal with, we hope that you will get your hives safely wintered down but mostly we hope you and your families and friends are all safe and we wish you well as you come in to Winter.

Blog Recap

Top Content by your Vote Last Month

  1. Springtime for Down Under Beekeepers
  2. Sick Bees Varroa problem – Remedial action for Deformed Wing Virus using OAV
  3. How do you tell the difference between Manuka and Kanuka?

What products have been used in our work?

Gary – Looking at better website hosting, every time we release a new post the traffic takes down the website.

Margaret – less treating with OAV as we prepare colonies for splitting and I prefer to not treat while the new-season queens are being raised. I want to see them mated and laying before any treatments are resumed. This is the only time we use our queen excluders for the 24 hour time of the split, then these are removed we run the langstroths with two brood boxes which gives space to the increased laying of the queens as we expect this time of the year and usually continues right through to early Autumn. A side note : as the colonies have survived winter and brood health looking smacko I am not treating as intensely now. So ….Monitoring varroa is a key task we undertake, the approach is using our kiwimana meshboards and monitoring natural mite fall on the inspection boards which is non-invasive easy to do method.. Also monitoring the entrances for perhaps robbing, wasps and if the population is strong enough then rotating to the widest access. I have made some new robbing screens for my 7 frame boxed hives so will be adding them after splits are completed

Your thoughts Gary ?

Gary and Margaret discuss what to do with Queens cells and why we don’t destroy them.

Beekeeping News

This podcast was made possible thanks to our Patrons, especially this month we would like to thank Irene Townshend

Irene has been supporting the kiwimana buzz since March 2018 We hope all is well and your kiwimana Mug has reached its way to you.

Thanks for your support!!!

Top Stories for Podcast

The Welsh company behind the giant bees around Manchester

Bees have invaded the streets of Manchester, no not honey bees but large models of bees made by a Welsh company.

The bees will be auctioned off in September and the proceeds will go to the “We Love MCR” charity set up to support the victims of the Manchester bombings in May 2017

The Manchester bombing may have been over a year ago, but the effect it has on the city remains. One Cardiff company is helping the city in its area of expertise – model-making.

The Welsh company behind the giant bees around Manchester

Your Feedback

Comments from Chris Brown who investigated these bees for us

Check out more at Bee in the City

Bees, Bright Colours, the buzzwords in gardening

I thought this would be a great share as while we beekeepers are preparing and working on Spring, this article talks about gardening and preparing for Summer and mentions colour and Bees.

And folks what’s more important to our girls than flowers, trees water and plants?

This coming 28th November – 2nd December 2018, Auckland will play host to the second North Island based international flower and garden show following the hugely successful inaugural event in Spring 2017.

The New Zealand Flower and Garden Show will be a celebration of modern horticulture and design and will provide visitors of all ages an array of things to do and see. Back to the article from September : talks about flower / garden shows coming up which may interest some of you who want to add some planting for Honey Bees.

As temperatures warm and the evenings get longer, kiwi gardeners are writing their TO DO lists. At the top of many is deciding what plants to buy for Summer. For those who like to follow gardening trends, then think colour – and Bees.

The Full posts is here:- Bees, Bright Colours, the buzzwords in gardening

Maybe planning for Christmas holidays ?

You may want to see what people are doing at the show for Honey Bees… here’s a link to the show details and tickets : NZ Flower and Garden Show On your travels, you may want to visit Hamilton Gardens

Sound Advice – Go With What We Know

This article was one we had referenced when there were discussion regarding new varroa treatment using, glycerin and Oxalic acid, scientist Randy Oliver from working with Jennifer Berry- not approved here in New Zealand but that isn’t stopping folks here from trying out this method – the question posed was whether this treatment worked in different climates / temperatures ? ….

Use Methods For Controlling Varroa That Are Tested, Legal and Work Last year, a new method of using oxalic acid (OA) was publicized by Randy Oliver, Scientific Beekeeper. According to his updates, he was having pretty good results with the new method. Beekeepers, along with myself, became hopeful that this new formulation would be the silver bullet we’ve all been waiting for. Not only did it look promising in controlling mites, but it was easy to mix, apparently had no adverse side effects to bees, brood or queens, had no wax or honey contamination issues and finally, it was cheap.

Sound Advice – Go With What We Know

Your Feedback

Glynn Cleaver You might want to discuss the new methods we use in New Zealand and are more like the strips they have been using in South America. Scott towels are very hit and miss. Also oxalic is not licensed to use in the USA unlike the rest of the world. Randy was working with the FDA but I don’t know the outcome yet. Oxalic and glycerin has been used in South America for over 10 years without any resistance. At the moment oxalic is approved in NZ and I hope it stays that way it works. We had the privilege to test the South America strips and they worked very well. The strips we use are compressed recycled cardboard and use a lot less oxalic than the South American strips with very good results. The Gib tape can even be made with organic cotton. We could be the first country to be antibiotic and synthetic treatment free.

Margaret – kiwimana Yeah we will discuss further it’s true Oxalic acid is approved for use but specifically as we understand it’s the treatment or application method which needs to be approved mostly in terms of safety – we have asked for some guidance from MPI’s agency and are waiting on a response.
At this point I don’t want to b mucking around and sticking with what is working for us at this time OAV. Mark Kirkwood Hi have you thought about trying to get intouch with Philbee on the NZbee Forum about his method of using OA / Glycerine and gib tape.

If anyone wants to share their experiments and results please contact us

Make Your Own Solar Beeswax Melter For Under $10

Great post from Charlotte from Carolina Honey Bees, a idea to make an inexpensive Solar Wax Melter and also an interesting Honey Filter that Charlotte uses.

When I became a beekeeper, I didn’t want to waste anything produced by my bees. So, my beeswax cappings represented many possibilities for producing other products and crafts. I was delighted to find out that it was possible to make your own solar beeswax melter.

Make Your Own Solar Beeswax Melter For Under $10

Here is the Solar Wax Extractor we made HERE

The interview we did with Charlotte can be listened to HERE

Your Feedback

Tracy Robinson Thanks for this I’m hoping to make one ? Beekeeper Charlotte Thanks – we have sure had a lot of hot weather to use this year.

What’s your Number One Beekeeping Problem?

When people join our newsletter we ask them what their number one Beekeeping problem is, we try and help them to sort it out. Getting started seems to be trend this month’s:-

“I am a newbie and I am confused about what will happen to my Bees now that the warm weather is here – Unknown

Michael – How do we get started

Cathy – I’m just starting out. Don’t have any bee hives yet just heaps of bees in my garden and am keen to get set up.


What’s your Biggest Beekeeping Problem? Tell us here:-

If you have a Urgent Question, please check out our Bee Knees Facebook group here:-

Feedback from you guys!!!


This month we have these great new supporters:

  • Michelle Lassche from Canterbury in New Zealand!
  • Dan McGivern from South Australia
  • Robin O’Connell from Victoria in Australia

Plus we had a donation from Bill of $40.00

Yeehaaa…Thank you all for your support

The Twiters

We heard from Dan about the last show!!!

The Bonus Show

Supporters through Patreon, look forward to getting a little extra…In this week’s Bonus show we talk about What to smoke and are Crossbows really a great tool to talk to your staff with? The bonus show is for our supporters.

The Bonus show can be found HERE

End of the Show!!

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Show Times

  • What’s been happening at kiwimana? 00:04:36
  • kiwimana Global Roving Reporters 00:11:54
  • > Canada 00:12:59
  • > North Carolina 00:15:28
  • > Sheffield 00:17:28
  • What should you be doing with your bees? 00:21:09
  • Top Content by your Vote Last Month 00:22:59
  • What products have been used in our work? 00:25:21
  • Beekeeping News 00:32:11
  • The Welsh company behind the giant bees around Manchester 00:33:17
  • Bees, Bright Colours, the buzzwords in gardening 00:37:03
  • Sound Advice – Go With What We Know 00:40:32
  • Make Your Own Solar Beeswax Melter For Under $10 00:50:43
  • What’s your Number One Beekeeping Problem? 00:53:46
  • Feedback from you guys!!! 00:56:44
  • The Bonus Show 00:58:28
  • How to Subscribe to the Show 00:59:26

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