Beekeeping Banter Round Up – KM124

This is Episode One Hundred and Twenty Four 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 talk about Victory for Mānuka, Beekeepers on the Breadline and Bloody Australia Day ‘ratbags’

..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 – so we appreciate that you have taken the time to join us today – thanks so much…. for being part of ….the kiwimana buzz….

oh….We have also been known to go off on tangents about other issues, banaNas and awesomeness.

It’s a couple of weeks to the end of Bee Season 2017… we feel the cold of Winter creeping in over here in New Zealand!!! What has been happening in the weather? Drops in temperatures so this means the bees are dealing with chillier nights with some colonies choosing to stopping laying but not because of the chill but because of varroa loads …!!! Unfortunately these colonies have since died.

What’s been happening at kiwimana?


  • Les Crowder Feedback 🙂 Good and Bad…
  • Update from Quarantine Apiary – Storm Update
  • Thanks to Jim and Jill, Irene for their kind donations
  • New Documentary about Rache l Carsons – Silent Spring, the book is HERE
  • Struggling with time management


  • Education Apiary – two hive losses varroa one last surviving
  • Kiwimana HQ – one loss due to storm
  • Stocktake
  • Winter workshop plans
  • New Bee Season 2018 plans

The EU ruling…did you hear ! We won!

The EU is banning outdoor use of pesticides “NeoNic’s” that harm bees

Also in India developments regarding seed copyright by Monsanto which they were causing such distress to India’s Farmers

Monsanto loses right to patent seeds

Related News from 2009:-
From Seeds of Suicide to Seeds of Hope: Why Are Indian Farmers Committing Suicide and How Can We Stop This Tragedy?

What should you be doing with your bees?

  • In New Zealand
    Not Much, monitoring mite levels, reading Books and building/cleaning Boxes, building frames, updating/repairing gear for Next Season? Relaxing and reminiscing and enjoying the memories of the season past…
  • In UK
    Making sure you have lots of boxes and frames for swarms, checking for health of brood and varroa management – ways you can do this are by – using drone management frames to capture drones in one place so you can checks cells for varroa presence, then cull the cells. Drone progress can be used to indicate when you can split….Other methods for checking for varroa presence are, sugar-shake which is less harmful than ethanol wash. Checking splits to ensure new season queens are laying properly generally about 6 weeks after split you should see eggs and capping starting.
  • In USA
    Swarms are a flying….Bee colonies being posted out and installed…some having queen issues, some swarming after install ! But the buzz is strong over there….my concern for most of the beginners is their unawareness of the threat of the Varroa Destructor Mite and how to spot issues and deal with them. The other thing would be about trying to encourage US Beekeepers to try and keep their Honey Bees alive through Winter and breed from the surviving colonies….shipping bees in boxes must be hugely stressful for the girls and perhaps Breeding from surviving queens may start to strengthen the Bees adaptability…gosh and save hobbyist beekeepers $$$

The Method we use to split hives is HERE

Do you want to bee a Roving Reporter

We would love it if you could be part of the show and report in from your location.

Do you live in one of these countries?

  • United States
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom

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

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

Blog Recap -Top Content by your Vote Last Month

  1. Vanquish the Varroa
  2. We all Rise Together – We talk to Les Crowder
  3. How to Prepare Your Bees for Autumn
  4. 12 Must See Ted Talks for Beekeepers

What products have been used in our work?

Gary – Mini HIve Tool to clean up frames, love it, it fits in the palm of your hand.

Margaret – my vaporizer, battery, battery charger and Oxalic acid crystals and two old pillow-cases

Beekeeping News

Lisa and Margaret

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

Lisa has been supporting the kiwimana buzz since October 2016

Special thanks to Lisa for all the help you give us. Thanks for the reviews in the last Auckland Beekeepers Magazine 🙂

Thanks for all your support!!!

Another Victory in Case for Mānuka’s NZ Origin

The term Manuka Honey has been certified in New Zealand. Which surprised us, as I thought it was already certified.

The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand has accepted the term as a proposed certification mark.

The Office said the certification meant the mark ‘mānuka honey’ will differentiate New Zealand’s honey from other countries like Australia.

Another Victory in Case for Mānuka’s NZ Origin

Your Feedback

Lyle Cairns – I was going to use some expletives but I’d better not. Criminals trying to capitalize on your national treasure.
John Thomson – I understand it was Tasmania as the original place of manuka honey. Yes all three NZ, AU and Taz have these trees that is something very beneficial to one’s health thru the honey that bees produce.
Angie Duff – So what does this actually mean in terms of stopping Australia using the word Manuka?

‘A lot of blood, sweat and tears’ – East Coast company cutting out the bees to make the most of manuka plantation

The product of some uniquely eastern New Zealand innovation, a scrubby plant once described as a weed is being grown commercially.
“No body has ever tried to do what we are doing here,”

“New Zealand Mānuka Group” a company on the East of New Zealand is extracting something different from Manuka Tree and it doesn’t involved any bees……..

‘A lot of blood, sweat and tears’ – East Coast company cutting out the bees to make the most of manuka plantation

Your Feedback

Mathew Jordan Good thing is it grows back, good shit, good to see them going hard better the some people just spray all the tea tree they have
Robert McInnes So the bee community should get concerned why? Someone found a better return from manuka than honey? Can’t blame them for that eh!
Gary Fawcett – And less bee stings Robert ?
Nathan Organ – Um, tea tree oil had been around for years and years. It’s well known to be beneficial for all kinds of things.
Glenys Carr – I could be wrong but the tea tree oil that’s been around for years is Australian melaleuca, the NZ variety is relatively a new product. Correct me if I’m wrong
Nathan Organ – We have many varieties of liptospermum in Australia. NZ has 2. Quite a large number of the Aussie tea tree aka manuka aka liptospermum aka jelly bush have medicinal properties, some far more than the 2 species in NZ.
Tea tree oil is derived from plants such as these.
Also, manuka honey is great for treating wounds because it creates hydrogen peroxide on contact, the oil would not, so won’t be as effective.
So while it’s interesting, it’s hardly a new idea or likely to be a new miracle drug.
Hayley Sunderland – Dam thought that was a pot crop, for sec ???
Korina Ellis – X whanau

Beehive Boom Putting Apiarists on Breadline

Beekeeping New Zealand president Russell Berry say beekeeping is not sustainable in New Zealand, due to the high number of hives. He feels Big Corporates are overstocking areas and yields are lower than usual.

Beekeepers are warning some in the industry are at risk of going bust because there are too many hives.

The jump in the popularity and price of mānuka honey in recent years has meant a boom in production.

Beehive Boom Putting Apiarists on Breadline

Your Feedback

Anthony Mcghie Interesting reading this from the states – hives worth $1000? Package of bees alone is about $150 then add the wooden ware.
Jay Bennett Media exaggerating Anthony, hives are worth around $350–500, nucs around 200, mated queens $50–75
Jay Bennett I really wish the media would stop portraying our hives as being worth so much $$$$; $1000!!! it is not true. Currently they are worth around $400; I do expect them to be worth quite a lot less come spring after two poor seasons.
Robert McInnes I can’t agree with your statement of hive cost. I have seen hives advertised between 400–1000 on trade me!
Jody Webster Are the $1000 hives selling though? Have been looking a lot lately, and not surprisingly, the cheaper ones have way more interest or on more watchlists than the more expensive hives.
Lisa Arnold You’re right Jay $1000 is an exaggeration. More like $300 – $400
Larnia Beets For a single brood box $400. Double brood box with a couple supers stack on with honey is another story…
Jay Bennett this time of year it would not warrant the cost of spending so much on a double hive and the price honey buyers are currently paying for honey hardly makes it worth taking it off the bees, and that’s if you can find a buyer for anything non manuka.
Judy New tan Are you talking about Langstroth hives? In Australia Langstroth are the cheapest at around $30 AUD per full depth (except if you build your own Kenyan Top Bar). Warre Hives are more expensive $700 AUD but Flow Hives are $1000 and above AUD.
Hilton N Melva Ward Well fancy that, am not surprised. (Melva)
Lyle Cairns I wonder when someone is going to offer private security services for these problems…

Hunt for Australia Day ‘ratbags’ who destroyed 120,000 bees

While celebrating on a public holiday in Australia, which is to commemorate the founding on 26 January 1788 of the colony of New South Wales…a group of sods were…

Around 120,000 bees were destroyed when two hives were set alight.

The 82-year-old owner, Ted Romer, is calling the men “ratbags” after the “disappointing” attack, New Corp Australia reports.

It is believed Mr Romer has been nurturing honey for about 15 years.

This is the second attack on the hives in about four months.

Hunt for Australia Day ‘ratbags’ who destroyed 120,000 bees

Your Feedback

Jason Wade Bullet in the head!!!!
Kim Wade You sound like uncle Mark
Rana Mcneil Media , pfff, rat bag’s is not the title I’d have used
Paulo Jmd Silva That’s the result of not enough education provided at home by their parents.
Anthony Mcghie Sounds like upset neighbors.
Colette Nicoll Shitty spoilt little sociopaths
Gill Ashmead Mecoy Rat bags ? Scum and oxygen thieves, is more like it !
Hayley Sunderland Be calling them more than ratbags, pathetic wankers, more like it.
Joyce Kennedy Hope they burn in hell.

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 with problem.

Here is this month’s one:-

Finding and killing the queen in an angry hive…

Name Not Given

There is a method that must be undertaken before even considering a move like this
* Assessment
* Preparation
* Post kill
In fact before making drastic decisions like this there must always be assessment

Whats your Biggest Beekeeping Problem? Tell us here:-

Or visit our speakpipe page HERE and leave a question

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

Feedback from you guys!!!

Do you want to show your support?

Patreon is a way that you can contribute to the work we do here at kiwimana, simply as little as $1.00 per month donation makes a real difference to help us to continue creating free BLOGs, PODCASTs, and NEWSLETTERs

Check out our Patreon Account HERE

…gosh and thank you …as this month we welcome our newest supporters…

  • Trish Stretton
  • Barbara Weber
  • Greg Parr
  • Irene Townshend


Geoff and Linda from Tinonee (North of Sydney)

Hi guys, My wife and I live in Tinonee on the Mid North Coast of Aus and we are beginner beekeepers

This weekend just gone we travelled to Sydney and had found your podcasts prior to leaving, we thoroughly enjoy your presentation, the information and the light humour, we even enjoyed the way Margaret would break into a song now and again! It’s terrific to find people so passionate and helpful.

Have just requested membership to your facebook page as well and will be following you on Youtube.
All the best and thanks once again

Geoff and Linda Richards

Apple Podcasts

LOVE Gary and Margaret! – CoffeeWaffle – 5 Stars ***** – United States of America

“As a new beekeeper, I relish everything I can read or listen to. Gary and Margaret are a joy to listen to and I learn something new with every podcast. They are fun and upbeat, unlike some bee podcasts that are droll and dreary. Keep up the great work down there!!!” – Monday, 2 April 2018

Fantastic Podcast – PJ of Sydney – 5 Stars ***** – Australia

“Gary and Margaret’s passion for bees is contagious and makes their podcast a must listen for both new and experienced beekeepers alike. The duo feature guests who share just as much passion and knowledge as their hosts and help make their show relevant for beekeepers around the world. A must listen to anyone interested in bees or just connecting with the natural world around us. – Friday, 6 April 2018

Fun and informative – Jjstroke – 5 Stars ***** – United States of America

“Great podcast for any beekeeper, if your just starting beekeeping or have be keeping bees for years. Kiwimana has great guests and awesome tangents! Joel The North Idaho Beekeeper” – Monday, 23 April 2018

The Bonus Show

In this week’s Bonus show we talk about blimmin’ murder by councils and making soap from bees… The bonus shows are for our supporters who use PATREON through which they make donations to say ‘thank you’.

The Bonus show can be found HERE

The Next Show

We have an interview with Jim Hepburn from Wellington!!!!

Jim Hepburn is a backyard Beekeeper from the hills of Wellington in New Zealand.


Show Times

  • What’s been happening at kiwimana? 00:04:20
  • The EU is banning outdoor use of pesticides 00:14:14
  • Monsanto loses right to patent seeds 00:14:46
  • What should you be doing with your bees? 00:15:45
  • Do you want to bee a local Roving reporter 00:25:10
  • Blog Recap -Top Content by your Vote Last Month 00:26:52
  • Another Victory in Case for Manuka’s NZ Origin 00:31:32
  • East Coast company cutting out the bees to make the most of manuka plantation 00:33:46
  • Beehive Boom Putting Apiarists on Breadline 00:40:05
  • Around 120,000 bees were destroyed when two hives were set alight 00:45:52
  • Whats your Biggest Beekeeping Problem? 00:49:55
  • Feedback from you Guys 00:54:44
  • Do you want to show your support? 00:54:52
  • Emails 00:56:57
  • Reviews from Apple Podcasts 00:57:59
  • Whats in the Bonus Show? 01:00:31
  • Whats on the next Show? 01:01:29

Media Credits

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