Beekeeping Bonanza 2018 – KM119

This is Episode One Hundred and Nineteen 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 :-

  • Rescuers fight through swarms
  • 7 Queen Bee Facts that will amaze you
  • How to protect your hives from Yellow Jacket Wasps
  • What’s looking good ???

..we also – as if that wasn’t enough –

… We build and sell beekeeping supplies and equipment, 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 hope you had a great festive season and a very happy new year.

We appreciate that you have taken the time to join us today – thanks so much for beeing part of the kiwimana buzz!

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

It’s a flaming hot Summer here in New Zealand- temperatures have been epically high and working in the Apiary has seen reports of beekeepers losing huge amounts of weight!
What has been happening in the weather in your neck of the woods ?

What’s been happening at kiwimana?


  • Happy New Year!!!!
  • Ben from Ben’s bees visiting over the Christmas Break, we released a video HERE
  • Team Member Snow was pretty ill and had to go to the Hospital
  • Visit to Customers who had AFB – wanted second opinion / notices received of AFB which covered all our apiaries this means…


  • Loved meeting Ben BTW – was great to show him through some hives and enjoyed his great enthusiasm for the bees
  • Had a great Christmas with family and friends
  • Our New Years was quiet up here on the hill but the bees have been busy, well as bees ; )
  • Thoroughly been enjoying this awesome bee season 2017 – excited that we will have extra honey for us

Personal note, thanks for your kind thoughts at the time of our family loss, it makes you realise how important it is to give thanks and enjoy those around you.

A Visitor from Australia – We meet Ben from Ben’s Bees

What should you be doing with your bees?

Gary and Margaret discuss what you probably should be doing with your bees around the world.

  • In New Zealand
  • In Uk
  • In USA
Chris Brown Reports in from Britmana – Wearing a snow man

Blog Recap

Top three Blog Posts

  1. Summer Awesomeness in New Zealand Beekeeping
  2. The Bees and Your Backyard: What All The Gardening Buzz is About

What products have been used in our work?

Margaret has been using spare hive boxes – manipulating nectar frames to encourage drawing of comb and to sort how far honey production is going.

Gary has been using newspaper to merge hives, never use political pages.

Beekeeping News

This piece of news was brought to you thanks to the help of Aaron, Lisa and Chris
And …

This podcast was made possible thanks to our Patrons, especially this month we would like to thank Graeme and Amanda

Graeme has been supporting the kiwimana buzz since July 2015

Thanks Graeme and, hope all is well with you both.

Thanks for your support!!!

Rescuers fight through swarm of bees after truck carrying hives crashes

A truck containing beehives has overturned on the Brookton Highway in Western Australia.

On the remote stretch of Western Australia’s south-east coast between Ravensthorpe and Albany, an early-morning call-out to a serious crash is nothing unusual for local emergency service workers.

  • Rescuers received multiple stings
  • Driver was unfortunately killed in accident, but passenger was successfully rescued.
  • Firefighters used protective suits usually used for chemical spills.
  • Well done to the volunteer firefighters who attended this incident.

Rescuers fight through swarm of bees after truck carrying hives crashes

Your Feedback

Gabriel Henry Something I’m always aware of when traveling with hives, take it easy and don’t drive when tired
Anthony Mcghie Almost time here in the US to start the almond migrations for the year.
Sam Redman First responders worst nightmare I would think
Joyce Kennedy Wow they deserve a medal
Mathew Jordan To fast aye
Stephen Stewart Been on that road, had mates in Ravie.

7 Queen Bee Facts: That Will Amaze You

Only 7 !!! Queen Bees always fascinate me but here Charlotte shares some facts that will enlighten

It is very easy to overlook a young virgin queen in a crowded colony. A new queen can look very similar in size to some of the workers. As she matures and progresses into her egg laying role, she will plump up.

…we have a long way to go to unlock all the mysteries of the honey bee!

7 Queen Bee Facts: That Will Amaze You

Your Feedback – who was amazed ??

Allan Johnston The wiggle dance?
JC Warner Bees Such amazing little creatures! Thanks for the info!

Macquarie Island gives scientists a view of ecosystem without bees

Macquarie Island is a remote island that is free of bees, scientists are using it to study an environment without bees. Lets hope this research is never needed!!!

Imagine a world without bees. Food production chains would falter and some crops such as almonds, which rely on bee pollination, would fail entirely. It is after all, the birds and the bees that keep things ticking over.

  • The Island is half way between NZ and Australia
  • No colourful flowers, flowers are mainly pale green.
  • Flies are the main pollinators
  • It emerged from the Seabed over 600,000 years ago.
  • It’s an UNESCO World Heritage Site

Macquarie Island gives scientists a view of ecosystem without bees

Bees can be left or right handed

…I thought this was something new I learnt but then I realised that bees don’t have hands…or do they?

…..scientists, led by Marielle Ong of the university’s Queensland Brain Institute, also demonstrate that honeybees can discriminate between the sizes of two apertures while travelling towards them and choose the larger one through which to pass.
This behaviour, the researchers suggest, indicates that the insects select for passages – through foliage, for instance – that carry less risk of injury.

So Bees don’t actually have hands!! It’s more about movement and health and safety – is what I learnt from this article 🙂

Bees can be left or right handed

Your Feedback

Jennifer Finucane Maybe they can be both like me

Margaret looked at the dictionary meaning:-


adjective – able to use the right and left hands equally well.

“few of us are naturally ambidextrous”

Ooh honey, looks like a good season

The bee season is a buzzing in Otago. Dunedin Beekeepers report seeing a bumper crop this season.

It is still too early to say for certain, but the buzz around Otago apiarists in this year’s honey production season is shaping up to be one of the best in years.

John Lewis

Dunedin Beekeeping President “Brian Pilley” said:-
Good spring weather helped.
Low winds and good amount of rain at nights has been great.

Ooh honey, looks like a good season

Your Feedback

Maria Dewes Yum beautiful. ….

This result is what we are hearing from beekeepers all over NZed…our girls have also outdone themselves this year – still to extract but 5 full depth boxes is a great indicator of things to come.

How to Keep Bees Calm

Hillary, from “beekeeping like a girl” – November 2017
Here’s some savvy advice for beginner beekeepers

Stay Calm…This is a tough one for beginning beekeepers, but it only takes practice. Remember that your bees are animals and just like other animals they will respond to your energy. If you are nervous around horses or dogs, they respond in kind. Bees are the same way. Master yourself and try to relax when you work your hives.

Don’t Open Them in Poor Conditions
There are certain conditions beyond the beekeeper’s control that will agitate bees. Bees dislike being opened on cool or windy days so it is best to avoid inspecting them when the weather is poor. In my experience they also tend to grouchy and more defensive when you open them too close to sunrise or too close to dark.

How to Keep Bees Calm

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:-


Manley says his biggest problem is “Yellow jackets attacking hives”

What’s 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 !!!

Voice Mails

We got a message from a Mystery Caller in Berkeley California


This month we have these great new supporters.
Tony Lumb – Thanks Tony and Hazel
Check out their Mead at

Apple Podcasts

Outstanding Dialog and Meanderings at Times on Beekeeping – Beekeeper N – 5 Stars – United States of America

Have listened to Gary and Margaret providing an array of information and interviews on beekeeping and topics useful to everyone interested in honey, bees, and sometimes politics. They always have high energy and entertainment for oratory senses. As an addition, their website has a directory for other podcasts on the subject matter to keep you informed. Look them up and take a listen. I did! – Tuesday, 9 January 2018



Dylan from the UK

Just wanted to say this is an amazing podcast service. I have got the
app so will download loads and listen to them on the bus on the way to
school. Podcasts are such a good way to get messages across and
especially in an app format. I write a monthly newsletter for my belling
association so going to mention this to people as it’s perfect.
If you are ever looking for articles or interviews with a young
beekeeper I am always up to share some knowledge on being one. I am a 16
year old beekeeper from the UK with 3 hives.
Many thanks


Matt Barrett from Western Australia

Ok, so i got through about 4 podcasts today on a road trip. Initially i just laughed at the funny kiwi’s! But this is really informative about current research going on in the industry (and they provide references to most of their information which i love), and full of good quality beekeeping advice. Worth a listen!

Pablo from Portugal

I often listen to beekeeping podcasts while opening my hives, on some podcast episodes they put the sound of bees buzzing around and it scares me a lot because it feels like there’s a bee inside the jacket head protection trying to sting my face. Now I’m getting used to it but it makes me ignore real bees inside the jacket head protection until they sting my face 😀

The Bonus Show

In this week’s Bonus show we talk about Bees Holding on Tight and Goodbye to our Bees. The bonus show is for our Patrons.
The Bonus show can be found HERE

The Next Show – I’m the Yappy BeeMan

Travis Ulbrich is a Beekeeper and Fireman from Alabama, he is a well know Bee Rescuer that is often seen in on his Yappy Beeman YouTube Channel. He is one of founding Bee Hooligans on the Bee Smart podcast.

If you want that show to appear automagically in on podcast device, please subscribe in your podcast device or download our free application from your App Store.

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Show Times

Here is what is in the show (Now with Times)

  • What’s been happening at kiwimana 00:02:07
  • What should you be doing with your bees? 00:08:59
  • Blog Recap 00:12:27
  • What products have been used in our work? 00:13:32
  • Beekeeping News 00:16:18
  • Rescuers fight through swarm of bees after truck carrying hives crashes 00:17:07
  • 7 Queen Bee Facts: That Will Amaze You 00:20:06
  • Macquarie Island gives scientists a view of ecosystem without bees 00:21:32
  • Bees can be left or right handed 00:23:36
  • Ooh honey, looks like a good season 00:26:46
  • How to Keep Bees Calm 00:28:35
  • What’s your Number One Beekeeping Problem? 00:32:32
  • FeedBack from You 00:40:33

Media Credits

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