This is Episode One hundred and thirty nine of our beekeeping show – Chicken Coops and Bee Hives for the Future
We are Gary and Margaret, We are kiwimana.
Kiwimana are beekeepers from the hills of the Waitakere Ranges on the wild west coast of Auckland in the North Island of New Zealand.
We build and sell beekeeping equipment and bees, provide Beekeeper services and education.
This week we learn about a new project involving sustainable schools and we learn how to requeen a hot hive in ten easy steps. We also have our kiwimana Roving Reporters calling in from Poland and the United States of America.
Who helped us in bringing this show to you?
This show is made possible for you by our amazing supporters.
Every show we read out our top Supporter or Supporter or and on the first show of each month we read out all the supporters. Thanks to you all.
This week we like to thanks:-
Trish Stretton, Lisa Morrissey, Nathan Buzzinga Beekeeping, Barbara Weber, Christopher Brown and Greg Parr.
Reward Level Reached
The following Supporters have reached the reward level, where they get a free gift from us. Please check you email guys to tell us what gift you want.
- Chris Palgrave from Three Hares Honey in Hampshire
- Daniel and Christie Bokros from Red Dog Ranch in Ohio
- …and Finn’s Bees from Canterbury
Shout out to our New Supporters
David from Buzzed Honeys – Humane Bee Relocation in Los Angeles, Thanks for your support. Check them out HERE
What does it mean to be an Organic or Natural Beekeeper?
Well…Because of the generalization of treatment methods approved by authorities – those which are promoted across the board and around the world in the beekeeping community – a lot of the work we have been doing has caused quite a discussion amongst older beekeepers who have questioned some of our actions.
Let’s be fair it’s good to question new methods and look at new ideas but it’s important that we, as a community, don’t alienate others with our own judgement without understanding or being open to the discussion in the first place. Not being at least open to a discussion is just being ignorant. It’s fair to say that because of the shifting threat of varroa and the authorities not doing enough testing,
Gary and I have had to test our products in the field and with testing it takes time, that’s because we have to know how it works and why because no point recommending something if it’s not been tested less than a Bee Season. The point is that we want to share what works.
It’s fair to say that we do our work to help hobbyist beekeepers with smaller apiaries and we do try to encourage commercial beekeepers to consider different approaches so as to help the honey bee for the long term not the quick buck !
Season / Weather
Ongoing warm weather with very occasional showers and still around foraging temperature
Yes the temps are getting colder, I even put on a jacket the other day
How have the Bees been Behaving
Lots of pollen being collected and with the odd rain we see some re-flowering going on si a small nectar flow for us
And what about the Beekeeper?
Amazingly managing space is still required as the girls have been capping honey and they needed some more frames
What are we you working on now?
- Beekeeper Activities Observing the entrances – dropping down robbing screens to narrow access and building more screens for the new season colonies
- Benefits Observation teaches us about bee behaviour – I encourage all my students to take time to watch the front if their hives, it’s also fascinating. Adding robbing screens means the colonies can start to propolise before the colder temperatures begin.
How are we preparing for what’s coming up for the Bees ?
- Month coming up expectations Wasps becoming more of an issue
- Bee Behaviour
- Beekeeper Activities
- Results Anticipated
As it’s early Autumn- we don’t want to rush wintering down, purely for the fact that temperatures haven’t even dropped below foraging temperatures here !
Wintering down is all about reducing space which is unnecessary.
If we condense down too quickly we may cause lack of space so it’s a bit of a delicate balance we need to find for us kiwi beeks, in fact some areas are still so awesomely warm that they are adding new frames and boxes !
What are the benefits of running Honey Bee colonies organically / naturally ?
For us it has meant that our colonies are stronger than ever and we truly have found the OAV varroa treatment method is contributing to our success in keeping our colonies healthy – healthy bees can cope better with threats.
Our mission is to Save Bees, one hive at a time, by helping you keep Honey Bees alive.
Gosh and hopefully get commercial beekeepers to look at their beekeeping practices and it’s fair to say we are seeing some smaller operations taking on some changes do we have high hopes for our kiwi honey bees
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
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
Chicken coops, beehives, medicinal plants future for sustainable schools
A great project funded by Countdown Supermarkets has been a success in getting kids involved in sustainability projects involving Bees, Chickens and growing food.
Kiwi kids are leading the way to sustainability with plans for chicken coops, beehives, Maori medicinal herbs and veggie gardens in schools around the country.
Thirty schools across New Zealand have been awarded a share of $25,000 to help kick-start their planet-friendly projects thanks to Countdown supermarket.
- Countdown Supermarkets are behind this project name the “Growing for Good programme”
- Plan includes Chicken Coops and installation of beehives with plans to use beeswax to make reusable lunch wraps
It’s fantastic to see our young tamariki and their schools so passionately engaged with weaving environmentalism and sustainability into everyday learning.
- Nai Vandy What a beautiful, positive story ??
- Terri Everett I grew up in a school and my job was to Look after the chooks at weekends.
- Kalena Egan yesss love it
- Kirsty Forsyth Yay we need more of this.I’m all for being self sufficient
Join the Discussion on Facebook
Re-queening a ‘Hot’ Hive in 10 Steps
A popular post this week from Jennifer Sartel from Iron Oak Farm all about how to replace the Queen in an aggressive hive. Some great common sense tips on how to do it.
It’s amazing the way a beehive can have a personality. While the colony is made up of thousands of individual bees, it is the overall, collective demeanor of the group that makes it as if you are working with a single organism.
- You can change the behavior of your colony by re-queening.
- Most wild bees in the USA are carrying have some degree of Africanized genetics due to widespread breeding
- It takes 1000 bee stings to kill a human, so wear a Bee Suit and Veil.
- Good idea: Move problematic hives away from your other hives and away from your neighbours
- A good ten step plan to replace your Queen
Margaret …I am always resistant to killing queens – I reckon there will always be a reason they are grumpy…they could already be requeening themselves, they could already be queen less, they could be thirsty, I find thirsty bees are grumpy bees ! Extreme heat
How do you deal with that ?
Small fine mist sprayer – damp towel – extra hive mats
Join the Discussion on Facebook
Feedback from You
From Apple Podcasts – Awesome podcast!! – FrankG from WA – 5 Stars – Australia
Margaret and Gary’s passion and knowledge for beekeeping makes for a very enjoyable podcast. Their mix of humor, bee news, great interviews (and the odd tangent) will have you hooked in no time. – Thursday, 14 March 2019
Goldfernhoney from Christchurch, New Zealand
Really enjoy your podcast, Check them out on Instagram
We are thinking of all you guys in Christchurch, and for those affected by the terrible events of the 15 March
kia kaha Christchurch
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We are on I Heart Radio
- Who helped us in bringing this show to you? 00:00:55
- What does it mean to be an Organic or Natural Beekeeper? 00:02:13
- Roving Reporters 00:16:22
- – North Carolina 00:16:41
- – Krobia, Poland 00:19:25
- Beekeeping News 00:23:56
- Chicken coops, beehives, medicinal plants future for sustainable schools 00:24:11
- Re-queening a ‘Hot’ Hive in 10 Steps 00:26:56
- Feedback from You 00:32:20
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