Disappointment All Round – KM144

In this episode we talk about disappointment, Northland beekeepers and ApiNZ.  We also have roving reporters checking in from Canada, England and the United States of America.

This is Episode One hundred and Forty four of our beekeeping show – Disappointment All Round

In Accent News

This important piece of news was announced on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Start of the show

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.

In this episode we talk about disappointment, Both Northland beekeepers and ApiNZ.

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

What does it mean to be an Organic or Natural Beekeeper?

As we come to the end of the Bee Season 2018 – our goal is to reflect about our success and failures. Margaret will be analysing where issues arose and how to prevent them next season.

With 3 hive failures already before Winter we know that organic beekeeping must be all about timing – not keeping to a strict schedule and actually doing the treatments we realise that losing hives is the result!

With Winter here it’s our time to now regroup and contemplate the coming Spring and prepare accordingly.

So for us it’s firstly reflection, then secondly regrouping and then a hot chocolate in front of the fire.

Now we are working on…

We will be working on cleaning up our woodware, get rid of the ‘had it’ stuff and cleaning the apiary. The workshop will be getting a de-clutter and no doubt several trips to the rubbish dump.

How are we preparing for what’s coming up for the Bees ?

While in Winter we will be looking at preparing for our Spring jobs, so working out how many splits we want to achieve and building the gear to fill that work. Doing this is so we don’t panic because we didn’t plan well, by taking action while we have the Winter ‘quiet time’, we should bee well and truly ready for Spring – Preparation is the key..

What are the benefits of running Honey Bee colonies organically / naturally ?

Gosh, it’s been hard yacka this season, there has been losses but just like you guys, we will carry on. We are determined to show that going organic is the way to save Honey Bees and help them develop their cleaning behaviour further through having surviving genetics.

Our mission is to Save Bees, one hive at a time, by helping you keep Honey Bees alive.

Even though we have had losses we still have strong colonies so it’s looking good…time will tell.

With reports from our beginnuzz, they are using organic methods and using OAV, and although having surviving colonies going into Winter, it’s getting them through to Spring beeing their next challenge.

Margaret’s Bee Safe Jandals

Roving Reporters

This week we hear from British Columbia, Hampshire, Ontario, Northamptonshire, and North Carolina.

Avari from Wild Dragon Honey Bee Farm – North Carolina, USA

Avari keeps bees with her parents and older brother in North Carolina.

Follow Rascal Apiary on YouTube or Instagram

Yolande – Ontario – Canada

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

Matt from “Matt’s Beekeeping”- British Columbia, Canada

Matt is a beekeeper from Canada’s North Okanagan Valley, British Columbia. He has a fantastic Youtube channel all about his learnings, misadventures and triumphs with Chemical Free Beekeepers HERE

Joe – Northamptonshire, England

Joe is Crazy for anything crawly because he doesn’t think they’re creepy. Nothing goes in our hives but bees and fingers. “9th season Treatment Free Beekeeper”

Follow Joe on Twitter @BizzleBugs

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

Roving Reports From the Emails

Email From Jesse from Texas, USA

Hi, again from Jesse Stephens in Texas U.S.A. it seems strange to me when you say your winter is in June, here in texas it starts in October and it can still get in the 80s ,by September my bees were bringing in Pollen where they were getting i have no clue it can freeze today and be 70 the next day.

It is May here and temp is to be 80 today, I split two hives two weeks ago and already have almost doubled in size, lots of wildflowers in bloom. hope all goes well with your bees glad to hear Margaret is doing better.

Jesse S.

Email from Bruce in Australia

I was winterising hives and found one absolutely rotten with African Hive Beetle. Loverly and warm over here on the West Island BTW – 18 degrees today. Interestingly: only have a handful of hives but my most productive (but aggro) hive (known as ‘Crankypants’) had only one AHB that I could find.


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

‘Devastated’ Northland mānuka honey producers seek chemical markers definition review from MPI (Ministry for Primary Industries)

This work being conducted by MPI may be harming the New Zealand Beekeeping Manuka producers up in Northland and international marketing of Manuka Honey to the world – plus will be creating confusion for local producers and consumers as well as inhibiting economic growth for some of the impoverished areas where Beekeeping has become a viable business choice.

The legal definition of manuka honey could change, if new evidence shows the chemical makeup of the honey is different in Northland, MPI says.

About 80 beekeepers and honey producers from Auckland to Kaitaia turned out to challenge MPI scientists at a hui yesterday (29 March) at Otiria marae, near Kaikohe. They believe the definition established to protect New Zealand’s manuka brand overseas fails to take into account regional variations in the chemical makeup of the honey.

Talking Points

  • Economical impact locally
  • Exports to Japan = largest market
  • Undermining 70% of previously honey considered identified as Manuka honey
  • Adding Kanuka honey – is that the solution ?
  • Arbitrarily changed by MPI due to regulatory requirement not scientific
  • A national Definition not a local Definition – perhaps locality needs to be identified then
  • “MPI was keen to hear from beekeepers who believed that had been adversely affected by the (new) definition.” – so get in touch with them guys

Your Feedback

Norman Double Think maybe there’s another agenda here ?
Shane Stanners Norman Double like the creation of a monopoly in the industry????
Kara Lisanne Belcher That’s pretty rough and unfair for those affected having their livelihood taken away, hope MPI does right by them and sorts it!
John Thomson – Sad when someone sets regulations/standards that only takes into consideration of ONE REGION… Hope that gets clarified quickly – too many jobs and lost exports are on the line for Northland mānuka honey!

ApiNZ disappointed by beekeepers? votes on levy in New Zealand

Well too bad, the beekeeper has spoken and maybe some food for thought on how they (ApiNZ) do things might be needed ?!!

It’s no secret that this is not the outcome I, or the Board, wanted to see. I believe it will set back the development of the honey industry, but I understand that at present commercial beekeepers are hurting with the erosion in honey prices as a result of over-supply, for all floral types other than manuka honey.

However, despite the outcome the challenges and issues faced by the industry remain the same. … Bruce Wills Goes on to say

Talking Points

Who is ApiNZ ?

If you want to find out who are the people in ApiNZ,

  • What their roles are
  • What they are part of This may help us to understand what their motivations are.

Here is a link to find out more: – Our People

The levy proposal was to charge beekeepers 10 Cents per kilogram, whether they were mānuka honey producers or not.

  • Other than manuka honey ??? confused
  • No explanation of what the issues faced are identified in this article
  • Interestingly votes counted are from those eligible who have 26 hives or more, they voted NO
  • Hobbyists are not even part of their consideration
  • 1734 eligible but only 1057 votes

Your Feedback

Robert McInnes Recon it sends a clear message
John Thomson Is NZ importing foreign honey? Is it compatible with the local produced honey? What about FAKE HONEY coming into NZ?
kiwimana Hi John, its illegal to import any bee products into New Zealand

Apiculture Conference 2019

Apiculture NZ are holding their annual beekeeping conference in June in Rotorua – if you want to attend or find out more about what will be covered at this conference here is the link :

Feedback from You

Grahame Brown from Queensland

Thanks for your podcast. I listen every month from Queensland Australia. I totally love your recording.

Grahame Brown

We heard from Kiri!!!

Hi guys, Once again a touching newsletter, thank you and you guys have nice break, and look forward to your return. You guys are so awesome, and with your words of wisdom at always the right time really helps me. take care and enjoy.

Regards, Kiri

Great feedback from Christine

Hi Margaret and Gary, Just want to say thanks for all your insights into beekeeping, it helps me lots with managing my hives.

* The biggest help for me so far is your explanation on how to make space for the queen in spring so she won’t swarm. I had years of swarm issues. Your information and detailed explanation helped me to make it stop.
* The oxalic acid vaporiser treatments also very welcome.
* and lots of other warnings advice and tips that were really helpful So many thanks,

Cheers, Christine

Thanks Christine!!!

Also thanks to Christine for her kind donation she writes: “Just want to say thanks for all your insights into beekeeping, it helps me a lot with managing my hives.”

End of the Show

Who helped us in bringing this show to you?

Thanks for listening to our show and thanks to all our supporters who support us through the Patreon Service. This week we would like to thank:-

Greg Parr, Nathan Buzzinga Beekeeping, Carolyn Sloane, Chris Palgrave, John Paff, Karen Shields, Christopher Brown, Robin O’Connell, Cameron Miskin, Barbara Weber, Tony Lumb, Mandy Shaw, Lisa Morrissey, Malcolm Sanford, Dan McGivern, Daniel Bokros, Tim Willcox, Sana Wynne-Lewis, Finn’s bees, Michelle Lassche, Gudny Hunter, Irene Townshend , Trish Stretton and Buzzed Honeys – Humane Bee Relocation.

Support Rewards Level

Congrats to Cameron from New South Wales in Australia for reaching the reward level, a kiwimana cap is on its way.

Shout out to our New Supporters

Thank to Sana Wynne-Lewis from the Hawkes Bay for becoming a new supporter.

Please Subscribe to the Show

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Show Times

  • What does it mean to be an Organic or Natural Beekeeper? 00:01:42
  • Roving Reporters 00:07:47
  • – North Carolina 00:08:05
  • – Ontario 00:10:53
  • – British Columbia 00:15:23
  • – North Hampshire 00:19:17
  • – Hampshire 00:24:20
  • – Texas 00:29:31
  • – New South Wales 00:30:28
  • Do you want to bee a Roving Reporter? 00:31:19
  • Beekeeping News 00:31:58
  • Devastated Northland manuka honey producers seek chemical markers definition review from MPI 00:32:09
  • ApiNZ disappointed by beekeepers? votes on levy in New Zealand 00:38:36
  • Apiculture Conference 2019 00:44:09
  • Feedback from You 00:45:27
  • End of the Show 00:48:13
  • Who helped us in bringing this show to you? 00:48:21
  • What to help keep the Buzz going? 00:50:23

Media Credits

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