Fighting The Threat Of Extinction – KM153


This is Episode One hundred and fifty three of our beekeeping show – Fighting The Threat Of Extinction.

We are Gary and Margaret, We are kiwimana.

kiwimana are beekeepers who keep bees on the Wild West Coast of Auckland in New Zealand. We love to teach about beekeeping. We sell beekeeping supplies and share information to help you keep honey bees organically.

In this episode we have some real positive news stories …we talk about Riverside bees in Yorkshire and also an article about how regenerative farming is helping the Bees and the soil in Canada. We also have roving reporters checking in from Australia, Canada, England, Scotland and the United States.

What’s Happening with our Bees

Gary – last show we talked about our spring splits…any updates ?
Margaret – Only one update, the first split with the single queen cell has hatched but yeehaa she looks mated… although couldn’t spot eggs/larvae yet
Gary – look forward to hear how she goes. So for the new-season queens…How long has it been since you split them ?
Margaret – It’s been about 4 weeks but I will wait till week 6 for this because I like to see larvae so I can check the queen is mated properly.
Gary – what about your older queen colonies ?
Margaret – They are in need of treating as it looks like there has been some mite load as laying looks like it has decreased…so I reckon there must have been varroa load in the capped brood when I split them. So next jobbie is to oav the older queen colonies.
Sad to say One of them failed due to a combination of factors… I blame myself…there was the varroa load plus the confinement causing starvation which i should have addressed sooner….in beekeeping it’s all about timing and my timing sucked !! ….i guess i could blame the weather but that means I am a fair weather beekeeper OMG
Gary – so what factors need to be addressed so this doesn’t happen again ?
Margaret – I should have treated the older queen colonies 2 weeks after splitting…its crazy really because I always tell my beginners to treat before splitting and after splitting….arrrgh !
Gary – What things have changed in the apiary in the last weeks ?
Margaret – The biggest change is that nectar collection has really ramped-up which mean there is obviously more blooms available for the girls so heavy feeding is hopefully over.
Gary – Yes and interesting that we are forecast to have some really hot weather over the next week
Margaret – ….yeah really looking forward to this…but our swarm collectors will be really happy ! I am so looking forward to seeing the results of the splits and sharing them with you.
Gary – Our mission is to Save Bees,
Margaret – Yes… one hive at a time, by helping you keep Honey Bees alive …by sharing our methods…doing our splits and growing our local genetics who are surviving better even when there is some varroa presence…

Roving Reporters

Ben from Bees Bees, Victoria Australia

Ben is a beekeeper from Melbourne in Australia, his company is called Ben’s Bees. Check out his website HERE

Also follow Ben on instagram

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

Kelvin Towner

Kelvin – Dunblane – Scotland

Kelvin is an Advanced Beemaster Beekeeper from Dunblane in Scotland. He teaches beginner beekeepers and Honey bee biology to his local association. His main interest isn’t honey but Queen Rearing and Breeding to improve his stock of bees.

How to use Thymol in Sugar Feed

Thymol Crystals for Use in Beekeeping * Please note this document is from the UK, so months mentioned are more relevant to the Northern Hemisphere.
NB: These instructions work well for Kelvin in Scotland, please always be careful when adding new chemicals to your beehive. Results may vary in other parts of the Globe.

Walter – Long Island – United States

Walter has been keeping bees in the West Hills of New York for over three years now. Walter and wife sell their honey at local fairs and markets. Walter is studying to become a Master Beekeeper.

Yolande – Ontario – Canada

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

Do You Want to Be Part of Show and Become 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

The Yorkshire riverside bee farm fighting the threat of species extinction

Article from John Blow from the Yorkshire Post, great new initiative to help the bees and the community in Eastwood, Yorkshire.

Yorkshire’s winding waterways have long provided a source of pride and purpose across the region’s beauty spots. Now, they are also being used to help fight an upstream battle against declining wildlife numbers.


Talking Points

  • The Rotherham East Community Bee Farm at Eastwood was set up on land provided by Canal and River Trust.
  • The farm was created by experienced beekeepers Claudiu and Marianna Barbu when they settled in the town on arrival from Romania.
  • Overseen by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
  • The honey will not be harvested until next year as the beekeepers want to give the hives time to develop
  • Next year the honey will be used by the nearby Clifton Learning Partnership for its community café,
  • Friends of the Earth say 35 UK bee species are under threat of extinction.
  • Margaret – I love this…..”By supporting projects like this we can encourage even more people to get to know their local waterway and the benefits being by water can bring “

    But….It seems amazing that people are not connecting the dots that the soil, water, air and plants, trees are what we need in the natural world for all species to survive!
This is a fantastic project that brings benefits to both the local community and the wildlife, and makes good use of this waterside space.
Sean McGinley, Yorkshire and North East director at the Trust
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Bee population recovering due to regenerative farming, producers say

A great story from Canada by Nathaniel Dove (@NathanielDove_) from Globalnews.ca. Some simple practices are having some great benefits for the environment and the bees.

Paul Kernaleguen says regenerative agriculture has brought bees back to his farm. “With the flowering species [of plants] we have now, you definitely see more,” he said.


Talking Points

  • Bailey and Oats were drowning, so different feeds were needed. They were worrying about how to feed their cattle.
  • ⅔ of Organic matter was missing from the fields.
  • Cover crops — like alfalfa or clover are grown for the enrichment of the soil
  • Some cover crops are grown all year
  • The cows are healthier and produce a lot more butterfat, butter protein and milk protein.
  • A Healthy soil base is the way of the future
Regenerative agriculture is designed to replenish the biology in our soils.
Kevin Elmy – Cover Crops Canada
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Your Feedback

Carolyn MacKenzie Not a result of large corporates!
Murray Clark Or maybe the large number of beekeepers

Who helped us in bringing this show to you?

Did you enjoy that show, This show is made possible for you by our amazing supporters. Every show we read out our top Supporters and on the first show of each month we read out all the supporters. Thanks to you all. This week we would like to thank:-

Big Thanks to Buzzed Honeys – Humane Bee Relocation, Dan McGivern, John Paff, Lisa Morrissey, Mandy Shaw, Trish Stretton, Scott Wiltshire , Robin O’Connell, Christopher Brown, Glenn Gowthorpe, Carolyn Sloane, Gudny Hunter, Michelle Scheidler, Greg Parr, Tim Willcox, Tony Lumb, Irene Townshend, Nathan Buzzinga Beekeeping, Paul Brill, Michelle Lassche, Fil, Ilana, Boris Brockmann, Chris Palgrave and Malcolm Sanford

End of the Show!!

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Show Times

  • What’s Happening with our Bees 00:01:07
  • Roving Reporters 00:07:48
  • – Victoria – Australia 00:08:04
  • – Hampshire – United Kingdom 00:10:37
  • – Dunblane – Scotland 00:14:21
  • – Long Island – United States 00:18:07
  • – Ontario – Canada 00:20:52
  • Beekeeping News 00:26:05
  • The Yorkshire riverside bee farm fighting the threat of species extinction 00:26:15
  • Bee population recovering due to regenerative farming, producers say 00:29:31
  • Who helped us in bringing this show to you? 00:34:14
  • End of the Show 00:37:21

Media Credits

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