Gutting News from up North – KM150


This is Episode One hundred and fifty of our beekeeping show – Gutting News from up North

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 talk about beehive vandals up North and another reason why Glyphosate isn’t great for your bees ( let alone us humans ! ) but there is a plan. We also have roving reporters checking in from Australia and England. And Hollywood came to kiwimana HQ.

What’s Happening with our Bees – We talk to Margaret

Gary – Last show we discussed…….. assessment inspections how are you going with them Margaret ?

Margaret – Getting there and as discussed last show, I use assessment inspections as a starting point when coming into a new season. I recommend this method because the idea is that you go in and check the status of each hive. From the results of what I find I then plan my TO DO list.
What I found is that each hive is different…
Hive 1. Langstroth had a single queen cell and still had their last season queen
Hive 2. Langstroth had high population good nectar and still had some honey, brood coming on on 5 frames
Hive 3. Langstroth had low population, had eaten all their honey and may well have been on the way to starving
Because each hive had different issues – I had to deal with individual solutions for each.
….So Hive 1 was split and I moved the last season queen away and hope that the queen cell produces a good queen, but in saying that I did make sure they had some new eggs – just incase.
Hive 2. Had a hive mat (or inner cover) with the small slot cut in it and it was on top of box 1, but due to such a good population I moved it up to the top of box 2 – my hope is that the queen will continue to lay well and then in a couple of weeks I can split them
Hive 3. I added 2 frames of honey one on each side and left the hive mat with slot on box 1 so hopefully they will build up with the honey frames they were given
BTW….Don’t forget the 2 weekly inspections schedule from the date you completed the full hive assessment inspection !

Gary – What sort of Bee Behaviour are you seeing at the moment ?

Margaret – There appear to be some orientation flights so there is some hatching newbies…plus the weather has been awful and blimmin’ cold so there have also been cleansing flights after a couple of days being confined.

Gary – so if the bees are confined so much – what can happen ?

Margaret – My biggest concern is food stores…and with colder temperatures they also have to keep all the extra brood warm so that takes energy which equals to more food being consumed – this means I have to check the honey frames or food stores regularly…it may also mean that we may have to prepare some sugar syrup
Another thing with bees being confined – is that as soon as there is fine weather the bees come out for cleansing flights and to beginners this could look like swarming. Don’t panic !!
The best way to determine if the colony wants to swarm is to go inside the hive. You will see queen cells being drawn and usually on the bottom of frames.


Gary – that’s amazing – we have never done that before !!

Margaret – Yeah it’s TRUE but that will be one of my top jobs

Gary – …so what’s next ?

Margaret – I just have to finish my assessment inspections of the remaining 3 hives….one being the 7 frame box colony which I found had dying bees so I had to feed them 8 frames of honey…they have bounced back even though there were lots of dead bees, so relieved about that and they look like they will need to be split.

Gary – we have had some real crappy weather what impact will that have on that hive with the single queen cell ?
That’s a great question and valid because of that I don’t know whether she will get successfully mated….and she will be hatching soon – maybe 2 days away

Gary – I guess well have to wait and see but do you have any plans if it all goes pear shaped ?

Margaret – Yes I will just merge the older queen back in and wait till the weather starts behaving itself.

Gary – What’s your advice for other kiwi beeks who may be experiencing the same weather Problems?

Margaret – I would suggest not panicking and holding off on splitting but keep an eye on their hives and the brood levels. Best to plan for splitting because spring will eventually arrive so, have all your hive-ware at the ready. Then when we start to see less weather challenges …. Then the best way to tell how the bees are deciding their next move is by inspecting when there is a break in the weather but just go in and check brood, if you have around 8 frames of brood and some good weather coming split….but if your hives have eaten all their honey perhaps consider feeding before splitting, then remove feeders a week before splitting

Gary – I think the bees will know when it’s time
Margaret – Yes indeed

Gary – Going forward over the month what are your expectations ?
I hope the weather gets better and I hope my single queen cell has hatched and gets mated successfully.
I will get all my assessment inspections done and from the results of what I find I will plan splitting them probably around 2 weeks later.

Gary – so what are your conclusion so far as we head into the second month of Spring ?

Margaret – Well every hive is at different levels, Spring is late, Winter is still hanging around and I am glad I am a hobbyist beekeeper because I know for sure a standard approach across the apiary if you were a commercial beek may mean failure of hives…luckily i can give each hive full attention.

Margaret – Well every hive is at different levels, Spring is late, Winter is still hanging around and I am glad I am a hobbyist beekeeper because I know for sure a standard approach across the apiary if you were a commercial beek may mean failure of hives…luckily i can give each hive full attention.

Gary – What’s Happening Overseas ?

Margaret – Yeah…For those of you going into the second month of Autumn, we hope you have finished treatments and wintered down and wrapped your Beehives – I hope you chose to leave the colonies their own honey instead of feeding syrups and that your plans for the coming spring you breed from your surviving queens and keep them to help build stronger genetics in your local area.
Cheers Gary…..what’s next ?

Roving Reporters

Ben from Bees Bees, Victoria Australia

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

Also follow Ben on instagram

Chris from Britmana – Sheffield, UK

Chris also known as the greatest Beekeeper in Sheffield. Reports in from the North of England. Check out his Instagram Account to follow along with his Beekeeping and Life.

Thanks guys for being one of our supporters!

Do you want to bee a Roving Reporter?

It would be awesome if you can help create the kiwimana buzz by bee 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

Northland Family reeling after 50 beehives destroyed in deliberate attack

This article really upset folks, the family affected were featured on TV on Country Calendar. They appear as genuine hard working beekeepers so why did this happen…. corporate competitiveness or tribal upset !?
We won’t know until the perpetrators are caught. If you know anything please contact the Northland Police

50 beehives destroyed in deliberate attack

A Northland family is devastated after almost all of their 50 beehives were destroyed and about two million bees killed by an unknown attacker.


Talking Points

  • Proof of the harm rather than cattle – tethers cut cleanly
  • This happened in August so hard to rebuild so late in the season
  • Local support buying honey at good prices sharing health benefits
  • So this makes it even more difficult to understand why this deliberate act was committed
  • 50 hives were smashed and overturned.
  • Hives belonged to the Murray whānau’s award-winning Kai Ora Honey business based at Awanui.
  • Whoever was responsible had deliberately set out to kill the bees, Blanche Morrogh “Chief executive” said.
  • Likely related to competition for beehive sites in the so-called ”honey wars”.
  • Kaitaia police are investigating security camera footage in the hope of identifying the vehicle involved.
We’re just saddened that anyone would be that low. For us the gutting part for us is our poor bees. They’re like our pets. If someone did that to your dog or cat you’d be pretty upset too.

How can you help?

Kai Ora Honey sell amazing Honey and gift packs, please help them recover from this loss by buying some of their products.


Your Feedback

Gill Ashmead Mecoy Why would people do this. .?Fecking low life,bottom feeding scum😣😣😣😣
Gina Hartley Absolutely inhumane to do this to those bees
Phillipa Vincent Let’s hope the bees got in a few zaps.
Colette Nicoll That is why we can’t have nice things in NZ
Newtan Judy Look for someone with lots of itchy red stings all over their face and hands.
Karlene Wakefield So selfish..
Kim Hoffman Bloody sad how people can do this. The dude’s need to get a life.
Norman Double Probably someone you know, look around and figure out who stands to gain the most, then some Bush justice is in order
Donna Trott Find them & cut their hands off ?
Jules Kent Woah… that is mad.

Roundup ‘Guts’ Bee Colonies, Threatens Human Health, Scientists Say

WARNING, THIS NEWS HAS CAUSED some PASSIONATE EXPRESSIVE EXPLETIVES SO bee aware that some listeners may find comments offensive.

Well no surprises here in this story from the Epoch times. Glyphosate effects bees and also it harms Humans. So why are we still selling this shit in New Zealand !

The humble honeybee is sending a warning about the environmental disruption that affects not just this key link in our food production, but affects multiple species, with serious, negative effects on human beings.

But they have a plan

Minnesota has launched a “Bee-Friendly Lawn Program,” that will pay and educate homeowners to transform their modern lawns and gardens into pollinating bee sanctuaries.


Talking Points

  • Between 1974 and 2014, “1.6 billion kilograms of glyphosate have been applied” in the United States
  • Glyphosate levels in humans have increased by 1,208 percent, since the tests were taken over three-year periods between 1993–1996 and 2014–2016
  • Glyphosate targets the metabolic pathway involved in manufacturing certain amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Glyphosate binds to a particular enzyme and inactivates it. This metabolic pathway, called the shikimate pathway, is present in plants but not in animals, so glyphosate is assumed to be harmless to animals. Source
  • Land management is a real issue. Chemicals used (anything that ends with a “CIDE” – herbicide, fungicide, pesticide, insecticide) are significant in causing harm to the environment and those humans and animals and insects relying on that land for food – we beekeepers need to pull our heads out of the poisonous dirt and start to understand the harm that weed spraying is causing – beekeepers bee spray free !
  • Margaret is feeling upset and sad….what are we doing to our children and what legacy are we leaving them ?
  • TWO things
    (1) Glyphosate kills weeds which are an important source of nectar and pollen for pollinators
    (2) Glyphosate disrupts the bee gut microbiome, affecting their memory and impairing their navigation through the gut-brain access. Treated bees being less successful at returning to the hive.
  • Bottom line: “Glyphosate kills bees, by breaking the gut-brain communication,”

In other Glyphosate news – it’s also not great for people

Jury orders Monsanto to pay $2bn to couple in Roundup cancer case

  • Jury found Roundup had been defectively designed, that the company failed to warn of the herbicide’s cancer risk and that the company acted negligently.
  • Currently 13,000 cases are before the courts in the USA

Your Feedback

Donna Trott Get Rid of That Cursed Stuff ! It Kills Humans as Well, Such a Curse to the Earth

End of the Show

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:-

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

Shout out to our New Supporters

New Patrion Ilana Greeff, Thanks Ilana

New Patron Daniella Pineda. Daniella is an actress currently in New Zealand filming “Cowboy Bebop” – a live-action adaptation of the popular anime.

Daniella and her co-star Jan Uddin visited kiwimana HQ apiary and we introduced them to our bees. It was great to meet you both.

Thanks Daniella and Ilana for helping support what we do at kiwimana.

Daniella Pineda and Jan Udin Visited us at kiwimana HQ

End of the Show!!

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Show Times

  • What’s Happening with our Bees – We talk to Margaret 00:01:42
  • Roving Reporters 00:15:02
  • – Victoria Australia 00:15:09
  • – Sheffield, England 00:19:16
  • Do you want to bee a Roving Reporter? 00:22:57
  • Beekeeping News 00:23:32
  • Northland Family reeling after 50 beehives destroyed 00:23:43
  • Roundup ‘Guts’ Bee Colonies, Threatens Human Health, Scientists Say 00:29:55
  • Who helped us in bringing this show to you? 00:38:44
  • New Supporters and two Hollywood Movie Stars Visited 00:40:24

Media Credits

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