Happy Holidays – KM083


This week we are talking about Bee friendly Gardens, are two queens better than one and a swarm shuts down School? This is Episode Eighty Three of our beekeeping podcast.

Lauren and Andy from Jennings Apiaries
Lauren and Andy from Jennings Apiaries

This executive producers for this month’s show are Aaron and Lauren Jennings from Jennings Apiaries

You can download the podcast directly HERE, or click on the play button above. Feel free to share it with your friends.

Welcome To the kiwimana buzz..

Hi, it’s Gary and Margaret here, We are beekeepers from the hills of the Waitakere Ranges in West Auckland, New Zealand. Our podcast is about beekeeping, Gardening and bit of politics about environmental issues. We also have been known to go off on tangents about other issues.

Currently it’s January here in New Zealand so that means we are in the middle of Summer and it’s our holiday season. Reference to the time of year, this is due to a request from the “Native River Otter” who requested a timescale for point of reference with the shows. (Concentrate on the road)

What’s happening at kiwimana


Thinking Bee Podcast-min

  • New Podcast Player from Libsyn – Cool Features Makes it easier to do Clammers, download file and Play Podcast, Check it out above.
  • It’s been very wet here, so been busy making boxes and frames.
  • It’s been great to meet our customers over the break, thanks to Wendy and Evi for all the cakes.
  • Interviewed on a new beekeeping podcast “Thinking Bee Podcast
  • Laying workers and slow queens 🙁
  • Here is an article about Laying workers:- How to Get Rid of Laying Workers in Your Beehive


  • Apiary News – failed colonies and drone-laying queen
  • Varroa management and monitoring
  • Nectar – absconding queens with colony
  • Beginuzz Kits – on their way to new owners
  • Helping Out – a few issues

Blog Recap – Top three Blog Posts Last Month

  1. The Temperature is Rising
  2. Honey extraction Idea for Manuka – a great tip from Aussie
  3. How Long Should I Wait To See Eggs

Beekeeping News

Two queens

A great guest post from Bill Hesbach of Connecticut on the Rustys Honey Bee suite blog. An interesting idea on how to get more honey from a bee colony, well a combined Bee colony.

Two-queen systems designed to manage and increase honey production have been used extensively, but have not been adopted on a large industrial scale. As you can imagine, the hive manipulations can get complicated and there are arguments both for and against the effort required for the increase in production.

Two-queen systems

Garden Bee Friendly

Some great tips here from this blog by Sander Vanacker in the US about making your garden more bee friendly. Tips include:-

  1. Adding Colour to your Garden
  2. Don’t use Insecticides
  3. Have plants with a strong fragrance
  4. Set out a dish with Water and Sugar

Bees are the most proficient pollinators and are a standout amongst the best things you can welcome into your garden. They are an essential part of our ecosystem and fulfill an irreplaceable job in our food supplies. Ever ask why you have a tree brimming with blooms yet never get any organic product? A reason may be an absence of bees pollinating your trees.

How to Make your Garden Bee Friendly


Great post from Hilary from the Girl next door honey blog about the pros and cons of these different hive types.
It’s 100% possible to be a natural beekeeper in a Langstroth hive if you make the right decisions

Shout out to Phil Chandler, who has a new book all about Managing the Top Bar Hive
Balanced Beekeeping II: Managing the Top Bar Hive

Balanced Beekeeping II

Whether you are new to beekeeping and trying to decide on a hive style or just curious about trying a new design, there are some definite advantages and drawbacks for both Langstroth and Top Bar Hives. One is declared more practical while the other is touted as more natural, but which one is best for you? Read on to find out!

Langstroth vs. Top bar hive

Huge bee colony is rescued from a construction site in the midlands. Kudos to the builders for calling a beekeeper and not a pest control.

Workers made a surprising discovery recently when beginning demolition as part of the construction of the new downtown Birmingham intermodal facility: 50,000 honeybees.

50,000 honeybees found during construction of Birmingham transit facility
***Correction – This was Birmingham Alabama, not the the one in England ***

RIP Lemmy from MotorHead

Canada researchers are studying the effects of propolis in treating inflammatory diseases. They have set up a company and hope to have a commercial product on shelves in three years.

* We wonder if this component is only in propolis in their area?

University of Moncton researchers are buzzing over the possibility that honey bees could help them unlock a new treatment for inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis.

Moncton researchers abuzz over possible arthritis treatment

Swarms of bees

Swarm of bees in Waikato yet again sounds like the apocalypse is happening. Why do the media love to report bee swarms like this?

A Waikato school was locked down after a giant swarm of bees descended on its grounds – the third such incident in a week.
Fire crews were called to Kawhia School on the west coast about 2.15pm Tuesday after a large swarm of bees appeared within metres of the school.

Swarms of bees shut down Waikato school

Questions from you


    You asked us:-

  1. Can I use Api Life Var now? – Jerome – Auckland
  2. How thick is medium brood bee comb foundation – Robynne – Christchurch
  3. How to build beehive frames – Oscar- Melbourne

HERE is Margaret’s article on how to build/assemble Beehive Frames.

If you have a question, email us at [email protected] and the team at kiwimana will do our best to answer it. Or visit our speakpipe page HERE

Beekeepers Q&AYou can also join us on Beekeepers Q&A every Saturday morning check out Beekeepers Q&A

Here is our last Beekeepers Q&A

Feedback from you guys!!!


Really – Whatswrongwiththispic – 1 Stars – United States of America

Great podcast minus their newfound Kevin moments. One star for the moment – Sunday, 6 December 2015

For your Kevin moment check out BkCorner.org 🙁

Great Kiwi Podcast! – Will.i.pod – 5 Stars – New Zealand

Another great Kiwi podcast to get stuck into! Really impressed with Gary and Margaret and their chilled out laid back informative style. – Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Check out Will’s great podcast My Kiwi Life


Noel McPharlin from Beekeepers’ Society South Australia

The temperature sure is rising. 37’C today & 40 tomorrow. We are watching & making sure the girls have shade & lots of water sources.

A quick note to say HAPPY CHRISTMAS & New Years from Beekeepers’ Society Sth Aust. (Adelaide). A big Thank You also for the time & effort your team (there must be dozens) put into your presentations.

We are having a slow but steady build-up in the S’burbs but a report I’ve heard is that the spring rains went to growth rather than flowers in the Bush. We had a huge fire just north of the city, 330 sq. miles burnt out but it was in a grain growing area where we don’t have bees (Glyphosphate and no forage).

All the best for the rest of the season. keep up the great work,


Check out the society at:- http://www.bees.org.au


Patrick Purcell

Well done Margaret and Gary. Thank you for sharing your beekeeping knowledge and news. Happy Yuletide from the Solomon Islands

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One thought on “Happy Holidays – KM083

  1. Avatar photo
    Laurence Truman says:

    Hi Gary and Margaret,

    Its good to know that Phil Chandler’s book is now out, I’ll be getting a copy soon, however perhaps you could also mention another book on Top Bar beekeeping called “Top-bar Beekeeping: Organic Practices for Honeybee Health” by Les Crowder. Les has been using HTB hives since the 1970s and this book is a terriffic, well-written account of his method.

    I’m based in the UK, so its good to hear about hot summer weather and busy bees while waiting for the spring to come, keep-up the good work.


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