It’s Winter Time – Season Ending Show – KM109

This week we are talking about New Rules, Counterfeit, when Beeing copied is not necessarily the Best form of Flattery, the Sum of Sugar and Honey, and Northland Numbers Stack up for Whanau. This is Episode One Hundred and Nine of our beekeeping podcast.

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.

This week we would like to thank Gavin Webber

Gavin has been supporting the kiwimana buzz for over 22 months

Check out Gavin’s Cheese Making Podcast Little Green Cheese

Thanks for your support!!!

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

Big Shoutout to our listeners in Dunedin, New Zealand this month.

Did you know Dunedin’s “Baldwin Street” is the steepest street in the world

Thank you for listening to our show, we know life is busy for you and appreciate you have taken the time to join us today

As you guys overseas are coming in to your Summer, we wish a fabulous flow with fruitful bounties from your Bees…

What’s happening at kiwimana

….we on the other hand, are coming to the end of our New Zealand ‘Bee Season 2016’ with temperatures dropping, wintering down should be done by now – treatments do not work well with too many boxes on so Wintering-down involves condensing Brood into the centre of one-box then there is less area for the cluster to manage as the population decreases.


  • Got my first FitBit Friends!!!! Thanks to Padraig “Pad-Rack” in Ireland and Danny in Minnesota
  • End of the season, we are taking a break. Will be back in August.
  • Despicable Me 3 – Coming to Cinemas Thursday, 29th June 2017
  • Our Facebook Groups has been Rebranded “Bees Knees Club
  • BREAKING NEWSMyrtle rust ’no longer contained


  • Inspection by the authorities – An amazing Blog Post HERE
  • Temperatures down to 8 degrees Celsius, but clear days allowing lawn-mowing now that mower repaired
  • Oxalic Acid Vaporization Update
  • Queen gone and BanaNa 1 dead
  • BanaNa 2 – huge mite drops after increasing dosage of Oxalic acid – hope is perhaps the best of things
  • Last week completed the first two courses – classroom sessions and Apiary visit and the weather was stunning – even got a bit of sunburn !!
  • Plans for Bee Season underway – some new products being looked into – research and development and then design and field testing – excited about this – creating some one-off products that will make your hives look awesome (while adding protection and interesting views)

Corny Joke of Week

A new section where we play a Corny Bee related Joke sent in from you.

This week we have one from Lisa who by the way missed out on winning a kiwimana $30 voucher but consoles herself with sharing bit of a laugh, through her tears….

Blog Recap

Top Two 🙂 Blog Posts Last Month

  1. How to do a Sugar Shake Mite Count – Video
  2. Boundary Beekeeping Battles

We Draw the Hive Tracks of Hive Tracks!!!

Sorry this was later than expected, but here is the draw for a Twelves months free of Hive tracks on any of their 12 month plan.

The Question was who went to the meeting

The winner was Lisa Morrisey from SunnyNook in New Zealand!!!!!

Beekeeping News

Revealing article from the Sunday Morning Herald by Nina Hendy

Heard the saying “…to bee copied is the best from of flattery…” ? Not necessarily flattering when you’ve worked so hard on something and some ratbag does this…

Hong Kong based Beebot Limited is looking at fundraising for a Flowhive Copy. They appear to have a hired a Consultant that lists fundraising as one his skills on elance. Is this a blatant rip off or a new form of the Tap Beehive?
We asked both sides for a comment…..Who responded?

Alleged copycat ‘Tapcomb’ is undertaking an extensive social media marketing campaign claiming to be the world’s first truly bee-friendly tappable hive, contacting Flow Hive customers via Facebook retargeting.

Flow Hive inventor stung by Chinese ‘copycat’

Your Feedback

Paulo Jmd Silva Poetic justice, they got rich by selling something over priced with marketing based on lies. Such hive doesn’t help the bees at all, doesn’t replace beekeeping experience and requires exactly the same hive checkups and treatments. It actually promotes bad beekeeping (ex: honey flowing into a jar in the apiary triggering robbing behavior) and pulls the wrong people into buying such thing, they drop the bees inside and expect honey to be ready without inspecting the hive, later they will abandon the hive when things start to get out of hand (dead bees).
Varroa mites will spread to other hives nearby because of robbing.

Also by showing people without beekeeping protection on their videos they promote the idea that all bees aren’t defensive but most are defensive and protection is required and harvesting honey in the apiary is the worst idea.

The idea that the flow hive is better because it doesn’t require extractor is also strange, cheap honey extractors are much cheaper than one flow hive and you also get new wax when harvesting honey. You can have 10 regular hives for the price of one flow hive.

There are Top Bar hives that only require two buckets to harvest honey and get wax, if you make the hives with old or discarded wood they will be dirty cheap. You can have 20 Top Bar hives or more instead of one flow hive. They also won’t break when the própolis and wax starts to block the system.

Another thing is the evaluation/review flow hives they gave to several famous beekeepers to get positive reviews and favorable blog posts.
Graham Manning Sadly, a very common occurrence.
The Chinese have no qualms about copying others success and selling it for profit. Their reverse-engineering is excellent; a shame their products aren’t always as good, or that they don’t give due credit to the original inventors/designers.
Gill Ashmead Mecoy Bloody chinese
Joe Spoto it no the same, it different, you see no looky likely

We called Dai Fuge from Tapcomb in London

Here what they think about this article, and the plans for Tapcombs Future.

Conclusion: Wait and See….

It looks like a skep but 21st Century products….mmmm…how will it work, read this interesting short article about this prototype…

….designer Will Jordan saw opportunities to improve the artificial hive which has gone largely unchanged for many years. The result is a hive that’s not only more functional but aesthetically friendly!

First, the hive is elevated to mimic that of a natural hive. Placed 2 meters above the ground …

You can find out more at the designer’s site HERE

A Buzzworthy Beehive

Give me some sugar my little honey bee…an article from the Business of Bees by Karen Knight. Sugar has been found in some exported honey.

Honey that is exported has to pass a whole raft of tests, including normal food-type tests – does it contain poisons such as tutin, does it contain bacteria, does it contain impurities – plus some special honey tests. And testing for adulteration with sugar is one.

C4 Sugar in Manuka Honey

Margaret @ kiwimana Says….new rules should help with sorting this out !!
Here’s a link that might help understand/clarify HERE

Unfortunately not good press for those trying to be treatment free. Do we need to follow the money trail ? A study has been released that say Bee Colony depends on Beekeepers getting better education about disease control.

Bee epidemics have become a growing problem for both wild and cultivated bees thanks to the spread of the cultivated European honey bee. The Varroa Destructor mite is at the core of the problem, because it also passes on bee diseases (I have discussed this more at length in my earlier bee health piece).

The recent Pan-European epidemiological study reveals that honey bee colony survival depends on beekeeper education and disease control. It shows that it is first and foremost hobby beekeepers, who have trouble with epidemics…

‘Treatment-free’ Beekeepers Give Varroa Mite Free Rein

Your Feedback

Bee Man The author of Thoughtscapism whilst having a scientific background, has not researched this topic in depth like many others and unfortunately cites only research proving her viewpoint regarding hobby vs commercial beekeepers.

I agree that problems facing honeybees managed by humans are complex and multifactorial, with no one quick fix silver bullet cure.

Many field trials on the effects of neonicotinoids are very short lived and have been funded directly or indirectly by the large agrochemical companies who clearly have an interest in getting their products approved.

More recent work by many scientists, including Professor Gulson, Henk Tenekes and others has shown negative effects on all pollinators from pesticides including this group. The half life of neonicotinoids can be years and the routine use of seeds coated in them renders the whole plant toxic and the dust generated when planting often affects other species and leeches into the ground water.

I suggest the author of this blog research the topic more thoroughly before demolishing small hobby beekeepers who choose not to treat against Varroa and who in many areas have the same if not better summer and winter survival rates than treated in treated colonies.
Could the author please give assurances that she never has or currently does not receive any financial or other support from the agro-pharmaceutical industry.

Margaret @ kiwimana Says consider this…varroa transmit viruses into bees, the nurse bees clean cells and if they have viruses it’s transferred into the ‘clean’ cell and then the bee grows inside the cell, it’s feed by the ‘virus bee’ further, a varroa may enter the cell and procreate and further spread viruses while the varroa feeding on the growing larvae…if the brood comb is re-used cells may have several layers of viruses…

Further Listening

Our interview with Solomon Parker is HERE
Our Talk with Henk Tenekes can be found HERE

Always awesome to hear of stories like this, hard-work and determination is the key to success like this….had a bit of a chuckle at the night lights and the stinging reality of working bees at night hits the bottom end…

The young mum is a face of the manuka honey industry that is turning what was once considered wasteland into liquid gold and bringing jobs and prospects to Maori in areas including her own Far North community

Check out Kai Ora Honey HERE

Northland iwi turns family pastime into multi-million dollar manuka honey operation

Your Feedback

Dean Todd Awesome!
Christopher Dempsey Well Myrtle Rust will put a stop to that! And if they voted National, they got what they deserved; National gutted DOC and tried starving Biosecurity.
Van Driver And then they have to come under the stringent new umf verification process

Questions from you

Lisa asks – How do you tell when you should feed your bees?

One way is to put feed in and see if they eat it…

Others asked what types of feeders are there?

Plastic top -feeders – plastic frame feeder – plastic bottle holder
Or DiY
…Preserving glass jars with pin-holes in lid raised up a bee-space placed in an empty hive-box sitting on a hive-mat with a hole in it
Maybe just keep some of their own honey for them and feed them that – decapping some cells in the middle of the frame and place next to a pollen frame

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

Random Review

We Love Cake!!!

As a small thank you we randomly select one product review each month. The winner will receive a $30 kiwimana gift certificate. Get in touch within 2 weeks of the podcast release date to claim your prize.

This week’s winning review was:-
(You will have to listen to the show)

You will need to claim your prize before 5 PM 7 June 2017

Feedback from you guys!!!

Fit Bit 🙂

Padraig O.

Hi Gary, Thank you for accepting friend request. I enjoy listening to yourself and Margaret regularly on the Kiwimana Buzz podcast. Hope fitbit goes well for you. Padraig


This month we have these great new supporters.

We have a new Supporter “Justin Bumpstead”
He is a Beekeeper and Owner of Bumpstead Family Apiaries in Kinglake, Victoria, Australia. So you if need any Honey or Honey products, check out Bumpstead Family Apiaries

Justin lives North East of Melbourne.

Thanks Justin for your support.


Sugar Shake Mite Count Video by Sandy McColl

Great sugar shake video. As a newbie it’s nice to see a no frills down to earth informative video like this. What would be the maximum amount of mites in the shake before treatment is recommended?
Thanks. Sandy

The Twitters

korinirin – @korinirin

Hi Gary and Margaret! I just listened to the most recent episode of your podcast. I really enjoyed it, so I’m going to keep listening and then I’ll leave a review 🙂

One question- what is the “banana!” part about, and where is that voice from? Will I find out about the banana thing in older podcasts?

Thank you,

If like what we do and want to keep the buzz going, support us on

[endofpodcast][saf include=itunes,rss,android,stitcher]

Media Credits

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *