Lots to Bee Getting on With! – KM126

This is Episode one hundred and twenty six of our beekeeping show.

We are Gary and Margaret, we love Honey bees, we are kiwimana and we are Beekeepers who live in the Waitakere Ranges, on the Wild West coast of Auckland, in New Zealand.

kiwimana is a place where the beekeeping community can share a conversation and connect and in this episode we talk about

  • Fascinating and interesting Honey Bee Facts and beekeeping news
  • Being too close may cause hive losses?
  • Who got kicked out of a farmers market

..we also – as if that wasn’t enough – build and sell beekeeping supplies, we teach beginner Beekeepers and provide beekeeper services and advice. And we are the “beesknees” Club on Facebook.

Great to have you joining us, we know life is busy for you so we appreciate that you have taken the time to join us today – thanks so much for being part of the kiwimana buzz,

We also have been known to go off on tangents about other issues. Boy you will Love it !!!

It’s winter in New Zealand!!! What has been happening in the weather?..and this means the bees are dealing with…!!!

What’s been happening at kiwimana?


  • It’s been cold, freezing in the hills of Waitakere. Temperatures range from 5 degrees to 34 degrees
  • New Podcasts our Top Beekeeping Podcast List – Gary created a promo for you…
  • WTF – AFB levies going up? Margaret has been looking into this…


  • Yeah Blimmin’ cold !
  • But our girls are going well, and have been really active most of Winter
  • Preparing for Spring, getting in new stock and preparing for delivery of Bees

Proposal to Increase the AFB Apiary and Beekeeper Levy in NZ

  • Preparing a submission letter in response to AFB Proposal to increase, YES INCREASE beekeeping fees across New Zealand !
  • Here’s the link to the details : HERE
  • Here’s the link to the on-line Survey: HERE
  • My view is that this issue is more so a commercial honey bee producer issue, I think hobbyists are not being represented enough anyway and these fee increases should not be a beekeeper responsibility but a central government responsibility amazingly because this is a huge $$$$ making industry for the country, central government need to increase staff levels
  • We all pay to get our DECA no-one helped us do that and we work hard to create awareness of the threats and issues facing honey bees through our courses and share what are considered best beekeeper hygiene practices so that hobbyists don’t spread AFB
  • I will make a submission but at the moment I have lots to bee getting on with…

kiwimana Global Roving Reporters

Joe from Northamptonshire – UK

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

Avari from Rascals Apiary – North Carolina

16th Birthday

Avari is 15 years old and coming up on her 16th Birthday this July. She keeps bees with her parents and older brother.

Happy belated Birthday Avari, hope you had a great time.

Follow Rascal Apiary on YouTube HERE

They are also on Instagram HERE

Do you want to bee a Roving Reporter ?

It would be awesome if you help create the buzz and bee part of the show and report in from your location whilst in the field 😉

Roving Reporters

If so…Could you record a quick update of one to two minutes of your local weather conditions and what people should be doing with they bees in your area.

Please send us a sound file to [email protected], titled Roving Reporter Or join the mailing list to get a reminder when we record the next show (monthly) HERE

What should you be doing with your bees?

In New Zealand

  • Spring into action, start with a full assessment inspection of your colonies to get a status of where they are – then go back two weeks later and check progress of brood and Bee health and for any signs of disease eg: AFB so it not spread through your splits or swarms.

Handy Hint: when drone brood appears remember that it will take 10 days AFTER the drones hatch, for them to mature, split only when the drones are mature. When assessing make sure it’s a safe so you do not chill your brood.

Best advice is to assume you have to split. ( especially if you want to keep your surviving queen genetic )

How to split a Beehive

Have your split gear ready and built, take it with you to the hive/s, plus a queen excluder/s if you plan to split for the 24 hours queen separation method which is used to kick start the queen raising instinct and this method requires the ‘existing’ queen to bee moved away, she’ll think she’s swarmed, she will just carry on laying as usual, BUT …..there’s a bit more to this method – check out article here : http://kiwi.bz/split

Understanding that hobbyist beekeepers have the luxury of deciding to keep building on their healthy surviving genetics

Benefit with keeping your older queen is that she can carry on as usual and is a great resource and usually this colony produces well through the rest of the season as long as the beekeeper manages their space well.


Roving Reporter – heatwave and drought, season going on longer due to the heat may find feeding is required if there is a dearth and Bees haven’t got enough stores as they start moving into Autumn


  • Fires and coming to the end of their bee season – plan for Wintering- Down – Varroa needs to be dealt with before laying finishes and cell-checks are necessary to ensure varroa are not hiding, natural mites falls on inspection boards will not be enough at this time – sugar shakes are more precise. check drone cells if they are still present, then check worker cells.
  • The point is that in USA a lot of colonies fail in Autumn because Beekeepers appear to be using the ‘ brood less theory ‘ as the method to manage varroa but results are showing that varroa is causing colony failure because they were still present in the hive and already had transferred viruses and beekeepers need to be aware that varroa are resistant to synthetic treatments which means the treatments are not effective today as they were 20 years ago, so this means hives are going into Winter weakened and sick and sugar-syrup feeding does not add the right nutrition to the colonies health.
  • We would encourage and advise using organic treatments while temperatures are warmer in early Autumn like Api Life Var or using Oxalic acid Vaporization which we have used through Winter every two weeks
  • Crucial varroa checks actually Checking inside Cells

Handy Hint: We use our capping-scratcher for the cell checks, you will need to check the inside the capped cells, the capping-scratchers will help you pull out the larvae and varroa are usually at the end of the larvae itself or at the bottom of the cell.

Check out our article on our blog : https://kiwimana.co.nz/infested/

Blog Recap

Top Content by your Vote Last Month

  1. Beekeeping Banter Round Up – KM124
  2. The Day the Show Was Hijacked – KM123
  3. 7 Plants That Repel Unwanted Insects, But not Bees

What tools have we used in our work?

Gary – Not Much, it’s been very quiet on the Bee Front for me. But have been busy working on the website and podcasts. Also keeping the home fire burning.

Margaret – mainly my vaporizer and gel battery as just been doing OAV treatments as we are in Winter, then use my battery charger afterwards. My suit and gloves to protect me as sometimes the wintering bees don’t like us to go near their hive.

Beekeeping News

This podcast was made possible thanks to our Patrons, especially this month we would like to thank Christopher Brown

Christopher and Laura has been supporting the kiwimana buzz since October 2016

We hope all is well in Britmana for Laura, Jasper and of course Maggie.

Thanks for your support!!!

‘Beekeeper rivalry’ arson attack kills 700,000 bees

Sellindge is a civil parish and village on the A20 road between Ashford and Folkestone in Kent, South East England. This article talks about thieving mongrels in UK taking someone else’s hard work for their own ends, it goes on to ask for help that may identify the perpetrators.

Michaela Tulett, owner of the attacked apiary…speaks out about how she felt after the attack…

The initial feeling after the arson attack was shock that it had happened again followed by a feeling of numbness.

Michaela goes on to say ( like a typical courageous beekeeper )

Although this is a devastating blow to us, it is not enough to make us go out of business, so it that was the intention of the arsonist it hasn’t worked.

Michaela Tulett

Read this article to find out more about what is going on in the UK in terms of thieving mongrels and the viciousness involved.

700k bees killed in arson attack by rival beekeeper

Your Feedback

Aileen Smith You can’t call yourself a beekeeper if you’re willing to kill innocent bees because they aren’t yours. That’s disgraceful behaviour.
Larnia Beets Hard out aye. What beekeeper doesn’t have an attachment and love for bees that they’re willing to kill off that many. Jeez I apologize if I accidently squash a single bee. And tear up if I see a single colony dead.
Christina Henning Larnia Beets you would be surprised at how many beekeepers do beekeeping for the money and not the love of bees who are willing to sacrifice bees in the name of profit or business to eliminate the competition ? It’s quite disturbing and heartbreaking
Gill Ashmead Mecoy Scum that destroy beehives should be put behind bars for a very long time. Fithy cowardly scum, Carrie Jo Thomas Low! Lame! ?

Too big, too close bee yards risk hive losses

It’s fair to say that I hear what Murray is saying in this article as we had issues with overpopulation in our area and that resulted in disease and more robbing behaviour than we had ever seen in the seasons before. There’s a warning in this article for all of us Beekeepers. New Zealand news from stuff.co in April 2018.

As demand for mānuka honey peaks, so does the risk of disease and starvation in New Zealand’s increasingly competitive beekeeping industry.

This article talks about bee losses in New Zealand and uses information gathered from the MPI bee survey of which it states that MPI had 30% response but as I had a think about the figures they presented, I had a problem with the figures on losses….my thought is that the figure is more than the 10% mentioned – I reckon it’s more like 33%

It ( MPI ) warns that as the number of bee colonies rises, good beekeeping practices must be maintained to prevent the devastating hive losses seen in the United States and several European countries.

Have a read and let us know what you think….

J Bush and Sons managing director Murray Bush, whose family has been beekeeping in Marlborough for a century, said the New Zealand industry was starting to look a lot like the industries in countries that were struggling

Too big, too close bee yards risk hive losses

Your Feedback

Paula Tia Wilson As the market matures, stocking densities become an issue, and larger beekeepers will eventually consolidate the market to extract the top margins. Good luck legislating for bee health, and avoiding unintended market consequences.

Kicked out of a farmers market!

This article boils my blood! by Ron Miksha, badbeekeepingblog.com May 2018

This article talks about what happened in a Farmers Market in Ontario in Canada

It can be hard to sell honey. Farmers markets help. Customers looking for good local produce can buy directly from farmers and beekeepers. So farmers markets are a win-win for sellers and buyers. But what if you are a beekeeper who gets kicked out of your market? Not for selling bad products. Not because the other vendors voted you out. But because you complained that some retailers are buying from food depots, coming to market, and (allegedly) misrepresenting their produce by pretending that they grew what they sold. Well, an Ontario beekeeper and few other producers were thrown out of their market by ‘the board’ because the complainers were ‘dissidents’. (Or as, the board spelled it on their anti-complainer flyers, ‘Disient Members’)

Ron asks …

Did I read that correctly? A majority of the vendors voted that the people who were defending locally grown food should be allowed to stay, even though they were portrayed as ‘dissidents’ by the market association board’s propaganda. However, the market’s board overruled the democratic decision of the members and sent the bailiff (a court officer) out to the farmers to be sure they got the message that they’d been kicked out. Sounds like a really dysfunctional organization, doesn’t it?

Accepting that there are two sides to every situation, however, I believe this is what happens when boards have other agendas.

Democracy my arse….more like dictatorship with conflict of interest and some bullying behaviour because then this happened

Ron goes on to write as he understands

…(the board) then sent a bailiff to each of the five farms with a letter informing the growers of their removal from the market.

Kicked out of a farmers market

20 Fascinating Honey Bee Facts

A great blog post from Carolina HoneyBees by the Beekeeper Charlotte.

Some researchers have devoted their entire lives to the study of the honey bee. This has yielded some truly fascinating honey bee facts.

Here are Gary’s favorites

  • Male bees (drones) have no father but they do have a grandfather.
  • Larva that “hatches” from a honey bee egg will be fed about 1,300 times per day.
  • A queen bee might live up to 4–5 years but she is usually replaced by the colony much sooner.

20 Fascinating Honey Bee Facts

Your Feedback

Charlotte Anderson Thanks Gary. Those bees are endlessly fascinating!

Charlottes New Book

What’s your Number One Beekeeping Problem?

When people join our newsletter we ask them what their number one Beekeeping problem is, we try and help them with problem.

Here is this month’s one:-

One of the hives that I purchased turned out to be Africanized. I need to find the queen and replace her with a gentle Italian queen. Every time I am in the hive, I am bombarded with bees trying to sting me through my jacket. May need to solicit local help.

Glen Kitto

What’s your Biggest Beekeeping Problem? Tell us here:- http://kiwi.bz/problem

Or visit our speakpipe page HERE and leave a question

If you have a Urgent Question, please check out our Bee Knees Facebook group here:-

Feedback from you guys!!!


This month we have these great new supporters.

  • Carolyn Sloane
  • Chris Palgrave
  • Simon Levett
  • Gudny Hunter
  • Karen Shields
  • Tim Willcox
  • John Paff

Apple Podcasts

Bananas for Kiwimana Buzz – Fonta Earthstrong – 5 Stars – United States of America

Hello from the Pacific Northwest of Oregon! I am a 3rd Year Beek with 7 hives and absolutely in love with this wonderful podcast!

I have expanded my knowledge base ten fold from the array of guests and of course the incredibly wonderful info from Gary and Margaret! I love that this show promotes many styles of beekeeping and highlights the best of who’s who in this world of beekeepers!

Recently I had to take a very long 8 hr drive and I listened to Kiwimana buzz the entire time! It really got me through! Best of all my children didn’t even complain and in fact thoroughly enjoyed it! Even the teenagers!

My littlest is 9 years old and she’s very interested in bees and keeping! She now just shouts out Bananas!!! Anytime we see or hear of something cool regarding bees! Thank you for your fun and lighthearted presentation of the wonderful world of beekeeping!

Fonta Earthstrong


Dallas Bee Guy

The Bonus Show

In this week’s Bonus show we talk about more pesticides for New Zealand and are Beekeeping Gloves necessary? The bonus show is for our supporters. The Bonus show can be found HERE

If you want the next show to appear automagically on podcast device, please subscribe in your podcast device or download our free application from your App Store. The TV Show we mentioned in the closing Upper Middle Bogan

End of the Show!!

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Show Times

  • What’s been happening at kiwimana? 00:01:41
  • Preparing a Submission to the new AFB Proposal 00:05:10
  • kiwimana Roving Reporters 00:09:14
  • What should you be doing with your bees? 00:13:45
  • Blog Recap 00:20:38
  • Beekeeping News 00:22:43
  • Beekeeper rivalry’ arson attack kills 700,000 bees 00:23:47
  • Too big, too close bee yards risk hive losses 00:27:04
  • Kicked out of a farmers market! 00:31:42
  • 20 Fascinating Honey Bee Facts 00:35:56
  • What’s your Number One Beekeeping Problem? 00:38:08
  • Feedback from you guys!!! 00:43:07

Media Credits

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