Manuka Honey Goes to Court – KM138

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This is Episode One hundred and thirty-eight of our beekeeping show – Manuka Honey Goes to Court.

Kiwimana are beekeepers from the hills of the Waitakere Ranges on the wild west coast of Auckland in the North Island of New Zealand.

We produce and sell beekeeping equipment, provide Beekeeper services and education.

In this episode we talk about why the Ministry of Primary industries is taking a honey producer to court and the European Union may be changing its stance on Bee-killing pesticides. Kiwimana roving reporters checking in from Australia, United States of America and the United Kingdom.

Who helped us in bringing this show to you?

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

John Paff, Dan McGivern, Finn’s bees, Cameron Miskin, Gudny Hunter, Karen Shields, Christopher Brown, Greg Parr, Robin O’Connell, Irene Townshend , Malcolm Sanford, Trish Stretton, Tony Lumb, Barbara Weber, Lisa Morrissey, Daniel Bokros, Michelle Lassche, Tim Willcox, Carolyn Sloane, Nathan Buzzinga Beekeeping and Mandy Shaw.

Thanks to our new Supporters

Thanks to Chris from Hampshire in the UK, thanks for your support Chris!!!!

Mudslide in Los Angeles

We just heard of the devastating mudslide in Los Angeles on February 2nd that has destroyed most of the Hives of David from Buzzed Honeys. We have donated to the cause to restore their bees.

If you can help David and his family out please visit his goFundme Campaign

Can you help David and his family?

What does it mean to be an Organic or Natural Beekeeper?

Lately, it’s been quite relaxed because the Bees seem so calm and happy, it may seem strange but even when I have inspected the hives they don’t seem so bothered

What’s is the weather doing?

The weather has dropped about 5 degrees Celsius and the dusk has been cooler.

And how are the Bees Behaving

My theory of not putting too many boxes on too quick to encourage capping on honey frames and it seems to be working.

How about the beekeeper’s Behaviour

Last inspections I aimed at checking space. This resulted in that they required adding some extra frames – I manipulated the fuller honey frames to the far sides and checked frames for how full of nectar they were and adjusted the most full to either side then the less full then in the middle I moved the emptiest frames, in one colony I removed 2 fully capped frames and replaced with frames with wax foundation and I will check these to see if the girls are starting to draw comb.

What has been the Results

There is still a few weeks left in our Summer here in NZed, and even though temperatures have dropped during the days, it is still going up to 20 degrees Celsius and the girls are still very busy – pollen packs being brought in.

So what are working on now…”Chief Beekeeper Margaret”

After inspecting the hives, I did not get a chance to treat because the shop orders have been keeping me busy with folks buying lots of treatments and gear in preparation for Wintering down and the robbing-screens are proving very popular as it’s true that there are risks with robbing-bees and wasps at this time of year… wasps are building-up and want protein for raising their new queens which will then fly out and go to find places to hibernate…we have rolled-up tarpaulins which we leave around which is a good trap – some folks are doing late season extractions which can sometimes cause panic and create robbing situations for neighbouring beehives. I mean just imagine, you have been working your arse off and filling up your larder and then one day you come home and your larder is empty! Panic! Oh my goodness what can I do…

What is the Benefit of leaving Honey on?

Benefits are that leaving on honey stores this late in the season means that you don’t have to worry about the Tutin risk as it doesn’t harm your bees plus you don’t create robbing situations for others PLUS your colony has good nutritious food to get them through winter plus no need for you to buy loads of sugar and cook up sugar-syrup. So Win / Win.

How are we preparing for what’s coming up for the Bees?

Month coming up expectations

Adding the hive mats with small slots, moving honey up, and brood down if space is really tight we may add extra boxes but use the hive mats to lessen air space

Bee Behaviour

We may see drones being removed

Beekeeper Activities

Robbing screens dropped down

Results Anticipated

No late season absconding by ensuring hive not honey-bound and not under varroa threat

What are the benefits of running Honey Bee colonies organically / naturally ?

Monitoring being key at this time of year for organic beekeepers …reacting quickly to results gives you control and benefits of reacting before problems escalate, will mean surviving colonies !

Our mission is to Save Bees, one hive at a time, by helping you keep Honey Bees alive. And cause less harm to our bees.

Roving Reporters

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!


Jesse from Smithville, Texas

We heard from Jessie in Smithville, which is a small town between Austin and Houston

Hello Gary it is cold and wet here today in Texas, 38 F, yesterday it was close to 80 F. My bees were getting pollen from somewhere, and loads of it. Next month I hope to split two hives

Jesse

John and Jeanne from Tulip Tree Adopt a Bee – Indiana, USA

John and Jeanne are from Huntington in Indiana in the United States of America. Check them out HERE

Thanks guys for supporting kiwimana

Here is the method we use with Rocks How to Clean Beeswax

Mandy from the Beekeeper Confidential Podcast – Oregon, USA

Mandy is the happiest beekeepers we know and lives in Portland. Mandy is also the president of the Portland Urban Beekeepers club. Make sure you check out Mandy’s fantastic beekeeping podcast Beekeeper Confidential Podcast

Thanks Mandy for also being a supporter of the kiwimana Buzz

Do you want to bee a Roving Reporter?

It would be awesome if you can help create the buzz by beeing part of the show – reporting in from your location whilst in the field.

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

Beekeeping News

Manuka honey producer charged in landmark case

This is about a Alleged sneaky fleeing thieving mongrel fraudster company !

A company based in Albany is accused of selling adulterated Manuka Honey. MPI is taking Evergreen Life Ltd to court.


Court action has been filed against an Auckland honey producer whose products were pulled from the market in 2016. It is the first such prosecution ever filed against a producer of Manuka Honey.

Manuka honey producer charged in landmark case

Talking Points

  • Manuka Honey producers often rate their product by the amount of MGO that is contained. But Evergreen Life Ltd has been accused of adding synthetic versions of these MGO compounds to its product.
  • In 2016, 18 honey lines manufactured by the company were recalled
  • 71 charges alleging adulteration have been filed against the company
  • The most serious of the charges carry maximum penalties of five years’ imprisonment or $500,000 fine in the case of a body corporate.
  • Registered owners of the company Mr J LEE and Hyung Soo LEE from Auckland.
  • Hyung Soo Lee has a property in Murrays Bay with a GV of over 4.2 million dollars with a Pool and Tennis Court?
  • Radio New Zealand understands the owners left the country some time ago.
  • This is shocking and may damage the reputation of Manuka Honey worldwide

Your Feedback

Bryan Mitchell “The owners left the country some time ago”…..Guess they weren’t New Zealanders. That might mean their culture of ‘honesty’ has principles incompatible with our heritage and ethics.

Feb 2016 – Evergreen Life recalls Manuka honey products

FEB 2016 – Manuka Recall from Ron Miksha

Update May 2019

Mānuka honey producer pleads guilty to adulterating product for gain – Full Story HERE

European governments pave way for bee-killing pesticides

We just can’t beelieve this! In this article, it appears that this is a step back for our honey bees. Leak discovered by Greenpeace, whatever you think about Greenpeace this article is alarming. The EU may be changing the criteria or bee-safety standards that it uses to test future applications for new pesticides.


Under pressure from pesticide producers and governments, the European Commission is planning to scrap bee-safety standards that led to a ban of three bee-killing pesticides, according to a leaked plan.

European governments pave way for bee-killing pesticides

Talking Points

  • Pressure from Pesticides Producers is being placed on the European Union.
  • Only three pesticides from the Neonicotinoids class were tested.
  • The Union won’t use the same standards to new bee-killing pesticides.
  • Changing criteria for similar chemicals when precedent should be used on all harmful chemicals

Your Feedback

Bobee’s Apiaries let’s hope its only fake news!

End of the Show!!

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Show Times

  • Who helped us in bringing this show to you? 00:01:02
  • Mudslide in Los Angeles 00:02:07
  • What does it mean to be an Organic or Natural Beekeeper? 00:06:19
  • Roving Reporters 00:17:49
  • – Sheffield / Britmana / England 00:18:11
  • – Victor Harbor – South Australia 00:21:09
  • – Smithville, Texas 00:24:40
  • – Huntington, Indiana in USA 00:25:34
  • Beekeeping News 00:31:54
  • Manuka honey producer charged in landmark case 00:32:04
  • European governments pave way for bee-killing pesticides 00:36:58
  • End of the Show 00:41:14

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