Oh Dear…Burglar covered in Bee Stings – KM141

This is Episode One hundred and forty one of our beekeeping show – Oh Dear…Burglar covered in Bee Stings

We are Gary and Margaret, We are kiwimana. 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 build and sell beekeeping equipment and bees, provide Beekeeper services and education.

In this episode we talk about bees fighting burglars and a massive wasp nest has been located near Hamurana. We also have roving reporters checking in from the USA, England and New Zealand.

Who helped us in bringing this show to you?

This show is made with the help of 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:-

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

Top Beekeeping Podcasts

Two new shows this month on our List of Beekeeping Podcasts

Beekeeping at Five Apple Farm Podcast

In this new podcast from Leigh Knott from Five Apple Farms. She discusses Sustainable beekeeping, bees, planting trees and shrubs for pollinators at the Five Apple Farm in North Carolina.

The Hive Jive

Master Beekeeper John Swan and Fisher Guide and New beekeeper Ken Milam discuss how to get started with bees. Not to be confused with the Bee Hive Jive from London.

Check out our Top Free Beekeeping Podcast List

Check out these new shows and more by clicking here:-

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

Criticism – yes… being organic, or a natural beekeeper, has meant that over the years we have been beekeeping there have been criticisms of the work we have done.

A lot of this coming from older commercial beekeepers who gave advice for something that was not what they had long term experience in and that was varroa ! …the other area was trying to understand the perspective of a hobbyist beekeeper who wanted to be “organic” – a lot of those beekeepers poo pooed the ideas we shared.

The reason we decided to go towards a more natural way of managing bees is because we began to see how stressed bees were. We researched synthetic miticides and management practices ;

  • Breeding methods
  • Feeding methods
  • Hive set ups
  • Seasonal influences/impacts
  • Best practice for beekeeper hygiene
  • Natural risks and threats

We’ve also heard comments regarding beginner beekeepers on some of the forums, comments basically saying that beginners can’t manage their hives without using synthetic miticides because organic methods are too difficult for them. OMG !!!!

I have faith in new beekeepers. I believe they can do it organically and do it well.

Is the Time the Big Issue?

But…I think the worst enemy of the new beekeepers is time ! And we try to teach our beginners that they must take time to look after their bee investment.

Time – Not enough

Not having enough time to look in the hive and learn what they are looking at

Time – Too much

Too much in the hive.

Realising too late what is needed to truly run a Beehive – not understanding how important observation is.

How much time should it take to manage say two colonies?

While learning probably once a week 2 hours per hive – to look and learn maybe alternate each hive or on a fortnightly basis = 4 hours

It will take time to get prepared, light smoker, get gear and equipment ready at hive location, etc. Any inspection is weather dependent as well.

Back to our apiary work

Last show we discussed:-

Season / Weather

Change of season – drops in temps – not single digits yet but had to put on my cardi and put my jandals aside and put on socks and shoes.

This has changed in the last few days – Gary said down in the valley it was 7 degrees the other morning on the way to work !

Bee Behavior

Wash boarding still going on and heaps of pollen coming in.

What are we are working on now..

Beekeeper Activities

Treating and monitoring – added robbing-screens and the extra hive mat with slot, still to do brood levels check, then expect to reducing down and moving honey frames up.


Huge mite drops after last treatment so another double dose planned for all hives.

Aim to finish wintering down before 1st June – official start of winter for us kiwi beeks.


Adding an extra inner-cover or hive-mat with slot will condense the OAV treatment in the brood area. Meaning it will be more effective. By leaving the hive in tact with all boxes, will mean I don’t have to manage them in the shed or worry about pests ruining them for next Spring – bonus as we found through trialing this over two winters – the girls have access to them and they will keep managing those frames through Winter – we’ll ratchet-tie down those taller hives just in case. Also with the extra hive-mat we can open the hive without chilling or compromising the cluster. Less invasive = calmer bees.
How are we preparing for what’s coming up for the Bees ?

Month coming up expectations

More drops in temps to single digits

Bee Behavior

Expect drones to be kicked-out

Beekeeper Activities

Mow lawns and trim back weeds / burn off old gear and general tidy-up around apiary and workshop. Plan our building jobs for over winter – looking at having split gear ready for Spring aim to split all colonies.

Results Anticipated

We’ll see… What are the benefits of running Honey Bee colonies organically / naturally ?

Well in terms of new beekeepers it’s really important to NOT PANIC.

Sometimes it pays to step back and take a breath- do some analysis before taking action which may be the wrong decision.

Handy Hint – Do an Assessment Inspection

We would encourage making an inspection plan which begins with an “ASSESSMENT INSPECTIONS” – this is a very good idea to perform these 6 weeks to one month BEFORE a new season.

The idea is that you go in and inspect the whole hive, and if possible, have a friend who can help you – they can take notes and photos of each of the frames.

The method is that you record and visually see what is on each frame but the aim is only to have a look and then close-up the hive – NOT DOING ANY WORK TO THE HIVE – just look first.

Then after, have a look through your notes and check photos, zoom in on them and have a look and then identify what you see.

The aim is to then go back in 2 weeks and repeat the same – the objective is to see what changes have occurred in that two week period.

By understanding what changes have occurred it will help you to understand what the girls are up to – the key changes is about the type of brood being laid by the queen, is it drones, worker or queen cells ?

These will give you indicators as changes in season come on…for example, from Winter to Spring you will see changes in types of brood laying and the amount of brood will naturally increase so the first consideration is managing space – which is one of the most important jobs of a beekeeper. The second job of a beekeeper is to check brood health and check for any signs of disease or sickness, and if varroa is in your country – monitoring and performing treatments and completing them before splitting is ideal.

Our mission is to Save Bees, one hive at a time, by helping you keep Honey Bees alive.

Roving Reporters

Chris from Three Hares Honey – Hampshire, England

Chris is a beekeeper and vet from Three Hares Honey in rural Hampshire.

For the most Exceptional raw honey from rural Hampshire, check out his web site Three Hares Honey. Thanks Chris for supporting kiwimana

Ian from Christchurch Hobbyist Beekeepers’ Club – Christchurch, New Zealand

Ian is a member of the Christchurch Hobbyist Beeclub and volunteers to help the planet where he can. He Lives in Christchurch with his wife Marette, dog Daisy and their 40,000 bees.

Find out more about the Christchurch Beekeepers club HERE

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

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 kiwimana buzz by being 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

Burglar covered in stings after landing on hive filled with 80,000 bees

A funny story with a real sting to it, South London location where an attempted burglary but was thwarted by 80,000 bees.

A would-be burglar found himself in a sticky situation this week when he hopped over an eight-foot fence and was confronted by 80,000 angry bees.

Talking Points

  • Beekeeper, Dale Gibson said the shed contains expensive gardening tools
  • Burglar ended up on top of four beehives some broke apart
  • Potters Field Park is in Bermondsey, south London
The team did not report the attempted burglary to the police because “natural justice” has been served.

Your Feedback

Susan Inwood Karma
Charlotte Anderson I shouldn’t laugh. But I did 😀
Graham Manning Just a shame he wasn’t allergic to bee stings. (I’m sure the article would have mentioned that.)

Join the Discussion on the Facebooks

Burglar covered in stings after landing on hive filled with 80,000 bees via @GJDiebelius #Bees #1

Posted by kiwimana on Thursday, March 21, 2019

All hell broke loose’ – Exterminators battle monster wasp nest

Wow a massive wasp nest has been located in a tree near Hamurana.

A monstrous wasp nest measuring about 2m wide and 2m tall which was found bordering a Hamurana property is proving a tough opponent for local exterminators

Talking Points

  • The exterminator ‘Chris Brunel’ estimated that the nest contains 1 million wasps
  • It’s the biggest nest he has seen in thirty years of doing this work
  • This season is the worst season for wasp he has had in decades.
  • The Guinness world record for the largest outside wasp nest was 3.7 long on a farm in Waimauku in 1963
  • This record for an inside nest was a 7 metre nest located inside an abandoned house in Madrid, Spain, more details HERE

Your Feedback

Bryan Mitchell Fancy trying to deal with it at that height. Drop it with a chainsaw and deal with it at ground level! Important to kill it completely or thousands of queen wasps will be being released into the region from a nest that size.
Kara Lisanne Belcher Holy moly what a whopper!!

Join the Discussion on the Facebooks

'All hell broke loose' – Exterminators battle monster wasp nest near Hamurana lifestyle block via @nzherald #bees #1

Posted by kiwimana on Monday, March 25, 2019

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Show Times

  • Who helped us in bringing this show to you? 00:00:44
  • Top Beekeeping Podcasts 00:02:08
  • What does it mean to be an Organic or Natural Beekeeper? 00:04:57
  • Month coming up expectations 00:24:07
  • Handy Hint – Assessment Inspection 00:28:35
  • Roving Reporters 00:31:34
  • – Hampshire, England 00:32:05
  • – Christchurch, New Zealand 00:37:13
  • – Indiana, USA 00:44:36
  • – Oregon, USA 00:47:27
  • Beekeeping News 00:50:43
  • Burglar covered in stings after landing on hive filled with 80,000 bees 00:50:58
  • ‘All hell broke loose’ – Exterminators battle monster wasp nest 00:53:29
  • End of the Show 00:57:09

Media Credits

2 thoughts on “Oh Dear…Burglar covered in Bee Stings – KM141

  1. Avatar photo
    Rich Morris says:

    I guys, I enjoyed hearing the comments about BroodMinder on the latest show. I’d be happy to discuss further if you would like. Although we measure hive weight also, I’m most excited about internal temperature and what it is telling us. This summer (northern hemisphere) we are collecting data that is allowing us to detect swarms based on the colony heat-up before they leave. Very fun indeed.

    Keep up the good work.

    Cheers, R
    p.s. check out our public domain site beecounted.org.

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