Springtime for Down Under Beekeepers – KM127

This is Episode One Hundred and Twenty Seven 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 have a good chat about our favourite bee things and connect.

In this episode we are talking about Coles dropping Imported Honey, What is invading the Norfolk Summer and what is the Flight Range of a Honey Bee.

..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, Facebook group 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.

It’s officially Spring in New Zealand…finally !…with temperatures slowly rising. Last week during the day saw around 9 to 13 degrees Celsius but the last few days 16 to 19 (60 to 64 Fahrenheit) but still some long periods of staying-in…So this means the bees are dealing with sporadic days to forage and they are feeding heavily and as soon as the sun comes out, there are heaps of cleansing flights going round and round…no,swarms reported in our neck of the woods …yet.

What’s been happening at kiwimana?


  • Interviewing people, hosts of Beehive Jive and BeeSotted podcast
  • Went flying last weekend, great fun thanks to Nick and Gary for the encouragement.
  • Been Reading Noah Wilson Rich’s new Book “The Bee – A natural History” – He has agreed to come on the show, so I better hurry up and finish the book.


  • AFB Levy increase update?
  • As we start Spring here in NZed, the colonies are busy whenever the sun shines – temperatures are colder now than in the middle of Winter !…so very interesting – but the girls have never stopped collecting pollen all through Winter with brood present right through but smaller amounts more condensed
  • Feeding has been necessary on the smaller colonies – one has had 3x full depth frames of Honey and the other has had 2x.
  • For all the colonies in terms of varroa, they are looking healthy, well formed Bees and no varroa issues – this means that we had 100% wintering …so very excited….we have worked hard this Autumn / Winter keeping OAV treatments regularly – fortnightly but one period where we treated once a week when we saw a varroa boldly walking on the baseboard – cheeky blighters – we sorted it out right quick !
  • We are now preparing for our pre-emptive splits. What this means is that we will split before queen cells are present – why ? …we have found this helps in keeping our surviving ‘old’ Queens and using their genetics for breeder hives and gives us on-going resources through the season
  • Important keys to success for this method are having – 8 to 9 frames of brood
  • Working with our beeginners and helping with split method and issues with Varroa

kiwimana Global Roving Reporters

  • This show, we have Reporters from USA, Canada, Switzerland and stop press a report from lceland.

Avari from Rascals Apiary – North Carolina

Avari is 16 years old and keeps bees with her parents and older brother. Follow Rascal Apiary on YouTube HERE They are also on Instagram HERE

Ron from Bad Beekeeping – Calgary – Canada

Check out Ron amazing Bad beekeeping blog HERE

Niklas from Switzerland

Niklas is a sixteen year old beekeepers from Switzerland, who produces his videos in German and English. Check our his great YouTube channel HERE

Here is Niklas latest Video that we discussed

Mystery Caller from Iceland

One of our Roving reporters was on holiday and reported in.

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, how your Bees are going 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

August happenings in NZed – Droning on

  • Andrew Crossan says, “…Kaikoura coast booming with bees and hundreds of drone.” Also shares a bit of advice for…”Dampness in hives, if you use propolis mats, put them on before winter with a division mat with entrance facing down allows dampness to escape. At present putting strips in plus pollen substitute and scraping wax from top and bottom bars. Mill Creek Apiaries”
  • Chris Mitchell says, “…Mature drones in coastal areas around Tauranga. No drones up in the hills. Seaside Bees”
  • Trish Stretton – is not only a Patron but she shares, “…No drones here in the South Waikato. Left heaps of frames of honey which have not been used yet. Spring can be changeable….”

Emails with problem in Beehive as we are going into Spring * There was a mention via email that some folks are seeing some DWV bees out the front of their Beehives * another said his hive has failed …check out Margarets reply BLOG article with action plan ideas : Remedial action for Deformed Wing Virus using OAV – https://kiwimana.co.nz/remedial-action-for-deformed-wing-virus-using-oav/

What should you be doing with your bees?

  • In New Zealand – Best advice is to understand what is going on in your hive as we hit Spring – assessment inspections essential – ensure Varroa are not causing problems and ill health. Don’t let your Bees starve – sadly this is a delicate time for our colonies, make sure they have food !!
  • In UK Tracy and Paul in South London say the bees are suffering from lack of nectar due to the heatwave. Called – dearth – in nectar, so no honey production, so many folks are needing to feed.
  • In USA Check out rascal Avari’s update – our young roving reporter

Blog Recap

Top Content by your Vote Last Month

  1. Lots to Bee Getting on With! – KM126
  2. Question Time Bonus – KM126B

What products have been used in our work?

Gary – Nothing bee related, just working in the backend on the website. Looking for ways we can reduce costs. Margaret – hoping we can arrange our Apiary visit so our students can meet the Bees. Just same as last podcast – on-going use of OAV gear. My frame holder is great so I can inspect the frames easier and take photos.

Beekeeping News

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

Justin Bumpstead
Justin Bumpstead

Justin has been supporting the kiwimana buzz since April 2017 For all your Honey and Honey based products check out Bumpstead Family Apiaries Thanks for your support!!!

Norfolk wasp invasion: Heatwave sees number of wasps soar

Hot stuff going on in Norfolk – UK

Richard Pummell of Norwich and Norfolk Pest Control called the prevalence of wasps “the worst in my 26-year history of doing the job”.

Definitely causing folks to feel hot under the collar

Andrew Dellbridge of Ace Pest Control said the amount of wasps this year had been “unseasonal”, adding that the number of nests he had cleared had increased from “four or five every one or two months” to “dozens upon dozens a week”

The article mentions to take care when trying to get rid of the wasps. Oh and you won’t believe this….

He also spoke up for the unpopular insects. He said: “The nest I have near my house I refuse to touch. It sounds silly to say as I work in pest control but I don’t like harming them unnecessarily. “They have such a vital role in the regulation of the local ecosystem and in pollination. Live and let live, I say.”

Read the full article Here:- Norfolk wasp invasion: Heatwave sees number of wasps soar

Coles drops imported honey brand Allowrie from their shelves

Good news for beekeepers across the Tasman, our Aussie bee mates. Coles, a supermarket chain, have dropped an imported honey brand. Let’s hope this translates to more honey sales of local Australian honey.

Shoppers in Coles have one less choice to make when shopping for honey as the supermarket giant has dropped the Allowrie brand of honey, which is produced from mostly imported product by Australian company Capilano Honey.

Coles drops imported honey brand Allowrie from their shelves

Your Feedback

Simon Mulvany Media are to scared to mention Save The Bees Australia Thanks for doing a podcast on the campaign . The brand is the subject of a court case after a social media campaign raised questions about the origin and quality of the Allowrie brand.” Margaret – good to see – we should all support our local food producers, local food for local folk makes all of us healthier. Corporates are just not connected enough with their locals.

Simon Mulvany

Check out Simon’s local Honey Map HERE Learn more about Simon’s case with Capilano honey when we interviewed Simon HERE


Australia’s biggest honey producer, Capilano Honey, is set to be taken over by a private equity group specialising in China-focused agricultural exports.

Read more HERE

Anything but the 9–5: The beekeepers with an allergy to bees

This shows Atypical beehaviour by a beekeeper despite the challenge of being allergic this couple admit to Beeing avid bee loving hippies 24/7

From the front it looks like any other suburban house, but venture in a little further and you’ll find a nature lover’s paradise.

Anything but the 9–5: The beekeepers with an allergy to bees

Your Feedback

Terry Khornbury It’s really nothing about allergy and all about their hive hire business. Says nothing useful about allergy, and if their allergies are real using no gear is dangerous Ki’a’i Ho’okahi Weber Sounds like they get a reaction to a bee sting like most. If truly allergic, they would end up in hospital on a drip, sometimes on life support, after a sting. No ‘allergic to bee stings person’ would work without suit ever and would be wiser not to keep bees. That article is BS

Sphere of influence – The Flight Range of the HoneyBee

Great article about he distances different castes of Honey bees travel, which surprised me.

How far do honey bees fly? An easy enough question, but one that is not straightforward to answer.

Key Takeaways

  • The first definitive experiments were done by John Eckert in the 1930’s
  • Worker bees 8.5 miles 13.6 km
  • Drones (90% of matings, happening with 4.6 miles 7.4 km)
  • Queens (up to 6.4 miles 10.3 km)

Sphere of influence – The Flight Range of the HoneyBee Other papers from John Eckert can be found HERE

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:-

AFB – we have had to destroy 2 hives in the past 18 months. As we only have 1 or 2 hives this is becoming a very expensive and depressing exercise! Sadly in our area there are either infected wild nests or other beekeepers keeping quiet about their infected hives. This problem has been around for decades nation-wide and will be impossible to eradicate. Isn’t it time we started learning how to manage rather than eradicate as they do in other countries??

Name Redacted


I’m just about to set up my first new beehive but there are some old wooden+plastic beehive frames where I live, I don’t know their origin, should I burn them? Or is there some other way to get rid of the plastic part of the frame?


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 supporter “Rebecca Wade” from Kentucky. Thanks Rebecca for supporting what we do. You can support our work HERE

The Next Show

We will be talking to Paul and Tracey from the South London. Paul and Tracey are the hosts of the beehive jive podcast.

End of the Show!!

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Show Times

  • What’s been happening at kiwimana? 00:02:05
  • kiwimana Global Roving Reporters 00:07:07
  • What should you be doing with your bees? 00:21:40
  • Blog Recap 00:23:20
  • Beekeeping News 00:25:14
  • Norfolk wasp invasion: Heatwave sees number of wasps soar 00:26:17
  • Coles drops imported honey brand Allowrie from their shelves 00:29:09
  • Anything but the 9-5: The beekeepers with an allergy to bees 00:31:43
  • Sphere of influence – The Flight Range of the HoneyBee 00:36:02
  • What’s your Number One Beekeeping Problem? 00:38:16
  • Feedback from you guys!!! 00:45:07
  • Whats in the bonus Show? 00:45:40

Media Credits

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