Swarms Coming Out of Our Ears – KM058


Hi this is Episode fifty eight of our beekeeping podcast, This week we are talking about wasps, Chinese beekeeping and swarms.

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

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.

What’s happening at kiwimana


  • Catching our first swarms
  • Building Gear
  • TPPA protests this weekend on 8 November, some great info about the TPPA HERE
  • I was interviewed on the Treatment Free Beekeeping podcast, you can listen that show HERE


  • Building Beginner kits, getting ready to fill them with bees.
  • Busy doing American Foul Brood (AFB) Checks for customers. You can book us HERE
  • Sold Out of some Products, stock coming soon
  • Deliveries around Auckland
  • Hives slow to build up, but all go in Urban Areas

Blog Recap

Phil Chandler

  1. Thymol Treatment for Varroa Mites with Ashlee Robison – KM055
  2. Moving Beehives a Short Distance
  3. Meeting the Barefoot Beekeeper in Wareham forest in Dorset

Beekeeping News

Some great photos from China on how they keep bees on the side of mountains. Wow you would have to be organised managing these colonies.

Bees on MountainBeekeepers tend hundreds of hives work on a cliff side in Shennongjia nature reserve, Hubei province, China

Beekeeping in China

A report from the Washington post about bee decline and the possible cause being “neonicotinoids”. We are talking to Tom Theobald this weekend, a long time campaigner against this class of pesticide.

It was one of those mysteries no one cracked for years but gripped many: What’s killing all the bees? In Brevard County, Fla., nearly 12 million bees expired in 2011 in a great dying of almost biblical proportions. Then came news last year that 37 million bees – 37 million – had died that month at a Canadian beekeeping operation.

Seagull population rapidly declining

The simple reason millions of bees are dying

A study in France has confirmed what beekeepers already know that varroa mites spread diseases around a hive. This is causing diseases like deformed wing virus to be spread much quicker.

Bee with Deformed Wing VirusA PhD student, Fanny Mondet from the University’s Zoology Department and Avignon University in France, investigated the effect of the varroa parasite as it spread south after its arrival in New Zealand more than 10 years ago.

Varroa and bee viruses linked

A great article about the massive amount of wasps that are taking over the environment in some areas of New Zealand. Scientists and researchers are working on solutions to kill the wasps in their nests using mites and toxins. Let’s hope these are bee safe?

German Wasp
German Wasp

A wasp attack on a single person can be deadly. But the invasive pests are also taking a much wider toll. The memory Janet Kelland retains of a wasp attack is the sensation of being on fire. “I was burning up,” recalled Kelland, a Taumarunui sheep farmer.

Vicious sting that’s hurting all of us

News from the UK about a potentially safe pesticide made from spider venom which could be an alternative to neonicotinoids.

Good news on the honeybee front – a team of scientists in the UK have created a biopesticide made from spider venom and plant protein that may provide hope for the endangered pollinators. A study published in the research journal Proceedings of the Royal Societystates that the experimental, nontoxic biopesticide Hv1a/GNA is “unlikely to cause detrimental effects on honeybees.”

New, all-natural pesticide unveiled by scientists

A good story from Mary-Jo Tohill about beekeeping in Central Otago with some great bee facts. Did you know that bees add $5.1 billion dollars to the New Zealand economy.

Photo courtesy of MARY-JO TOHILL/Fairfax
Photo courtesy of MARY-JO TOHILL/Fairfax
Central Otago beekeepers are giving nature and bees a hand. In the spring, beekeepers like Michael Vercoe of Alexandra are kept even busier than usual, putting hives out in Central Otago orchards to pollinate fruit blossom.

Central Otago beekeepers are giving nature and bees a hand

Questions from you…

We answer questions from you guys about your bees or beekeeping.

  • We are finding that our bees are laying on top of the frames, so when we take the top super off it is usually stuck to the super below with larvae etc. Is this normal or are we doing something wrong. Thanks …Deb
  • What sort of quantity of AFB is there in this area and is it a significant problem in waitakere. What are the chances of it getting it within the coming year or two?…Chris

If you have a question, email [email protected] and we team will do our best to answer it.

Gary’s Video – Sunday Morning at kiwimana

Blog Post Coming Soon

  • We talked to a Cliff Van Eaton about his new book “Manuka The biography of an extraordinary honey” and Manuka honey.
    You can receive a 15% discount on his latest book by visiting:- www.exislepublishing.co.nz and type ‘kiwimana’ into the coupon code at the checkout.
  • We chat with Randy Oliver from California

Feedback from you guys!!!

I would highly recommend this Podcast to all beekeepers. The format is very good and relaxed, in true Kiwi style! Gary and Margaret have covered a wide range of topics which will interest the novice and also more experienced beekeeper. I like the format, especially the slot about new bee news items and always enjoy hearing what is going on with the hives at Kiwimana HQ. The presenters have a good sense of humor and Margaret’s little tangents off piste” are amusing. They have interviewed some very interesting international guests but also local new beekeepers – Saturday, 4 October 2014

I am a regular listener and look forward to new episodes. I enjoy all the guests. I like how Gary and Margaret pronounce the letter Z” Zed – Sunday, 12 October 2014

Please review our podcast on itunes? https://kiwimana.co.nz/iTunes.

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If you enjoyed our show please subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or our RSS feed.

After hours Bonus

Why you have the right to know what’s in your food – Rachel Parent

Rachael Parent GMO talk at Ted in Toronto. We hope to get Rachel on the podcast one day. Email us if you would be interested in hearing from her.

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