The Miracle of Mixing Foundation – KM136

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Family Visit

This is Episode One hundred and thirty six of our beekeeping show – The Miracle of Mixing Foundation. This episode we talk about Mixing Foundations and how a Dunedin couple are thinking outside the hive to help the bees. Also what are we are doing with our bees at kiwimana and Roving Reporters from North Carolina, Portland and Australia. 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.

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. Nathan Buzzinga Beekeeping, Trish Stretton, Lisa Morrissey, Christopher Brown, Greg Parr and Barbara Weber

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

Well at the moment it’s about really making sure that Varroa does not start to deteriorate the health of our colonies. Last show the plan was to do inspections to assess status of all our hives as organic or naturally managing the hive requires regular monitoring

How is the weather getting on?

Temperatures remaining high during the day up to 23 degrees Celsius (72 Fahrenheit) just yesterday but the evening was cooler so this saw that the girls were not gathering on the landing boards as they had done in the evenings before. Last night was a beautiful moonlit night and as I walked through the apiary there was the beautiful smell of honey and the quiet buzz of the colonies

Has the Bee Behaviour changed since the last show?

As I did the inspections, i could hear the buzz get noisier as the inspection came to the end with some robbing behaviour fighting. FYI we popped some videos on the Bees Knees and kiwimana Facebook on the work we did at kiwimana HQ. Overall Bees still very busy collecting lots of nectar, populations strong

What have the beekeepers being doing?

My work involved conducting assessment inspections on all our colonies, I focused on checking brood health and cell checks for AFB and varroa presence.

Results

Didn’t manage to get all done before this show but On the whole all the colonies have each produced over 10 frames of capped honey frames – full depth – with many nectar frames in production. Blimmin heavy so had to have spare boxes when I worked the langstroth hive and had to move frame by frame, emptying the box then moving it off and repeat. Sadly Varroa was found in drone cells, in fact lots of them ! But interestingly the girls cleaning behaviour really showed they are picking up varroa presence in the cells so they weren’t capping them AMaZing – I used my capping scratcher to remove the larvae which was white and otherwise healthy, and yes varroa was in the cells – its seems the girls behaviour is becoming quite fastidious

Now we are working on…

Beekeeper Activities Treatment program of OAV with double dosing needed adding some extra frames to our long bench hives and then some mite fall checks using our inspection boards Benefits Knock back required on varroa aimed to keep up overall health of colony

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

Month coming up expectations Thinking about storage of honey frames with The nectar frames being worked so more capping to honey perhaps extraction of a couple Bee Behaviour Not sure Beekeeper Activities Apiary Lawns with weed maintenance Results Anticipated Overall Knock down of varroa mite load is the goal What are the benefits of running Honey Bee colonies organically / naturally ? I say seeing the girls cope with mites and improved cleaning behaviour of cells with varroa inside maybe enhancements in their instincts ?? Our mission is to Save Bees, one hive at a time, by helping you keep Honey Bees alive.


Roving Reporters

Avari from Wild Dragon Honey Bee Farm – North Carolina

Avari from Wild Dragon Honey Bee Farm – North Carolina, USA

Avari keeps bees with her parents and older brother in North Carolina.

Follow Rascal Apiary on YouTube or Instagram

Ben from Bees Bees, Victoria Australia

Ben Moore
Ben Moore

Ben is a beekeeper from Melbourne in Australia, he company is called Ben’s Bees. Check Ben’s Bees out HERE

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 ; ) – we need more kiwi reporters…come on guys !

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

Beekeeping News

Mixing Foundation and Foundationless Frames

Great post from Hilary from Beekeeping like a girl about Foundationless Frames and the best way to get started with using them.

Many beekeepers are intimidated by foundationless beekeeping. They aren’t sure their bees have enough time build out before winter without assistance or they worry about cross-comb.

Talking points

  • Not recommended in Honey Supers, Bees tend to build more crazy comb in supers
  • Using foundationless frames in the Brood Boxes has advantages
  • Hilary recommends using foundation only in the honey supers.

Read the full article here:- Mixing Foundation and Foundationless Frames

Thinking outside the hive

Murray and Heidi run a hive rental business in Dunedin, read this post to discover more about their operation.

With honey costing from about $18 to more than $50 a kg in Dunedin supermarkets, the notion of having a beehive in the garden is extremely appealing.

Talking points

  • A great way for help to help bees without having to learn how to manage the bees
  • They run Italian bees
  • Working with local schools in the Dunedin area
  • Check out there website here rentahive.co.nz Great work guys!!!!

Thinking outside the hive

Feedback from You

Ana from Alaska

Greetings from Alaska! My name is Ana, I am a New Zealand born beekeeper with dual citizenship from Alaska. We are just in the midst of recovering from Christmas sales for our sought after Alaskan Fireweed Honey. First of all, I’d like to say that I really enjoy your podcast! Huge fan! I especially enjoy when Margaret mimicks the American accent, “ah-saaaahm” I am looking for beekeeping opportunities in New Zealand, Many Thanks,

Ana Reid

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Show Times

  • Who helped us in bringing this show to you? 00:00:51
  • What does it mean to be an Organic or Natural Beekeeper? 00:01:28
  • Roving Reporters 00:11:06
  • – North Carolina 00:11:35
  • – Victoria Australia 00:13:05
  • – Portland Oregon 00:16:03
  • Beekeeping News 00:18:34
  • Mixing Foundation and Foundationless Frames 00:18:46
  • Thinking outside the hive 00:21:49
  • Feedback from You 00:24:18
  • End of the Show 00:25:31

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