The Naughty Fourties, What Next? – KM040

Hi this is Episode Forty of our beekeeping podcast, This week we are talking about Coloured Grass Seed and Beekeeping in Los Angeles. You can download the podcast directly from HERE, or click on the play button above.

You can also download the transcript of the podcast, to read along with Gary and Margaret. Download the PDF file HERE. This was Professionally transcribed by Rev, Thanks guys!!!.

Welcome To the kiwimana buzz, A show where we talk about Beekeeping, gardening and life.

Hi, it’s Gary and Margaret here, We are beekeepers from the hills of the Waitakere Ranges in West Auckland, New Zealand. Our podcasts are 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


  • The Kaipara bee club’s is having their first meeting on Feb 12, you can RSVP HERE
  • Expert empire interview, listen to the interview with Gary HERE
  • We are Looking for interview guests for 2014, if you keen visit “How to be a guest
  • Visitors from Belfast, Ireland – We met Billie and Paul from Ireland.


  • Margaret has been tiding up the apiary and planting gardens between the Bee Hives
  • We have hives for sale Auckland (09) 810 9965
  • Margaret is running a community education course, you can sign you HERE
  • We got a Christmas Card from Roz in England and thanks to Nick for the great feedback

Blog Recap


  1. Merry Christmas Bees
  2. Tyson Kaiser is an Ethical Bee Remover
  3. What’s Happening in Karen’s Garden?

American listeners now at 53%!!! Thank everyone for listening.

News Topics

LA StoryAn article (including audio) about the misconceptions of many residences of Los Angeles who are afraid of bees and the fight to make Urban Beekeeping in LA legal in the future. This topic was also discussed in the recent interview with Tyson Kaiser.
Guerrilla beekeeping in LA

Oprah Gives Away Bees 🙂

Grahams Top Bar HiveRusty from the Honey Bee suite blog answers a question about Top-bar hives and comb honey. Are Top-Bars better for producing comb honey and are there better for beginners.
Top-bar hives and comb honey

photo credit: leisergu via photopin cc
photo credit: leisergu via photopin cc

Bayer tells us that they are “strictly committed to bee health” and are researching the varroa mite as the cause of Bee Deaths. This sounds like a response to the opposition to neonicotinoids in Europe. Or are we being to cynical?
Accused of Harming Bees

A great post by Jodie Bruning about neonicotinoids on grass seeds sold by Tui and Yates. We agree why do we need these products in New Zealand at all.
Coloured stuff on our grass seeds

Article about neonicotinoids and possible harm to children:-
Fears over pesticide link to foetal brain harm

We had a great time and chatted with New Zealand’s “Bee Lady” (who will be a guest on an upcoming podcast). We discovered that the “Bee Movie” is not based on life in a bee colony at all.

photo credit: TexasEagle via photopin cc
photo credit: TexasEagle via photopin cc

Loss of habitat, extreme weather, chemicals and garden trends are decimating numbers of beautiful Monarch butterflies in New Zealand. We talked to Gordon at the last Auckland Bee Club meeting about a related story.
Monarch’s reign is in danger of ending

Questions from you…

    The Team at kiwimana answer the following:-

  • How many times do you treat mites with the “Kiwi Oxalic Acid Vaporizer”
  • How to build a bee hive frame jig, here is our article about our Frame Building Jig
  • How to make a hive split, see our article HERE
  • What type of business is bee keeping in nz

Blog Post Coming Soon

  • How to move bee hives – Organic farm move
  • Has it all just become too much?
  • ….bzzz….grumpy bees….
  • Whats blooming in the garden?

Feedback from you guys!!! – Itunes Reviews

Thanks for feedback

Roziejo – 5 Stars – Great Podcast!

Great podcast from NZ, great advice for helping new beekeepers and interesting interviews with other beekeepers/podcasters/authors. Info on techniques, equipment, seasonal beekeeping activities, also gardening and environmental discussions. Listen to them all from the beginning! I am!

Thanks Roz!!! for the great feedback and we suspect Christmas Card :D.

Please review our podcast on itunes?

Please join the Newsletter

Would you love to get an email telling you when we publish new podcasts and blog posts? Please signup to our FREE newsletter at Signup

4 thoughts on “The Naughty Fourties, What Next? – KM040

  1. Avatar photo
    Bill Catherall says:

    Thanks for another great podcast!

    In this episode Margaret made a comment that I’d like you to expound on. In regards to Bayer, she said that synthetic treatments have created resistance and “super varroa.” No argument there, I completely agree. Then she followed that statement up with, “My view is that organic treatments are the only way to go.”

    I’m wondering why you believe that organic treatments don’t create resistance and won’t have the negative long-term impact on varroa that the synthetic treatments have caused.

    • Avatar photo
      Margaret Groot says:

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for you comment, I hope the following views and info helps. Organic treatments are concentrates of plants, their oils. They are naturally occurring, whereas synthetic treatments are man-made, not natural, it appears the varroa ‘evolve‘ to survive the synthetics. America went through all the results of synthetic treatment and NZed are following behind about 5 years now, so in-terms of varroa threat, we are about where they were 8 years ago (thereabouts), so we should be seeing our Bees surviving better. Research conducted here in New Zealand by Dr Mark Goodwin of Landcare Research explained at the conference we attended in Hamilton a couple of years ago now – stated, ” …varroa are becoming resistant…” so their new approach was to try and breed Bees who groomed more, thereby creating “…varroa sensitive hygiene…” in Bees. These Bees were being sold through commercial beekeepers – I haven’t heard how its going but you could check out MPI for any updates, or NBA or AsureQuality. In America, Randy Oliver who is ‘’ who is an Organic Commercial Beekeeper has lots of info available.

      Our results using Oxalic Acid and our kiwi oxalic acid Vaporizer and Api Life Var are proving successful, we have hives surviving and we are breeding from them through splits and our oldest Queen is 4years old now, still laying well and the colony population strong, I just did an inspection of them yesterday as it happens. Another Note: Its interesting that about 6 months ago on NZed TV, there was an interview reported where overseas scientists were confirming that humans are becoming (or are already) ‘resistant’ to “anti-biotics” so anti-biotics must change the body’s cells and the immune system which starts to fight the ‘un-natural’ chemical in the body in what could degrade the body’s immune system eventually making the body unable to fight even the simplist infection or virus. Lets Bee clear, our views are based from our experience of using our organic treatments over 4 years and results of research and of the Beekeeping work we undertake, like the “intergrated pest management programs” we undertake, we recommend methods like Drone Management Frames, kiwimana meshboard if we find they work. The research helps us to form our opinions from the tests we do and then go from there. Regards, Margaret.

      • Avatar photo
        Bill Catherall says:

        Thanks for the response Margaret. I’m a big fan of organic agriculture. I also understand and agree that the original formulas of miticides are no longer effective. I think where you and I diverge is in the logic behind such reasoning.

        To me a chemical is a chemical is a chemical, whether it’s “organic”—originating from naturally occurring plant or animal-based products—or “synthetic”—derived from non-organic compounds. There is nothing inherently different that makes the synthetic ineffective. And there’s also nothing inherently safe about organics. These are chemicals that still have to be extracted and concentrated from wherever they naturally occur. You wouldn’t feed mead to your bees, but that’s made from naturally occurring products found within the hive. I wouldn’t dare eat my organic, biodegradable laundry soap.

        You bring up the issue of antibiotic resistance, but I think you might be misunderstanding the issue there. You’re right that it’s similar to the varroa problem, but it isn’t because human bodies are being changed by synthetics and weakened. It’s because through the overuse and abuse of antibiotics, the bacteria it’s supposed to kill has evolved and become stronger. Same thing with varroa. During the early days of applying miticides to hives, the varroa evolved and have become harder to kill. As you so rightly put it, “super varroa”.

        It wasn’t anything in the chemicals themselves that triggered this resistance. It’s natural selection at work. The mites that survive the treatment live on to breed and pass on their superior genetics to the next generation. And since each generation of mite is inbred it’s a very fast evolution.

        It’s my concern that even organic chemical treatments will eventually have the same results. I fear that someday—perhaps in 10, 15 or 20 years—even oxalic acid and Api Life Var won’t work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *