Winter Worries…Survival mode for Spring – KM094


This week we are talking about the New Bee Season 2016 for us kiwi’s, history being made, Cranky Bees, Dreamy Bees, Hot Stuff and Invasion of the Great Aphid. This is Episode Ninety Four of our beekeeping podcast.

The kiwimana Buzz Show is made possible by our Amazing Patreon supporters.

Lauren and Andy from Jennings Apiaries
Lauren and Andy from Jennings Apiaries

This week we would like to thank Aaron and Lauren Jennings

They have been supporting the kiwimana buzz for over 15 months

Thanks for your support!!!

…they have been quiet lately, must be buzzy

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Thanks to people like Aaron and Lauren we have been able to run beekeeping courses, share research, run our website and eat.

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.

Big Shoutout to our listeners in New Mexico, United States this month.

Did you know that Dancing while wearing your sombrero is illegal in New Mexico


What’s happening at kiwimana

(Apart from rain rain rain….now forming mud mud mud….)


    Doug Purdie

  • We met Australian Author and Beekeeper Doug Purdie, he was on his way to NZ Beekeeping Conference
  • Gary is been hanging around Pesticide Aisle, see a photo HERE
  • New Swarm Catchers List for New Zealand, Check it out HERE
  • What should we do for the 100th Show??? Record your Beekeeping Tip??? Click HERE to record a message
  • Question: What are you doing when you are listening to this show? Send us an email at [email protected]


(having faith)

  • Building stock / tidying-up workshop
  • New product – blogs and filming
  • Bee Season 2016 preparations
  • Kiwimana keeping it simple – beekeeping courses – new short course coming soon

Blog Recap – Top three Blog Posts Last Month

Here is the Welcome to Bee Season 2016 video

Beekeeping News

Roman and Jan have been in touch about the new thermosolar hive, do you have any question for them? Send Gary an email @ [email protected]

An innovative new beehive design –launched via an Indiegogo campaign– might just be the solution we need to relieve, or even end, colony collapse disorder in bees. Abandoning chemicals and harnessing the power of Mother Nature herself, the Thermosolar Hive aims to target one of the honeybee’s worst enemies – Varroa destructor mites

Brilliant new beehive harnesses solar energy to exterminate the colony’s worst enemy

Your Feedback

Paulo Jmd Silva Poor bees, imagine someone turning your house into a sauna, I bet you wouldn’t be happy at all.
Andrina Eyles Interesting concept.

New business Tasman Honey processes honey for hobbyists

A great idea in Nelson, a business that can bottle your Honey. The great news is that they are also happy to process smaller amounts for the Hobby Beekeepers. If you are in the Nelson area, check them out.

new_business_tasman_honey_processes_honey_for_hobbyistsA honey extraction business in Nelson has been set up with the ability to process small quantities of honey, especially for those who keep bees in their backyard.

Andrew and Wendy Lane started Tasman Honey in Wakefield last year, with the capacity to process honey for hobbyists and semi-commercial operators.

New business Tasman Honey processes honey for hobbyists

You can contact Andrew and Wendy HERE


Great post from Melissa Caughey from the keeping backyard bees Blog, so happy that we don’t have to deal with the seventh reason in Australia and New Zealand.

Cranky Bees. They are one of the worst nightmares of a beekeeper. Cranky bees are not enjoyable to keep. They have aggressive tendencies and are overprotective of the hive. Often when you have cranky bees, you will be unable to get near the hive or you will get stung.

The Reasons are:-

  • Bad Weather
  • Hive Inspections
  • Starvation
  • Predators
  • Mean Queen
  • Queenless
  • Africanization

Top 7 Reasons for Cranky Bees

Your Feedback

Bob Kerr We sure learned how pissy bees can get!

An illegal pest “The Giant Willow Aphid” that first emerged in Auckland in December 2013 is causing havoc with bees in the Wairarapa. The honeydew the Aphids produces crystallises and forms solid melezitise crystals “which are only 14 Per cent soluble to the Bees”

Beekeepers think the hive is full of stored honey, but it is the Aphid Honey Dew which can’t be eaten.

Dr John McLean is doing research to introduce a biological control agent to combat the species after beehives in Wairarapa were recently lost to starvation

An invasive species of giant aphids, whose honeydew killed 40 eels in Longbush last month, is also killing bees in Wairarapa, according to a researcher.

Aphids wreak havoc on Wairarapa hives

Not this John McLean


Your Feedback

Natural Beekeeping Tasmania You can keep these to yourself thanks
Chris Mitchell Not sure how to bring this up, but there is a wasp in that photo 🙂
Kelly Hohneck I found these buggers on our willows last week here in Queenstown, this week the tree is covered in wasps 🙁

Glyphosate spraying in Auckland to continue; Councillors upset

Glyphosate is the active ingredient of Monsantos Roundup, the herbicide most widely used on GM crops. The Auckland Council are using it instead of more natural methods to save money,


An attempt to reduce the use of controversial chemical glyphosate across Auckland has failed.

Albany Councillors John Watson and Wayne Walker want to restore funding for non-chemical weed control, and are unhappy their amendment to the council’s annual plan was not allowed for debate.

Glyphosate spraying in Auckland to continue; Councillors upset

Further Research

Research Article – Effects of sublethal doses of glyphosate on honeybee navigation

It has also been linked to Cancer in Humans:- The International Agency for Research on Cancer: Glyphosate ‘probably carcinogenic’

Update from the “Spray Free Streets Group”

Hi Gary, on Friday they had the first meeting to begin to scope out how they would review the policy.

Despite our group and lots of Councillors asking for the review to only look at the implementation of the policy, not the policy itself it looks like they will review the policy.

That scoping exercise is planned to be done and signed off at the regional policy and strategy committee on 1st September and the policy review to be completed by July 2017.

This just means another year of chemical sprays and we could very well just wind up back in the same place or worse off in one more year. We hope that the incoming councillors and mayor will have enough sense to do the right thing and minimise the use of chemicals as the policy clearly states.

You can find they facebook page HERE

Your Feedback

Rachel Sherratt Shouldn’t the local councils be setting an example by protecting our bees … these people we vote in should have transparent policies on these issues and be held accountable…
Chris Andrews Gee and that’s so pretty too, brown dead plants, why can’t people tolerate green and natural?
Joyce Kennedy Lack of Democratic process here
Steve Lawson Ratbags!
Chloe Rowe grr
David Simpson Who’s getting the kickback?
Rita James hooray someone on the peoples side
Gilly Tapper Cancer causing?????
Karen Perri Make sure you know it was glyphosate – the organic spray whose main ingredient is pine oil, gives the same result.

Great Ted Talk: Ron Finley: A guerilla gardener in South Central LA

An interesting study by Randolf Menzel and his colleagues from Free University of Berlin.

A new study suggests that bees can store information in long-term memory while they sleep, just like humans do when we dream.

  • Bees remember information from the day before
  • Bees that are taught when they sleep, also remember the learning.
  • When bees don’t sleep at night, they become less effective the next day.
  • Also Bees were found to hold hands when sleeping.

Bees learn while they sleep

Your Feedback

Tamarra Taylor Interesting….

Questions from you

What is Fluvalinate…Nolan…Wellington, New Zealand

Fluvalinate is the active ingredient in synthetic Miticides
The active Component is Tau-fluvalinate which is a synthetic pyrethroid. Tau-Fluvalinate is a fat-soluble compound.
We wrote an article about why we don’t use Apistan HERE

What Size Nails do you use for Bee Frames…Lilly…Texas, United States

We use Flat Head Galvanised 25 x 1.60mm

If you have a question, email us at [email protected] and the team at kiwimana will do our best to answer it. Or visit our speakpipe page HERE

Random Review

As a small thank you we randomly select one product review each month. The winner will receive a $30 kiwimana gift certificate. Get in touch within 2 weeks of the podcast release date to claim your prize.

Api Life Var

This week’s winning review was:-

(You will have to listen to the show)

You will need to claim your prize before 17 August 2016

Feedback from You


Good podcast on beekeeping – David Jastram – 5 Stars – United States of America

I enjoy listening to the podcast. Very informative. Check them out! – Monday, 30 May 2016


Todd Cantrell from Nashville

Just wanted to send a note and let you know how much I enjoy your podcast!
Was recently in your neck of the woods working for a few weeks with a the country, love the people!
Thanks again!


Caleb Wright

Hi guys! I am really enjoying your podcast and like to listen to it while i drive out to my hive sites. I have been beekeeping for a year now in auckland with some of my hives out in the Waitakere ranges, down Wairere road. I have signed up for your swarm catchers list and can cover most of auckland if needed. Keep up the podcast, you two are great and very knowledgeable.

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4 thoughts on “Winter Worries…Survival mode for Spring – KM094

  1. Avatar photo
    nirbhay shukla says:

    Sir.I am from INDIA and have 20yr long experience of honeybees. I am also phamacist and have own shop.alongwith shop I am also doing beekeeping in surrounding area of himachal.I interested to do job in NZ for learn and earn more.specially I want to learn about royal jelly. I need your help to suggest me that what should I have to do to connect your kind of genius and experienced person.I will be heartily thankful to you….Nirbhay Shukla.

    • Avatar photo
      Gary Fawcett says:

      Hi Nirbhay,

      Thanks for email about working in New Zealand.

      I would recommend posting a message on this Forum

      This forum is full of commercial beekeepers in New Zealand.

      I also refer you to this POST we did about getting started a commercial beekeeper in New Zealand

      Gary Fawcett

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