You betcha Troubling Times in South Dakota – KM148


This is Episode One hundred and forty Eight of our beekeeping show – You betcha Troubling Times in South Dakota.

We are Gary and Margaret, We are kiwimana.

kiwimana are beekeepers who keep bees on the Wild West Coast of Auckland in New Zealand. We love to teach about beekeeping. We sell beekeeping supplies and share information to help you keep honey bees organically.

In this episode we learn about an Iranian startup creating Smart Beehives and why are bees dying in South Dakota.

What’s Happening with our Bees – We talk to Margaret

The most important thing in my view at this time of the year is assessment

Gary– what exactly do you mean ?

Margaret – Well….It’s a full inspection of your beehive – going in and looking at each frame, one by one, then return to the original position, then each box. It’s something I like to do to see the status of the hive after winter. I like to just look. I don’t do any work unless vital. I do the visual or take photos. When done, I close up.

Gary – so end of Season Assessment inspection gives the beekeeper a way to see how the colony did over winter but why not take any action?

Margaret – Inspecting is a crucial and key beehive management task for beekeepers….especially when coming out of one season – the goal is to check current status – then using what is found to assess and prepare for the work required – so simply its look, take note then close the hive. For the beginner beekeeper it takes pressure off plus it gives a great learning opportunity – I teach my students that this method is about learning, learning by looking, looking to understand what they are seeing, they mentally don’t need to take action – just look. Beginner beekeepers can get overwhelmed by having to make decisions and do things all at once so this method allows space for the beginner to look, then close-up and then analyse what they saw, away from the hive.

Having someone help take notes or photos is helpful. But if you are on your own… use a frame holder to hold the frame then you can take photos of each side of the frame. It’s important to know which frame is which and notes or photos should be taken in order from left to right and then note frame 1, 2, 3 etc….

Gary – Why bother with this, why not just leave the girls to it?

Margaret – That’s a good question and I know folks who wouldn’t bother and simply plonk some more boxes on when Spring hits. BUT in my view, managing a honey bee colony in a country where the Varroa Destructor Mite is present, sadly with this parasite it does not give the 21st century beekeeper the luxury of just leaving the girls to it. Gary – so once the hive is closed-up what’s next ? Next step is analyzing what you have found. Use the zoom function on the camera and identify what is on each frame. Be aware the position of the frame. The assessment is the first step, analysis is the second step.

Gary – What’s the third step ?

Margaret – Then 2 weeks (14 days) later go back in and see what has changed. The changes will show you what the bees are up to. With understanding the changes it will help the beekeeper to know what work is required.

Gary – What kind of things would you be expected to see?

Margaret – Winter to Spring – increased laying, and changes in the types of brood being laid – drone cells will appear.


Roving Reporters

This week we heard from no one 🙁

Do you want to bee a Roving Reporter?

It would be awesome if you can help create the kiwimana buzz by being part of the show –  reporting  in from your location while in the field

If so…Could you record a quick update of one to two minutes of your local weather conditions and what other people should be doing with the bees in your area.

To Learn how to get your report to us, check out:- How to become a Roving Reporter

Beekeeping News

As bees die off, South Dakota beekeepers face industry’s ‘darkest days’

Things are not going well for beekeepers in South Dakota. Habitat loss and terrible winter losses are causing big issues.

South Dakota beekeepers are among the largest players in the U.S. pollination and honey industries — are reeling from a nationwide spike in honeybee colony losses that has the potential to affect 90 different agricultural crops across the country and could raise the price of fruit, vegetables and nuts if the problem worsens. duct.


Talking Points

  • Farmers have plowed up more pastures to plant row crops such as corn and soybeans, and they’ve gotten better at killing flowering plants.
  • Some commercial keepers lost 70 percent or more of their bees last winter.
  • Bret Adee, co-owner of Adee Honey Farms said his company lost so many bees that the business was forced to shutter its beekeeping operation in Nebraska and lay off employees.
  • Hive production has fallen about 50 percent over the past 15 to 20 years. I suspect because beekeepers are trying to replace lost colonies.

Iranian startup designs smart beehive

A new startup is producing a smart beehive monitoring system for the first time in Iran.

Iranian Start Up - Bee Hives in Iran

An Iranian startup team from Sharif University of Technology has managed to design and manufacture a smart beehive which can help farmers improve their productivity, ISNA reported on Wednesday.


Talking Points

  • The startup team is headed by Amin Rezaeizadeh and Mehdi Shahrdad.
  • Smart beehives not only transmit data to beekeepers but also can act as a thief-catcher
  • The bee includes a microphone which detects the presence of queen bee, fertilization and burglary are registered by analyzing the voices.

Your Feedback

John Thomson – I’d like to know just what information is transmitted to the cell user.

If you are coming in Winter?

Margaret gives some tips for people in the Northern Hemisphere.

Who helped us in bringing this show to you?

Did you enjoy that show, 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. This week we would like to thank:-

Nathan Buzzinga Beekeeping, Carolyn Sloane, Finn’s bees, Michelle Lassche, Buzzed Honeys – Humane Bee Relocation, Cameron Miskin, Chris Palgrave, Irene Townshend, Boris Brockmann, Trish Stretton, Scott Wiltshire , Greg Parr, Karen Shields, Christopher Brown, Michelle Scheidler, Dan McGivern, John Paff, Sana Wynne-Lewis, Mandy Shaw, Paul Brill, Robin O’Connell, Lisa Morrissey, Tim Willcox, Gudny Hunter, Malcolm Sanford, Glenn Gowthorpe and Tony Lumb.

Shout out to our New Supporters

Thanks to Glenn Gowthorpe and Paul Brill for starting to support us this month. Thanks Glenn and Paul. Bee like Paul and Glenn and start supporting what we do.

End of the Show

Sad News

We learnt yesterday that beekeeper and author Janet Luke from the Hawkes Bay passed away last week, we send our condolences to her family and family.
She was a great lady and will be missed by all that had the pleasure to meet her.

End of the Show!!

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Show Times

  • What’s Happening with our Bees – We talk to Margaret 00:01:26
  • Roving Reporters 00:07:55
  • Do you want to bee a Roving Reporter? 00:08:35
  • Beekeeping News 00:09:23
  • As bees die off, South Dakota beekeepers face industry???s ‘darkest days’ 00:09:33
  • Iranian startup designs smart beehive 00:17:48
  • If you are coming in Winter? 00:22:15
  • Who helped us in bringing this show to you? 00:23:56
  • Sad News 00:26:05

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