Monthly Minutes

RBC Meeting Wed 14 November2018
Attendees: 40
Welcome to new members!
Apologies: Glenys C, Brendon
Minutes of Previous Meeting are on website.

1 COIs (Certificates of Inspection) due by 30 Nov. See Kim Kneijber (Kaukapakapa area), Greg (Kumeu area), Robert Ramsey-Turner (Helensville) or Richard (Wainui/Waitoki)
Failure to return form results in a more expensive fine. No form needed for first year of registration.
2 Matters Arising from the Minutes: None.
3 Questions re hives:
A​Got a queen but no brood. If no eggs in next couple of weeks, may need to requeen.
​May need clean, empty frames – which queen may fill very quickly. Might be too much honey filling the frames!
B​Stickies – store them in the light (so wax moth will keep away) or in the cold. Can freeze frames for 24 hours, which kills eggs.
C​Instead of using a queen excluder, you can separate queen by having a box of honey over the brood chamber. The queen rarely goes above the honey.
D​Preferably don’t have more than one entrance to a hive.
E​Is corn-syrup ok to use? Peter not keen on it here. It is used in USA

4​Interesting Tips:
• SJA – are now providing packages of shaken bees! Several advantages. Keep feeding them initially to help them get set-up.
• Beware swarms – they may bring disease.
• Peter is not a fan of virgin queens. Often they are underfed until they mate.
• Drone brood can become a natural method of varroa control! Got to get the timing right.
• Honey flow is good at the moment and should be good in December with Pohutakawa ready to bloom.
• Ensure water is handy for bees in this dry weather.
• Rural honey production can be about 30 kgs; in city can do 70 kgs! Honey production is very patchy throughout NZ. It probably won’t be a long flow due to dry conditions.
• Beware tutin plant/leaf-hopper honey dew –you must take honey off by 30/12/18 or need to get it tutin-tested.
• We are hobbyist bee-keepers – not amateurs! Respect the knowledge that you have.

5 Apiary Officer Richard:
Our club bees are quite strong presently. He is encouraging drawn comb. No swarming so far.
He is giving the queen plenty of space. December is main flow period for this area.
Will be finishing queen cell production very soon, so get in quickly if want one.
Keep nice brood frames in bottom box.
Be vigilant re varroa.
New bee boxes will need painting. Please be willing to help.

6 Ed & Nicola Donald spoke re South Kaipara Landcare Group in South Head.
They were originally reluctant greenies but are now converted! Especially seeing the bird-life flourish there! The group has 6 main areas – Nursery (native plants at economical prices), planting projects (especially kanuka and manuka), weeding projects (mainly woolley nightshade), annual clean-up, trapping (funding from DOC) and support for other local projects eg the local ranger, beach-cleanups, community & defence-force networking and the ornithological (bird) society. Very interesting and good on you guys!!

7 Jon Craib Show & Tell
He likes making things! Demoed the simple making of a Rat bait box with a fence pailing, some wire & some screws. Also a Bee Hive base/Hive Doctor base table/stand made with fence rail and fence pail.
Cedar from old glasshouses is great to use for hives and hive gear eg wire mesh frames.
Tree Lucerne plant – is good for bees, cattle and wood pigeons. Soak seeds for about a week! Jon gave one to Heather-May. He is propagating them.

8 Fieldays We need more fieldays – preferably every 2 weeks so new people can get their heads & hands in a hive! Fielday this Saturday 17 November at 11.30am. Queen cells might be available.
9 BBQ date to be advised.

Meeting closed at 9.20 pm

Rodney Beekeepers Club
Minutes of 10/10/2018
Welcome New Members
Apologies; Jon Craib, Steven Thomas
General Business;
Swarming; Check for swarm cells every 7 days, usually in the centre frames of the hive. Peter has noticed there are very few swarm cells in a couple of apiaries he has seen, including his own.

A member of the club, Jon works for a firm that produces high quality Roto powder and has introduced this product to a manufacturer in Thames that makes, among other things, plastic beehive lids. As a result, the club has these test lids for sale at $15.00 each. Proceeds will be split between the School as a donation and the club to sponsor members through the DECA Course.

Manfred Hirst apparently still carries the Nassenheider mite treatment units, German smokers and hive tools. If you are interested in any of these high quality products then please let Peter know and we may place an order (based on interest). The Nassenheider is a precise delivery system for formic acid which the Club carries at $5.50/litre.

Peter knows of 10 hives lost by members using MAQ Strips from Ecrotek. The strips are effective but can be very hard on the bees particularly when the ventilation is inadequate. Carniolan bee colonies coming out of the Winter months are virtually nucs and will suffer large enough loss of number to decimate the colony. If you are going to use these strips then Autumn is a safer bet when bee numbers are higher. Pay particular attention to ventilation when using MAQ Strips. Mite treatments can vary from one hive to another so what might be working on one hive might not necessarily work on another.
Brian Alexander is still working on the balance of glycerine and oxalic for mite treatments.
Peter cuts slots into his queen excluders for better hive flow (as demonstrated). The queen will not generally move through these slots and into the box above because she will not walk over honey. The slots also allow drones back down.
Apivar strips are usually coming out end of October or 2 weeks before the honey flow. The club is to get more Apivar in stock. The Club currently recommends Apivar strips in the Spring and Apiguard or formic in the Autumn. A chux cloth can be used to replace the nassenheider mat if yours has disintegrated. The club will endeavour to source a blotting paper suitable for a replacement wick. Place a propolis mat beneath the nassenheider so that no bees interfere with the unit. Metal hive components corrode with formic treatments.
Leave any honey collected when Apivar is in the hive. It is used for food by the bees.
Beekeeping is mite control! Mite count with whiteboard and cooking oil, sugar shake using icing sugar, alcohol shake (the bees die!). Investigate drone brood (mites like drone cells because they are roomier), Blind framing (an empty frame with no foundation to the side of the brood chamber – bees will build drone cells in it and then it is simply a matter of taking out the frames – (give to chooks). Blind framing is good in Summer for mite control because you cannot use any mitacides at that time.
Deformed wing syndrome is indirectly caused by mites, the mites being transmitters of the syndrome. Wasps may also be carriers of DWS.
There have been recent studies of bees being a possible cause of the spread of myrtle rust.
When splitting feed the nuc 2:1 ratio sugar syrup (2 sugar, 1 water). So that the bees build stores around the brood chamber use 2:1.
Ian Harris demonstrated a wasp guard he has made that is proving successful. Wasps like to fly onto a landing board and walk into a hive. Ian’s wasp guard means the wasp must climb up, over and then down to gain entry which they will not do.
Recognising a drone layer; a failing queen won’t lay all over a frame, a drone layer will lay a patch in the middle of a frame and then move to the next one where she will lay another patch.
Where to find your queen; towards the evening she will move into the centre of the frame for warmth through the night, during the day more out to the edges of the frames and then at night back into the centre.
The product Edbee is effective but must be at 75 degrees to work.
In the brood chamber it is advantageous to use wax foundation. Also to rotate frames through hive every 3 years because of the build up of spores, nosema, AFB etc.
Try to leave your cert of inspection (COI) until when there are more bees in the hive, this is when AFB tends to show up if it is present.
If you would like to register for a queen or a nuc please see the Secretary.
Meeting End

Sept 12, 2018.

Apologies: Bruce Burgess, Josh Findlay
Welcome new members
Minutes are now on the website.
Last month we talked about AFB and the increase in the beekeeper levy. There was overwhelming resistance to raising the levy but it will probably still go up at some stage. The Management Agency* have appointed a new field manager Marco Gonzales. Marco will control AFB Inspectors and will implement an increase in inspections on hives. Peter McNab would like to see qualified inspectors sent out to all new beekeepers who report a case of AFB and he would also like to see some structure to inspections that benefit the hobbiest beekeeper.
The School fundraiser of painted supers story is to appear in local papers; Valley Voice, Helensville News and Community Newspapers.
Membership Cards are available for those who have paid their subs, please see Jo at meetings if you would like to pay cash.
Questions: Ed & Nicola think they have a drone layer. In nature 6% of hive population is drones.
If a laying worker it’s best to amalgamate with a Queen Right hive.
Drone laying queen.
A failing queen, or queen which never got good fertilization, will lay mostly to all drones. A queen will lay drones in drone cells. If she has fertile eggs she’ll lay those in worker cells. The eggs will be centered in cells and only one egg per cell. She won’t lay drone eggs in worker cells.

A Laying Worker
A worker is not fertile, but she can develop the ovaries and lay unfertile eggs. This can be triggered when a hive is queenless and has been so for a few weeks, usually 3 weeks, but different conditions can change the timing of things. And there is usually more than just one laying worker, when the condition arises. Laying workers will lay multiple eggs in cells, in all cells, worker sized and drone. They won’t be centered as her abdomen is not long enough to reach and center the egg in the bottom. As the cells cap you’ll notice that drones are being raised in worker sized cells.

Drone laying queens lay eggs in center of cells, laying workers mostly don’t
Drone laying queens lay single egg per cell, laying workers mostly don’t.
Drone laying queens lay unfertilized eggs in drone sized cells, and
laying workers lay unfertilized eggs in worker sized cells, and
if drone laying queens do have some fertile eggs, they will be laid in worker sized cells.

Sometimes freshly mated queens will lay multi eggs in cells as she gets started laying, if she’s well mated, it’ll clear up as she gets into the groove of things.

Three day old (3 days after grafting) v 10 day old pupa. The club will be trialling 3 day old larvae (3 days after grafting) as well as the 10 day old pupa we have done in previous years. When they are pupae you want to be very careful when moving them as they are susceptible to vibration and temperature changes. This is a popular practise in Europe. It also cuts out the need for cell carriers.
Richard reports that the Club hives are building very quickly. He advises to watch for swarming and also varroa, Get varroa strips on now (apivar) as varroa is a big issue in the Spring. There is more brood for mites to hang on to if you leave mite control too late.Also starvation, feed your bees if stores are low coming out of Winter. The club sells Feedbee and Apivar Strips for mite control. Richard has noticed a lot of wasps around the club hives and also his own. Make your own wasp traps with drink bottles and fish/meat lures + vinegar or banana + vinegar. Vespex has proven to be effective but you need a permit to use it.
Richard completed 23-24 grafts tonight. The first batch are for Club splits. The Club will have less than 20 cells /fortnight available. Peter McNab will talk to Jason at SJA about grafting some Ilalian Queens. Twelve nucs will be available this year.
The Club recommends you re-queen every year in the Autumn. Spring re-queening is really for patching up problems. Some beekeepers will keep a queen for up to 4 years, Peter does not recommend this practice.
The swarming season is upon us! Do regular checks for queen cells and kill any along the bottom bars. If you find larvae, look for your Queen, look through every frame, and look for eggs. A Queen can lay right before she leaves to swarm! MAKE SURE YOU HAVE GOT YOUR QUEEN!
Three types of Queen Cells: 1. Emergency; small, hangs off edge of cell (will be superseded, get a new Queen), 2. Supersedure; 3-4 hidden in brood, 3. Swarm; many, 6-10 along bottom of frames.
If you check regularly every 7 days you will keep on top of swarming.
Splitting; Queen + 2 frames – leave where existing hive is. Move original hive aside (reduces swarming) Frames above queen excluder, take box off next day and add new queen.
Make sure the queen has enough space to lay. Rotate combs out of brood chamber, give drawn comb to queen to lay. At the height of the season the Queen will lay 2000 eggs per day! GIVE HER SPACE TO LAY!
Cut corners of queen excluders for access. The queen will not go up through the cut outs … she generally does not work on the outer frames.
Take entrance guards off if you are sure the hive is strong enough to defend itself from wasp attack.
Hive checks should be completed late October. There are DECA Qualified club members who can be contacted to carry out hive checks.
Meeting end
*The management Agency National American Foul Brood pest management Plan

Rodney Beekeepers Club Meeting
August 8, 2018.
Apologies: Noel Smith, Brendon Day.
Welcome to Kim Kneiber and new member Brett.
Minutes and Club pricelist to be online in the private section
$531.00 was raised from the auction of 8 painted supers by local school children. It was decided to round off the total to $550.00. Jo will take a cheque to the school. Glenys to organise an article in Valley Voice and/or local paper with details of the artwork and auction.
Brian Alexander (Club patron) spoke at the Warkworth Club last month and takes a keen interest in RBC. Richard (Club apiary officer) will be working in Brian Alexander’s apiary in September producing the club Carniolan Queens. Richard will require some help from members and would like to build a team to learn about grafting. This would be at Brian Alexander’s apiary in Wainui.
Oxalic and glycerin mite treatments are coming on stream. Results local and in the Waikato are looking promising. Hobbiest beekeepers should try to work in with their local commercial beekeepers, find out when they are treating, what they are treating with, and follow suit. It’s acknowledged that this isn’t always possible.
Introducing Kim Kneiber from Api NZ. Kim kindly agreed to front the group and field questions about the recent move to increase the levy. Kim is a semi-commercial hobbiest beekeeper with 15 years beekeeping behind her. Increased funding would targeted at:
• Giving Api NZ more power to prosecute offenders who do not manage their hives for AFB
• More funding for Government representation
• Changes to Api Web
• Hobbiest hive inspections
• Advisory roles
Peter argues that AFB can be controlled at club level by education and full inspections in the Spring. Hives will be inspected if returns are not sent in by 31 September.
Club field days are to commence soon.
Weather is starting to warm up but is changeable and daylight hours are increasing. Bees are flying and pollen is coming in now. Carniolans are switched on by pollen and hive numbers will start to build. Try to make 2 hives of equal strength by swapping out brood. Take frames from centre of the brood chamber, these frames carrynurse bees and will be accepted into another hive. By doing this you will reduce robbing. Be aware of stores and make sure there is NO disease. Feed syrup 1:1 ratio, and later in the day in small amounts. Open hives 1-2 pm on a sunny day. Make sure stores are near to the cluster. Fork the caps off honey near the brood, the bees will take out and leave nice cells for the queen to lay into.
Fungus and chalkbrood are affecting colonies. Keep warm. Honey frames down sides can act as an insulator. Also polystyrene blocks, coreflute boxes containing sawdust both act well as insulators.
Coreflute is available from the shop (free to members)
Put brood close to entrances. Put hives up off the ground. Mouldy outside frames (coldest part of the hive) are due to poor insulation in the roof. Holes can be drilled near the centre of the hive mat, the bees will house keep ants and cockroaches away.
The last 2 seasons have been atrocious. Based on weather predictions, this season is shaping up to be similar. 30kg of honey from 1 hive is good going.
The Club advocates autumn requeening every year for less stress and reduction in swarming behaviour. Please talk to Glenys if you would like to go on the Queen list for a new club queen avail end of September.
A reminder to the committee that meetings will start at 6.30 prior to the Club meeting.


RBC Meeting Wed 11 July 2018
Attendees: 26 plus 5 visitors from Helensville Primary School
Apologies: John Craig, Keith (in Mongolia), Mark R (in England), Glenys C, Brendon, Kyle
Minutes of Previous Meeting are on website. Note: ½ inch is 12.5 mm (not 25mm per Minutes).

Questions re hives/Comments
Keep checking hives for stores. Feed in the warm part of day.
Wasps go for weak hives. Put weak hive on top of strong hive with Queen excluder between. Smoke them down well before moving them (use dry, pine needles, cram packed) – wasps will exit quickly. This encourages sharing of stores between hives.
Note: keep bee entrance near where your bee cluster is – no point having it far from them!
Next month feed 1:1 to stimulate them, and Feed Bee

There’s a guy around who pays you (about $100) to remove wasp nests! Ph John Easton 02040079983 Steven T said you can partially freeze a wasp, then tie its leg with cotton, release it and follow it back to it’s hive!
Camelia flowers are excellent food for bees in Winter. Gleditsia good now too. (Tagatasi flowers in August.) There is a website you can look up for protein value of various pollens.

Apiary Report. Hive 1 has been reduced, other hive are in 2 boxes each & all doing well. Richard will check them in a couple of weeks, or this Saturday. Check with Peter if you are keen to join in the inspection. Ensure it’s warm when you open boxes – conserve heat.

Auction of Painted Bee Boxes
8 painted boxes up for auction. Money from sale of these boxes is for Helensville Primary School’s playground gear. One of the artists, Daisy, attended along with her parents and 2 PTA members, Kim & Cara. The School gave the Club a Thank You Certificate. Thanks to auctioneer Bruce Burgess for being our auctioneer.
Winners of each auction were:
1st pair – $106 Ed & Nicola Donald See photo attached.
2nd pair – $120 Rambod & Beibei Paid cash
1 single box – $70 Adrienne (& David) – bright spots & stripes Paid cash
1 single box – $100 David (&Adrienne) – bright stripes
1 single box – $65 Vicky
1 single box – $70 Craig & Tracy
TOTAL of $531 Well done everyone. Thanks for supporting a great cause.
Please pay cash to Jo tonight or to Club online. A cheque will be written to School.
When these hives are up and running (hopefully in October) please take a photo so they can be sent to the school.

Peter Talk.
He recently spoke at the Warkworth Club which currently has 97 paid up members. It is an incorporated society. Membership is $100 with a subsidy for those DECA -qualified.
Foul brood dangerous in Spring. We are in a high-risk area so be vigilant. ApiVar this Spring.
Blind-frame trapping reduces mite infestation – and becomes a good source of wax.
10 day cycle check over Spring is good. Peter does 7 day checks eg every Monday. Wasps tend to only go for weak hives. It’s good to have some drones in a hive – maybe 17%.

Steve Thomas showed us a new hive base he has designed & made out of stainless steel. Will sell for about $30. Many advantages with this design. He’s open to design-suggestions.

Meeting closed about 9.00pm

Apologies; Rambod, BeiBei, Vicki, Noel, Sam, Keith, Brendon
Welcome to new members
Minutes are now available on our website members- only page
Membership fees are due $35.00 per person/family
Card is available to paid members who can access members only section of website
Notes/General discussion
Richard has removed the hive doctor bases from the club hives
Eight hive supers that have been painted by Helensville Primary School students will be up for auction at the July meeting (Wed 11 July). This is a good fundraiser for the school with funds raised going towards a long awaited playground.
Hives should all now be wintered down. Entrances should be closed down with a ½ inch (25mm) opening. This allows the bees to control the entrance against robbers. Hives should be propped slightly at the back to allow any condensation to get away.
Make sure your bees have adequate Winter stores.
Mites over Winter can be treated with Apiguard which works down at quite low temperatures.
Hive losses over Winter can be due to moth infestations in hives weakened by varroa.
Feeding bees; there is a seaweed additive (Agrisea) for adding to sugar syrup available from Ceracell and Ecrotek. Feed in the afternoon, 2 part sugar to 1 part water, don’t have hives open too long in the cold air. Feeding syrup into top feeders in the rain means bees will stay inside and not venture out to rob other hives. The seaweed additive will soon be available in the Club shop.
Clifton King has taken over from Rex Baynes ( Clifton has worked in micro biology and has a good understanding of AFB. DECA courses are run throughout the country (see Peter asks how many hives have been destroyed due to other pathogens and PMS and not AFB. The DECA course does teach proper identification of AFB and other similar diseases that can present in a similar fashion to AFB. A hive must be infected with 50 million AFB spores before it will take hold. Regular checks of brood chambers for problems is recommended. Changing out frames and discarding old frames will keep spore numbers down.
A surcharge will be applied to supplies in the Club Store.
Queens; the Spring Richard will be doing grafting. Please contact Richard if you would like to take part in a Queen grafting working group.
Kyle to speak on Queen Rearing at the next Club meeting.
There were some problems with Autumn Queens. Some disappeared or became drone layers. Discard frames with drone comb if you discover you have a drone layer. Drone comb is characteristically larger than worker comb.
The club is to look into stocking full plastic frames.
Feedbee is a pollen substitute for larvae.
Kyle is interested in forming a working group to research and propagate trees for bees across the region.
Brian is happy with the results of his oxalic acid/glycerine mite treatment but wants to see how his bees are overwintered before commenting.
Meeting end




Rodney Beekeepers Club
AGM 10 May 2018
Apologies; Leonie McNab, Paul & Alison Evans
Welcome to new members
General Business
Five cell carriers are still missing. Could these please be returned to the club as soon as possible in readiness for the new season.
Everyone should now have their honey off and mite treatments in for Winter. Close hive entrances down and prop slightly forward to allow condensation to run out of the hive.
Some members have been worried that their queens have stopped laying. Carniolans, when food is scarce can cease to lay and do not carry large hive populations over Winter.
Loss of hives to wax moth. Either treatments were not early enough or not good enough. A mite strike causes hive numbers to shrink and get cold. Wax moth then moves in and rapidly ruins frames. Wax moth has been especially prevalent this year.
Wasps and wax moth take hold in weakened hives.
Little or no nectar has been coming in since December. Feed 2:1 sugar syrup, allow them to store. Feed small amounts as less bees cannot condense large amounts of syrup and excess can cause mould in a hive.
Oxalic acid (a most efficient mite killer) and glycerine mite treatments are being trialled at the moment as are experiments with oxalic and different mediums to carry it.
Follow formic acid treatments with Apiguard.
Membership Fees are now due ($30.00 for a year)
Club account – See member’s only page
Richard S who has taken over from Steve S as apiary officer gave us an update on the club apiary hives. Richard will be swapping out the hive doc bases for wood as wood is warmer over Winter.
There will be more apiary field days in the Spring. Over the Winter it’s best not to have hives open to the colder air for long periods.
It seems to be beneficial to have a thicker hive mat (inner lid).
CHECKS to remember: deformed wing, mould, close bases, tip hives slightly forward
Peter showed us hive protective paints that have been brought out in a range of colours attractive to bees and may decrease hive drift. See peter for info.
Vicki has organised a school fundraiser with 8 hive supers to be painted by the children. The supers will be auctioned off at the July club meeting and proceeds will go towards funding a senior playground at Helensville Primary School.
President’s notes
Thanks to Bruce and Jo for holding some lovely apiary days and BBQ’s over the past Summer. We didn’t host a lot of guest speakers this year but we did have some interesting and informative club nights. Thanks to Alison and Paul for some wonderful honey products, tasting, and extremely good mead. The club hopes to get a speaker to talk about courses that go beyond what a club can provide. Greg Harrington (Taratahi Agri training College, Certificate in Apiculture), Certificate in Apiculture (distance learning at Telford) – Vicki is presently finding the course extremely good.
Call for Club Admin positions: President, Secretary, Treasurer, Apiary Officer, Web tech, Storeman, Committee.
Nominations for President Jo Burgess nominates Peter McNab, second Ian Black (unanimous)(Peter accepts)
Nominations for Secretary Peter Mcnab nominates Glenys Carr, second Nicola Donald (Glenys accepts)
Nominations for Treasurer Bruce Burgess nominates Jo Burgess, second Ian Harris (unanimous) (Jo accepts)
Nominations for Apiary Manager Peter McNab nominates Richard Stevens, second Ed Donald (unanimous) (Richard accepts). Richard asks for contact numbers for apiary team.
Nominations for Committee
Bruce Burgess nominated by Peter McNab, second Heather May
Glenys Carr nominated by Ian Harris, second Bruce Burgess
Kyle Atkinson nominated by Jo Burgess, second Peter McNab
Terry Carter and Sam Tuitahi were voted on to the committee in absentia. (Terry and Sam to advise the Committee)
Jon Craib appointed as Web tech
Glenys Carr agrees to carry on with the Club store
Thanks to all outgoing Committee and welcome to the new incoming Committee
AGM Closed