Minutes of February Meeting
PRESENT: Frank Lindsay (Pres.), Mary Ann Lindsay (Treas), John Burnet (Sec.) and 45 members as listed in the attendance book.
NEW MEMBERS & VISITORS: Michelle Caldwell (Wainuiomata)
MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING: Minutes of meeting held 10 Dec as detailed in the Feb newsletter were read and confirmed.
MATTERS ARISING: Western Australian Honey – Submissions concerning the proposal to allow imports of WA honey closed on 7 January.
Honey Prices – President advised that the wholesale price had increased by $1 per kilo from last year.
GPS – Some members’ apiary registrations still lack grid references. The Club will assist in determining these at first opportunity.
Plastic frames – Contrary to interpretation by some in Dec minutes, it was confirmed plastic frames do not require additional 50mmm spacing.
Varroa Update – President outlined details of the recent log incident at the Pauatahanui sawmill and advised Ivan Pedersen was responsible for alerting authorities to the presence of the infected colony in the hive. Following confirmation of varroa in the feral colony, MAF instituted a letter drop to all residents within 5km seeking details of feral colonies with a reasonable response - one colony was reported within 500m of the local Catholic church.
Apistan strips and sticky boards were placed in all hives within 5km of the sawmill and a restricted zone was established (Whitby to Britton’s house moving yard) preventing any hives or beekeeping equipment from being moved out of the area. A bait hive was set up at the sawmill and this will be watched for bee-lining and to locate nearby colonies.
President reminded members that if they see mites on bees they’re too late to save their hive ! There were simple cheap options available if close monitoring of hives was possible i.e. castor or icing sugar, vinegar or ascetic acid.
President confirmed forthcoming visit by UK beekeeper Trevor Tong and will organise a meeting about 1 or 2 Mar to discuss impact of varroa on UK beekeeping if sufficient interest by club members and Trevor’s touring schedule in NZ will allow.
TREASURER’S REPORT: No bank details to report due to lack of accounts since last meeting. Further to Dec minutes, hall hire account now received and final amount ($440) approved for payment by members.
GENERAL BUSINESS: Member’s Queries – The issue of control of sacbrood was raised and president confirmed that changing the frames and the queen was the best solution.
Other issues discussed - uniting colonies using the newspaper method, choice and use of escape boards, necessity and advantages of recycling frames every 5 years, bee stings and reactions, sting control methods.
Seasonal Flowering – the main honey flow is over however a weak flow is continuing in some areas particularly where eucalyptus is flowering. Autumn requeening should now be considered – nearest queen supplier is probably Keanes in Foxton, which has recently been taken over by Gary Mills from Levin.
Demonstration – Andrew Beach gave a quick demonstration on the construction of a solar wax melter using a polystyrene fish box, a sheet of horticultural glass and a printer’s aluminium plate.
Manuka Honey Sites – Vaughan Kearns advised that Central North Island beekeepers are now paying local farmers for manuka sites – however owing to the poor season, these beekeepers have missed out badly this year. Vaughn also recounted personal experience with movement of varroa infected hives around MAF’s varroa control line.
Meeting closed at 9:30 pm and was followed by the usual supper.