Meeting - March 2003

MINUTES OF WELLINGTON BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION INC REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING HELD IN THE JOHNSONVILLE UNION CHURCH HALL JOHNSONVILLE ON MON 10 MARCH 2003

PRESENT: Frank Lindsay (Pres.), Mary Ann Lindsay (Treas.), John Burnet (Sec.) and 32 members as listed in the attendance book.

APOLOGIES: Andrew Yung, Wrae Duncan, Marie Christoffel, John Pedersen, David Parkes

VISITORS: Jeff Hunter (Toronto Beekeepers Assoc.)

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING: Minutes of meeting held 10 February 2003 as detailed in the Feb newsletter were confirmed. (Moved: Ken Breden, Seconded: Amor Walter- CARRIED)

MATTERS ARISING:

Fire Ban: Andrew Beach confirmed Kapiti Coast DC had issued him with a one-month permit for his smoker.

Plastic Frames: Coating with wax remained members’ preferred method of gaining bee acceptance and use of plastic frames.

Honey Labels: Following inclusion of the labeling article in the March newsletter, issue was further discussed and generally agreed that current labels varied considerably depending on the honey packer/distributor.

Varroa Update: President outlined the current status and advised that a proposal had been made that the existing movement control line be dispensed with and a new line introduced along the Ruahine and Tararua Ranges to protect the East Coast and Wairarapa. President believed the southern NI beekeepers should continue to pressure politicians to maintain the existing line for as long as possible.

President confirmed low varroa levels had been discovered throughout Haywards Hill and neighbouring beekeepers should manage their apiaries accordingly. Any supers within the 5km infected zone must not be moved outside the zone. Hives just outside this 5km zone should be checked and rechecked for varroa when removing honey. MAF are apparently planning to undertake some varroa surveillance in the Wellington area over the next few weeks.

The dangers of chemical usage were discussed and the sugar shake method was recommended as a reliable, simple and cheap method of detection. In answer to a member’s question President confirmed that while cost of varroa control chemicals were similar, Bayvarol left less residue in wax than Apistan.

It was suggested that the Club should hold training courses on varroa detection and control over the winter.

Ivan Pedersen’s proposal for education of new beekeepers (as detailed in the March newsletter) was discussed in detail and Ivan suggested that there would be a 20% reduction in exports after 10 years due to unpollinated white clover. The acute phase could last forever.

GENERAL BUSINESS:

Honey Production: Most members agreed that the current season had been a very good one with crops even better than last year’s. Frank reported that he was getting a minimum of 30kg per hive with his biggest hive producing 83kg. Honey flows were continuing in some areas and queen supercedure was also being reported by some beekeepers.

Member’s Death: Treasurer advised that long-time member Lawrie Williams had died on 7 March.

NBA Membership: There was a brief discussion on the likely survival of the NBA and its likely structure and it was agreed that the Club should join as an associate member (Moved: Amor Walter, Seconded: Andrew Beach - CARRIED)

Presentation: Beekeeping in Crete. Chris Christoffel detailed his recent trip to Crete and showed a number of slides he had taken. Some interesting facts Chris discovered : Crete beekeepers did not use protective clothing, used donkey dung for smoker fuel, bred black bees that were very quiet, supers clipped together probably for transport by donkey, used car tyres as hive bases, often had large numbers of hives (3 –5,000) in small, confined mountainous areas, frames were replaced at the hive not transported off-site and hives were usually painted blue, some with elaborate designs.

Meeting closed at 9:00pm