Newsletter - December 98

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Wellington Beekeepers Association Inc.

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Our Next Meeting:

When: Monday 7th December 98
at 8 p.m.

Where: Terrace Centre,
Union Church,
Dr Taylor Terrace.

Theme: Honey Flow Management and Christmas Party

Note: Changed Meeting Date!

Meetings are held on second Monday each month (except January), at above venue

Minutes of November Meeting

PRESENT: Richard Hatfield (Pres.), Mary-Ann Lindsay (Treas.), John Burnet (Sec.) and 34 members and visitors as listed in the attendance book.

APOLOGIES: Alan Gibb, Terry Moore, Chris & Marie Christoffel, Ken Breden, Richard Dormer.

NEW MEMBERS AND VISITORS: Nancy Fithian (Wellington City), Yanick Freeman (Yukon, Canada).

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING: Minutes of meeting held 12 October were read and confirmed.


B/K Inspectors : Richard Hatfield advised the Club was likely to have 5 - 10 accredited inspectors whereas the average for other clubs would be 2 - 3.

Diseaseathon: Scheduled for Sat (14th) at 9 am. Volunteers to report to Frank Lindsay.

TREASURER’S REPORT: Treasurer reported that the current account balance was $2,225-06.


Members’ queries included uniting a swarm with the original hive, the advantages and disadvantages of plastic frames, bees’ ability to clean out mouldy cells.

Doug Purdie produced a frame with a good showing of drone brood and queen cells.

Seasonal flowers - kamahi, pohutukawa, ngaio.

Bill Allan reported having to feed over 200 litres of syrup over the weekend, a significant pollen shortage in some areas and advised "where not to place a hive !"

Ivan Pederson spoke on unusual artificial swarming and other swarm stories.

Next meeting will be held on 7th not 14th Dec.

PRESENTATION: Peter Taylor from Manawatu Fish and Game outlined the history of the Acclimatisation Society which was established and protected under legislation to provide fish & game access to everyone not just the landowner as in Britain. Duck, pheasant, deer, possums were released by Wgton Acclimatisation Soc over the hundred years to 1970. Govt subsidies in the 1970s and cheap money resulted in the destruction of habitats of various liberated species. The Society’s policy became "Why plant new grass seed on established lawn" and the Society's emphasis turned to water quality, with no further wetland drainage or river straightening. Introduction of the Resource Management Act forced NZ to think long term i.e. 30-50 years instead of the usual 5 year plans. Integrated management and sustainability became cornerstones of the RMA. Settlement was now achieved through negotiation, not through legal process and the court system etc. RMA is effects based legislation, not activity based as in the past.

Peter also briefly covered the impact on the Hutt River following the recent flooding, Taupo and other NZ fishing licences, the Becroft decision concerning the Whanganui River fishing and the risk of commercial trout farming.

Meeting closed at 9:45 p.m. with supper.

John Burnet

Waireka Honey Centre

For a full range of Ecroyds Beekeeping Supplies

Phone 0800-5BEEHIVE (0800-523344) or 06-324 8224

We will trade Honey, Beeswax or Pollen for Gear

Contact Marjorie or Kevin Kibby
for further details or to place an order

Phone for best delivery options

SH1, RD 3, Palmerston North (24kms north of Foxton on SH1).

New Zealand Beekeeping on the Internet

There is a lot of useful information on Nick Wallingford’s site about beekeeping in New Zealand. New pages are being added all the time. For instance, the following notes from the recent Canterbury Field day were published by Nick on his beekeeping site within hours of the completion of the day’s events (there are also a number of pictures of the people and activities available on the site This demonstrates the opportunity to make material and information from such events available to a wider audience in a timely and useful manner. I recommend that you all visit Nick’s site on a regular basis, as there are links to many other source of relevant information.

In addition, I am collecting material that is of interest to members to publish on our own site ( If you do not have a connection to the Internet, then try to find a friend, relative or colleague who will help you to get to some of this information occasionally. Perhaps, we can have a session on this at one club night next year.

James Scott

Canterbury Field Day – 21 November 1998

The day started with the obligatory cup of tea and a general yarn. First speaker up was John Burton from the Christchurch Quarantine Service. John showed a quick PR video and gave a run down on many facets of their operation. Today their focus is on core activities and little on side issues. He gave an example that a kilo of Cocaine entering New Zealand had far less potential for economic havoc than an outbreak of an exotic disease or pest and their efforts were targeted accordingly.

Their current system of border surveillance is considered to intercept 90-95% of all honey products being brought in. New techniques such as X-Ray equipment contribute to this level. Their goal for the future is to maintain their quarantine focus and not get swallowed up as a revenue generating venture. John indicated the hours were long and the shift work was terrible, but the staff were dedicated and gave our industry good service.

Trevor Weatherhead was an invited by the branch as a guest speaker from Australia. Trevor has had many years experience as a DPI (Dept of Primary Industries) office in Australia and now has a queen rearing operation in Queensland not far out of Ipswich. Trevor was involved in the recent discovery of a colony of Apis cerana in Darwin. Apis cerana, or the Asian honey bee is the natural host of Varroa and as such, the find of this species on the mainland of Australia was a worrying event. However to date, no further finds have been made in spite of extensive searches being made with the help of the local media and even a short TV ad being produced to alert the public.

Trevor followed on to show slides of their monitoring program in Torres Strait where Apis cerana is only 35 kms away from getting on an island hopping route direct to the Aussie mainland. The rugged nature of many of these islands has led research into baiting and "beelining" techniques. Trevor also touched on planned responses to exotic bee diseases - right down to having appropriate press releases ready to go for just about any eventuality.

Their current AFB monitoring programme was touched on. Currently they plate out spore concentrations into 3 grades being 1+ (50% chance of visible symptoms of AFB) 2+ (80% chance) and 3+ (100% chance). Around 1% of hives show up with AFB. Trevor indicated that they had trailed OTC feeding to eradicate AFB and found that it always showed up again up to 15 months after feeding stopped. Another interesting point was the perception that OTC (or antibiotics in general) are likely to be banned within the next 5 years due to the growing resistance to their use by the consumer, particularly in the Pork and Poultry industries. He suggested that it would be a good idea for New Zealand to have some other treatment programme available should (when) EFB come here.

A number of producers were using Gamma radiation to sterilise beekeeping equipment. They had to strap 3 supers together and were charged A$28 for freight from Brisbane to Sydney and back including treatment. Any combs with honey residues had to be put into special plastic bags. They did not use brood combs again. They currently have a variety of levies for research, EU residue (.25 cents/kilo) and their new (AHBIC) has an income of around A$300,000 (Australia has around 673,000 hives - Trevor thought this represented 90-95% of all hives). Some are voluntary and some are levied by the packers with around 5 major packers taking a large proportion of the total honey crop.

Trevor was involved with importation of bee stocks from other countries and their quarantine facility in Sydney was able to be used commercially with costs of A$5.00 per queen per day to bring queens in they had progressed to a point where a graft could be taken from them. Australia has introduced beestock using this facility from Russia and Austria.

His indications were that Italians are the main stock used in Australia and Caucasians and Carniolans were mostly used to supply an export demand to Canada. He felt Australia didn't supply Italian stock to Canada as this was already being supplied from New Zealand and now also Hawaii.

A huge barbecue lunch was put on by the branch and filled a nice spot during which the sun managed to remove the odd jumper.

A pleasant stroll of a km to Geoff Bongard's cell raising yard followed with Geoff outlining his cell raising methods. John Syme did the manual work and adlibbed with Len Hunt also offering a slight variation of the same method. Most were impressed with the quiet nature of the regularly handled stock.

During the day, horse fancier Dougal Mackintosh kept the children amused to the point of excitement with a couple of very well behaved ponies. I was one of a number of very thankful parents for Dougal's thoughtfulness.

The trade displays were excellent as ever with lots of gear on show. The loaders came out late in the day with Derek Newton showing off his Billet loader, an elbow style rear mounted boom loader, followed by John Syme with his Hiab.

The day finally rounded out with a few drinks over the bar of the rugby club rooms and industry politics getting the usual hammering.


The annual diseasathon inspection for AFB in the Wellington region took place on Sat November 14th. This was a fine sunny day, unlike last year, and so the team assigned to look at hives in the Akatarawa valley (led by Bill Alan) was able to complete the inspection of all listed hives. We are pleased to report that only one hive from the 35 hives inspected over about nine apiaries was suspected of having foulbrood. Another team inspected the hives in the Waikanae area.

This hive came from an apiary which was badly neglected, and has previously had foulbrood judging from the fact that many of the supers had been partially burnt on the inside, and at least one hive had been burnt on the ground nearby.

We saw lots of hives with signs of chalkbrood, and some sacbrood as well. We even saw a virgin queen emerge from a supersedure cell in a hive which was being inspected at the time (it looked like a very good queen too - quite large and with a nice leather colour).

The quality of woodwork and care given to the hives was very variable. The biggest difficulties in opening hive for the inspection arose when there was no top board or inner cover, and the lid had been stuck on, and when there were frames missing with the gaps being filled with burr comb supported from the bottom bar of the frame above.

It was a really enjoyable day, and we all learnt a lot, even about beekeeping. The most useful aspect of such a day is the opportunity to see a lot of different hives, under different stages of buildup and management regimes. This is a much faster way to learn than by trying to experiment with small numbers of your own hives.

James Scott

Blue Mountains Apiaries

Hive Equipment Price list
Frames � and full depth (per 10)


Foundation � depth medium brood


Foundation Full depth medium brood


� Commercial boxes


Queen Excluders


Clean beeswax in blocks per kg


Dark beeswax in blocks per kg


15% off if Wax is dirty  

Free supply at meetings. Please phone Richard on 528 7780 for availability. Note that Richard is not going to make equipment for sale after this year, so December is the last opportunity to purchase at these prices.

Library Catalogue

Our library contains the following items. Information shown about books includes Author(s), Title, Publication location and year, and whether hard or soft cover.

Books in the Club Library

  • ADAMS, John F.; Beekeeping, The gentle Craft; USA, 1972, Hard
  • Alberta Beekeepers Association; A Honey of a Cookbook Vol II; Canada, 1986, Soft
  • Alberta Beekeepers Association; A Honey of a Cookbook; Canada, 1982, Soft
  • BILL, Lesley; For the Love of Bees; GB, 1989, Hard
  • CHAPMAN-TAYLOR, Ray, DAVEY, Ivo; Practical Beekeeping; Aust, 1988, Soft
  • COTTON, W.C.; A Manual for New Zealand Beekeepers; NZ, 1848, Hard (x2)
  • DADANT; The Hive and the Honey Bee; USA 1975 Hard
  • FRISCH, Karl von; The Dancing Bees; GB, 1955, Hard
  • FURNESS, Clara; Honey Wines & Beers; GB, ?, Soft
  • GRAHAM, Joe M. (ed); The Hive and the Honey Bee; USA, 1962, Hard
  • GRANT, Roy A. (ed); The Hive and the Honey Bee; USA, 1963, Hard
  • JARVIS, D.C.; Arthritis and Folk Medicine; USA, 1960, Soft
  • KEIR, Bill; Diary of a Honeybee; NZ, 1990, Soft
  • KELLEY, Walter T.; How to Keep Bees and Sell Honey; USA, ? Soft
  • LANDIS M.S., Beehive Source of Youth, Vitality and Longevity; USA, 1982, Soft
  • MACE, Herbet; Complete Handbook of Beekeeping; GB, 1976, Hard
  • MACFIE, D.T.; Pratical Beekeeping and Honey Production; GB, ? Hard
  • MAETERLINCK, Maurice; The Life of the Bee; GB, 1901, Hard
  • MATHESON, Andrew; Practical Beekeeping in New Zealand; NZ 1993, Soft
  • MORSE, Roger A.; The Complete Guide to Beekeeping; USA, 1974, Hard
  • NORMAN, Jill; Honey; GB 1990, Hard
  • PAVORD, A.V.; Bees and Beekeeping; London, 1970, Hard
  • REID, Murray, MATHESON, Andrew, WALTON, Grahame; Bibliography of New Zealand Apiculture (1842 - 1986); NZ, 1988, Soft
  • ROOT, A.I.; The ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture; USA, 1975, Hard
  • RUSSELL-CLARK, Peter; Honey Cookbook; Aust, 1985, Soft
  • SCHOFIELD, A. Norman; Teach Yourself Beekeeping; GB, 1971, Soft
  • SCOTT, William; Backyard Beekeeping; GB, 1977, Soft (x2)
  • SCOTT-DUPREE, C. (ed); Honey Bee Diseases and Pests; Canada, 1996, Soft
  • SNODGRASS, R.E.; Anatomy of the Honey Bee; USA, 1956, Hard
  • STYLE, Sue; Honey from Hive to Honeypot; GB, 1992, Hard
  • WALSH, R.S.; Nectar and Pollen Sources in New Zealand; NZ, 1978, Soft
  • Wellington Beekeepers Association; Bits and Bobs Scrapbook; NZ, ?, Soft
  • WINTER, T.S.; Beekeeping in New Zealand; NZ, 1961, Hard
  • WINTER, T.S.; Beekeeping in New Zealand; NZ, 1975, Hard
  • ?; Sixty Years with Bees; GB, ? Hard
  • ?; The Beekeeper, ?, ?, ?

Videos in the Club Library

  • Les Gera talks about Propolis; Sue Walker talks about Propolis
  • Wairarapa Field Day 1994; AFB by Neville Speak; Fruitfly in New Zealand
  • NBA Conference 1996; Trade Display; Cookathon - Pork and Honey
  • Cut Comb; Plastic Fantastic

Periodicals in the Club Library

  • American Bee Journal (from 1983)
  • Bee Culture - previously called Gleanings in Bee Culture (from 1983)
  • The New Zealand Beekeeper (from 1985)
  • Newsletter of the Wellington Beekeepers Association (from 1989)
  • Journal of the Auckland Beekeepers Club

If any members, have, or know of someone with a book from the Club Library which has not been returned for some time, then please arrange to return it to one of our meetings or ask for it to be collected by a committee member (ph James Scott 565 0164).

James Scott

Christmas Meeting

Please come along to the December meeting (our last meeting for this year), to meet with other members, and join in celebrating the holiday season with our own Christmas party. Bring a plate for a shared supper - try your hand at baking using a honey recipe.

Historical Items

The Wellington Beekeepers Association is over 50 years old. It would be really great to get some material or stories from the early days of the club to post onto our web site. If you have, or know anyone with any suitable materials or stories to tell, please contact James Scott (565 0164) or ( to organise for the loan or recording of the information.

Committee Resignation

It is with some regret that we accept the resignation of Lynne Long from the Executive Committee of the Association. Next year, she and Bernie are going to Papua New-Guniea to work on a Catholic Mission station for two years. Consequently, they are looking for someone to care for their hive at Waitarere Beach during the period while they are away. If anyone is interested and able to do this, please contact Lynne on 479.6995.

Queen Breeders

This spring was not a good one for anyone trying to rear Queens. If you were unable to re-queen your hives in the spring, remember to order queens for autumn early. I have not had any further responses to my request for queen breeders who are able to supply queens to club members. I will enquire further and publish a list in next newsletter.

Future Meetings

The committee is currently planning some interesting sessions for this year. Please mark these dates in your diary and come along.

  • January 1999: no meeting
  • February (8th): (to be advised)
  • March (8th): (to be advised - any ideas or requests?)

Contact John Burnet on 232 7863 (or with any suggestions.

For Sale

  • Max Aston (ph 04-568 3296) has some all new assembled and painted hives available for sale. Bases: $15; Supers (full or 3/4 depth) complete with 10 wired frames: $25; Ventilation board: $2.50; Lids: $12.50

Don’t forget when selling any used hive gear, the seller must inform MAF Palmerston North, so it can be tracked in the case of an exotic disease outbreak. Purchasers should sign the form supplied by MAF.