Minutes of December Meeting
PRESENT: Frank Lindsay (Pres.), Mary Ann Lindsay (Treas), John Burnet (Sec.) and 37 members as listed in the attendance book.
APOLOGIES: John Robson, Fritz Fuchs, and Amor Walter
NEW MEMBERS & VISITORS: David & Sam Shillson (Northland)
MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING: Minutes of meeting held 12 November as detailed in the December newsletter were read and confirmed.
Varroa Update – Frank Lindsay advised that the infected hives at Jerusalem on the Whanganui River have now been moved north across the varroa boundary line. The Waimarino "bubble" had now been removed. Tweedale’s hives at Karioi, where 3 mites had been discovered, have been moved north of the line. There was some evidence that beekeepers in the infected zone were failing to report infected hives. Beekeepers in the buffer zone including Wellington should now be monitoring their hives for varroa by checking with a capping fork all drone brood at the pink-eye stage. A cheap but effective monitoring method is the use of horticultural windbreak, plastic fly screen or course net curtaining. Beekeepers should be aware that pollen mites may be discovered however these are harmless.
TREASURER’S REPORT: Club’s bank account details were outlined to members and members authorised the annual payment to the Johnsonville Uniting Church for the hire of the hall (anticipated cost approx $400).
Western Australian Honey – President advised WA honey would shortly be available in NZ owing to NZ exports of honey to Australia and a reciprocal trade agreement between the two countries. MAF were currently seeking submissions from beekeepers on the issue. On a separate matter President reported that the current wholesale price for Manuka honey (in the drum) had reached $7 per kilo.
Swarm Control – members reported there were currently plenty of swarms available for collection and because the honey flow was now underway, uniting with newspaper was not now necessary. Collection of swarms at this time of honey flow was generally considered desirable to gain maximum number of field bees. Air freshener was suggested as an effective alternative for uniting colonies or swarms as it masked differing queen pheromones.
Swarm Collection Stories – Ivan Pedersen related an experience where, while collecting one swarm, he attracted another. Richard Hatfield advised he had recently collected a 5-year-old swarm from a wall and the honeycomb extended from ceiling to floor. Because honey attracted moisture and eventually deteriorated it was generally considered better to remove all comb from wall and ceiling cavities in houses.
GPS – It was agreed by all members that the Club’s GPS (and instruction booklet) would be available for hire to members for $10 per hire (plus battery replacement where necessary). Treasurer will record & monitor borrowers in the same manner as the Club extractors.
Plastic Frames – There was a general discussion on the use of these by members. Cost was reported as $1.70 plus GST for � depth compared with $1.10 plus foundation cost for conventional frames and wax. Plastic frame users agreed that their use reduced amount of drone brood and it was suggested that the height of the runners on the bottom board should be increased by 50mm to give bees additional brood space.
Meeting closed at 9:pm and was followed by the customary Christmas supper.