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Jeff Robinson’s talk on Sat 7th of May, Field Day 2022

Jeff discussed how to make a bee escape board when reducing your hive to one box of brood one box of honey and a feeder for winter. 

Pests to watch out for when storing your frames over winter.

Greater and lesser wax moth and their eggs.

Franklin Clubs excellent page on wax moths
Varroa – making sure you put in your treatments for varroa and alternate the type of treatment to make sure your treatment has the greatest effect ridding your hive of varroa mite.

  • If you have honey to take off you can store it as comb in the freezer over winter.
  • If you have rogue comb, how to extract the honey simply and easily.
  • If you have weak hives or lose a queen at this stage the best thing to do is to marry up the hives using the simple newspaper method

basically the same here in NZ– without having to go into the hive to remove paper.

  • Feeding your bees in the winter:
  • Sugar syrup feeding over winter:
  • Pollen patties:

Disease recognition- why check in winter? Your bees will reduce in number with the change in season and they rely on us as beekeepers to check they are healthy and well.

Hive Beetle Trap Surveillance

We are taking part in the hive beetle trap surveillance

  • The new small hive beetle project is another example of a project based on biosecurity threat priorities. While small hive beetle isn’t known to be present in New Zealand, its proximity to our country means it’s a threat worth being prepared for.
  • This new project is unique in that it calls on volunteer beekeepers from the community to maintain traps in one of their hives. The exotic beetle traps are primarily checked by the volunteer, with the Biosecurity New Zealand surveillance team offering support. If they come across any suspect organisms during their routine checks, they will report these right away.
  • Beekeepers interested in joining the small hive beetle surveillance programme should visit the project page.

Small hive beetle is not present in New Zealand. It is a notifiable organism, which means sightings of small hive beetle should be reported as soon as possible to Biosecurity New Zealand by:

The larvae of small hive beetle cause the most damage. They tunnel through comb and consume honey, brood, and pollen. The larvae also spread a yeast, called Kodamaea ohmeri, which ferments and spoils honey and may pose a risk of causing infection in humans.

Small hive beetles among honey bees

How small hive beetle could arrive

Small hive beetle could reach New Zealand as a hidden stowaway on a range of goods. Pupae and larvae can slow their own growth which means they can hide out for long periods of time – weeks to months – before they emerge as adults. Adult beetles are capable of flying up to 15 kilometres, so could easily move between apiaries.

Download the small hive beetle (Aethina tumida) fact sheet [PDF, 657 KB]

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Field Day 2nd April

First a huge thank you to Bunnings who have donated a brand new BBQ, you will see it this coming Saturday!

Yes, this Saturday (Sat 2nd April), is our field day that is of course if it does not rain. I will send out a notice on Friday evening re any cancellation.

It is an important agenda because wintering down is a very necessary action with your bees to ensure success in the coming spring.

Agenda (10.35am)

Wintering Down {Treating}


                                 {Disease Checks}

                                {Hive Management}

                                 {Placing of your hive in winter}

For Newbees: 9.30 to 10.30 will be a short instruction course on hive management!

Raffle: well its still the same one: The donated brand new hive from BEELINE  . It has to go this field day so bring a few dollars and buy a (or more) tickets!

Two draws one for the hive and one for the wood ware!

Also for sale: Brand-new plastic honey jars: $50.00 for 30!

AFB Course is being held at the West Eyreton Hall on 10th April starting 9.30, which is the second Sunday. I recommend all for a refresher course only $10.00 each.

Ring Lindsay Moir 0211166 713 for more info.

On 19th May at 6.30 at 7pm Ara are holding another fundraising dinner for the club. The last was a tremendous success and everyone enjoyed the classical table service by the senior students not

to mention the delightful food. $45.00 per head book now with David Spice 027 360 1398.

No showing of passes this Saturday but EVERYONE must sign in the site book! Don’t forget your mask either.

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Field Day Cancellation

To All Members,

As president of our club, after consultation with some members, some emails received and given

the current state of affairs in regard to Covid, I have come to the conclusion that we must cancel the Field Day this coming Saturday.

Ara and the university are suffering an outbreak of Omnicom and Covid, as indeed are a number of people in gathering places both in Christchurch and other towns. Over 100,000 people to date have been recorded with this disease in NZ. Some members are definitely nervous.

As your President I have made the arbitrary call to protect our members: no matter how insignificant the risk is by wearing masks and social distancing.

I alone will be held responsible for this call. Even if you are vaccinated you can still pass this disease on, particularly to children etc.

If you have a bee problem, or wintering down query, call Hive Master Gordon Nairn 0275389568 or any member or myself.

Be Safe!

Paul O’Donnell


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Extracting honey demo

Hi members

I have been extracting honey in my kitchen for about 4 years, using a three-frame extractor. I have got this down to a reasonably fine art without too much mess and I’m inviting interested newbies to visit me in my home to watch my procedure. 

I plan to extract next Saturday morning, 26 Feb, beginning 10.30am and lasting for about one hour. 

I live in Ashgrove Tce close to Princess Margaret hospital. There is room in my kitchen for 4 to 5 people.

If you are interested please phone me 0278 249 059.

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Beginners Day

One day only.

Saturday 19th March 8am to 4.30

Bring your lunch. All your boxes / floor / frames / nails and screws, foundation etc.

This course will show you the right way to enjoy the best of beekeeping without spending all your money.

Questions to Gordon 0275389568

COST. $ 100.00 non club membership.Club members $60.00.

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Queen raising course


Gordon Nairn – Hivemaster
Jeff Robinson – Education/training

This course is to give you a practical experience to raise your own Queens. It is 2 days of information and hands on experience with results that you have done.

You will need to bring pen and paper to make notes if you want to. Insect repellent.


26/27 February 8.00-4.30 both days….wet or fine.


$150.00 club membership or nonmembers $ 190.00.

BOOKINGS are essential phone Gordon 027 538 9568

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February field day

We had a great get together with 27 attendees yesterday. It was easy to pack those jars and lids together after having a chat, a hot sausage and some of Irene’s delicious chocolate cake. Thanks team for all your work. We even got to check out the storage space up in the whare. I’m sure we’re all looking forward to the next fine Field Day, now we have a number of hives on site and honey spinning to be done.

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Tomorrow’s Field Day

As promised I have waited till this afternoon to post the notice for tomorrow’s Field Day..

You will be well aware that the forecast is for rain starting at 7am approx. at 60% chance of precipitation working up to 80% by 12P.M

Gordon our hive master has offered the following to members:

“12th February is our Field Day and again the rain 🌧🌧🌧☔☔ is forecast.

But still work has to be done.

We have jars to be bagged up @ 50 per bag and they are 250ml for sale at the Club…$30.00 per bag.

We can talk about treatments for the hives how to use them.

No doubt some questions to ask.

Good news is 5th March next club Day hopefully a fine day.

Thanks Gordon,

Hive master for the Club.”

The grounds are quite soft so wear good boots. There are a lot of midges because of the wet conditions,

They can cause quite an itch so wear long pants and bring some dimp…..just in case! You will still need to show your pass as usual and wear a face covering

even if you are working in the container with people.

Beeline will not be attending but ring Brian on 0272456427 to place an order.

Also, subs are due and Kerry will be accepting them as time is nearly up!

WOULD COMMITTEE MEMBERS please txt/email me that you will or won’t be attending. Unfortunately I cannot attend but our V.P Jo Winter will be.

Regards All

Paul O’Donnell


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