Meeting - June 2001

Minutes of June Meeting

PRESENT: Frank Lindsay (Pres.), Mary Ann Lindsay (Treas.), John Burnet (Sec.), and 23 members and visitors as listed in the attendance book.

APOLOGIES: Amor Walter, Ken Breden, Andrew Yung, Bernard Cox, John Robson, Pam McDowell.

NEW MEMBERS & VISITORS: Stuart Smith (Whitby).

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING: Minutes of meeting held 14 May 2001 as detailed in June newsletter were confirmed.

MATTERS ARISING: Varroa Update:

Varroa had now reached the Waimarino buffer zone near Raetihi.

Hives in the Wellington area are about to be surveyed with emphasis on hives in locations surrounding ports, airports and main highway truck stops – areas which easily be infected by bees "hitchhiking" on trucks and rail wagons from an infected area.

A recent inspection of hives in the Wanganui area indicated the area was still varroa free.

Diseasathon: NBA have requested an account from the Wgton B/K Assoc. for costs of recent hive inspections. This has now been provided and when cheque is received Andrew Beach has undertaken to investigate purchase of a GPS by the Club.

CORRESPONDENCE: A Taranaki Beekeeping Club newsletter had been received and would be available to members through the Club library.

Secretary outlined a written request received from Rev Barbara Stephens who (after a recent Christian World Service sponsored visit to Uganda) requested our club consider providing technical assistance to beekeepers in the Ishisha area of Uganda. In view of the Club’s lack of knowledge of Uganda’s climatic conditions, vegetation and the types of hives, equipment and resources available to the beekeepers concerned, it was agreed further information was required before any assistance could be offered. Secretary will contact the local agricultural field officer and the International Bee Research Assoc. in UK. It was also suggested enquiries should be made to Volunteer Service Abroad as they may already be providing assistance in the area.

GENERAL BUSINESS: NBA report:

  • Annual NBA conference is to be held in Queenstown at the end of July.
  • Beekeepers Assoc’s Pest Management Strategy is currently being updated.
  • NBA is now receiving compensation claims for varroa infection.
  • Varroa surveillance in South Island is almost complete.
  • Annual Disease Returns were due 1 June – ADR’s posted this month however would be acceptable.
  • Certificates of Inspection (COI) must be signed by a DECA holder.
  • AgriQual will send out COI forms for completion in the spring.
  • The majority of commercial beekeepers have not yet passed their DECA.
  • Prosecution of beekeepers for non-payment of levies is continuing.
  • All details of both civil and criminal prosecutions will be published in the NZ Beekeeper.

There was a general discussion on honey pricing and marketing. Chinese honey was adversely impacting the world market with prices of 78 US cents per kilo being quoted for bulk honey. It was generally acknowledged that NZ could only compete with speciality flavours e.g. manuka. Higher prices charged for these unblended types do not appear to reduce consumer demand.

Varroa Treatment Issues: Formic acid will build up over time. Bayveril preferred by Comvita as there is less residue in the propolis. Ascetic acid in syrup "cleans out" bees including other diseases as well as impacting on varroa.

Ivan Pedersen read out an editorial from a Danish Beekeeping magazine (Denmark has had 16 years experience with varroa). In general there has been significant loss of assoc. membership, beekeepers have become dispirited and lethargic and the industry is very depressed with a poor outlook overall.

VIDEOS

Two videos were shown to members:

  • The season of the bee – a US Discovery Channel production.
  • The World of Bees and Wasps – a German made National Geographic film.

MEAD COMPETITION Richard Hatfield, Vaughan Kearns and Peter Radcliffe judged the annual mead competition and from 20 entries the winners were -

Dry - 1st - Wrae Duncan, 2nd - Wrae Duncan.

Medium - 1st - Wrae Duncan, 2nd - Wrae Duncan

Sweet - 1st - Wrae Duncan, 2nd - Bill Allan

Sparkling- Highly commended - Max Aston

Meeting closed at 9.30 p.m. with the usual supper.

John Burnet