New research, new hope in the fight against AFB
Larvae rotting in their cells, decimated bee population, and – worst of all – having to burn your beehive to the ground. No wonder beekeepers dread American Foulbrood Disease.
Nurturing with nature
Organic food is made without using chemical pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics or other artificial chemicals during production. Organic fruit growers don’t spray their trees or vines, using natural methods to control insects on their produce. Organic meat and dairy farmers don’t use antibiotics or artificial hormones to speed up animal growth. For many proponents, the organic concept extends into the overall management of the farm or orchard as well – they tend to take a slower, natural approach to crop or animal management, with a focus on caring for their charges rather than profit.
Establishing Your Beekeeping Club – Where to Start
Can’t find a local beekeeping club to join? Here’s Ecrotek’s guide on where to start setting up your own.
The hidden cost of pest control
Bees are more than cute, busy little honey-makers. If honeybees become rare or extinct, no longer having honey will be the least of our problems – more than a third of our food crops rely on bee pollination, so our diets would be significantly reduced.
In 2006 and 2007, record losses of bee colonies struck fear into the hearts of farmers and environmentalists. It was a low point for the worldwide bee population, and it triggered a closer look at the reasons for bee decline.
Although there are a number of reasons for dwindling bee populations, pesticide usage is a major factor. Many commercial pesticides have an impact on bee health, and some are particularly harmful. When individual bees die or lifespans are reduced, the colony can weaken and eventually fail.
In New Zealand, the Environmental Protection Agency sets strict rules around pesticide use to minimise harm to bees – and our bee population is relatively robust as a result. Protecting bees takes constant work from farmers, protection agencies, beekeepers, and even gardeners – but it’s worth the effort.
Watching out for Wax Moths
How to prevent invasion and treat infestation
Not too sunny, not too windy, just right
For beginner beekeepers, beehive positioning may not seem that important. Many newbies simply pop their brand new hive in a flat spot, without considering how temperature, wind exposure, damp, and even direction might affect their bees.
Bees – they’re clever little things. As well as buzzing around making delicious honey, they’re also hard at work making a compound called propolis. Propolis is used as a sealant in their hives, as well as an embalming agent to cover surfaces. Propolis is also the bees’ disinfectant – one of nature’s most powerful antimicrobials, it cleans and sterilises the inside of the hive.
Ecrotek | Our Favourite Honey Recipes
Make the most of your sweet harvest by using honey in baking, salads, dinners and drinks – our favourite honey recipes from Ecrotek
Winter is coming
Much like us, bees prefer to spend winter snuggling up for warmth, staying indoors, and eating as much as they can. But they can’t do that without adequate food, a warm hive, and protection from the elements.