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Andywang

Organic beekeepers required

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@BJC are you on the river flats .

It looks like a great spot and the perfect site for what you are growing .

Organics work a lot better if the crop is naturally suited to the area it is grown .

Trying to grow organic stone fruit outside it's natural ideal climate is a real mission.

With good management and constant vigilance organic agriculture is very successful.

 

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5 hours ago, BlakeyJ said:

The previous comment about organic production being just marketing spin is not true at all (that is a common excuse for people who have no issue dowsing food crops with chemicals, and using chemicals around crops.) 

 

To say it not being true at all, would be incorrect.  And please do not infer said it is just marketing spin. Even I don't think that, and in my own comment i used the words to some extent.

 

And I would be correct. Even I pay more to buy organic produce, but I use my brain to attempt to discern if it is genuine, if there is any benefit, or if it is marketing spin. For example there are some foods that are not treated with any chemicals anyway. So if someone chooses to put an organic label on that product, it's just marketing, I'm not going to pay more for that one, than the non labeled one, which I know would not have been treated either. 

And while I am very much in agreement with being as organic as possible, I have become very skeptical of the state of organic marketing in NZ, since dealing with the beekeeping firm that describes themselves as organic, charges more for their product, has an online fan club, yet uses more chemicals on their bees than I use on mine. If they can do this for years with no repercussions, I am sure they must not be the only ones,  it must happen in other industries also. Seeing these guys products for sale in shops at a huge price mark up over other honeys of probably superior quality, has made me extremely suspicious of other non honey products I see being marketed as organic. I know it's as easy as pie to lie about it, this has been demobnstrated. Seems to me that anyone with morals low enough, can double the price of their product just by saying it's organic, when it isn't, with no consequence whatsoever. 

 

So, yeah. To some extent it is a marketing ploy. But to some extent there are no doubt genuine products out there also. Please understand the balance in what I said.

Edited by Alastair
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@kaihoka We dont have the the lemon orchard any longer unfortunately, work and family took us to Wellington and we came here in 2014.  We are on the river flats were the Aropaoanui road crosses the Aropaoanui River.  I have to say it was much nicer four years ago before the impacts of logging but it is an isolated valley for the bees and my neighbours 4,000 acres provide some good opportunities and challenges.    The lemons were up in Gisborne, great silt loam with huge amount of all the essential elements, I couldn't quite get why conventional growers were pouring on the Ca, Mg and K when it was in abundance and I did learn a lot by doing a couple of papers at Massey and working with other organic growers on how to free up the elements in the soil.   I did some very rudimentary research over a three year period that indicated through leaf analysis that the organics were working to free up the Ca and Mg but it was very rough.   The other thing I found it was significantly cheaper to purchase fish emulsions from Port Chalmers and Seaweed from Tauranga than all the inorganic chemicals being poured on the orchards and crops around me, as well as a reason to leave home when we sprayed the fish emulsion, my partner and neighbours were not as keen.

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And the beekeepers I refer to, just checked their facebook page and found this. See why I'm skeptical of organic produce for sale in NZ?

 

 

Capture.JPG

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2 hours ago, Alastair said:

And the beekeepers I refer to, just checked their facebook page and found this. See why I'm skeptical of organic produce for sale in NZ?

 

I have just checked through their facebook page, and discovered they had an AssureQuality Audit done in the middle of 2017. I have contacted them asking about the audit, and why they are not displaying the AssureQuality Organic Certification Logo. Their location suggests a perfect location for organic honey. Their operation does look more legitimate than others I have seen, and I have asked them a few questions...

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7 hours ago, yesbut said:

 A blind taste test  of eg carrot or sweet corn will easily differentiate between your average supermarket product and  ones straight out of the ground somewhere, but would such a trial distinguish 

"organic" from "non organic " ? 

 

It’s little more than anecdata, but I make a lot of soughdough. If I make it with generic store brand flour it works ok. If I make another batch alongside with organic wheat, it works far better. Same environment, rise time etc. I’ve tried it a few times with the same result. I have assumed that it’s because there are more yeasts in with the grain helping it along - unsure what else it could be.

 

 

A20B6D13-4B89-44C9-A753-E58CD381D8E4.jpeg

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1 hour ago, cBank said:

 

It’s little more than anecdata, but I make a lot of soughdough. If I make it with generic store brand flour it works ok. If I make another batch alongside with organic wheat, it works far better. Same environment, rise time etc. I’ve tried it a few times with the same result. I have assumed that it’s because there are more yeasts in with the grain helping it along - unsure what else it could be.

 

 

A20B6D13-4B89-44C9-A753-E58CD381D8E4.jpeg

Is that food ? 

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3 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

Is that food ? 

 

No bread for you!

C9DB0EA6-C1A9-405A-B807-7733EB276286.jpeg

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Just now, cBank said:

 

No bread for you!

C9DB0EA6-C1A9-405A-B807-7733EB276286.jpeg

Looks at lot more yummy from this angle :6_smile:

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The problem with organics, from my view , is that a naturally occurring chemical , like oxalic acid, has to be extracted and concentrated for use . 

Which I don’t see as too much different from mixing two naturally occurring chemicals , like phosphate rock and sulphuric acid , to make super phosphate fertiliser , which is not organic , but is still a product from earth 

 

Its all seems a bit grey 

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5 minutes ago, M4tt said:

The problem with organics, from my view , is that a naturally occurring chemical , like oxalic acid, has to be extracted and concentrated for use . 

Which I don’t see as too much different from mixing two naturally occurring chemicals , like phosphate rock and sulphuric acid , to make super phosphate fertiliser , which is not organic , but is still a product from earth 

 

Its all seems a bit grey 

Would this mean icing sugar was in the same category seeing as its been created by humans? 

Im trying to think of a miticide that is FULLY un adulterated by humans.. 

heating the hive would be one.. 

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10 hours ago, BlakeyJ said:

Assurequality is the same company that registers beehives and apiaries. They also have the second best organic certification scheme in NZ. BioGrow is number 1.

I don't think it is possible to do organic honey on a commercial scale, because of the synthetics all over the place. It is usually small scale beekeepers that provide organic honey to their local markets, and sometimes into specialty shops. Their hives are usually well away from farming, and things like 1080 drops. I would challenge large companies, even the likes of Comvita, producing organic honey. They would have to have bloody good audit trails, extracting and bottling processes to keep organic and conventional honeys separate.

Organic certification concentrates on eliminating the use of synthetic chemicals, and finding more natural ways of dealing with diseases and pests. Once that is achieved, and can be maintained, then certification is granted, and you can use the certification mark on packaging. If a product uses the word 'organic' on the label, but there is no cert mark, then it is not organically produced.

The previous comment about organic production being just marketing spin is not true at all (that is a common excuse for people who have no issue dowsing food crops with chemicals, and using chemicals around crops.) Yes, there are organic compounds in chemistry, and organic food production. Everyone knows the difference, and both are 100% valid.

With regard to 1080, is it measurable in Honey?

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25 minutes ago, Stoney said:

Im trying to think of a miticide that is FULLY un adulterated by humans..

Induced Brood Break ?

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15 minutes ago, Philbee said:

Induced Brood Break ?

You may struggle building the population up for the main flow with this treatment though, is there any truly organic treatment? 

Im sure you have tried some out there stuff in your quest, and it's great following the  experiments along. 

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21 minutes ago, Philbee said:

With regard to 1080, is it measurable in Honey?

Wouldn't the bees need to actually eat or at least walk on it to get it into the hive? 

I know it kills insects and the birds that eat them just not sure why bees would find green cereal pellets attractive.. 

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3 hours ago, BlakeyJ said:

 Their location suggests a perfect location for organic honey. Their operation does look more legitimate than others I have seen, and I have asked them a few questions...

 

What were the questions?

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1 hour ago, Stoney said:

Wouldn't the bees need to actually eat or at least walk on it to get it into the hive? 

I know it kills insects and the birds that eat them just not sure why bees would find green cereal pellets attractive.. 

Yes I agree
For the record Im not against 1080 because I know that without it we would have no export Meat or Dairy and have no bush, in other words a bankrupt desert
 

Edited by Philbee
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22 hours ago, yesbut said:

 A blind taste test  of eg carrot or sweet corn will easily differentiate between your average supermarket product and  ones straight out of the ground somewhere, but would such a trial distinguish 

"organic" from "non organic " ? 

Organics and food is not, or should not, be only about taste... The primary reason we eat, is for nourishment, and I do not believe a monoculture crop, fertalised with NPK etc, is at all properly nutritious.

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13 hours ago, M4tt said:

The problem with organics, from my view , is that a naturally occurring chemical , like oxalic acid, has to be extracted and concentrated for use . 

Which I don’t see as too much different from mixing two naturally occurring chemicals , like phosphate rock and sulphuric acid , to make super phosphate fertiliser , which is not organic , but is still a product from earth 

 

Its all seems a bit grey 

It is more to do with what happens in the soil, which is of primary importance in growing food. Super phosphate kills off the majority of the worms and bacteria that are required to process the rocks into something the plants can use. To properly grow nutritious crops, the soil needs to be full of worms and bacteria. That happens when you add compost and decomposing organic matter.
As for the extraction of oxalic acid, the process involves crushing the base product (wood or leaves), soaking for a few days, adding a catalyst like precipitated chalk to bond the oxalic acid to, which then becomes the white powder, which may be further refined... As long as that is the process used, then the OA would be OK for use in organic honey. I am not aware of any other chemical or synthetic manufacturing process, but I could be wrong.

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12 hours ago, Alastair said:

 

What were the questions?

I told them I worked in an health food shop. I asked them about the logo they use on their labels, which says "100% organic, naturally produced" and why they use that and not the AQ organic logo.
I asked what assurance I would have about the organic status of the honey if I was to stock it in my shop. Just saying its organic is not sufficient.

I asked them about the area they are in, and the closeness of chemical agriculture, and how often 1080 is used in their area.

I asked if all their products used only the honey they produced themselves, or did they buy in other honey, and what its certification was.

I asked about their logo that says "Certified Natural Beekeeper".

I asked them what mite treatments they use, and what their Registration number was.

 

As soon as I hear back, I will pass on what they say.

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42 minutes ago, BlakeyJ said:

Super phosphate kills off the majority of the worms and bacteria 

You are more than welcome to bring a spade out to my place and dig a few test holes . You may well be surprised ?to the contrary 

Edited by M4tt
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1 hour ago, BlakeyJ said:

As soon as I hear back, I will pass on what they say.

 

Will be interested in the reply Blakey.

 

They will probably focus on answering the question about their location, which is a good location and not close to any majorly chemical agriculture. The rest of the answers will probably be fudged, or not answered at all. But anyhow, let's know.

 

 

Edited by Alastair

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3 hours ago, M4tt said:

You are more than welcome to bring a spade out to my place and dig a few test holes . You may well be surprised ?to the contrary 

I think it depends on the nature of the soil how it is affected by super phosphate.

A marginal clay soil can compacted, acidified and biologically killed by super.

Some soils are naturally more forgiving 

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50 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

I think it depends on the nature of the soil how it is affected by super phosphate.

A marginal clay soil can compacted, acidified and biologically killed by super.

Some soils are naturally more forgiving 

Chemicals, synthetics and organic applications of many things are destructive and counterproductive at the wrong application rates . 

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9 hours ago, BlakeyJ said:

I asked about their logo that says "Certified Natural Beekeeper".

 

The logo can be purchased by anyone, as a sticker, magnet, t shirt, or similar, at a site called cafepress.com. Or, just copied straight off the net. The way the image is used on these guys site would be an attempt to fool people into thinking they have some kind of certification.

 

 

Capture.JPG

Edited by Alastair

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