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Jake Schultz

What is your greatest struggle in NZ beekeeping?

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Hi All,

 

This is a wide and open ended question but would be valuable information to know to help the community grow in the best way.

While we knew there are issues of overcrowding, the manuka bubble, and issues of consistent year round food sources, and disease control...

 

Within beekeeping in New Zealand, what are one or two things you personally struggling with the most in beekeeping?

 

Examples:

- Could it be better training needed?

- Accessible information?

- Better resource sharing?

- More educational videos for a specific topic?

- Not enough research done on a specific topic?

- Not enough focus on plants?

- Open and fair dialogues on various beekeeping practices?

- Specific diseases and pest?

- Government or ApiNZ specific issues?

- Certain beekeeping practices for specific hives?

- Specific issues with neighbours with hives?

It could be anything...

 

This question is not to raise issues you may have about the industry, to bring up feuds between commercial vs hobby, or an attack on onto different styles or practices. But, what is holding you back? What do you see as the most difficult thing you are struggle with?

Edited by Jake Schultz

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Care to give away a little more than "Bee Researcher" Jake ?

 

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I’m the apiculture lecturer at UCOL in Palmerston North 

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Wind 

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Varroa, viruses, GWA, wasps, overcrowding.......

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Lack of support at a Commercial level

For example a Dairy, Dry stock,Deer, Goat or Poultry farmer has a huge array of professional help just a phone call away.

What does the Beekeeper have?  Very little, next to nothing.

BTW, In my view the only people qualified to be apiculture lecturers are commercial Beekeepers.

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Maybe our Jake has cracked a few thousand lids During some hard slog commercial years... how will we know if you scare him off showing your sharp teeth like that.. 

welcome Jake. 

 

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31 minutes ago, Stoney said:

Maybe our Jake has cracked a few thousand lids During some hard slog commercial years... how will we know if you scare him off showing your sharp teeth like that.. 

welcome Jake. 

 

Yep.  Welcome along @Jake Schultz.  See you at club tomorrow night.

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As a hobbyist, not being legally allowed to sell small quantities of honey unless you have jumped through many many hoops, some of which may be  invisible and some which change depending where you live. How I would love to have a simple standard checklist for home producers extracting and selling honey at the farm gate.

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1 hour ago, Philbee said:

BTW, In my view the only people qualified to be apiculture lecturers are commercial Beekeepers.

There are some people that are good at their job and you would not let them lose on a class nor would you let the class lose on them?.

 

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15 minutes ago, dansar said:

There are some people that are good at their job and you would not let them lose on a class nor would you let the class lose on them?.

 

Of course, however its not until you are confronted with some of the challenges that a Commercial faces that you realize how superficial the beekeeping books are.

Put a Commercial in a classroom and there will be almost no questions he couldn't answer.
Put a non commercial teacher in the field and they will likely fail completely

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I'll second Janice. There is a major problem for people with a 1/2 dozen or less hives who suddenly find themselves with 2 or 3 hundred kilos of honey that they cannot legally dispose of. 

 

In the USA hobby beekeepers can just sell their honey as they please, no legal requirements at all. Nobody died.

 

Here we have tutin so that should be tested for, but that should be it, for a small hobbyist.

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Way I see it it's a food.. I can't butcher and sell the wild critters I hunt.. and I can't sell honey I spin at home, if you have too much honey and can't figure out what to do with the loot why not down size. 

One or Two well managed hives surely is better than 6 in that case. 

 

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1 minute ago, Stoney said:

Way I see it it's a food.. I can't butcher and sell the wild critters I hunt.. and I can't sell honey I spin at home, if you have too much honey and can't figure out what to do with the loot why not down size. 

One or Two well managed hives surely is better than 6 in that case. 

 

You can sell produce at the side of the road though. And honey is probably closer to produce as apart from tutin there isn't much risk like those associated with meat ie processing/cold chain/1080/tb. They don't really compare

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in fact, in support of what @Janice and @Alastair have said, the way hobbiests cant sell honey is likely detrimental to commercials efforts to market a valuable commodity in that our only choice is to give the honey away- a seemingly valueless commodity.

4 minutes ago, Stoney said:

One or Two well managed hives surely is better than 6 in that case. 

Maybe that's my challenge- how to learn all there is about beekeeping with just 2 hives!

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Agree Stoney, but only in part. It's a food, yes.

 

But there are many reasons why someone may keep a hive or two. Most of those people will periodically find themselves with more honey than they can consume, but are not willing to spend thousands on complying with the laws about selling or giving it.

 

So where does this honey go? Clearly it is going somewhere.

 

The current law is just tempting people to be criminals. My own humble opinion is that if the law was changed so that someone with under some amount, could sell it with no requirement other than tutin testing, there would be no public risk.

 

It's been done that way in the USA and there have been no issues.

Edited by Alastair
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4 minutes ago, Rhsgc said:

You can sell produce at the side of the road though. And honey is probably closer to produce as apart from tutin there isn't much risk like those associated with meat ie processing/cold chain/1080/tb. They don't really compare

Ok.. if you sell a bag of apples at the gate it's not hard to see they're apples... 

if you sell a pot of home spun honey at the gate what assurance do I have that;

a, it wasn't scooped up off the floor after you let the bucket overflow, 

b, it's not had a mouse licking the bucket you filled the jar from, 

c, it's actually honey from a beehive. 

 

These are comparable reasons to why you can't sell home kill or wild game from home ( without a license) 

its a food and needs assurance. 

 

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A and B, no assurance. Wether sold by a hobbyist, or a commercial. C, rather unlikely in this country, from either of them.

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46 minutes ago, Philbee said:

Of course, however its not until you are confronted with some of the challenges that a Commercial faces that you realize how superficial the beekeeping books are.

Put a Commercial in a classroom and there will be almost no questions he couldn't answer.
Put a non commercial teacher in the field and they will likely fail completely

Just cause you know everything doesn't mean you are any good at teaching it to anyone else.

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5 minutes ago, Stoney said:

Ok.. if you sell a bag of apples at the gate it's not hard to see they're apples... 

if you sell a pot of home spun honey at the gate what assurance do I have that;

a, it wasn't scooped up off the floor after you let the bucket overflow, 

b, it's not had a mouse licking the bucket you filled the jar from, 

but you cant see if the apples in the bag were washed in water that the dogs had been swimming in. Food safety assurance is getting ridiculous- a butt covering exercise by people terrified of being held responsible.

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9 minutes ago, Alastair said:

Agree Stoney, but only in part. It's a food, yes.

 

But there are many reasons why someone may keep a hive or two. Most of those people will periodically find themselves with more honey than they can consume, but are not willing to spend thousands on complying with the laws about selling or giving it.

 

So where does this honey go? Clearly it is going somewhere.

 

The current law is just tempting people to be criminals. My own humble opinion is that if the law was changed so that someone with under some amount, could sell it with no requirement other than tutin testing, there would be no public risk.

 

It's been done that way in the USA and there have been no issues.

That would be awesome.. as commercial honey producers producing hundreds and thousands of drums we could dodge the costs associated with compliance and sell as hobbyists in smaller quantities... we could just forget to register a few thousand hives. 

Dont get me wrong, I've scratched my head with 6 hives worth of loot before.. it became clear pretty quick I needed to go bigger or cut down to what I could handle. 

Selling home honey with no assurances of what's in the jar and where it's from affects the honey industry as a whole in my opinion. 

But that's just my opinion. 

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My life experience is that skilled beekeepers, if they want to, usually do OK at passing on the knowledge.

 

Computer and IT people, well they can be lousy at sharing their skills.

Edited by Alastair
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10 minutes ago, Stoney said:

Ok.. if you sell a bag of apples at the gate it's not hard to see they're apples... 

if you sell a pot of home spun honey at the gate what assurance do I have that;

a, it wasn't scooped up off the floor after you let the bucket overflow, 

b, it's not had a mouse licking the bucket you filled the jar from, 

c, it's actually honey from a beehive. 

 

These are comparable reasons to why you can't sell home kill or wild game from home ( without a license) 

its a food and needs assurance. 

 

Sure, but nowhere near as many as the hoops you have to jump through currently

Edited to add - you could have potentially the same problems with jam or baking but as far as I know bake sales aren't subject to licensing rules

Edited by Rhsgc

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3 minutes ago, Stoney said:

Selling home honey with no assurances of what's in the jar an

like we know if its manuka  or monofloral or bush or a blend using suntan lotion..under the current setup?

Edited by Mummzie
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2 minutes ago, Stoney said:

That would be awesome.. as commercial honey producers producing hundreds and thousands of drums we could dodge the costs associated with compliance and sell as hobbyists in smaller quantities... we could just forget to register a few thousand hives. 

Dont get me wrong, I've scratched my head with 6 hives worth of loot before.. it became clear pretty quick I needed to go bigger or cut down to what I could handle. 

Selling home honey with no assurances of what's in the jar and where it's from affects the honey industry as a whole in my opinion. 

But that's just my opinion. 

There has to be some trust and in good faith in All systems otherwise society would collapse under its own weight of rules and regulations.

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