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Jake Schultz

What is your greatest struggle in NZ beekeeping?

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1 minute ago, Mummzie said:

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.

No you can't but you can wash them yourself. 

I agree regulations can and are rediculous.. however.. to pay my mortgage with income solely earns from bees I must comply.. 

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4 minutes ago, Alastair said:

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.

I think autistic people find it really difficult sharing things.

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21 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

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

I agree, it doesn't make you a teacher but you would have a better chance of teaching than the the teacher who doesn't know everything.
Its not in the books.

I maintain its a Degree course with few  resources, an Apprenticeship maybe.
That's an interesting point, how can some  Beeks learn from a short course while others need to spend 8-9000 hrs in the field?
 

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15 minutes ago, Philbee said:

I agree, it doesn't make you a teacher but you would have a better chance of teaching than the the teacher who doesn't know everything.
Its not in the books.

I maintain its a Degree course with few  resources, an Apprenticeship maybe.
That's an interesting point, how can some  Beeks learn from a short course while others need to spend 8-9000 hrs in the field?
 

I do agree that on the job training and the traditional apprentice scheme is much more fit for purpose than the current academically biased model.

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Agree with that. I've had people come to buy their hive, they told me on the phone they have done their bee course and are ready to go.

 

They arrive and i open the hive to show them the condition. Confronted with real bees, they are confused and clearly have no idea how, or what, to do with their hive. Their classroom education did not cut the mustard, hands on would have been better.

Edited by Alastair
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Varroa, idiots, mud, wind, overcrowding, overcrowding & overcrowding...........

 

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Varroa is believe the biggest threat to New Zealand beekeeping in the medium\longer term but for me right now the biggest stress factor bar none is overstocking. I can deal no problem with droughts, floods, wind, spring weather, low honey prices, AFB et cetera but I can't see an answer to how you can keep bees profitably when other beekeepers won't keep away from existing beehives. In the past you made up for bad years with good years and sometimes even really good years but with overstocking even the best years are now mediocre and poor years are just disasters. 

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11 hours 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. 

As a hobbyist with 4 hives, I end up giving my excess honey to friends and family. Surely that is undermining the commercial sector! On the other hand, I am introducing people to the taste of honey fresh from the hive and making them keen to buy from farmers markets or specialist honey shops. It would be nice to be able to recoup some of the costs of producing by being able to sell some. 

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12 hours ago, Philbee said:

I agree, it doesn't make you a teacher but you would have a better chance of teaching than the the teacher who doesn't know everything.
Its not in the books.

I maintain its a Degree course with few  resources, an Apprenticeship maybe.
That's an interesting point, how can some  Beeks learn from a short course while others need to spend 8-9000 hrs in the field?
 

 

12 hours ago, kaihoka said:

I do agree that on the job training and the traditional apprentice scheme is much more fit for purpose than the current academically biased model.

 

11 hours ago, Alastair said:

Agree with that. I've had people come to buy their hive, they told me on the phone they have done their bee course and are ready to go.

 

They arrive and i open the hive to show them the condition. Confronted with real bees, they are confused and clearly have no idea how, or what, to do with their hive. Their classroom education did not cut the mustard, hands on would have been better.

 

Firstly, thank you all for your comments thus far about the struggles you currently face in beekeeping. With that, I'd like to remind you that the validity of apiculture lecturers doing their job, their qualifications, or experience is not the topic of the discussion and question raised. If you feel that is important to you then please create a separate discussion page in the forums to express your thoughts and feeling on apiculture lecturers across the country. But please evaluate your answers to actually reflect on the question raised in the first place.

 

Which is What are one or two things you personally struggle with the most in beekeeping within New Zealand?

Edited by Jake Schultz
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10 minutes ago, Jake Schultz said:

But please evaluate your answers to actually reflect on the question raised in the first place.

Good luck with this !

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Overcrowding, and the prevalence of 'too big too fast' syndrome with all its symptoms.

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What i'm finding the most by talking to beekeepers in person, the overall course of how the industry has been over the years, and discussions online comes down to 4 main problems.

1. Overcrowding

2. Lack of food sources

3. Varroa management and treatment

4. The general public in New Zealand just has no ideas what is going on here. So, they base all that they know or do off of American or European news reports and documentaries. Which only exasperates the issues here because they believe that what they are doing is helping.

 

It's interesting to here the theme of the food laws because, yea, your right. It does limit individuals on what they can or can't do and new hobby beekeepers don't know this going into it.

Do you all not find other issues related to the overcrowding or lack of food sources? What would you like to see happen with it that could help resolve it?

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14 minutes ago, Jake Schultz said:

What i'm finding the most by talking to beekeepers in person, the overall course of how the industry has been over the years, and discussions online comes down to 4 main problems.

1. Overcrowding

2. Lack of food sources

3. Varroa management and treatment

4. The general public in New Zealand just has no ideas what is going on here. So, they base all that they know or do off of American or European news reports and documentaries. Which only exasperates the issues here because they believe that what they are doing is helping.

 

It's interesting to here the theme of the food laws because, yea, your right. It does limit individuals on what they can or can't do and new hobby beekeepers don't know this going into it.

Do you all not find other issues related to the overcrowding or lack of food sources? What would you like to see happen with it that could help resolve it?

Lack of food and overcrowding are the same issue.  A finite resource can only support a given number of hives.  Robbing, disease, Varroa, resistance are all a result of overcrowding and lack of co-operation between beekeepers. 

 

Hard to see a way around it other than the heat going out of the manuka market (which may already be happening??) and a number of operators withdrawing from the industry - followed no doubt by a massive disease outbreak which will further reduce hive numbers.

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Hi Jake,

thanks for starting this thread,

We are up in the far north and this year the wasps have been the worst in the five years we have been involved.

I think for us too is getting as far away from other hives as possible as over crowding is becoming an issue, where it wasn't 

as much before, there are only so many plants and flowers and pollen available in winter off our bush.

Having opportunities to talk with experienced bee keepers is so valuable to us, we are lucky to have amazing supportive friends in

an awesome community, that are prepared to share their hard learned advise. But if you were to go looking for that same info i agree with 

Philbee as it is not the same as other industries!!

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3 hours ago, john berry said:

Varroa is believe the biggest threat to New Zealand beekeeping in the medium\longer term but for me right now the biggest stress factor bar none is overstocking. I can deal no problem with droughts, floods, wind, spring weather, low honey prices, AFB et cetera but I can't see an answer to how you can keep bees profitably when other beekeepers won't keep away from existing beehives. In the past you made up for bad years with good years and sometimes even really good years but with overstocking even the best years are now mediocre and poor years are just disasters. 

Do you think the over crowding is compounded by change in land practices.

When I read about what volume of honey  bee keepers expected from their hives in the distant past today's amounts seem pitiful.

Was there more flowering scrub , more clover, more buttercup,  as well as less bees . 

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3 hours ago, Jake Schultz said:

 

 

 

Firstly, thank you all for your comments thus far about the struggles you currently face in beekeeping. With that, I'd like to remind you that the validity of apiculture lecturers doing their job, their qualifications, or experience is not the topic of the discussion and question raised. If you feel that is important to you then please create a separate discussion page in the forums to express your thoughts and feeling on apiculture lecturers across the country. But please evaluate your answers to actually reflect on the question raised in the first place.

 

Which is What are one or two things you personally struggle with the most in beekeeping within New Zealand?

Spoken like a true teacher, not a mentor, which is what you should be to the people who are paying you money to be taught.

With out knowing your beekeeping background it is hard to offer you advice or answers to your questions. All the answers that people give you have no meaning or depth that you can pass on to your students without some knowledge. If you just go and regurgitate the answers to your questions back to your students without the knowledge and experience then they have not learned anything. If you were to tell me that you took this job because you like to teach and are interested in beekeeping then the answers to your questions may/will have a different tone and extra explanation to them to help you add to your students learning and knowledge, as well as you own.

So don't get prissy when asked for your experience,as its a valid question, not to diminish you but find a staring point for this discussion.

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53 minutes ago, Dennis Crowley said:

Spoken like a true teacher, not a mentor, which is what you should be to the people who are paying you money to be taught.

With out knowing your beekeeping background it is hard to offer you advice or answers to your questions. All the answers that people give you have no meaning or depth that you can pass on to your students without some knowledge. If you just go and regurgitate the answers to your questions back to your students without the knowledge and experience then they have not learned anything. If you were to tell me that you took this job because you like to teach and are interested in beekeeping then the answers to your questions may/will have a different tone and extra explanation to them to help you add to your students learning and knowledge, as well as you own.

So don't get prissy when asked for your experience,as its a valid question, not to diminish you but find a staring point for this discussion.

 

Thanks Dennis,

 

I brought up this question not as a lecturer to get information to incorporate into the class. Me as a lecturer was only brought up because someone asked me. But to go through and attack any sort credentials doesn't lead into any meaningful or helpful discussions. It shuts people down. If I were to gather information into the course, I would have mentioned that and given more background into that subject and why.

But, I raise this question because I am curious to see what the responses are for the individuals in these forums based on all of your experiences. There are lots of discussions I have had in the beekeeping clubs and discussions with commercial beekeepers but I wanted to see if there were anything else specifically that each individual notices. And with that, then we can bring up the root problems or causes to find out new, alternative, for progressive changes to solve the issues.

I was not looking to attack anyone nor did I raise the validity of anyone else's experience, role, or job in these forums. It's out of respect because you all have value as beekeepers to give and people are here to learn and open to hear your thoughts. 

Edited by Jake Schultz
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On 23/05/2018 at 3:13 PM, Jake Schultz said:

Hi All,

 

This is a wide and open ended question

 

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?

 

It could be anything...

 

But, what is holding you back? What do you see as the most difficult thing you are struggle with?

@Jake Schultz You asked the question. In the replies there wasn’t anything directed at you personally until you suggested there was, and that’s where it started getting prickly.

 You, all of us on the forum need to double check our content before posting it. If you are OK with your content be prepared for someone to critique it. 

 

Edited by dansar
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I wonder if a public forum is the best way to get the information you are seeking. As you can see the topic can be easily derailed. There are many comments I could make, but are only my perspective on being a beekeeper, and I view my involvement very differently from those making a living from bees. So are your questions to better educate the 'professional' beekeep? ....because my opinion doesn't count if that's the end use. You may well get more answers if the contributor felt safe from others commenting on their opinion, especially if it was against the general tone of contributions.

A suggestion would be to formulate a set of questions that could be perhaps downloaded by those forum members who wished to participate, and returned to you without the individual content being made public. It would be nice if you then presented the summary of the information- some of which may surprise.

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In my view the biggest issue the industry faces right now is maintaining dollar value of non manuka honey at close to current levels.

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7 hours ago, Jake Schultz said:

What i'm finding the most by talking to beekeepers in person, the overall course of how the industry has been over the years, and discussions online comes down to 4 main problems.

1. Overcrowding

2. Lack of food sources

3. Varroa management and treatment

4. The general public in New Zealand just has no ideas what is going on here. So, they base all that they know or do off of American or European news reports and documentaries. Which only exasperates the issues here because they believe that what they are doing is helping.

i agree with that.

 

7 hours ago, Sailabee said:

and the prevalence of 'too big too fast' syndrome with all its symptoms.

i suspect that this can be a bigger issue.

a manager from a big commercial company mentioned they had no beekeeper with more than 6 years experience. so all their beeks are effectively rookies.

 

you can train staff easy enough, but getting real world experience is a different thing altogether.

there is a huge amount of beekeepers out there that simply have not had to deal with a lot of the issues that beeks face.

companies and hobbyists are simply expanding faster than they can get experience beeks to run the hives. i suspect many crowds have helpers do the work under supervision which makes for poor beekeeping..

 

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11 minutes ago, Alastair said:

In my view the biggest issue the industry faces right now is maintaining dollar value of non manuka honey at close to current levels.

If the honey price in NZ drops to the international level won't that solve all the problems caused by over stocking .

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1 minute ago, kaihoka said:

If the honey price in NZ drops to the international level won't that solve all the problems caused by over stocking .

Short answer - yes.  Problem is what happens to all the hives??  Abandoned??  

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9 minutes ago, Ted said:

Short answer - yes.  Problem is what happens to all the hives??  Abandoned??  

There will be 3 or 4 messy years I guess 

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There would still be overcrowding in the manuka areas.

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