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yesbut

Nosey parker question for the commercials....

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What's the coming spring philosophy, full steam ahead and damn the torpedoes,  steady as she goes,, or are you staying in harbour ?

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Damned if ya do, Damned if ya don"t!!

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Put it this way. I am close to retirement and beekeeping is about the only thing i know.

 

So, i'm in the process of selling around 1/2 my hives and will be working the remainder to the max.

 

Luckily honey is a product that can be safely stored for years. If it doesn't sell immediately i can slowly flog it as a retirement income.

 

I have just had a label designed and will be starting to direct market, although everybody else is doing the same thing so it will be tough. However I'm from the days when beekeeping was a tough profession, and my operation runs on a shoestring. 

 

Re what other people are doing, no idea but some will probably still do well. It is obvious from some TradeMe advertisements that there are some sad stories out there and some people going to lose a lot of money. 

 

The industry probably needs to downsize and pay off debt if there is any.

 

My 2 cents.

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Am stimulating hives getting them ready for the early manuka, all else business as usual.

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Driving around chatting to our farmers and doling out honey & soap and nice things for everyone from the winter hobby. Lucky enough to be small & used to running on the shoe string.

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Same for us , no option but to carry on.

we also have low overheads and honey can be stored.

 

will be leaving all the late honey on no point in harvesting $4-5kg honey .

 

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Posted (edited)

Longer term we can learn from the dairy industry.

 

They had their crisis, started when world milk prices crashed 40% in a day. Then got worse from there. Guys who a year previous had been building flash new houses and investing in machinery, were now at their wits end. There was depression, and even suicide.

 

Cost to produce milk for the average farm was something around $5, but they were being offered $4 and change, but the cows had to be milked anyway. It was estimated that there was almost zero dairy farms in NZ that were not losing money.

 

Taken a few years, but for those who survived, the worldwide "milk mountain" has slowly been used, and prices are creeping up. Not up to the top of the previous boom, but the average dairy farmer is now feeling pretty comfy.

 

Hoping this will be the case for beekeeping also, but there are a few differences. First being that NZ dairy farming is some of the most efficient dairy farming in the world, we can go head to head with anyone on price. But beekeeping we are not especially efficient honey producers compared with some other countries. However people will sharpen their pencils, and newcomers will learn more or leave. No reason why things cannot go back to how they were.

Edited by Alastair
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I do not see how NZ bee keepers could ever compete internationally because of sheer economy of scale of production that is available overseas.

I talked to a commercial beek the other day who had been at conference .

He said beeks he was talking too had  talked about dropping their most out of way sites .

Trying to reduce travel , which was one of bee keeping biggest cost .

I wonder how long the migrants will keep coming out here.

As hive numbers decrease and sites become available closer to home there would be no incentive to come this far .

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Agreed. A lot of inefficiency has come into the industry in terms of travel, because high prices have made it viable to clock up a lot of miles to get a few extra kg's. I think a lot of overseas beekeepers would laugh if they saw how we work.

 

Some landowners are in for a rude surprise also. Recently a 300 hectare manuka block was offered for a 10 year period for a beekeeper to put hives on for an all up 1.6 million dollars. IE, 160,000 per annum, but you are locked in for 10 years.

 

Think i can guess what probably happened to the last beekeeper.

.

I've also asked USA and Canadian beekeepers what their site rents are. Invariably it's a few jars of honey, i have yet to find one who pays in $$.

 

Best i can tell, NZ is the only country in the world where money changes hands for putting bees on a property.

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I'm seriously considering dropping 10 sites and getting my AP2 but first need to find them a new home because how do you pay 50-75 a hive for kanuka Bush sites?? You work them unpaid that's how, atleast I'll get paid doing inspecting. 

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Just don't pay. Too much pressure in the North guys cutting each others throat.

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54 minutes ago, Alastair said:

Just don't pay. Too much pressure in the North guys cutting each others throat.

I'll tell the landowner's first, I'm guessing I'll lose most of them as I was already getting moaned at with what I was paying

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6 minutes ago, Maru Hoani said:

I'll tell the landowner's first, I'm guessing I'll lose most of them as I was already getting moaned at with what I was paying

I'm a bit surprised that more hasn't been made out of landowners' greatly increased H & S liability when charging for access.

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45 minutes ago, yesbut said:

I'm a bit surprised that more hasn't been made out of landowners' greatly increased H & S liability when charging for access.

Tell me about it, public liability insurance, sign in/out books, notice a week in advance before entry, reporting lab results,hive numbers, box numbers, site honey, site and track maintenance etc.

I can see why soo many have gone under 

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1 hour ago, yesbut said:

I'm a bit surprised that more hasn't been made out of landowners' greatly increased H & S liability when charging for access.

 

I have a standard agreement I give to all land owners.  In the agreement there is a clause to the effect that the landowner has pointed out all hazards on the property, they have no H&S liability, the liability is with me.

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I wouldn't like to be the one having to test any agreement. It's not easy contracting out of legislation.

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3 hours ago, Alastair said:

Agreed. A lot of inefficiency has come into the industry in terms of travel, because high prices have made it viable to clock up a lot of miles to get a few extra kg's. I think a lot of overseas beekeepers would laugh if they saw how we work.

 

Some landowners are in for a rude surprise also. Recently a 300 hectare manuka block was offered for a 10 year period for a beekeeper to put hives on for an all up 1.6 million dollars. IE, 160,000 per annum, but you are locked in for 10 years.

 

Think i can guess what probably happened to the last beekeeper.

.

I've also asked USA and Canadian beekeepers what their site rents are. Invariably it's a few jars of honey, i have yet to find one who pays in $$.

 

Best i can tell, NZ is the only country in the world where money changes hands for putting bees on a property.

Depends on the block and quality of the manuka, I'd pay that on the right block

27 minutes ago, CraBee said:

 

I have a standard agreement I give to all land owners.  In the agreement there is a clause to the effect that the landowner has pointed out all hazards on the property, they have no H&S liability, the liability is with me.

thats all good until theres an incident, and then that'll test any documents you think will save you.

 

10 minutes ago, yesbut said:

I wouldn't like to be the one having to test any agreement. It's not easy contracting out of legislation.

Yep, you can't contract out of legislation, but you can try, not me, you.

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A landowner has an obligation under the H&S legislation to point out all hazards on a property to a land user.  In doing so they discharge some of their legislative responsibility eg beekeeper never under any circumstances drive over that bridge it is not safe.  If the land user then drives over the bridge the responsibility and liability is with the land user....it is not to do with contracting out of the legislation rather complying with it.

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I think if you have sites that produce good quality Manuka that passes the test why wouldn’t you carry on... of course testing varies every season, but you have to weigh up the odds just like any other business.. if the numbers don’t stack up then it makes no sense flogging a dead horse. 

 

 

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33 minutes ago, CraBee said:

 

I have a standard agreement I give to all land owners.  In the agreement there is a clause to the effect that the landowner has pointed out all hazards on the property, they have no H&S liability, the liability is with me.

In my view , which , means nothing , what you have done is good. It shows good faith that both parties have had a discussion and are aware of risks. What I like about your agreement is you have admitted that you are entering at your own risk, which is very old school and very good. I also expect people entering my place to at least bear some responsibility for their actions. 

If their ever is an unfortunate incident , then the authorities will recognize there has been paper work done in good faith , which is far better than having done nothing , although as far as I know , a verbal induction is all that needs to be done and a signed bit of paper is one step better.

 

The law is the law though and if their is an incident which needs legal attention , I'm afraid a signed bit of paper will get you out of nothing in bad circumstances .

 

H&S is now familiar to most and Worksafe , although starting with a 'big stick and threat of prosecution ' approach , then adopted a more friendly approach of mass education .

 

I like old school and was raised to bear the consequences of my own actions , which I still quite like .

 

Just be sensible and do your best with respect to H&S.

 

In reality there are stuff all farmers that expect a sign in Everytime . The younger generation that have been brought up with it all are more modern and may do 

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If I or someone working with / for me does something wrong, then we take responsibility for it.  It is a value as much as anything.

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1 hour ago, Dennis Crowley said:

Depends on the block and quality of the manuka, I'd pay that on the right block

 

Agree and disagree Dennis. Agree in so far as if the block can generate you $260,000 per annum, but you pay $160,000, you make a $100,000 profit.

 

In theory.

 

Thing about 300 hectares is that a block that size, most of it or all of it will be within flying range of bees dumped just outside the boundary, and a block that size will certainly attract interest from non incumbents.

 

But the biggest problem with that particular deal is risk. The landowner seeks to tie someone into a 10 year contract. We have seen over the last couple of years how standards, and the market, can change. Who wants to bet 1.6 million on what might change over the next 10 years. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Deleted

Edited by yesbut

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4 hours ago, Maru Hoani said:

I'm seriously considering dropping 10 sites and getting my AP2 but first need to find them a new home because how do you pay 50-75 a hive for kanuka Bush sites?? You work them unpaid that's how, atleast I'll get paid doing inspecting. 

I see "Stuff"on fb had another big report on Honevo and the work they are doing with kanuka honey...those sites could be worth a bit iin the near future bro.

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1 hour ago, M4tt said:

 

In reality there are stuff all farmers that expect a sign in Everytime . The younger generation that have been brought up with it all are more modern and may do  

I have no paper arrangement with the beek on my place .

I said , " dont drive up the steep bit when its too wet .

He said , " ok I wont "

Thats all worked fine so far .

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