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jamesc

The folding note.

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5 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

 

Before Manuka there wasn’t really a “decent living” to made doing only honey.

We worked in other jobs in the off season because bees couldn’t pay their way for the whole year.

I don’t think beekeepers who got into the game after Manuka have any grasp on how little money beekeeping brought in unless you were running a few thousand hives, even then it wasn’t going to make you rich anytime soon.

40yrs ago all the commercial beeks I knew had other incomes .

Gold mining , possum hunting , deer culling , whitebaiting , dope growing , portable timber mills etc.

Anything where they were their own boss or the job was a temporary one .

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1 hour ago, frazzledfozzle said:

 

Before Manuka there wasn’t really a “decent living” to made doing only honey.

We worked in other jobs in the off season because bees couldn’t pay their way for the whole year.

I don’t think beekeepers who got into the game after Manuka have any grasp on how little money beekeeping brought in unless you were running a few thousand hives, even then it wasn’t going to make you rich anytime soon.

why do i always get the feeling that there are many on this forum who think that it would be good or we can only be a true beekeeper if we return back to the days when no one was making any money. Wake up, we can have a good job and make a decent living if we change how we approach it and think globally, as that is where we can earn the bigger paycheck. Those that want slave your butt off for nothing, just dont sell anything.

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It's been a nice change for the last 15 years or so to actually make a reasonable living beekeeping but with ever-increasing hive numbers causing ever decreasing production along with massive drop in honey values there are going to be an awful lot of beekeepers getting a taste of just what the good old days were like. What really amazes me is the number of new beekeepers that were losing money hand over fist before the downturn even happened.

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3 hours ago, Rewi1973 said:

Just been to Pak n Save and saw this...might be hard for the commercial guys to see but hopefully the law of supply and demand will help return the honey market to equilibrium sooner rather than later.  

Went to Pak and save after seeing this post. Plenty of honey for under $7 for 500gm. Including airborne - still an ok profit if you're getting it in drums at $3 a kg...

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7 minutes ago, tommy dave said:

Went to Pak and save after seeing this post. Plenty of honey for under $7 for 500gm. Including airborne - still an ok profit if you're getting it in drums at $3 a kg...

One needs to remember that this is not the new norm

It is the result of a surplus supply that will correct itself 

Its a fact that the cost of producing Honey is higher than $4/kg so as time goes by the will be less and less Honey available at that price.
End result will likely be that there are a lot less Beekeepers working the industry and the wholesale price will rise in accordance with national demand.

Export is another issue 

 

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36 minutes ago, Dennis Crowley said:

why do i always get the feeling that there are many on this forum who think that it would be good or we can only be a true beekeeper if we return back to the days when no one was making any money. Wake up, we can have a good job and make a decent living if we change how we approach it and think globally, as that is where we can earn the bigger paycheck. Those that want slave your butt off for nothing, just dont sell anything.

Can you foresee a good return on honey soon? Even globally... We sold our lot recently - no way sustainable if doing honey only. Even double what we got. 

So what is a sustainable price a kilo for honey? 

And why do we import propolis? This will drive down demand and price. 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Gino de Graaf said:

And why do we import propolis?

Probably because someone can and its cheaper.

 

NZ needs to go Organic.
There are some outfits doing this and I supply them.

These Guys are ahead of the game

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1 hour ago, tommy dave said:

Went to Pak and save after seeing this post. Plenty of honey for under $7 for 500gm. Including airborne - still an ok profit if you're getting it in drums at $3 a kg...

 

I would challenge you to go commercial, and make an "OK living" with your honey on the supermarket shelf at less than $7 for 500 g.

 

Costs that may not be apparent until a person actually tries it, are extracting, bottling, customer liason, distribution, plant, and dealing with the many forms of bureaucrosy we have in NZ. 

 

Also, if someone actually is selling honey at $3 a kg, they must be in a pretty horrendous situation and may well be bankrupt in a year or two.

 

.

58 minutes ago, Philbee said:

One needs to remember that this is not the new norm

It is the result of a surplus supply that will correct itself 

 

How do you believe it will "correct itself"?

 

Right now, people have hundreds of tons sitting in their sheds cos nobody is buying.

 

In very rough figures, the NZ public eat about 10,000 tons of honey annually (around 2.5 kg's per person). Current honey production is between 20,000 and 30,000 tons annually. Which will add to the honey mountain by ten to twenty thousand tons each year.

Edited by Alastair
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To be honest ..... I think low honey prices are the least of our problems. Switch on the TV and see what's happened in the Bahamas, or bush fire in Oz , or political squabbling in Europe, or Mall shootings in the US, or genocide in Burma .....

We don't how lucky we are and for every grumbling beekeeper I am sure there's ten thousand out there over the horizon who would gratefully trade places. 

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2 hours ago, Dennis Crowley said:

why do i always get the feeling that there are many on this forum who think that it would be good or we can only be a true beekeeper if we return back to the days when no one was making any money. Wake up, we can have a good job and make a decent living if we change how we approach it and think globally, as that is where we can earn the bigger paycheck. Those that want slave your butt off for nothing, just dont sell anything.

 

So im not sure why you posted this in reply to me.

nowhere in my post did I say anything about being good or a true beekeeper if we went back to the days of making no money.

Telling me to wake and think globally etc etc has nothing to do with my post.

 

I simply stated that before Manuka there wasn’t a good living to be made doing honey .

My dad made his money in pollination and pollen he didn’t even do honey .

As soon as the last hives came out of the kiwis the hives were taken to dew sites and that’s where they stayed till spring . He didn’t harvest a single drop of honey it was all winter feed.

We made most of our bee income from pollination then when varroa came we sold queens and nucs it was only in the last 6-7 years when the boom went nuts that we made money on honey.

 

Most of the beekeepers who started beekeeping off the back of Manuka prices have no idea of how to make a living on non Manuka honey prices and that’s a simple fact.

Edited by frazzledfozzle
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45 minutes ago, Alastair said:

still an ok profit if you're getting it in drums at $3 a kg...

 

45 minutes ago, Alastair said:

I would challenge you to go commercial, and make an "OK living" with your honey on the supermarket shelf at less than $7 for 500 g.

You cannot make a profit commercially at $3 kg! 

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46 minutes ago, Alastair said:

 

I would challenge you to go commercial, and make an "OK living" with your honey on the supermarket shelf at less than $7 for 500 g.

 

 

Also, if someone actually is selling honey at $3 a kg, they must be in a pretty horrendous situation and may well be bankrupt in a year or two.

I meant a profit for those who bought wholesale at $3 a kg and are onselling. Anyone selling wholesale at that price can't be profiting on it

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50 minutes ago, Alastair said:

 

I would challenge you to go commercial, and make an "OK living" with your honey on the supermarket shelf at less than $7 for 500 g.

 

Costs that may not be apparent until a person actually tries it, are extracting, bottling, customer liason, distribution, plant, and dealing with the many forms of bureaucrosy we have in NZ. 

 

Also, if someone actually is selling honey at $3 a kg, they must be in a pretty horrendous situation and may well be bankrupt in a year or two.

 

.

 

How do you believe it will "correct itself"?

 

Right now, people have hundreds of tons sitting in their sheds cos nobody is buying.

 

In very rough figures, the NZ public eat about 10,000 tons of honey annually (around 2.5 kg's per person). Current honey production is between 20,000 and 30,000 tons annually. Which will add to the honey mountain by ten to twenty thousand tons each year.

National prices can only rise but it will take time.

This is because that backlog of Honey in sheds will slowly dwindle as there are very few Beeks who will continue to produce Honey at a lose.

Eventually when the backlog has been consumed buyers will need more honey and no  one in their right mind is going to volunteer to go out and make some more at a lose so the price will go up.

However, Having said that, its possible that the Manuka guys will try and subsidize the local market with their non manuka varieties, and in doing so take control of the overall market.

I suspect there are some shocks on the horizon for them though

Also, At these low retail prices that mountain will last only half as long as word will soon get around and Honey will be back on the Table

Edited by Philbee
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Two issues with that. The first is that it is based on people not producing at a loss. I agree that loss making businesses will eventually end. Problem being, at what amount over a loss will the survivors continue? I would say a very small margin will keep some businesses going.

 

Reason is, people are locked in. They own the hives and equipment, and those bees will make honey. I myself am an example of that, beekeeping is all i know, I'm too old to start something different, and i already own hives. 

Edited by Alastair

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1 hour ago, Gino de Graaf said:

And why do we import propolis? This will drive down demand and price. 

Simple - because demand for the raw product exceeded local supply.

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36 minutes ago, Alastair said:

Two issues with that. The first is that it is based on people not producing at a loss. I agree that loss making businesses will eventually end. Problem being, at what amount over a loss will the survivors continue? I would say a very small margin will keep some businesses going.

 

Reason is, people are locked in. They own the hives and equipment, and those bees will make honey. I myself am an example of that, beekeeping is all i know, I'm too old to start something different, and i already own hives. 

Im hearing a common problem

We have had 3 poor seasons and Beeks are on the edge right now.

There will be no 4th season for most of them just an abyss of uncharted territory 

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3 hours ago, Dennis Crowley said:

Before Manuka there wasn’t really a “decent living” to made doing only honey.

We worked in other jobs in the off season because bees couldn’t pay their way for the whole year.

I don’t think beekeepers who got into the game after Manuka have any grasp on how little money beekeeping brought in unless you were running a few thousand hives, even then it wasn’t going to make you rich anytime soon.

 

1 hour ago, frazzledfozzle said:

So im not sure why you posted this in reply to me.

nowhere in my post did I say anything about being good or a true beekeeper if we went back to the days of making no money.

Telling me to wake and think globally etc etc has nothing to do with my post.

 

I simply stated that before Manuka there wasn’t a good living to be made doing honey .

Dont worry frazz, it wasn't  aimed at you, it was just in relation to the way beekeeping used to be as you mentioned in your post.

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1 hour ago, Ted said:

Simple - because demand for the raw product exceeded local supply.

Nah, cause it's cheaper than buying it local. 

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Consumers in NZ have got out of the habit of eating honey cause it has been so expensive .

That will take a while to reverse even though the price has come down .

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10 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

Consumers in NZ have got out of the habit of eating honey cause it has been so expensive .

That will take a while to reverse even though the price has come down .

It may not take that long to increase local consumption . Most consumers love honey but just don’t buy it because it’s too expensive . With a big advert sign and price savvy shoppers , they will again enjoy the taste of pure NZ honey , in increasing numbers , I’d pick 

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What does that honey taste like?  Is it a good representation of our best bush honeys to get the consumers back buying?  Has anyone tasted it?   Just asking because I havent

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1 hour ago, Gino de Graaf said:

Nah, cause it's cheaper than buying it local. 

Nope - I know that Comvita simply couldn’t buy enough to satisfy their demand so initially sourced from a company in Sth America and then ended up buying into that company.  They will still buy all the propolis they can in NZ.

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So what's the deal with Arataki informing us that they won't b buying more propolis  until Christmas ..... either they have enough to satisfy demand, or the market is the slack.

The only reason we are continuing with bees is that the market for hives is non existent and I am not prepared to walk away ......so perhaps it is a blessing that we have lotsa deads that we will melt out .  forced redundancy.

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47 minutes ago, jamesc said:

So what's the deal with Arataki informing us that they won't b buying more propolis  until Christmas ..... either they have enough to satisfy demand, or the market is the slack.

The only reason we are continuing with bees is that the market for hives is non existent and I am not prepared to walk away ......so perhaps it is a blessing that we have lotsa deads that we will melt out .  forced redundancy.

 

At the end... we are sooo similar, like You live " around the corner of the street", not at the other side of the world... It started earlier at our place and somehow similar it stroke You..

Yesterday one beek called me, and in talk he mentioned want complete out of beekeeping - no money in beekeeping these days.. He want to sell it all at half price, but no buyers.. Somehow as You I am reluctant to treat bees as something worthless. Will do some " natural" reducing of colony numbers as You mentioned.. 

Propolis price at our place is around 100 nzd/kg, and beeks won't collect or give it for that price..

 

 

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19 hours ago, tommy dave said:

Went to Pak and save after seeing this post. Plenty of honey for under $7 for 500gm. Including airborne - still an ok profit if you're getting it in drums at $3 a kg...

Is it? How much does the retailer want as GM? + Jars, Lids, Seals, Labels, Cartons, Testing, Transport x 2, Labour, Overhead, Compliance,  Marketing and promotional support etc etc

4 hours ago, jamesc said:

So what's the deal with Arataki informing us that they won't b buying more propolis  until Christmas ..... either they have enough to satisfy demand, or the market is the slack.

The only reason we are continuing with bees is that the market for hives is non existent and I am not prepared to walk away ......so perhaps it is a blessing that we have lotsa deads that we will melt out .  forced redundancy.

Happy to talk about opportunities with propolis. drop me an email? 

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