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Alastair

What's happening with site rents?

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Straight up, lots of beekeepers are struggling now. Incomes halved, or worse.

 

Even some former big dollar earners.

 

Couple of years ago beekeeping was viewed as such a fountain of money that huge site rents were being asked, and money was sometimes even changing hands just for somewhere to put your bees in the winter. Some farms were making more money by renting out a small patch for bees on the property, than all other income sources.

 

Obviously now, many beekeepers just can't pay. Which will apply wether or not the landowner believes them. So, I'm wondering where things are going with this. I know the subject is a little taboo, nobody wants the competition to know what they are doing. But, any gossip or anything that could be shared would be interesting.

 

For me, I've never had good manuka sites and I've never paid money. My standard site rent for many years has been a 1/2 kilo jar of honey per hive per year. Most site owners have been happy with that, however i have lost the odd site after the owner heard rumours of massive sums being paid elsewhere. 

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one problem we have seen is beeks ripping farmers off, so farmers are now asking for cash upfront.

 

i think site payments is going to get real messy as the returns to the land owner disappear.

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Just another nail in the honey goldrush coffin. Unless you've got good land or great relationships with landowners....

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And, wasn't it part of a research project being asked for funding for - to look at determine hive stocking rates and potential income streams for landowners off of what a 'farm' could theoretically produce - not just looking at manuka but other honeys (without any seeming understanding that a decent 3km boundary between each "farm" had to be kept to make it viable.... ) Everyone and everything was sucking on the sav.  The golden goose is however (whilst not entirely dead) going to have to transmogrify into a phoenix somehow. 

Edited by Chrisdub
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48 minutes ago, Chrisdub said:

And, wasn't it part of a research project being asked for funding for - to look at determine hive stocking rates and potential income streams for landowners off of what a 'farm' could theoretically produce - not just looking at manuka but other honeys (without any seeming understanding that a decent 3km boundary between each "farm" had to be kept to make it viable.... ) Everyone and everything was sucking on the sav.  The golden goose is however (whilst not entirely dead) going to have to transmogrify into a phoenix somehow. 

Transmogrify - what a great word!!!  I had to google it - you learn something new every day!!!

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4 hours ago, tristan said:

one problem we have seen is beeks ripping farmers off, so farmers are now asking for cash upfront.

 

I'll bet what you refer to is beekeepers promising more than they discovered they could deliver.

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As an outsider, the various working relationships between land owners and beekeepers is fascinating.

 

Such a great study of human nature and supply/demand economics. 

2 hours ago, Ted said:

Transmogrify - what a great word!!!  I had to google it - you learn something new every day!!!

 

Same, I always thought it was a made up word from J.K. Rowling 

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22 minutes ago, Alastair said:

 

I'll bet what you refer to is beekeepers promising more than they discovered they could deliver.

not sure.

from what i'm told they did ok up north but possibly did badly down south, so could have paid the local sites and ripped off the far away sites.

 

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We negotiated with one Manuka  landowner last year who  wanted 20k up front for hives on his farm. $100 each. He was'nt interested in  a percentage of the crop deal .... just "show me the money" 

On our Dew sites we now pay a site rental .... $6.50/hive and 10% of the crop. $1.oo for nucs.

 

We pay the dew site rental ...... it's a toss up really as it does save us a bit of money on sugar ..... but I do wonder sometimes  and had some long discussions with the owners last year. They were'nt too phased and admitted that they would prefer we were'nt there.

 

Most landowners still think Beehives are a licence to print money.

 

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On 21/09/2019 at 7:00 PM, jamesc said:

We negotiated with one Manuka  landowner last year who  wanted 20k up front for hives on his farm. $100 each. He was'nt interested in  a percentage of the crop deal .... just "show me the money" 

On our Dew sites we now pay a site rental .... $6.50/hive and 10% of the crop. $1.oo for nucs.

 

We pay the dew site rental ...... it's a toss up really as it does save us a bit of money on sugar ..... but I do wonder sometimes  and had some long discussions with the owners last year. They were'nt too phased and admitted that they would prefer we were'nt there.

 

Most landowners still think Beehives are a licence to print money.

 

I told one land owner that I couldn't pay 75$ a hive for his kanuka rata site and I would keep them there with honey as payment if he was happy and he wanted them out and I lost another one that I was willing to pay 50$ for the 12 permenant hives because it was a good wintering site for 32 hives.

I think things are going to change big time in the next few years, iv walked away from quite a few sites and still have more to shift out.

 

If they aren't happy with honey and a smile for nothing then its nothing for them.

 

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Yes. At this time they probably think you are trying to short change them, it may be a few years before it sinks in to some of these guys that beekeepers also have to live, and genuinely cannot pay the money of high honey price days any more.

 

Me, for non manuka sites I just don't pay money, ever. Has cost me a few sites but why have a site if it's costing you all of your profit. I don't think any of the landowners I've walked from have done any better with anyone else.

 

Oh, one I can think of did, then that ended badly around 18 months later.

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And oh, one humerous story, a guy I approached (through someone else who knew him), I asked if I could put 20 hives on his property, as there had been an apiary there previously but now moved. After some days a message came back in a rather condescending tone, the guy obviously thought he held all the chips. He said he "would consider it but could not be bothered having more than 4 hives on the place", however he was "prepared to meet me so we could discuss money". I'm not sure just how much money he thought a 4 hive apiary would generate in profit, but in anycase I didn't bother getting back to him it was clearly not going to work.

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i have heard some big money still been offered on very good manuka sites, it was bound to happen as what is perceived as a multimanuka sites not being worth as much the pressure has shifted.

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1 hour ago, Alastair said:

 

And oh, one humerous story, a guy I approached (through someone else who knew him), I asked if I could put 20 hives on his property, as there had been an apiary there previously but now moved. After some days a message came back in a rather condescending tone, the guy obviously thought he held all the chips. He said he "would consider it but could not be bothered having more than 4 hives on the place", however he was "prepared to meet me so we could discuss money". I'm not sure just how much money he thought a 4 hive apiary would generate in profit, but in anycase I didn't bother getting back to him it was clearly not going to work.

Sounds like he expected to pay you per hive and limited it to 4 so as to not cost him too much 

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I don’t pay for sites, I can’t afford to.

However I do give my farmers so much honey they could bathe in it.

And most of the farms I am on I have long standing relationships.

 

I did end up in discussions with one of my landowners recently when he was approached by another beekeeper offering to pay.

 

After being on the farm for 5 years and coming and going without incident he decided I was less risk, and decided he would keep me instead.

 

I honestly don’t understand why any farmer would take the money because it changes the liability of having a beekeeper on their farm, people can and do have accidents, and if that is to happen Work Safe will come knocking and if money has changed hands it’s going to be 100x worse.

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@Daley, you’re back! Lol,

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44 minutes ago, Bron said:

@Daley, you’re back! Lol,

If you didn't know that before her post, then I think you need to brush up on your communications.  How are you going to see that granddaughter with this shoddy communications.

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