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Phil46

Price increase in equipment

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Morena,I have been trolling through TradeMe last few days and have noticed an increase in pricing of,frames in particular,bee gear by private or smalltime suppliers.For eg: FD frames ,plastic ,no wax for $3.70 - $3.80 ea.

I thought prices would be down,or more competitive with the big suppliers, considering the honey industry has taken a downward spiral.

Theres some tryers ,I thought to myself.

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4 hours ago, Phil46 said:

Morena,I have been trolling through TradeMe last few days and have noticed an increase in pricing of,frames in particular,bee gear by private or smalltime suppliers.For eg: FD frames ,plastic ,no wax for $3.70 - $3.80 ea.

I thought prices would be down,or more competitive with the big suppliers, considering the honey industry has taken a downward spiral.

Theres some tryers ,I thought to myself.

Gee what is a wooden one is worth?

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Competition in the plastic frame market has been fierce, and they are a low profit item for producers. Despite this, producers such as Ecrotek have spent more to use high quality plastic, which is the reason we do not see large numbers of frames with broken lugs any more, which used to be common.

 

I don't think there is a lot of fat to be trimmed in bulk prices, so wether or not beekeepers can afford it, prices will be where they have to be.

 

It is notable that the price of wax has gone down. At the height of the "boom", wax was almost impossible to buy, and expensive. This because of the perfect storm of low wax producing honey extracting methods, combined with huge numbers of new frames being sold that needed wax coating. The low wax extracting methods are still with us, but what must have changed is a drop in new frames being produced and waxed.

 

Vendors of beeware must be suffering, and prices, like the price of honey in a competitive world, are controlled by supply vs demand.

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so far as I know Ecrotek does not manufacture frames. However the tooling for the frames would probably have cost Ecrotek a fortune. Once operational the cost per frame from the manufacturer is quite small if you make a lot; plastic by the kg is peanuts.  It is entirely reasonable to charge quite a bit to recoup the initial investment. But like tolls on the harbour bridge there comes a time and competition may put some pressure on all this.

 

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16 minutes ago, ChrisM said:

so far as I know Ecrotek does not manufacture frames.

 

That didn't sound right to me so I just rang them to check.

 

They do in fact, manufacture their own frames.

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Ecrotek was formed when the plastic manufacturer Beetek purchased  Ecroyds a few years back 

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16 hours ago, Phil46 said:

Morena,I have been trolling through TradeMe last few days and have noticed an increase in pricing of,frames in particular,bee gear by private or smalltime suppliers.For eg: FD frames ,plastic ,no wax for $3.70 - $3.80 ea.

I thought prices would be down,or more competitive with the big suppliers, considering the honey industry has taken a downward spiral.

Theres some tryers ,I thought to myself.

bet there are plenty of us with a few boxes of frames we don't really need - some will be those semi-commercial dreamers who are now going broke and hoping to get back what they paid for their small volume purchases of a few thousand frames still unused.

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On 24/09/2019 at 2:25 PM, Alastair said:

 

That didn't sound right to me so I just rang them to check.

 

They do in fact, manufacture their own frames.

In that case the cost of the tooling was probably covered many years ago and the price they charge for the frames is subject to supply/demand. Low enough to dissuade other people from making their own tooling and high enough to maximise profit for the company. I think the actual materials costs and manufacturing costs will be very low from a production point of view, but they have to put food on the table just like everyone else.

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Some years ago, before Ekrotek was called Ekrotek, I spoke in person with one of the partners. At that time they were a plastic manufacturer looking for a product to make, and had hit on bee feeders, and frames.

 

This was early days, and they were still figuring out which direction to take the business. I told him that the bee business was about to boom, and it would be a great time to get into making bee products such as frames. He told me the issue was they had already done their costings, and the other frame maker was using low grade plastic, (this was true, broken frame lugs used to be a constant problem). But he wanted to use a better grade, but his costings were that to do that and still price competitively, profit on each frame would be 7 cents.

 

Bear in mind that tooling is not just a one off cost. When a machine is pumping out the volume of frames that Ekrotek does, the tooling does wear and is periodically repaired or replaced. So with big volumes, tooling and depreciation of can be a known cost for each item.

 

That was then, this is now, so i don't know the current situation.

Edited by Alastair
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On 24/09/2019 at 9:09 PM, tommy dave said:

bet there are plenty of us with a few boxes of frames we don't really need - some will be those semi-commercial dreamers who are now going broke and hoping to get back what they paid for their small volume purchases of a few thousand frames still unused.

Amen to that Brother ...... they burn hot on the Pyre.

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Is anyone making recycled plastic frames yet?

I certainly haven’t seen any, I have a feeling whoever makes the first biodegradable frames from bamboo or corn is going to make bank regardless of the state of the industry, beekeepers tend to be a bunch of greenies.

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6 minutes ago, Daley said:

Is anyone making recycled plastic frames yet?

I certainly haven’t seen any, I have a feeling whoever makes the first biodegradable frames from bamboo or corn is going to make bank regardless of the state of the industry, beekeepers tend to be a bunch of greenies.

Great ideas, I’d call dibs on that if I were you. 

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Just now, nikki watts said:

Great ideas, I’d call dibs on that if I were you. 

If I had the means or the brains I would make them from Ruatoria hemp.

No point me calling dibs, hopefully someone smarter than I will pick it up and run with it.

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2 hours ago, Daley said:

Is anyone making recycled plastic frames yet?

I certainly haven’t seen any, I have a feeling whoever makes the first biodegradable frames from bamboo or corn is going to make bank regardless of the state of the industry, beekeepers tend to be a bunch of greenies.

I’ve been wondering why the frames we have aren’t recyclable 

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25 minutes ago, M4tt said:

I’ve been wondering why the frames we have aren’t recyclable 

Who said they are not.  

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5 minutes ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

Who said they are not.  

There is no number or recycle symbol on them

I suspect the residual wax would interfere with the process 

@Ecrotek ?

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@M4tt Technically, frames are able to be recycled (code 6), however unless they are throughly cleaned this is unable to be done.  Generally our frames are incredibly durable so cleaning and re-waxing can significantly extend their life, we've had some customers using our plastic frames for 15+ years.  There are plenty of ways (although many of them are time consuming) to clean frames.  Waterblasting is one of them, but can be very messy, for bigger volumes a frame cleaning machine, combined with a steam cleaner can be a cost effective method to get the job done.  https://www.ecrotek.co.nz/product/powershot-single-sided-frame-cleaner  

 

 

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Just now, Ecrotek said:

@M4tt Technically, frames are able to be recycled (code 6), however unless they are throughly cleaned this is unable to be done.  Generally our frames are incredibly durable so cleaning and re-waxing can significantly extend their life, we've had some customers using our plastic frames for 15+ years.  There are plenty of ways (although many of them are time consuming) to clean frames.  Waterblasting is one of them, but can be very messy, for bigger volumes a frame cleaning machine, combined with a steam cleaner can be a cost effective method to get the job done.  https://www.ecrotek.co.nz/product/powershot-single-sided-frame-cleaner  

 

 

Yep. With our home recycling everything must also be clean.

 

Thanks for the info 

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1 hour ago, Ecrotek said:

@M4tt Technically, frames are able to be recycled (code 6), however unless they are throughly cleaned this is unable to be done.  Generally our frames are incredibly durable so cleaning and re-waxing can significantly extend their life, we've had some customers using our plastic frames for 15+ years.  There are plenty of ways (although many of them are time consuming) to clean frames.  Waterblasting is one of them, but can be very messy, for bigger volumes a frame cleaning machine, combined with a steam cleaner can be a cost effective method to get the job done.  https://www.ecrotek.co.nz/product/powershot-single-sided-frame-cleaner  

 

 

Thanks for the info Ecrotek 👍

 

Unfortunately grade 6 plastics are no longer being recycled in NZ and go into landfill for now.

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37 minutes ago, Daley said:

Thanks for the info Ecrotek 👍

 

Unfortunately grade 6 plastics are no longer being recycled in NZ and go into landfill for now.

 

I don’t think any plastic is actually recycled here ?

After seeing a documentary on where our plastic recycling went too and what it did to those towns I think it’s a very sad joke that we even consider plastic recycling to be helping our planet. 

Ours goes in the general rubbish to be buried in our local landfill which is nowhere near any waterways...yet.

 

Heres a taste of what our plastic recycling really is :( 

 

https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/insight/audio/2018663363/nz-s-role-in-the-malaysian-plastics-dumping-ground

Edited by frazzledfozzle
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59 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

 

I don’t think any plastic is actually recycled here ?

After seeing a documentary on where our plastic recycling went too and what it did to those towns I think it’s a very sad joke that we even consider plastic recycling to be helping our planet. 

Ours goes in the general rubbish to be buried in our local landfill which is nowhere near any waterways...yet.

 

Heres a taste of what our plastic recycling really is :( 

 

https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/insight/audio/2018663363/nz-s-role-in-the-malaysian-plastics-dumping-ground

I have fired off an email to Waipa District council . 

I will report back with their reply 

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4 hours ago, frazzledfozzle said:

 

I don’t think any plastic is actually recycled here ?

After seeing a documentary on where our plastic recycling went too and what it did to those towns I think it’s a very sad joke that we even consider plastic recycling to be helping our planet. 

Ours goes in the general rubbish to be buried in our local landfill which is nowhere near any waterways...yet.

 

Heres a taste of what our plastic recycling really is :( 

 

https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/insight/audio/2018663363/nz-s-role-in-the-malaysian-plastics-dumping-ground

I think there is very limited 1 & 2 plastic recycling in NZ.

It does have potential to be used for roading and I think this was being investigated.

Obviously recycling plastic isn’t the greatest thing environmentally so using less of it will always be the answer.

 

But your right, the other stuff (3,4,5&6) used to be sent to China supposedly however they no longer want it, which is why it ended up in other countries, from my understanding they were being paid(or someone was) to take it and it was then being dumped or burnt 😒 no good!

 

Gisborne waste transfer has recently stopped taking all other plastic except 1 or 2 because all the other plastic which was being collected from recycling bins was being dumped in landfill.

 

I try to avoid buying any non recyclable plastics and I will be happy when I can get things like cream cheese and cottage cheese in cardboard. I have contemplated saving all the pottles and shipping them to Fonterra as a mild protest seeing they aren’t overly bothered about changing their stupid packaging for several years.

 

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We are totally recyclable here .....wood and wax frames .....

We have a 5 ha paddock worked down ready to go into hemp ..... just to see how them bees like the taste of the Gunja ..... only can't get a permit til next year..... possibly..... so i guess we'll have to be content with a crop oats this year.

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11 hours ago, Daley said:

Is anyone making recycled plastic frames yet?

I certainly haven’t seen any, I have a feeling whoever makes the first biodegradable frames from bamboo or corn is going to make bank regardless of the state of the industry, beekeepers tend to be a bunch of greenies.

But dont we already have biodegradable frames?

 

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28 minutes ago, Philbee said:

But dont we already have biodegradable frames?

 

Yes.

However they have their limitations.

I’ve had no shortage of dealings with wooden frames and I’m pleased to say the only wooden frames I own are grafting bars.

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