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Pasture/clover honey prices


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15 hours ago, Maggie James said:

The reason why these practises have to be put in a smoker, is because they don't petrol their hives & burn em.  They prefer their consumers to munch away on their toast & butter with antibiotics, oh I forgot honey as a cooking ingredient or as a cosmetic to plonk on your skin, not to mention medicines & health remedies ingested.

 

So, why is that NZ beekeepers want more than the world commodity price?

 

Please tell me that Covid & wet markets ain't taught the world nothing

 

 

 

 

Hi Maggie - These are great points. Covid/wet markets/Antibiotics all start to build a story. You need to continue adding to the story. Then remember that the 'Consumer' does not know any of this. How do you get this across? what does it mean for the consumer? How do you get the consumer to join the dots and determine that the honey is worth 'X' amount more? What is 'X'? 

 

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We know there are overseas markets that are prepared to pay megabucks for what they perceive to be the absolute best in active manuka; and willing to pay for "gold" lidded jars with spoons etc, but there are a huge amount of people who can't afford this.  Surely there is a market place for lower active manuka.  Maybe with Covid and lack or decrease of earning capacity of much of the world's population we will see a demand for lower activity in manuka, or maybe just manuka analysed with only a pollen count.  Or maybe NZ honey's in general.  

 

Maybe that is why some beekeepers are finding that kanuka is suddenly becoming very popular with the NZ market.  The public certainly like the taste of kanuka.  

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1 hour ago, Maggie James said:

The public certainly like the taste of kanuka.  

Me too !

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I get a bit tired of hearing how we should all 'unite behind a levy'. A lot of beekeepers have been quite bruised by what has been going on in the industry over the past years since Manuka boomed. While the more honest ones will admit that they are better off financially many lament the state of the industry as it now is and the sometimes cut throat process that has gotten us here. The vote against the levy, rightly or wrongly, was as much about this I suspect, much like Brexit and Trump were a reaction against the status quo and those running things at the top.

 

Apiculture NZ and many of their cheerleaders seem increasingly tone deaf to the situation facing many beekeepers and increasingly focused on a relentlessly positive message around the industry...probably driven by a few outliers who own their value chain cashing in on big returns. If a beekeeper can't sell their honey for even a break even price then he or she won't likely be voting for a levy any time soon I would think. When you hold up those who potentially step on other beekeepers throats to get sites and export to the top end you naturally get resentment from the majority who love beekeeping as a job but are doing it to support families not investors. How many of the newly covid redundant will believe the press.. all of the press that is touting our industry as one that is booming? Might be a second round of Honey speculators entering the industry in time for the new season.

 

Supporters of the levy will say that the low price, inability to sell your honey is exactly why we should have a levy....do the potential payers have faith that the levy will actually bring the majority of beekeepers in NZ a benefit rather than the 'elite' few? This is the issue I suspect.

 

Just in case anyone is under the incorrect impression that I am anti Apiculture NZ as an entity the work that they did around covid and lobbying for beekeepers to remain working was excellent and very much appreciated (especially as it allowed me to winter down mating units into viable winter hives).

 

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I am not clear on the expectations that some beekeepers have of the work of APINZ.  It appears that APINZ is being help responsible for current lower prices and various aspects of not being able to sell honey at the desired price.

 

Industry organisations can do many things, but making beekeeping profitable is not, IMHO, one of them.  Here is something I wrote back in 1994.  Though referring to the NBA, the same applies today to APINZ:

 

---------------------

 

The NBA cannot make beekeeping more enjoyable or profitable... Sound like heresy? Let me explain what I mean. I hope it will help focus on what we expect from our organisation as we 're-design' it over the next few years.

 

As a beekeeper you can manage your beehives. You feed them, re-queen them, replace worn out equipment. You site them in areas that you hope will have good honey flows. You manage them by understanding the bees' natural impulses; you get to know their capabilities and their limitations. You take advantage of the opportunities while trying to minimise the threats. You probably can't eliminate the threats, but you can try to anticipate them and plan for how you might deal with them. Even the effects of the weather, which you can't control, can lead you to contingency plans - if it gets too dry, you could move the bees to another location.

 

But no matter how you look at it, you can't MAKE the bees produce a crop of honey for you. You can create as favourable an environment as you can, you can anticipate as many problems as you think is prudent. But ultimately, the production of honey is not really within your control - only the bees can make honey.

 

Sounds pretty obvious, doesn't it?

 

Now take a couple of steps back and consider the beekeeping industry. The NBA (using the Executive, the branch structure and the hard work of its members) can try to manage the affairs of the overall industry. The NBA can (and DOES) do a number of useful things, including:

 

· representing the beekeeping industry's interests to government

· maximising opportunities available to beekeepers and making sure the information is communicated to them

· identifying and trying to remove obstacles

· anticipating potential threats to the industry and trying to minimise or eliminate them

 

Again, no matter how you look at it, the NBA can't MAKE beekeeping more profitable or enjoyable. Only beekeepers can do that. The NBA can assist by making the environment as favourable as possible. The NBA can try to minimise the threats (organise lobbying against Australian honey imports, developing a Pest Management Strategy). It can maximise the opportunities (marketing activities, ensuring market access for bees and queens). But ultimately it is only you as individual beekeepers who can make your beekeeping more profitable or more enjoyable.

 

I am committed to the use of effective planning and sound management practices to make the NBA as an organisation that can help beekeepers as much as possible. Having said that, I am realistic about what the National Beekeepers Association CAN do, HOW it can do things and HOW MUCH IT COSTS to do things - only after you examine each of those can you really decide what SHOULD be done, and get on with doing it. And though most of the work done by our organisation is done by volunteers, I don’t believe that we need to appear unprofessional!

 

Admitting that the NBA cannot do something like ‘make beekeeping more profitable’ is not a weakness, or an admission that the NBA is inadequate. It helps to focus on what CAN be done by the NBA to assist beekeepers to assist the bees to produce that crop of honey!

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On 2/29/2020 at 6:55 AM, jamesc said:

Well I'm sorry ..I want at least $8/kg for my white honey .and and I'm prepared to wait as we just bought another 20kg of rice.

Hmmm ..... we ate the last of the rice last night, along with the old cow that got caught in the fence  .....what next Kimosahbe ?

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6 hours ago, jamesc said:

Hmmm ..... we ate the last of the rice last night, along with the old cow that got caught in the fence  .....what next Kimosahbe ?

how long does it take to eat a whole cow?

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7 hours ago, jamesc said:

Hmmm ..... we ate the last of the rice last night, along with the old cow that got caught in the fence  .....what next Kimosahbe ?

I know a joke about Aussie fencer coming across a sheep caught in a fence.......

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1 hour ago, Dennis Crowley said:

I know a joke about Aussie fencer coming across a sheep caught in a fence.......

Is that like the one about the kiwi shepherd in his Red Bands ?

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2 hours ago, ChrisM said:

how long does it take to eat a whole cow?

Bout a year .

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2 hours ago, ChrisM said:

how long does it take to eat a whole cow?

 

For me, about 18 months.

 

That's based on when as a teeneager I worked for Airborne Honey, who were good enough to rent me a small dwelling for the princely sum of $1 per week.

 

I bought a used deep feeze, and stocked it with a cow that I bought from Jaspur, my boss. It lasted about exactly the remaining 18 months that I worked there.

 

Over that time I also bought 2 in lamb ewes which lived on some spare land outside the dwelling, and eventually ate both of them plus the two lambs when they had grown. 

 

That was me by myself, and the occasional guest or guests. Must have been a big meat eater I guess, did not cost a lot though 😮. Also established a vege garden on the property, got milk at the gate, and made an occasional trip to the supermarket.

 

No takeaways in those days.

 

The latest info is that meat portions should be about the size of a pack of cards daily, so I mostly restrict myself to that now. Which is helped by the astronomic prices I now have to pay for meat, as an urban dweller.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Is that like the one about the kiwi shepherd in his Red Bands ?

Maybe, this one the Aussie fencer was with a couple of kiwi fencers, when they happened upon the poor sheep the two kiwi's had their way with the poor sheep.

They were way out the back and told the Aussie what happens on the farm stays on the farm, the Aussie's eyes lit up and he agreed, so dropped his pants and jammed his head in the fence.

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My younger son had a final interview for a high level job in Oz and when asked for any final comment he told the selection panel that joke - and got the job !

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