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What do beekeepers do with huge losses year after year


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Last night I was talking to my mate over in Canada. Sold his crop of Canola honey to the Co-op for $6.21/kg.. NZD.   So when a local packer offers me $3.00/kg for clover with no Terramy

Last season I got lucky and produced some mono manuka. Just recieved a 1/2 payment for it and discovered there is still heaps of money in beekeeping, if you are making the right stuff. But yes, those

Any prudent beekeeper expects to make a loss some years, usually because of adverse weather conditions but poor honey prices have occurred before as well, in fact for a long time they were the norm. I

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Funny you should say that Frazz. I was just thinking the same over the weekend ..... that no-one has been gripping about low honey prices or lack of sales and income ..... and concluded that we must all just be trucking on .

My new found marketing man can sell clover and honey dew for about $4.50/kg ..... but his buyers no nothing about Kamahi.

 

We have looked at all of @frazzledfozzle scenarios, and are still hoping for a miracle.

Our two Lazarus heifers that had pinched nerves at calving and have been down for a month finally got up and walked this weekend  ..... so miracles do still happen.

 

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@jamesc it’s 10am on a beautiful day and I’m about to go out and split my cell raisers into singles ready for the honey flow.

 

it’s unheard of for me to be sitting inside on a beautiful day at the busiest time of the year.

 

We have downsized heaps the drop in demand for honey coincided nicely with us losing over 200 hives during winter using Oxalic and glycerine staples.

 

We haven’t sold any honey from last season and are basically hanging in there hoping for a crap season for everyone nz wide to maybe stimulate demand for all the honey sitting in sheds right now. ( sorry to all of you who are hoping for a boomer season I realise it’s selfish hoping for bad things )

 

Ive said it many times before but I have never had anyone able to explain what’s happened to our offshore markets.

 

Before MPI brought in a standard we sold all our honey every year to more than one buyer and all honey achieved good money.

 

When MPI brought in the standard I thought the price for “real” manuka honey would increase and demand would go through the roof because there would be heaps less of it.

 

The opposite has happened for us.

No demand and any offer we have had is 50% of what it was in the past.

 

So we aren’t selling just sitting on it.

we have pulled out of areas because in three seasons we haven’t had a mono so no point in being there.

 

Im sure something has happened in the international market for demand to be so slow.

 

A quick google search will tell you prices haven’t dropped offshore so there’s a lot of money being made by the middleman right now but I guess it’s swings and roundabouts and right now it’s the middleman’s time to make some good coin.

 

anyhow that’s where we are at.

not chasing native,

sitting on what we have 

hoping for a bad season nationwide.

 

be thankful you don’t live next door, next step is human sacrifice !

 

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57 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

@jamesc it’s 10am on a beautiful day and I’m about to go out and split my cell raisers into singles ready for the honey flow.

 

it’s unheard of for me to be sitting inside on a beautiful day at the busiest time of the year.

 

We have downsized heaps the drop in demand for honey coincided nicely with us losing over 200 hives during winter using Oxalic and glycerine staples.

 

We haven’t sold any honey from last season and are basically hanging in there hoping for a crap season for everyone nz wide to maybe stimulate demand for all the honey sitting in sheds right now. ( sorry to all of you who are hoping for a boomer season I realise it’s selfish hoping for bad things )

 

Ive said it many times before but I have never had anyone able to explain what’s happened to our offshore markets.

 

Before MPI brought in a standard we sold all our honey every year to more than one buyer and all honey achieved good money.

 

When MPI brought in the standard I thought the price for “real” manuka honey would increase and demand would go through the roof because there would be heaps less of it.

 

The opposite has happened for us.

No demand and any offer we have had is 50% of what it was in the past.

 

So we aren’t selling just sitting on it.

we have pulled out of areas because in three seasons we haven’t had a mono so no point in being there.

 

Im sure something has happened in the international market for demand to be so slow.

 

A quick google search will tell you prices haven’t dropped offshore so there’s a lot of money being made by the middleman right now but I guess it’s swings and roundabouts and right now it’s the middleman’s time to make some good coin.

 

anyhow that’s where we are at.

not chasing native,

sitting on what we have 

hoping for a bad season nationwide.

 

be thankful you don’t live next door, next step is human sacrifice !

 

Yep, it's a horrible place to be sitting. I feel the same way.

And that's with low value pasture..

My Canadian friend gets a better price. 

There is no financial incentive for the buyer to add a few cents onto non mono Manuka. There was once.

It sounds like you have had offers but not acceptable by you? 

 

Not sure it's going to be a bust season for M, and now all focus is intensely on that one crop.  If I didn't do pollination I'd be walking away. 

How are our deep south beeks going? 

 

 

 

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It’s such a shame that more lurkers don’t take part in the conversation.

We would have so much more information at our fingertips if more beekeepers would share their experiences.

 

Being anonymous I’m surprised there aren’t more people contributing on the forum. 
I’m a very opinionated person so find it hard to keep my big mouth shut :)

 

even though I have a ( what’s it called when you have a name that’s not your own ? ) pretty much everyone who knows me knows that frazz is me so I have tamed it down a little !! 
 

and what a beautiful spot @jamesc

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10 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

It’s such a shame that more lurkers don’t take part in the conversation.

 

Can't make em. Also a very busy time for many. Or is the forum attendance dropped?

 

11 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

I’m a very opinionated person so find it hard to keep my big mouth shut

Lol. Maybe you're more prepared to speak about it. I believe, you ought to put your name on what you share, even if you believe most would know you. Takes courage to do so.

 

14 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

and what a beautiful spot

Even wearing slicks and in the rain. @jamesci really enjoy the photos you share. Good on ya

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3 minutes ago, Gino de Graaf said:

Can't make em. Also a very busy time for many.


true busy time right now but it’s still the same people posting throughout the year and it would be really great to see some new faces with new ideas and stories to tell.

 

 

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unfortunately It doesn’t feel right to share those details @frazzledfozzle

as a manuka “chaser” and one of the “bad guys” who must be “only in it for the money” etc etc .. sticking ya skull up above the  honey drums ready to be sliced and diced is how commenting feels. 

Talking about earning money or having a reasonable return from beehives when so many are struggling just don’t feel right. 
im suggesting that’s possibly why things are fairly quiet in this subject. 
 

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9 minutes ago, Stoney said:

unfortunately It doesn’t feel right to share those details @frazzledfozzle

as a manuka “chaser” and one of the “bad guys” who must be “only in it for the money” etc etc .. sticking ya skull up above the  honey drums ready to be sliced and diced is how commenting feels. 

Talking about earning money or having a reasonable return from beehives when so many are struggling just don’t feel right. 
im suggesting that’s possibly why things are fairly quiet in this subject. 
 

Kind of agree. Are you suggesting most commercial on this forum are doing just fine? No pain. 

You're not a bad fella if targeting M. Prudent. And sharing sensitive info is also.

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7 minutes ago, Gino de Graaf said:

Kind of agree. Are you suggesting most commercial on this forum are doing just fine? No pain. 

You're not a bad fella if targeting M. Prudent. And sharing sensitive info is also.

No I’m not suggesting most commercials on this forum are doing fine at all, I am suggesting if they are doing fine they won’t be shouting about it. There’s a lot of hurt out there. 
there are also outfits around the country doing really well as they produce saleable honest monofloral that usually passes the testing. 
 

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8 hours ago, frazzledfozzle said:

We haven’t sold any honey from last season and are basically hanging in there hoping for a crap season for everyone nz wide to maybe stimulate demand for all the honey sitting in sheds right now.

 

Tell them to use oxalic staples 😉

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2 hours ago, Gino de Graaf said:

Can't make em. Also a very busy time for many. Or is the forum attendance dropped?

 

Lol. Maybe you're more prepared to speak about it. I believe, you ought to put your name on what you share, even if you believe most would know you. Takes courage to do so.

 

Even wearing slicks and in the rain. @jamesci really enjoy the photos you share. Good on ya

Uuh huh... I was gonna send you another pic of the topless babe in the bar to tonight, but the phone was flat.

But here’s the deal.

I enjoy what I do.

Throwing boxes on in the rain, dreaming of the potential

sleeping innthe truck

 

If we all had no hope and curled up in a hole in the groundcand played possum... I’ll gairantee  nothing would happen....

 

I don’t mind sharing. it’s been a #### few years and in reality we should have pushed all the bees into the big hole and poured diesel on them last year....

 

But then where u gonna get yer buzz from?

 

This year we are supering up hives and talking with buyers( traders) who dont even know the type of honey we are making.

 

It isnt ideal. But its what we do and makes us who we are.

 

An everyone I talk to agrees that without the bees we are doomed , so I guess some ones gotta save the planet.... eh.

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Stoney said:

No I’m not suggesting most commercials on this forum are doing fine at all, I am suggesting if they are doing fine they won’t be shouting about it. There’s a lot of hurt out there. 
there are also outfits around the country doing really well as they produce saleable honest monofloral that usually passes the testing. 
 

Welcome back!!

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11 hours ago, frazzledfozzle said:

@jamesc it’s 10am on a beautiful day and I’m about to go out and split my cell raisers into singles ready for the honey flow.

 

it’s unheard of for me to be sitting inside on a beautiful day at the busiest time of the year.

 

We have downsized heaps the drop in demand for honey coincided nicely with us losing over 200 hives during winter using Oxalic and glycerine staples.

 

We haven’t sold any honey from last season and are basically hanging in there hoping for a crap season for everyone nz wide to maybe stimulate demand for all the honey sitting in sheds right now. ( sorry to all of you who are hoping for a boomer season I realise it’s selfish hoping for bad things )

 

Ive said it many times before but I have never had anyone able to explain what’s happened to our offshore markets.

 

Before MPI brought in a standard we sold all our honey every year to more than one buyer and all honey achieved good money.

 

When MPI brought in the standard I thought the price for “real” manuka honey would increase and demand would go through the roof because there would be heaps less of it.

 

The opposite has happened for us.

No demand and any offer we have had is 50% of what it was in the past.

 

So we aren’t selling just sitting on it.

we have pulled out of areas because in three seasons we haven’t had a mono so no point in being there.

 

Im sure something has happened in the international market for demand to be so slow.

 

A quick google search will tell you prices haven’t dropped offshore so there’s a lot of money being made by the middleman right now but I guess it’s swings and roundabouts and right now it’s the middleman’s time to make some good coin.

 

anyhow that’s where we are at.

not chasing native,

sitting on what we have 

hoping for a bad season nationwide.

 

be thankful you don’t live next door, next step is human sacrifice !

 

Your right there with the manuka, my honeys been dropping in price hard! Still passing the tests though? $65 a kg, next season $42.50 a kg and last season $31 a kg??? Same honey lower prices consistently the last few seasons.

I thought prices would get better with the good mono but our government has fxxxxd us right up.

 

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2 hours ago, john berry said:

Any prudent beekeeper expects to make a loss some years, usually because of adverse weather conditions but poor honey prices have occurred before as well, in fact for a long time they were the norm. I have had the luxury of some good years and can survive a bad year but if I was to lose  a thousand dollars a hive it would be the end of me in one go .Oha is not the only company haemorrhaging millions and I just cannot understand how banks and shareholders can keep propping them up when they have no hope of ever making a sustained profit. In the meantime they are wrecking it for the rest of us.

Beekeeping and especially honey production is a complicated world and it takes years to begin to understand everything that can affect production. 

 

For what it's worth here is some free advice not just for corporate's but for everybody.

If every site you see in an area has 16 hives then that's probably all the area will stand.

If there are no hives in the area then there is probably a good reason why.

Some places look fantastic but if an area only produces a manuka crop every five or six years for the existing beekeepers (and they know this because they keep records) then no matter how good you are at persuading farmers that you are so much better at beekeeping than the existing beekeeper you still won't get the manuka that you're paying the farmer a fortune for.

And the final piece of advice. Doubling, tripling and quadrupling the number of hives surprisingly enough doesn't solve anything.

Tell manuka health that😆 they come through putting mega hives in my area, sites of 24 hives not very far apart and I'm wondering how they can operate when I'm struggling to get a box every second hive off absolutely pumping hives?

They must be next on the massive loss.

And they have sites of 24 only 1-2 hundred meters apart😆

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3 hours ago, Stoney said:

No I’m not suggesting most commercials on this forum are doing fine at all, I am suggesting if they are doing fine they won’t be shouting about it. There’s a lot of hurt out there. 
there are also outfits around the country doing really well as they produce saleable honest monofloral that usually passes the testing. 
 

Fine as in I can pay myself half of what any other trade with 10+ years experience gets if I get production.

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3 minutes ago, Maru Hoani said:

Fine as in I can pay myself half of what any other trade with 10+ years experience gets if I get production.

She’s a risky business chasin the dragon alright.. with fighting all the variables then managing to produce a few tons only to find low prices on offer... if any offers at all. 
I’m with @jamesc if it wasn’t for all the adventure, sleepless nights and sweat it really would be a xxxx way to scratch a living. 

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1 minute ago, Stoney said:

She’s a risky business chasin the dragon alright.. with fighting all the variables then managing to produce a few tons only to find low prices on offer... if any offers at all. 
I’m with @jamesc if it wasn’t for all the adventure, sleepless nights and sweat it really would be a xxxx way to scratch a living. 

Yep, I love sweating my arse off and laughing at the bros getting stung but for me it's mainly working in my home area and seeing where my family has been for thousands of years, I never got into it to get rich, it was 12$ a kg when I started then boom millions of corporate hives everywhere.

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1 minute ago, Maru Hoani said:

 I never got into it to get rich, it was 12$ a kg when I started then boom millions of corporate hives everywhere.

Your bees on your family land and Im guessing corporate bees are all around your boundary? 
Could always try some open C4 sugar feeding for a day just don’t forget to block all yours up first😂 

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10 hours ago, Gino de Graaf said:

 

How are our deep south beeks going? 

It's a mixed bag in the deep south. Plenty of operators are out of cash and hanging in by the skin of their teeth. But that is how it always was. The ones that have low cost operations and low income expectations aren't going anywhere. For the benefit of you north islanders, low income means gross annual income around $150 per hive. Some honey is getting cleared out of sheds for $3-4 per kg. The operators that don't have a rmp really need some alternative income, from a second job or the pension. We do need some rationalisation to take place, and the prices to lift to around $5-6 per kg. Time will tell! 

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5 hours ago, frazzledfozzle said:

It’s such a shame that more lurkers don’t take part in the conversation.

We would have so much more information at our fingertips if more beekeepers would share their experiences.

 

Being anonymous I’m surprised there aren’t more people contributing on the forum. 
I’m a very opinionated person so find it hard to keep my big mouth shut :)

 

even though I have a ( what’s it called when you have a name that’s not your own ? ) pretty much everyone who knows me knows that frazz is me so I have tamed it down a little !! 
 

and what a beautiful spot @jamesc

I dont say much on things like this cos I dont have your understanding and dont keep bees just for their honey, but I do feel for you and others in the same predicament and do wish I had a solution.....I did say at one point to add value to your product like, find a microbrewer and get them to make mead, but....

 

I do now wonder....last year, you guys were talking about the buyers not turning up like they used to...then what happened?

Yep, I'm a bit controversial.

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I heard rumours that the shareholders at the AGM of Ngai Tahu asked questions last year as to the profitability of the honey business.It was suggested that the hives be sold.Can you imagine what 30,000 hives on the market will do to the price of beehives.

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