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What do beekeepers do with huge losses year after year


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1 hour ago, jamesc said:

I been trying to flick off a bit of honey recently ..... and to be honest it's quite hard work ..... somewhere along the line we fell out of the loop on what packers are looking for , but if our facilities and recording systems obtain an RMP and export cert every year, it sort of means that the quality control and systems  are  there.

To be honest, I have no enthusiasm for taking honey off this year, and am contemplating digging a big hole and shoving the bees and honey into it along with 20litres of diesel and a match.  

Bye Bye Hampsterwheel !

Why are you chasing the Rata then. I would not it is not doing much

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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

This past year I have watched local commercial beekeepers adding value to their honey and marketing it with skill - facebook pages, great websites, offering attractive packages online, etc.  I al

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2 hours ago, Bighands said:

Why are you chasing the Rata then. I would not it is not doing much

Good question @Bighands .... I guess it's an  addiction . A bit like  WakaChangi and the brew my good mate The Doctor puts down. You do a few and life's not so bad.

Crack a few lids and grunt a bit at the weight and you start dreaming.

 

I just get really peed off that the effort is worth sht.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, southbee said:

@jamesc, it sounds like you're in desperate need of another Wakachangi or two! Digging a big hole is a lot of work too and hey, you won't escape the hampsterwheel anyway, life is a hampsterwheel.....

Life is not a Hamsterwheel ..... the missus can work for a month cutting velvet and make four times what I pull in for three years of  work.  It 'aint right Sister.

And anyway, driving a  digger is very therapeutic and it  don't take too long to dig a big hole.

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1 hour ago, jamesc said:

Life is not a Hamsterwheel ..... the missus can work for a month cutting velvet and make four times what I pull in for three years of  work.  It 'aint right Sister.

And anyway, driving a  digger is very therapeutic and it  don't take too long to dig a big hole.

Do use your hives for pollination .

Are the crops in canterbury that need pollination nectar producers

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3 hours ago, jamesc said:

Good question @Bighands .... I guess it's an  addiction . A bit like  WakaChangi and the brew my good mate The Doctor puts down. You do a few and life's not so bad.

Crack a few lids and grunt a bit at the weight and you start dreaming.

 

I just get really peed off that the effort is worth sht.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emotions do not pay he bills

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12 hours ago, jamesc said:

Life is not a Hamsterwheel ..... the missus can work for a month cutting velvet and make four times what I pull in for three years of  work.  It 'aint right Sister.

And anyway, driving a  digger is very therapeutic and it  don't take too long to dig a big hole.

Not right, for sure. Anyone who can escape the industry at the moment and have a better, easier life doing something else is wise. We'll be sticking with it for the near and far future as I really don't have that option, and mostly we enjoy it. So my hamster wheel has some fun bits in it....and yes, emotions don't pay bills @Bighandsbut isn't  the beekeepers mantra....next season will be better?

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50 minutes ago, southbee said:

Not right, for sure. Anyone who can escape the industry at the moment and have a better, easier life doing something else is wise. We'll be sticking with it for the near and far future as I really don't have that option, and mostly we enjoy it. So my hamster wheel has some fun bits in it....and yes, emotions don't pay bills @Bighandsbut isn't  the beekeepers mantra....next season will be better?

A lot (most?) beekeepers, both long time and new to the industry have experienced an exceptional lift in their incomes compared  to before the Manuka boom. Do you see it as a period of a re-evaluating of the expected “lifestyle” some have become accustomed to, and a number exiting as the can earn better incomes elsewhere, even get a better return on investment elsewhere?

 

 

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28 minutes ago, dansar said:

A lot (most?) beekeepers, both long time and new to the industry have experienced an exceptional lift in their incomes compared  to before the Manuka boom. Do you see it as a period of a re-evaluating of the expected “lifestyle” some have become accustomed to, and a number exiting as the can earn better incomes elsewhere, even get a better return on investment elsewhere?

 

 


this is exactly what I think has happened and is happening.

Those of us doing honey before manuka are aware of what it’s like producing low value honey and working through winter or even doing a night job after your full day of beekeeping.

Our first honey cheque was $24000 (total) I can still remember that day, it was so exciting it was more than a years wages I had never seen that much money in our bank account.

Today I would be devastated if that was our total payment even 4 times that much wouldn’t be much better.

 

Then along came Manuka and we got used to high returns, not just high it was crazy money.

it’s hard to let that go but we have to because the reality those days are gone and we won’t see them back.

 

So it’s decision time and we are all in different circumstances which dictate what options are viable.

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Good question Dansar, pre manuka boom, beekeeping was hard work and not a way to get rich.

 

When I've seen how some of the new players think and act I could see disaster on the horizon for them, as all agriculture tends to have cycles of boom and bust, and I did wonder what would happen to whole families making a living from 250 hives, once the pendulum swung back towards the median, as it has.

 

There are still some people making good money though.

 

The situation of the last several years reminds me of the sharemarket crash of 1987, where I was one of the fools who lost a lot of money. People, myself included, thought all that was necessary to make big bucks, was after reading the daily paper, pick up the phone and make a quick call to place an order with your broker. And for a while that worked well and made good returns. But it was the old timers who had been around and seen the nature of the market forces and how no bull market lasts indefinately, who for the most part survived.

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54 minutes ago, dansar said:

A lot (most?) beekeepers, both long time and new to the industry have experienced an exceptional lift in their incomes compared  to before the Manuka boom. Do you see it as a period of a re-evaluating of the expected “lifestyle” some have become accustomed to, and a number exiting as the can earn better incomes elsewhere, even get a better return on investment elsewhere?

 

 

Yes, I suppose I do think some re evaluating must be happening within the industry. I'm not predicting anything, nor advising, I can only talk for our circumstances. We started way before the manuka boom and we were used to support the business with other income. We were young and keen and had no kids and enjoyed it and it didn't matter, now I'm in a different position. I think it's terribly sad that long established beekeepers like @jamesc (that's an assumption as I don't know you personally) think of having to dig a big hole and get rid of their hives, sad for the industry and sad for the individual. I think we all hope that next season will be better, but we all fear that it won't. What keeps me going morally is my kids, they're young and keen and enjoy the bees, financially....well, have to ask the accountant. 

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1 hour ago, Carol Thompson said:

Somehow we need to get New Zealanders into cooking more with honey,

 

1 hour ago, Carol Thompson said:

maybe it is time for a national organisation for the marketing of honey within New Zealand. 

the catch with that is nz produces far more honey than nz can consume tho i'm not up on current consumption.

it really needs to be international marketing as thats where most honey goes to.

nz market tends to be a dumping ground for honey they can't sell overseas and its not uncommon for a big company to drop enough honey on the local market and drive wholesale price down to cost of production.

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In the old days most of the beeks I knew had other income in the off season or as well as .

Possuming , goldmining,  deer culling , dope growing , other horticultural work .

Unless they were doing pollination no one seemed to make all their living from honey .

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Was looking at the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise website this morning, in particular their short video'Made with Care'.

It was interesting .... showcasing what New Zealand does best ..... produce high quality food for the top end export market.

 

Selling honey at the Farm shop or Farmers market is a great little slush fund earner to buy bread and milk for the week, but you 'aint gonna generate  the impetus of cashflow to generate the 62k I need to get my crop into the shed and the bees out of the hole.

A steady export market that takes a container of product every second month might do that.

 

The NZTE video was great ..... but it needs tweaking .

We know Manuka honey sells , but it's only the top 20% of the drum, so to speak.

The honey industry is languishing in the doldrums because the remaining 80% of the drum is unwanted .

 

Perhaps NZTE could tweak their video a little bit.

 

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well happy new year every one, its been a while since i have been on here, whats happened at our end, first off we took no honey off last season, what honey we took off was by the box full this then went onto autumn splits, good thing we did this as we seemed to lose alot of hives for no real reason at all,

hive sites have been looked at to the view...are they producing the type of honey we want, if not they are gone, the other thing is are the hives we seem to have to travel from one end of marlborough to the other worth the cost, if poorer producer they are gone,

sales.. well if it wasn't for the farmers market we would be sunk, we are doing three markets per week, before xmas it was 4 some weeks,

we have product  in one super market, one cafe, one gift shop and one second hand shop, and one church market. we are looking at another 3 places to sell honey , but it is getting harder to find places that have not already got honey,

now on top of all this the first part of the season very little honey hit the hives, plenty of flowering but nothing else, still not doing much better going by the hive in the back yard,

so next week we are going to attack the hives bring back what there is and load them up for the main flow.....with luck,

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13 hours ago, yesbut said:

What is this main flow ?

 

We go for a Bush. Meadow both light and dark. Lighter for the creaming.

And a multi (urban)for the hire hives.

Also produce alot of lavender. But alot of this has been ripped out for bloody grapes. 

 

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6 hours ago, kevin moore said:

But alot of this has been ripped out for bloody grapes. 

 

In tasman all the berries and black currants have been ripped out for hops.

And a whole lot of fruit trees in waihope valley are being ripped out for a cannabis opperation.

As if the world needs more drugs and less food .!!

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6 hours ago, kaihoka said:

In tasman all the berries and black currants have been ripped out for hops.

And a whole lot of fruit trees in waihope valley are being ripped out for a cannabis opperation.

As if the world needs more drugs and less food .!!

What about medical  cannabis?

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8 hours ago, Bighands said:

What about medical  cannabis?

That is true , its still a drug but not recreational .

Its really  the extent of monocultures that I find offensive .

But I suppose acres of clover could be called a mono culture .

I am old enough to remember the mixed plantings of trees and crops and livestock in blenhiem and nelson area.

Conversations of the forum suggest changes in land use to convenient  monocultural pasture has affected hive forage.

Probably restricted  variety of pollen sources too.

I wonder if urban hives have a better diet .

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5 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

There’s an unbelievable amount of hops being planted in the Tasman area and hundreds and hundreds of acres more going in.

 

Even Dairy farms are being converted 

 

.

More than one or two vines got shredded by the hail the other day I believe.

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38 minutes ago, frazzledfozzle said:

There’s an unbelievable amount of hops being planted in the Tasman area and hundreds and hundreds of acres more going in.

 

Even Dairy farms are being converted 

 

.

awe god, more vest wearing moustache twirling craft beer brewers needing their "sustainable and earth friendly" hops.

 

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On 7/01/2021 at 4:07 PM, kaihoka said:

In tasman all the berries and black currants have been ripped out for hops.

And a whole lot of fruit trees in waihopi valley are being ripped out for a cannabis opperation.

As if the world needs more drugs and less food .!!

i understand the block up the Waihopi is just a seed rising operation for the other blocks,

it is said that it will be a state of the arttunnel house operations, going to be on a par to a prision as far as fences go, spot lights and more cameras than you can poke a stick at, 

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