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Hi All.

 

I have searched the forum but could not find an answer to my question. Apologies if I am doubling up on a subject already covered elsewhere though.

 

I have land which I have recently purchased on East Cape and have a fair covering of manuka on part of it. I have been approached by a beekeeper from the area who wants to place hives on the land and has offered a fixed price per hive plus a percentage royalty. I'm happy with what is being offered but the research I've done (by which I mean google searches...) tells me that a contract would be a good idea if this is an income stream that I would like to be able to rely on - as far as anything in agriculture can be relied on, that is.

 

So my question is - Does anyone have suggestions for either where I can source a sample access/royalty agreement that I could use as a base for an agreement on my place or do you have any advice in terms of what I should be requiring from the beekeeper?

 

I have found loads of pollination agreements online but none that could be used for what I am after.

 

Thanks in advance for any help and feel free to tell me to ###### off if I am barking up the wrong tree.

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I've worked out the amount that I can pay the landowners and still make good money, and I'm ok with the system now. I still have a mix of free access and royalty based access. Take this example thoug

Thanks Derek. I'm in Gisborne. That is weird. I went to Vietnam in 2000 - maybe they're following me...

Are you using mobile and how are you logging in? The flag that is shown is picked up automatically by the forum software from the country where your current IP address is, now it is showing Cambodia!

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I recently moved back to NZ from Cambodia so that one I can sort of understand. I guess somehow my laptop has been hacked and rerouted to go through a server over that way. I am a technological idiot so not sure how to approach it. Good to know it is happening though.

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My advice from a beekeeper point is do your homework and talk to other beekeepers and landowners see what they offering don't rush in, You have time, Remember there are a lot of promises out there at the moment, the other saying i like is if it sounds to good to be true it probably is.

One of the problems is there is no standard contract you kinda set one up with each other and they can all have different agreements which suit each party to each block. things like tracks/access etc..

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Wow. Before Manuka went crazy it was just done on a handshake.

 

I can even remember putting bees on land without even meeting the owner, just called on the phone & asked if we could put bees there. Although they did know who we were.

 

However, Eastland Honey, if you want to protect the money you have been promised, yes, do a contract. I have heard stories of things not panning out as expected for the beekeeper, so they just pulled the hives out & never paid the land owner what had been agreed.

 

Also be aware that not all sites, even with Manuka growing, give the beekeeper the high grade Manuka honey that is worth the big dollars. In which case he may not be able to afford much in rent. So the first season will be an experiment for you both.

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I have prepared the attached summary of the sort of things that needed to be agreed on between a landowner and beekeeper. I am surprised that a fairly standard form of agreement hasn't evolved, but I suppose it was always a handshake deal pre the manuka boom. It is certainly in everyone s interest to have things clearly set out. The attached was prepared for a Maori trust block that had been badly let down by a beekeeper who agreed to put hives on the farm, so they turned others away, but the beekeeper never turned up.They were out of pocket by a lot of money. I am sure beekeepers have also been badly treated by landowners because the agreement was not documented.

I would be interested in comments on the notes.

Details agreement between landowner and beekeeper.pdf

Details agreement between landowner and beekeeper.pdf

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Other than the actual numbers (dollars), to me it looks like a fair agreement. But I'm curious, is paying the landowner $2 per kilo something that actually happens? It does not specify what kind of honey, it just says honey.

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Wow honey production of 50 kgs a hive thats on the high side i would have thought?

 

With the amount of hives on manuka all over the top of each other I would be surprised if you could average 20 kgs a hive

 

Also making an extra payment for hives to be left on site.... You are kidding me?

 

Like Alastair I would imagine at $2 a kg it would have to be good manuka.

I dont know of any landowners of clover or bush country that would expect payment from their beekeeper.

 

Could be wrong...it has been known

 

Having re read the agreement it does state that its for hives on manuka not bush or clover

 

.

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A beekeeper would be gullible indeed to pay anything for a non Manuka site, other than a jar or two of honey for good will. I have one site that had up to 80 hives last season & the lease holder got 24 500 g jars which he seemed quite pleased with.

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I wouldn't mind paying a per hive fee as a minimum payment. But I would expect that amount to come off of the honey percentage amount after the honey is sold. A fair system I have heard is the beekeeper paying a % on the dollar amount received. E.G if the beekeeper receives $15 kg then the land owner gets 15% of total sales or if its active Manuka and the Beekeeper gets say $25 kg then the land owner gets 25%. Both parties win and not just the beekeeper taking all the risk (especially if the price drops significantly). There are numerous payment structures, is just finding what you and a beekeeper are prepared to agree to. Trust on both sides is a big thing too.

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$2 a kg is not that much. Price received for 5+ Manuka was about $20 a kg, so $2 is only 10%. And if they get even more $ per kg, the beekeeper is laughing to the bank. However Alan had a per hive fee in the mix as well. Again whatever the keeper and land owner are prepared to agree on. I have heard lately of some outfits promising big bucks to secure sites.

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$2 a kg is not that much. Price received for 5+ Manuka was about $20 a kg, so $2 is only 10%.
The reason I questioned it was the contract was not for Manuka 5+. It just said honey. Could turn out to be cheap muck. Add to that a per hive fee, and then a further per hive fee if the bees are left there over winter, the contract is pretty stacked IMO, for the beekeeper roped into too many like that, a recipe for potential bankruptcy, or at the least, running around working your butt, staying poor but making others rich.

 

Issue being the landowner is likely completely unaware of the work involved for the beekeeper, and the risk, and thinks everything is hunky dory and if the contract has been signed, it must be as it ought to be. He will think the beekeeper is laughing all the way to the bank.

 

But hey. If the beekeeper gets 50 kg of $20 per kilo honey then yes, such a contract would be fine.

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You are right Alastair, Nobody would pay out $2 kg for 'cheap muck'. I was merely pointing out a manuka scenario at $2 a kg. That contract attached by Alan maybe stacked in the landowners favour but, it looks as though that contract was prepared by a beekeeper for a landowner, ie the beekeeper is happy to agree to that arrangement. I maybe wrong.

It seems more and more the landowners are expecting bigger sometimes too big a return from the beekeeper. As you said they don't realise the time and effort and cost put into running the hives.

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In a similar but different vein, pastoral landowners around the top of the south have always been welcoming to the tramping fraternity. Until about 10 years ago when the need for more cashflow became apparent, and in a lot of cases now it's either pay up to go for a walk, or struggle through the matagouri along the legal road.

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Yes. Most of my landowners do not see me there much, so just assume I do not work very hard. I also invite new landowners to have a look in the hives, they come over & I'll open a hive for them & show them the queen, brood, etc. They think it's all great fun, not really work, but it is when you have to do it all day.

 

I have been forced to remove bees from properties because the landowner had the idea I was a bottomless pit of honey or money. Bottom line is I have to survive and make some money for myself. Their loss as well as mine, the free pollination of plants such as clover was good for their pasture and they probably don't realise what they lost.

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Yesbut, I got some sympathy for those farmers it's a vexed question.

 

Some of those farms are struggling financially, doing it pretty hard. The second factor is NZ has a burgeoning population of urbanites who decide to go for jaunts in the country. Because of the increasing numbers, that tiny percentage of idiots is growing larger also and some farmers have decided they do not need the hassle, or if they do they should be paid for it.

 

I got a dollar either way on that one.

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Yesbut, I got some sympathy for those farmers it's a vexed question.

 

Some of those farms are struggling financially, doing it pretty hard. The second factor is NZ has a burgeoning population of urbanites who decide to go for jaunts in the country. Because of the increasing numbers, that tiny percentage of idiots is growing larger also and some farmers have decided they do not need the hassle, or if they do they should be paid for it.

 

I got a dollar either way on that one.

 

Usually around here it's because the cockies have put money into developing multi day walking/hunting opportunities sometimes over a number of properties.

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The fellas I know always work on a % basis, this is usually 10 % value of the crop, seems fair to every one

you'll never stop an A... hole ripping you off, you can only validate your return by acquiring info from other block owners or bee keepers

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The fellas I know always work on a % basis, this is usually 10 % value of the crop, seems fair to every one

you'll never stop an A... hole ripping you off, you can only validate your return by acquiring info from other block owners or bee keepers

 

Man you would not survive around here on a 10% payment,

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There are many different deals going out there, and with all the competition there are some deals being offered that are too good to be true. My advice would be to talk to your other land owners in your area. Chances are one or two of them have been burnt. Try to find a beekeeper that has cropped in your area as there are some new comers that have no idea of what the activity and yields will be in your area so may let you down when the crop does not meet their expectations. At the end of the day, contract or no contract, you will need to put a lot of trust in your beekeeper so choose wisely. What area on E.cape are you? I could recommend a good trustworthy beekeeper if you want to pm me. :) lol

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