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The 'Cost' of keeping our bees 'alive'!


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Much talking about Varrao, MAF omitting responsibility, bla bla bla...

 

So I sat down with a piece of paper and started calculating what it costs to keep our bees 'alive'.

I got a fright!!! Big time!!!!

 

  • Benchmark is Apivar at an average price of $3.20 per strip.
  • Time it takes to insert 2 strips per broodbox.
  • Labour is calculated on a salary of $60.000 per annum for a beekeeper with minimum of 3 years experience. 8 hours per day, 6 days per week, 12 months per year. 8x6x52=2496. $60000/2496=$24.04/h.

  • The 'pro's can do it faster, but it would take me about 5 minutes per hive with 2 broodboxes to insert the strips. Which means I 'could' do 24 hives in an hour if I were a robot. Ruffly $1 per hive (2 broodboxes) per treatment, 2x per year.

Hive/s ...Treatment/$ ...Labour/$

1 ...............$12.80 ..............$2.00

10 ...........$128.00 ...........$20.00

100 .......$1280.00........ $200.00

1000 ...$12800.00.......$2000.00

 

According to 'The Beekeeper', April 2011, Volume 19 No.3, page 18, we have/had a grand total of 389668 beehives in New Zealand.

 

389668 x $24.80 = $9,663766.40

 

Nine Million six hundred and sixty three thousand seven hundred and sixty six dollars and forty cents.

 

This does not include sugar shaking or mite counting.

This does not include the loss of hives.

This does not include the loss of honey production.

This does not include re-queening.

This does not include the cost of getting to the hives.

This does not include the wear and tear of beekeeping gear and smoker fuel.

This does not include our blood, sweat and tears.

 

Wait, there is more... this is per year, ongoing, not a one off!

 

I would call this a costly 'ooops' made by MAF.

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Oh boy - I am getting old.

 

One strip is $3.20

Four strips is $12.80

2x per year is $25.60

plus $2.00 for labour

is $27.60

 

389668 x $27.60 = $10,754836.80

 

Lets round it down for the benefit of larger beekeepers buying bulk...

 

Ten Million Dollar per annum for one error....

 

I rest my case.

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the loss of Clover pollination especially in the South Island but also in parts of the North Island will take a while to show up but you can expect it to affect New Zealand's economy by hundreds of millions per year not to mention the extra pollution caused by using nitrate fertilisers.

We have to beg for money for varroa research and we often get turned down.

if varroa wins we won't have to worry about counting the costs, will be too busy trying to stay alive.

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the loss of Clover pollination especially in the South Island but also in parts of the North Island will take a while to show up but you can expect it to affect New Zealand's economy by hundreds of millions per year not to mention the extra pollution caused by using nitrate fertilisers.

We have to beg for money for varroa research and we often get turned down.

if varroa wins we won't have to worry about counting the costs, will be too busy trying to stay alive.

Looks like the final account for a MAF 'ooops' is far greater than I could have imagined.

 

And we are just going to sit still and take the punishment for something WE haven't committed?

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Has anybody got any ideas how we can prevent MAF making another 'mistake'?

There are numerous 'new' threats posted in the media (Grant seems to read the global beekeeping news- but that is all he does about it).

I reckon we prevent more nails being driven into our coffins!!! As prevention is easier than cure!

Anybody up for the take?

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We could use the same idea to prevent politicians making dumb laws. I dont think it will make a difference. At the end of the day we are dealing with a bunch of people who go to work each day and make decisions based on the information received and go home again. Maybe if there had been more lobbying against David Yanke we wouldnt have carniolas. I am not saying this is good or bad, just an example. No one could have prevented the rabbit calicivirus from entering the country as it was done illegally. There are many industries that want to do things that will have an effect on bees and beekeepers. We need to be aware of these potential dangers and then make a noise. How we can find out what others intend and the effect it will have on us, backed up with evedience, I dont know as it covers agrcultural, pastural, horticultural, botanical (the list goes on) fields where most discussions will go on behind closed doors. These threats will need to be targeted when they show up, or before if we can find out. A scattergun approach wont achieve anything.

 

I am willing to help where I can.

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(Grant seems to read the global beekeeping news- but that is all he does about it)

 

I sure Grant does a lot more than most by running this website and forum, I don't think most people would realise how much time it takes. By helping inform more people about the dangers out there he is giving them an option to do something about it. Given the number of new beekeepers on this forum (me included) I now have a lot information and help available to deal with threats to the bees. It's all very well reading about it in the books, but when you have people with 30 plus years in beekeeping kindly supplying their experiences, this forum becomes a very useful tool. ( and no I don't believe everything I read on the net either:D)

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Those figures are Bl---y scary.

As per usual with the PC world we now live in No-one is ever responsible. Or if there is, it is usually some token minion at the bottom of the heap.

We could never allow the beaurecrats to loose their huge pay cheques, rather they now come up with a BIG scheme and tell us that we will have to pay for their oversights.

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I sure Grant does a lot more than most by running this website and forum, I don't think most people would realise how much time it takes. By helping inform more people about the dangers out there he is giving them an option to do something about it. Given the number of new beekeepers on this forum (me included) I now have a lot information and help available to deal with threats to the bees. It's all very well reading about it in the books, but when you have people with 30 plus years in beekeeping kindly supplying their experiences, this forum becomes a very useful tool. ( and no I don't believe everything I read on the net either:D)

Sure, we can have Grant be the 'scanner' for new threats. Not a bad idea!

Then it is up to us to make enough 'noise' before MAF, Bio Security and our Government go ahead without our approval.

Prime subject would be the importation of Honey from countries that have diseases and pests we would like to avoid.

IF I understand this correctly reading the pamphlet that came with the last 'The Beekeeper', if our Government decides to allow Honey imports from China, with that comes an unknown disaster, we would have to pay for the mess.

...but if we sign up to the GIA we could prevent the importation of honey from countries with known and unwanted pests and virii and halt another disaster before it happens.

Did I get that all - right?

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Those figures are Bl---y scary.

As per usual with the PC world we now live in No-one is ever responsible. Or if there is, it is usually some token minion at the bottom of the heap.

We could never allow the beaurecrats to loose their huge pay cheques, rather they now come up with a BIG scheme and tell us that we will have to pay for their oversights.

Trevor, as I understand it is up to US to allow the GIA to come into force. Biosecurity is a bunch of bureaucrats and pencil pushers with no interest to our industries welfare. BUT... when we run out of food they will be the first ones to scream blue murder. Biosecurity has failed dismally preventing Varroa from entering the country and is not taking ANY responsibility. I think they should clean up their mess first before going ahead with ANY new agreements!!!

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With regards to scanning media articles this is something that takes up a lot of time and really should be open for anyone to do at any time. That afterall is the nature of a forum.

 

I generally pick it up to add diversity or if the place is a bit quiet. Kiwimana does it a lot for his blog. Perhaps if we could encourage him to cross post the article that would also help? As long as its the original and not just a link to the blog itself this should be fine but like i say its a 'role' for everyone.

 

As far as acting on it goes, why should I? For a start as admin I should maintain some form of neutrality (after-all the site caters for ALL beekeepers as an education resource, rather than a propaganda machine) and secondly you are assuming I feel the same way as you do about subject matter or the way to go about things.

 

Sent from my phone using Tapatalk

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With regards to scanning media articles this is something that takes up a lot of time and really should be open for anyone to do at any time. That afterall is the nature of a forum.

 

I generally pick it up to add diversity or if the place is a bit quiet. Kiwimana does it a lot for his blog. Perhaps if we could encourage him to cross post the article that would also help? As long as its the original and not just a link to the blog itself this should be fine but like i say its a 'role' for everyone.

 

As far as acting on it goes, why should I? For a start as admin I should maintain some form of neutrality (after-all the site caters for ALL beekeepers as an education resource, rather than a propaganda machine) and secondly you are assuming I feel the same way as you do about subject matter or the way to go about things.

 

Sent from my phone using Tapatalk

 

Looks like this is another thread that I need to stay clear off. I understand some people are very passionate about all sorts of things but we on the forum are not the enemy. We should all try and moderate our tone. Yelling and screaming never wins a battle. Remember: Someone convinced against their will, is of the opinion still.

 

Keep up the good work Grant. I for one as a new bee find this forum very helpful but I am to new into it to know all the histories.

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As far as acting on it goes, why should I? For a start as admin I should maintain some form of neutrality (after-all the site caters for ALL beekeepers as an education resource, rather than a propaganda machine) and secondly you are assuming I feel the same way as you do about subject matter or the way to go about things.

Because these are ... our bees - our food - and our New Zealand!

We as individuals are responsible for us - all. Your voice counts!

How you think and feel about it doesn't matter. We are all in the same boat, and when it sinks you go down with it.

Like it or not.

Maybe you want to share a better plan how to keep this boat afloat?

I am listening

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Looks like this is another thread that I need to stay clear off. I understand some people are very passionate about all sorts of things but we on the forum are not the enemy.

 

I do apologise if I've come across in that tone. There was no intention too. Its probably a result of trying to be brief because I'm accessing the site on my phone atm.

 

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How you think and feel about it doesn't matter. We are all in the same boat, and when it sinks you go down with it.

 

So then should we jump on every bandwagon that comes our way? Not every one is compelled to act on every thing that may affect them. PSa virus, apples to Australia, nuculear stuff in the middle east etc etc. These things affect us all either directly or indirectly but the whole country doesnt jump up and down.

 

I am going to see my local Green Party MP and talk to him about some of the issues we and the bees face and see what he can do within his party and the government as I think forming a positive relationship with someone who has better access to the decision making will give us a better finger on the pulse and maybe more strength in any battles we may face. I will still only be one lone voice in the wilderness. What are you going to do?

 

Keep up the good work Grant, you certainly do pull your weight around here

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So then should we jump on every bandwagon that comes our way? Not every one is compelled to act on every thing that may affect them. PSa virus, apples to Australia, nuculear stuff in the middle east etc etc. These things affect us all either directly or indirectly but the whole country doesnt jump up and down.

 

I am going to see my local Green Party MP and talk to him about some of the issues we and the bees face and see what he can do within his party and the government as I think forming a positive relationship with someone who has better access to the decision making will give us a better finger on the pulse and maybe more strength in any battles we may face. I will still only be one lone voice in the wilderness. What are you going to do?

 

Keep up the good work Grant, you certainly do pull your weight around here

I must bee too passionate in voicing my opinion, as I have clearly offended you.

I am sorry!

I have no qualms with Grant, I was only responding with my natural passion!

And I think this is a brilliant idea about seeing your Green Party MP!

Let me know if there is a way I can help.

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I must bee too passionate in voicing my opinion, as I have clearly offended you.

I am sorry!

I have no qualms with Grant, I was only responding with my natural passion!

And I think this is a brilliant idea about seeing your Green Party MP!

Let me know if there is a way I can help.

 

Passion is what makes the world go around in my opinion. The tricky part is to control it, I am still learning myself ;-).

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With regards to scanning media articles this is something that takes up a lot of time and really should be open for anyone to do at any time. That afterall is the nature of a forum.

 

I generally pick it up to add diversity or if the place is a bit quiet. Kiwimana does it a lot for his blog. Perhaps if we could encourage him to cross post the article that would also help? As long as its the original and not just a link to the blog itself this should be fine but like i say its a 'role' for everyone.

 

As far as acting on it goes, why should I? For a start as admin I should maintain some form of neutrality (after-all the site caters for ALL beekeepers as an education resource, rather than a propaganda machine) and secondly you are assuming I feel the same way as you do about subject matter or the way to go about things.

 

Sent from my phone using Tapatalk

 

hee hee I got a mention, so you are the guy that reads our blog Grant :). Not sure what you mean about cross posting articles maybe send me an email to discuss further.

 

Keep up the good work Grant, The New Zealand Beekeepers do need a forum.

 

We do need to highlight the stupid things going on in New Zealand to help our bees; importing Australia Honey is a recent example.

 

We as beekeepers need to make on stand on the important issues, but I feel more Kiwi's are pretty blase about the state of the world. This struck me during the recent election. Some people just don’t give a St and this was brought out by the lowest turnout since the 1880’s.

 

The thing about the environment is that it’s all connected and you can change one thing without affecting other parts.

 

So in my small part I try to highlight some of the issues happening here and overseas regarding the bee’s heath.

 

It still amazes me that pesticides banned in Europe are still used in the Clean Green Company, but that’s another topic.

 

Anyway lets on work together on keeping our bees alive.

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