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Expansion in beekeeper/hive numbers


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Yesterday at the AFB recognition course some pretty amazing numbers were put out there.

 

Apparently since teaching the course in October until this course in June, 500 new beekeepers had registered in Nz, and the number of hives is up to 600,000.

 

Obviously the industry is expanding exponentially, and that is not going to be sustainable indefinitely, we only have so much land for bees to forage on!

 

Anyone hazard a guess as to how many hives NZ could actually support comfortably?

 

I guess there will come a point when beekeeping for honey will become unprofitable for many simply due to extraordinary bee numbers on limited forage, and the industry will become littered with the carnage of failed businesses.

 

NZ has been through this many times I suppose, Kiwifruit, Goats, Possums, Emus, Deer and others I'm sure.

 

Interesting times indeed!

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You must also remember that DOC controls about 60 plus % of all land in NZ. From posts on this forum it is becoming increasingly difficult to gain access rights to DOC land. Note: that DOC are now saying it is becoming an illegal activity on Great Barrier Island. (I think that is how I read the thread)

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the land in total would support a lot of bee hives. but a lot of that land is not very accessible or poor producing.

most of the build up is in high value areas and urban/semi-urban areas.

so its more of a case of can beeks wallets survive the numbers of hives or survive the disease outbreaks.

 

i noticed Whangarei has a lot less reported AFB, makes a nice change.

but the afb map for west auckland looks like a shotgun blast.

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where did you get that info Trevor

Which part.

The amount of DOC land is amazing. Just imagine the % of land the Southern Alps represent. Then take in all the other NI mountains and national parks. I have heard the % of DOC land mentioned on news media over time, not sure where but I believe the % is greater than the 60% I have quoted IMHO.

The DOC restrictions have been mentioned on this forum regularly.

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Tristan - where do i find the map of AFB in West Auckland you write of? Thanks

The April Beekeeper magazine. There are maps which show all the afb spots. Maps are not very good but it gets the message across. If you are a registered beekeeper you would have received this Magazine. All registered Beekeepers get 2 Magazines per year

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First time I've seen the AFB maps. Jeepers they look a bit scary!

probably a good thing. if you saw the afb map around your area a few years back you wouldn't want to go beekeeping !

 

kinda scary the amount of afb being reported around urban areas. but does that mean the afb in rural areas is not being reported?

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i have no proof only whats heard on the grapevine but theres a fair bit of unreported afb around, both urban and rural.

.

Yeah same here @frazzledfozzle heard some quite scary numbers of AFB around the Rotorua region the other day. I'd like to think the hives were burnt and reported, but I don't know if they were:(:mad::confused:

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Newby here. Have read the figure 5 hives per km2 somewhere as an average. Must be much less in a drought but feeding would obviously kick in. So about 1.3 million hives max carrying capacity for NZ.

 

Obviously not hard fast figures as a hectare of plush gardens in Auckland would provide way more fodder than a drought stricken paddock or a chunk of glacier, and a row of lavender (etc) flowering would support a lot more than a freshly grazed paddock. A lot of what our bees have to eat depends on what we decide to sow for them and how much.

 

Some people say a pine forest should be discounted from the total land figure but if somebody has taken time to spread Heather and Lotus thru the road system and recently harvested stands then good yields are possible. As far as DOC goes, the stats show bees forage 3ks mostly but up to 9kms from the hive, so just surround any doc land and most of it is foragable for the bees. Not sure how efficient they would be hauling that distance though?

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Those AFB maps are a bit blunt but at a quick tally there are more incidences of AFB reported in Northland than in the Auckland Region. Obviously a much larger area but equally far fewer Beekeepers.

 

Perhaps it's bigger outfits with more hives swapping frames of honey and brood that get caught out, rather than the hobbyist with one or two hives.

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"Quote"

Perhaps it's bigger outfits with more hives swapping frames of honey and brood that get caught out, rather than the hobbyist with one or two hives. "Unquote"

Make no assumptions, I meet an Auck beek that confessed to never checking hives for disease but instead used his nose to smell the hive for its health status.

I kid you not.

He told me that one of his hives died and when asked what of , he replied, dont no but I dont want to think about it.

You name it and its almost certainly going on in Auckland

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Those AFB maps are a bit blunt but at a quick tally there are more incidences of AFB reported in Northland than in the Auckland Region. Obviously a much larger area but equally far fewer Beekeepers.

i don't quite follow. there is a lot more hives/beeks in northland than auckland.

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"Quote"

Perhaps it's bigger outfits with more hives swapping frames of honey and brood that get caught out, rather than the hobbyist with one or two hives. "Unquote"

Make no assumptions, I meet an Auck beek that confessed to never checking hives for disease but instead used his nose to smell the hive for its health status.

I kid you not.

He told me that one of his hives died and when asked what of , he replied, dont no but I dont want to think about it.

You name it and its almost certainly going on in Auckland

OMG. That last sentence makes me not want to think about it. Actually it makes me want to run and hide. I'm absolutely dreading the AFB outbreak that is certain to happen when there is that sort of attitude out there. Wouldn't it be great if it just killed the offending beeks hives and stopped there? It would certainly lower the number of beeks in the country

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There is a whole demographic of beeks who dont want to be part of any controls, there are hundreds maybe thousands of them that fly under the radar, many are probably members of this site, one for sure I know of.

Its human nature.

A window into this world is trademe

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I would guess more hives and less Beekeepers in Northland, Tristan, unlike Auckland more Beekeepers each with fewer hives.

depends a bit on what you call auckland. technically we have hives in auckland :rofl:

i think these days northland would be more than auckland city. auckland rural....hard to say.

i'll have to have a read through the stats again but they combine waikato, auckland, northland as one.

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There is a whole demographic of beeks who dont want to be part of any controls,

i think i've mentioned it before that i've run into them before. got every theory under the sun about CCD but no idea what AFB is.

once they realize i'm not a hairy hippee beek and i'm commercial, they shut right up and walk off with a scowl :eek: :D

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