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Call to regulate Manuka Honey Theft

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The need is growing to address unethical practices.

 

UNETHICAL practices by beekeepers who install hives on land in the vicinity of manuka is basically theft, says Victor Goldsmith, chairman of a number of East Coast land trusts.

 

Mr Goldsmith is calling for local and central government to regulate the industry.

 

“We cannot allow this practice to continue. With no regulation it will get worse.”

 

As the East Coast manuka honey industry grows, hives are appearing on adjoining lifestyle properties near manuka plantations, says Mr Goldsmith.

 

Call to regulate manuka honey theft

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So the bees in a manuka plantation that fly next door and harvest clover nectar , is that also theft ? How can it possibly be policed ? So if you are in the unfortunate position to have a lifestyle block adjoining manuka , would that mean you cant have bees on your own property ? Or maybe you have to shift your bees away till the manuka has finished flowering , then bring them back . Problem is then the kanuka starts so you would have to shift them back out again ! There must be stuff all blocks around where you could guarantee that the bees would only forage on said block . You are talking well over a 1000 ha range so its a moot point I think .

From the other angle though , because of the $ value , ethics have all but disappeared . If a beek knowingly dumps hives next door to a manuka plantation , knowing there are already hives there , thats not on . Sometimes however there is no suitable sites in the block , so next door is the only option . There could be an argument for giving the manuka owner a cut in that case .

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guys that went to plant manuka should have informed themselves before they decided to invest money. if you don't own the puffer zone around it you can't own it. usually the beekeepers who had their bees there long before were moved off, so who is the thief really.

this is by no means a fair opinion, not even my opinion, just the other side of the coin.

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To me it seems the only way you could achieve such regulation would be to issue concessions. You would automatically hold concession over land you own. The number of hives allowed would depend on the size of the area. Concessions could be leased out. Trouble is the administration and policing of such a system. Perhaps the increased profit to concession holders would pay for such a system.

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The next thing you know, some manuka landowners will be spraying their crops to kill the bees because they're not their bees.

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Concessions or any other form of licence won't address the issue raised in the article.

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This is a very appealing thread, people claiming to have possession of the high moral ground when "owning" foraging in their areas of manuka scrub, when the whole concept of manuka honey having any effect by mouth could be described as fraudulent (not that I would make such a statement).

 

Not that I (along with others) are predicting a collapse of the manuka honey industry (oral, not topical medical), but at some stage there will be a significant correction.

 

Funny, this morning we were discussing Ethics 101 with grand children, and were talking about kindness, generosity, and honesty, so this thread seemed to ring a bell ...

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The next thing you know, some manuka landowners will be spraying their crops to kill the bees because they're not their bees.

 

Illegal activity is a big problem wherever property rights cannot be enforced. Now that you've mentioned it, I wouldn't be surprised if guys shut up all their hives during the first flowering of manuka and went and did a massive spray of insecticide, then opened all their hives back up again after the danger had passed. If there was any complaint they could hide their true intentions, and simply say it was for control of manuka scale on their land.

 

We've talked a bit about these issues before; in the below thread, where @Dave Black advised that under common law you own bees in your hive, but stop owning them once they leave your hive (and your sight) as a swarm, but ownership of foraging bees is still a bit up in the air:

 

Questions on swarm ownership

 

I also started a thread about people potentially netting their manuka plantations to stop "foreign" bees gaining access, which was roundly critiqued as unviable, but I still wonder sometimes late at night:

 

Beekeepers Buying Manuka Covered Land

 

Seems to me the government may have to regulate to define property rights (even if it is say bees are wild once they leave the hive) so people know where they stand. Otherwise people will take matters into their own hands, sometimes unethically - it's human nature.

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Concessions or any other form of licence won't address the issue raised in the article.

But it would provide a mechanism to police such behavior. At the moment it is only ethics that are being breached. Under a concession system the local authority could fine and/or seize hives that were in breach.

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I also started a thread about people potentially netting their manuka plantations to stop "foreign" bees gaining access, which was roundly critiqued as unviable, but I still wonder sometimes late at night:

At $150 a kg it's viable considering they do it for blueberries and other fruits.

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But it would provide a mechanism to police such behavior. At the moment it is only ethics that are being breached. Under a concession system the local authority could fine and/or seize hives that were in breach.

 

Sounds like you could be advocating bringing the ownership of bees/foraging rights into your local Resource Management Plan. The mind boggles.

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At $150 a kg it's viable considering they do it for blueberries and other fruits.

 

The criticisms seemed to be more about how bees cannot collect nectar under nets rather than the economics of it. My thoughts are that the horticulture nets aren't currently designed with the bees in mind and raising them up (plus other changes) may help. I certainly think someone might look at it if prices climb high enough.

 

It's also more likely to something looked at if property rights aren't defined.

 

Fences on farms arose 100+ years ago due to similar ownership issues.

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At $150 a kg it's viable considering they do it for blueberries and other fruits.

 

No, it's a totally different question.

 

They do it for blueberries to get a berry crop. It absolutely screws the hives. We know, Kev grows blueberries for a living in his day job. We put a few hives in under the nets a few years ago to watch what happened. Five weeks to dead. Even in a big organic block with heaps of understorey forage and wide net to allow bees through the sides.

 

If we have to put hives into the 'aviary' to pollinate, we change them out every two weeks, and there is still a toll on the hive.

 

In a block where you're trying to get a honey crop? Even if you've got a 'collateral damage' mentality and are willing to lose the hives, it's not as if the hive goes along hunky dory for four weeks and falls over in the fifth... it's on its way downhill from the day it goes in and it's ability to gather a crop is as well.

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1. If someone does not know the basics in bkping then he/she should not start bkping or at least should not get a large number of hives(not even semi-commercial).

2. Honey bees are foragers - this is well known for at least 100 years of modern bkping

3. The bees are foraging by visiting nectar/pollen sources. They fly!!!

4. Bees can fly as far as 2km radius for foraging(someone may say 3km)

 

Before someone buys bees or land for further business plan/project of bkping first should LEARN the basics about honey bees' life.

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Victor Goldsmith is one of the bigwigs of the Miere Coalition.

I believe the reason he is calling for regulation is because he wants Maori to "take over" the Maunka honey industry.

I dont believe for a minute that beekeepers who have had hives in a particular area for years would be given the "rights" to keep hives on those sites I believe those rights will go to the highest bidder, likely to be corporates, or to beekeepers within the iwi and hapu who own the land.

I believe that the Miere coalition in their backing of the UMF groups application to trademark the word Manuka will put a case to the govt that Manuka is a Taonga and therefore Maori have rights to all honey harvested from Manuka.

 

Heres an example of Maori claims to bees and honey from

 

http://maxa.maf.govt.nz/sff/about-projects/search/L11-164/mahinga-kairaupi-hua-parakore.pdf

 

 

Beekeeping has long been an important component of our Māori food systems. Our tīpuna sustainably managed native bee colonies and harvested mīere for rongoā, food and as a trade commodity. Traditional beekeeping was overseen by the tohunga and in accordance with kaupapa and tikanga.

 

The goals of the Miere coalition is to

 

 

Goal: To achieve Rangatiratanga & Kotahitanga

 

 

Here's what Victor Goldsmith thinks of the NZ beekeeping industry

 

 

“The honey industry is a fragmented cottage industry with no innovation, tech transfer, quality standards or training. Those things are all missing. We want to use the best technologies available to ensure we produce good quality authentic honey, which is true to label.”

 

Maybe Im just paranoid

.

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I'd say Victor is welcome to all the Manuka honey he can collect with native bee colonies.

 

That's the first time I've ever heard of beekeeping in NZ before European Honey Bees were introduced.

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commercial bees ie "non native" came in 187? !!!!!!!

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No. As far as I know it was a woman(shame, I forgot her name) who brought a couple of beehives in 1841 from UK. Also as I know those days it took up to four months to travel from UK to NZ.

In 1876 was discovered for the first time in NZ the most unwanted bee disease, the AFB.

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From Te Ara...."Mary Bumby, the sister of a Northland missionary, was probably the first to introduce bees to New Zealand. She took two hives with her from England aboard the James, in March 1839, to the Mangungu Mission Station in Hokianga Harbour. Bees were also brought by the Reverend Richard Taylor, William Cotton, Lady Hobson and James Busby in 1843. The introduction of bees to the Bay of Islands is attributed to Bishop Pompallier."

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They arent saying they used apis mellifera to produce honey (miere) they say they managed native bee colonys for food, rongoa ( medicine) and for trade.

 

This "research" had funding from the sustainable farming fund

 

Really?

.

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Hmmm, they probably used Warre hives to keep with the French eclat ...

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I cant find a PDF of the paper they cite, may have to get a library to get a copy from NZ archives

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Hmmm, they probably used Warre hives to keep with the French eclat ...

I thinak I read "Miere" as "Miel", which is the French for honey.

Wonder how the word entered Maori language ?

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Traditional gathering of product from native bees......absolute garbage. Each bee's gathering is a tiny bit of pollen and millidrop of nectar half a metre underground, at the end of a 3mm diameter tunnel.

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This will never eve be regulated.I have read the article briefly,loads of mistakes.I know the author and do not have a high opinion of him.He is not a beekeeper for a start and just another greedy man.

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