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The growth of unskilled commercial operators

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i have a vague memory of moving pollination hives around the top of the north island in the late 90s, i got told i wouldn't get stung and I didn't. And they paid me what they said they would. I probably spent at least some of that money on supplies for a rave on top of takaka hill. Good experience all around.

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i have a vague memory of moving pollination hives around the top of the north island in the late 90s, i got told i wouldn't get stung and I didn't. And they paid me what they said they would. I probably spent at least some of that money on supplies for a rave on top of takaka hill. Good experience all around.

Cant have been very good hives if you didnt get stung lol

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Pallitising and good beekeeping practices along with careful sugar feeding can minamise some of the problems with kiwifruit pollination but it is still hard work and you can expect to lose 10 % of your queen's. The main trouble with not doing pollination is that someone else will, then they will probably put there hives on top of yours. The main trouble round here is the mega bee havers dumping thousands of hives around all the spring sites which makes pollination even more difficult and expensive.

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The main trouble round here is the mega bee havers dumping thousands of hives around all the spring sites which makes pollination even more difficult and expensive.

Tell me about it! It seems like everytime I drive somewhere locally I see a site with 15+ Pallets of hives, with another site 800m down the road, pointless bullcrap!

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Around the corner there are two hobbyist apiaries. Then there's a queen breeder 3km away as the bee flys. Arataki is 3km in the other direction. Yesterday I learned that my neighbour, four doors down is (semi?)commercial with 300+ hives. He'd be on ten acres so I expect some of those come home from time to time.

 

It's a small bee world.

 

 

Whats the bet theres going to be reports of CCD come spring time.

Might be a good season for collecting swarms....

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How long you planning on keeping them in isolation ?

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How long you planning on keeping them in isolation ?

Haha, my inference was that the absence of bees might be blamed on CCD when in fact they were a perfectly healthy swarm due to too many hives to properly manage.

 

Swarms are a low risk vector for AFB and varroa on the bees is easily treated. They have nothing to be robbed. I give them 3-4 brood cycles before checking thoroughly. After that I treat them the same as any other hive.

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I see a site with 15+ Pallets of hives, with another site 800m down the road, pointless bullcrap!

 

Is this whats happening in some parts?

With 15 pallets you arent there for the bees to forage sustainably on the local pollen and nectar supplies over winter into spring, you would have to be using pollen sub and syrup.

So what happens to the local beekeepers with their 20 hives on site that have in the past managed on natural sources. I suppose those beekeepers will now have to use artificial feed to keep them alive.

Its a recipe for disaster.

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Haha, my inference was that the absence of bees might be blamed on CCD when in fact they were a perfectly healthy swarm due to too many hives to properly manage.

 

Swarms are a low risk vector for AFB and varroa on the bees is easily treated. They have nothing to be robbed. I give them 3-4 brood cycles before checking thoroughly. After that I treat them the same as any other hive.

It's a good idea to put swarms on fresh foundation, as they use all of the honey they had stored for wax making, thus using up any AFB spores in the wax, thus making the swarm less likely to AFB... And I would be inclined to track and monitor a swarm for a year min (however your normal AFB strategy should remove too much chance of ugliness)

 

 

Is this whats happening in some parts?

With 15 pallets you arent there for the bees to forage sustainably on the local pollen and nectar supplies over winter into spring, you would have to be using pollen sub and syrup.

So what happens to the local beekeepers with their 20 hives on site that have in the past managed on natural sources. I suppose those beekeepers will now have to use artificial feed to keep them alive.

Its a recipe for disaster.

Would you like some photos?

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Yes please

Ok, I shall take some sneaky snaps on the way home from work. I assume as Long as they are taken in a way that doesn't identify the Beek/site they are kosher with the site rules?

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Ok, I shall take some sneaky snaps on the way home from work. I assume as Long as they are taken in a way that doesn't identify the Beek/site they are kosher with the site rules?

Sure. Please do not identify the site or beekeeper. However, I am sure someone will put a name to them.

Open forum when all said and done

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Right ho... Wish me luck.... (I hope I do it right lol)

[GALLERY=media, 724]IMG_0113 by Kiwifruiter posted Mar 23, 2016 at 14:00[/GALLERY] Here is a 12 pallet site....

[GALLERY=media, 725]Way to big site by Kiwifruiter posted Mar 23, 2016 at 14:04[/GALLERY] This is a big site tucked in a little vally, that the back half would prob be in the shade until lunchtime. Last year there were around 20 pallets in the paddock next to this one, I assume it is the same BEEK and similar numbers this year.

[GALLERY=media, 726]Way to big sites by Kiwifruiter posted Mar 23, 2016 at 14:04[/GALLERY] This is around 17 pallets of singles, close to a road but prob not dangerously close....

[GALLERY=media, 727]Way too big sites by Kiwifruiter posted Mar 23, 2016 at 14:04[/GALLERY]This is around 500m from the previous site, I think around 14 pallets.

 

So.... Yes it happens! And the slightly scary part is, This is just what I see on the daily commute, There are a lot more monster sites around!

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in my area all the beeks both permanent and migratory seem to have sites with 16 to 20 hives

is that a small number by current standards

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in my area all the beeks both permanent and migratory seem to have sites with 16 to 20 hives

is that a small number by current standards

I think thats about average. See this thread

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I think thats about average. See this thread

Thanks

I posted this before I saw that thread

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That's business. The poor operators will fail over time. If you don't make the health of your bees the number one priority then over any time frame the commercial outcome will be poor. It may also be that fresh inexperienced operators may be able to provide new ideas and capital to the industry. Do things well and the results will follow.

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That's business. The poor operators will fail over time.

yes/no a bit there.

quite correct in that those who don't look after hives will fail.

but on the flip side those who makes lots of profit will stay in business regardless of how they look after their hives.

 

we see that in many other business where those who provide good service and quality go bust, while the useless ones are still around.

thats because the shonky ones make more profit.

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That's business. The poor operators will fail over time. If you don't make the health of your bees the number one priority then over any time frame the commercial outcome will be poor. It may also be that fresh inexperienced operators may be able to provide new ideas and capital to the industry. Do things well and the results will follow.

The problem is how much they damage they do to everyone else as they go....

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yes/no a bit there.

quite correct in that those who don't look after hives will fail.

but on the flip side those who makes lots of profit will stay in business regardless of how they look after their hives.

 

we see that in many other business where those who provide good service and quality go bust, while the useless ones are still around.

thats because the shonky ones make more profit.

Short of been a charity or hobby - isn't the aim of all businesses to make a profit, otherwise why bother. I've seen many fantastic tradespeople who provide great skill or service in their fields fail in business because they are hopeless business people and ultimately end up back on wages where they should have stayed, most times it is a costly mistake with residual debt to pay off for their years of effort, not to mention the emotional toll it takes on them.

I agree you have to look after your hives first and foremost just as any farmer must look after their stock, but you do need business skill as well as skill in your field to be successful, and sadly, business skills are probably becoming more important today.

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Is this whats happening in some parts?

With 15 pallets you arent there for the bees to forage sustainably on the local pollen and nectar supplies over winter into spring, you would have to be using pollen sub and syrup.

So what happens to the local beekeepers with their 20 hives on site that have in the past managed on natural sources. I suppose those beekeepers will now have to use artificial feed to keep them alive.

Its a recipe for disaster.

48 beehives on pallets of four, are sitting right next to the road just down from here . Given I now have to feed to get mine through, they must have to too. And that is just the tip of the iceberg here. They have more further down the farm that I can see through binoculars, but I can't count

Rediculous

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Short of been a charity or hobby - isn't the aim of all businesses to make a profit, otherwise why bother. I've seen many fantastic tradespeople who provide great skill or service in their fields fail in business because they are hopeless business people and ultimately end up back on wages where they should have stayed, most times it is a costly mistake with residual debt to pay off for their years of effort, not to mention the emotional toll it takes on them.

I agree you have to look after your hives first and foremost just as any farmer must look after their stock, but you do need business skill as well as skill in your field to be successful, and sadly, business skills are probably becoming more important today.

Totally agree, and thrown in some good fortune.

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Back to the topic, BSB and others on here I highly respect and understand your views on new operators, as I also share the concern protrayed in this thread, but I can't help but feel this is an over generalization.

 

For example, I'm one of these "new operators" spoken of in here, started with no experience or anything, never worked for any commmerical outfit, etc. However I respect that at the heart of being a good beekeeper is the passion and love for bees, not the money, this is where I sit and I'm sure many other new beeks too. Talking about money, I hear people talk about it being good but I'm still on the bones of my bum, with a big debt still to owe to an understanding close friend, yet I work hard because I really enjoy it, I'd honesty be happy with an average income that's sustainable.

 

In terms of lack of experience, I've spent countless hours researching, taking notes on hives, nutting out issues and experimenting. I think the key is to really be open to learning and accepting that what I do or believe could be wrong. Having the motivation to be a great beekeeper is also key too, I inspire to be great one day but accept I've got so much to learn first it does my head in at times.

 

So to all those new beekeepers who are in my position and love their bees, they get my respect as its very challenging and daunting when it appears like there a huge mountain to climb before we can get anywhere.

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Back to the topic, BSB and others on here I highly respect and understand your views on new operators, as I also share the concern protrayed in this thread, but I can't help but feel this is an over generalization.

 

For example, I'm one of these "new operators" spoken of in here, started with no experience or anything, never worked for any commmerical outfit, etc. However I respect that at the heart of being a good beekeeper is the passion and love for bees, not the money, this is where I sit and I'm sure many other new beeks too. Talking about money, I hear people talk about it being good but I'm still on the bones of my bum, with a big debt still to owe to an understanding close friend, yet I work hard because I really enjoy it, I'd honesty be happy with an average income that's sustainable.

 

In terms of lack of experience, I've spent countless hours researching, taking notes on hives, nutting out issues and experimenting. I think the key is to really be open to learning and accepting that what I do or believe could be wrong. Having the motivation to be a great beekeeper is also key too, I inspire to be great one day but accept I've got so much to learn first it does my head in at times.

 

So to all those new beekeepers who are in my position and love their bees, they get my respect as its very challenging and daunting when it appears like there a huge mountain to climb before we can get anywhere.

You raise some very good points. The hardest thing I see is beeks who chase honey not bee health, with the result that they spread disease o everybody else in the process.

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