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The growth of unskilled commercial operators

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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.

That's my biggest worry. Having to compromise the health of the bees and having no choice but to feed them because of too many hives around...too many bees in many places...

 

We welcome new beekeepers (we all were at some stage). But yes it does worry us all these new wanna be beekeeping operations run by people with no or poor knowledge. It is at the expense of the bees and other established beekeepers. It should be law not to operate or own a commercial beekeeping operation unless you have at least 2 years field experience. Wouldn't take too much to implement...

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That's my biggest worry. Having to compromise the health of the bees and having no choice but to feed them because of too many hives around...too many bees in many places...

 

I just drove from hastings to taradale... Via the 'backway' and I counted 120 PALLETS of hives within 1km of the road... Only about a 12km trip. I think it is BAD. Bad for the bees etc however, the fact that all the morons are packing their hives in this close to town means that there are more decent sites that are findable further out, It just sucks needing to drive further to get to them. (and all of these sites observed are seasonal, will disappear in time for manuka, not local pollination)

 

And I think I could find an additional 400-500 pallets close to town additional to what I mentioned above. I feel sorry for the medium small hobbyists, who dont have the hive numbers to justify a 30-50km drive you of town for a 10 hive site.

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So as I understand and correct me if I am wrong. There is no mile/kilometer rule in terms of putting any hives in registered apiary or site?

Like in some states in the US, South Dakota for example they have a 3 miles law that you cannot register a yard within 3 miles of another registered yard.

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There is no mile/kilometer rule in terms of putting any hives in registered apiary or site?

Correct

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So as I understand and correct me if I am wrong. There is no mile/kilometer rule in terms of putting any hives in registered apiary or site?

Like in some states in the US, South Dakota for example they have a 3 miles law that you cannot register a yard within 3 miles of another registered yard.

There isnt one however if everybody played nice it would be fine. The sad part is people dont.

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So if you were there first u have rights? What about if u put hives over the fence from a block and then that owner wants hives on their own site? Hardly fair.

Also wth AFB part managing risk is having smaller apiaries.

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It used to be that you had particular areas and if you were approached by someone to put bees in a place you knew was in an area of another beekeeper you would put the landowner in touch with them.

There are still beekeepers here that stick with that rule there are others who will use the excuse of a landowner "inviting" them onto a property to drop a load of bees right on your doorstep.

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There are still beekeepers here that stick with that rule there are others who will use the excuse of a landowner "inviting" them onto a property to drop a load of bees right on your doorstep.

Given the size of modern farms, it isnt hard to put them out the back. and while the 2km rule isnt always achievable, you should always be able to drop them more than 1.5km away.... (Or at least, I do).. If any closer, you are either a **** (bleeped out to save the admins time) or just plain lazy.

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others who will use the excuse of a landowner "inviting" them onto a property to drop a load of bees right on your doorstep.

that can be true. we have had a few invites ourselves (which we turned down) on places that supposedly did not have bees around........yeah right. theres more than a few land owners trying to cash in on bees and let beeks take the heat for it.

then theres landowners approaching beeks wanting payment so they don't put hives on their properties.

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That's sad :(

 

Welcome to the wild south.

 

We right now live in the "manuka rush" era.

Those who never worked with bees but will buy dozens or 100 hives for start will need to dump their hives close to manuka bushes to get back some money of their investment.

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So if you were there first u have rights? What about if u put hives over the fence from a block and then that owner wants hives on their own site? Hardly fair.

Also wth AFB part managing risk is having smaller apiaries.

what I don't understand with this thinking is so there is a beekeeper already over the fence, maybe say 32 hives and then the neighbour wants hives also, so along comes the beek all excited and puts his hives next door, maybe another 32, so the food demand has just doubled, and the food source has just halved, so yes I would say first in has right of way or try and compromise between effected landowners and beek, maybe.

There was a time not so long ago though that beek had a gentleman's agreement that you would keep your distance, those days are quickly disappearing, very disappointing, just shows lack of respect and care and understanding of beekeeping.

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what I don't understand with this thinking is so there is a beekeeper already over the fence, maybe say 32 hives and then the neighbour wants hives also, so along comes the beek all excited and puts his hives next door, maybe another 32, so the food demand has just doubled, and the food source has just halved,

what people forget is that when you double the hive numbers, the crop is not just reduced by half its a bit more than half.

 

the other issue is the mentality in that people are only after a small amount of very expensive honey. as long as they get some they are happy. so they are happy to overstock to the point of getting very little.

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what people forget is that when you double the hive numbers, the crop is not just reduced by half its a bit more than half.

 

correct but does depend on what exactly is available. sites could be understocked but that's not common theses days.

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what people forget is that when you double the hive numbers, the crop is not just reduced by half its a bit more than half.

 

the other issue is the mentality in that people are only after a small amount of very expensive honey. as long as they get some they are happy. so they are happy to overstock to the point of getting very little.

 

We put a few hives in Taranaki for manuka. All our sites were "rightful sites" meaning the blocks we were putting them on had enough resource to justify our 100 hives in each for the flow.

 

  • Site 1 (which is several sites in the same area) did around 13kg/hive on a crappy year.

 

 

  • Site 2 (several sites as well) did <2kg per hive on the same crappy year!! Geographically the sites are not very far and very similar. Site 1 was stocked appropriately. Site 2 had:

    - 200 to 400 hives from Settlers on the farm next door which has stuff all manuka, right on the edge

    of our manuka/bush/kanuka loaded big block

    - 100 to 300 hives from Watson and Son on a much smaller bush/manuka/kanuka block adjoining "ours"

    - 400+ hives from King Honey on 2 adjoining big blocks that have quite a bit of resource and in a good year could justify these numbers.

 

Result is Site 1 made a profit and paid for the loss of Site 2. Great!! Didn't make anything of 200+hives.

And this is only going to get worse.

The worse part too is there were that many hives that the bees couldn't even get any pasture honey in the end so even if you weren't chasing manuka, you would have been screwed!!

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@Padre thats a very good example of the impact of over stocking.

The problem in the Manuka blocks will expand out into the winter/spring blocks, bees will be fed sygar syrup and pollen sub and it won't be long before we start seeing massive losses to "CCD".

 

The problem now is not just unethical honey producers but with money changing hands landowners have to shoulder some blame.

And yet the govt is pushing for an increase in hive numbers by hundreds of thousands.

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Totally agree with padre and frazzledfozzle

We live in taranaki and are struggling with hive numbers and land without forage being hammered with hives on our boundaries

Picked up the mail today and theres a flyer from watson and sons wanting winter sites .i spoke to the postie and he said they are going out in all the rural delivery post

They are like a plauge of wasps hammering away at our sites and have no respect for local and small beeks

A lot of rural taranaki is not suitable for wintering ,whats left generally has enough coverage allready

I am very concerned about saturation apiaries spreading disease

Rant finished!

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Totally agree with padre and frazzledfozzle

We live in taranaki and are struggling with hive numbers and land without forage being hammered with hives on our boundaries

Picked up the mail today and theres a flyer from watson and sons wanting winter sites .i spoke to the postie and he said they are going out in all the rural delivery post

They are like a plauge of wasps hammering away at our sites and have no respect for local and small beeks

A lot of rural taranaki is not suitable for wintering ,whats left generally has enough coverage allready

I am very concerned about saturation apiaries spreading disease

Rant finished!

I dont mind new people starting up, but this trucking hives cross country to try and poach wintering sites pisses me off! Are you seeing mega sites with 15-30 pallet sites? I saw one the other day over here with 34 pallets.... Bad for the bees :-( but at least they are not spread out poaching everybody else's sites....

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Yep agree winter/spring sites are the ones that get me. only if they stacked on top, fair game if its keeping good distances, one of the biggest problems is the landowners don't understand

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Totally agree with padre and frazzledfozzle

We live in taranaki and are struggling with hive numbers and land without forage being hammered with hives on our boundaries

Picked up the mail today and theres a flyer from watson and sons wanting winter sites .i spoke to the postie and he said they are going out in all the rural delivery post

They are like a plauge of wasps hammering away at our sites and have no respect for local and small beeks

A lot of rural taranaki is not suitable for wintering ,whats left generally has enough coverage allready

I am very concerned about saturation apiaries spreading disease

Rant finished!

 

I think (t)Watson and Son is a plague...

100% corporate take-over greed

100% Filipino labour

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Watson and Son have just re-signed 1 forest block lease they have held for the last 3 years, and signed another 2 forest block leases in the greater Northland area as wintering sites that I'm aware of, so they are very active in the north as well.

I'm not sure how others around the country run their sites with landowners but we always pay our way for sites with contracts and contracted $ / hive / yr, while other firms we know of can run thousands of hives with no contracts and payment is in a bit of honey...contracts don't hide the need to have good relationships with the landowners but at least with contracts they set out mutually clear expectations - picking up on Tony's earlier comment about landowner's not understanding...

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They import workers from the Phillipines, pay them beggar all, then export them again if they complain....

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I think (t)Watson and Son is a plague...

100% corporate take-over greed

100% Filipino labour

 

 

They import workers from the Phillipines, pay them bigger all the export them again if they complain....

Lots of accusations flying around in this topic. We've removed some of the worst unfounded ones, but a reminder that your comments are public an you are responsible for the liability of your own claims and some of you need to start backing them up with evidence.

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Lots of accusations flying around in this topic

 

I would think its common knowledge in the commercial sector, its certainly not news to me.

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