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hello, im doing a bit of planning for next year and i was wondering what is an average price for pasture honey to work off? I have tried to ask some of the buyers but no one seems to want to say anything! I have heard of 8 to 14 per kilo? Not sure, any help would be greatly appreciated, and just for pasture please, no manuka! Thanks for your time, and i hope its not an industry "rudeness" by asking!

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the simple problem is no one knows. you can go off this seasons price but next season could be up or down.

general rule of thumb is budget on being a lot less than what you would expect.

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$12/kg is about the average for this season just gone.

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Very rude ;-) For me the biggest budgeting issue is how much honey i will get, not so much the price...

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You have heard 8-14 so budget on 7 and budget on getting half of this years crop. Then you might get a nice surprise.

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Pasture honey is quite variable in price depending on the grade. If you have a good quality light coloured clover then you could have expected around $12-14/kg this year, depending on whether it was in your drums and who you sold to. If you end up with a dark poly-floral honey then you could expect between $8-11/kg depending on just how dark it was. But as it has been stated, that was this seasons prices. Lord only knows what we will be getting next year. Personally I'm banking on $18/kg, I really want a new shed.

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There was some bush blend (1.5T) put on the Honey Market today. Starting bid was $15.00/kg plus GST

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For the last few years I have been expecting honey prices to drop but they keep on going up. This is not the case in the rest of the world where honey prices have roughly halved in the last year. If you disregard manuka all other honeys are hugely overvalued compared to the rest of the world. That doesn't mean honey prices will go down but the potential is there. Many beekeepers in the industry now have never known low prices let alone not being able to sell your crop at any price but given that history tends to repeat I tend to air on the side of caution. It can take very small changes to change from a seller's market to a buyers market as the majority of the world beekeepers have just found out .

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World prices have fallen from around US$4,000 12 months ago to currently US$1,700 for Argentinian pasture honeys and Canadian light honeys at US$2,200 per metric tonne CFR (price paid to export destination). These prices would currently yield around NZ$2.15 to $2.85 per kilo FOB (in drums delivered to port) depending on freight and commission costs. And prices are continuing to fall with many exporters unable to find a buyer who in turn are sitting on their hands buying from hand to mouth.

 

The New Zealand price is being held up by manuka. Exports of over 9,400 tonnes last year at over $30 per kilo FOB indicate that most is being sold for export as manuka. NZ doesn't produce that amount of manuka but estimates of how much we do produce depend on what one calls manuka. The World standard requires a honey to be "wholly or mainly" from the named nectar source so could be interpreted as being from more than 50% manuka to mostly from manuka. We could be looking at a level of 2,000 to 5,000 tonnes of total manuka production, and the rest would be surplus.

 

MPI say their science program is expected to deliver a manuka standard around the end of the year (the current interim manuka guideline is not a standard) and have hinted that there will be a signifcant amount of product sold as manuka now that will not be eligible for sale as manuka in the future. Much will also depend on the use of the word "blend" and how much manuka will be needed to be labelled as a "manauka blend". But all in the industry know there is going to be a surplus where now there is none.

 

This surplus will end up firstly on the local market but the local market volume has fallen dramatically (less than half the per capita consumption of 10 years ago) in recent years due to the 3-4 fold increases in price, and the potential non manuka surplus could range from 3,000 to 7,000 tonnes - more than the total current reduced domestic market. The only market for these honies will then be the export market and savage competition to reap the benefit of the high (protected from imports) domestic market would soon reduce that market to the price of the export returns.

 

So... pick business as usual? Or a correction to the distortions in play at present? Your choice.

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World prices have fallen from around US$4,000 12 months ago to currently US$1,700 for Argentinian pasture honeys and Canadian light honeys at US$2,200 per metric tonne CFR (price paid to export destination). These prices would currently yield around NZ$2.15 to $2.85 per kilo FOB (in drums delivered to port) depending on freight and commission costs. And prices are continuing to fall with many exporters unable to find a buyer who in turn are sitting on their hands buying from hand to mouth.

 

The New Zealand price is being held up by manuka. Exports of over 9,400 tonnes last year at over $30 per kilo FOB indicate that most is being sold for export as manuka. NZ doesn't produce that amount of manuka but estimates of how much we do produce depend on what one calls manuka. The World standard requires a honey to be "wholly or mainly" from the named nectar source so could be interpreted as being from more than 50% manuka to mostly from manuka. We could be looking at a level of 2,000 to 5,000 tonnes of total manuka production, and the rest would be surplus.

 

MPI say their science program is expected to deliver a manuka standard around the end of the year (the current interim manuka guideline is not a standard) and have hinted that there will be a signifcant amount of product sold as manuka now that will not be eligible for sale as manuka in the future. Much will also depend on the use of the word "blend" and how much manuka will be needed to be labelled as a "manauka blend". But all in the industry know there is going to be a surplus where now there is none.

 

This surplus will end up firstly on the local market but the local market volume has fallen dramatically (less than half the per capita consumption of 10 years ago) in recent years due to the 3-4 fold increases in price, and the potential non manuka surplus could range from 3,000 to 7,000 tonnes - more than the total current reduced domestic market. The only market for these honies will then be the export market and savage competition to reap the benefit of the high (protected from imports) domestic market would soon reduce that market to the price of the export returns.

 

So... pick business as usual? Or a correction to the distortions in play at present? Your choice.

Hell, that makes pretty grim reading!! Based on your comments around blending I don't understand why the export demand for clover is so high at extremely good prices if the world market is depressed?? I'm sure that's not being sold as a Manuka blend??

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Hell, that makes pretty grim reading!! Based on your comments around blending I don't understand why the export demand for clover is so high at extremely good prices if the world market is depressed?? I'm sure that's not being sold as a Manuka blend??

New Zealand is one of few country's that doesn't treat AFB with antibiotics. I would still be interested to know why the international price is so low and falling so fast....

 

And imho a lot of clover is being blended to weaken Manuka or sold as Manuka outright. It is one of the biggest threats to nz honey....

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New Zealand is one of few country's that doesn't treat AFB with antibiotics. I would still be interested to know why the international price is so low and falling so fast....

 

And imho a lot of clover is being blended to weaken Manuka or sold as Manuka outright. It is one of the biggest threats to nz honey....

 

Here's hoping NZ continues to maintain the non-antibiotic approach.

 

Is the standard(s) earlier mentioned open to sector comment?

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Here's hoping NZ continues to maintain the non-antibiotic approach.

 

Is the standard(s) earlier mentioned open to sector comment?

I hope not, they are the ones causing the problem....

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I hope not, they are the ones causing the problem....

In what way?

Can understand that some will have been making the most of "grey area", however might it not be prudent for future proofing the industry?

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If we get European fell brood then we will have antibiotics. It is the wrong choice to make but vested interests in both the honey industry and industries needing pollination will force it through. What would happen if we didn't go with antibiotics is uncertain but my guess would be two or three years without adequate honey production or pollination.

Beach honeydew as an interesting honey for which you can really get a taste but the market in New Zealand is pretty small so in the past most of it was exported. It has no pollen so does not altar the pollen count of any honey it has been added to. Honeydew sales from New Zealand have dropped to close to 0. Surely MPI with all their myriads of paperwork can trace back to find out who these people are. Personally I would like to see a drop in honey prices but $2.50 a kilogram might be going just a bit far. Those of you out there that have sold honeydew or rewarewa knowingly known what it will be used for should hang your heads in shame along with everyone else involved.

It will come back to bite us all on the bum.

 

For the record telling the purity of manuka is easy and doesn't need any fancy scientific tests (other than for activity). When you take the boxes of honey off you stick your finger in a few frames and see if it is thixotropic (someone please correct my spelling) or not. With a bit of practice it becomes easy and then all you need to do is have enough ethics not to adulterated it and Bob's your uncle.

If that's too complicated for you then if it didn't come from a Ling heather area and it won't extract without pricking then it is manuka.

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New Zealand is one of few country's that doesn't treat AFB with antibiotics

i don't think that's correct. i think countries that use antibiotics are the exception and even were antibiotics are registered only few beekeepers use them. maybe someone has some data?

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EFB can, and is easy to treat without antibiotics (still includes burning frames, but the bees seem good), unlike AFB. also the rate of reinfection of a shook swarm is lower than reinfection after antibiotics

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EFB is really hard to find accurate information on but a few things seem pretty certain. It is very highly contagious and once one hive has it in an area all hives will get it. It does not always show clinical symptoms and often shows up only at times of stress. It appears to be relatively easy to breed resistance to and that is the problem we will have in New Zealand. Our hives have no history of EFB and therefore no immunity. With shook swarming you would be removing a lot of infected material plus having a brood break but the EFB would still be there. If you factor in the hive density in New Zealand, our extremely long breeding season, pollination and our notoriously fickle weather I think we would have a real problem with it. I haven't seen the figures on who uses antibiotics throughout the world but I suspect you'll find most commercial beekeepers do either for European foul brood or American foul brood. I salute those that don't but I suspect they are in the minority.

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EFB can, and is easy to treat without antibiotics

 

It is important to know that Half Moon Disorder (HMD) was discovered in New Zealand. It is a disorder that is common with poor nutrition of the virgin queen (from memory after mating and before laying) and so is an old and Worldwide disorder. Why was it discovered in NZ? Because HMD has identical symptoms to EFB. Elsewhere in the World it was always diagnosed as EFB.

 

The treatement for HMD includes requeening and putting the bees on good conditions (pollen). Now go and read all the info you can find Worldwide on on treating EFB.... very similar treatments to HMD, because most all cases of HMD will be diagnosed as EFB. That is what they are treating, not EFB. When EFB turned up in Australia in the late 70s they also thought that treating EFB was simply putting the bees on good conditions and letting them get on with it. Well that didn't work! And it was only a short time before they were feeding terramycin.... and spreading their AFB.

 

Make no mistake! EFB is a disease that will wreak havoc in NZ - and treating it is definitely not "easy"

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It was a beekeeper in Nelson that reported a problem in his hives.

MAF thought it was EFB and shut him down while investigating.

It pretty much cost him his business.

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@Emissary, As an Australian beekeeper I need to bring to your attention that your quote above is very misleading. The spread of AFB in our country is generally through hungry commercial and domestic bees robbing out infected feral hives that live in hollow trees etc. Unlike NZ we do not have Virroa to rid us of feral hives. To say terramycin is the cause of AFB spread in Australia is shear nonsense and I cannot think where you could have got such information from.

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Well that didn't work! And it was only a short time before they were feeding terramycin.... and spreading their AFB.

I've been wondering about the mechanics of this..:confused:

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To say terramycin is the cause of AFB spread in Australia is shear nonsense and I cannot think where you could have got such information from.

I think @Emissary meant to say EFB, not AFB. The comment doesn't follow on from the discussion otherwise.

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It is important to know that Half Moon Disorder (HMD) was discovered in New Zealand. It is a disorder that is common with poor nutrition of the virgin queen (from memory after mating and before laying) and so is an old and Worldwide disorder. Why was it discovered in NZ? Because HMD has identical symptoms to EFB. Elsewhere in the World it was always diagnosed as EFB.

 

The treatement for HMD includes requeening and putting the bees on good conditions (pollen). Now go and read all the info you can find Worldwide on on treating EFB.... very similar treatments to HMD, because most all cases of HMD will be diagnosed as EFB. That is what they are treating, not EFB. When EFB turned up in Australia in the late 70s they also thought that treating EFB was simply putting the bees on good conditions and letting them get on with it. Well that didn't work! And it was only a short time before they were feeding terramycin.... and spreading their AFB.

 

Make no mistake! EFB is a disease that will wreak havoc in NZ - and treating it is definitely not "easy"

And how many EFB have you seen/treated/been involved with/talked to scientists about treatment? I worked for DERFA in the UK and I was part of the field trials of the field diagnostic kits for both AFB and EFB, and the tail end of the monitoring of the shook swarm trials.

I have treated EFB, both with and without antibiotics, hives that have had verified EFB. From memory EFB has about 10% re-occurrence if treated with terramycin, but well under 1% with the protocols set out by DEFRA/CSL in the UK.

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And how many EFB have you seen/treated/been involved with/talked to scientists about treatment?

I was involved with inspecting for EFB in Australia with the DPI in the late 70s as it was spreading, realised we "had EFB" in NZ based on the physical symptoms, and was involved with Dennis Anderson when he came to New Zealand to solve the mystery of HMD (which he subsequently did). The Nelson "outbreak" was most likely a case of HMD. Bruce White, an Australian beekeeping extension officer that came over to assist (because of Australia's experience with "true EFB") during this event was quoted as "I'll eat my hat if that isn't EFB". History records that we didn't have EFB, but there's nothing in the literature about Bruce's hat. :)

 

All the older literature on EFB, says in essence it's not a problem, but, for the odd case that doesn't respond, then treat with antibiotics. Little of this literature on EFB was developed with positive ID of M.pluton, in itself difficult because of the swamping of the samples with P. alvei. Instead the diagnoses relied on visual symptoms in the field, and the inevitable inclusion of HMD in those diagnoses.

 

However if you are correct in your belief, then we needn't worry about honey being imported because getting EFB is nothing to worry about (contrary to the Australian experience).

 

That will please those companies wanting to import Australian Leptospermum/"manuka" honey.

 

 

@Emissary, As an Australian beekeeper I need to bring to your attention that your quote above is very misleading.

 

What I said was "And it was only a short time before they were feeding terramycin ... and spreading their AFB." A cause, not the cause... subtly different.

 

The mechanism

AFB is caused by a spore forming bacteria. Oxytetracyline (OTC) only kills the vegetative stage of AFB, supressing visual symptoms of AFB. The spores are still there and, spread by the beekeeper swapping brood, bees, hive components etc will spread AFB.

 

The information......a couple of references....... plenty more of these.....

BP Oldroyd, RD Goodman, MAZ Hornitzky and D Chandler 1989 “The effect on American foulbrood of standard oxytetracycline hydrochloride treatments for the control of European foulbrood of honeybees (Apis mellifera)”

 

 

 

“The results show that recommended treatments for European foulbrood (EFB) effectively

 

mask AFB disease, making it likely that beekeepers treating EFB also suppress signs of AFB

 

disease if it is present. As it is common practice in Australia to treat EFB prophylactically

 

with OTC, an escalation of AFB in Australian hives is anticipated

 

 

RIRDC report titled "R&D plan for the Honeybee Program 2002-2007" contains the following:

 

 

"As mentioned earlier the use of antibiotics for the control of EFB is leading to the

 

masking and therefore probable increases in AFB levels."

 

 

And the outcome....

There was a 280% increase in honey with AFB spore levels by 1991 when 12.5% of samples tested positive, around 10 years after EFB was widespread in Eastern Australia.

Tasmania which has been using OTC for AFB since the 1950s had a level of 68.4% of honey with AFB in the late 1980s.

 

New Zealand has had significant number of years with zero samples. Not sure that this would be the case now. I haven't followed it for a number of years.

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