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Bee journalist

Your personal experiences with "manuka-madness"

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Hello to all you NZ beekeepers,

 

I’m a journalist from the German bee-journal (Deutsches Bienen-Journal) in Berlin and currently working on an article about the so called Manuka-crisis in New Zealand. I researched a lot and already talked to some members of Apicultural NZ about overstocking farm sites and local beekeepers being pushed out of their areas from bigger companies. But we really like to give our readers some firsthand experiences by local beekeepers affected by the developments. So we would be glad if you have a personal story to tell and are willing to share it with our readers. In Germany we had no Idea of this situation until reading an open letter from John Berry in Bee Culture. So we really want to address this subject. We won’t state your name if you wish to stay anonymous. I hope it is okay to make such demands in this forum, but for the article I really like to give an insight on what is happening on local beekeepers-level. Unfortunately I can’t come to New Zealand myself (love to see the country one time though) so this seemed like a good possibility for investigation and to get some experiences form persons concerned.

Here are some of the problems I would like to accompany with personal experiences/stories in the article:

- Beekeepers pushed from their land, maybe even being threatened

- Beekeepers loosing hives due to overstocking or poisoning

- Fishy methods of other beekeepers wanting to put their hives in your neighbourhood

- Beekeepers , who are no longer able to pay high prices to landowners for putting their hives there

- Or maybe you had some positive experiences and even benefited from these changes

 

Is the hype about Manuka and problems involved pushed by the media or is it really an ongoing problem for New Zealand beekeepers (especially hobbyist beekeepers)? Please excuse my bad English-skills. I hope you get what I'm trying to ask.

Looking forward to your responses!

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Hi. I am sure some people here have stories to tell you. Where I live in the south things are not so crazy yet.

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Welcome to NZBees @Bee journalist your English is very good and your request is clearly made.

 

Hawkes Bay is a spring dumping site for the big beekeeping outfits. They place apiaries of forty to sixty hives onto farm land and often rather close to one another. They appear to do this without regard for other beekeepers. The over stocking makes it harder for local beekeepers to prepare hives for pollination. Consequently everyone is talking about extra syrup feeding and pollen supplements. These big outfits do not contribute to the local economy. They arrive, they pillage, they leave, then they return.

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Don't Comvita have a significant base and extraction facility in Hawkes Bay employing a large number of local residents thereby contributing to the local economy??

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Don't Comvita have a significant base and extraction facility in Hawkes Bay employing a large number of local residents thereby contributing to the local economy??

You're right. My poor wording. What I meant was that the dumped hives don't contribute to the local economy. They're a drain.

 

I should also add that these big players aren't doing anything illegal by dumping hives here. Also the behavior has been normalised such that people shrug their shoulders and say, "there's nothing I can do". Indeed small players have adopted the same tactics on a smaller scale simply to stay in business.

 

I guess when it was only a few hives moving about no one noticed the impact. Now that we have thousands of hives moving the length of the country the effects are more pronounced everywhere they stop.

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Apiary locations are more tightly managed in many parts of Europe to protect local beekeepers from the effects of migrants. NZ is worse than the wild west in that regard. It would be good if more comparisons were drawn between the two approaches. The way we're going it can only end in a monopoly.

 

Outside looks okay now. Off to do some work.

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Hi from a hobbyist, definitely pro's and cons, we are not near Manuka so I don't have a problem with over crowding, when I sell a few hives, the prices are good, probably in part because of the interest in Manuka, it has definitely increased interest in bee keeping. This increased interest is great, getting people excited about bees but when greedy people who are interested in just the money and not Bee welfare problems will or maybe are arising. Hive AFB care being the worrying one. We have strict AFB management strategies in place with an end goal of eradicating AFB, if poor care is taken, overcrowding and such then these goals will be unachievable. Thoughts from a hobbyist and NZ honey is the best:)

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I hope you get what I'm trying to ask.

Looking forward to your respons

Your Kiwi English is extremely good

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Are bees in decline tho? It is getting harder to keep them alive for sure but isn't there a significant glut of honey world wide?

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This is an unsolicited international media request and your views will be quoted and interpreted for the audience in that country. Your views are your own and this site does not condone or endorse the use of social media by journalists trawling the internet for a quick story.

 

Neither has nzbees.net been asked if the platform can be used for such activity.

 

Please remember what you are quoted as saying could tarnish or enhance the reputation of commercial exports and the image of New Zealand across the globe.

 

With that in mind you can continue the discussion at your own risk. Previous posts that have been removed can be reposted by their authors now you are fully aware of the risks.

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Are bees in decline tho? It is getting harder to keep them alive for sure but isn't there a significant glut of honey world wide?

Are bees in decline?

 

Unmanaged, wild, bees yes from the numbers managed bees are obviously not in decline. And a slightly sensationalised report from the USA about the honey glut and tariffs.

 

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/08/honey-laundering/

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This is an unsolicited international media request and your views will be quoted and interpreted for the audience in that country. Your views are your own and this site does not condone or endorse the use of social media by journalists trawling the internet for a quick story.

 

Neither has nzbees.net been asked if the platform can be used for such activity.

 

Please remember what you are quoted as saying could tarnish or enhance the reputation of commercial exports and the image of New Zealand across the globe.

 

With that in mind you can continue the discussion at your own risk. Previous posts that have been removed can be reposted by their authors now you are fully aware of the risks.

What risks ??

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What risks ??

The risk of becoming a pawn in someone elses game of Chess

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What risks ??

Just highlighting the fact that some may need to be a little more careful with how they respond. An off the cuff quip could cause a lot of damage if taken out of context. Or it could get lost in translation.

 

The brief listed above and the target audience is not detailed and there is nothing to say it's not freelanced or sold onto other outlets. The resulting articles will be quoted by other media outlets and whilst I have information available to do a quick background check on who's asking the questions, you don't.

 

In an interview situation you could pre negotiate that you'd see the copy before it's published. It may not be available when lifted off the conversation here. In an interview situation you'd give details, discuss and explain. This method is already turning into more of a situation where a feature story is being created from reading the comments section on a Stuff article.

 

@Janice what are your thoughts I a professional capacity please? You can pm me if you prefer.

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What risks ??

saying something stupid and getting taken to court by someone with a lot of money.

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I was approached by the magazine with some questions and I thought long and hard before I replied to them. I have no idea if they are genuine or not but in the end decided to take them on face value. We do have to be careful not to damage New Zealand's reputation but what some of our beekeeping fraternity are doing is going to do that anyway and it is time for us to stop closing our eyes and looking the other way. As for comvita that it does provide jobs but it is extremely aggressive at acquiring a apiary sites and it does not provide any hives for pollination that I know of.

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What risks ??

Ok so what's the chances this is going to be a balanced article about the how the production of manuka honey has generated a much higher profile for the beekeeping industry across the entire country, expanded interest in hobbiest beekeeping in general, honey production, the expansion of products and services to the industry and the connection between beekeepers through the growth of a forum like this for NZ beekeepers. Or is it going to be a article trashing the entire industry with claims generated from this site ( and elsewhere). Tell me the last time the EU trading block did any favours for NZ.

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Ok so what's the chances this is going to be a balanced article about the how the production of manuka honey has generated a much higher profile for the beekeeping industry across the entire country, expanded interest in hobbiest beekeeping in general, honey production, the expansion of products and services to the industry and the connection between beekeepers through the growth of a forum like this for NZ beekeepers. Or is it going to be a article trashing the entire industry with claims generated from this site ( and elsewhere). Tell me the last time the EU trading block did any favours for NZ.
Let Britain leave.

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No no should be queuing up like australia for a trade agreement

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Ok so what's the chances this is going to be a balanced article about the how the production of manuka honey has generated a much higher profile for the beekeeping industry across the entire country, expanded interest in hobbiest beekeeping in general, honey production, the expansion of products and services to the industry and the connection between beekeepers through the growth of a forum like this for NZ beekeepers. Or is it going to be a article trashing the entire industry with claims generated from this site ( and elsewhere). Tell me the last time the EU trading block did any favours for NZ.

Slim. Incredibly slim. It's a very complex issue and if you don't know anything about bees you're likely to only skim the surface and probably only the sensational bits.

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Just highlighting the fact that some may need to be a little more careful with how they respond. An off the cuff quip could cause a lot of damage if taken out of context. Or it could get lost in translation.

 

The brief listed above and the target audience is not detailed and there is nothing to say it's not freelanced or sold onto other outlets. The resulting articles will be quoted by other media outlets and whilst I have information available to do a quick background check on who's asking the questions, you don't.

 

In an interview situation you could pre negotiate that you'd see the copy before it's published. It may not be available when lifted off the conversation here. In an interview situation you'd give details, discuss and explain. This method is already turning into more of a situation where a feature story is being created from reading the comments section on a Stuff article.

 

@Janice what are your thoughts I a professional capacity please? You can pm me if you prefer.

I tend to agree with you. I think people should contact the journalist privately if they have comments to make.

The forum is just some people's opinion and a good journo will look elsewhere as well and try to draw informed conclusions.

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We should also be a little bit careful as some of us are here on out real names (Not me believe it or not) and it would be properly not good if something a non named member said was bad/wrong/whatever and it got linked to one of the members that has signed up by real name. I also agree that an Internet forum is a funny place to be doing research...

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I think that was the point. It is complex on all levels. So trawling for comment as occuring now does not suggest to me that NZ and beekeeping in the country is going to be portrayed in a positive manner.

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In a public forum anything can be used as a news source and no permission needs to be asked. The information is already public.

It is a normal part of research these days to use the internet in fact finding and this forum is a logical place to look for New Zealand beekeepers to interview.

 

 

This is an unsolicited international media request and your views will be quoted and interpreted for the audience in that country. Your views are your own and this site does not condone or endorse the use of social media by journalists trawling the internet for a quick story.

 

Neither has nzbees.net been asked if the platform can be used for such activity.

 

Please remember what you are quoted as saying could tarnish or enhance the reputation of commercial exports and the image of New Zealand across the globe.

 

With that in mind you can continue the discussion at your own risk. Previous posts that have been removed can be reposted by their authors now you are fully aware of the risks.

If it's public it's fair game

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