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Went to one of my sites 2 days ago & the owner walks over and asks if I knew Comvita have moved into the area. No I said, so he walks me down a track into the forest and couple hundred meters away from the nearest hive is a newly placed 24 hive apiary of Comvita. He then tells me there's another 24 hive apiary about 200 meters on the other side, and there's a whole bunch of 24 hive apiaries all through the forest.

 

I asked how he knows it's Comvita, it's because he sometimes goes for a run through the forest which is how he found their sites, and also came across the guys working the bees and spoke to them.

 

The layout in this area is there are some long established apiaries of myself and other people along the edge of the forest. Within the forest is a driveable track and Comvita have dotted apiaries all along this track, just inside the forest. Some of these are a very short distance from other apiaries.

 

Have noticed this trend of apiaries just getting dumped regardless who else is around or where.

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The new tracking technology is great. It gives us the ability to record exact hive numbers with a scan, record their location and then trace hive and box movements as they go from A to B to C and back

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Sorry don't know. It's a pretty big pine plantation, could probably ask around and find out. I think Comvita are well practised at doing deals with these kind of people. The sites have been cleared, bulldozed and made nice and flat so there has been quite a bit of preperation go into this, I would guess money must have changed hands to make that happen.

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Similar thing in the south. Previously crown owned pine forest land handed over to iwi. At the moment long standing family owned beekeeping business with permits, scraping a living, Being kicked off. Watsons taking over and have rights to it all. They won't stay because it's scraping a living, even for a mom and pop operation.

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What I don't understand is why the big outfits are moving hives into areas that don't produce " Manuka" honey.

Is it all used for blending? Are they not worried about the Manuka standard?

In fact am I the only one stressing about the standard?

 

I don't know where it's all going to end but it's not looking good for us small guys.

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I would not have thought the middle of a pine forest would be suitable for bees, even with good access and flat spots.

Wouldn't it be too damp and shady in winter when the sun was low .

Would these be cut over forests ?

You would be surprised. It's beautiful inside the pine forests here. Lots of great sites if you're keen to level them

 

Stink ######s.

 

The Comvita guys here were all good, don't know how many of them are still there though as I heard they got new guys.

Will be interesting.

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I would not have thought the middle of a pine forest would be suitable for bees, even with good access and flat spots.

Wouldn't it be too damp and shady in winter when the sun was low .

Would these be cut over forests ?

 

There are usually plenty of natives beneath the pine canopy.

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We have a pine forest behind us .

Now it has been logged and is scrubby regrowth there are looks of great spots .

When it was uncut it was pretty dense, it was neglected and never pruned.

But you are right there is lots of native in the gullies

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The main crop in the area is kanuka, it can be good, or move down the road a few km's and there's not much. Yes their hives are completely shaded. Next time I'm there I'll get a pic.

I really feel for you :(

What dicks.

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Thanks. 2 years ago I took an excellent crop from this area. But outside the pine forest the area is mostly grass with just limited stands of kanuka, there is only so much and hives have to be placed just right to do well. Pretty sure with all these hives now the harvest will be reduced to mediocre at best.

 

Never seen Comvita anywhere around here before, and didn't think they would ever come here as this is not exactly high grade manuka country.

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Comvita have a lots of similar sized sites near where I live in the King Country which are not on manuka. Most of the sites I'm referring to seem to be semi permanent in that 90% of hives from each apiary disapear for a few weeks during the flow, presumably the strongest are shifted onto manuka. Perhaps you may get a bit of a reprieve around that time...

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You mention that each hive is bar-coded. Is there an apiary number clearly displayed at each site in terms of the regulations? If not perhaps something official to MPI may be a starting point.

The sites around here ,from a well known outfit don't have any visible apiary numbers.

Do these sorts work on the premise that,ppl round here know who we are so we don't need to put an apiary number on display???

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I'm torn with this sort of hive placement. I can't abide the arrogance that goes with crowding out existing beeks like this. It's a bit like supermarkets moving into small towns running loss-leaders to crowd out the local stores.

 

However, I have some sympathy with Landowners who may not get anything from neighboring beekeepers.

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There is no beekeeper registration number on display. However I'm not doing anything about it, have to accept they will be here to stay.

 

Just wondering if they will be dumping all over the rest of my area. I do suspect as per Daniel, that they will be semi permanent, they will dissapear during the manuka (which is now), however this time round although they are in 2 boxes they look like newish splits, probably not worth putting on manuka yet.

 

The way they are sited is perfect for this type of operation. Enough nectar sources to maintain them through the season, but good access to come and just grab them without messing with fences, landowners, or gates, other than the main gate which is locked.

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Thanks. 2 years ago I took an excellent crop from this area. But outside the pine forest the area is mostly grass with just limited stands of kanuka, there is only so much and hives have to be placed just right to do well. Pretty sure with all these hives now the harvest will be reduced to mediocre at best.

 

Never seen Comvita anywhere around here before, and didn't think they would ever come here as this is not exactly high grade manuka country.

Hopefully after a couple of crappy years they will give up and move on.

Unless as @Daniel Benefield suggests they just need somewhere to temporarily park them.

Then after they have stripped the Manuka they keep feeding them so you will be stuck with them.

Do you think they could leave them there all winter in such a shaded spot .

I left one of my hives in a damp shaded spot over winter and it really set it back

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However, I have some sympathy with Landowners who may not get anything from neighboring beekeepers.

 

Why? This whole thing of landowners being ripped off blah blah really annoys me.

The bees make honey from plants the landowner has on his property generally he hasn't spent any money on planting or maintaining them he does no work on them they owe him nothing. The landowner does no work on the hives and spends no money on maintaining them .To say beekeepers are making money off the back of landowners doesn't stack up.

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Why? This whole thing of landowners being ripped off blah blah really annoys me.

The bees make honey from plants the landowner has on his property generally he hasn't spent any money on planting or maintaining them he does no work on them they owe him nothing. The landowner does no work on the hives and spends no money on maintaining them .To say beekeepers are making money off the back of landowners doesn't stack up.

Plus the farmer needs to use less fert, there is significant benefit to them being there!

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Why? This whole thing of landowners being ripped off blah blah really annoys me.

The bees make honey from plants the landowner has on his property generally he hasn't spent any money on planting or maintaining them he does no work on them they owe him nothing. The landowner does no work on the hives and spends no money on maintaining them .To say beekeepers are making money off the back of landowners doesn't stack up.

That's not quite what I meant nor what I said. From the landowner's perspective beekeeper A has hives next door. Beekeeper B offers said landowner honey/polination/money to put hives on his property. Why wouldn't the landowner go with B given there is no arrangement with A. I like @Daley approach, spreading honey far and wide to keep her landowners and their neighbors sweet (pun intended)

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From the landowner's perspective beekeeper A has hives next door. Beekeeper B offers said landowner honey/polination/money to put hives on his property. Why wouldn't the landowner go with B given there is no arrangement with A.

 

For us, it is because beekeeper a has been there for generations and they are good blokes.

I've got other places to put my own bees well away from there's

 

I can understand why other land owners might prefer beekeeper B

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