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Everything posted by Otto

  1. I would never dispute that Russell Berry has done our industry many a great service over his whole lifetime in it. I was merely pointing out that the opening sentence of the article stated: Apiculture New Zealand's proposed compulsory industry levy has stung beekeepers into action with claims it could put small operations out of the honey business. That would lead me to believe this article is about small beekeeping operations. The only people mentioned in/interviewed for the article are Karin Kos and Russell Berry, neither of whom fit into this category and therefore (
  2. The first two lines of this article: Apiculture New Zealand's proposed compulsory industry levy has stung beekeepers into action with claims it could put small operations out of the honey business. President of New Zealand Beekeeping Russell Berry said his family-owned company Arataki would have to pay about $100,000 a year. Gotta love an article that introduces the idea that the levy could put small operations out of the honey business then straight away quotes Arataki honey...
  3. Projects that could get funded from such a fund should not be (and don't think will be) predetermined before the fund is in place. Some of the reasons for establishing an industry research fund (through this proposed levy) would be: 1) To ensure there is some money available for research deemed critical to the industry. 2) So that there is somewhere researchers can apply to for a grant to do research they think would benefit the industry. It would be up to a granting panel to identify those projects that are worth funding. Such a panel would usually be made up of a
  4. We're having a pretty good run of weather in Dunedin of late. Bees are collecting loads of pollen and when I was going through some town hives a few days ago I was shaking fresh nectar out of brood frames. Very early for down here.
  5. I find this more than a little hard to swallow. You're the guy who wrote the book on eradicating AFB without the use of anitbiotics! At a time when AFB is on the increase and the AFB NPMP needs to be looked at to see how we can get back on track, how on earth can a plan be formulated without getting you involved?
  6. @Dr Mark Goodwin Just out of interest. Have the AFB NPMP Board consulted with you over the proposed increases, what they would be for and whether this is the right way forward? With your expertise in this field and your input into trying to get the strategy right from the outset this surely should have happened. From your post above it seems likely that you weren't, which is hard to believe.
  7. Yes, I understand that Dennis and, yes, I will have a look at the acts no matter how painful they are to read because I firmly believe the current system can be significantly improved upon. And just so you know, I am grateful that you are taking the time to try and answer our questions and share resources when you know where they are. To me, you are behaving exactly how an elected representative should.
  8. To some this document might sound fine but to me it means the Board does not have a mandate to try to push through the changes they are wanting to push through. If they were elected representatives, put there by all stakeholders (beekeepers) then they would. I am not against a levy increase if it is needed to see our AFB plan get back on track. I do have an issue with levies based on apiary numbers though because I believe beekeepers who spread their hives out in small apiaries (because it is better for bee health or because they are running a hive rental company) end up subsidising beeke
  9. If this is starting a fire then it needs to be lit. I believe one of the main reasons there is so much division and ill will in our industry is with the issue of representation. If all beekeepers get a vote on who represents us on the AFB NPMP Board then we all have a say in the direction the NPMP takes and the Board has a mandate (as they are elected representatives) to do what needs to be done. So who does decide who gets on the Board once a recruitment consultant comes back with a shortlist? I've been a beekeepers for quite a while now and have certainly never had a say.
  10. This is not a voting option Trevor. It is a survey monkey. The AFB Management Agency suggest this is a submission form but it really isn't even that. I have also filled it out and made comments. I have also written a letter to the Minister for Biosecurity. I hope he reads it. I've included part of my letter below. The things I would like to see done are that the review of the AFB-NPMP be moved forward from 2023 to now and that we hold an election where ALL beekeepers get to vote for who represents them on the Board of the AFB-NPMP. The AFB-NPMP Board does not have a mandate
  11. I am not a member. My reason for not being a member is that the amount of subscription you pay is based on hive numbers. I am a relatively small beekeepers (around 150 hives). If my interests conflict with those of large commercial beekeeping entities I have little belief that my interests as a small beekeeper would be looked after by an organisation that collects the vast majority of its revenue from those large commercial entities. They need to look after their revenue stream...
  12. I do however fully agree with the maths on a "simple" system of 10c per kg of honey produced. This will get a lots of beekeepers that produce lower value honey anti the proposed levy because they will very rightly feel they are paying more that their share. The levy needs to be a flat percentage on actual sales (as in Gino's example). Why come up with a proposal that is immediately going to cause a them versus us mentality to prevail? This is something the industry needs to be united on. Let me just add that I am in favour of a commodity levy for the beekeeping industry. I think w
  13. Your maths is slightly out - 15c out of $100 is 0.15%
  14. Please read more at the following website about the proposed levy, how it will be spent, managed, governed etc: https://apinz.org.nz/proposed-levy-investment-programme/#input
  15. Where and when meetings are can be found here: https://apinz.org.nz/levy/ I only found this because I thought I'd go and look at the Apiculture NZ website to do some background reading on the proposed levy. I would certainly have preferred learning about the meetings by having received the information through email or other communication. I'm assuming (@DennisCrowley - please correct me if I'm wrong) all Apiculture NZ members were sent this information? If so, why not beekeepers who are not members? The commodity levy will be charged to all of us so it is paramount that we're all ful
  16. We've had lots of shorts and a t-shirt weather down in Dunedin over the last few weeks. Lots of fresh pollen in hives and, not surprisingly, they're rearing brood. Need to make sure they have enough food to look after that brood if the weather turns colder again so I've been out feeding those that need it.
  17. I don't think you get a vote... Quote from the Apiculture NZ website (https://apinz.org.nz/proposed-levy-investment-programme/#voting): "Who can vote? Producers of honey that is extracted in New Zealand for commercial use to September 2018."
  18. You need to scroll across to the right. There are disagree and strongly disagree tick boxes for each question as well.
  19. I'm trying to work on a submission but am finding myself getting more than a little frustrated with the reasoning provided in the proposed plan for the increased funding. A couple of examples: 1) Quote: “The AFB NPMP is due for review in 2023. The expected one-off cost of completing a thorough review is $250,000. “ From the evidence supplied with the proposed levy changes it is clear that the current plan is not working how it was intended, both from disease elimination and management/implementation perspectives. Surely the best course of action is therefore
  20. Been having a read through the Biosecurity Order (American Foulbrood and Apiary Levy). There are maximum amounts for what the levies can be spelled out in the Order but there does not seem to be a clause regarding the making of changes to the Order. Does anyone know the legal process for making such substantial changes to the Order?
  21. From the levy proposal: "However, before the Management Agency Board makes a recommendation to the Minister for Biosecurity for a new levy order, we would like to hear your views on the proposed levy and investment plans." It sounds to me that it might be sensible to write to the Minister as well as making a submission regarding the draft changes to ensure the Minister is fully aware of the opinion of beekeepers.
  22. With respect to the traps, I assume these are ones that actually trap the wasps (and bees) and they drown in the sugar solution? If so, I doubt this can have too much of an impact on your bees. If the are feeding sugar solution laced with insecticide for wasps to take back to their nests then it's potentially a big problem.
  23. We have lots of wasps in Dunedin this season. A good Spring for the bees was also a good one wasps to get started... I've killed 8 nests within 50m of our section already but it barely seems to have made a dent in the number of wasps around. I did a protein test yesterday (according to the Vespex instructions). The wasps at my place are definitely NOT onto protein yet so I'll be waiting a few more weeks before trying again.
  24. I bought some recently from http://www.epiplastics.co.nz/, who are local here in Dunedin. Not sure about freight costs. Flick them an email, they're usually pretty quick to respond.
  25. @dansar Passion vine hopper, not Lacewing. Two quite different insects.
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