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Everything posted by Sailabee

  1. A couple of years ago on TV 1's Rural delivery program they showed the Hills soil analysis gear - 500 samples at a time, compared to when we were taking three very busy weeks to do 16 samples juggling glassware. We simply have little idea of the scale of the instruments and the greater accuracy - even for tutin - just think how many samples that are done every season, and that is only one test in one industry.
  2. I agree that that will become the long-term situation, but as with the Fonterra model, we will see many small and medium size businesses bought up in the short term but as with one entity owning over 100,000 cows, the penny will drop, and hopefully sanity will once again prevail. I remember the international president of Apimondia Gill Ratia (I think) speaking at the 2011 conference saying that the thing better than one entity with 60,000 hives, is 60,000 entities each with one. Bit extreme, but gives an idea of what is best for the bees. I doubt that in nature there has ever been 2000 feral colonies in a small area of pine trees, and that is the size of corporate dump sites around here.
  3. So APINZ will basically be funded by 'the numpty hobbists' with 24 or less hives plus a glorious array of jar fillers and gear suppliers. Got to love your optimism when you now corporate types to pay, and they are not beeks, all in all a bunch bereft of real commercial beekeepers.
  4. I think we are at the top of the crest for numbers of commercial beekeepers - particularly small to medium, in six years there will be a far greater power base in the corporate sector, as already they are gobbling up the small guys by fair means and foul. The only thing that could impact that could modify that is the outcome of the Ngae Tahu / Watson court proceedings.
  5. Not without paying yet another Kings Ransom for yet another RMP for a completely separate setup - you must know it is never that easy - or cheap.
  6. I believe that the levy for lambs is 70 cents/head, and lambs selling are at least $100, says it all.
  7. I received the email below from a member of the old CHCH NBA today, It appears that you don't realise that NZ Beekeeping in CHCH are the residual of those who stayed true to the NBA, not the absconders! Seems the writer needed a longer memory than they actually were able to write about. The Canty NBA was deserted by those that were opposed to the last NBA commodity levy, they left under the banner of Federated Farmers, in 2002. That in itself is interesting, to align with an organisation that have earned a reputation of professional protestors- now FF are on a backpedal on environmental degradation including the removal of important bee feed (weeds that farmers imported, used and spread---gorse). They too are the users of the stuff toxic to bees and sometimes cause bee deaths through carelessness. Now the farmers lobby is well established in ApiNZ to promote farmers clip the ticket for beekeeper land access! Back in 2002 onwards the Canty NBA picked itself up and did industry stuff, like what Apinz crow about now – engaging with ERMA, the predecessor of EPA, regarding chemical issues and bee safety. In fact their action was a forerunner and formed the NBA Committee, later to be called the Apinz Science and Focus Group but under NBA it did not have the vested interest people becoming involved to manipulate the cash cow it could become if a commodity levy is established. Yes a small Canty NBA group did stuff for beekeepers, provided field days and raised money to continue their work. They were pretty disappointed when the group that continued doing little under the BIG came back and manipulated a ‘take over’ of the NBA. Naturally the small group that worked hard and had research underway sought to protect what they had worked for and were trying to achieve by vesting their energy and resources into an organisation that would respect their intentions. A bit like the little red hen wanted to share the bread she made with those that helped her make the bread. The old NBA Canty Branch worked with others, in particular the Waikato Branch, to fight against imported honey. Prior to the NBA/BIG split the NBA was led by a president and some executive members that were sympathetic to the Federated Farmers ethos. Government wanted to provide for imported honey to be allowed into NZ. It was happening, the former NBA president and his mates said, beekeepers better just accept it is impossible to stop the govt. With the split, NBA continued the opposition to imported honey, including court action against the Government. Meanwhile the Feds group, BIG, did little to prevent imported honey and did not seem to want to protect their members when it comes to biosecurity and the world trading environment. Nor it seems do FF and ApiNZ now support NZ primary producers by supporting Country of Origin labelling for food items. Under a commodity levy will ApiNZ fight so strong against future imports of honey? ApiNZ and the people running it have no history in this area so far, and their corporate mates are possibly the ones that would want to trade in imported honey. Pity Margret Anne does not have a better grasp of the history she quotes and it appears she has a Canterbury eye patch –one would think hers is actually a blindfold. We would suggest when the blindfold is removed there is a mirror handy and she can reflect that maybe the group she is supporting also have some issues with ethics she accuses others of. History does have a pattern of repeating and the wheel is oft being reinvented, no different with the proposals we consider today. Some that were round and paid when the NBA had its last commodity levy will remember the ‘industry good’ that formed the promotion for the levy at the time being terminated because the administration had an insatiable financial demand and there was not enough money left for marketing or the AFB PMS. Incidentally Federated Farmers provided administration services to NBA, funded through the commodity levy at the time. All of want some Father Christmas for the industry that will promote our individual views and provide what we want but the reality is with the fragmentation of the industry that started when a group of beekeepers in Canterbury broke from the NBA and formed a separate organisation (BIG) we have lost the ability for those that are ‘industry minded’ to meet in a forum of open discussion and outcomes for mutual benefit. It alarms some if the commodity levy succeeds then ApiNZ will ‘advocate’ for all yet we have seen no opportunity nor a structure in ApiNZ that offers a forum where policy and industry views are established by the members – the beekeepers. The structure of ApiNZ is such that influence is by the groups that have sufficient resources to maintain a seat on the board. If a levy is established then beekeepers expect the organisation to be totally funded and run with levy payers only. Warts and all the old constitution and rules of the NBA would need to be resurrected in order that the beneficiaries, the levy payers, have an organisation that truly represents them. The proposal is simply a tax on those that produce honey and those taxes will support little more than a bunch of bureaucrats in Apinz, promoting feel good stuff beekeepers have little need or support for. Personally, I found this history interesting because it seems to indicate that the very people who absconded from the NBA to avoid a levy, now they have places at the executive table have changed religions - although not in a way that would have the jar fillers and gear sellers paying the levy.
  8. Bill Gates screwed over (financially) anyone he could, including those that originally developed Windows and Microsoft with him, perhaps an unintentionally interesting choice of people to compare APINZ with. Once Windows was thing, he stopped any real work and proceeded to make a fortune out of skimming a margin off anything he could, to the point where whole countries sued him for his business methods.
  9. In NW Beekeeping inc, Jane Lorimer is the President - ex-President and life member of NBA, and the executive are all very experienced beekeepers with each having strong and diverse opinions, and not to be dictated to by anyone, or to pulled off-course by gear sellers and jar fillers.
  10. NZ Beekeeping Inc are already funding some research from subscriptions etc - but then, they are not funding an ever growing corporate structure, and they get to choose which ones and how much, all beekeepers, no hangers on making the decisions.
  11. One source of high results can be where a tank-load is not mixed enough to get a properly blended batch. With thicker honey, can take longer than you think to get a proper mix. By the same token can also get too low a result. Not all hobby beeks realise that the more frames they extract at once and fully blend, the more accurate the tutin result.
  12. It looks like they are inside the wall which is hollow with the entrance on top rather than a cavity behind the wall, much like those movable bright orange walls they use at road work sites.
  13. I think the old NBA would have had more chance of getting beeks to agree to pay a levy, APINZ has a very distinctly corporate look to it and the bulk of the small to medium commercials are already reeling from the boundary stacking, over-stocking and generally boardroom led developments of the corporate sector out in the apiaries and even the hobby beeks in many areas are hit by dump sites, this is not a sane way to encourage an industry to go.
  14. Daley's good to go either way, and she would certainly brighten up the dull and boring types - which is much needed.
  15. I think you will learn more from adding a frame of the next hives brood - if it's getting short of nurse bees and requeening rather than arbitrarily burning it. That is the advantage of being a hobby beek rather than chasing the big fast dream.
  16. @jamesc, is it too far too early, or too far too late?
  17. That price was not a special, and I would suggest that the Pak n Slave chain probably sell far more than most.
  18. And most importantly, how will a plunging honey price affect any proposed contracts viability?
  19. I was told that Hawaii is being used even by the Europeans trying to concentrate the speed of developing promising looking strains of VSH queens as they have a natural year round nectar flow. The development by natural selection is a matter of time since varroa first arrived, so there are areas of Europe and USA with a naturally higher level of VSH and untreated hives.
  20. If these events keep on happening, the only way that the lawmakers can act is to require all trucks carrying bees or honey to have totally enclosed canopies. As a hobbyist, I can work out how to carry them inside my car, so when it is your business, try and remember the longterm consequences if you leave large numbers of confused bees at very busy sites and cause a nuisance, you will help cause the laws to require the canopies on trucks. I was also called to Fernielea - they thought it was a swarm and arrived before @Alastair and all I could do was grovel and apologise on behalf of the inconsiderate idiot that left the bees there. It cost that business owner real money - there were about 25% of the usual number of cars at lunch time, not good enough by a long shot.
  21. At $700 each, I'm thinking it would not only be the hobby beeks with watering eyes, unless it was a proper Betta breeder.
  22. The European beek I met had a great deal of enthusiasm for Dee Lusby and Buckfast and small cell bees , however he was part of a large group using AI and single drone inseminating and pooling their genetic lineage results. Generally I would not expect many in NZ would be keen to see the gene pool narrow too quickly with so many blind spots. On a hobby basis, I can use VSH queen cells from the Betta line and open mate (without paying for a Betta breeder queen) realising that as more in the area do the same, there will be an ever higher percentage of drones carrying the recessive characteristic which will over time and natural selection improve the level generally. I am happy with the temperament, but can't gauge the honey output on such a small sample in a grossly overstocked area.
  23. A visiting European beekeeper I spoke to claimed that he was breeding VSH queens with up to 92% having the characteristics, but he achieved that percentage by mating each queen AI with only one drone, and as they don't seem to have done a genome map to know which alleles are associated with the VSH characteristic, would think it prudent to wait and see what happens in a few generations.
  24. Today at Pak n Slave Wairau Rd, Airbourne Honey, $6 99 per 500 gms. How low will it go?
  25. For a few hobby supers, fine stainless mesh top and bottom of the stack sealing from mice etc, put in cold spot on stand with a very ventilated roof over where there is a good flow of cold up through the stack. Would not work on commercial scale though.
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