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Everything posted by jamesc

  1. Rumour has it .... we took honey off to that tune last summer ! We lost our bee keeper of six years to a corporate ..... they offered him more than 85k . We weren't prepared to match that so sold bees, stepped back and looked for a local man to train up again. The hardest part is finding the local person. We've had 11 replies in trade me .... from diverse places such as Egypt, Serbia, Russia, Vanuatu,.... and yes, the Phillipines. The young Phillipino sounds nice and might make a top class queen raiser. The Eastern Euro's are all quite hard on the gearboxes!
  2. Who knows queen bee ...... short supply of real manuka ..... price goes through the roof ..... bush honey prices follow as packers chase it to blend. May be the good areas get swamped with bees and everyone comes home shaking their heads at the meager amounts of honey gathered. Or maybe we all say... blow that .... lets go back to what we were doing originally ..... keeping bees because we got a buzz out of opening lids and admiring the orderliness and industriousness of the stinging critters.
  3. The first shipment of clover we sold quite a few years ago we got $2.10/kg. When the price climbed to $3.00 we thought we were in heaven. One year we held on to the crop as the price was so ridiculously low .... lower than production cost. The last shipment we sold two and a half years ago we got a bit over $8.00/ kilo. Again, just marginally over production cost.
  4. Interesting comments here .... I sometimes wonder fraz if you ever do any bee keeping as you seem to spend so much time on this site ! Anyway, that aside, a few months ago we had a visit from our long time honey buyer. He's been taking our South island clover honey for almost twenty years. It was more of a social visit than anything as we had nothing of consequence to offer him. His outside view of our industry was fascinating. This year he wasn't terribly interested in clover. Yummy though it is he was concerned at the price he was going to have to pay .... $13.00 a kilo. He could source Canada No I at round about $3.00 a kg. So there is the dilemma, and possible the reason why so many South Island bees are heading north - we've priced our selves out of the clover market. He'll take the Dew, possibly because he can blend it with the Manuka, and he'll take the low grade Manuka up to a price of $20.00 a kilo. When asked about the top end Manuka his comment was that he'd end up a nervous wreck if he had to sit on a stock pile of 14plus umf for too long. I guess as producers we have to look at our markets. The new Manuka guidelines are apparently out which will quite possibly drop the tonnage considerably of high quality Manuka for sale, snowballing to a feeling of resistance by Beekeepers to pay humungous royalties to landowners for both summer and winter sites .... Lets hope we don't price ourselves out of the Manuka market as well. That would be a shame as it has generated so much confidence in the industry and created so many little niche enterprises for families from raising cells and queens to selling nucs and hives (at exorbitant prices) that keep the fabric of this country in their little patches of paradise.
  5. good call Bren ...... but I don't know any southern beekeepers who will pay almost $1000 for a hive at this time of year!
  6. Oh well ..... we're just gonna start hauling ours back up north. Maybe we should do a deal and meet at the ferry and save a bit of money.
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