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NickWallingford last won the day on April 29

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  1. I could be wrong (it happened once before) but I think this relates to the selling of drone larvae, 'extracted' from the comb (?) and then consumed. High protein, high fat, apparently sorty of nutty in flavour, suitable for frying...
  2. Indeed, Dennis! I sure didn't think about that as I worked down through it. Thanks for spotting and highlighting that. Times change. And even within my time (young as I am...) I worked for a beekeeper who used carbolic acid boards to get bees out of the honey supers...
  3. You'd think the Internet would have enough to look at without going back into the past, but there you go... Nearly 25 years ago I created a conversion programme for beekeepers. It contained the 'mathematical' conversions - feet to metres, etc. But more importantly (I feel) it collected together a lot of the more esoteric rules of thumb - the ones you don't know until you have already done something, often. Obviously, those have particular assumptions that can be challenged. But I thought you might enjoy seeing it, all these many years later... Back in *those* days, we were trying to attract new beekeepers into the industry, and trying to help them as much as possible! https://web.archive.org/web/20021207095324/http://www.beekeeping.co.nz/info/convert.htm
  4. I'm doing my individual best - promoting mustache wax made from NZ beeswax and coconut oil. I figure I should be able to get through maybe up to a 100gm a year with this???
  5. Absolutely! Though the volume is not great, I guess, we certainly could/should be ensuring that NZ beeswax satisfies the needs. Given the nature of the product (small, discrete, relatively expensive) I would think that should be possible...
  6. Yes, biosecurity is a tenuous thing. But on the other hand, adherence to an approach like NZs could be very reassuring for our industry, assuming our trading partners would all do the same! When the issue of importing honey from Oz, for instance, is proposed - we can use the science of "sanitary/phytosanitary" to resist. We can't say "We don't want honey from Australia because it will wreck our market". We can't say "Ours tastes better than theirs". We can't even say "There would be no demand for their honey." We had to make the argument that there was an identifiable and real risk to the existing pest/disease status of NZ. But the other bright side is that this approach *is supposed to* provide us access to world markets for our products - *they* can't just say "We don't want NZ honey here..." So maintaining our pest/disease status should assist with market access generally.
  7. Absolute prohibitions are not common. For animal products, many factors could be taken into consideration when an import permit is sought. The risk analysis would need to take into account: likelihood that the product carries a pathogen etc volume of the import overall volume of the individually packaged wax labeling, either promoting or discouraging a particular use value vectors by which the product might be exposed to bees if exposed, what is the likelihood of an infection Some bee products have an inherently higher risk. Think honey, think second hand bee equipment, think pollen... Others, such as processed beeswax, may be allowable in some formulations depending on potential. I think that their rationale here might be that the product: is packaged in small quantities probably has quite a high value (so would be discarded so readily, etc) has a potential to cause infection (?) I questioned that last one, as I am out of touch somewhat with the literature. Beeswax foundation, even made from wax from infected AFB hives, is considered a low risk, and EFB doesn't make such as persistent spore as AFB. I'd have to see what research work has been done to start guessing at risk of infection. Does 'no' always mean 'no'? No. Honey can be imported into NZ, for instance. You will often see it listed as a minor ingredient in other foods. But so long as it is not likely to be discarded, would not have any attraction to bees if it was, etc - and those products can be allowed into NZ containing honey... The industry has worked tirelessly to avoid the introduction of pests and diseases. But I think we'll just have to 'play the game' when it comes to specific opposition. It needs to be science based...
  8. You might also get good info from: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/importing/food/honey-and-bee-products/
  9. Hi John... Best phone number I could see was 0800 80 99 66, but that is MPI's 'report exotic pests/diseases'. You'll likely get shoved about, but that should get you into contact with whoever would be able to confirm that the item has an import permit. To get such a permit for such a risk item, it would need to have gone through a consideration of risks. That would consider what pests/diseases might be introduced, what risk of actual exposure, etc. I have not been aware of such an import before, but I've not been following things for some time. I do think it would be worth following through to ensure that there has been appropriate consideration, and that imports are not willy nilly... Careful on taking advice from me! I'm neither a lawyer nor a bureaucrat!
  10. I'm not suggesting that the market is the same today. But at that time, yes - based on that evidence people would not buy more if it was cheaper. I don't think honey has become poor value. Back then, when people mostly bought it on the basis of "do I already have a container in the cupboard?", it didn't have an especial 'value' - it was just a spread, and one of the more expensive of those available. Over the last 25 years, NZ consumers have learned (IMHO) to appreciate honey more, providing opportunities of all sorts to create something that is more than just another spread. A further bit of that research was to determine brand loyalty, identifying aspects of pricing and branding. Participants were given a list of well known honey packs. But there were also a few red herrings - fictional brands - in the lists. From what I remember, one of these fictional brands scored very well as a brand that people trusted, and would select by choice... I would venture to say that today's consumers are incredibly more astute as buyers, and that we have moved honey out of that totally commodity driven position.
  11. Years ago, back when domestic consumption was est. 2/3 of production, there was some interesting marketing research. It was trying to establish how honey was positioned in the minds of families, esp. At that time, even with no honey being imported, the domestic returns were seen to be tied to export returns. This marketing guy seemed to take a different tack - asking what motivated the purchases of honey. Remember, most honeys were being treated strictly as a commodity back then... The shoppers were asked "If the price of honey were to be cut in half, would you buy more?" Responses back could be summarised as "No, we like to have a container of honey in the cupboard, and don't usually buy more until it is near gone. Even if the price were half, I probably wouldn't buy more." Then, "If the price of honey was doubled, would you buy any less." And the answer was the same - the shopper wouldn't buy more. Pretty much whatever the price, consumers at that time would buy pretty much the same volume. I believe the words to describe it was that honey was price insensitive. If beekeepers were to agree to add another dollar as @jamesc suggests - hardly anything would happen, apart from more money for the beekeeper. Oh, yes, and various charges related to price fixing and collusion. The 'value' placed on honey by consumers is massively different from back then (this research was in the middle 1970s). Overall, the industry has done very well in that time to remain profitable and raise prices generally, apart from these last few years of aberration.
  12. Through the life of the HMA - early 1950s to late 1970s - the HMA held moneys back (esp in a good year), with the concept that these funds went into an 'equalisation fund'. Theoretically, that fund would be used to increase the payout in bad years. Remember, the HMA's payout to beekeepers pretty much dictated the price packers' had to pay for honey - if a packer was not willing to meet the figure, the bkpr could always send it to the HMA. When the HMA was to be wound up, there was a lot of discussion about where the money should go. Should it go only to those who supplied the HMA? Should it be apportioned by volume supplied, or by contributions over the years, or what. David Kay, a Wellington accountant, did a significant report that found that the moneys of the HMA should really belong to all beekeepers, not just the HMA suppliers. The HMA, in carrying out its trading with some of the advantages it had, was in effect operating for all NZ beekeepers, not just its suppliers. So out of this came the creation of two trusts, with trustees to spend the money in ways that would benefit all beekeepers. (Two funds for tax reasons: if any grant could be made under the educational trust, it didn't get taxed so badly. I'm not certain if there are still two trusts or not, but I would presume so.) The trusts started with something like $700,000 (back in 1982). Through those first years, the NZ Honey Co-op had access to up to $600,000 of that by way of a loan that they subsequently repaid in full. Today, the trusts are still used to provide funding for all sorts of research and development, education and industry improvement activities. Dr Peter Molan's Honey Research Unit was set up in 1995 with funding from the trusts. A lot of research into both AFB and varroa was made possible by these funds. I'm sort of surprised that the history and value of these trusts is not more widely known - it is a real bright spot from the history of NZ honey marketing, IMHO.
  13. That lifter looks a lot like the old Ward Loader. Good for both hives and stacks of honey boxes. Driven by someone who was careful, it was very efficient. But as someone said, prone to have problems if the site was not level...
  14. In round numbers for many years NZ consumed about 2/3 of its production. As production started to touch 10,000 tonnes, NZ consumption was still relatively steady at say 6,000 tonnes. The role of such as the HMA was ensure that the 1/3 that ultimately needed to be exported (regardless of whether the world price was high or low) would sell at the best price possible. The HMA was also allowed to compete on the local market, which caused contention. Some variables that impacted on prices included such as: prices being achieved in NZ, prices being achieved on the world market, production over the current and recent seasons in NZ, and the same for the world. Two or three or more above average NZ production seasons in a row has many times led to near disaster for the honey industry. Prices would plummet, as sellers would price cut to get rid of the glut, and speculators would offer at below production costs and wreck the markets even more. Or the time period leading up to the demise of the HMA - over a number of years, the world price had risen, and individual NZ sellers felt they could compete on the market as good as the HMA was doing. When the HMA was wound up, its proceeds were directed to the Honey Industry Trusts. NZ Honey Co-op comes into the story because it was created to provide some market stability for the time after the HMA, buying the packing plants, etc, from the HMA. And the proceeds from the HMA were loaned to the Co-op for 5 years (I think), then repaid. And still today, we have the Honey Industry Trusts providing ongoing value to the industry... Honey Industry Trust stuff moved to:
  15. Sorry. I don't mean to be causing confusion, and I'm certainly not wanting any AFB spores in your syrup! This was part of Mark Goodwin's earlier work into AFB. The AFB spores were intentionally mixed into the syrup at a given 'dose'. Three different doses, as I recall. From the results, he concluded something along the lines of AFB is not so absolutely contagious as we sometimes feel - he had not been able to cause an infection at the two lower doses...
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