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About Chrisdub

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    Nu Bee


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    Semi Commercial


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  1. Having a morning in the office and flicking through some news items that popped up with manuka or honey keywords. This one is quite enlightening https://www.bustle.com/p/the-4-best-manuka-honeys-18662159 And then this one http://manukamebetter.com A lot of the commentary on the webpage about specific health benefits which I thought in NZ at least, we had to be extremely wary of claiming especially when referring to specific conditions or using specific terms. But maybe I am wrong here. Whilst this isn't strictly a "low grade/high grade' discussion point - it sort of is, too. @Adam Boot methinks it has - just a little - inadvertently - and we are attempting to shut the stable door after said horse has indeed, bolted ...
  2. Yes it is, we actively avoid the quintinia flow and also do our level best to exclude other unwelcomes into the honey mix also by careful planning and management. So I can say with all honesty, good kamahi, thank you for your comment however. In fact, we only produce good everything 🤣
  3. Marketing spin .... what can you say? And when you are being offered $3.50 for good kamahi its utterly unsustainable isn't it but apparently it's 'low grade' honey and they are doing us a massive favour by taking it off our hands ..... actually its unsustainable for them too but that is another story. 🤔
  4. It appears that the key word 'activity' was left out in the sentence, thus distorting the meaning (as in high grade activity manuka or lower grade activity manuka) but it does feel like references to 'low grade' honey has been jumped at by those who seek to profit or by those who simply haven't thought through the implications of this misnomer. Lower grade also can mean price grade and perhaps we have all said that in the past as we know what WE mean by it. Perhaps as frazzled said we must be vigilant and refer to the honeys that we have available as 'excellent honeydew, the best kamahi, fabulous bush blend ...' whilst that might sound a little simplistic our own narrative must back up the product.
  5. Yes, that is not relevant. I shall clarify and say any JV that plants manuka or whomsoever owns an established resource.
  6. Agreed - actually I would not have posted it except for the incredibly misleading labelling! How can it be legal to advertise a honey substitute with such an obvious visual link to a natural animal product in order to actually sell it as vegan! That would be like a vegan sausage with a picture of a pig or a sheep or cow on the packet.
  7. This post alone shows the great variance in the views of established beekeepers - at the end of the day it depends on how much of your livelihood is affected. If you are gainfully employed and bees are a secondary hobby or income stream, then you can afford to be magnanimous with suggestions about quotas, hive stocking rates etc perhaps. Yes, there are increased risks associated with siting of bees in areas where hitherto the public (mostly tourists) couldn't really be bothered going to. Now, with the increase of 'tourism' on cycles on the whole (don't start me....) some of these more inaccessible yet reachable areas have been tracked and now from time to time people go there. Which does make for changes to how councils want to control activities as there is an increased likelihood of bee interaction. Bees are a hazard and where they cross paths with other humans it is a potential source of malcontent. Your bees are making a crop off of land that is not owned by you on the whole - foraging a profit from elsewhere. Thus, should you be paying for the right for your bees to forage (whether they do or not) from land owned by the Councils (in this case a JV with Comvita?) That is the issue isn't it - the freeloading idea and how to get a $ return from all who might potentially benefit from a resource created by one and tapped into by many. Beekeeping (vis a vis acceptable economic stocking rates, adherence to food production regulations and traceability of ownership of all beehives/crop) should be regulated as an industry to a greater degree - it won't be necessarily palatable to some and it will affect some people more than others. This does, of course, go hand in hand with an industry that must be profitable enough to warrant this increased administrational oversight. If its not financially viable, then that's a whole other story isn't it? The older guard beekeepers are bristled up - hey having weathered a few storms it gets a bit tiresome seemingly facing the same sort of fresh-faced young 'uns who fall over because of their lack of desire to learn some basic bee husbandry facts. But, then again, weren't we all fresh-faced young 'uns once upon a time. There is a place for all and fresh eyes on a situation are essential for us all to learn and adapt to change. I agree with Gino above - I don't think there will be another boom like the manuka one, though. Is this the time for the industry to sort out its washing a little better? What no-one wants is for only large commercial to be the survivor. But, are we fighting a losing battle when it comes to complying with the regulations we must live with that surround beekeeping itself, health & safety (and implications for the relationship on farms if $ change hands) being one where no one-size fits all works. That is an oppositional view to the one I said above, in that beekeeping as an activity should be more regulated. The business of beekeeping should be better regulated in terms of hive numbers and regional siting/stocking levels and compliance with food safety. The regulation of beekeeping should not be so difficult as to only mean that large commercial entities alone can afford to cover the compliance aspects. Sigh, I'm taking a break from administration and going to trail around after kids in the second week of the school holidays doing sport things then its back to catch up with all our very important landowners and managers and begin the beekeeping year once again.
  8. Ok. Apparently this is Organic bona fide fake honey. How long before we find bee approved faux manuka on the market place too? https://vegconomist.com/products-and-launches/bee-approved-vegan-alternative-to-honey/
  9. Yes, experiencing it all around us - the mopping up is a bit demoralising to say the least. Sometimes I wonder that having no conscience and walking away from the bees and letting them die just like that is financially a good move for the corporates. Oh, it would be different story if the creature supplying your food chain was a little more "obvious" like a goat or a cow - then animal welfare would at least have some bearing on conscience but it seems that bees are given a different status and can be starved and/or poisoned and/or abandoned without redress. I'm not getting all sooky on this - just making a comparison between bees and other farming activities.
  10. Agreed, @Maggie James. DoC kind of tried a version of this with their allocation of manuka sites within Doc boundaries. When you studied potential site locations, it quickly became apparent that with limitations on types of access and exclusions through topography and terrain and then boundary set backs, there isn't much at all that meets the criteria that is anything like worth pursuing, especially in various regions and DoC could not control boundary riding either. I read on here somewhere about research being funded (or planned perhaps) to give a farm plan on how many bees, expected honey types gathered, gathering season and expected crops to give farmers another way to charge realistic "site rentals" for beehives kept on their land. This research is not likely to prove anything we don't already know from farming bees in various areas over the years, the difference being that presumably someone would get a PhD thesis out of it. Such farm would have to also (theoretically) then be able to exclude all OTHER bees from gathering off anything other than their farm base. So, you are once again left with this being viable only on accessible terrain, a full flying distance inside the boundary, on perfectly aligned sites with perfect underfoot conditions and perfect weather conditions to maximise the gatherability of a crop. Never mind the skill of the bee farmer ... So, then, how can you prevent or exclude the neighbouring farm so that its bee flying distance is not crossing over with yours? Does this mean that only some farms would be able to cash in on the potential crop? And, how do you choose those worthy farms? All this is a moot point, given the honey market right now. It all seems like desperate measures by all those who flocked to the allure of the golden cash cow they thought manuka was going to be ... once again proving that unregulated, unfettered expansion of all things to suckle off limited numbers of quite small and sometimes unyielding teats, is foolish. Alpacas, avocados, angora rabbits, olives, grapes, milking goats, milking sheep, merino fine wools, ostriches, beef and sheep, dairying .... oh, and of course, gold and coal and native timbers. Perhaps I should add tourism to the list too. Yes, I'm feeling a bit snarky today.
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