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Everything posted by Chrisdub

  1. The squint is for the understandings of how to make anything work without an iron fist approach perhaps. And I agree re the overall health comment. However, if several medical practitioners were in one locale and the general health of the populus was thus, one might have to question it a little. 🤔
  2. The production part - this sort of comes back around to the idea of a hive numbers per region type quota which was bandied around a while ago as a way of limiting hives:forage availability. No amount of squinting could make me see how that could be made to work without offering to bail out some "businesses" (incentivise them to exit) to reduce the pressure. Of course, that would have to come from open accounts and proof that they were running a sustainable business prior, so I think, it won't fly. Bee health - challenged by some general incompetence in the actual management of bees as a livestock type, you mean?
  3. yes, I got between $5.10 and $6.30 ish plus GST / kg on a range of prices. As it has been said plenty, depends if you are carrying debt. It would be nice to see prices "lift" to this in NZ and have sales going ahead. So, who is pulling the chain?
  4. Perhaps it will need "farming" like everything else - or at least some form of management to ensure it is kept producing and the senescent manuka is replaced by new seedlings, if it doesn't propagate itself adequately.
  5. I would highly doubt it unless of course the boxes are still intact and containing frames .... 😁
  6. You must surely have somewhere beeproof where you keep your honey boxes, at least? In a manner that minimises (or eliminates) risk could also mean strapping up with boards top and bottom and pallet wrapping and storing in a cool shady location or somewhere all together where it can be monitored, from time to time, and assessed for bee-tightness? There are ways to work it out, I'm sure. In applying a written code of good management practice to not keep deadouts in random places that could at some point unbeknownst to the owning beekeeper become infected with AFB and therefore become an unwitting source/spread of it, does it not make sense to just blanket apply a common sense rule of 'deadouts kept in situations that minimise (eliminate is difficult) the risk of AFB' in order to just resolve that particular issue, especially going ahead with the carnage that is unfolding from abandoned hives as some people literally walk away and leave them to die out . We are seeing incidences of AFB popping up from moribund/abandoned hives more and more this spring. Those of us mad enough to keep going this season are mopping up a lot of mess behind from those who have walked away (with no little or no conscience it appears). I think I would rather anyone who chose to exit the industry (if selling is not a viable option) euthanized the bees and dealt with the hiveware responsibly. But, that isn't the case for a portion of those who are the fly-by-night get-rich-quick easy-come easy-go sorts. This goes against my better principles but I wonder if its actually the only way forward. Then, at least if you decided to begin again, you know that you have clean gear ready to go, wax moths aside ... Why does the bee industry do this to itself - seems like disagreement for the sake of it sometimes (rhetorical)
  7. Well, its a bit of a squint at your annual accounts and look at where the absolute expenses lie and what can be spent for a season and what can't. After paring down to the nub, then compare against your average production I guess would be a starting point or something like that. I reckon @Alastair has a fair handle on it.
  8. With a few people actually saying large crops are achievable - and they certainly are given the right circumstances (the roulette wheel ...) its a bit of a moot point given the lack of real selling/buying right now. 150 kg at $1.50 per kg might cover some costs but not enough in this day and age. Its a hard one with the season on the cusp and what do we do with yet more honey that we have to store under RMP compliance to ensure that it is fully exportable, at some time, perhaps. Talk about actively not wanting to produce a honey crop whilst maintaining bee health and bee stocks! Any positive stories, anyone?
  9. Good advice re the not borrowing - the number of people who said to me last year that they were going to expand their few hives and "really get into the bees" was a little eye-widening to say to the least, given where the industry was at even right then. It depends on what volume of honey you have to package up and sell too I guess - if you have a few hundred kilos each of a few varieties then its not a biggie as you won't have many hives to manage in your working week either. When you have multitudinous tonnes in your shed then that is another thing altogether. Good on you if you can get around $20 / kg (glass is sexy but unless its fully recycled NZ glass its just the same as plastic really in terms of 'footprint' and its a pain to handle, the freight is more and the breakage aspect puts me off anything other than small sturdy jars) I heard that the weights and measures police were amping up - given the surge in honeys to local market. Never was there a stone unturned regarding making a buck out of compliance! Do you refill the containers for them (ie they "own' the container) or do you wash and re-use it entirely as a 'new item'. I get asked to do a few refills - but only into those handy viscount plastics 2 litre (approx 3kg) buckets as they are nice and easy to manage. People sort of want to hear a story for honey - but there are so many jars of honey being sold locally now, I suspect our stories must all start to sound similar .... 🤣
  10. This was mentioned the other day, does it work outside of cell coverage now?
  11. Never mind, all is not lost, the aussies have come out fighting and declared their manuka better and more leptospermumingly diverse than ours. It was to be expected that the staggering silence of the last week was merely a possum-like stupor whilst they gathered the last bit of data together and should loudly "neh neh ours is better than yours" - "well some might be a a bit better and some might be a bit not better but mostly its actually pretty much the same .... neh neh and we are going to call it manuka with a small m and without that line thingy ... neh neh" Well, its Friday and I'm pretty much over it all. https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2019-10-24/medicinal-honey-in-australia-superior-to-new-zealand-manuka/11635412 Yes, its right off topic, sorry.
  12. Don't worry, as we speak there are people out there who are seeking our products - serious they are too, it seems. However, I am particularly impressed that they are interested in "rage products" - I guess we all have a good stock of that this season ⚡ Dear Sir. Good day, we trust this letter finds you in good health. We came across your company information from your country's trade bulletin 2019, and we deemed it fit to contact you as to establish a long term trade relationship after we saw your product (Food & Beverage/Medical cosmetics & Beauty Care product, and animal feed and herbal tea) Etc. Kindly Send us your rage products for our study and order confirmation accordingly. Thanks for your good co-operation and understanding as we hoping to build along lasting business relationship with your able firm. Best Regards. Mr, Onuoha Obassy
  13. And, wasn't it part of a research project being asked for funding for - to look at determine hive stocking rates and potential income streams for landowners off of what a 'farm' could theoretically produce - not just looking at manuka but other honeys (without any seeming understanding that a decent 3km boundary between each "farm" had to be kept to make it viable.... ) Everyone and everything was sucking on the sav. The golden goose is however (whilst not entirely dead) going to have to transmogrify into a phoenix somehow.
  14. 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 ...
  15. 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 🤣
  16. 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. 🤔
  17. 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.
  18. Yes, that is not relevant. I shall clarify and say any JV that plants manuka or whomsoever owns an established resource.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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/
  22. 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.
  23. 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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