ApiNZ Secures Funding For Honey Sector Strategy

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Apiculture New Zealand has successfully secured funding from the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI’s) Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund, for a two-year project that will help identify how the New Zealand apiculture sector can achieve sustainable growth.
“The aim of the project is to establish a strategic direction for the apiculture sector by identifying actionable measures to enable sustainable value growth. This will be driven by a shared purpose, derived from engagement with all participants in the sector,” says Karin Kos, CE Apiculture NZ.

 
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That funding would have been enough to cover the study and the importation of parasites to help control passion vine hoppers. This would have the potential of saving millions of dollars for beekeepers every year and also millions of dollars in the horticultural industry where it is a major pest.
Instead we have a project that sounds reasonable but I can't really see how this will help the average beekeeper. New Zealand has a huge oversupply of both honey and beehives. We have reached the point with varoa where control is becoming increasingly expensive and increasingly ineffective. Crops in many areas are severely depressed because of gross overstocking and the cost of running hives has increased greatly because of the same problem. It also by the way makes the damage from varroa far worse. Pollination while it does have potential for income is already done by existing beekeepers and more people jumping on the bandwagon will not increase the fees that can be gained from this practice.
The reality is that all areas of New Zealand that are worth keeping hives in are already fully stocked, overstocked or grossly overstocked. Yes there would be some benefit from finding new markets for New Zealand honeys but surely that is already being done by the vast horde of new beekeeping companies out there.
The situation New Zealand beekeeping is in at the moment and it is a very bad situation was brought about at least in part by MPI vigourously encouraging the expansion of the New Zealand beekeeping industry when in reality there was nowhere for those hives to go.
There is a possibility things will get better but there is no possibility for sustainable growth of beehives and looking at the hundreds of tons of manuka sitting in people sheds I can't see much chance of sustainable growth in manuka prices either.
I'm tired of bureaucrats with no grasp of reality.
 
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There are many people researching bee health John - but little in the way of market research for the honey area. Its about time this area got promotion. Southland beekeepers might think 'what use is passion vine hopper research to me?' :)

Can you expand on the MPI part ?
The situation New Zealand beekeeping is in at the moment and it is a very bad situation was brought about at least in part by MPI vigourously encouraging the expansion of the New Zealand beekeeping industry when in reality there was nowhere for those hives to go.
 
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Basically MPI turned up at beekeeping meetings and spouted on about how wonderful the potential for increasing manuka production was.
It made about as much sense as saying we could triple New Zealand livestock numbers and therefore make three times as much money from livestock. All without having any more land available.
They also failed to take into account that pollination of horticultural crops and more importantly clover are far more important to New Zealand's economy than a few kilograms extra of honey. By the time MPI was encouraging beekeepers to increase hive numbers existing beekeepers and some new beekeepers had already worked out that there was some money to be made and had already had hives in most suitable areas.
I think they should be more concerned with sustainability full stop .
 
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more importantly clover are far more important to New Zealand's economy than a few kilograms extra of honey.
Nitrogen prices are continuing to rise, therefore clover seed production and under running of pasture will most likely increase. One would assume that clover honey production would increase, and it could be more sustainable for many to produce than long hive hauls. Perhaps we should be marketing high pollen count NZ clover.
 
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Morporks

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Just another BS scheme that the government, Comvita and Manuka health have come up with to try and justify the the existence of their inept club

It would be far more productive at looking how the industry could downsize to become more stainable.
One of the big problems of down sizing is disposing of the millions of plastic frames now being discarded
 
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looking how the industry could downsize to become more stainable.
Is that an intentional typo?!

Somehow the honey mountain in peoples' sheds needs to be moved.

The amount of hives that could potentially be abandoned in downsizing another problem.

Inducing younger generations to eat honey another issue.

Some verification on the health benefits of eating NZ honey and the use of other hive products could be useful. I have noticed since covid, the UK NHS are trying to decrease the amount of patients in waiting rooms and the use of antibiotics, and they are advocating the medical benefits of honey. Here's just one of the UK articles from the British Medical Journal Honey better than usual care for easing respiratory symptoms, especially cough | BMJ

In the Sth Is (pre varroa) there were enormous beekeeping meetings, over one hundred at a time, to get beekeepers to think about how they would manage with varroa (hive numbers, increased costs, requeening, extra labour etc). Beekeepers who had dealt with varroa were the main speakers, sometimes there was a speaker from MPI, Mark Goodwin, or an accountant. There was one meeting at the NZ Institute of Management, and that was all about financial considerations, and what they preached was good management. The outfits that attended these meetings and knew how to adjust their outfits accordingly once varroa exhibited in the Sth Is are still viable outfits today. A good investment would be similar meetings about small hive beetle,
 
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Just another BS scheme that the government, Comvita and Manuka health have come up with to try and justify the the existence of their inept club

It would be far more productive at looking how the industry could downsize to become more stainable.
One of the big problems of down sizing is disposing of the millions of plastic frames now being discarded
You could sell your hives and practice what you preach,

That funding would have been enough to cover the study and the importation of parasites to help control passion vine hoppers.
Agree, but who knows what may come out of the consultation, happy retirement John
 


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