Exiting the industy...

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Mostly time. Time for sellers to get their markets sorted and for the gold diggers and wannabees to exit the industry. Its simply going to take time for things to settle down. A lot of other industries have gone through the same thing, so its not anything new.
Which begs another question…. How does one exit an industry gracefully when there is zero demand for ones assetts…. Namely beehives?
 
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Which begs another question…. How does one exit an industry gracefully when there is zero demand for ones assetts…. Namely beehives?
the ones who are onto it have sold up already. the rest, well thats the big problem and i think why we are hearing off a lot of mite problems.
 
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If you find out James, please tell the rest of us 😉
The key is succession planning… I met an artist and craftsman the other day who spoke of cross generation fertilization…. The sharing of ideas and enthusiasm between young and old… the apprenticeship …. A blend of tradition and noveau , with each party being open to learning and exploring, creating the way forward.
 
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I met an artist and craftsman the other day who spoke of cross generation fertilization…. The sharing of ideas and enthusiasm between young and old… the apprenticeship
This concept the last few years appears to have gone out the door, and for a number of reasons. I was really lucky when I came into beekeeping and my business, some really knowledgeable beekeepers and business people took me under their wings, and it has given me contacts throughout the industry. I doubt whether this would happen today. The beekeeping camaraderie appears to have disappeared.

In my Advocate interviews, time and time again it is lamented that verbal discussion with ideas and enthusiasm between young, old, and beekeepers in general has gone out the door and there are now very few platforms enabling this.
 
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yesbut

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I think it's symptomatic of population increase, growing gap between urban/rural. When I was growing up most people I knew had a relative of some sort involved in farming. That's not the case now with corporatisation, the demise of wool etc.
 
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Alastair

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I'm not so sure about all that. Seems to me there are plenty of people wanting to be beekeepers. And there are older beekeepers who will give them a chance, especially now cos without imported labour some beekeepers are finding it hard to get staff. On the other hand some can't afford to pay, but that's not about an inter generational or old vs young thing, it's just about the harsh reality of the honey price squeeze at this time.
Where I am in our biggest city, sometimes the country people may have already been successful with other types of livestock so therefore assume they can do beekeeping just as easy, they can be in for a rude surprise. Whereas city people are more ready to accept they do not know everything and can be more open to learn and take advise.
As to the old vs young thing I don't think there is an issue. I'm old, nearly 70, but have heaps of young people keen to hang with me, go in the truck and do some bee work so they can learn. I'm also surprised how respectfully they treat me, when I think back at how some of my own generation when they were young, treated old people badly to the point I was sometimes embarrassed, I think the behaviour of young people now has improved, things are better than 60 years ago.
 
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southbee

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I'm not so sure about all that. Seems to me there are plenty of people wanting to be beekeepers. And there are older beekeepers who will give them a chance, especially now cos without imported labour some beekeepers are finding it hard to get staff. On the other hand some can't afford to pay, but that's not about an inter generational or old vs young thing, it's just about the harsh reality of the honey price squeeze at this time.
Where I am in our biggest city, sometimes the country people may have already been successful with other types of livestock so therefore assume they can do beekeeping just as easy, they can be in for a rude surprise. Whereas city people are more ready to accept they do not know everything and can be more open to learn and take advise.
As to the old vs young thing I don't think there is an issue. I'm old, nearly 70, but have heaps of young people keen to hang with me, go in the truck and do some bee work so they can learn. I'm also surprised how respectfully they treat me, when I think back at how some of my own generation when they were young, treated old people badly to the point I was sometimes embarrassed, I think the behaviour of young people now has improved, things are better than 60 years ago.
I actually agree with you there, once the prize lifts there'll be more interest in the industry. While the prizes are down, it might be a good opportunity for some young ones to get into it, depending on their circumstances, it's a gamble, but then life is a gamble. I liked how you said to leave the industry 'gracefully', @James , that might be a tricky one at the moment. Maybe wait, hang in there. Maybe get out quick now, take your money and run? Ask the gambler.....you have to know when to hold them and to know when to fold them...... Personally I'd say if you got a better option, forget about the graceful bit and do what you feel you should do.
 
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Alastair

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I have been to and had to assist at, a number of rather sad cases, where a beekeeper has failed to scale down as he ages, and finds himself in his 80's, unable to work bees to any extent, and still owning several hundred hives. Which are now uncared for and in terrible condition, possibly unsaleable and fit only for burning.

Having seen this several times I am determined to make sure this will not happen to me, and am actively selling off hives as and where I can. I want to keep bees until I die, still love it. But need to be responsible about how many I can properly care for.
 
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I have now sold all my hives, am about to have the last declutter of my gear. For me personally, there are plenty of ways to still be involved in the industry. So no, I wouldn't say I am exiting the industry - just decelerating.
 
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I have now sold all my hives, am about to have the last declutter of my gear. For me personally, there are plenty of ways to still be involved in the industry. So no, I wouldn't say I am exiting the industry - just decelerating.
real beekeepers don't exit, they downsize. i have no doubt you will be with us for a long time to come.

one of the local beeks has retired and sold off his hives. i would love to have him work for us because all that skill and knowledge is extremely important. that hard earned knowledge disappears and its very hard for the industry to relearn.
 
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This concept the last few years appears to have gone out the door, and for a number of reasons. I was really lucky when I came into beekeeping and my business, some really knowledgeable beekeepers and business people took me under their wings, and it has given me contacts throughout the industry. I doubt whether this would happen today. The beekeeping camaraderie appears to have disappeared.

In my Advocate interviews, time and time again it is lamented that verbal discussion with ideas and enthusiasm between young, old, and beekeepers in general has gone out the door and there are now very few platforms enabling this.
i think its still there, especially with the older beeks. But i think with the big influx of gold diggers has changed it a fair bit. plenty of the newbees have no interest with the old beeks, they are just in it for the cash.
But there is good groups forming, so i don't think its all bad.
 
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David Penrose was a second generation Canterbury commercial beekeeper, and now the oldest life member of the NBA. He also made some excellent honey house equipment, including his uncapper.

He wrote these two articles back in the mid 1990s about how to get out of beekeeping. Funny it should again be a topic like it was back then...

Retirement Out of Beekeeping
Sage words for every young beekeeper (person) starting in the workforce.
It only feels like yesterday I was looking at my first hive, 30yrs later and 60yrs old next week and have always said when I reach 60 will be time to start to think about exiting the industry while still healthy.
Thankfully I have been able to do some of those things in this article.
 
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Sage words for every young beekeeper (person) starting in the workforce.
I think starting in the industry, particularly if you will be a business operator, and exiting comfortably go hand in hand.

At the moment we appear to have quite a few baby boomers, who have been a long time in the industry decelerating, but retaining just 1 or 2 strings in their bow as an interest for what for many has been a way of life, a major interest, mixing with people for years, and it is something that they have given thought about how to manage for years.
 
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Quoting from "Retirement out of Beekeeping" written in 1995....

| have always held the belief that investment for retirement should be based on ensuring that your CAPITAL sum is SAFE and that the returns are in line with about an eight to ten percent return over and above inflation. This means that your asset is making you a constant real gain
Wow! Even in 1995 that would have been an ask!

His points are spot on though - he has invested outside of his business, prepared ahead and managed the timing of the transition from full time beekeeper to being retired and financially independent. That is gracefully exiting the industry.
 
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