NZBF: Honey prices

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NZDan

Gold
47
38
Te Horo
Experience
Hobbyist
Greetings all, I am trying to get an indication on how much a kg manuka and Bush blend honey was fetching this year.
I am just working budgets for next season to see if it is worth starting by.
I appreciate that prices and seasons change but this can give me something to start with.
 

Mummzie

Staff member
Gold
1,114
990
Tasman
Experience
Hobbyist
Its inclined to be an expensive hobby. Whether you can cover costs as a semi commercial depends on far more than if you can sell your crop.
 
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Bron

Staff member
Platinum
2,924
3,108
Gisborne
Experience
Commercial
Hi NZDan,
You’d be a brave man to start beekeeping with an eye to making a living under present circumstances.
In answer to your question. If you can find a buyer for any honey expect to be offered below the cost of production.
Bees are fabulous creatures, read some books, NZ bee bible is Practical Beekeeping in New Zealand, hook up to a bee club or bee group and get your head in someone’s hive. Keep a couple of hives alive for a couple of years and then decide if it’s something you want to spend time and money on to take it any further.
I’m not a downer, just realistic. The media is talking up honey sales, the reality is quite different.
 
5,576
5,952
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
Hi Dan
If you are looking at starting your bee operation as a hobby, I would'nt worry too much about covering costs.
Jump in and learn the trade, make the mistakes ....and as you learn reap the rewards of a couple of bucket loads of honey.
Then when you've learnt how it all works , you'll have several tonne of produce stored away to sell and will be well placed to expand on a rising price.
Life is too short to spend it doing budgets and wondering 'What if....'
 

NZDan

Gold
47
38
Te Horo
Experience
Hobbyist
Its inclined to be an expensive hobby. Whether you can cover costs as a semi commercial depends on far more than if you can sell your crop.
Mummzie, thanks for that, looks like a lot of giveaways and storage
Hi NZDan,
You’d be a brave man to start beekeeping with an eye to making a living under present circumstances.
In answer to your question. If you can find a buyer for any honey expect to be offered below the cost of production.
Bees are fabulous creatures, read some books, NZ bee bible is Practical Beekeeping in New Zealand, hook up to a bee club or bee group and get your head in someone’s hive. Keep a couple of hives alive for a couple of years and then decide if it’s something you want to spend time and money on to take it any further.
I’m not a downer, just realistic. The media is talking up honey sales, the reality is quite different.
Bro, I love the realistic approach, thanks for that. This also ran with my thoughts of extracting myself or finding someone to do it.... eventually. 🐝
Hi Dan
If you are looking at starting your bee operation as a hobby, I would'nt worry too much about covering costs.
Jump in and learn the trade, make the mistakes ....and as you learn reap the rewards of a couple of bucket loads of honey.
Then when you've learnt how it all works , you'll have several tonne of produce stored away to sell and will be well placed to expand on a rising price.
Life is too short to spend it doing budgets and wondering 'What if....'
Thanks James, learning is the big thing I plan on doing, yep warts and all.
 

Mummzie

Staff member
Gold
1,114
990
Tasman
Experience
Hobbyist
@NZDan
there is far more to beekeeping than honey.
Learning- its not optional, but to what level you take it is your choice.
Gardens- what makes a bee environment
Honey- once you have given away or consumed what you can the surplus can lead into mead production and all sort of other amusements
Pollen - can be collected for consumption
Wax- multitudes of sidelines when you have wax available- wraps / candles / lotions / polish......

but most of all, its enjoyable.
 

NZDan

Gold
47
38
Te Horo
Experience
Hobbyist
@NZDan
there is far more to beekeeping than honey.
Learning- its not optional, but to what level you take it is your choice.
Gardens- what makes a bee environment
Honey- once you have given away or consumed what you can the surplus can lead into mead production and all sort of other amusements
Pollen - can be collected for consumption
Wax- multitudes of sidelines when you have wax available- wraps / candles / lotions / polish......

but most of all, its enjoyable.
I am starting to learn that. These magical tiny machines are just so incredible and what they do, understand, communicate, develop etc etc. They are truly fantastic and I can see why the world would be in a far worse place without them.
 
5
7
Marlborough
Experience
Hobbyist
If you are eligible, close enough and have time for the polytechnic level 3 apiculture course it could be a good way to get started.

The first course in Blenheim has just finished and students are encouraged to get ongoing support from Marlborough Beekeepers Club. The club shares an apiary with the course on the NMIT campus.

The course is free, including hive, textbooks and AFB course. You provide your own protective gear and a nuc bee colony. Details here ...
 
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NZDan

Gold
47
38
Te Horo
Experience
Hobbyist
If you are eligible, close enough and have time for the polytechnic level 3 apiculture course it could be a good way to get started.

The first course in Blenheim has just finished and students are encouraged to get ongoing support from Marlborough Beekeepers Club. The club shares an apiary with the course on the NMIT campus.

The course is free, including hive, textbooks and AFB course. You provide your own protective gear and a nuc bee colony. Details here ...
Thanks for that I have just enquired about the Level 3 Course with UCOL, ....... bring it on 👨‍🎓🐝
It's it far from Te Horo I think on this occasion, but there might be another provider close by for you to pursue. Free via TAFF

View attachment 492
Thanks Grant, the UCOL course is in the Waiarapa (couple of hours away) and residential for one weekend a month.... so have enquired about that..... Cheers
 
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25
22
UK
Experience
International
You’d be a brave man to start beekeeping with an eye to making a living under present circumstances.
For a perspective from another part of the world, Imported honey "of more than one country" is being sold in the supermarkets in the UK for less than £1 for a 350g jar. (2 dollars). Tests last year showed that most supermarket honey is adulterated so I don't know how much real honey is in the jar. Local honey sells for 5x that much in local shops or more in the cities.
 

Otto

Gold
74
164
Dunedin
Experience
Semi Commercial
Beekeeping is exactly what the word says. When you are starting out your sole aim should be to learn how to keep healthy and happy colonies of bees. All the other things (honey, pollination services to your garden, wax etc) are all by-products of well-maintained hives.
I've started lots of people with their first bees and most just want to keep bees and they usually do alright. The ones that start with an 'I really want my own honey' attitude usually less so.
As far as an expensive hobby goes I think many hobbies are considerably more expensive than beekeeping and you get little other than feeling good about yourself in return.
 
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245
156
Christchurch
Experience
Beginner
As far as an expensive hobby goes I think many hobbies are considerably more expensive than beekeeping and you get little other than feeling good about yourself in return.
I think all in my first hive cost me around $1000 in my first year. $200ish for the hive, $250 for suit, gloves, smoker etc, $250 for Nuc, $150 for baverol / apivar / apistan anti varroa treatments plus $150 for honey buckets, strainer etc. Plus fees for inspection and registration.

As a hobbyist I calculate hives cost around $100 per layer for a 3 to 4 high full depth hive by the time I've got frames, nuc etc.

I could reduce that I some areas but played with top feeder, hive doctor vs wooden bases, frame feeders, plastic frames etc.

I've got 4 hives and am about $2500 in outlay over 2 years. I now also have a sense of what I do and dont like in gear, am ready to try making my own splits and have spare frames ready for supers etc.

Hope this helps as a rough guide to my experience as a noob.

Honey - i got around 40kg this year of multi floral which returned $20 per kg for sale via a community org as a fund raiser. We have orders for next year lined up. People like raw, local honey. Demand exceeds production. Next year I expect double that in honey as I should have 4 mature and producing hives. This year had 3 startups.

If my wife sees these numbers I'm possibly a dead man - but as I explained, over 2 - 3 years it will pay off as long as I dont count my hours of work (play).

The girls are worth every cent IMHO but i will never be a rich man from bees.
 

Alastair

Founder Member
8,171
9,408
Auckland
Experience
Semi Commercial
To answer the actual question, multi floral honey has been quoted here on NZBees selling a s low as $2.50 per KG. Mono manuka, presumably low grade, for $4 per KG.

As a hobbyist you will be unlikely to be selling to these commercial buyers, you will be selling to friends, family, or work buddies. In that situation you can name your price. I know one lady who sells her honey for $10 per 1/2 kilo jar and has an enthusiastic network of buyers, she does have nice tasting honey.
 

yesbut

Staff member
11,750
6,849
Nelson
Experience
Hobbyist
As a hobbyist you will be unlikely to be selling to these commercial buyers, you will be selling to friends, family, or work buddies. In that situation you can name your price. I know one lady who sells her honey for $10 per 1/2 kilo jar and has an enthusiastic network of buyers, she does have nice tasting honey.
All tested and extracted and packed legitimately of course
 


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