Matters of concern.

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OK ... moving on .... It's been a crappy old week , and one wonders how much crappier it can get.
The Pig Islanders have lost a heap of hives and had sheds filled with silt .
Sorry guys.... and I mean that.

Meanwhile, down here in Te Wai Pounamu I have laid the crew off and am on an enforced holiday.
The Big MAN broke down on me the other morning , carting a load of bees back from the coast. I happened to look in the rear view mirror on a corner and noticed blue smoke ....
Oooops .... blown tyre, blown motor ...?
I pulled over and assesed the situation ..... two blown rear tyres and a deck sitting down on the tyres and the airbags all askew.

Somehow the stabiliser bar on the rear diff had sheared the ten bolts holding it to the chassis and the deck had slewed 50 mm sideways.
It was one of those FK moments.

You know the ones .... when you realise that your up the creek and the paddle's gone and the whole empire has ground to a halt.

But even in the depths of despair there are bright momments, and the following day mine was Big Al from Tow Works who happened to be cruising past in his massive Kenworth .
I was on the phone to my local fix it man , and as Big Al cruised past I said to Leo ...' Whose got the big Kenworth Tow Rig ..?'
Leo forwarded me his number and I sent him a txt, and 20 mins later Big Al was back and hooking up the MAN for the journey home.

One of the lessons I learnt on my bike trip last winter was that sht happens, and it is what it is , stress not ,because in the end something will happen.

Or ,as my old man used to say...

'The clouds that yea so dread, shall break with blessings upon your head.'
 
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Hmm .... Matters of concern ..... we been quite busy lately . What with the Big MAN truck being still out of action the little Beanie truck has been doing o vertime getting the last of the honey home ..... and then we got an invite to shake bees for packeages to Canada, so we cracked in and did that as it was quite a good way of shrinking the bee population rapidly so we did'nt have to feed the hives so much.....

And it got me thinkng. Live bees are worth $50/kg to us, and we shake about 750 gm per hive . They go into a package and get shipped over to the prairies where the Canadians pay $238 per package of 1kg bees plus a queen.
Old mate over there tells me that is goood value as hives with live bees in them are trading for between $350 and $400.

Meanwhile, down here I can't even give my hives away. Old mate suggested I book a refrigerated container and send them upto him .
Interesting.

But seriously .... if anyone wants 1300 colonies for next to nothing, give me a call.
I have a ticket outta God Z Own for begiining of May, and something needs to happen to them or they'll become another statistic.
 
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Alastair

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Holiday or leaving for good?

I would have assumed holiday, but needing to get rid of your bees first sounds kinda permanent :oops:
 
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Your wife Richelle is one in a million then :)
Uh Huh ....she sure is . You can either end up at The Pearly gates all neat and tidy in yer black suit and your affairs left neat and tidy ..... or ruffled ,torn and totally disorganised after one heck of a journey !
Bit of cliche, but you know what I mean.
Perhaps we should leave it at that.
 
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This season I have been lucky enough to have two young ladies helping on the bees. They have been great, but the lifting has taken it's toll on them. Women have strong hearts but their bodies are built different .... right ? The thing that has me flumoxed is where are all the mid twenties blokes with a bit of ambition .....
Back in the day there was a whole bunch of us working for big time commercials and running our weekend operations out of the garage and eventually buying the commercials out .
The opportunities today are just the same as they were back then , so why this lack of faith in the industry ?

Maybe the Next Gen just got lazy.
 
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This season I have been lucky enough to have two young ladies helping on the bees. They have been great, but the lifting has taken it's toll on them. Women have strong hearts but their bodies are built different .... right ? The thing that has me flumoxed is where are all the mid twenties blokes with a bit of ambition .....
Back in the day there was a whole bunch of us working for big time commercials and running our weekend operations out of the garage and eventually buying the commercials out .
The opportunities today are just the same as they were back then , so why this lack of faith in the industry ?

Maybe the Next Gen just got lazy.
i'll argue the opportunities don't exist like they used to. every man and his dog is a beekeeper, to the point that many no longer can survive.
even in my time so far its gone from 3 local beeks to more commercials than i can keep track of.
also don't forget the country is getting more urban every year and there is plenty of other options to go do. as an industry we are competing against other industries that are simply more profitable.
 

frazzledfozzle

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Yes agree @tristan the opportunities are not like they used to be.
what’s the point in working your ring off just to store honey in someone’s shed Or be paid a pittance for it.

If the opportunities were still there you would have no problem selling hives.

Back when we first started we Worked for a commercial operator and bought a few hives which we split from each season building slowly.
we worked in the winters at the local fish factory.

We got paid under $3kg for our honey.

The difference today is compliance costs, costs of running a business and good old cost of living have all gone though the roof but the price of honey now post manuka boom is $4kg.

what’s the point in carrying on ?
we will keep going because we still make enough money from other beekeeping avenues other than honey But we are and always have been a small diversified beekeeping outfit.

Theres no way I would get into beekeeping today that’s for sure.
 

Alastair

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I still get the odd person approaching me wanting to know how to get started as a commercial beekeeper :oops: .

Of course I tell them no way. Although there are some out there who would happily take their money in order to unload their own hives and equipment onto someone almost certainly doomed to fail and lose everything.

Some of the people who have asked me about it have after they did more research, got back and thanked me for saving them from a nasty end.

As an aside Frazz, are you still selling queens?
 
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Hmmm ..... As me old mate Bazz used to say ..."I rest my case , your Honour."

No offence Alistair , but Life is a risk and to hear someone say ' If you do you'll be doomed ' is not doing the industry any good.
If you have a passion for something you'll do your due diligence and make a go of it.

What has to be remembered is that money is not everything ..... there is no doubt it certainly helps and with bees there are multiple income streams that cen be tapped into ..... shaking bees for export is a juicy little income earner....
What other business is there that you can show someone a remote bushclad valley with a hundred dilapidated wooden boxes and say we pulled out 250 hundred dollar bills from here this year. Something from nothing ! And thats not even Manuka.

It's all in the attitude.

Apart from prostitution, there are very few income earners that have the rueturn on capital that a bee hive does.

I rest my case.

Now then ..... whose gonna look after my bees while I go for a bike ride ?
 

frazzledfozzle

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I still get the odd person approaching me wanting to know how to get started as a commercial beekeeper :oops: .

Of course I tell them no way. Although there are some out there who would happily take their money in order to unload their own hives and equipment onto someone almost certainly doomed to fail and lose everything.

Some of the people who have asked me about it have after they did more research, got back and thanked me for saving them from a nasty end.

As an aside Frazz, are you still selling queens?

still selling queens @Alastair its the one thing keeping us in the game.
 
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southbee

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Hmmm ..... As me old mate Bazz used to say ..."I rest my case , your Honour."

No offence Alistair , but Life is a risk and to hear someone say ' If you do you'll be doomed ' is not doing the industry any good.
If you have a passion for something you'll do your due diligence and make a go of it.

What has to be remembered is that money is not everything ..... there is no doubt it certainly helps and with bees there are multiple income streams that cen be tapped into ..... shaking bees for export is a juicy little income earner....
What other business is there that you can show someone a remote bushclad valley with a hundred dilapidated wooden boxes and say we pulled out 250 hundred dollar bills from here this year. Something from nothing ! And thats not even Manuka.

It's all in the attitude.

Apart from prostitution, there are very few income earners that have the rueturn on capital that a bee hive does.

I rest my case.

Now then ..... whose gonna look after my bees while I go for a bike ride ?
I think I'd rather come for the bike ride ;)
 


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