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269
316
Gisborne Tairawhiti
Experience
Researcher
Marketing is a bottomless pit and NZ is at the bottom of it on the world scale, so why not bring producers together and go to the customer as a united front ? Yes there will be a bit of charity involved with richer people carrying the not so rich ..... but that's how life works if we all want to eat.
In all seriousness, I think you just described that proposed commodity levy in a nutshell James
 
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6,323
canterbury
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Well Humpty Dumpty .... The commodity levy !
Thankyou John .... Whats happening with the commodity levy ?
Here we all are grumbling about low prices and wrack and ruin .... and the levy , if administered properly might build the ladder to escape outta the hole.

The other thing of course is hive yield . I can make a pretty good living at $5.50/kg if my hives are bringing in 60 or 70kg ..... and that comes down to experience , skill, and attention to detail .... young queens and plenty of feed .
 
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maungaturoto
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True again ..... but you miss the point point ..... it's a bit lke me building a state of the art extracting plant for my 300 hive operation and it cost me 350k . Its not good use of money, but if I did a deal with four other bee keepers and we each put in 60k , then we might be onto something.
but then there is 5 bosses who all want to do it 5 different ways.

btw 350k is on the cheap side for the whole setup. even for a medium plant and buildings, your looking at around a million.
 
445
327
Mid Canterbury
Experience
Semi Commercial
True Tristan - but many might be only looking at the value of hives with no intention of replacing, as they downsize

Your post didn't refer to the plan - it said dogs should be roaming the country, paid for by the levy. Did I miss something in the post?
To keep going back to 1996 or 1998 or whenever it was does get tiresome - much of the agency work was farmed out to others in the earlier times and its only in more recent years (since 2017 or so) that the work is now by the agency.
Work that people have mentioned (eg increased honey testing) is indeed being done. Larger companies are seeing the financial costs of having spores in their honey and are motivated to deal with increasing rates within their operation.

My view is that the dogs find AFB - but at the moment, they also find hives with issues. I would be keen to see how dogs trained solely on spores perform among hives. But I don't believe its the agency's job to pay for the research.
What is also not rocket science James - ApiNZ is voluntary. Fewer membership subscriptions, less money. Less money - fewer/no Scandanavian sales trips.
"Ah, but what about the marketing funds from the levy" I hear you ask.
Good point . .about that. . . .
OK -Can't get my beekeeping skills to be IT perfect.

John F - I think the past is very important, as is the now and the future. you state that you think others referring to the past is tiresome. For those that were honest, good beekeepers in the period that you refer to it is not tiresome. There was a lot going on in the background with the AFB agency and the NBA that you, I think are very unaware of. It was not a nice period. Yet you think it is your right to critique those involved. I think a lot of those people were incredibly honest, and the industry has a lot to be thankful of those individuals, and I think you have been negatively critiquing successful passionate beekeepers and business people. If it were not for these people, we would still be in the dark ages.

I will put my money on any guy/couple that have inspected tens of thousands of hives in their lifetime and successfully run a business. Unfortunately these two attributes are not currently respected by different sectors involved in the industry. Whilst every industry needs scientists and academia, every industry needs successful practical people at the coalface.

Re your critique on the dogs. I am all for the dogs, and I have contributed financially as an individual to their research. If it's good enough for various NZ govt depts then I believe its good enough for the beekeeping industry.

Now....., back to your fixation on the levy and the fact that it failed. That's history, how it happened, and the industry whatever way they voted have to deal with this fact.. My personal thoughts, for what they are worth, are that there will be a levy on beekeepers, but I would like to see it focused at all beekeepers. At the end of the day, why should commercial beekeepers fund a levy that will benefit the whole of the beekeeping community?
'
 
269
316
Gisborne Tairawhiti
Experience
Researcher
John F - I think the past is very important, as is the now and the future. you state that you think others referring to the past is tiresome. For those that were honest, good beekeepers in the period that you refer to it is not tiresome. There was a lot going on in the background with the AFB agency and the NBA that you, I think are very unaware of. It was not a nice period. Yet you think it is your right to critique those involved. I think a lot of those people were incredibly honest, and the industry has a lot to be thankful of those individuals, and I think you have been negatively critiquing successful passionate beekeepers and business people. If it were not for these people, we would still be in the dark ages.
You misunderstand me Maggie - my issue is the practice of blaming what is essentially a new agency compared to 20 years ago. I am not criticising anybody - it is more with the practice of saying there are current issues with the agency, when in reality the beef was with something that happened 15-20 years ago. As for being aware of what did and didn't happen, I regularly check and consult with those who *were* involved then. Sorry if you take it personally - it is not directed at any particular beekeeper(s). But beekeepers going on at me about the agency of that time and using it to broadbrush the current work? Yep, tiresome.

Re your critique on the dogs. I am all for the dogs, and I have contributed financially as an individual to their research. If it's good enough for various NZ govt depts then I believe its good enough for the beekeeping industry.
"if its good enough for them . ." is not scientific rigour Maggie. I am not critiqueing the dogs - personally I think they will work. But at the moment, the scientific evidence goes as far as the dogs can smell pure spores isolated in a sensory chamber. As others have said, nothing is stopping you from running dogs through your hives - go for it !
Now....., back to your fixation on the levy and the fact that it failed. That's history, how it happened, and the industry whatever way they voted have to deal with this fact.. My personal thoughts, for what they are worth, are that there will be a levy on beekeepers, but I would like to see it focused at all beekeepers. At the end of the day, why should commercial beekeepers fund a levy that will benefit the whole of the beekeeping community?
And now I'm laughing. I dont have a fixation on the levy. It has been others suggesting marketing, research into dogs/honey nectar sources/varroa treatments and I am merely pointing out that all these questions and topics were designed to be covered by the levy. I agree about focussing it on all beekeepers but hobbiests to not typically make any financial return on their hives .. .plus (from memory) the commodity levy act meant it was the product being traded (ie honey) that attracted the levy. But I might be remembering that incorrectly. . . .
 
445
327
Mid Canterbury
Experience
Semi Commercial
Sorry if you take it personally
No I didn't take it personally. The thing is that some of the contributors to this thread have not only been good beekeepers and business people, they have invested heavily out of their own pockets for research, some undertaken thousands of hours of volunteer work for the industry and have never expected monetary remuneration, and some of these volunteers have been subjected to much abuse and bullying.

The industry is at a very critical stage, and we all have to stand back, have good discussion and consider all views (past, present, and what the future may hold). In many parts of NZ there is not the opportunity to have discussion. Discussion is not only about hearing others views, its about - gosh perhaps we need to think differently.
 
269
316
Gisborne Tairawhiti
Experience
Researcher
No I didn't take it personally. The thing is that some of the contributors to this thread have not only been good beekeepers and business people, they have invested heavily out of their own pockets for research, some undertaken thousands of hours of volunteer work for the industry and have never expected monetary remuneration, and some of these volunteers have been subjected to much abuse and bullying.

The industry is at a very critical stage, and we all have to stand back, have good discussion and consider all views (past, present, and what the future may hold). In many parts of NZ there is not the opportunity to have discussion. Discussion is not only about hearing others views, its about - gosh perhaps we need to think differently.
Sorry, who exactly has been subject to abuse and bullying in this thread ?
Past is all well and good to visit. Just don’t live there
 
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Alastair

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some of these volunteers have been subjected to much abuse and bullying.

I don't think your constant allegations that run along the lines of good people being bullied, are constructive. They are vague and never substantiated, just a conversation piece.
Most people especially the good people you always infer, are strong enough to accept valid criticism, and reject criticism that is not valid. If this supposed bullying is even happening.

we all have to stand back, have good discussion and consider all views (past, present, and what the future may hold). In many parts of NZ there is not the opportunity to have discussion. Discussion is not only about hearing others views, its about - gosh perhaps we need to think differently.

What do you propose doing about that?

IE, how to advance beyond talking about it, whatever it is, and what should we actually be talking about that is not already talked about?

What should we think differently about that we are not already thinking about?
 

Alastair

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I just say that because despite the current state of the industry, I believe that NZ beekeepers are a highly innovative people and many among us are always on the lookout for new ways and ideas. Which contrary to some popular wisdom, does not mean we necessarily have to throw out the old.

It would be helpful if saying we have to talk about new things, to say what these new things are that you have in mind. Otherwise it's all hui, no doey.
 
68
39
Katikati
Experience
Commercial
I've been quiet on the forum for a few months now..... mainly because I returned from my motorcycle safari a month late and have been in catch up mode ever since.
Any way .... we seem to have caught up .
I vowed to work my Ass off this season, seven days a week to get the bees up to speed and crack a 100 tonne harvest that would fund another motor cycle safari into S America.
And so I have ..... worked my ass off .... seven days a week .... sort of.....
Only my plans have been thwarted at the last minute by an email from the guys we have been selling honey to for the last couple years ..... a two liner saying no contracts will be issued this year for the purchase of honey.

Hot damn.
How am I gonna get to S. America ? I had hoped it would be the same way as I got to Tennesse.


But more importantly , how am I gonna keep the enthusiasm running for the younger generation to pick up the hive tool and work my bees while i am away, because the way the industry is at the momment...... there is no enthusiasm.... and no market for selling Beehives.

We Beekeepers are so dumb.

Bruce Clowe offered us a lifeline a few years ago to put into place a marketing company that we would have a share in and give us a peace of mind to work seven day weeks with confidence knowing we would have an outlet for what we produced..... and be able to enjoy the fruits of our labour.

We hummed and Haahed and fiddled around and let the opportunity slide ....
And here we are, a few years older, same old same old .... looking at the prospect of selling our into a buyers market at a below production price.
so lets take this back to the beginning.
James wants to sell his crop and get the bees moved on. No honey buyers, or well low honey buyers = no business buyer.
Maybe dig a big hole aye.. sad but true. Besides, even if you slog yourself for that 100 ton, is that sustainable??

There are too many hives here. Canada has a similar number but there's a lot of land there (tho lots north and not accessible). They do run honey cops. And they do get better prices for their no manuka than we do. But they have also been through some pretty rough prices in recent history, and I think the coop has positively developed and evolved over time.

I think that quite a few bigger beekeepers are trying to break into overseas markets themselves, and in effect competing with each other for market share. So many labels with Unique Our Story/about Us rhetoric, much of it tentative. Imagine combining all that energy!! Divide and die we do.
Anyway, this forum is so frustrating. Who's really reading this? There are some contributors... but who else?? Show yourself! Or there is no one really. Like the vacuum of space.
Some say "share what your are offered/paid" and you get 3! yes three people open enough to share the numbers. Frazz it was your idea to share, but you either don't want to/have not sold/or have no offer to share with us. Frustrating.

James, I thought about that refrigerated container idea. I don't think you can export bees in hiveware?? Reefers can work, as they do have a reticulated air supply and the chill needed. Maybe you should have shaken every last bee, store all that gear for selling (or burning..) later. If onto it, requeen in spring, and sell her with a package??
Has a buyer turned up for that 100 ton?
 
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maungaturoto
Experience
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Anyway, this forum is so frustrating. Who's really reading this? There are some contributors... but who else?? Show yourself! Or there is no one really. Like the vacuum of space.
thats normal with any forum. very few people contribute and most are simply silent watches. plus people come and go all the time.
unfortunately it was bad timing with the forum restarting from scratch and the downturn at the same time. as soon as the money goes away, bees are no longer is the hot new thing and all those "hobbyists" disappear.

keep in mind that a lot of the time your not just answering a question but talking to the silent watches.
 

southbee

Gold
314
264
Southland
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Commercial
Huh, sounds like some arguing developing here, I think you all should have a glass of something and sit back and enjoy that the end of the season is near, then realise that we are what we are, so we have to work with what we got. Looks to me that the majority of beek's doesn't want a co op, at least at the moment, which is a bit sad, but not the end of the industry. And people don't like to share honey prices publicly, so what? It's sort of interesting, but no more than that. And why would I share business information with my competitor? Again a co op would take care of some of that attitude, but we don't have one. At the moment, maybe one day again, who knows? So it's everyone on their own, but then....isn't that exactly what beek's are good at?? Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have a co op in nz again, but no point taking a horse to water if it doesn't want to drink.....cheers, I'm having one!
 
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445
327
Mid Canterbury
Experience
Semi Commercial
Huh, sounds like some arguing developing here, I think you all should have a glass of something and sit back and enjoy that the end of the season is near, then realise that we are what we are, so we have to work with what we got. Looks to me that the majority of beek's doesn't want a co op, at least at the moment, which is a bit sad, but not the end of the industry. And people don't like to share honey prices publicly, so what? It's sort of interesting, but no more than that. And why would I share business information with my competitor? Again a co op would take care of some of that attitude, but we don't have one. At the moment, maybe one day again, who knows? So it's everyone on their own, but then....isn't that exactly what beek's are good at?? Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have a co op in nz again, but no point taking a horse to water if it doesn't want to drink.....cheers, I'm having one!
Magnolia she ain't sitting at home having a glass of something. She's off to the boozer to meet a good group of ex ABH guys who were all my customers, for a good ol fashioned chin wag and lots of laughs along the way. That's one way on how one gets enlightened.
 

Rob Atkinson

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Otorohanga
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Anyway, this forum is so frustrating. Who's really reading this? There are some contributors... but who else?? Show yourself! Or there is no one really. Like the vacuum of space.
Some say "share what your are offered/paid" and you get 3! yes three people open enough to share the numbers. Frazz it was your idea to share, but you either don't want to/have not sold/or have no offer to share with us. Frustrating.
Well I got $5kg for my pasture bush last season and I haven't been told if it will be more than that this season.
The good news is my buyer has rung me 3 times to see if I've got honey in a drum yet . He doesn't buy Manuka which I've got most of the last 3 seasons sitting in a shed , my Manuka buyers aren't interested at present.
Got 1 more yard to get off this week and get the supers to the extraction plant .
Bit late I know but we had to get the queen rearing out of the way first .
A honey buyer hasn't paid a customer so he hasn't paid me for queens so that sucks a bit ! Fingers crossed for this week
I've started my other job of pregnancy scanning milking goats and sheep . Handy to have income outside the bee industry
We are not the only industry in the doldrums, The milking goat co-op has down graded payments , so they are basically covering costs .
No real market for goats , as most are downsizing to reduce costs , production has been pegged to 80% of shareholding
1 client has merged 2 farms into 1 and renting the shed out on decommissioned farm .
Another has got his farm up for auction at end of month , he's had enough but wether he can get out is the question.
I get to cheer them up by telling them how poor the honey industry is doing 🤣
 
269
316
Gisborne Tairawhiti
Experience
Researcher
Sorry, who exactly has been subject to abuse and bullying in this thread ?
Past is all well and good to visit. Just don’t live there
Just pinging you on this question I asked @Maggie ?

In that case what is it that some folks are saying we should start talking about that we are not now?

Still waiting to be enlightened.
What are the different 3rd and 4th varroa treatments people are using? It seems it is Tairawhiti's turn to get hammered by varroa (various reasons including inability to get to hives to treat earlier) but if reinvasion is soaring, what are people using to knock down varroa?
thats normal with any forum. very few people contribute and most are simply silent watches. plus people come and go all the time.
unfortunately it was bad timing with the forum restarting from scratch and the downturn at the same time. as soon as the money goes away, bees are no longer is the hot new thing and all those "hobbyists" disappear.

keep in mind that a lot of the time your not just answering a question but talking to the silent watches.
To be fair, questions were asked and then the author of the questions never responded as you said. Don't blame you for frustration @Gino de Graaf
 
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Alastair

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What are the different 3rd and 4th varroa treatments people are using? It seems it is Tairawhiti's turn to get hammered by varroa (various reasons including inability to get to hives to treat earlier) but if reinvasion is soaring, what are people using to knock down varroa?

Me, I'm still just doing 2 treatments a year, mostly bayvarol this autumn. If you have to treat more than 2 times a year it means whatever you are doing isn't working.

And it's not that I haven't tried other things, I was using oxalic acid before Philbee got his first beehive, and I wrote a thread many years ago on the old forum about FA treatments, both flash with a fume board, and slower with Nassenheider.

tried other things like confining the queen etc, and been lead down the garden path by purveyors of ideas that don't work such as small cell.

I believe I've gone full circle and now just do 2 treatments a year with standard products. Less work and all things considered including productivity etc, less cost.
 
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