New Zealand's great honey glut

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Mānuka honey producers have been reaping the profits of selling pots of gold in recent years, but now there’s a surplus of non-mānuka varieties as beekeepers stockpile, hoping prices will recover. The NZ Herald’s Jane Phare looks at why the country is oozing with honey.

 
11
14
Northland
Experience
Commercial
Oversupply Bro. It's a bit like surfing .... you gotta ride the wave ..... Hang ten on the downward spiral and make sure your board shorts are tight when you hit the beach . Or something like that.
Northland had the worst season on record from what I hear from other beeks, I had alot of sites get 4 boxes from 24 hives and I had to make them up from multiple hives, should be a shortage this season and I heard from others down the line that it hasn't been too flash either.
 
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5,526
5,842
canterbury
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Hmmmm ..... okay then ..... maybe the market is overpriced and there is buyer reluctance to pay top dollar.
Perhaps the bubble has burst ?
It would be constructive to hear from someone who actually knows what the heck is going on.
Perhaps Karen would care to comment , or someone from MPI .... who are keen to tell us all is good.
 
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8,436
4,865
maungaturoto
Experience
Commercial
Oversupply Bro.
doubt it. more likely the lack of blending as meant there is less of the most common product to sell.
a lot of high umf used to get blended down to the more profitable lower umf range. now its harder to do that without making it a non-manuka.
 

frazzledfozzle

Founder Member
9,010
7,830
Nelson/Tasman District
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Commercial
doubt it. more likely the lack of blending as meant there is less of the most common product to sell.
a lot of high umf used to get blended down to the more profitable lower umf range. now its harder to do that without making it a non-manuka.

blending can’t be that hard.
before the MPI standard we never blended our honey but now we have the option to blend our mono manuka and our non manuka into a Mono and that’s done by the company that extracts our honey
 
8,436
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maungaturoto
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blending can’t be that hard.
before the MPI standard we never blended our honey but now we have the option to blend our mono manuka and our non manuka into a Mono and that’s done by the company that extracts our honey
not hard, but you need to know what your doing in order to get the product you want. its not just about getting it to a mono, its about getting the right mono that sells the best. high active manuka is not the big seller. that why they used bush honey to blend it down into more saleable honey (and we got good bush honey prices). now they can't do that.
i suspect the pricing is due to simply they have to much honey that no ones buying, ie bush honey and high umf.
 
11
14
Northland
Experience
Commercial
not hard, but you need to know what your doing in order to get the product you want. its not just about getting it to a mono, its about getting the right mono that sells the best. high active manuka is not the big seller. that why they used bush honey to blend it down into more saleable honey (and we got good bush honey prices). now they can't do that.
i suspect the pricing is due to simply they have to much honey that no ones buying, ie bush honey and high umf.
Think your on there, MPI needs to realise this and change things back to activity, never mind this mono rubbish, now both are worthless and its made it hard for all of us, someone needs the sack😂😂😂
 
5,526
5,842
canterbury
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The standard is what it is ...... you can sharpen yer hive tool Maru and dance infront of MPI , but they don't understand. They draw a salary whether they win or loose.
We .... the Big WE ..... have to think smarter ..... tell the story .... market innovatavily ..... form a Coop ..... the power of the union .... united we stand, divided we fall .... you've heard it all before, but repetition is the best form of learning .
We are spinning out some of the most beautifull honey I have ever tasted. It's worth a fortune .... to the right buyer.
You have some of the most sought after honey in the world, to the right martket.
We just gotta find the right market.

Engage the top two inches .... and when you have the answer, let me know !
 
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124
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West Coast
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Hobbyist
The standard is what it is ...... you can sharpen yer hive tool Maru and dance infront of MPI , but they don't understand. They draw a salary whether they win or loose.
We .... the Big WE ..... have to think smarter ..... tell the story .... market innovatavily ..... form a Coop ..... the power of the union .... united we stand, divided we fall .... you've heard it all before, but repetition is the best form of learning .
We are spinning out some of the most beautifull honey I have ever tasted. It's worth a fortune .... to the right buyer.
You have some of the most sought after honey in the world, to the right martket.
We just gotta find the right market.

Engage the top two inches .... and when you have the answer, let me know !
Rata?
 
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5,526
5,842
canterbury
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I got a phone call from my neighbour last week. She was having problems with wasps, and had I/D'd six nests and could I do the honours.
Last Saturday was one of those Drop Dead mornings we get here in Te Wai Pounamu at this time of year ..... early chill and the hint of frost, but with the promise of heat and bluesky and early autumn colour.
We did black coffee and then sorted the wasps , and then she showed me an old hut she was restoring. My neighbours farm was established back in the early days, and pretty much everything is still there.
I love that sort of stuff.
Her Grandfather was a beekeeper , and the old hut was full of relics from a bygone era when MPI were a young man's dream and beekeepers pottled their honey up in tin cans and wax pots, having extracted the honey in galvanised extractors and settling tanks lined with copper hot water pipes.
The old shed had a dent in the wriggly tin by the door where the stubborn old draught horse had leaned as the crop was un loaded.

She gave me a waxed pottle, but I might have to do a lot of sweetening to borrow a tin can.
 
62
47
New Zealand
Experience
International
Firstly, agree about the MPI standard.
We know UMF/MGO only comes from Manuka
The highest UMF/MGO comes from unadulterated Manuka
But the highest UMF/MFO (i.e. Northland's) doesn't qualify as Mono Manuka???

But mainly I'm responding to the comment that due to MPI's definition, consumers should pay more for genuine Manuka now than before.
I've heard this since the standard was first discussed.
The reality is that consumers think now and thought before that they were getting real Manuka honey.
They were paying top dollar before the standard for Manuka, and they still are.
Top Manuka was scarce then and is scarce now.
The only real difference from having the Manuka definition is the price in non-Mono honeys has plummeted.
Spot on answer.
 

frazzledfozzle

Founder Member
9,010
7,830
Nelson/Tasman District
Experience
Commercial
Spot on answer.

“The only real difference from having the Manuka definition is the price in non-Mono honeys has plummeted.”

what part of this is spot on ?
Ive asked @Dennis Crowley more than once but he won’t or can’t reply.

if mono manuka is still selling and prices haven’t plummeted why is it impossible to sell mono manuka to a packer..any packer ?

I read a very interesting article recently from a beekeeping company up north that I think explains what is happening because it makes sense to me but it’s not something I’d thought about.

Their reckoning on what’s happening in the market with the lack of buyers for mono and the low prices paid if you can get someone to buy is this.

Packers are buying cheap non manuka with high markers in some fields ( 2map) from the likes of Northland and blending it with cheap non manuka honey with low markers ( 2map) from everywhere else.
mix them together and you have mono manuka for the princely sum of $4.50kg.
Why buy a bee made 5+ mono for $20 when you can cobble together a recipe in a mixing tank for cheap.

Are they right ?....I suspect they are.
 
3,371
6,239
Hawkes Bay
Experience
Commercial
There are a lot of reasons why good manuka is not selling and an oversupply in a falling market is one of them.
A couple of years ago everything was rosy, prices had been rising for years and if a Packer wanted honey they had to buy it when they got the chance and keep a good stockpile or risk running out.
There is now plenty of honey about and little or no confidence in the market so buyers are aware that they can buy stocks when they need it and very weary of being caught with large stocks of overpriced honey.
Manuka is overpriced and overhyped with the truth being it is only of any real benefit when used for external wounds . It's a wonderful honey with I believe an exceptional taste which does warrant a premium but nothing like what people are trying to sell it for.
On top of this there are still a lot of scams going on both overseas and in New Zealand. One day someone will finally take a look at why the importation of the active ingredient in manuka honey has increased markedly.
I firmly believe that most beekeepers and packers in New Zealand are honest and straight up but there are some that are not and when they get caught out as they inevitably will be then we will all suffer for their dishonesty.
I have deep concerns and sympathy for those that can't sell their honey but I can also understand why a Packer doesn't want to end up with 100 tons of manuka that they paid too much for.
I'm getting close to 50 years as a commercial beekeeper and to stay in the industry that long you have to be an optimist and I am still optimistic about beekeepings future but it's definitely harder to be optimistic than it used to be
 


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