Reset button - the universal reset

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Dansar

Founder Member
BOP Club
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Putaruru
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Hard times, frustration, depression.

Describes me at 15 years old knowing I wasn’t allowed to leave Horowhenua College until I was 16 or had a job. It was the mid 90’s and the country had been “Rodgered”.

With a PC (personal computer) if the system isn’t operating correctly or starts to go into a continuous loop of frozen screen, what do you do?
Most techs will ask “have you turned it off at the wall, waited 10 seconds and restart?”
Yup, the good old “universal reset”.

So in light of that, what if we could hypothetically- reset commercial beekeeping in NZ, what would it look like upon start up?

And no, the “Good old days” won’t cut it. Do you know how long it took to load a game of tennis onto a computer with those cassette tape hard drives? Nope I’m not going backwards, we need to go forwards.

Reset - going forwards.

In my reset world, beekeeping would look like this - “insert words here”…..
 

Alastair

Founder Member
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Auckland
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My view, the most likely way it will be re set is beehive numbers return to historic levels.

We do have one advantage in NZ, being that honey imports are not allowed. So at least on the domestic market we do not have to compete with cheap imports from the likes of Vietnam. Of course, the NZ public only eat so much honey.

On the downside, mite management is becoming harder and more costly, something that did not have to be dealt with in the good ol' days. I really don't know where we are going to end up.

It may be some totally new and effective mite treatment bursts onto the scene and will keep things going another 10 to 20 years. Or, that may never happen.
 

Dansar

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I would love to know in advance that Our honey would be bought by X at X amount of dollars before we supered up for the flow.

I would like to see a more centralised system where the various packers aren’t fighting for shelf space and all that entails.
There certainly has been more interest in a Zespri, Fonterra type of supply and sell system.
It will take a lot of clever people and a huge commitment of long term financial support from not only the beekeeping industry but also private investment.
 

Dansar

Founder Member
BOP Club
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Putaruru
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My view, the most likely way it will be re set is beehive numbers return to historic levels.

We do have one advantage in NZ, being that honey imports are not allowed. So at least on the domestic market we do not have to compete with cheap imports from the likes of Vietnam. Of course, the NZ public only eat so much honey.

On the downside, mite management is becoming harder and more costly, something that did not have to be dealt with in the good ol' days. I really don't know where we are going to end up.

It may be some totally new and effective mite treatment bursts onto the scene and will keep things going another 10 to 20 years. Or, that may never happen.
Yes NZ is very fortunate to have only a small amount of honey allowed into the country.

Looking back 👀 to when I started beekeeping there were around 350,000 registered hives.

Varroa - definitely time for beekeepers to reevaluate how, what and when treatments are used.

Costs have increased yet the raw product has not enjoyed the same fate. This seems to be the case for most primary industries.
 
8,871
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maungaturoto
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costs have increased yet the raw product has not enjoyed the same fate.
part of the costs increase is our own doing.
many beeks have been running inefficient business because they could afford to.
but also with some of the expenses, eg testing. many still test per drum and sell per drum. instead of testing (and selling) per batch (eg 10 drums).
people complain about treatment cost, but its not really all that much. many firms have excess staff which costs them substantially more.

i think there will be more focus on machinery and setups to be as efficient as possible so less staff are needed. but also retaining good staff.
that requires money upfront, and lack of investment has been a big issue. i think many went down the route of lots of cheap staff and thats bit them.
 

Dansar

Founder Member
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Putaruru
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part of the costs increase is our own doing.
many beeks have been running inefficient business because they could afford to.
but also with some of the expenses, eg testing. many still test per drum and sell per drum. instead of testing (and selling) per batch (eg 10 drums).
people complain about treatment cost, but its not really all that much. many firms have excess staff which costs them substantially more.

i think there will be more focus on machinery and setups to be as efficient as possible so less staff are needed. but also retaining good staff.
that requires money upfront, and lack of investment has been a big issue. i think many went down the route of lots of cheap staff and thats bit them.
So true. So, how would you like to see a “reset” play out?
 
72
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Katikati
Experience
Commercial
In a reset world beekeeper won't have varroa mites to treat against.
We could have tried to eradicate... I mean m bovis cost nearly 500M

Also no manuka boom. A simmer, no crazy prices.
The cause of the now bust pain

Zespri... Well Green variety production well down this season. Does that mean a higher return because market demand not being met.. probably not aye... So is that single desk working?
 
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8,871
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maungaturoto
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So true. So, how would you like to see a “reset” play out?
like to see and what will happen is two very different things.
i hope a lot of the profit taking crowds fold and we can get back to beekeeping. odds are many will go to the next hot thing.

the zespri/fonterra model is ok, but everyone still wants to do their own thing.
many years ago it was mentioned at the bee conference that many crowds where competing against each, which is pointless in a global market where we are a minority. i heard recently that one of the companies was trying to compete and pull a supply contract off another company. thats just dumb. we have no need to compete with each each other.
 
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Dansar

Founder Member
BOP Club
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Putaruru
Experience
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like to see and what will happen is two very different things.
i hope a lot of the profit taking crowds fold and we can get back to beekeeping. odds are many will go to the next hot thing.

the zespri/fonterra model is ok, but everyone still wants to do their own thing.
many years ago it was mentioned at the bee conference that many crowds where competing against each, which is pointless in a global market where we are a minority. i heard recently that one of the companies was trying to compete and pull a supply contract off another company. thats just dumb. we have no need to compete with each each other.
Yup, I agree. It’s awesome to have the individual special story about where and how you produce the product, but there is a “global domination” mentality that I don’t like.

For me, the most basic reset would be -
No varroa
Enough beehives for the given area to sustain.
Each seasons production sells, either to a packer or direct to public or both at a price where everyone wins with enough $ to cover costs, pay the bills, save some for a rainy day, save for retirement, and replace equipment when required.
 
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Hawkes Bay
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Now you've got me started.
A massive government funded effort to breed varoa tolerant bees with beekeeper input and compulsory use of resistant material.
All hives owned by individuals or partnerships and no one allowed more than 2000 hives.
Everyone behaving ethically.
Removing all regulations in regard to honey processing except for tutu testing.
Have a co-op if you want but let people be independent if they want .
Compulsory better weather.
 

frazzledfozzle

Founder Member
9,128
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Nelson/Tasman District
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An update on honey prices and demand.
over the past three years we have had no interest in our honey not even an offer so it’s been a relief to finally have more than one buyer looking and multiple offers for some batches.
Obviously the prices are crap compared to what they used to be but those days are over never to come back IMHO.

we have been offered $10.25 and $10.50 for 5+ mono with C4s high 8s and the honey is going into its third year of storage. ( C4s have grown in storage must have been adding buckets of sugar syrup to the drum aye :( )

in the past this honey would have been snapped up the same year it was harvested and would have been worth $25-$28kg
 

Alastair

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Auckland
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I had a poor harvest this year and worried about not being able to keep my regulars supplied through to the next harvest. So approached the guys who extract and pack my honey about buying some bush, thinking I would pay $5 a Kg.

I was laughingly told I won't get any for less than $7 a Kg.
 
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Alastair

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Other thing, the price of sugar 😮

More than double what I was paying 2 years ago. Not sure how the dynamics of this work.
 
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Bay of Plenty
Experience
Commercial
An update on honey prices and demand.
over the past three years we have had no interest in our honey not even an offer so it’s been a relief to finally have more than one buyer looking and multiple offers for some batches.
Obviously the prices are crap compared to what they used to be but those days are over never to come back IMHO.

we have been offered $10.25 and $10.50 for 5+ mono with C4s high 8s and the honey is going into its third year of storage. ( C4s have grown in storage must have been adding buckets of sugar syrup to the drum aye :( )

in the past this honey would have been snapped up the same year it was harvested and would have been worth $25-$28kg
Did you sell it at 10.25
 
271
319
Gisborne Tairawhiti
Experience
Researcher
How do you take the human element out of it? As a primary industry, a boom and bust is no different to many . . .and many of those industries have gone on to boom again. But perhaps apiculture is different and given the general 'solitary' nature of it, pehaps consigned to the repeated boom and bust cycle.
It's also interesting that many see the manuka boom as unwanted - and yet the same people complain about the lower prices now. So its good to see prices are at least at (slightly above?) the cost of production, rather than previously.

And Horowhenua College @Dansar ? I left there a few (*cough*) years prior . . .
 
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