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Chasing the honey flow


jamesc
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I think I've figured out how the Corporate Bee operation owned by NgaiTahu made such a large loss last year.

On my look see tri[p to the coast these last few days I noticed they had moved bees into he high country around the upper  Waimak..... chasing Manuka.

 

We've chased Manuka up there. We've also chased clover ..... and it was all a bit ho hum.

 I remember coming back across the Bealey Bridge one night in early January and the the temp was hovering just above zero.

I always chuckle when bee operators change at sites quite frequently.

If a site is a good site I would suggest the beekeeper is there year in year out.

 

When the colour of the hives changes every few years, I would suggest that the sites are marginal ....

There is a lot to be said for knowing your patch ....

 

Our Manuka is flowering profusely here. The nectar is pouring in ..... but it sure as heck is'nt  Manuka and I can't be bothered to move truck loads of  Bees out of the clover to feed on  it.

 

Maybe it's just laziness..... or over it.

 

 

 

Edited by jamesc
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2 hours ago, jamesc said:

I think I've figured out how the Corporate Bee operation owned by NgaiTahu made such a large loss last year

my read is that might be one reason, but plenty more. Don't think Denis did poorly finding some incompetent types at TRONT to sell a story too. As for those who bought the story - probably in blood.line jobs for life and will never be held to account

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6 hours ago, jamesc said:

I think I've figured out how the Corporate Bee operation owned by NgaiTahu made such a large loss last year.

On my look see tri[p to the coast these last few days I noticed they had moved bees into he high country around the upper  Waimak..... chasing Manuka.

 

We've chased Manuka up there. We've also chased clover ..... and it was all a bit ho hum.

 I remember coming back across the Bealey Bridge one night in early January and the the temp was hovering just above zero.

I always chuckle when bee operators change at sites quite frequently.

If a site is a good site I would suggest the beekeeper is there year in year out.

 

When the colour of the hives changes every few years, I would suggest that the sites are marginal ....

There is a lot to be said for knowing your patch ....

 

Our Manuka is flowering profusely here. The nectar is pouring in ..... but it sure as heck is'nt  Manuka and I can't be bothered to move truck loads of  Bees out of the clover to feed on  it.

 

Maybe it's just laziness..... or over it.

 

 

 

Why did you put your bees there if it changed hands so often and it was a bit ho hum?

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5 hours ago, YTB8TA270 said:

Why did you put your bees there if it changed hands so often and it was a bit ho hum?

Cause he's a gambling man, rolling them dice... A site really needs 3 seasons to show results.

As honey has been a secondary income, I look at a site differently.

Good access for truck. Beefies versus cruisy. Wind protection. One gate. Distance. Pollen sources. Enough summer honey to winter hives. 

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5 hours ago, YTB8TA270 said:

Why did you put your bees there if it changed hands so often and it was a bit ho hum?

Good question ..... we used to run bees up there when I was with Airborne. Back then I worked for a wage and enjoyed going up there for a picnic, honey or no .

I don't think we ever pulled a great deal of honey out of there, and that was before the Manuka craze. I was sent up in the spring to work the bees, but was never sent back to harvest. 

When we put the bees in, there were very few other hives floating around.

One year the blossom lasted a week.

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10 hours ago, john berry said:

Musical beehives is a popular game round here to. Most of the places the corporate's play the game are actually quite good beekeeping areas but when you overstock by a factor of 10 for some reason you never get any honey.

 

That's what has happened in my area, plenty of new sites came in and nobody got any honey.

You have to have respect for stocking rates, if an area can take 20 hives and get a box there's no point in putting more hives there, hives just go backwards and nobody wins. Hopefully numbers reside next season and be back to the norm 5yrs ago.

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19 minutes ago, Maru Hoani said:

That's what has happened in my area, plenty of new sites came in and nobody got any honey.

You have to have respect for stocking rates, if an area can take 20 hives and get a box there's no point in putting more hives there, hives just go backwards and nobody wins. Hopefully numbers reside next season and be back to the norm 5yrs ago.

Are these new sites big business chasing Manuka flows from north to south? If so, their plan may make sense even if they only harvest a small but reasonable quantity. They will have a few goes at it as they go south.  It's efficient shifting big truck loads. 

And bees sitting in holding pattern, waiting for later flows cost money. Guys here sit on Rewa sites, because it works logistically, not necessarily very profitable. Bees working, ready to go South.

It's entirely different for one shot operators like you and me. Eggs in one basket. 

And they can enhance the value of all honey gathered. Blending or good market access. 

Plus, big money backing the enterprise. They are probably no where as profitable compared to a smaller low cost operator, but if it returns better than the bank...

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