Apiculture

Beekeepers struggle as honey money gets sticky

[21 May/Rural News] The honey market downturn has impacted the profitability of many beekeeping businesses, particularly those producing the non-manuka honeys, reports Karin Kos, Chief Executive of Apiculture New Zealand. The downturn has been particularly hard because prices have been on the rise for 10 years, so is unexpected despite normal downturns. Global demand for...

‘Major reset’ for honey industry, Apiculture NZ warns

[15 May/The Country] Apiculture New Zealand Chief Executive Karin Kos reports that demand and prices dropping as much as 50 percent for honey compared to last season mean that belt tightening and rationalisation will have to occur. Strong growth and good returns in the past few years have attracted a lot of new entrants into...

American Foulbrood outbreak bee project

[21 April/NZ Herald] The Southern Beekeepers discussion group has completed the first two rounds of sampling southern beehives for the American Foulbrood research project, Clean Hive. The sampling is part of the beekeeping industry’s research project to trial three different methods to detect the disease in hives before symptoms become visible or clinical. The group...

Comvita buys Chinese partner

[11 April/Farmers Weekly] Comvita expects to raise its total revenue to over $200 million and increase profit margins after it moved to full ownership of its Chinese joint-venture business. The acquisition will result in Comvita’s largest shareholder, Li Wang, increasing her stake from 11.18 percent to 18.41 percent. Mrs Wang and her husband own 49...

Young Waikato beekeeper wins study grant

[10 April/Rural News] Ariel Kururangi, a 19 year old Beekeeper is the first-ever recipient of the Apiculture New Zealand (ApiNZ) Ron Mossop Youth Scholarship. The programme was established to help encourage young New Zealanders to do training which supports best practice beekeeping. Miss Kururangi intends to use the funds towards the New Zealand Apprenticeship in...

Tough times ahead for beekeepers but sweet news for honey lovers

[26 March/Stuff NZ] Foodstuffs have announced a drop in non-mānuka honey prices will occur soon. This is due to an over-supply of honey which has resulted in a 10 percent price reduction from suppliers according to Spokesperson Antoinette Laird. Changed mānuka regulations have meant an oversupply of honey that used to fall in this category....

Keeping an eye on honey in real time

[22 March/Rural News] Hamilton company ModuSense has developed a real-time system allowing beekeepers to see data on their hives weight, temperature and humidity.  This can assist beekeepers to help produce a better yield as well as reduce costs. Bruce Trevarthen, ModuSense Founder reports that hives tend to be in remote places which are hard to...

130,000 bees go under the microscope

[11 March/Rural News] Sampling has been completed for Biosecurity New Zealand’s Bee Pathogen Programme which involved more than 60 beekeepers and took two and a half years to complete. The study is the largest and most detailed one ever undertaken in New Zealand, involving hives being tested every six months. Dr Richard Hall, Senior Scientist...

Beekeepers turn down proposal for commodity levy

[07 March/Radio NZ] Over 75 percent of commercial beekeepers voted against a levy from Apiculture New Zealand (ApiNZ). The levy is asking for all 1734 beekeepers in New Zealand with 26 hives or more to pay a levy of 10 cents on each kilogramme of honey. ApiNZ reported that most other primary sector industries have...

Hey Australia – keep your hands off New Zealand’s mānuka honey

[05 March/Stuff] Australians have been accused of taking the term mānuka and diluting the definition of what constitutes the valuable honey. The Australian Mānuka Honey Association (AMHA) was created two years ago to represent producers across the Tasman. The value of New Zealand honey exports is $350 million a year and expected to rise to...

Comvita shares slump 18 per cent after sinking into red in first half

[26 February/NZ Herald] Comvita announced a loss of $2.7 million in the first half ending 31 December 2018 which sent shares down 93 cents to $4.25. This follows a profit of $3.7 million being announced a year earlier. Comvita also announced it was not going to pay an interim dividend compared to last year’s 4...

Big push on for honey sector levy

[18 January/Rural News] A major campaign is in its final stages to secure support for a commodity levy for the bee industry. The proposal is to levy of 10 cents per kilogram on beekeepers who produce 750kg of honey or more per year, estimating positive vote for the levy would raise about $2 million annually....

Honey glut as warehouses fill with unwanted product

[8 January/NZ Herald] Small beekeepers are finding it hard to sell their honey, leaving some sitting on large stocks of unsold product. One Whanganui beekeeper noted small operators usually sell to major firms, but those firms are not buying. Larger companies are increasingly developing their own sourcing strategies and small operators note there is not...

Large scale mānuka investment a first for New Zealand

[19 November/The Country] Comvita has partnered with rural investment company MyFarm to offer New Zealanders the opportunity to own an interest in an mānuka plantation. MyFarm chief executive Andrew Watters said the collaboration was the first large scale mānuka investment of its kind in New Zealand and it will increase export returns from high value...

High-tech solution to combat mānuka honey counterfeiters

[8 November/NZ Herald] Honey counterfeiters are posing a major threat to New Zealand’s international reputation, says one manufacturer which has come up with a high-tech solution. Midlands Apiaries says it is using more complex packaging materials and manufacturing processes for its Puriti mānuka honey brand with the goal of making it more difficult for others...

Auckland honey exporter fined $26,000 for making false claims

[2 November/The Country] Jonathan Paul Towers has been fined $26,300 for offences under the Food Act and the Animal Products Act. The two charges related to making false therapeutic claims about honey and failing to ensure that he was registered exporter. An investigation by the Ministry for Primary Industries found that Mr Towers had exported...

Apiculture NZ ‘tweaks’ honey levy move

[24 October/The Country] Apiculture New Zealand has adjusted its proposal to introduce a commodity levy on honey following industry consultation. According to Apiculture New Zealand Board Member, Russell Marsh, the move to introduce the levy was the most important step the industry had taken in years. He added the New Zealand honey industry was the...

Beeswax wrapper gives away wildflower seeds for fatter happier bees

[2 October/The Country] Ruapehu District Council Waste Minimisation Educator, Emily Jasmine, wanted to help bees in the district. She ran a workshop to make environmentally friendly beeswax wraps. It was so successful, she felt that she had to help the bees make the wax. She said bees needed to consume 3kg of honey to produce...

Southeast Asian company offers to buy Manuka Health

[28 September/Stuff] A Southeast Asian company offered to buy for an undisclosed amount. It would be subject to Overseas Investment Office approval. Its CEO, John Kippenberger, said there was speculation the price was over $200 million, but would not confirm the actual figure. The buyer was the Hong Leong Group from Malaysia, however Mr Kippenberger...

Could Irish honey rival our own liquid gold?

[6 September/Stuff] According to Irish researchers, heather honey could be as good for you as manuka, however Kiwi producers weren’t accepting the claims. Manuka honey was known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. It also had an ability to heal wounds, aid digestion, and keep skin smooth. A study by Dublin City University suggested...

Manuka honey causing legal problems in the US

[28 August/Stuff] There has been an unexpected increase in food crime in the first half of 2018. One incident involved USD98,000 worth of ramen noodles being stolen, in Chile a drought caused avocado related crimes. Theft of avocados was also a problem in New Zealand. This had led to the installation of alarm systems in...

Poor harvest affects Comvita annual result

[22 August/The Country] Manuka honey grower and exporter, Comvita, experienced a second poor annual harvest which resulted in a 16 percent decline in after tax profit. A third poor harvest was not being ruled out, however Comvita held a positive outlook. Comvita shares are down over 30 percent since the start of the year. Comvita...

Manuka honey seller warns of ‘loopholes’ in industry

[12 August/Rural NZ] Ashburton honey seller, Puriti, has warned that some people buying manuka honey in New Zealand were getting a raw deal. The Ministry for Primary Industries was seeking feedback on whether to extend the export grade standard to manuka honey sold locally. It wanted to protect the reputation of export grade manuka honey,...

Comvita silent over Manuka Health bid

[31 July/NZ Herald] Comvita declined to comment on whether it was interested in making a bid for Manuka Honey New Zealand. Manuka Health was put on the market six weeks ago for more than AUD200 million. A Comvita spokeswoman said it was unable to comment on its interest or potential acquisitions without first updating the...