Apiculture

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...

Feedback sought on manuka honey rules for NZ

[26 July/The Country] Manuka honey producers and consumers were urged to contribute their thoughts on whether strict requirements for manuka honey exporters should be applied to honey produced and sold in New Zealand. A scientific definition for New Zealand manuka honey was introduced for exported honey last December. The aim was to safeguard the industry...

Honey industry like ‘wild west’, minister says

[26 July/Radio NZ] According to Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, the honey industry was operating like the wild west. He said some apiaries were being over-stocked due to commercial opportunities which left bees hungry and affected hive health. He added the industry needed to cooperate properly on core issues. He noted that if apiarists thought they...

Beekeepers smarting over proposed ‘tax on honey’

[25 July/Stuff] Apiculture New Zealand has the proposed the introduction of a compulsory industry levy. Some in the industry fear it could put smaller operators out of business. President of New Zealand Beekeeping, Russell Berry, said his company would have to pay about $100,000 a year. Apiculture New Zealand proposed a levy of 10 cents...

Battle to protect manuka honey to cost $5.5m

[13 June/Radio NZ] The battle to protect New Zealand’s manuka honey industry from international competitors was expected to cost $5.5 million over 10 years. An industry group said the best way to defend New Zealand’s manuka product would be to trade mark the term and then fight for a Geographical Indication. The honey was used...

Demand for seedlings stun manuka farming group

[3 June/Stuff] A free manuka seedling offer was so popular it was almost 200 percent oversubscribed. Manuka Farming New Zealand offered 1.8 million seedlings to landowners. Applications had been made for 5.2 million. MFNZ General Manager, Stephen Lee, said interest was overwhelming and they had the task of assessing potential plantations from Northland to Te...

Poor seasons hit Comvita earnings

[25 May/Otago Daily Times] According to Craigs Investment Partners, Comvita would take another two years to reach its $400 million sales target after two poor seasons in a row. It downgraded its recommendation from buy to hold. Comvita lowered its forecasted annual earnings due to adverse weather. The stock price fell sharply since Comvita said...

Comvita share price dives after sale falls through

[21 May/The Country] Comvita’s share price fell sharply after talks with a potential buyer fell through. Harbour Asset Management Portfolio Manager, Shane Solly, questioned if after two tough harvest periods, the company could keep up the rate of growth investors were used to. The company announced it was in talks with a third party, whilst...

New Zealand river water quality high fresh data shows, but still room for improvement

[16 April/The Country] River water quality around New Zealand has improved over the last decade according to recently released data. The National Water Quality Trends data released by Land, Air, Water Aotearoa gives data on 1500 freshwater sites that are regularly monitored for water quality. Cawthron Institute Freshwater Group Ecologist, Dr Roger Young, said the...

Potential remains to grow honey industry, says Apiculture CEO

[29 March/The Country] Apiculture New Zealand CEO, Karin Kos, said the growth of the manuka honey industry was slowing, but there was potential for more. Of the 8,000 beekeepers in New Zealand, 5,800 were hobbyists owning 10 hives or less. There was an 11 percent growth in hive numbers last year. Ms Kos added that...

Watson & Son plans restructure as sales head exits

[22 March/National Business Review] Honey firm Watson & Son is reported to be consulting on a restructure under the full ownership of Ngai Tahu, meaning staff might need to reapply for the jobs. The Iwi said it would buy out Watson & Son founder Denis Watson, following on from the half share of the company...

Another victory in case for mānuka’s NZ origin

[22 March/Radio NZ] The Mānuka Honey Appellation Society has certified the term ‘mānuka honey’ in New Zealand. The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand accepted the term and said the certification meant it would differentiate New Zealand’s honey from other countries such as Australia. The society’s spokesperson, John Rawcliffe, emphasised the result was a step...

Bee wax alternative food wrap a hit in Hawke’s Bay

 [17 March/The Country] LilyBee Wrap co-founders Stacia Jensen and Miko Hayashi started the company about 18 months ago to make reusable fabric wraps dipped in beeswax in efforts to stop using plastic food-wrap. They came up with the idea from researching traditional wrappings before plastic wrapping was common. Mr Hayashi said they started out selling...

Mānuka battle: Federal funding for Australian campaign

[15 March/Radio NZ] The recently established Australian Manuka Honey Association was given $165,000 to push, promote and market its honey. John Rawcliffe from the Mānuka Honey Appellation Society wanted to stop Australia from profiting on New Zealand mānuka honey market and questioned why the federal government was helping to fund this. He emphasised that the...

Bees too hot to make honey as they swelter in NZ summer

[7 March/NZ Farmer] The hottest summer on record in many parts of the country has caused a challenging season for beekeepers as bees have stopped making honey so they can gather water to cool their hives down. Chief Executive of Apiculture New Zealand, Karin Kos, said beekeepers were expecting a slightly below average honey harvest...

Buyer found for NZ Honey Co

[9 March/Otago Daily Times] The New Zealand Honey Company has been bought out of receivership for an undisclosed sum. The company was placed in voluntary receivership by its shareholders in mid-December and its overall debt was assessed at more than $1.4 million. The liquidator, Iain Nellies, confirmed that it was bought by New Zealand buyers...

‘No one wants to see honey bees die’

[1 March/Radio NZ] An analysis of neonicotinoids, a group of pesticides, has confirmed they are harmful to wild bees and honey bees. The analysis by Europe’s food safety watchdog, EFSA, collected scientific evidence and literature reviews on the effect the pesticide had on bees, concluding that any outdoor use of neonicotinoids put bees at risk....

Comvita swings to first-half profit, reiterates full-year guidance

[23 February/NZ Herald] The Manuka honey company Comvita reiterated its full-year earnings despite bad weather hitting the 2018 season. They reported a net profit of $3.7 million in the six months to December 31 when compared to a $7.1 million loss in the prior period. Chief Executive, Scott Coulter, said total sales were up 44...

Manuka Honey: Buzz builds for New Zealand superfood

[2 February/Food Navigator USA] The unique health benefits of Manuka honey are starting to make a mark in the US market with the market leader, Wedderspoon, reporting record sales across all retail channels in 2017.  Wedderspoon has calculated that its products accounted for 73% of the combined growth in the Manuka category across conventional grocery,...

Comvita predicts return to profit after better honey season

[30 January/NZ Farmer] Comvita is predicting a recovery this year from one of the poorest honey seasons in decades and expects to return to profitability for the 2017/18 financial year.  The company last year reported an operating loss after tax of $5.5 million but Chairman, Neil Craig, says that based on a normal harvest the...

MPI’s definition of Manuka honey changed on eve of legal challenge from beekeepers

[29 January/Stuff Business] The Ministry for Primary Industries has backed down on its proposed definition for Manuka honey as beekeepers claimed the proposals could cost the industry $100 million a year in exports.  NZ Beekeeping was due to challenge the proposed definition in the High Court this week but MPI have moved in advance of...

Virus vs disease: New bid to help our honeybees

[15 January/ NZ Herald] Massey University will be leading a government funded project this year that will look into natural bio-protective agents that will assist in keeping the American Foulbrood pathogen at bay.  The American Foulbrood disease is the largest single disease affecting honeybees in New Zealand, it spreads by spores that break down the...

Bunnings to pull Yates pesticide allegedly linked to bee deaths

[14 January/ Stuff Business] Bunnings stores across Australia and New Zealand will cease stocking the Yates Confidor product by the end of this year, given concerns that the pesticide contributes to affecting the navigation and immune systems of bees.  The company acknowledges that decision was based on precaution rather than scientific evidence, with a spokesperson...