Apiculture

Hives on track with BuzzTech

[ 20 February/ The New Zealand Farmers Weekly] IT expert turned beekeeper and BuzzTech director, Julian McCurdy has created a software solution that gives apiarists the option to include high-quality sensors and monitors into their hive colonies, making it easier to track thousands of hives typically spanning hundreds of kilometres. The software creates the potential...

Kiwi exporters face trouble in China

 [17 February/ New Zealand Herald] New Zealand exporters including New Zealand’s biggest honey makers, Comvita and Manuka Health as well as Tasmanian infant formula company Bellamy’s, have seen tough business conditions due to a slowdown of Chinese “daigou” channel. The daigou channel offers manufacturers a “toehold” into the Chinese market and has been extensively utilised...

Queen’s grocer pulls New Zealand manuka honey from shelves

[5 February/ Business Day] Fortnum and Mason, the grocer to the Queen in London, has pulled New Zealand Manuka honey from its shelves when tests showed it had lower than expected levels of the active ingredient, leptosperin.  Food Safety Minister, David Bennett, said that the government was introducing pollen DNA testing on honey exports in...

Beekeepers say honey season ‘worst in 20 years’

 [26 January/ Otago Daily Times] Frustrated beekeepers are calling the summer of 2016/17 the worst season for the industry in 20 years as poor weather has impacted yields as bees have been unable to collect nectar.  Apiculture NZ CEO, Karin Kos, said the unseasonable weather conditions and less predictable and shorter flowering season had absolutely...

Poor honey crop hits Comvita

[Apiculture / NZ Herald] Wet, windy conditions will impact on Comvita’s ability to deliver on its 2017 financial forecast, with the company announcing that anticipated profit would be in the range of $5 to $7 million compared with previous indications of a result consistent with the prior year’s $17 million.  The company had expected to...

Poor summer plays havoc with honey collection

[Apiculture / Business Day: NZ Farmer] Less than ideal summer weather is impacting honey yields as beekeepers face one of their worst ever seasons, although strong inventories carried forward from the previous season might prevent prices from rising.  Wet and windy conditions have impacted the production of all types of honey; strong winds in particular...

Brand sale nets Comvita $19m

 [Apiculture /NZ Herald] Comvita has announced that it has sold its Medihoney brand to Derma Sciences, its US based partner, for $19 million and will reap a further $11 million selling Derma shares into a takeover offer for the Nasdaq listed company.  The sale of the brand includes an upfront payment with an earn out...

Threat to Kiwi manuka industry from the Oz Honey Project

[Apiculture/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] Australian beekeepers are buzzing about a plan to challenge New Zealand’s dominance in the active manuka honey market.  Work has been led by researchers from the University of Technology Sydney, who have sought to identify the most potent varieties amongst the more than 80 leptospermum species in Australia.  Work is...

Comvita shares slump as honey products maker tips loss

[27 October/ National Business Review] Comvita shares have fallen by 11 percent after the company announced it could face a loss in the first half of the 2017 financial year. Chief Executive, Scott Coulter said the probable loss was due to a decline in sales out of Australasia since China cracked down on grey market...

Comvita share placement lifts Chinese investor’s stake to 9%

 [24 October/ National Business Review] Comvita has placed 2 million shares with China Resources Ng Fung, increasing the Chinese food giant’s stake from less than 5 percent to around 9 percent. Comvita said in a statement that the move would strengthen working capital and provide funding to support strategic initiatives currently under consideration. The deal...

Buzzing sector faces barriers

 [6 October/ NZ Herald] Apiculture New Zealand Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Paul said New Zealand’s honey industry was in good health, with hive numbers increasing to almost 700,000. Mr Paul explained that the main reason for growth in the industry was the high price of Manuka honey. A Ministry for Primary Industries report showed that...

Hobbit honey – from middle earth to the world

 [18 September/ NZ Herald] Mighty River Honey, trading as Middle Earth Honey, has launched Anduin Vale honey and planned to manufacture up to 30 other food and beverage items with links to The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings characters, places and items. Mighty River Honey Executive Chairman, Richard Duncan said the company had distributors...

Comvita restructure could mean lay-offs

[12 September/ NZ Herald] Comvita staff around New Zealand have been told that restructuring could mean redundancies for some employees. Comvita Chief Executive, Scott Coulter said the company was conducting a review and there could be some redundancies, but there had yet to be any decision on the number of redundancies or what parts of...

Nelson Honey’s sweet success with Rainbow Station lease

[12 September/ Nelson Mail] Nelson Honey has bought Rainbow Station’s pastoral lease, securing access to 8,300 hectares of high country land. Nelson Honey Managing Director, Philip Cropp said the 33 year lease was significant as it future proofed access to the high country farm. The extra land would allow the company to increase hive numbers...

Bee and agrichemical industry join to promote bee safety

[7 September/ Rural News] AGCARM and Apiculture New Zealand have announced the release of a campaign to increase awareness around the importance of keeping bees safe through responsible use of agrichemicals. The campaign highlighted the need for farmers and beekeepers to work together to manage the use of agrichemicals near hives. AGCARM Chief Executive, Mark...

Comvita forms joint venture with China distributor

[5 September/ NZ Herald] Comvita and its Chinese distributor, Shenzhen Comvita Natural Food Co, have formed a 51:49 percent joint venture, with Comvita being the controlling shareholder. Comvita Chief Executive, Scott Coulter said Chinese customers ultimately consumed about 60 percent of the company’s total sales. Mr Coulter added that the deal represented the continued evolution...

Funding to research giant willow aphid brings relief to South Canterbury’s beekeepers

[26 August/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] Scientists at the Scion Research centre in Rotorua have won a Ministry for Primary Industries Sustainable Farming Fund grant of $445,000 to study the giant willow aphid. The giant willow aphid was having a detrimental effect on the country’s beekeeping industry by affecting the ability of the willow tree...

Comvita confident it will weather new Chinese rules

[25 August/ NZ Herald] Comvita Chief Executive, Scott Coulter said the company was confident its business would not be disrupted by Chinese regulator changes facing honey producers. Mr Coulter was referring to China’s Certification and Accreditation Administration’s new requirement that wineries and honey producers register before exporting products to the country. Mr Coulter added that...

Comvita profit rises as company in growth mode

 [23 August/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] Comvita’s net profit after tax increased by 81 percent from $10.2 million in the 12 months ended March 2015 to $18.5 million in the 15 months ended June 2016. The company changed its reporting period to the end of June in order to better align with the honey producing...

Riddle of how 1,700 tons of manuka honey are made… but 10,000 are sold

[23 August/ NZ Herald] Research has shown that New Zealand produces 1,700 tonnes of manuka honey each year, while as much as 10,000 tonnes of honey labelled as manuka were sold each year around the world. The numbers suggested some producers were substituting cheap standard honey in for manuka honey, meaning consumers hoping to take...

Police, beekeepers in anti-theft drive

 [19 August/ Radio NZ Rural] New Zealand police have officially teamed up with beekeepers to tackle beehive crime after the rising price of manuka honey has led to more thefts. Apiculture New Zealand Chief Executive, Daniel Paul said the beehive thefts were not a good look for the honey industry and it was a concern...

Top risks for world’s pollinators named

 [15 August/ Radio NZ Rural] An international study has narrowed down the biggest risks for pollinators in the hope of preventing further threats to global food production. The study identified six risks that needed urgent attention, including corporate control of agriculture, diversifying pollinator species, the effects of climate change, and reducing chemicals in non-agricultural settings....

Association backs ‘thorough’ manuka honey classification

 [10 August/ Radio NZ Rural] Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association Member, John Rawcliffe said the association can now classify what genuine manuka honey is. Mr Rawcliffe added that the clarification around what constituted genuine manuka honey would help protect the brand and identify legitimate honey. Mr Rawcliffe said the next step was to protect the...

Bee bandits steal hundreds of hives from Northland forest

[22 July/ Business Day: NZ Farmer] Thieves have stolen 200 honey bee colonies, equating to 1 million bees, from Topuni Forest in Northland. The beehives belonging to Watson & Son Limited were worth $500,000. The company are offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of whoever was responsible for the...