Beekeepers battling for the best hive sites as competition ramps up

The competition for Manuka Honey is greater than ever. Many forestry companies and farmers are charging beekeepers resulting in competition for beehive sites.

According to stuff.com.nz, “Nelson city councilors found out that the Department of Conservation had pumped up its prices from $6 a hive to $15 for standard hives and $50 for those areas producing manuka honey.” 

Nelson Honey with about 4000 hives is one of the biggest producers in the region. A leading Nelson beekeeper says, “Increases in charges for beehive sites are a reflection of harder attitudes and better returns in the honey industry.”

Managing director Philip Cropp points out beekeepers were willing to pay $50 for manuka honey sites because of the high returns. He said, “Manuka honey, marketed as having health benefits, was once a “giveaway honey,” it climbed to $10 a kilogram for beekeepers but had now reached $22 for product that tested with the highest rating. The higher the rating the higher the price they can get for it.”

Bees are very important to New Zealand, as is the export of honey offshore. Philip Cropp says, “Beekeeping was very seasonal and production changed from year to year and location to location.” He also states, “The alteration for the higher standard in ratings for manuka honey allowed for a better quality, but it has driven up the competition for the best locations for the beehive sites.”

As the competition for the best sites continue, we can be sure we are receiving Manuka Honey tested with the highest rating.

Read more: stuff.com.nz

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