Mark, can China really do that???
Mark, can China really do that???
I doubt that we will ever see "quality" chinese products, at rates they are charging now anyways, once China straightens up and starts doing that, they will want more money for thier services. Once that happens, the world will find the next country that is willing to sell it's people cheaply to prosper. I'm thinking countries in Mid and West Africa to be the next "cheap labor pool"
TSADAM, China is heavily invested in many parts of the African Continent.
I feel like we took the long way around. But it looks like your point was that one person shoulders the weight of doing what is needed in D.C. for our industry. How much money has the industry spent in the past 20 years or so? How much came from the biggest contributor. I'm a big fan of the big guy. I'd like to be able to figure out How much more money will I need to contribute to get on pace with the leader?
China does make some high quality stuff. We just see the cheap Chinese junk because it is cheap. Their quality stuff is often a comparable price to our quality stuff - they may have cheap labor, but they have to add the cost of bringing it over here.
There are always going to be crooks who will try to find a shortcut to make a buck, whether it is diluting honey with syrup or whatnot. You'll NEVER stop them because there are customers who are always looking for a cheaper priced product, and they don't care about reduced quality. When the market demands junk, someone will find a way to fill the need.
Educate the customers. Offer them a quality product at a fair price. Your honey will sell itself, even when it is marketed right beside the guy who is catering to the customers who want cheap junk. Let the scumbags cater to the scumbags, and don't worry about them. I want to cater to the high quality folks, by offering them a high quality product.
A friend of mine just got back from China, went to visit a female friend. His report was that "if we think what they send us is junk, you should see what keep for themselves. It is much worse. They only send the best of the best here".
Will they get better? yes. Will they follow the up-down path of Japan? MAybe.. Will the "Funny honey " stop? Mostly, Wisconsin is working on it's definition , should be solid by the end of the year? WIll there be a market for REAL PURE, no hard chemicals honey? I am betting my livelyhood on it!! (SEE, back on topic)
Linden Apiary, Est, 1852
Well, back to the question. After 39 years of beekeeping ,what else what I do??? I have been doing one thing and one thing well since I was 10 years old. And out the ripe "old" age of 49---who would hire me to do anything else?? It has been an interesting read all these threads. There are a lot more people making a lot more money than I in the business and probably a lot smarter also. But then I am in an economic backwater called Alabama. We did pollenate in California for four years. One year made good money and got good bees back. The second year the broker screwed us and several others also. The third year, with a different broker, made good money. The forth year with the same broker, we broke even but lost bees--the start of CCD. I have sent bees into Wisconsin's cranberry bogs, we made some money and got bees back in time to place on cotton. WE came to the determination that operation is about one thousand miles too far to the east to be effective in Cali. The regulations are also very tough on South Eastern Beekeepers---Fireant. So why stay in business,--it is a way of life!!!! TK, Alabama Bee Company, sorry no packages, only nucs. Too many hive beetles in Alabama to shake packages any more.
perhapes a different approach??
In my case just starting out and hoping to start a sideline; This thread made me concider "why get in?"
listining to some, I'm scared to even bother (not to discredit a view point). As a whole, I'm deeply encouraged with some of your comments and draw my own conclusions;
-farming gets in your blood, the aspect of working hard with care and love and determination, the aspect of hopes for a better next year that sometimes turns into reality is like a drug if farming gets in your blood!!
-theirs something deeply organic and natural about farming and beekeeping that connects one with the earth or God
-there's a security in learning and knowing the skill, One guy mentioned honey is a great bartering product. Reminds me of talking with an old beek in my club, said during the war in italy it was the 20 bee hives he had hidden that kept bread on the table.... you never know what the future brings!!!
-also an aspect to one day teach your kids all the things I value about it and even posible survive from it, could one day be invaluable
-posibly even making a profit from it
-setting all aside, for me; if you concider the complexety of the colonie, concider the care and sacrifice of every member and making it posible to understand the honey bee enough to use there natural skills to our benifit, Concidering just this I say....wow, thats amazing!
To summerize, perhapes I'm wrong on this conclusion; if anyone, beekeeper or not only looks at the business point of veiw, without concidering my last statement, I can't see a bee business working out. It takes Love/work/commitment which I believe comes before Dollar signs! and perhapes it's good to reflect on those basics sometimes.
thanks guys, a very interesting read....bouks
Bouks, it is the FREEDOM to run your business your way, not the dollar signs that get in your blood. I would have quit along time ago, if it were dollars only.TK