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Interesting, and somewhat depressing, article
 

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I really like this statement - "Until a decade ago or so, beekeepers earned most of their income from honey, but the honey crop is no longer profitable. The globalization of the market has depressed prices as the costs of hive management have increased." Gee...you don't think it has anything to do with packers and importers as the members of National Honey Board do you? :doh:
 

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Ultimately it has to do w/ the end consumer. As we get farther and farther away from the farm we loose identification w/ our food sources. We already import a good percentage of our food, in this country, and it will only become a larger percentage.

One day, domestically produced honey, on a large scale such as Sue Bee or Dutch Gold, may become a thing of the past.
 

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Sue Bee is one of the worst offenders of imported honey...don't be fooled. If they find tainted honey in their imports they just send it back to the broker to be resold to someone less diligent with regards to standards and don't even bother to report it to the FDA or anyone for that matter. Great concern for the public...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We already import a good percentage of our food, in this country, and it will only become a larger percentage.
Maybe....maybe not. You are assuming that every other input remains constant. As fuel costs rise it may come to pass that domestically produced food (and any number of other things) may be more economical....solely because of the relative expense of transportation.
 

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Maybe....maybe not. You are assuming that every other input remains constant. As fuel costs rise it may come to pass that domestically produced food (and any number of other things) may be more economical....solely because of the relative expense of transportation.

That would imply that locally produced foods would be more economical as well. Which would not favor a large producer.
 

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Tequila only comes from an area in Mexico and 100% agave makes all the difference.

Champagne only comes from France. Scotch from Scotland. Bourbon from Kentucky.

My maple syrup is either a product of Canada, Vermont, New Hampshire or Maine and aunt Jemima doesn't get invited to breakfast.

The other week I bought a case of Harp on account a good friend was coming. When I saw the label saying brewed in Canada under licence under the big IMPORTED, I emailed Guinness and let them know that the next time I buy a Canadian beer it will be Moosehead.

We can complain all we want, but nothing will change until the buying public understands we're not getting what we paid for.
 

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We can complain all we want, but nothing will change until the buying public understands we're not getting what we paid for.
Right on. Companies need to know when you are disastified with a product.

Back on the Thread, are we the smaller beeks experiencing these types of losses. If not, then we need to ask the hard question, why the difference?

To the big beeks on this forum did you experience this type of loss? I am a rather small beek with 39 hives. Most of them are coming thru the winter.

What is different with my small operation than the big operations.

Seriously, I haven't a clue on what the differences might be, but I am seeing no more than a 10-15 percent loss.
 

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Factoring in a 50% loss, ya , honey production isnt profitable. But factoring 20% and lower loss does pencil out a profit margin. Especially with honey at 1.5$
arnt you guys getting that price down there?
 

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Last fall was the worst I've seen in the 30+ years of beekeeping. There will be heavy lose for most. For me I have 23 live hives out of 850+, yes there is still a few hanging on.

If you think it's hard making it on $1.50 a lb you should try it when honey was $.38 a lb. OK that might be showing my age a little, but it didn't seem that many years ago.
Look at the price of bees vs. honey.
1990 a #2 package was $14.95 and honey price was $.40-.43.
2010 a #2 package is $45.50 and honey $1.55-1.65.

Yes I do replace all my bees each year, and no hair off my back. You do the numbers. Bees have tripled in the past 20 year, but look at the honey price. Yes the price of bees went up again this year and yes the price of honey will go up again this year too. It's the price of doing business. I can't say that everything I try works out, but 30 years later I'm still in the business.
 

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Yeah Ian...shortage of white is inching it up...on good days it can get 1.56-1.60 but it is hovering right above 1.50 most of the time.
 

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I would concentrate on just selling direct to consumer and high quality stores and resturants local and state wide, promote local Food, this is working in Farmers markets, find local Farmers or Venders to sell your honey, even make a few differnent labels and sell to all the Vendors that you can for more money. give you an example, one of our Feed Stores sells local honey for 8.95 a Quart Jar, that comes out to about 3.25 a pound Retail, that is the Cheapist that we have seen retail here in NO Arkansas for good local Honey, but who knows , maybe the producer just repacks junk from China and makes a huge profit! I doubt it but you never know.
One other point , it looks like the Honey Industry is similiar to what happened to the Dairy industry, the Chinese is flooding the market with Powdered Tainted stuff for Milk Product cos Cheap. Good thing about honey is ,hard to water it down. Only the purity or safety of the product. Also the Retailers and Middle men need to be cut out, dont let the Large Corps put out the Beekeepers, do this by Marketing in new and creative ways. It is worth your time to market and implement your findings, have a youngster help with this . Good luck and Best wishes, Aj and Denise
 

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>>If you think it's hard making it on $1.50 a lb you should try it when honey was $.38 a lb.

I hear ya The Honey Householder, the guy I first bought bees from went through a year of .23$/lbs, just after he factored a .75$/lbs budget and built his house!
He stayed afloat, just like many did, through tough times the stronge will shin :)
and then many sink and disapear,
 

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Ian , keep in mind that most american producers would be envious of the crops you get. Few would average what you average.

Jean-Marc
 

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The last time losses were so high was the last time there was an el-nino`... Once again we have an el-nino` and losses are high... I wonder if there is some correlation between el-nino` weather patterns and high loss rates... would need loss statistics going back several decades to know for sure though.
 

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Maybe....maybe not. You are assuming that every other input remains constant. As fuel costs rise it may come to pass that domestically produced food (and any number of other things) may be more economical....solely because of the relative expense of transportation.
You gonna pick it? And I am not assuming anything except that the trend seems obvious. Have you seen any manufacturing jobs coming back to the U.S.? And if the farm Labor Bill passes the NY Legislature there will be lots of dairy farms and orchards and vegetable farms that won't be able to stay in business. So where will all of those farms end up being? Off shore, I'll bet.
 
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