Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 20 of 86 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
296 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am hearing that Paramount farms is trying to buy out beekeepers. Is this true? And if so what is the end game? I hear they may be trying to buy 90 thousand hives!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
It is true. they are the walmart of farming. They figure cut out the middle man and save a little. I hear that they are looking to take over the canola in Oklahoma. I've her they
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,305 Posts
Dr. Gordon Wardell is on Paramount staff, and leads their honeybee program. He has been a champion of Blue Orchard Bees, as well, and Paramount has a large Blue Orchard research program. Dr. Wardell, and another Paramount beekeeper, have taken over teaching the Beekeeping class at Cal Poly (San Luis Obispo).

Wardell has presented in numerous forums on Paramounts non-fungicide policy while bees are in the orchards. Wardell is co-author of numerous papers on IPM methods for bees, including some rigourous testing of SBB and Thymol.

Paramount purchased 2000 hives last year (per Joe Traynor), and with the level of staffing it has further direct ownership is very likely -- just a research program alone would want some thousands more colonies.

Some Paramount hives are "summering" in San Luis Obispo (on leased Cal Poly land), but a really large resident ownership would require real adjustments to provide summer forage. Seems like they would also have to buy half the state of North Dakota too.

Paramount bought a 160 acre Paso Robles winery for $65 million and a similar premium Sonoma property, so the dollar cost of 90,000 hives (and their yearly upkeep) is within its "rounding error" budget.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
i would like to hear peoples views and thoughts on this subject. please comment folks.

i think its not a good idea to have a walmart of beekeeping. maybe im wrong tho....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,618 Posts
i would like to hear peoples views and thoughts on this subject. please comment folks.
This is the USA. Walmarts are allowed, so are thrift shops. The almond growers have every right to buy bees, especially with the high rental price. If I had to rent a vacation house for 200,000 for three weeks, I would certainly consider buying one -- if I had the money. On the other hand, the house needs maintenance, so if I really did have the money, renting might be less worry and bother. Depends on the landlord
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,591 Posts
i think its not a good idea to have a walmart of beekeeping. maybe im wrong tho....
I think it's a great idea, but maybe I'm wrong:), let them figure out on there own how rough ($$$) it really is to bring a 12 frame avg to there own orchard. They will quickly learn that there own payment structure (paramount) blows. It's easy to make video's & run around to the coffee shop meetings and talk about it, it's a hole different ball game doing it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,618 Posts
This should be interesting. Odds are it will blow up in their face. But guess they can afford the loss....

"It's easy to make video's & run around to the coffee shop meetings and talk about it, it's a hole different ball game doing it. "
Funny.. but true.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,052 Posts
I wonder who'll be the head men in charge of all those hives?
That's alot of bee hives.
Maybe some of the guys they're buying out?
Know anyone who's sold the operation lately?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
How much are they paying for a hive of bees? Are they only buying in CA, or are they picking up hives around the country?
you looking to sell out!! ha ha. so most of you think they will make this attempt but it will likely be more than they can chew and they will just go back to leaving the bees to the beekeepers. seems like when the pockets are deep enough anything can work.

if they wanted to buy my hives for 200 a hive and pay me a salary of 100k a year to just keep doin what im doin but they get my bees for free every spring... I might have to think about that. ha ha and they pay trucking and surup bills.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,869 Posts
This is the USA. Walmarts are allowed, so are thrift shops. The almond growers have every right to buy bees, especially with the high rental price. If I had to rent a vacation house for 200,000 for three weeks, I would certainly consider buying one -- if I had the money. On the other hand, the house needs maintenance, so if I really did have the money, renting might be less worry and bother. Depends on the landlord
X2.. Decicing who can spend what on what to try and build or expand a business for profit sounds something like a current White House Briefing. This is supposed to be a free country. I expect at the rate of decline of freedom in this country, all of us on this site, regardless of Commercial or Hobby will be seeing regulations that do nothing more than create revenue for the feds to spend on what they see fit and financially burden our cause. The Great propasal of a couple weeks ago for the "Honey Bee" is nothing more than a bait and switch that will burden the Beekeeper in the end. G
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,618 Posts
Of course they have a right to engage in free enterprise (well , maybe not in CA). It will be interesting to see what they do. Their bean counters no doubt see a way to save a nickel . Or maybe they plan to go into the honey business, targeting the Birkenstock crowd with 'Little Cuties' brand honey.The Resnicks are all about marketing.

It would be ironic if their new Bee Division decides to put bees in the citrus!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,072 Posts
This will be interesting and likely good for the industry. Keith is right on in this situation. It will take a few years for this to work itself out. They may come to realize that it costs much more than anticipated. Whatever their budget is I do not think that they will come under budget often. It could get real interesting if they get some initial success after testing the waters with a few hives. The number 2000 was mentioned. If those hives come with a good experienced beekeeper and his crew it is "easy" to be successful. This could give a false sense of the business. One might get a little to bold and then a decision is made to go all in over the next 5 years and a jump is made to 10 000 hives next year with plans of being at 50 000 over the next 3 years.

The bee business can be scaled and there are some advantages in large businesses but... you need good employees. Hard to find at low end salaries.
Just as importantly will be the summer forage issue. One thing for 2000 hives another for 90 000 hives. The worst thing that will happen is that Paramount will come to the realisation that it costs x dollars to have x frames of bees by mid February. They may say why should we invest big dollars to do the job when beekeepers are willing to do it for less? If anything it could give beekeepers greater negotiating powers when it comes time to sign contracts. At the end of the day Paramount will likely end up having greater respect for beekeepers no matter if the go all in or not.

Jean-Marc
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,046 Posts
You guys are thinking like beekeepers, not big business. I would imagine that with 90,000 hives one could convince the political machine to swing some subsidies, etc in the right direction. Also could mean that they have already caught the scent of a change in the wind. All in all I think this is a good sign from all aspects.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,618 Posts
What do Adees run? 65000 or so? And they get slapped hard every few years. 90,000? Man oh man.

A bit about them from L A Times:
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-california-almonds-20140112-story.html

"Almonds are a major part of the farming portfolio of Beverly Hills billionaires Stewart and Lynda Resnick, who own brands such as Wonderful Pistachios, Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice and Halos mandarin oranges.

The couple's Paramount Farming Co. has been expanding its almond acreage in Kern and Madera counties to meet growing global demand for the tree nut. It farms 46,000 acres of almond orchards, a space the size of 13 Los Angeles International airports that produces 6% of the state's almonds.

"This is a natural place

to grow almonds," said Joe MacIlvaine, president of Paramount Farming, surveying the company's vast acreage in Lost Hills, a dusty flat 50 miles northwest of Bakersfield. "You need that Mediterranean-type climate or it won't work."

That means warm and dry weather almost year-round, and no frost during the crucial spring. That's when the $4.8-billion industry puts its faith in honeybees to pollinate the pink-and-white flowers blooming on the almond trees.

For Paramount, that requires hiring beekeepers to deploy nearly 3 billion buzzing insects. That has become increasingly difficult and more expensive with the sudden and mysterious death of billions of bees since 2006, a phenomenon known as bee colony collapse disorder.

"Our crop is entirely dependent on them," MacIlvaine said.

Harvesting isn't nearly as precarious, thanks to modern machinery. In the late summer, the orchards rumble with the sound of tree shakers — low-slung vehicles equipped with padded arms that rattle the tree trunks until they rain clouds of almonds and dust.

The almonds are sent to a state-of-the-art processing facility, which shells the nuts, checks them for defects and then hand-sorts them for different grades.

The company is building a packaging and roasting plant in Lost Hills — part of its plan to sell more of its almonds directly to consumers as a packaged snack. About 40% of the company's almonds are sold to major food companies such as Kellogg's for use in products including cereal.

Some of the nuts are also sold to China, where annual consumption of California almonds has more than doubled in the last five years to 208 million pounds, making it the top foreign destination for the California crop."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,095 Posts
They can keep growing almonds down there as long as they have the political finesse to keep on snagging water from Northern California. That is if there is any left to snag. Ol MR. R needs to buy himself Diablo canyon from PGE and put in a desalination plant to keep all those trees watered. How much you want to bet he's got his hand twisting gov browns mind in the "tunnels to nowhere" project whereby they can steal more water from up north while drying up all the crops around the Delta? Almonds yes. BS..... NO
 
1 - 20 of 86 Posts
Top