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Perth company grows one million trees with hopes of establishing lucrative manuka honey industry


#21

Apologies! However, pot (albeit a pretty pot) is calling the non-native English speaking kettle black. :rofl: But you used a smiley face, so I suppose that absolves you of your million exclamation marks, cleverly disguised as question marks. :yum:

I wonder how this would affect the bees, having access to only one type of forage for a period of time (as is the case with canola)? What makes this honey anti-bacterial?


#22

Hi @JeffH, I would love to hear about how to deal with a slime out. I hope I never have to deal with one, but forewarned is fore-armed. :blush:


#23

Where would bees be without habitats and ecosystems that can support them?

In the UK BugLife and Grow Wild are inspiring so many to create native plant gardens and to rewild acres of meadow.
https://www.growwilduk.com/
And https://www.buglife.org.uk/
Here in the US we have the Xerces Society, and countless local organizations, like Portland’s Pollinator PArkways
https://xerces.org/
http://pollinatorparkways.weebly.com/

The changes are definately upon us, and we need to plant with the future in mind :purple_heart::honeybee::hedgehog:


#24

speaking of bees- and the need for forage- I have been making more and more cuttings from my flowering perennial basil plants. I have a plan to plant out 1000 of them- and to sell them to people with an instruction sheets that details how to take cuttings from them. The idea is to sell 1000 plants- for the buyers to each make 10 cuttings and pass them on. Those that receive the cuttings will then be asked to repeat the process. After just three iterations the idea is that 1,000,000 basil plants will be propagated :wink:


#25

Speaking of millions of trees : As beekeepers I have been wondering about the knock on affects of keeping bees. In a sense we are all helping to propagate more trees and flora simply by keeping bees. Every day over 100,000 bees leave my property heading off into suburbia to pollinate God only knows how many flowers. I like to imagine the percentage of these flowers that become fertilized and result in a seed.

Of those Seeds that do germinate I wonder how many result in plants? And of those that do not manage to become plants- well -they become food for birds, ants etc. even when my bees die they become food for other creatures: nothing is wasted.

I like to think that my bees are pollinating flowers that wouldn’t otherwise have been pollinated-in other words my decision to keep bees is resulting in some increased rate of pollination in my area-and therefore- in a way I can congratulate myself that I’m essentially planting all these plants and trees everywhere -every day- virtually without having to lift a finger!


#26

I agree with you Jack 100% I think that we deserve “rock star” status.

I’m feeling the heat that Ken from @Macbee was talking about earlier. It’s kind of HOT. Not as bad as it is inland, 45deg. One place got to 48.

I like your idea of wasting nothing. Nothing is wasted around here. We bought a new stove the other day. I wont dump the old one until I cut some bee lid covers first. I’ll get 4 out of the sides.

Jack, my guppies are doing well, they are keeping the water clean & free of mozzie larvae. I thought I lost one lot because the water reduced down to 1/2 an inch deep. I quickly filled it up. It’s hard to see them because the chestnut reeds are really thick now. Anyway I saw some this morning. It’s also a good water supply for the bees at the moment.


#27

you had huge storms there a week or back didn’t you? I saw it on the news they said Buderim was hard hit?

I wish I could have guppies here- lately there’s been a lot of small annoying mosquitoes about. I refuse to even use fly spray at all generally but this week I succumbed to the dark side. I have a lot of time for almost any animal- but mosquito’s must die! Funnily it’s almost the buzzing that annoys me more than the blood sucking. I hate slapping myself in the face like an idiot in the dark when I hear one go past my ear… Yragh!

Speak of the devil- there’s one now-

SMACK DEAD! ha ha

using white goods for bee roofs is a great idea. i’ll keep my eye out. I’m just off to an estate auction where I just bought a second table router with a heap of bits- now I can cut rebates and window insets without having to change bits! I’ll also be able to experiment with some finishing details with all those fancy bits… I’ll be putting together a lot of new hives over the next few months.


#28

Honeybees are generalist pollinators, and too many of them in a certain area could drive out the smaller, specialist pollinators. This means that flowers that depend upon the smaller bees for pollination might die out. Carrying capacity. It’s the same with larger animals.


#29

Yeah maybe.

I read an Australian study that didn’t find much evidence that introduced honeybees compete for nectar with native bees and other pollinators. It did find some evidence of them competing with honey eater birds- but only in limited areas and limited periods of time.


#30

Care to share that Australian study, it’s contradictory to what I’ve been led to believe and I’d like to be wrong.

Off subject, I’m a tree hugger, I love my little block on the outskirts of Perth and have been revegitating my block with native plants. I have a great little refuge here for native fauna too. I try to keep the three layers of habitat and have bandicoots, reptiles, birds a plenty as all around me gets cleared. I leave small piles of branches around which is a micro habitat for the native fauna and beneficial insects. Unfortunately I’ve just been served with a bush fires act notice, possibly thanks to a treeless neibour, now I have to clear the block to conform… No flammable debris allowed within the boundary. Flamin’ rediculously rediculous. I have a wood house… Yes bushfires are a problem but since stopping the controlled burning across the road a decade or so ago it’s a fire hazard and if I complain about that it’ll probably be cleared and get a makeover with concrete and tin earlier than I’d like. I live in the hills for the trees yet now I’m frowned at for having a bushy block.
Kalamunda Shitty sucks eggs big time, corrupt hypocrites.
Rant over and I feel no better.
:rage:


#31

Sorry to hear about your notice, and your uninformed neighbor. Your yard sounds like a real refuge

Though it took 20 years, We have totally rid our two urban lots and parking strips of turf grass and invasive holly and ivy. It’s all replanted to attract native pollinators and birds. We have more wildlife and diversity than most of our city parks.

One thing I noticed after starting to keep bees, was how many native bees we have in our garden too. One day I counted 4 different kinds of bumble, a squash bee, 2 tiny mason bees, and a wool carder bee, in addition to our honeybees. So exciting.

And so satisfying. Hopefully your neighbors will come around.


#32

hmm, i tried to google find it- but couldn’t - instead I found other studies that indicated the opposite :fearful:. It seems that introduced honeybees are more of an issue than I thought- competing for hollows and consuming nectar. From memory the one I read was mostly focused on availability of hollows and found that in the areas it looked at there were many hollows that were entirely unoccupied leaving room for native species. However I just found more recent studies in WA that showed how honeybees out-competed some rare birds for hollows.


#33

Well done @Semaphore! Please post these studies, maybe as a new topic. I think it’s really important that beekeepers are made aware of this.


#34

Interesting update from the AUSTRALIAN HONEY BEE INDUSTRY COUNCIL

Apparently, Manuka is an Australian species after all…

The Australian Honey Bee Industry Council (AHBIC) has formally created the Australian Manuka Honey Association (AMHA) establishing it as the leading national body for the production and promotion of Manuka honey in Australia. The AMHA’s mission is: To protect and promote the global appeal and awareness of Manuka honey produced in Australia. The first action by the group is to 'defend the Australian right to use the name ‘Manuka’. But there appears to be some argy-bargy around this with NZ currently trying to trademark the word. The AMHA go on to say that ‘Manuka (Leptospermum spp.) is a native Australian plant genus that evolved in Australia. Manuka is a descriptive term for something that is found in both Australia and New Zealand’. The group have assembled industry experts, including IP officials. So, on it goes.


#35

Manuka honey: Tasmanian beekeepers claim ‘we were first’ in battle with New Zealand over product name
By Laura Beavis
Updated earlier today at 4:29am


Bee hive boxes with Manuka honey.
PHOTO: Lindsay Bourke said the loss of the right to label his product “manuka” would be devastating. (ABC News: Laura Beavis)

Tasmanian honey producers say they have the proof “manuka honey” was produced on the island state years before New Zealand — and the Kiwis can buzz off if they think they can claim ownership of the name.

image
jars of honey sit on a shelf
PHOTO: Tasmania is claiming “documented evidence back to 1884” of manuka honey production. (Supplied)
Demand for the honey, which some believe boasts health and cosmetic benefits has surged in recent years along with the debate between Australia and New Zealand over which country has the right to call the manuka honey name its own.

Manuka honey is produced by European bees from the pollen of the leptospermum scoparium plant, a kind of tea tree which is native to Australia and New Zealand.

A group of New Zealand honey producers called the Manuka Honey Appellation Society Inc is trying to gain certification rights in markets including the United Kingdom, China and the United States that would prevent honey that isn’t produced in New Zealand from being labelled as manuka.

They argue the word manuka comes from New Zealand’s indigenous Maori language and international customers expect manuka honey to have been produced and processed in New Zealand.

In December last year the UK Trade Mark Registry decided to accept the term “Manuka Honey” as a certification mark, but Australian producers have about three months in which they can challenge that decision.

Tasmania’s honey producers believe they have a unique right to market manuka honey because the first documented production happened in Tasmania.

Blue Hills Honey co-owner Nicola Charles said European honey bees were introduced to Tasmania and Australia — eight years before New Zealand.

“In Tasmania we’ve got documented evidence back to 1884 for this name for this type of honey,” she said.

“Leptospermum scoparium originated in Tasmania and dispersed to New Zealand and lower Victoria, so we feel we have a moral case to still call it manuka, and not be cut out from a global market that’s got a potential to be a high revenue for Australia.”


A bee pollinating a Manuka tree.
PHOTO: Many believe manuka honey to have superior health benefits, but these are still disputed. (ABC Rural)
What are your thoughts on the debate over manuka honey naming rights? Join the discussion.
The president of the Tasmanian Beekeepers Association, Lindsay Bourke, said manuka honey was vital for the industry because the high prices it commands help keep local producers viable.

Losing the right to use the name would have a big impact, he said.

“New Zealand and Australia, including Tasmania, combined, cannot produce enough manuka honey for the world, and we’ll be struggling to do it as more and more people become aware of it,” Mr Bourke said.

“We should be working together and not against each other.”

Paul Callander from the Australian Manuka Honey Association said it had engaged lawyers in the UK to defend Australian producers’ right to use the term.

The association has applied for funding under the Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Trade and Market Access Program (ATMAC).

image
A jar of manuka honey.
PHOTO: New Zealand is claiming a “valid right to the certification” of the name “manuka”. (Flickr: Ryan Merce)
“The opportunity with manuka, it’s not just honey on a shelf, it’s medicinal, it’s pharmaceutical, cosmetic, nutraceutical,” Mr Callander said.

“So it’s a multi-faceted, vertical industry application that you start to be locked out of if you can’t use the word manuka, so it’s a significant impact.”

But John Rawcliff from the Manuka Honey Appellation Society said New Zealand producers had a valid right to the certification, and compares the situation to that with wines produced in specific parts of Europe, such as Champagne.

“Your ability to define, differentiate and describe what is unique or characteristic from your area or territory is critical for the growth of any country’s honey industry,” he said.

The Department of Agriculture said applicants to the ATMAC program are notified of the outcome within 12 weeks of lodging an application.


#36

The way I see it is that Australian bee keepers want to ride on the Kiwis marketing prowess instead of creating our own brand.
Surely it’s more about the qualities than the name, that’s the selling point.
I was told it’s because of the time factor from seedling to flower which makes ‘Manuka’ a popular plantation nectar source.
Tea tree honey has the same qualities. :wink:
Anyway, Jarrah and Marri not only has the medicinal benefits but it tastes good too.
I wonder who exports more honey, NZ or Aus.
I’d hazard a guess Aus imports more honey…


#37

Monoculture. How wonderful. Let’s drive bees closer to extinction. Apart from sheer scope, how is this (in this instance) different to the almond plantations in California? Greed knows no bounds. You will have to limit the bees to the manuka trees for a period of time, therefore restricting their diet and depriving them of the nutrients they need to function optimally.


#38

One can only hope that they will implement some sustainable practices while pursuing these objectives.


#39

Ha ha ha that’s funny…


#40

:slight_smile:

On a related topic, it would be great to hear some expert perspectives on UMF ratings for Manuka honey. I’m interested in trying out an authentic brand after reading this Manuka honey article but am still not sure how important a good UMF rating is in differentiating a good honey from a great one. I’ve read a lot about it on the UMF website but, when I search on other websites, I cannot tell if it is more branding than reality. Please correct me if I am wrong but I also read that Trader Joe’s no longer gets UMF certified because they say it adds unnecessary cost and I generally respect TJ’s approach to products. Thank you.