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Author Topic: An Idea From OZ  (Read 1264 times)
Skepticus
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« on: June 01, 2008, 05:57:37 AM »

Hello all.

I'm Steve from sunny South Australia. While I don't at the moment possess any colonies, I had 18 or 20 hives as a youngster, and I was planning to go into beekeeping professionally until we got hit by a heatwave that melted out all but three of them. It was actually my own fault, as I hadn't over wintered them properly. Perhaps I should have stuck with it, but I just felt too vulnerable to the forces of nature. I haven't kept bees since.

Recently I have been researching an Idea I have been developing for quite some time. It is, I believe, a unique combination of all the best characteristics of the Langstroth and the top bar hive, but it is designed to be viable on the commercial scale. It also does away with honey extractor and incorporates the harvest into a bulk harvesting plant that would be run as part of the wholesale service. Instead of extracting their own honey beekeepers would take supers of comb to market. It would be a much more hygienic, efficient, purpose built plant for honey harvesting.

Having learned about the honey packers / wholesalers and the price that they are paying beekeepers here in OZ at the moment, I believe the time is ripe to set up a cooperative to cut out the middle man and 'fix' the price fixing. The whole idea has grown somewhat and my focus has shifted to the honey marketing chain and developing a good management structure. I would like to see a honey harvesting / packaging plant / wholesaling company, for which shares can only be bought with honey. Beekeepers would bring their supers in for harvesting and a percentage would be retained for equity in the wholesale company.  I tried to find an Australian beekeeping forum to discuss this idea, but couldn't, so I set one up myself. Won't plug it here of course without the mod's blessing, but I will happily supply a link to the mods, for my beekeeping system, if anybody is interested.

Wonderful place you have here BTW!!
Regards Steve (Skepticus).
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Cindi
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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2008, 10:15:25 AM »

Steve, welcome to our forum, another Australian, that is extremely cool.  It seems to me that we have several new members that have recently joined from your country, yeah!!!  We are growing in numbers, and we all know why.  This is the greatest site, with the most wonderful people, you have seen that.

Your introduction was wonderful.  I am sorry that disaster struck you so many years ago and made you sad, so sad that you couldn't carry on with an obvious passion and love of the honeybee.  Carry on.  You will do well, you know that.

Your idea is very neat.  I hope it flies with great wings for you and you get some great input.  I would love to hear responses that come from our forum members here, it sounds like you have put alot of thought into your project and good and great luck.  Have that wonderful and beautiful day as yours, keep it happy and love our life we live.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
wayseer
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« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2008, 06:16:15 PM »

Hi Steve - glad to see yet another Aussie on board.

Interesting idea.  Not sure, but was that now how Capilano in Queensland started, as a sort of co-operative.

With the way costs are going I think you idea has merit - perhaps for the local producers.  The problem I see is - how do I get my frames loaded with honey to the centralised extracting plant - then, how do I get them back.  Fuel and the price thereof is becoming prohibitive.  To be cost efficient I would have to work out cost and work my hive numbers accordingly.  In other words, I might need a minimum of 100 hives - and 100 hundred hive is no long a hobby.  See my drift?

Let's know where you site is.
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Skepticus
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« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2008, 02:13:27 AM »

Hi Cindi, Thanks for your kind words.

Hi Wayseer, Not sure how Capillano started but essentially if the company went public, then anybody could buy in. The vested interests would not be in favor of the beekeepers any more. The co-op needs to be owned by beekeepers and stay that way. Best way to handle that I reckon, is no shares for money, only shares for honey.

Re, the transport. The way I see it, Commercial beekeepers already have to transport their honey to market. This is a little bulkier admittedly, but don't forget this saves them the time and most of the expense of extracting. You're right Wayseer, this extracting plant / honey coop business, is no good for the amateur beekeeper. However the system of hive management would still be great for the hobbyist, and they can still take care of their own honey harvesting.

What I am proposing for the honey supers, is a molded solid wax frame (SWF) with foundation in situ and frame dimensions the same as a standard Ideal depth frame. In harvesting, you kiss the entire honeycomb and frame goodbye, it is disposable / recyclable equipment. The entire frame can be fed through a pair of rollers (a mangle) like on the old washing machines. Wax I believe is malleable enough to be squashed yet strong enough at several millimeters to serve the same function as the timber frame. Like the timber frame the SWF will (I hope), prevent bees attaching to the hive body but like the comb in a top bar hive, can be sacrificed and harvested without an extractor. You should get all the essential advantages of the top bar hive, as well as the ability to move frames around at will, transport them and of course incorporate them into a standard langstroth hive.

So for hobbyists, they would have a latex mold and a crock pot to make their frames. You just cut the comb out and squash it to harvest the honey. Or perhaps there will be stainless steel mangles made for sale by beekeeping suppliers if the system takes. I think it could be particularly good for the hobbyist because they get most of the benefits of the top bar system and yet all of the advantages of the Langstroth system.

Re the link to my site, I am trying to reply to a PM from pdmattox who invited me to submit my link, but after submitting, I am returned to the editor page, without confirmation that my message has been sent. Nor is the message in my outbox. Hmmm...

Regards Steve

 
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Cindi
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« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2008, 09:40:24 AM »

Re the link to my site, I am trying to reply to a PM from pdmattox who invited me to submit my link, but after submitting, I am returned to the editor page, without confirmation that my message has been sent. Nor is the message in my outbox. Hmmm...
Regards Steve

I hope that you can get this issue resolved.  You have alot of great thoughts going on here, that is what I love about men, they are the inventors, beautiful!!!  Have a wonderful, greatfully awesome day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Skepticus
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Location: North of Antarctica

Use honey and beeswax, for sweetness and light.


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« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2008, 11:16:44 AM »

Thanks Cindi, you sure do know how to make a guy feel cleva  cool. But really, it takes a woman to 'invent' another person and let's not forget all those clever little ladies who build comb, gather nectar, make honey and tend the nursery. All drones do is eat honey and mate. If they could drink beer, it would be the perfect life. grin

Today I got the first half of the latex mold made. Looks good with it's detailed hexagonal pattern of the honeycomb foundation and slightly built up cell walls. Of course it is the negative, so the wax will fill that and make the positive (solid wax frame). I used a plastic frame for the pattern. It had hollow sides which had to be blocked with clean clay from the 'molding & casting' shop. I used 2 kg of Ultrasil RTV-2 silicon (only just had enough), but it has turned out great. Smiley. Can't wait to do the other half and try it out.

Regards Steve
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Skepticus
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Location: North of Antarctica

Use honey and beeswax, for sweetness and light.


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« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2008, 01:29:58 PM »

Oh, OK then. Now the link to my article is in my signature.  Cool, Thanks Mod's  Smiley
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Cindi
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« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2008, 09:11:39 AM »

Steve, well, you are cleva!!!  Go, Steve, go!!!  Good luck, best of a beautiful and most wonderful day, lovin' this life we live.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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