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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Bee Careful and... sweet investment !

‘Beecareful’ … !!  ~ and what could be a sweet investment ?

Honey is sweet - a sweet food made by bees foraging nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees (the genus Apis) is the one most commonly referred to, as it is the type of honey collected by most beekeepers and consumed by people. Honeys are also produced by bumblebees, stingless bees, and other hymenopteran insects such as honey wasps, though the quantity is generally lower and they have slightly different properties compared to honey from the genus Apis.

Honey has been valued as a natural sweetener long before sugar became widely available. It is only humans -  bears, badgers, and more – too raid honeybee hives, risking stings for the sweet reward. It is stated that it takes about 60,000 bees, collectively traveling up to 55,000 miles and visiting more than 2 million flowers, to gather enough nectar to make one pound of honey. Once the nectar is gathered, honey bees convert nectar into honey by a process of regurgitation and evaporation. They store it as a primary food source in wax honeycombs inside the beehive.

‘stir up a hornet's nest’ : - figuratively means ‘to create lot of trouble’…. It is akin to disturbing a beehive – making bees fly helter-skelter, attack those in the vicinity … chaotic and disturbing…. To most of us – most insects look alike…. Wasps and honey bees can be mistaken for one another because both insects are capable of giving painful stings. While honey bees can attack when provoked, wasps are naturally and more aggressive predators.  In Nov 2015, two million flying insects caused chaos on Chinese motorway in Yunnan Province,  after truck carrying them overturned.

Traffic on a Chinese motorway was brought to a standstill last week after two million bees escaped from an overturned truck. MailOnline reported that the swarm of insects trapped a beekeeper along with the truck's driver in south-west China's Yunnan Province; while three dogs of the driver were killed by bee stings.  The report added that firefighters spent 40 minutes closing off the area and freeing the truck driver and beekeeper.

Two million bees brought traffic to a standstill as their  carrier overturned after the driver made a sudden turn. Firefighters attended the scene and helped clear the bees by spraying water on the insects to calm them down.  The boxes inside the truck carried over 200 beehives. The bees came free from their boxes after the truck carrying them overturned. Authorities recruited six beekeepers from the local area to recapture the insects in a task that took around 20 hours to complete. The report adds that with  a total valuation of £43,542 or around 420,000 Yuan, the owner would have been at a serious financial loss had the bees not been recaptured. 

The road was reopened after the clean-up – the beekeeper and the driver were reported to be  stable condition after undergoing treatment for multiple bee stings and other injuries. 

Downunder in Australia, for  billionaire  Kerry Stokes, honey is proving to a whole lot tastier than iron ore and television. Billionaire Stokes has most of his fortune tied up in mining and media via his listed Seven Group Holdings, two industries that are suffering plenty of pain. SGH holds a big stake in the company that holds  dealership rights for the Caterpillar mining equipment and services business in Western Australia.

Not surprisingly, SGH is not exactly a market darling at the moment as both of its main industries go through a sticky patch. Its shares have fallen about 30 per cent in the past 12 months, which has wiped a cool $500 million from the value of Stokes' shares.

Capilano Honey  has pursued its task of taking honey from hive to home, for more than 60 years. And in co-operation with its highly skilled beekeepers – many of whom are themselves shareholders – the company's brand signifies quality (every batch is tested.  Capilano shares have kept climbing in the past 12 months.  The honey maker's shares closed at $18.59 on Tuesday, compared with the $5.25 Stokes paid per share when he first emerged as a substantial shareholder a little more than 18 months ago.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

17th Feb 2016.

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