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  • Writer's picturePatrick Dawkins

‘In the Beehive’ Event Set to Educate Beekeepers

Beekeepers need to look at diversifying away from solely being honey producers, given current honey prices, and so industry body New Zealand Beekeeping Inc (NZBI) have planned an “In the Beehive” day for beekeepers this month in the Waikato, where talk of pollination is high on the agenda.

For the second year running NZBI will run an August event at Hautapu Hall, Saturday 19th, with a full speaking program, some practical demonstrations and competitions planned to help drawn in beekeepers. Last August about 80 people attended a similar gathering.

“We hope the programme will help give beekeepers some thoughts about diversifying from honey alone. A lot of beekeepers just focusing on honey are in dire straits. We hope this varied programme will entice many beekeepers to come along,” NZBI president Jane Lorimer says.

Among the programme are two panel discussions, one of which will include experts from Plant and Food Research on pollination – an applicable subject in the area, especially for any beekeepers travelling from further east and areas of high fruit production.

“We will discuss how pollination is changing and the different varieties of kiwifruit coming on board and how beekeepers are going to manage that and benefit from it, plus, whether covered orchards are a problem for pollinators, and any new ideas out there for the perfect pollination unit,” Lorimer says.

The other panel discussion will be on the honey markets, with the participants yet to be confirmed, but honey buyers or traders sure to be a part of it.

“We want that to be a good communicative session, because we think a lot of honey buyers are not really communicating well to producers,” Lorimer says.

Industry commentator and NZBI advisor Ian Fletcher will also speak to a range of apiculture industry issues, including the mānuka honey definition.

Byron Taylor, AsureQuality’s apiculture technical manager, will help beekeepers decipher recent changes to RMP requirements, while the American Foulbrood Management Agency AP1 Dwayne Hill will educate on the honey bee disease. Add to that, updates from Victoria University of Wellington professor Dr Phil Lester on their latest RNAi varroa control research, as well as a chat on electric and hydrogen vehicles by Ian McDonald of vehicle sellers P & B Group, and it’s a full and varied programme that will welcome beekeepers.

For NZBI members registration is free, while non-members are $50 each. Lunch is $10 for all. Updated information can be found and registrations made at https://nzbeekeeping.co.nz/seminar-day-2023/.


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