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  • Writer's picturePatrick Dawkins


We lead this month’s eMagazine with stories on conferences and symposiums, even though I know full well not all of our readers will be attending the ApiNZ conference and even less the Honey Bee Research Symposium. However, this year more than most, it seems right to promote the opportunity to gather as an industry. Further to that, it is always our intention to be a medium for knowledge transfer, and the national conference is always a great place to learn plenty.

The Research Symposium, now in its second year and first In-person event, is obviously only going to add to the range of beekeeping knowledge which can be gained. Conveniently scheduled for the day before the ApiNZ conference, and at the same Rotorua venue, it will hopefully become a fixture on the calendar and one which conference attendees can add to their schedule.

For about 120 beekeepers in the South Island, an early taste of “conference season” was had on May 16. Apiarist’s Advocate had a stand at the Beekeepers Day Out at Lincoln University and I was impressed by the event which the Canterbury Hub of ApiNZ put on. A few highlights:

  • The chance to talk face-to-face with readers, as well as many of the people we have been dealing with over the phone for the past two years.

  • Peter Dearden’s explanation of the Future Bees NZ work and an interesting comparison of honey bee genotyping to Covid-19 genotyping – both complex!

  • James Sainsbury from Plant & Food Research who detailed their “Beekeeping Outside the Box” project, which got me thinking about different methods of providing hives for pollination – can nucs deliver benefits over traditional hives?

  • Tips for financial success from Russell Marsh … with honey prices the way they are, a long-time beekeeper, accountant and recent ApiNZ board member is worth listening to.

  • Sean Goodwin’s (general manager 100% Pure New Zealand Honey) straight talking assessments of the honey market always interest me, and his contribution on the topic of AFB and glyphosate testing did too. From his position as a honey exporter, Goodwin sees China’s stance on AFB testing as a “far greater risk” than that of Japan and glyphosate, as it can’t nearly as easily be blended out or managed.

  • Midlands Apiaries beekeeper Reagan Martin’s presentation on trying to determine the ideal amount of honey frames per super for optimal honey production … Among many other things, it highlighted how much consideration must go into the large number of variables at play in any apiary-based research.

That’s just a small selection of what caught my attention at the one-day event and so the four days in Rotorua are bound to get the beekeepers in attendance thinking.

Apiarist’s Advocate will have a stand in the trade exhibition in Rotorua, which I will be manning. So, don’t be a stranger, come by and say hello. Tell us what you like, or don’t like, to read in the eMagazine, or just have a yarn.

For those who won’t be in Rotorua, hopefully we can convey a little bit of the conference and symposium to you in our next issue – there is bound to be plenty to tell.


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