There's more than one way to keep bees – a look at alternative beekeeping practices
In New Zealand and elsewhere, there are a number of commercial and hobby beekeepers who use alternative and 'natural' practices and products to maintain their hives. While some people associate these practices with small, hobbyist beekeepers, there are also commercial keepers who use them – it's really a matter of choice.
Managing wax cappings
The first honey harvest is a milestone for any new beekeeper. But honey isn’t the only useful substance made by bees. Beeswax, which is used to store and cover honey in the hive, is a valuable beekeeping by-product. Even if you’re not interested in using the wax yourself, it’s worth collecting and clarifying your wax for resale, or to give to friends. After all, your bees expend so much energy making and using wax, it seems wasteful to simply throw it away.
Bee-friendly pesticides are one step closer to reality after breakthrough research
A new study has found that insecticides could soon be developed that can target pests without harming beneficial insects such as bees and bumble bees.
New season, new bees
Spring seems to be starting slowly this year, but the days are finally feeling warmer. With spring comes an exciting and busy time for beekeepers
Making a move
Moving a beehive isn’t the easiest task, but sometimes it’s necessary. If you’re introducing new hives, changing the layout of your garden, moving house, selling a hive, or you simply feel that your bees would be better in a new position, you may need to make a move.
The idea of a bee swarm is pretty alarming to most people. We imagine a horde of aggressive bees crawling over us and covering us with stings – scary stuff. But in reality, swarming is natural bee behaviour, and in this state bees are usually fairly docile and harmless. As summer approaches, it’s good to know what to do about swarms without hurting the bees – or yourself.
Gardening with bees in mind
Spring is the ideal time to revamp your garden and do some planting. If you’re a bee fan – whether you have hives or not – you might want to think about making your garden more attractive to bees. Of course, any flowering plant will bring in some bee activity, but there are some plants that are particularly appealing to the tiny foragers.
Honey is a high-value product, so if your bees are producing a lot, it makes sense to think about selling the excess. But it’s not quite as simple as jarring it up and taking it down to your local market. Because honey is a natural, ‘wholesome’ product, people tend to forget that it does have risks, and that food safety requirements apply. Making sure your honey is suitable for sale involves a number of different tests, to find out what test you need to be doing check out our guide on to honey testing.
Heat and Honey don't mix
For many beekeepers, honey is considered liquid gold - but few often realize how complex honey really is. Heating honey is surprisingly controversial, while it’s true that overheating honey can kill off the enzymes and antioxidants that make it so beneficial, claims that heated honey is actually poisonous have yet to be proven.