Old pets, new hives
For the most part, bees, pets and other domestic animals can coexist happily, but there’s always the potential for harm. The larger the property, the easier it is to keep your pets away from your hives. Simply choose a spot with low traffic, away from cages, coops and kennels, and you should be fine.
Honey is great, but there’s more!
You might think of beekeeping as being all about honey, but it’s a whole lot more than that. Bees produce honey, sure, but along the way they create several other products that are useful to us humans. Propolis, beeswax and royal jelly are just some of the marketable substances beekeepers can harvest from their hives.
As anyone with a kitchen knows, ants are annoying scavengers. They’re constantly on the lookout for new food sources, and will use the tiniest entry point to gain access. If your kitchen is particularly messy – with food left on bench tops or jars left open – you may be more likely to attract these tiny invaders. It’s a similar story with your beehives.
A bee or not a bee?
If you’re a new beekeeper, or you’re simply interested in the insects that populate your garden, it’s good to be able to differentiate between the honey bees you’re caring for, other harmless species of bee and fly, and potential threats like wasps.
Selling your honey
Everyone knows that bees make honey, but beginner beekeepers are often surprised by exactly how much they produce.
More than just a hobby
Many Kiwi beekeepers start out as hobbyists, with one or two hives in a back garden or on a rural property, then make the jump to selling honey and beekeeping full time.
Save the bees, save the world
If you’re not a beekeeper, you probably don’t think about honeybees all that much. They might be annoying when you’re out in the garden, but that’s about it. But, whether you keep bees or not, honeybees actually have a huge impact on the food you eat, the clothes you wear, and the world you live in. And they’re facing the threat of extinction right now.
Powerful properties in an unexpected package
The powerful health benefits associated with manuka honey have made it a huge success story for New Zealand exporters. Manuka’s cousin, kanuka, is far less famous – but may be equally beneficial.
New queen for the old colony
Bee colonies revolve around their queen – but what happens when she’s gone? Although it’s not common, there are times when a beekeeper needs to introduce a new queen to an old colony. This happens if the queen dies or stops laying eggs, or if you need to split a hive and start a new colony.
Without a queen, there are no eggs, and without eggs, there are no new bees. So, lack of a queen can eventually lead to the loss of the colony, if you don’t take steps to fix the problem. Some colonies will be able to fix the problem themselves by creating a new queen, but this doesn’t always happen.