Set up for spring
After a long, cold winter spent huddled inside, everyone is looking forward to spring – bees included. For your hives, spring is a time of intense activity. Egg-laying, brood-raising, and nectar-gathering all start to ramp up after being almost non-existent in winter.
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.
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.
Tips for a Bee Friendly Garden
When we hear about bees most of us think of honeybees (Apis mellifera) but there are many more bees around us.
The basics of Queen Rearing
The matriarch of the hive, an egg laying machine, the mother and surrogate father to all the workers and drones, and a creature of true beauty.
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.
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.
Tiny mites, huge problems
Varroa mites are a threat to bees all over the world, and New Zealand is no exception. The tiny creatures spread disease, weaken colony health, and, left untreated, eventually kill the hive.