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.
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.
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.
The spread of a deadly disease
American Foulbrood strikes fear into the hearts of beekeepers – and for good reason. The bacterial disease infects larvae, kills bees before they reach maturity, and eventually destroys the colony.
Most people know that bees collect pollen, but few really understand its role in the hive. Unlike nectar, pollen is not used to make honey, but it plays a vital role in the life of the colony.
Rising costs, increasing numbers, and high demand
Issues facing New Zealand beekeepers