Beekeeping in New Zealand
New Zealand had 6,735 registered beekeepers in June 2016, who owned more than 600,000 hives in over 42,000 apiaries. In 2015/16 total honey production was 19.8 thousand tonnes. The production of manuka honey, valued for its antibacterial properties, is increasingly important. Pollen, beeswax, and propolis are also produced and exported. Beekeepers provide pollination services to horticulturists, which used to generate more income than the products of bee culture. However, rising honey prices have pushed pollination fees to keep up. Approximately 42 thousand live queen bees, and 38 tonnes of packaged bees (which include approximately one kilogram of worker bees to support the queen) are exported live each year.
The National Beekeepers' Association of New Zealand established "National Bee Week".
Honey containing the poisonous tutin can be produced by bees feeding on honeydew produced by sap-sucking vine hopper insects (genus Scolypopa) feeding on tutu, a plant native to New Zealand. The last recorded deaths from eating honey containing tutin were in the 1890s.
In May 2011 there were fears the colony collapse disorder had begun in New Zealand. Losses of up to 30% had been reported with Canterbury and Poverty Bay being hardest hit. This suspicion was not confirmed, but high losses with an etiology matching CCD could be observed in parts of the North Island in 2015, reigniting these fears.
Pest and diseases
European foulbrood is not present in New Zealand. In the 1990s suspected cases of European foulbrood were found and a wider survey of hives was carried out but the samples proved to be negative.
The Varroa destructor mite, a parasite that attacks honey bees, was discovered in the North Island of New Zealand in 2000 and the South Island in 2008. The Varroa mite is classed as a "Notifiable Organism" under the Biosecurity Act.
Former or current legislation relevant to beekeeping in New Zealand include:
- Apiaries Act 1908
- Apiaries Act 1969 (repealed)
- Resource Management Act 1991
- Biosecurity Act 1993
- Local Government Act 2002
There is also legislation relating to the bee products themselves.
- Agriculture in New Zealand
- Biosecurity in New Zealand
- Manuka honey, a honey often marketed for its health benefits
- 2016 Apiculture Monitoring Programme
- Farm Monitoring Report NZ- Apiculture Report 2014
- National Bee Week – National Beekeepers' Association of New Zealand
- Stop poisoning Bees
- Background on toxic honey, New Zealand Food Safety Authority
- Johnston, Martin. Specialists expected tutin honey outbreak, New Zealand Herald. 26 March 2008.
- Chug, Kuran (7 May 2011). "Fears bee colony collapse has arrived". Dominion Post. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- Palmer-Jones, T (1964). "Diseases of honey bees in New Zealand" (PDF). The New Zealand Entomologist. New Zealand Entomological Society, Inc. 3 (3): 41–44. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 July 2011.
- "History". American foulbrood Pest Management Strategy. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
- "European foulbrood disease". MAF Biosecurity New Zealand. 22 October 2008. Archived from the original on 29 December 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
- "European foulbrood disease: Status of New Zealand's honey bees". MAF Biosecurity New Zealand. 7 August 2008. Archived from the original on 30 December 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
- Varroa Mite | MAF Biosecurity New Zealand
- Biosecurity New Zealand – Unwanted Organisms Register
- Matheson, Andrew; Murray Reid (2011-08-05). Practical Beekeeping in New Zealand. Exisle Publishing. ISBN 978-1-877568-52-7.
- "Apiaries" (PDF). New Zealand government. 1908. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
- Walsh, R. S. (February 1978). Nectar and Pollen Sources of New Zealand. National Beekeepers Association of New Zealand (Inc).
- Goodwin, Mark; Van Eaton, Cliff (2001). Control of Varroa: A Guide for New Zealand Beekeepers (PDF). New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. ISBN 0-478-07958-3.
- Goodwin, Mark. Elimination of American foulbrood without the use of drugs: A Practical Manual for Beekeepers. National Beekeepers Association of New Zealand Inc.
- Biosecurity New Zealand – Varroa mite page
- American Foulbrood Pest Management Strategy
- Apiaries Act 1969 (repealed)
- Beekeeping Clubs in New Zealand – A Map for kiwi Beekeepers