In response to the growing number of hobbyist beekeepers in New Zealand, Apiculture New Zealand (ApiNZ), the peak body for the beekeeping and honey industry in New Zealand, has released two practical guides for people starting out in beekeeping.

These include the web resource New to Beekeeping and a brochure Becoming a Beekeeper in New Zealand.

“Beekeeping is a great hobby to get involved in and we want to make sure all newcomers know and understand what’s involved, so that we continue to see good bee health,” says Karin Kos, Chief Executive of ApiNZ.

The brochure, which can be downloaded and printed from the ApiNZ website, includes a handy checklist to help new beekeepers make sure they have the basics covered before starting out.

The web page offers an expanded version of the brochure with tips ranging from where to locate your hive and how to register as a beekeeper in New Zealand. Both provide links to other useful contacts and sources of information.

“We’re seeing a lot of interest in beekeeping as a hobby,” says Paul Martin, ApiNZ non commercial board member.

“These resources give new beekeepers access to information about good beekeeping practice to support good bee health, as well as understanding the legal requirements.”

There are over 8000 registered beekeepers in New Zealand, an 18% increase from this time last year. Out of this total, there are over 5800 hobbyist beekeepers, or beekeepers with 10 hives or less, up 16% from last year.

ApiNZ also encourages new hobbyists to join their local beekeeping clubs, which provide support with often many years of combined beekeeping experience among members. A list of clubs throughout the country can be found on the ApiNZ website here.