New Zealand’s ongoing interest in bees and honey has seen the number of registered beekeepers continue to rise rapidly in the past few years. As at 30 November 2018, there were 9,173 registered beekeepers in New Zealand, 6,784 of which are considered hobbyists with less than 10 hives.

This is a 15% increase of registered beekeepers over the previous year. In addition, there has been an 18% increase in hobbyist numbers over the same time, with 595 new non-commercial registrations since just 31 August 2018.

To support the growing number of hobbyists, Apiculture New Zealand (ApiNZ) has developed practical resources for people starting out in beekeeping.

The New to Beekeeping webpage and Becoming a Beekeeper in New Zealand brochure are popular with new beekeepers, with the brochure widely distributed by apiculture businesses and beekeeping clubs around the country.

The brochure, which is free to download from the ApiNZ website, includes a checklist of everything new beekeepers need to start out and links to important resources.

The webpage offers an extended version of the information in the brochure and includes practical beekeeping tips.

“Bees are absolutely fascinating, and beekeeping is a great hobby which can provide hours of interest, but like any hobby, if you are unprepared when you start out, it can get difficult,” says Paul Martin, ApiNZ Non-Commercial Board member.

“By following the new beekeeper checklist in the ApiNZ brochure, new beekeepers are sure to start out on the right foot.”

ApiNZ continues to ensure new beekeepers have access to this information by focusing on distributing these resources to beekeeping clubs to reach local beekeeping communities.

Paul Martin says joining your local beekeeping club is a great way of learning to be a good beekeeper from others in your community. “You never stop learning, and there are always new ideas and theories to consider from fellow beekeepers.”

A list of beekeeping clubs throughout the country can be found on the ApiNZ website.