A Bay of Plenty teen has been given a boost into his dream career in beekeeping after receiving the 2020 Apiculture New Zealand Ron Mossop Youth Scholarship.

Ohope-based Angus Brenton-Rule was thrilled to win the scholarship which provides $2000 to support training and set up costs for new beekeepers, a one-year membership to industry body Apiculture NZ (ApiNZ) and attendance at ApiNZ’s national industry conference.

“I was really, really happy to get it. I didn’t expect it, but I thought I might have had a small chance since I’ve been studying apiculture and fascinated by bees most of my life,” he says.

Angus’s childhood interest in bees began with watching YouTube videos of hives in action, and then he got a taste of the real thing when some family friends started beekeeping.  “I remember being out there in the sun, helping them with the bees and thinking yeah this is what I want to do,” he says.  This was reaffirmed when he took a careers’ test in high school which recommended beekeeping.

“I love nature and being outdoors.  Beekeeping is hands on and practical, and you get to go somewhere different and interesting every day.  It’s definitely what I want to do long term as my career,” says Angus.

While still at high school, Angus completed the Level 3 New Zealand Certificate of Apiculture run by Pacific Coast Technical Institute at Edgecumbe College.  He was inspired by his tutor Daniel Martin and applied for beekeeping work when he finished Year 12 this year.

He received a number of job offers and took up a beekeeping assistant position with local company Golden Grove Apiaries for the current season.  His employer Lorraine Stanley says Angus has made a great start in the industry.  “It’s a crazy time of year to join a beekeeping team but Angus has persevered, showing a strong commitment to learning and absorbing as much information as he can glean from senior staff.  He is destined to be part of the beekeeping world for quite some time to come,” she says.

Angus plans to use the scholarship to further his studies in beekeeping and to purchase his own hives so he can continue to learn about bees at home.  In the long term he hopes to build up his own beekeeping business and have hives dotted around New Zealand.  “I really like the idea of travelling the countryside and checking up on my bees,” he says.

The ApiNZ Ron Mossop Youth Scholarship is named for industry pioneer Ron Mossop who started his family beekeeping business Mossop’s Honey in the 1940s.  Son, Neil Mossop, says it is a privilege for the family to support enthusiastic and motivated young people like Angus into the industry.  “We are thrilled to be able to give him a head start in this industry and we look forward to seeing his future progress.”