Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre is to deliver more beekeeping courses across the country to meet the Apiculture industry’s rapid growth and need for skilled workers.

As of March New Zealand honey export values increased to a new record of $300m, –  up 42% on 2015, according to data from Statistics New Zealand.

684,046 hives were registered throughout New Zealand in June 2016 which is 19 percent more than in June 2015.

The number of NZ businesses managing the hives has also increased from 4814 in 2014 to 5551 in 2015.

Taratahi Business Development Manager Richard Wanhill says the rapid growth in the industry is being matched by a strong demand for courses in beekeeping.

“Taratahi had more than 120 people enrolled in the yearlong part-time Level 3 New Zealand Certificate in Apiculture across New Zealand which recently finished. It is expected these numbers will grow significantly based on the number of early enrolments we have had already for the next course which starts in August.

“There is a huge demand for skills and lots of opportunity for different careers in this growth industry. We are working closely with key industry people to ensure we are delivering the skilled workers they need,” Mr Wanhill says.

Taratahi delivers practical vocational education for the primary sector so there will be plenty of hands on learning opportunities in commercial apiaries as well as theory in the classroom.

Courses are focussed on turning out work ready employees and skilling up those who are already in the industry who are seeking a recognised qualification.

Course content for the 34 week NCEA level three qualification includes, Bees and their habitat, apiculture equipment, bee hive construction, health and safety, seasonal management of an apiary, re-queening a hive; diseases and health issues associated with bees, maintaining a healthy beehive, American Foul Brood recognition and destruction; honey processing; honey extraction and bee feeding.

All  inquiries to 0800 TARATAHI or INFO@taratahi.ac.nz