Beekeeping is certainly not one of the newest trends in New Zealand. We are often asked how to get started, so I thought I would outline a few basics for those that have considered the past time as a hobby.
Get yourself familiar with all the jargon and terminology used in the industry. The best and easiest form of this is simply by purchasing a decent book on beekeeping. My recommendation for folks is: Practical Beekeeping in NZ (5th Edition) and Elimination of AFB or research the thousands of online sites that are available.
Attend a beekeeping course. These are available at the weekends or in evenings. They can however book out quickly so make sure that you plan ahead.
Source your bee keeping supplies. Do not purchase second-hand equipment unless you can be sure that it 100% disease free.
Purchase your bees. Try and purchase your bees off a DECA (Disease Elimination Conformity Agreement) certified beekeeper. This will ensure that you are purchasing bees that are free from disease. The best time of the year to purchase bees is at the start of the season, when beekeepers are splitting off their hives.
Hook yourself up with a local mentor. Most regions have methods and techniques that are local to their own area. What works in one region may not necessarily work in another. If you hook yourself up with local support, you will find it easier to seek the knowledge required.
Social Media – follow local groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. The knowledge shared on these platforms is invaluable.
I’m more than happy to offer advice on where to connect with people, so feel free to reach out to me at:
Beekeeper and Director