Living in New Zealand, a place where there are more cows than humans, is an excellent opportunity to start a new hobby. With vast tracts of land that are great for horticulture, backyard gardening is one of the many famous pastimes in the country. However, there is also apiculture or beekeeping that can give purpose to those large empty lots. Let this article serve as your guide into your new hobby of beekeeping.
Personal Entertainment and Livelihood
You may have seen some individuals in bee suits surrounded by a buzzing cloud of bees, and then, told yourself either that it was a scary and difficult thing to do or that it was a cool and refreshing job. Well, both are actually true. Now, you may ask why, and there are two answers. The first one is fulfilment while the second one is the livelihood.
Just like backyard gardening and other home hobbies, beekeeping is a highly challenging yet fulfiling pastime. Many people are very entertained in maintaining bees and their colonies. Apart from being personally treated, the social lives of beekeepers are very active and robust. Beekeepers frequently gather at their local clubs to exchange ideas and socialise. Most feel fulfiled too, knowing that they are able to help the environment, as bees primarily assist in the process of pollination.
Besides the personal fulfilment and enjoyment of beekeeping, many people also earn through their bees. It has been reported that the continuous increase in the number of commercial beekeepers has put small-time bee owners at a disadvantage, including causing low selling prices for honey. Still, the number of pros outweigh the cons. So now, we proceed on how to become a beekeeper.
Becoming a Beekeeper
Despite being a fun hobby that can earn you money in the long run, beekeeping is regulated by the government. There are specific rules and regulations that you must observe and requirements that you must meet before proceeding. These include the following:
- Must be registered through the ‘Management Agency’ as well as their apiaries
- Must buy bees only through other registered beekeepers
- Must have the essential beekeeping equipment including professional bee suits, hive tools, and smokers
- Must not use secondhand beekeeping equipment
- Must not import bees as well as bee products, such as honey and beeswax
- Must abide by any local council regulations
Moreover, beekeepers should take note that bees should be contained in moveable frame hives in case of inspection. These hives must also be where the bees can easily access pollen, water, and nectar.
So, that is how easy to become a beekeeper. You should only observe and strictly adhere to the policies mentioned above to prevent any legal complications or the spread of bee diseases.
For more tips and other helpful tools for your beekeeping journey, the Apiculture New Zealand has a code of conduct for beekeepers to ensure and maintain good relations with other beekeepers. They also have a more comprehensive guide on how to take care of your bees. Now, go on and try beekeeping now.