I am proud to have recently assumed an ambassadorial role for the National Beekeepers’ Association of New Zealand. In taking on this important cause I hope to raise awareness of the current plight of bees and help promote ways to ensure their long-term survival and success on our planet.
Beehives of my own
When I was growing up, my father kept his own beehives at the bottom of our garden in central Wellington.
I’m really excited to be finally following in my father’s footsteps by recently establishing my own hives. I have one in the city and I'm soon to get two in Wanaka and I’m looking forward to learning what it means to be a beekeeper myself.
Bee Aware Month
The month of August is Bee Aware Month in New Zealand. Throughout the world, honeybee populations are under threat from various pests, diseases and insecticides. Urgent action is required if to protect them and ensure their survival.
In Europe and the USA, beekeepers are reporting colony losses of between 40 and 60 percent, and three types of neonicotinoid insecticides have recently been banned in Europe, in the hope this will help rejuvenate bee populations.
In New Zealand one of the most significant threat to bees is the varroa mite, which was discovered here in 2000. Imagine a mite the size of a dinner plate stuck to your body, sucking the life out of you – some bees have been found with more than six of these on their bodies! There has also been a decline in natural, varied food sources for bees due to the industrialisation of the environment.
Bees need our help
Bees in New Zealand cannot survive without human assistance to protect them from varroa mites. In fact if a hive swarms, they will not survive in the wild.
If you see bees swarming and you’re not a beekeeper yourself, call a local beekeeper to come and collect them (see the National Beekeeper’s Association Swarm Collection webpage for contact details [nba.org.nz/contact-us/bee-swarm-collection].
We need bees
Bee pollination is needed for a vast number of our food crops and contributes many billions of dollars to the global economy. We’re not just talking about vegetables and fruit, but also many types of nuts and oil-producing plants, as well as clover and coffee. While other kinds of bees help with pollination, it’s the honeybees that do the bulk of the work.
Cooking with honey – this week’s recipe
To celebrate Bee Aware Month I’ll be posting a new honey-inspired recipe on my website every week, along with tips on how to use honey in your recipes.
To whet your appetite I’m starting with my delicious Spicy Honey Spareribs, which I hope you'll enjoy!
National Beekeepers' Association
I’ve joined forces with New Zealand’s National Beekeepers' Association to work on projects that help promote and protect kiwi honey bees.
Together we hope to spread the message that bees are vitally important and that they need our help to survive.
Bee Aware Month
Bee Aware Month is an annual event to raise awareness about the importance of taking care of our bees in New Zealand.
You can find out how you can get involved on the National Beekeepers' Association’s Bee Aware Month webpage.