Amateur beekeepers help falling bee population

  • 11/08/2016
Amateur beekeepers help falling bee population

By Richard Wybrow

Beekeeping goes as far back as 7000BC, but today, it's a cool hobby for many living in urban areas. 

A lot of major cities have beekeeping clubs that can get newbies into the game. That's helped combat the falling bee population, which is suffering massive global losses due to colony collapse disorder. 

Amateur beekeeping is hugely popular with urban hipsters in New York City, despite it actually being illegal there. 

Some enterprising Australians even claim to have come up with a 21st-century better beehive called 'Flow'. 

It takes about 60,000 bees, who collectively fly 90,000 kilometres to gather enough nectar for half a kilo of honey. 

But, if you're up for the challenge, you'll need a few things: 

You'll also need a variety of hive tools. 

You don't need a licence in New Zealand if you want to have a hive in your backyard. However, they do need to be registered for inspection. 

In some countries, bees can be bought by mail order; however that doesn't really fly in New Zealand, so you'll probably have to go to a store to start your hive. 

But, why risk the painful stings? 

As a medicine, honey's been valued for thousands of years for its antimicrobial and wound-healing properties. It also contains powerful antioxidants, which can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

New Zealand's manuka honey is considered some of the best in the world because of its health benefits. 

But likely the biggest reason people raise bees? Honey just tastes good.