Commercial suburban beekeeping in Manukau and Auckland
A landscape of volcanic craters, old suburbs, frost free micro climates and the people do keep city beekeeping interesting. Endless tree and flower species thrive here with useful new weeds arriving periodically including tall mangroves, inhabiting our many tidal inlets and moth plant.
For the short term at least the absence of sick bee hives in the community is a blessing. Largely due to the effects of varroa mites and wax moth, the surviving breed of hobbyists seem like good keen beekeepers, manly female.
We provide full year “serviced rental hives” with home honey to sweeten the deal. We do teach as we service hives and green thumb people motivated to beekeeping by the need for bees rather than love of bees, remain customers and let us do our thing. We monitor beginner beekeepers for one further year, by phone, after helping them get started.
Espresso coffee breaks between individual hive sites adds to costs somewhat, though we manage.
It is Varroa that is the monster here, thriving in our humid subtropical climate.
Brood and bee activity is non stop, Karaka poisoning a major while having Auckland’s International Airport close by plus thousands of incoming shipping containers it follows that hives professionally operated are safest.
Commercial bees help Auckland’s fruit and flora a lot. According to Einstein 4 years without bees and our ecology would collapse.” No bees in my trees”, statements come to us regularly at promotions or shows.
Auckland’s surrounding country regions are diverse in climate and character. Being caught in traffic happens here so sticking to your side of town keeps things simple.
Bringing hives up to speed for early plum pollination and splitting is on the work list this month. We have made it through till now without having to feed but when we start swarm controlbeing high priority for Carnica blood lines to limit varroa’s ability to buildup in feral colonies.
Kerry F McCurdy – Form The New Zealand BeeKeeper