Beekeeping Guide

Page 1

Beekeeping Product Guide Farmlands Co-operative Society Limited FAR_06714

Industry Partners


Contents Industry Partners Introduction Seasonal Management New Beekeeper’s Checklist Bee Nutrition - KoBEE Bee Nutrition - Liquid Sugar Hill Laboratories Testing Typical Hive Set Up Beekeeping Products Leafcutter Bees Useful Resources Beekeeping Clubs

2 3 4 5 6 6 7 8 9 16 17 18

Introduction Farmlands is the heartbeat of rural New Zealand. We exist for our shareholders – the same farmers, growers and rural New Zealanders who choose us to help improve their businesses, both in terms of profitability and technical advice. We have been a part of rural New Zealand for more than 50 years and in that time we’ve grown to be a major supplier of rural services and inputs. This Beekeeping Product Guide profiles the range of beekeeping products that Farmlands stores either have in stock or can order for you. If you are new to beekeeping, our tips inside will help you get off to a great start. Beekeeping is a great way to help improve pollination in your garden and neighbourhood and it brings many rewards. But there is lots to learn and you need to be committed to using beekeeping best practice. By putting in place good beekeeping practice, you can maximise your bees’ health. It means you will be able to recognise diseases which, if not treated, will not only affect your bees but may adversely affect all bees in New Zealand. Beekeeping comes with responsibilities Use the checklist to make sure you’ve covered your bases as a beekeeper in New Zealand.

0800 200 600

Farmlands Co-operative | Beekeeping Guide


Seasonal Management August • Prepare for new season’s work. • Get queen-raising equipment if you are going to rear your own queens. • Assemble feeding equipment and supplies of sugar. • Check grass spraying or cutting gear. • Assemble frames for new season and have wax or plastic foundation on hand.

September • • • • •

Apply a varroa treatment if mite levels are too high. Check all brood frames for American foulbrood. Feed if necessary. Spray or cut vegetation around the hives. Stimulate queen rearing hives or any hives you want to split. • Hives can be split late in the month, or when ambient air temperatures are above 17 degrees. • Unite any weak or queenless hives with stronger queenright hives, especially if you prefer not to increase hive numbers. • Prepare for queen raising programme.

October • Apply varroa treatment if hives are showing mite damage, or there are more than 40 mites per 300 bees after a sugar shake test. • Remove entrance reducers. • Feed if necessary. • Check pollen stores and feed supplements if required. • Check all brood frames for American foulbrood (remove all bees from the frames first). • Conduct swarm check. • Re-queen hives with mated queens or queen cells. • Split hives.

November • Remove any varroa strip treatment products applied in early September. • Check that treatments have worked, especially if using organic treatments. • Feed. • Check pollen levels. • Conduct disease checks. • Carrying out queen rearing. • Conduct swarm checks. • Super up hives. • Re-queen hives if required.

December • • • • •


Make up nucleus hives. Conduct swarm checks. Super up. Prepare honey house equipment. Harvest and extract early crops, especially if in the city.

Farmlands Co-operative | Beekeeping Guide

January • Super up. • Extract honey.

February • Harvest honey and treat for varroa (remember to alternate treatment types). • Carry out disease inspections once honey is removed. • Extract honey. • Late summer queen rearing. • Check for wasps.

March • • • • • •

Test for varroa mite levels and treat if necessary. Extract honey. Re-queen hives. Check for wasp damage. Sell or store honey crop. Store honey supers.

April • Remove any varroa treatment products applied in February. • Apply varroa treatments if necessary. • Prepare hives for wintering down: » Feed check » Disease check » Scrape surplus wax and propolis from hive parts » Check bottom boards and fit entrance reducers » Replace rotten hive parts or tape up any holes to minimise robbing by bees or wasps » Control weed growth and check hives are protected from stock » Apply mouse bait if necessary

May • Test for varroa mite levels and treat if necessary. • Remove any varroa treatment products applied in March. • Feed sugar syrup if needed. • Winter hives down. • Bring in any empty supers still on hives. • Sort combs before storage. • Freeze combs for wax moth control.

June • Render down wax. • Make up new equipment for coming season.

July • Remove any varroa treatment products applied in May. • Make up new equipment for replacement or increase of hives.


New Beekeeper Checklist

 Register yourself as a beekeeper. All beekeepers in New Zealand have a legal obligation under the Biosecurity Act 1993 to register as a beekeeper and part of the registration process involves registering your apiaries as well. You can register on Only buy hives of bees from a registered beekeeper who can verify AFB disease status. Start small with 1-5 hives whilst you are still learning. Display your registration number on your hive/s and at your apiary/s.

safety requirements  Learn around beekeeping. From safe handling of bees, hives, equipment to smoker and fire safety.

Learn about the honey bee. Understand the life cycle, learn the terms used in the bee world and get to know the legal requirements needed within New Zealand. See Resources and Links for recommended sources.

Learn the style of beekeeping. Read information specific to New Zealand beekeeping with hive options to house your bees here. For example, bees can be housed in different structures but legal requirements need to be met. Find out more about seasons, pests and diseases that affect the honey bee in New Zealand and how these are managed.

Understand health allergic reactions and risks.

Seek advice on the legal requirements. Go to for more information on safe food handling and the risk of tutin honey.

Decide what protective clothing you will wear while beekeeping. Obtain tools to support your beekeeping management.

Check your local council bylaw requirements for beekeeping.

Farmlands Co-operative | Beekeeping Guide


Bee Nutrition - KoBEE KoBEE’s mixed seaweed concentrate contains their own proprietary formula to deliver a highly effective, unique solution for optimum bee and hive health all year round. Advantages of using KoBEE: • KoBEE is a mixed blend of red, green and brown seaweeds and each have unique nutritional profiles, which combine to give a much wider range of nutrients. • Including KoBEE as part of your regular bee feeding programme will help ensure your bees and hives stay strong and healthy all year round. • The essential building blocks for optimal bee health, the concentrated mixed seaweed blend contains all essential amino acids, vitamins and trace elements. Seaweeds naturally contain phospholipids. • KoBEE was developed by beekeepers for beekeepers, right here in New Zealand. If you are feeding sugar, it is recommended that you also feed KoBEE, as it is an all-purpose supplement to maintain good nutrition at all life cycle stages. The recommendation is to use 20mL of KoBEE to every litre of sugar syrup. With natural pollen sources dropping around the world, it is important to put bee nutrition as a top priority. One of the biggest concerns facing beekeepers nationwide is the health of their bees, which essentially dictates the strength of the hive – that’s when KoBEE can really make a big difference. For more information on pack sizes please refer to page 13.

Bee Nutrition - Liquid Sugar Farmlands’ overarching vision is to bring innovation, convenience and an advisory-led beekeeping service to every corner of New Zealand. In 2017 we announced the launch of our 20,000 litre sugar syrup fill station pilot at our Waipapa (Kerikeri) branch. This was our response to our shareholders who were asking us for convenient access to a high quality bulk sugar syrup supply. This allows you to simply call in to your Farmlands branch exactly when it suits you to have your own ute or trailer mounted vessels filled with any quantity you require. All liquid sugar is charged for per litre (minimum purchase of 20 litres). Following the success of the pilot programme we immediately added fill stations to three more North Island Farmlands sites. These were established at Te Puna, Greytown and Hautapu. This was followed by another seven fill stations added during early 2018. These sites have been strategically spread across both the North and South Islands. Please contact your local Farmlands branch for more information or visit


Farmlands Co-operative | Beekeeping Guide


Hill Laboratories Testing Hill Laboratories offers an extensive range of testing on honey and bee products. The following tests are likely to be of most interest to beekeepers who may wish to on-sell or market their honey:

• Non-Peroxide Activity (NPA)

• 4-in-1 Manuka Honey Suite (3-in-1 and Leptosperin)

• Tutin

• Manuka 5 Test

• C4 Sugar AOAC Test

• Honey Forecast Modelling

• C4 Sugar Screen Test

• Pesticide Residues

• UMF® Certificate

• Blending model

• 3-in-1 Manuka Honey

• Leptosperin in Manuka Honey

STEP 1 Contact your local Farmlands Technical Advisor or call your local Farmlands branch on 0800 200 600. Alternatively, contact a Client Services Manager at Hill Laboratories on 0508 HILL LAB (44 555 22) to discuss what tests you need.



When your sample arrives at the lab, Hill Laboratories will book in the job and return your results via email within the turnaround time advised on their website.

Head into your local Farmlands store or head to the Hill Laboratories website to order your free honey sampling kit.

STEP 3 When your kit arrives, use the pottle to collect your sample, fill out the form and return both to the laboratory using the courier bag provided.

Farmlands Co-operative | Beekeeping Guide


Typical Hive Setup Hive Strap Locks hive together, protects from tipping with livestock potentially rubbing against hive.

Tin Roof Protects your hive from the elements.

Hive Mat Insulates the hive and helps to eliminate your roof being stuck down to the top of your hive by propolis.

Pre-Waxed Plastic Frames Allows your bees to store their brood, nectar, pollen and honey.

Top Super Either a stores box or honey super.

Queen Excluder Excludes your queen bee from your honey supers.

Brood Box Brood box for your queen to lay eggs, bees to raise brood and store food.

Hive Doctor Bottom Board Keeps the hive up off the ground and ventilated. Includes built in entrance reducing options to assist in hive protection and transport.


Farmlands Co-operative | Beekeeping Guide


Hive Doctor Smart Board 4


1 7 3

8 2















Hive Board Key 1. Stable and sturdy, UV resistant, low profile bottom board. 2. Universal entrance space to allow future functionality, eg. pollen traps, varroa control and other wasp control. 3. Screw holes for securing to pallets. 4. Locating lugs to secure hive box and rigid design to prevent bowing. 5. Deep floor with great venting (21% ventilation), with the ability for venting to be closed off with pest trays.

6. Bar entrance reducer slots securely in front of the box. It can be flipped to either close or reduce the entrance and stored in the front holding slot. 7. Straight sides and ends for easy palletising and strapping of multiple hives. 8. Stronger through centre of base and locating slots for Emlock hive straps. 9. Additional entrance reducer with flexible settings to allow for easy close off, full opening, or effective wasp control.

Farmlands Co-operative | Beekeeping Guide


Beekeeping Products Full Depth Feeder • • • •

Rotationally moulded black plastic. Full Depth Feeder 5 litre/2 frame. Full Depth Feeder 3 litre/1 frame. Hangs in the hive in place of frames, to feed dry sugar or sugar syrup in winter months. 3L: 159974 5L: 159941

Assembled and Wired Frame • Full Depth 33mm – assembled and wired, 4 wires with eyelets and 10mm grooved bottom bar. • 3/4 Depth 33mm – assembled and wired, 3 wires with eyelets and 10mm grooved bottom bar.

3/4 Depth: 159982 Full Depth: 159983

Hive Doctor Smart Bottom Board • Adaptable and functional UV resistant bottom board with a low profile for stability and sturdiness. Multiple entrance options. • Locating lugs to secure your hive box and rigid design to prevent bowing. • Bar entrance reducer slots in front of the box. Can be flipped to either close or reduce the entrance and stored in the front holding slot. • Deep floor with great venting (21% ventilation), with the ability for venting to be closed off with pest trays. • Triple disk entrance for a choice of entrance options, available separately.


Hive Doctor Triple Disc Entrance • UV resistant bottom board. • Multiple entrance options. • Low profile for stability and sturdiness.


Hive Doctor Pest Checking Tray - Black • For use with Hive Doctor Smart Bottom Boards. • Monitor varroa levels by using the quick reference grid on the base of the varroa tray. • Use a black pest tray to create a darkened trap cavity for the SHB to be trapped. • Pest checking trays close the hive completely and can be used in a closed-hive varroa treatment.


Farmlands Co-operative | Beekeeping Guide



Beekeeping Products Waxed Plastic Foundation Sheet Full Depth • Highest quality plastic foundation, made of 100% pure virgin food grade resin. • The black colour shows the white eggs and larvae more easily. • Pre-waxed for your convenience with a consistent and good 30g coating of 100% New Zealand beeswax. • Only available in full depth short size (designed to fit into grooved top and bottom bar frames) or full depth long size (designed to fit into grooved end bars as well). Long: 198967

Plastic Frame – Pre-Waxed 30g • • • • •

Highest quality plastic frames, made of 100% pure virgin food grade resin. Used by the majority of New Zealand’s commercial beekeepers. Lugs have been redesigned to give maximum strength. The frames are robust and long lasting. The black frame colour shows the white eggs and larvae more easily, however other colours are available for large orders. • Pre-waxed for your convenience with a consistent and good 30g coating of 100% New Zealand beeswax.

3/4 Depth: 195787 Full Depth: 195788 Manley 3/4 Depth: 195789

Wooden Queen Excluder • Welded wire construction. • Solid wooden frame.


Hive Doctor Queen Excluder with Plastic Rim (USA) • Used to keep the queen from laying eggs in the honey supers. • Only used during the honey season (spring/summer). • Gated option available.

Not Gated: 211338 Gated: 211341

Medium Brood Comb Foundation Sheet • Pure beeswax sourced from beekeepers throughout New Zealand. Heated and micro-filtered to remove all dross and moisture. • If stored in its original packaging in clean, dry conditions is indefinite. 3/4 Depth 10 pack: 159969 Full Depth 10 pack: 159971 Full Depth 1kg: 160065

Farmlands Co-operative | Beekeeping Guide


Beekeeping Products Ready To Go Hive – Complete Hive • • • •

1 x Hive Doctor Smart Bottom Board. 2 x premium grade rebated (commercial) full depth supers, assembled and paraffined. 20 x full depth Beetek plastic frames, coated with 30 grams of pure beeswax. 1 x hive mat – fully assembled with 4.75mm smooth ‘tempered’ hardboard and 21.5mm x 21.5mm wooden frame. • 1 x galvanised 0.75mm sprung end lid. • 1 x galvanised hive strap with 4.5m galvanised strapping attached. 160007

Hive Mat • Fully assembled. • 4.75mm smooth ‘tempered’ hardboard, with 21.5mm wooden frame. • Acts as an insulator and stops bees from propolising onto hive.


Hive Doctor Hive Mat with Plastic Rim • Known as inner cover, crown board, or ceiling to stop your bees from propolising the roof down on your hives. • Acts as an insulator. • Gated option available.

Non Gated: 211344 Gated: 211345

Stainless Steel Smoker – Lega • Smoker diameter 80mm/3 inch or 100mm/4 inch. • Strong bellows. • With wire heat shield.

3 Inch: 160020 4 Inch: 180511

Hive Strap • Complete hive strap with 4.5m galvanised strapping (4.5m x 17mm x 0.55mm).



Farmlands Co-operative | Beekeeping Guide


Beekeeping Products Kobee Bee Nutrition • All purpose supplement to maintain optimum hive health all year round. • Naturally contain phospholipids. • Mixed seaweed blend contains all essential amino acids, vitamins and trace elements. KoBee KoBee KoBee KoBee KoBee KoBee

Bee Bee Bee Bee Bee Bee

Nutrition Nutrition Nutrition Nutrition Nutrition Nutrition

1L: 210615 5L: 210616 20L: 210618 100L: 210619 200L: 210620 1000L: 210621

Farmlands Co-operative | Beekeeping Guide


Beekeeping Products Hive Roof • Galvanised sprung end roof. • 0.75mm tin.


Standard Grade Super • • • •

Super come flatpacked ready for you to assemble. Also known as beehive box or honey super. Kitset and pre-made options available. Enquire in-store for volume quantity pricing.

3/4 Depth: 159958 Full Depth: 159961

Premium Ready to Go Full Depth Super • Premium grade wooden super. • Includes 10 x Full Depth wooden “AA” frames 33mm embedded with Manuka special foundation. • Assembled and ready to place straight onto your hive.


Bottom Board - Timber Kitset • Commercial grade wooden bottom board with tanalised bearers.


Maxant Type Hive Tool 10 Inch Stainless Steel • Metal hive tool, 10” with hook – stainless steel. • Used to prise components of the hive apart.



Farmlands Co-operative | Beekeeping Guide


Beekeeping Products Mixed Bristle Bee Brush • Nylon/natural mix of bristles with a plastic handle.


Practical Beekeeping in New Zealand 4th Edition • • • • •

Essential reading for any aspiring beekeeper. The latest edition. Release date: June 2011. Authors: Andrew Matheson and Murray Reid. Format: hardback, 285 pages.


Bayvarol 20 Strips • • • • • •

For the diagnosis and control of varroa mites on honey bees. Highly effective (up to 99% efficacy). Easy to use, rigid strips – no curling. Safe to use. Large – four strips/brood chamber. Very kind to beeswax, propolis and comb honey. 159951

Gloves Leather Non-Ventilated • Premium leather vented and non-vented gloves. • Gauntlet below elbow.

Vented: XXS-XXL (9262) Non Vented: XXXS-XXL (9263)

Honey Extractor – Lega • Lega three frame stainless steel manual extractor – with two clear half lids (not shown). • Tangential manual honey extractor, fitted with nylon conical gear noiseless drive, three removable legs and a 47mm OD nylon honey gate. • Stainless steel tank – diameter 380mm, tank height 650mm, total height 950mm to tank top rim. 159987

Farmlands Co-operative | Beekeeping Guide


Beekeeping Products Men’s Beesuit

Women’s Beesuit

• Men’s beesuit, hood included – Deane’s EBS brand. • Beesuit is a New Zealand made 310gsm, 100% white cotton overall that includes additional length and elastic in arms and legs, extended brass zip and double fabric on knees.

• Adult’s one piece suit with folding hood – Deane’s EBS brand. • Deane EBS suit includes additional length and elastic in arms and legs, extended brass zip and double fabric on knees, complete with a folding hood, which is attached by zips at the neck.

Size: 3-16 (8527)


Farmlands Co-operative | Beekeeping Guide

Size: 10-20 Colours: White (8528) Pink (9270)


Leafcutter Bees

General facts about Leafcutter bees Leafcutter bees belong to the family Megachilidae and are members of the genus Megachile. They are non-aggressive and non-colonising solitary bees. They’re generalists, meaning they don’t stick to certain blossoms, they pollinate whatever they find and like, e.g. most blossoming garden fruit, vegetables and various flowers. They are fuzzy with thin yellow/grey stripes down the abdomen. They are a little smaller than a honey bee. They will also work in unison with any and all types of bees. A single female Leafcutter bee visits 10,000+ blossoms per day compared to a honey bee, which visits just 50 – 1,000. They don’t travel more than a few hundred metres unless there is a shortage of flowers to forage on, so pollination stays in your garden!

Leafcutter Bee House • Leafcutter bee house. • 72 hole inter-locking nesting tray system.


Post Mounting Sleeve • Allows you to position your Leafcutter bee house whereever you like. • Can be mounted onto any standard waratah / steel ‘Y’ post.


Leafcutter Bee Cocoons - 50 Qty • Leafcutter bee cocoons contain dormant Leafcutter bees. • They are shipped between July and January, while stocks last.


Farmlands Co-operative | Beekeeping Guide


Useful Resources Join Apiculture New Zealand! Join by going to: Apiculture New Zealand is the national industry body representing the apiculture industry. Membership is voluntary, with membership fees helping to fund industry science and research, nationwide advocacy on issues affecting beekeepers, a widely respected monthly journal The New Zealand Beekeeper and a variety of services for beekeepers.

Apiculture New Zealand has a voluntary Code Apiculture New Zealand has a voluntary Code of Conduct, which you can download from The code’s objectives are to maintain good relations amongst all beekeepers and stakeholders, to be considerate of public safety and through good beekeeping practice, ensure the sustainability of bees and their environment.

Important links and resources American Foulbrood Pest Management Plan (to register as a new beekeeper) AsureQuality (to update apiary registration) - Apiculture New Zealand - Food safety - Farmlands –

Books Practical Beekeeping in New Zealand – Andrew Matheson and Murray Reid. Starting with Bees – order from:


Farmlands Co-operative | Beekeeping Guide


Beekeeping Clubs North Island

South Island

— Keri keri Beekeeping Club — Warkworth Beekeepers Society Inc — Auckland Beekeepers Club — Waikato Domestic Beekeeping Club — Franklin Beekeeping Club — Rotorua Honey Bee Club — Wanganui Beekeepers Club — Manawatu Beekeeping Club — The Buzz Club Otaki — Wairarapa Hobby Beekeepers Club — Wellington Beekeeping Association

— Marlborough Beekeeping Association — West Coast Hobby Beekeeping Club — Nelson Beekeepers Club — Christchurch Hobbyist Beekeepers Club — Southland Bee Society

National Bodies — Apiculture New Zealand 04 471 6254 — UMF Honey Association (Inc) 09 575 3127

Farmlands Co-operative | Beekeeping Guide