Beekeeper Kaitiaki Pī

Beekeepers look after beehives in apiaries that produce honey, wax, pollen and other bee products. They may also offer pollination services to horticultural and seed crop producers.

 

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AsureQuality registration

Beekeepers in New Zealand need to be registered with AsureQuality. Part of the registration process involves registering your apiaries.  

DECA registration and inspections

Disease Elimination Conformity Agreement (DECA) training is not required, but nearly all beekeepers are expected to be DECA registered. DECA sets out a code of beekeeping practice to ensure that the incidence of American foulbrood disease in hives is eliminated. 

Beekeepers may do some or all of the following:

  • collect honey from hives and extract honey from combs
  • transport hives to various locations
  • inspect hives and treat them for diseases or parasites
  • ensure bee colonies have enough food
  • provide pollination services by renting hives to orchards and farms
  • breed queen bees
  • build and maintain hives
  • package honey and honey products for processing
  • run their own business and keep records.

Physical Requirements

Beekeepers need to:

  • not have allergies to bee stings or pollen 
  • be reasonably fit, healthy and strong because some heavy lifting is involved
  • have good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses).  

Useful Experience

Useful experience for beekeepers includes:

  • keeping bees as a hobby
  • attending beekeeping courses 
  • joining the local beekeepers' club
  • farming or gardening 
  • carpentry or other woodworking. 

Personal Qualities

Beekeepers need to be:

  • motivated
  • observant
  • good at keeping records
  • committed to working safely and cooperatively with others. 

Useful Experience

Useful experience for beekeepers includes:

  • keeping bees as a hobby
  • attending beekeeping courses 
  • joining the local beekeepers' club
  • farming or gardening 
  • carpentry or other woodworking. 

Subject Recommendations

There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a beekeeper, but agricultural and horticultural science, maths and biology to at least NCEA Level 2 are useful. 

For Year 11 to 13 students, the Gateway programme is a good way to gain industry experience. 

Beekeepers can earn around $39K-$70K per year per year.

Chances of getting a job as a Beekeeper are good due to a shortage of people interested in this type of work.

Beekeepers may progress to setting up their own hives and running their own business, or move into breeding bees, or sales and marketing roles for bee-related products. 

Beekeeper

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