Spring is the best time of year to introduce a beehive and Wanaka beekeeping company Tiaki Bees is encouraging people to rent a hive and help reinforce both the environmental and pollination benefits bees bring.
Tiaki Bees launched its beehive rental concept in 2020 and there has been a strong take up in the Southern Lakes and surrounding areas.
Company founder and leading apiculturist Barna Szocs says spring and summer is when vegetables, trees and flowers are most active and in need of the bees to assist with pollination.
“Spring is a great time to get your own bees as it’s the beginning of the beekeeping season. This is when plants come back to life, flowers blossom, trees become green and, with the warmer weather, bees start adventuring outside of the hive to look for pollen, nectar and fresh water. Pollinating plants is an ongoing task during summer and some fruit trees and vegetables have a short window when pollination is absolutely crucial for a good crop, so getting bees in there to do the job is incredibly important.”
Barna says hiring a hive is a simple and effective solution for floundering gardens. He or one of his beekeepers travel to any property – urban or rural – to set up a mobile hive, then visit the hive monthly and undertake all the required maintenance to ensure the bees are healthy, fed and productive.
He says the big-picture environmental benefits of renting a hive and bee pollination are also significant.
“Nature is a complex ecosystem with everything connected. Bees are crucial to plants, plants are crucial to bees and humans benefit from them both. More people are now hiring hives and I believe the reason behind this surge is that, as a community, we are realising how positive an impact we can have on our environment. Often the impact is negative – through transport, emissions and plastics – but we can also be very positive by caring better for the environment and doing our bit to help.”
Retirement and lifestyle villages, commercial lodges, garden centres, schools and retail giants in the region are reaping the multiple benefits accrued by renting a hive.
Barna says the natural honey produced by bees inhabiting a beehive is also a sweetener for those contemplating hiring one.
“This unfiltered, pure form of honey is great for human health and absolutely delicious. It’s pretty special to produce an amazing, high-quality superfood from your own backyard.”