Hello and welcome to Taranaki Bees. We are a Taranaki bee keeping couple and we manage colonies of honey bees that make beautiful honey from Taranaki’s lush bush and pastoral species. Here is some background information about us.
We had been looking into business options as an alternative to our regular 9-to-5 day jobs, and had seen bee-keeping as a possible option to consider. It ticked all the boxes for us – outdoors, good for the environment, good healthy exercise and would one day hopefully provide a comfortable lifestyle. We purchased 10 hives in March 2013 and lost half of them that season to swarming (not knowing what we were doing), some of which we retrieved. By now we had caught the bug and were mesmerized by these incredible insects and so we purchased 25 more nucleus (starter) colonies, and created another 10 colonies from our current hives with new queens, and the expansion had begun.
A few years on and we have been increasing hive numbers by only splitting our own hives to keep local gene pool. We have been building a good rapport with the local community and acquiring access to more great spots for hives.
The Taranaki Environment
It can be tough for the bees. The winter and spring are long, cold and wet and bee flight time is limited for foraging for food supplies. In spring they are rewarded with bountiful nutrient rich native flowering species but more rain which restricts flight time. From spring on we are flat out until the end of the year when the main flows cease, our first 3 distinct honey types are being ripened by the honeybees, and then the ground gets dry from late summer. The remainder of the seasons nectar is left for the bees to build up their winter stores.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any queries.