The collapse of honeybee populations has received a lot of press, but in New Zealand, at least, it’s not all bad news: small-scale beekeeping in that country is making a comeback.
Backyard Honeybees, a small business based in Christchurch, allows the city’s residents to host their own beehives and produce their own honey.
While most big beekeepers in New Zealand concentrate on pollinating farm crops, Backyard Honeybees installs hives in its customers’ backyards, and the bees that live there pollinate the gardens and crops grown in and around the city. As co-owner Lee Carmichael observes, the bees do really well in that environment: “There are usually so many gardens they can visit in a two-kilometer area – they can forage literally all year round so there is always food for them.”
Each hive produces an average of ten kilograms of honey per year, and because each gathers nectar from a different range of flower and vegetable gardens, the honey is always unique. Best of all, the idea is spreading: Carmichael notes that similar services are being provided in several other parts of New Zealand.
To learn more, visit Backyard Honeybees.