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Bee’s conference breaking ground for the industry

Bee’s conference breaking ground for the industry

This year, for the first time, Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group will be joining with the National Beekeepers Association to host a New Zealand Apiculture Industry Conference in Wanganui.

“The theme of this conference is “Working Together” with a critical focus on advancing our fast growing and vital industry that is pivotal to New Zealand’s economy, with an estimated annual contribution of $5 billion a year,” says John Hartnell, Federated Farmers Bee Chairperson.

“As of April 2014, managed bee hive colonies surpassed the 500,000 mark in New Zealand, with over four thousand registered Bee Keepers. The industry bridges and relies on both agriculture and horticulture, providing crucial pollination services, so it is important that we establish a future focussed industry structure and work in a unified manner to deliver positive outcomes.

“The industry as we knew it ten years ago is not what we see today. We have seen unprecedented growth in hive numbers, hundreds of new entrants, a substantial lift in honey prices, a move to Manuka tree farming of high DHA (dihydroxyacetone) yield plant stock and with it more challenges to market access, increased levels of honey testing, changing food labelling laws, a proposed change to Bio-security management and the downstream effects that will bring, to name a few.

“This conference will be a vital opportunity for all involved to come together on the challenges and triumphs within the industry, break the mould of yesterday and forge a solid foundation for the future, which will ensure that the political framework of our country understands and supports our industry going forward.

“Only as a united and strong industry will the future of beekeeping in New Zealand achieve its maximum potential,” concluded Mr Hartnell.

Ends

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