Monday, 29 May 2017 15:55

Apiculture event taking shape

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Myrtle rust, the Government’s mānuka honey science definition, and international trends in honeybee research, are just some of the hot topics at this year’s Apiculture New Zealand National Conference, held in Rotorua July 9-11.

“Myrtle rust is top of mind for our industry and along with a local view from the Ministry for Primary Industries, we will hear from our Australian counterparts on their experience to help us understand the potential impact for our industry,” says Karin Kos, Apiculture New Zealand chief executive and member of the conference steering committee.

The conference has attracted leading international speakers including Randy Oliver, renowned researcher and Northern Californian commercial beekeeper. Oliver will speak on international beekeeping trends, bringing his unique perspective on the changing times for beekeeping.

The conference will also hear from Dr Yves Le Conte, Director of the French National Bee Lab (l’Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, INRA), at Avignon. Dr Le Conte’s lab has collaborated with others to define the natural resistance of bees to pathogens and mites, especially varroa.

Each brings a wealth of knowledge on their chosen subjects, something those involved in the beekeeping and honey industry will not want to miss in the three day event from July 9 to 11.

Last year, more than 1200 apiculture enthusiasts attended the national conference at the Energy Events Centre, on the shores of Lake Rotorua, with similar numbers expected this year. Hobbyist and commercial beekeepers, honey packers and anyone with an interest in apiculture from all around the country have registered their attendance.

Kos says as the industry continues to grow so does the popularity and size of the conference.

“Ours is a multi-million dollar a year-plus industry and this conference will be a chance for delegates and stakeholders to discuss some of the big picture issues and opportunities facing the sector.”

As well as the vast amount of knowledge and information available from presenters, the conference also supports a substantial “Trade Buzz” exhibition, with over 120 industry stands, something not to be missed.

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