Monday, 04 July 2016 09:55

Beekeepers unite under one flag

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Federated Farmers bee industry group chairman John Hartnell (pictured) applauds the move. Federated Farmers bee industry group chairman John Hartnell (pictured) applauds the move.

All beekeepers will be now represented by Apiculture New Zealand.

Since 2002, either Federated Farmers' bee industry group or National Beekeepers Association have represented NZ apiarists.

A nine-member ApiNZ board was elected at the beekeeper organisation's annual meeting last week.

Federated Farmers bee industry group chairman John Hartnell applauds the move as great news for the apiculture industry, whose exports are forecast to exceed $300 million this year.

"This new approach brings everyone together, strengthens the voice of the industry to government and promotes research and work in industry best practice.

"With 5000 people engaged in apiculture in NZ there's potential for the industry to be worth $1 billion per year."

Federated Farmers' national president Dr William Rolleston says it's now time for the industry to move forward.

"The industry in NZ has matured to a point where [the unified] body is justified. Federated Farmers is pleased to have helped the industry for 14 years, supporting its transition.

"The bee industry group has done a marvellous job promoting the importance of a strong and healthy bee population.

"Educating our members has been a priority for the group; for example, the Trees for Bees project to enable bees to gather quality pollen and nectar raised awareness of the importance of bees to the primary industry."

Rolleston says Feds hopes many beekeepers will remain members of the organisation.

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