Going into the winter season, one of the biggest concerns facing beekeepers nationwide is the health of their bees which essentially dictates the strength of the hive. Under the guidance of our newly appointed National Beekeeping Manager, Hein Watt, our beekeepers are using a ground-breaking bee nutrition formula which is effectively seeing our bees going into winter stronger and healthier than ever before.
“We’ve implemented a feeding programme where we are feeding the hives on a 3-4 week cycle depending on their accessibility,” explains Hein. “We have been trialling the Kōbee supplement and the bees are going absolutely crazy for it!”
“Our goal is to ensure our bees get all the amino acids, essential minerals and trace elements they need going into the winter season so that we have stronger and healthier hives going into spring which means we have happy, healthy bees.”
Hein has also been spearheading a national Hive Management Programme which will effectively ensure company-wide uniformity of all beekeeping activities on a seasonal basis. The focus of the programme is particularly around minimising Varroa but also ensuring all beekeepers know how to correctly identify American Foul Brood, and the steps to take if they do find it in their hives.
“We are putting all our beekeepers through a refresher course to ensure they comply with the Disease Elimination & Conformity Agreement (DECA),” continues Hein. “This includes a mini exam to verify that they are able to check for and identify American Foul Brood.”
Another important aspect of the Hive Management Programme is an annual planning meeting each winter for everyone to exchange ideas and their knowledge from the season just gone as well as agree to the activities in place to ensure stronger, healthier hives for the next season.
Hein is already enthusiastic about the results he is seeing and feeling positive about the health of their hives going into the winter season, “With the bee feeding we are doing and our Hive Management programme, our bees and hives are going into winter looking really good and very strong.”
Our product development team at New Zealand Mānuka Seaweeds has been incredibly busy this past year, having just launched the luscious Kōlush Garden Mulch range they are now undertaking in-market trials with a brand new range of bee nutrition product called Kōbee.
Kōbee is the culmination of extensive research and development alongside our beekeeping partners who have been monitoring and giving essential feedback on our unique formula bee nutrition supplement. This proprietary concentrate contains mixed seaweeds each providing essential amino acids, minerals and trace elements for optimum bee and hive health.
When added to the normal sucrose feed for the hive, Kōbee provides a much wider range of nutrients aiding gut health and giving our bees the best boost to prevent and fight off disease as well as being more resilient through seasonal changes or challenging environmental changes.
New Zealand Mānuka Seaweeds is our Opotiki-based seaweed processing company with a second, newly built facility now also operating in Masterton. Through this business we create and distribute naturally sourced Mānuka and seaweed products to enhance the nutrition, growth and productivity of plants, pastures and bees.
While our Kōbee Bee Nutrition range will not be available until later in the year, we will keep you posted on our progress and developments with this exciting new supplement which will soon be available to beekeepers nationwide.
This is just one more exciting innovation which demonstrates how our business is more than just honey.