New Zealand Mānuka Group and Northern Life have recently announced a joint venture agreement to form a beekeeping partnership. The venture not only boosts our total hive numbers but is also a helping hand into the Northland region where large tracts of land are abundant in Mānuka trees.
Hein Wait, our national beekeeping manager, has been leading the development of this new venture with Northern Life and explains the focus of the operation will be in servicing the Northland region.
“This is a major and important move for our operations as we have never operated in the Northland region before so Northern Life is effectively giving us a boost into this area as well as the creation of our first own in-house Queen division,” explains Hein.
Northern Life has a Queen division as part of their operation which is to be included in the new joint venture. This is a significant benefit for our national beekeeping operations as it means New Zealand Mānuka Group will now have first pick of the Queens as they become available.
Weather dependent, Hein is expecting to be able to increase the New Zealand Mānuka Group total hive numbers for this year’s season. The operation is to be supported with the success they are having with using the new bee nutrition formula, KōBEE.
“Obviously our ability to increase hive numbers depends on how well they have survived the winter but so far the bees are looking good, especially since we have begun adding KōBEE to their feed.
“The feed supplement is already making a big difference to our hives – there are more eggs and larger brood sizes. It appears to stimulate the Queen so she is laying more and we haven’t seen any of the Nosema virus which can appear at this time of year.”
Despite a late start to the season, thanks to a very cold and wet spring, Hein is still confident this year will be much better than last season, which he says was one of the worst seasons that he has ever encountered nationwide.
“We are all gearing up for it being a better season this year,” says Hein. “We are visiting our land blocks and making sure ensure optimal stocking rates. As we go into the flow and the hives are healthy and strong, we will know we are halfway there already.”
In the meantime, everyone is watching and waiting for the weather to clear so the team can get on with the job of beekeeping. A few dry days each week through spring and a warm summer is all we are hoping for now.
New Zealand Mānuka Group is proud to help sponsor a group of 19 secondary school students from Te Kura Mana Māori o Whangaparāoa, Cape Runaway, East Cape, are heading off on the trip of a lifetime to retrace the footsteps of their ancestors who fought in both B & C Company of the 28th Maori Battalion.
Over two years of fundraising, planning and studying is finally coming to fruition for 19 secondary school students, three teachers and six parents who will be following the footsteps of their tipuna (“ancestors”), to pay their respect to those who fought in Greece and Crete.
“This trip will be a real eye-opener for some of our students as for a few this will be their first time on a big plane,” says tour organiser and principal of Te Kura Mana Maori o Whangaparaoa, Tuihana Pook.
The students have been researching the region, the climate, the people, their culture as well as the war cemeteries in both Greece and Crete.
Tuihana explains further, “As mokopuna (“children”) of Te Whanau-ā- Apanui, our trip will give us the opportunity to see and hear about how soldiers, from our iwi as well as iwi throughout New Zealand, dedicated their lives in both the Battle of Greece and the Battle of Crete so we would have the freedom we have today.”
New Zealand Mānuka Group is just one of the many sponsors who have contributed to this important journey and learning experience for our children. Potikirua Incorporation, Te Piki 10, Whangaparaoa 1B2B10, Iwiroa 7 & 9, Pauanui, Tawaroa, Whakaari Beekeepers Ltd, Te Puni Kokiri, Whangaparaoa 2L, Oruati 2B, Te Kaha 2B, Raekahu, Maungaroa 3B, are some of the Land Trusts and Incorporations to whom the parents and students are most grateful.
The Board of Trustees of Te Kura Mana Māori o Whangaparāoa and the students themselves have also made significant contributions towards this trip-of-a-lifetime.
“We fly out on 27th September and will have a one night stopover in Bangkok then continue our journey via Dubai before reaching our final destination in Athens, Greece,” says Tuihana. “We return via Dubai and arrive in Auckland on Oct 11th.”
Everyone here at New Zealand Mānuka Group wish them safe travels and will share photos and updates with you on our social media and website soon.
Each year, a group of our beekeepers and beekeeping partners compete in the East Coast Rugby Union Competition which is one of the premier events in the region. NZ Manuka Group and Pakura Beekeeping have proudly sponsored the team’s shirts, gear and away game travel costs.
Pakura Beekeeping manager and spokesperson for the team, Mark O’Brien explained what a great season the boys have had this year, “TVC won most their games throughout the season so were strong going into the competition.”
The team were up against Hikurangi for the final who were also a strong contender for the win. However, it came down to penalty time and a last minute goal kick for TVC to secure the competition.
“At half time the score was 7-5 then 14-14 at full time,” says Mark of the nail-biting finish. “The game went into extra time of 10mins each way which took the score up to 21 all when TVC got a final penalty to secure the game at 24-21.”
It was by far one of the most exciting games of the season with the whole community getting behind the game. To win the competition is a fantastic result for everyone involved and supporting the boys playing. And of course, the players are all thrilled with their win too.
The 2017 Mitre 10 Heartland Championship is the twelfth season of the second tier of New Zealand domestic competition. The tournament boasts twelve unions throughout the country, all of who are contributors to the catchment areas of the New Zealand Investec Super Rugby franchises.