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This Organisation Will Set You Up with a Beehive and Then Give You the Honey

And you can win your own beehive for a year.
By Stephen Heard
September 14, 2020
By Stephen Heard
September 14, 2020

New Zealand has a relatively healthy bee population due to the diverse native flora and abundance of bee pasture flowers. However, our bees are constantly under threat from pesticides and various diseases.

Coordinated by Apiculture New Zealand, Bee Aware Month is a nationwide celebration of bees and their importance to our ecosystem. The initiative also offers steps to help bees at home. While there are things you can do to help bees thrive, like planting herbaceous flowers and leaving shallow dishes of water so they can rehydrate, you can also host your own urban beehive and help increase the population.

Auckland couple Jessie Baker and Luke Whitfield have been urban beekeepers for eight years. Their company Bees Up Top is a charitable organisation which rescues bees swarms from exterminators and then re-homes them in urban areas. Their aim is to increase New Zealand's bee population, as well as educate Kiwis about the importance of bees to our ecosystem and our economy.

Bees Up Top sets up your new resident bees in a yellow and white hive. The pair make monthly inspections of your bees to make sure they are healthy and free of disease. Then, once the bees have made enough honey, they extract it and return it to you in labelled jars — which can range from five to 14 kilograms of honey per year, depending on your subscription.

80 percent of proceeds from the service goes back into helping to rescue more bees by building them warm hives and treating them for diseases. To show their support during Bee Aware Month, New Zealand's largest producer of mānuka honey, Comvita, is providing Auckland residents the chance to win a Bees Up Top beehive for a year.

For more information about Bee Aware Month, visit

Published on September 14, 2020 by Stephen Heard
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