10,000 Town Hall bees make sweet honey
VIPs to receive Mayor's Town Hall honeyROB KIDD
The fact Mayor Len Brown keeps 10,000 girls in a "special place" at the Auckland Town Hall is not quite as scandalous as it sounds.
In 2010 the National Beekeepers' Association gifted hives to Auckland Council, which sit above the top floor, and this year saw the second annual honey harvest.
The town hall's set up is one of a handful of "sentinel hives" which are regularly checked for honeybee parasites, so that any incursion can be swiftly eradicated.
At the moment there are about 10,000 bees living on the roof - most of which are female - but in summer their numbers will swell to about five times that.
One man who does particularly well out of the arrangement is Brown.
This morning he received 28 jars of the "Auckland Town Hall Honey" as a civic gift, most of which he will re-gift to visiting dignitaries.
He could not resist cracking one open though.
"I'm more of a marmalade than a honey guy," he said. "But it's bloody good honey."
It is National Bee Week and International Federation of Beekeepers Oceania president Maureen Maxwell was on hand for the presentation and to push the message of how important it is to have a healthy bee community.
"The honey's just the icing on the cake but really it's about the pollination," she said.
With declining bee numbers around the world she said it was important people took the issue seriously.
It is understood without bees, two thirds of the country's food production would be wiped out.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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