How much are our bees worth?

Last updated 16:21 01/08/2014

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Bees are worth $5.1 billion to the New Zealand economy each year, a report to Parliament says.

The report into the health of our bees by the primary production select committee reported the estimated economic value of bees.

The value of clover pollination for the dairy industry was $1.5b. The export value of horticultural products for 2012/13 was $3.5b, the report says.

New Zealand is also an exporter of bees, thanks to the quality of our bee stock, with exports of $4.4 million in the year to June 2013.

But all is not well with bees.

Beekeeper numbers are rising, but "colony numbers over the last decade have increased despite reports of increasing losses from unexplained causes, which may have been masked by beekeepers dividing colonies faster to replace them".

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