Love for bees keeps keeper abuzz
'Honey is a super-food'AL WILLIAMS
The sweet taste of honey is more than a buzz for Pareora's Amanda Bisset.
Beekeeping is something some might shy away from for obvious reasons but a sting or two has not stopped her.
Ms Bisset has a regular supply of the sweet stuff and swears by its natural benefits.
She discovered a passion for beekeeping while studying horticulture.
She keeps several hives on a Blue Cliffs farm but it was no easy road getting set up. The first swarm of bees came as a surprise - unfortunately to her sister.
"I bought some second-hand bee hives and had them delivered to my sister's house in Christchurch.
"She rang me in a frantic panic; bees had started swarming."
So Ms Bisset hit the road, headed to Christchurch, boxed the hives up and headed back home.
Her children, she says, are huge fans of the honey which she uses to keep winter bugs away.
"Honey is a natural anti-viral, antifungal and antibacterial product; it's a super food."
She is, however, concerned about the plight of the bees.
Those concerns will be shared by the National Beekeepers' Association this week in a nationwide campaign aimed at protecting New Zealand bees.
"Love Our Kiwi Bees" will draw attention to several threats facing bee populations worldwide.
Those include the varroa mite, pesticides and a decline in sources of pollen and nectar.
Beekeepers around New Zealand will be lobbying local government to use bee-friendly spraying policies in public gardens and alongside roadsides and waterways.
They will be also asked to plant bee-friendly trees and flowers.
Ms Bisset agrees with the move.
"I think people need to be more aware that bees are not a threat to us; we need them in order to produce fruit and vegetables.
"People need to be more aware of the chemicals they are using in their gardens.
"They could encourage our bee population by planting bee-friendly plants."
- © Fairfax NZ News