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Info Request from South Africa

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Thank you for the opportunity to be part of your discussions on here.


I am a farmer from South Africa, and part of my farming include beekeeping, but on a fairly small scale, unfortunately. I currently manage about 100 hives of Scutellata (African Honey Bee).


I am however considering emigrating to beautiful New Zealand! 

And Yes, I do know this site nor its subscribers are here to facilitate or assist emigration, and thats not what Im on here for. 

I would like to find out if becoming a full time beekeeper in New Zealand is still a prospect for a foreigner?

How many hives make being a fulltime beekeeper financially sensible?

If I only want to be in honey production, which area are best? 
Due to the nature of our bees here, all work must be done after sunset and before sunrise, I assume bees in NZ are not as aggressive?

Is the general health of bees in NZ good, or do you have to treat various symptoms?

Is the Nz government supportive of beekeepers?

Apologies for such random questions, but these are just some that I have, hope to hear from you guys! 

Warm regards




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What you won't want to hear is that in general the NZ honey industry has seen better days.

Honey prices except high grade Manuka are in many cases below the cost of production, inventories of unsold honey are high.

Every man and his dog chase Manuka areas, there is great competition for them.

There are more beekeepers and bees in NZ at present than ever before, a universal complaint is overcrowding  and unethical dumping of beeyards all over the neighbour's patch.

 I can't imagine any commercials on here who would encourage you to move here with beekeeping plans.

Edited by yesbut
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Agreed @yesbut .....  good information there Bro.


As I may have commented times before, when I started the bee journey one of the first things I learnt was that locality is everything.

A poor beekeeper will make an average living in a good area.

A good beekeeper will go broke in a poor area.


If I was a world traveller looking to start in this day and age, I'd look for an area with room for expansion and good crops.

West Australia springs to mind. Canada too.


But if you seek lifestyle on the smell of an oily rag ......then perhaps you may find it here in NZ.


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