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Manage your bees

​Food and water for bees

A food source of nectar and pollen is important for bee nutrition.

Without suitable food sources, bees can starve or become weak and less able to resist diseases and pests.

Provide fresh water for the bees you keep on your property.

Our tip

You can find information on bee-friendly plants on the Trees for Bees NZ website.

Syrup is an acceptable alternative to nectar and pollen if there is a seasonal shortage in the natural food source on your property.

Manage flight paths of bees

Bees will fly at head height for some distance from their hives unless their surrounding environment directs their flight path upwards.

Bees can be encouraged to fly above head height if you place a flyway barrier 1-2m from the hive entrance.

Barriers you can use to direct a flight path include:

  • shrubs or trees
  • a wall
  • a hedge
  • a fence.

Do not direct flight paths across public pathways on private and public land.

Manage bee excrement

Where you place hives is important for minimising nuisance to neighbours.

Bees often excrete after they leave the hive and this can be within a 500m radius.

Position hives in a way to avoid excrement dropping on neighbouring washing lines, vehicles and buildings.

Prevent overcrowding of bees

Bees forage in a radius of up to 5km from the hive.

Too many bees in a single area can cause competition between honeybee colonies.

You can prevent overcrowding by managing the number of hives in an area, in relation to the quantity of food sources.

Need to know more about bees?

For advice on how to comply with the Animal Management Bylaw, contact your local beekeeping club or  Apiculture New Zealand.

You can get further information on beekeeping from the Apiculture New Zealand website.

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