Apiculture NZ says the future focus of the industry is finding markets for what is seen as a glut of honey.
Karin Kos, Apiculture NZ chief executive, says beekeepers in the Auckland region thought because they were classed as an essential industry during the first lockdown that they would have no trouble moving through the police checkpoints. However, this wasn’t the case.
Kos says it turned out that they had to apply for special exemptions from the Ministry of Health to get in or out of Auckland and it took about a week for these permits to materialise. She says the Ministry for Primary Industries was very helpful and managed to facilitate the permits.
“But it did take a week and fair amount of work to get the exemption in place,” Kos told Rural News.
“We had beekeepers who had hives over the border and coming out of winter they needed to check that the bees were okay, well fed and ready for the honey season. They weren’t able to get to them.”
Kos says now that they have worked through the process in Auckland, Apiculture NZ hopes that this will mean that in any future lockdowns there won’t be the same hassles.