Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology's new beekeeping course has already created a buzz in Tauranga and Whakatāne so this year it's being offered in Rotorua.

The course was so popular at the Tauranga and Whakatāne campuses that the institute will offer the course at its Waipa campus in Rotorua with a July intake.

At the same time, another intake will be open for students at Tauranga's Windermere campus.

Primary Industry Group Manager Shelley Rose said the decision to add another study location to the mix was also to give those in Rotorua with an interest in apiculture a chance to learn about beekeeping.


"Apiculture is a programme that is very popular so we have decided to rotate it around between campuses so that everyone gets an opportunity to participate in a class close to home."

Course tutor Omar Martinez. Photo / Supplied
Course tutor Omar Martinez. Photo / Supplied

The subject will be taught by tutor and expert apiarist Omar Martinez and the course for the July intake will run until April 2020.

Martinez said honey and beekeeping was big business in New Zealand and this course would give students the basics they needed to start out in the industry.

"By the end of it students will have their beehive they build up with bees, bee suit, hive tool, smoker and gloves.

"Once they finish this programme they will be able to work under limited supervision in a commercial beekeeping operation, or independently in a small scale operation or a lifestyle option."

The course will cover the basics of beekeeping including how to maintain, manipulate and operate beehives to produce quality products and pollination services as well as knowledge in helping transport beehives and bee products and establish hives in new sites.

Students will be required to carry out beehive disease management plans, take care of apiculture equipment, understand procedures for checking hives, and be able to construct and repair hives.

They will learn about bee lifecycle and behaviour, bee nutrition and feeding, bee fodder crops, including toxic plant risk, tutu and tutin contamination risks, re-queening hives, swarm control, wintering down beehives and wintering maintenance of beehives.