Bees around the world are in trouble. A world without bees would be a very bleak place
indeed. Much of our food depends on pollination by bees as do our gardens and a lot of
other products we rely on. Over $5 billion of New Zealand agricultural exports also depend
Bee numbers worldwide are in decline and we must do all that we can to protect them.
Bees are being attacked by a number of major pests and diseases. There are also suffering
from a decline in nutritional forage for bees. Nutritional stress is considered to be one of the
main factors behind large-scale bee losses. Lack of food also compromises the bees’
resistance to pests and diseases. Another major problem are pesticides and sprays which
harm bees in a number of ways.
While New Zealand bees are not as threatened as bees in other countries, events like Bee
Aware Month are crucial to raising public awareness to prevent similar losses occurring
How can we help?
One of the best things we can do is make sure there is enough food for our kiwi bees. We
can do this by planting ‘bee friendly’ plants; in our gardens, on our farms, in our public
gardens and even along our roadsides. For a list of bee friendly plants go to
We can also be careful how we use pesticides in our gardens. Try to avoid using any
chemical sprays in your gardens at all. But if you have to spray make sure it is in the late
evening after bees have gone to bed. Don’t spray while plants are flowering and avoid
spraying plants that you see bees feeding on. You can also check the labels on garden
sprays and avoid products containing neonicotinoids.
New Bee Ambassador
New Zealand bees and beekeepers have a new ally! Celebrity free range cook, Annabel
Langbein, has joined the NBA as an ambassador for bees. Annabel will be supporting the
NBA by using her profile to draw attention to the importance and plight of bees.
The National Beekeepers Association is the main advocate for bees in New Zealand. The
NBA wants to raise money for research that will help bees. You will be able donate during