Beekeeping in the Hawkes Bay with Beekeeper John Berry – KM142

This is Episode One hundred and forty two of our beekeeping show – Beekeeping in the Hawkes Bay with Beekeeper John Berry.

Kiwimana are beekeepers from the hills of the Waitakere Ranges on the wild west coast of Auckland in the North Island of New Zealand.

We produce and sell beekeeping equipment, provide Beekeeper services and education.

The interview was recorded in March 2019.

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Trish Stretton, Lisa Morrissey, Nathan Buzzinga Beekeeping, Barbara Weber, Christopher Brown and Greg Parr.


John Berry is a third generation beekeeper and worked in the family Business “Arataki Honey” before starting his own business “Berry Bees” with his brother Peter. He now produces comb-honey for the Hawkes Bay Farmers Market.

Further Reading on topics mentioned in the show

2015 – An interview with John’s Father “Ian Berry” is HERE

2011 – Beekeepers fire up over outbreak

2016 – John Berry: Buzz off, you beekeeping bandits

2019 – Beekeepers say there’s not enough food for all hives as more and more are created

Beekeepers worried there's not enough food for ever-increasing hives

2019 – Corporate interests stinging local beekeepers

Arataki Honey website is HERE

Gary’s Key Takeaways

Gary’s four major Takeaways from this interview

  1. There is only so many flowers to go around
  2. The Biggest long term problem in New Zealand is Varroa Mites
  3. Bees are affected by varroa mites before you see any signs of PMS
  4. If you don’t have the time to help your bees at the time it needs doing then you shouldn’t be keeping bees

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Show Times

  • What do you love about beekeeping? 00:02:00
  • What happened to the clover this year? 00:02:59
  • How did John get started in Beekeeping? 00:03:28
  • How did Arataki Honey get started 00:03:45
  • What would John tell his younger self 00:06:06
  • Do you have a funny beekeeping experience that you would like to share? 00:10:31
  • What can we do about AFB in New Zealand 00:12:19
  • The Honey levy proposed by Apiculture New Zealand 00:16:29
  • What does John think about the overstocking of hives in the Hawkes Bay? 00:18:12
  • What’s the biggest issue facing beekeeping In the Hawkes Bay? 00:20:05
  • John work with VSH Queens 00:22:13
  • John is a Comb Honey Specialist producer 00:23:10
  • What does John use to Control Mites 00:24:46
  • John’s mites showed signs of resistance to Bayvarol Strips 00:25:00
  • John is going to try Oxalic acid 00:27:30
  • Treated Bees produce more Honey 00:29:29
  • What’s the biggest mistake you see a lot of new beekeepers making? 00:30:21
  • Is monitoring varroa mites a good idea? 00:31:15
  • Has Varroa benefited New Zealand Beekeeping? 00:34:30
  • Will Feral Bees return to New Zealand? 00:35:34
  • Why do bees turn nasty 00:37:59
  • Our Bees are designed to have a winter 00:41:00
  • Does the Hawkes Bay have a lot of wasps? 00:42:11
  • What are John’s plans for the coming season? 00:43:56
  • Is overstocking because of Manuka? 00:45:49
  • The pollination of clover is being threatened 00:46:40
  • The price of manuka sites is getting stupid 00:50:12
  • The Manuka Crop was zero this year in the HB 00:51:07
  • What does John think of the new Manuka Standard 00:54:20

Media Credits

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