Beekeeping in the Hills of Wellington – We talk to Jim Hepburn – KM125

This is Episode One Hundred and twenty five of our beekeeping podcast. This week we are talking to Jim Hepburn from Wellington in New Zealand. We are Gary and Margaret, we love Honey bees, we are kiwimana and we are Beekeepers who live in the Waitakere Ranges, on the Wild West coast of Auckland, in New Zealand. kiwimana is a place where the beekeeping community can share a conversation and connect and in this episode we talk to Jim from the hills of Wellington. ..we also – as if that wasn’t enough – build and sell beekeeping supplies, we teach beginner Beekeepers and provide beekeeper services and advice. And we are the “beesknees” Club, Facebook group Great to have you joining us, we know life is busy for you so we appreciate that you have taken the time to join us today – thanks so much for beeing part of the kiwimana buzz,


This podcast was made possible thanks to our Patrons, especially this month we would like to thank

Trish Stretton

Trish has been supporting the kiwimana buzz since April 2018 She is enjoying her new coffee cup, as part of the Supporter Reward program 🙂 Thanks for your support!!! This show was Recorded in March 2018


This week we talk to Jim Hepburn who keeps bees up on the hill near Wellington with his partner Jill (Unfortunately who couldn’t join us today). We learn how Jim and Jill deal with the Wellington winds and how they manage to keep bees while also travelling for work. Jim and Jill are good friends who we met when we used do geocaching many years ago.

Here is what you will discover (Now with Times!!!)

  • What do you love about Beekeeping? 00:03:04
  • How long ago did you get started in Beekeeping? 00:03:23
  • How did Jim and Jill Meet they mentors 00:05:00
  • Keeping Bees on the side of a hill 00:07:31
  • Has your previous Farming Experience helped you keep bees? 00:09:40
  • How was your season last year? 00:12:36
  • What is the benefit of keeping Records 00:13:23
  • Native Termites Arrive every year 00:14:45
  • What does Jim and Jill use Butterfly nets for?00:15:47
  • How did Jim manage wasps last season 00:16:24
  • What other Benefits does Record Keeping give Jim and JIll? 00:18:17
  • Does Jim have any trouble with the Wellington Winds? 00:20:12
  • Did Jim get his Honey Tested for manuka this season 00:23:30
  • Was Jim’s honey Tested for Tutin this Year? 00:24:38
  • What is the name of Beekeeping Club Jim goes too? 00:26:01
  • What’s the biggest mistake Jim sees new Beekeepers Making? 00:27:40
  • What is the time commitment in keeping two hives? 00:29:21
  • Do you think keeping bees has changed you guys? 00:31:01
  • What are Jim’s Plan for Next Season? 00:33:58
  • How does Jim Winter Down his Hives 00:35:45
  • Any Tips on storing Gear over winter? 00:37:01
  • Key Learnings of the Show 00:40:41

Resources mentioned in the show

  • What is Geocaching?
  • The Wellington Beekeeper club is HERE
  • Wasp Killer that Jim used last Season is – Vespex
  • Our interview with Frank Lindsay is HERE
  • Tansy Plant (Tanacetum vulgare) to inhibit Wax Moth, find out more HERE
  • Jim and Jill got their honey tested at Analytica
  • Contact Jim and Jill here HERE

After Show

Key Learnings

  • No matter where you live, you can adapt your environment to keep bees.
  • Keeping Records really Helps you plan your next season
  • Always ask yourself why we are opening up the hive?
  • Jim and Jill use Tansy Plant (Tanacetum vulgare) to inhibit Wax Moth when storing frames.

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