Beekeeping in New Zealand
Today is May 20th, which means that it is World Bee Day! This year we will be celebrating with an infographic map detailing the prevalence of beekeeping in the nation of New Zealand. The map has been compiled and designed using the Avenza MAPublisher extension for Adobe Illustrator.
What is Beekeeping?
Beekeeping, also known as apiculture, is the maintenance of bee colonies by humans, commonly in man-made hives. Beekeeping results in the creation of many products in our lives such as beeswax, royal jelly, and many different types of honey.
Why do we celebrate World Bee Day?
World Bee Day was first celebrated in 2018, after being proposed by Slovenia to the United Nations in prior years. May 20th is the birthdate of the pioneer of beekeeping Anton Janša, who was born in Carniola in 1734, which was a region that falls within present-day Slovenia.
The purpose of World Bee Day is to celebrate the importance of bees and other pollinators to many aspects of the world’s ecosystems and economies. They are responsible for the pollination of many crops, with nearly ⅓ of every spoonful of food we eat depending upon pollinators. This makes bees a very important part of the agricultural industries, and therefore the economies of many countries.
With many pesticides and other chemicals negatively contributing to the health of the world bee populations, it is crucial to raise awareness and promote care when creating agricultural and other environmental policies and processes.
Beekeeping in New Zealand
New Zealand is one of the top 20 countries ranked by total number of beehives, with over 835,000 registered beehives. The organization Apiculture New Zealand, or ApiNZ, was created in 2016 to support, advocate for and benefit the apiculture industry of the country. Membership is voluntary and consists of about 2500 beekeepers.
New Zealand produces many different types of honey, including population variations such as mānuka honey. The story map we have created using MAPublisher locates the 23 known beekeeping clubs across New Zealand, as well as highlights some interesting facts about beekeeping in the island nation. All in all, beekeeping is an important part of the New Zealand economy and agriculture industry.
Fun Facts About Bees
Here are a couple fun facts you might not know about bees and how important it is to continue protecting them:
- Did you know that nearly 90% of wild plants and 75% of leading global crops depend on pollination from bees and other pollinators? It’s true! Crops that are dependent on pollination are five times more valuable than those that are not.
- If you find a bee that appears to be struggling, you can gently place it on a bee-friendly flower. If there are none around, you can provide it with energy by giving it a couple drops of a 1:1 solution of white sugar and water.
- India is the country with the most registered beehives, with over 12.2 million beehives as of 2020!