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New programme for primary industry skills offers focus on beekeeping.

The free Level 2 New Zealand Certificate in Primary Industry Skills – Apiculture programme is designed for backyard beekeepers or anyone curious about the industry.

Dion Mundy, apiculture tutor at NMIT Te Pūkenga in Marlborough, says the programme covers a range of subjects and applications are open now.

“We cover skills such as safe handling of bees and how to control the grass and weeds around the hives as well as sharpening tools and maintaining small motors,” says Dion.

He says the programme will also teach ākonga (students) health and safety aspects, beehive construction, understanding bee biology and the legal requirements for owning bees and producing honey.

“According to the Marlborough District Council, you can keep bees on your property as long as they don’t cause a nuisance,” Dion says.

Correct placement of the hive is crucial- as Dion explains bees have a waxy poop which doesn’t go down too well on clean washing hanging out on a line.

“Bees also don’t swim well,” he says. “We teach you how to create ideal water sources for bees.”

The practical requirement of the programme will enable learners to extract honey using campus facilities.

“The programme is designed to be fun, engaging and a great introduction to the world of beekeeping,” says Dion.

Dion is also a member of the Marlborough Beekeeper’s Association.

“If you’re interested in beekeeping, then join the club, get a mentor and sign up to study at NMIT,” he says.

The apiculture strand of this programme is one of several at NMIT that offer transferrable primary industry skills. Others include sustainable horticulture, viticulture and logistics and distribution.


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