Summertime and humble honeybee


Just as we look forward to the arrival of longer days and warmer weather, so too do the bees. We talked to Barna Szocs, owner of rent-a-hive company Tiaki Bees, about bee activity in the summer months.

Continue reading

Bees are the pillars of our food-system and it’s high time we started taking note.

Tiaki Bees Barna

Bees are the pillars of our food-system and it’s high time we started taking note

February 2022

There is a rather alarming statistic doing the rounds at the moment.

One in three bites of food is dependent on bees.

While true, however, the science behind this number is much more complex.

Tiaki Bees Barna

Barna Szocs, owner of local rent-a-hive company Tiaki Bees, says that although a compelling fact, these little pollinators are far more important than you would first believe. “Bees are quite literally the pillars of our ecosystem. Where there are no bees, there is no biodiversity, plant pollination or growth. Bees not only pollinate the crops we eat, but the crops our animals eat. And these plants, in turn, provide a global food supply, produce oxygen, prevent soil erosion and help absorb Co2 – and around it goes,” Szocs said.

Pollinators not only ensure the abundance of food, but also the variety and quality. The more a fruit or vegetable is pollinated, the more ‘effort’ the plant puts into growing it resulting in riper, more nutritious produce that is essential for our health. Bees can even be directly linked to the production of biofuels, cotton, linen fibers and medicines. In fact, the majority of flowering species will only flourish if insect pollinators move pollen, and without it, many species and their interconnected ecosystems would collapse.

It would be logical to assume that an abundance of happy bees would make for an abundance of happy plants, but Szocs says pollination has always been taken for granted.

“The rapid urbanisation of once-rural areas is threatening the habitat of our bees, and with it, our food system and health as we know it. Humans need to understand that pollination doesn’t just happen as it used to anymore. We need to give the bees a helping hand, and that’s what we do here at Tiaki, ” Szocs said.

The Tiaki Bees premise is simple, they provide carefully crafted hives, the education and the work while you receive the honey and contribute to our ecosystem. Only one square metre is needed – meaning that even those in the heart of suburbia can participate.

The hope is that by increasing the number of bees throughout our residential neighborhoods, we are returning the days of old, improving the quantity, quality and vibrancy of our food, and ensuring we regain the biodiversity that is so vital to our future.

Want to learn more, or host your very own hive?
Get in touch with Tiaki Bees, Hive Rental & Pollination Services

Phone: +64 21 090 75375 / 0800 LOVE BEES

Six reasons why honey is a powerful superfood.

Six reasons why honey is a powerful superfood.

2 December 2021

For centuries humans have drawn on the benefits of raw honey to improve our health and wellbeing. Here are six reasons why we at Tiaki truly believe in the liquid gold we produce.

  • It is a huge source of antioxidants. Plant chemicals contained within raw honey are known as polyphenols and act as strong antioxidants helping to prevent free radical damage. Free radicals contribute to the aging process and the acceleration of many chronic diseases
  • It can be used on open wounds and burns. Honey has been (and continues to be) used in both traditional and plant medicine to aid in tissue regeneration and wound cleaning. Multiple studies show it accelerates healing time and reduces the risk of infection.
  • It has proven antibacterial and antifungal properties. Raw honey naturally contains hydrogen peroxide, which is an antiseptic. Thus, honey can kill unwanted bacteria and fungus.
  • It can soothe a sore throat. Feel a touch of seasonal sickness coming on? Honey is an age-old remedy for coughs, colds and sore throats. And has been proven as effective at suppressing a cough as most common over the counter cough medications.
  • It is a great digestive tonic. Raw honey has been proven to kill the Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria, a common cause of stomach ulcers and is often thought to ease diarrhea; it is also a prebiotic that nourishes good intestinal bacteria – essential for robust digestive health.
  • It is full of phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are plant compounds that give the honey it’s superior antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Phytonutirents are also shown to have immune boosting and anticancer benefits.
Keen to produce your own liquid gold? Please get in touch!

Busy Bees – Spring time is a hive of activity

Busy Bees – Spring time is a hive of activity

15 November 2021

Spring has well and truly sprung around our region and you’ve likely noticed a surge in honeybee activity with the change in season. The worker bees have emerged from their hive and can be spotted flying from blossom to blossom, foraging for food like nectar and pollen, while helping to pollinate flowers, fruit trees, vegetables and other plants along the way.

During springtime, Barna is busy checking in on all the Tiaki Bees hives across the Southern Lakes, making sure everyone is healthy and that the hive is buzzing as it should be. Spring is a particularly busy season for the bees too – as they’re focused on replenishing their food stores after a long winter inside – and it’s the time of year where new worker bees are born.

Spring starts off with a health check of each colony because bees can get sick just like the rest of us and it is important to make sure everything is in order. We also treat for the varroa mite, that may have had the chance to multiply in the hive during winter.

Once we are happy with the general health of our bees, we start feeding the hives so as to stimulate the Queen to start laying eggs and build up the colonie for the upcoming busy season. Queens have one of the most important roles as they are responsible for laying eggs (about 1,500 to 2,000 eggs each day) and making sure that the colony is strong and healthy. If the health of the Queen bee declines so is the health of the rest of the colony. This is why in spring we also introduce new, young queens if we see that it is necessary to do so.

However, a hive can also be too strong, and some of us might have seen some swarms during this time of the year. When there are too many bees in a hive, the colony decides to make a new queen and half of the hive will leave with the old queen to find a new home. We had to split some of our stronger hives (making two hives from one) in order to avoid this phenomenon, and also managed to rehome some swarms that we caught around the area.

So spring is busy for us beekeepers, but is a very exciting time as we see our older colonies re-emerging and new colonies being created. We are now looking forward to going into the summer with healthy and happy bees that are ready for the even busier times ahead.

Hosting Hives: Tiaki Bees features in QT Magazine

Hosting Hives

Hosting hives has been becoming more popular in urban areas, such as New York and Sydney for some time. Barna, Wanaka beekeeper and owner of Tiaki Bees, is now making hive rental accessible in the Southern Lakes and QT Magazine took some time out to interview Barna and publish more about this venture in the Autumn Edition of their magazine.

Continue reading

The story behind each spoonful of honey

How do bees make honey

February to March is the best time to harvest honey in the South Island of New Zealand. Find out more about bees, for instance: How much honey does an individual bee make? Which bees make honey? And why is honey so special?

Continue reading