How I got started in bees was actually a pretty natural process. After completing my biology degree in Belgium and my Masters in Marine Biology in France, I was always going to end up working out in the environment. New Zealand is the ideal place for me to live and raise a family, Mt Maunganui in particular. Now, with three young kids all at school, the opportunity to run this business was one I couldn't pass up. I've completed my Level 3 Apiculture certificate and I'm working on Level 4 Queen-Rearing. My partner and three children all share the family passion for the environment and are often eager to help. Seaside Bees is the perfect vehicle to help the environment as well as educate the wider community about the beautiful (and critical) honey bee.
We are based in Mount Maunganui, (New Zealand) renting urban hives, that are fully managed hives.
About our Top Bar hives?
We build our own Top Bar hives. For the urban garden we prefer Top Bars first, because we believe they are a beautiful feature added to your garden, the inspection window gives anyone the the possibility to see what they are doing. Secondly, for a management reason, we never open the whole hive up when we perform our checks, it is less invasive moving just one comb at a time. This keeps the bees calm and we rarely need to use our smoker. We can add bars and give them as much or little extra space they need. Our Top Bar hive sits at a very nice height and no lifting boxes is needed as well as bees don't get squashed as much.
The bees will draw their comb from the top and no foundation is needed. It is easy to cycle out the oldest waxed frames. They manage their own amounts of drone brood and no queen excluder is needed. It is easy to get cut honey comb but the honey harvest might be smaller than with Langstroth hives as they need it to produce beeswax and draw their frames. Some have written there is 20% less honey and 100% more beeswax harvest. If so, we're comfortable with that.