Articles


Trees for Bees is Scaling up Planting in New Zealand

Dr. Linda Newstrom-Lloyd & Dr. Angus McPherson - April 2019

The Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) has awarded a new grant to the Trees for Bees NZ research programme. Our new project will start on 1 July 2019 and run for three years until 30 June 2022.

The article can be downloaded by clicking here.


Looking after your own Patch

Dr. Angus McPherson - June 2018

Many beekeepers need to manage bee health in a climate of intense overcrowding and pressure on natural bee forage sources, especially during spring build-up and overwintering. A big part of the solution is to ‘look after your own patch’, by planting bee forage around your home yards, in permanent apiary sites as well as long-term overwintering apiary sites. Two demonstration farms show how easy and affordable it is for beekeepers to increase bee forage on suitable sites.

The article can be downloaded by clicking here.


Pondering Pollen Over and Under Representation in Nectar

Dr. Linda Newstrom-Lloyd, Dr. Ian Raine & Dr. Xun Li - November 2017

This article explains how to determine which nectar sources have over-represented pollen versus under-represented, and which sources have average-represented pollen.

The article can be downloaded by clicking here.


How to Decipher a Pollen Profile

Dr. Linda Newstrom-Lloyd, Dr. Ian Raine & Dr. Xun Li - October 2017

Pollen profiles are a new tool that Trees for Bees is developing to learn about what types of pollen and nectar the bees are bringing in to the hive.

The article can be downloaded by clicking here.


What’s the use of Pollen?

Dr. Linda Newstrom-Lloyd - May 2017

Pollen and nectar are critical to bee health and beekeepers’ livelihoods. The more you nourish bees, the more they flourish into super-strong colonies with powerful foragers that can maximise honey harvesting and pollination services.

The article can be downloaded by clicking here.


Annual Variation in Mānuka Honey Yeilds - What does it mean?

Dr. Angus McPherson - April 2017

This year (2016/2017) has been a difficult season for beekeepers in many regions. It comes at a time when there is unprecedented pressure on honey production and wintering sites and raises the question whether this season is a one-off occurrence, or whether it’s part of a pattern.

The article can be downloaded by clicking here.


Mānuka Mysteries - The Biology of a Flower

Dr. Linda Newstrom-Lloyd - March 2017

The fascinating flowers of the mānuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium) have proven to be somewhat mysterious, with many conflicting accounts of how the flower works and what it provides.

The article can be downloaded by clicking here.


Star Performers part 3: Five Finger for Early Spring Build Up

Dr. Linda Newstrom-Lloyd & Dr. Angus McPherson - February 2017

Trees for Bees has produced a series of fact sheets showcasing the ‘best of the best’ bee plants that will maximise nutrition benefits for your bees. In this issue of the journal, the team explains why five finger is a ‘star performer’.

The article can be downloaded by clicking here.


Star Performers Part 2: New Zealand Flax for Summer

Dr. Linda Newstrom-Lloyd and Dr. Angus McPherson - December 2016

Trees for Bees has produced a new series of fact sheets showcasing the ‘best of the best’ bee plants that will maximise nutrition benefits for your bees. In this issue of the journal, the team explains why New Zealand flax is a ‘star performer’.

The article can be downloaded by clicking here.


Star Performers Part 1: Introduction to the series and pipfruit

Dr. Linda Newstrom-Lloyd and Dr. Angus McPherson - November 2016

Trees for Bees has produced a new series of fact sheets showcasing the ‘best of the best’ bee plants that will maximise nutrition benefits for your bees. In this issue of the journal, the team explains why Pipfruit Trees are a ‘star performer’.

The article can be downloaded by clicking here.


Bees without Borders: What is the limit?

Dr. Linda Newstrom-Lloyd - October 2016

New Zealand has become the ‘California’ of the southern hemisphere in terms of hive numbers and hive density. Almond pollination drives the demand for millions of hives needed in California, while mānuka honey drives the demand for hundreds of thousands of hives in New Zealand.

The article can be downloaded by clicking here.


The Naati Beez Challenge to Trees for Bees

Dr. Linda Newstrom-Lloyd - September 2016

The Naati Beez vision for long-term beekeeping on their East Cape land has been a big challenge to the Trees for Bees programme. Naati Beez holds strong values for their land, including long-term sustainability for rural employment, environmental protection and cultural sensitivity.

The article can be downloaded by clicking here.


Naati Beez Planting Trees for Bees for East Coast Mānuka Support

Dr. Linda Newstrom-Lloyd, Dr. Angus McPherson, Ian Raine & Xun Li - August 2016

Our Naati Beez–Trees for Bees Pilot Project was funded by the Ministry of Primary Industries’ Sustainable Farming Fund for one year starting in July 2015. The project was generously sponsored by Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, Eastland Community Trust, GNS Science and the Native Garden Nursery in Gisborne.

The article can be downloaded by clicking here.


Strategic Planting for Bee Feed

Dr. Linda Newstrom-Lloyd, Dr. Angus McPherson & Marco Gonzalez - June 2016

Strategic bee planting can stimulate good bee health and build colonies up to great strength. It is more than just randomly or casually picking out a bunch of plants from a bee plant list and planting them out with the hope that it will all work out to cover the seasons for bees. The process of maximising or optimising bee nutrition involves a few steps that will ensure the best results for the time, effort and money spent.

The article can be downloaded by clicking here.


Big Trees to Plant for Spring Nutrition

Dr. Linda Newstrom-Lloyd & Dr. Angus McPherson - May 2016

Knowing what to plant for spring bee feed is an important part of raising strong colonies for summer pollination and achieving big honey harvests. High-performance colonies come from a strong queen, robust foragers and healthy nurse bees, as well as brood cycles that are not interrupted by pollen dearth. If pollen is scarce, nurse bees will cannibalise larvae for protein in order to keep the colony going.

The article can be downloaded by clicking here.


Nutrition, Nosema and Neonics: What’s food got to do with it?

Dr. Linda Newstrom-Lloyd - April 2016

A good diet plays a crucial role in the prevention of colony failures in more ways than we realise. It is often possible to distinguish the different types of colony losses that are due to single causes like queen failure, excessive pesticide or plant poisoning (e.g., karaka), specific diseases (e.g., AFB), or starvation.

The article can be downloaded by clicking here.


What to Plant for Autumn Bee Nutrition

Dr. Angus McPherson & Dr. Linda Newstrom-Lloyd - March 2016

Autumn can seem like a difficult time for bee nutrition because so few plants are flowering. Most of them shut down for winter by early autumn. This is a time when bees need lots of nectar to store for winter—you just took most of their honey stores away of course, so they have to build back up.

The article can be downloaded by clicking here.


Getting ready for Winter: Planning your bee feed planting

Dr. Angus McPherson - February 2016

While winter may seem some time away, now is the time to be planning your bee feed planting for 2016. To have the best chance of success you should have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, whether it’s purely bee feed, or whether it also incorporates factors such as shade, shelter, riparian protection, food and aesthetics. You also need to consider the location of your planting—including distance to your apiary—and how much area you have available to plant.

The article can be downloaded by clicking here.


Managing Manuka for Carrying Capacity and Competition

Dr. Linda Newstrom-Lloyd - December 2015

The medical value of mānuka honey has produced a prosperous new sector in the agricultural economy, especially for landowners with unproductive marginal land. These opportunities have brought many new people into beekeeping, with hive numbers doubling in five years from 300,000 in 2010 to nearly 600,000 today.

The article can be downloaded by clicking here.


Winning with Willows: Diverse Species Flowering

Dr. Linda Newstrom-Lloyd - November 2015

Willows are the backbone of spring bee colony build-up in most regions of New Zealand because they are so abundant and have prolific and nutritious pollen for bees. A short willow flowering season can leave a pollen gap that can result in population declines, right when maximum-strength hives are needed for honey harvesting and pollination services in November.

The article can be downloaded by clicking here.