The Trees for Bees NZ programme exists to research the value of candidate bee forage plants and create templates for beekeepers and landowners to design and install strategic plantations of bee feed that will maximise bee health and survival. The mission of Trees for Bees is to solve problems of malnutrition and starvation in bees for agricultural and horticultural production in New Zealand.
The Trees for Bees programme was initiated in 2009 by the Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group. To conduct the necessary research, the Bee Friendly Farming Group was formed in 2010 with a group of concerned farmers and beekeepers working with scientists. Other partners and supporters joined the programme: National Beekeepers’ Association, AsureQuality, Foundation for Arable Research, Environment Canterbury, Hawkes Bay Regional Council, Landcare Research, and GNS Science to name a few. To date the research has been supported by co-funding and in kind participation by farmers, beekeepers, and others in the apiculture industry. Their support has enabled Trees for Bees to win four research grants from MPI Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF).
The Trees for Bees goal is to provide on-line databased knowledge as well as templates and practical skills to develop bee plantations that fit in well with both farm and apiary operations. Our vision is to ensure the use of strategic bee plantations providing fresh pollen and nectar throughout the bee seasons wherever there is a shortage of bee feed. This vision encompasses all of New Zealand including all agricultural and natural or modified ecosystems. It also encompasses all bees including bumble bees and native bees but it is focused on the most urgent problem, the survival of our highly threatened honey bees in a changing apiculture environment. The pollination services provided by honey bees are the foundation on which the New Zealand agricultural and horticultural economy is built.
The Trees for Bees Research Trust
To facilitate our work, we formed The New Zealand Trees for Bees Research Trust incorporated on February 14, 2019 and registered as a charitable trust on March 14, 2019. The formation of the Trust provides legal standing for our research and outreach, and a platform for further extending our work at the community level. A key advantage for all donors is that donations and co-funding are now tax deductible. Find out more about the trust by clicking here.