Home' Northern Outlook : October 13th 2012 Contents 3
CENTRAL SOUTH ISLAND FARMER
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Grant enables enhancement of wetlands
for the health
of native flora
A grant of more than $7,000 from
Environment Canterbury s
Biodiversity Fund has enabled
Hanmer Springs landowner
Graeme Shaw and his wife Emily
to protect and enhance the
character of a wetland on their
property that is home to
important native flora and fauna.
Called the Chatterton wetland,
it is one of the few remaining
wetlands on the Hanmer Plain.
The hydrology and vegetation
cover of the Chatterton wetland
has been substantially modified,
but we saw considerable potential
to restore the water quality and
ecosystem health at the site, said
"Specifically, we wanted to
improve the chances for
indigenous fauna to flourish in the
area by undertaking a programme
of weed control and fencing to
keep stock away from the area.
Around 20 indigenous vascular
plant species have been recorded
at the wetland.
Woody weeds such as alder,
sycamore, rowan, and crack
willow currently pose the largest
threat, as they can grow rapidly
and shade out the indigenous
vegetation that provides an
environment for native birds and
Biodiversity Officer Jean
Tompkins said it was
important to work with
landowners to protect and
restore the few remaining
"The fencing will help to reduce
erosion and nutrient inputs into
the wetland, improve water
quality, and allow recovery of
Protecting native plantings
from stock is essential for their
survival, she said.
allocates $400,000 a year to a
range of important biodiversity
projects across the Canterbury
region. Funding is targeted
towards activities aimed at
protecting and restoring the
regions biodiversity within
wetlands, drylands, lowland
streams and native vegetation
Busy days for beekeepers
Backyard enthusiasts to the rescue for farming industry
It's so cool, I just love it,'' she
said. My family probably think
BEE MAD: Hive master Kevin Gates shows off a newly
captured swarm of bees.
UBRAN HIVES: Cherry Thompson with her Beckenham
ALL over Christchurch thousands
of bees are working hard to keep
the country s farming industry
With the collapse of wild
beehives in the last few years,
urban beekeepers and commercial
companies are keeping the
nation s clover pollinated.
Urban beekeeping has taken off
in the last few years, in line with
the trendiness of growing your
own vegetables and baking your
own bread. Sustainability is in.
This is good news for farmers.
Without bees, farmers could face
costly spreading of urea to replace
the bee s efforts.
Beckenham s Cherry Thompson
has had urban hives on her
800sqm property for over 11
years. At the moment she has two
working hives sitting alongside a
chicken hutch and Black Boy
She got into beekeeping after a
stint spent on a market garden.
Beekeepers are re-queening --
replacing the old, worn out queen
with a new one. Now is the time to
prepare the hive to produce plenty
of honey during summer.
One hive can generate up to 40
litres of honey.
Most of the feral hives have
died out due to disease, but
managed hives, both urban and
commercial, are surviving.
Beekeepers have to keep on top of
varroa mites which destroy the
hives and suck the blood out of the
baby bees before they re born.
Cherry is not alone. There are
hundreds of urban hives in
Christchurch and wider
Canterbury being tended by
Richard Pearson from Kirwee
has the whole family involved in
Six-year-old Shaun wants his
own hive to manage.
Richard s hives are in their
second season of production and
he has not yet been hit with the
We keep on top of it, always
treating for it, he said.
The National Beekeepers
Association estimated honey bees
are worth more than $5.1 billion
to the New Zealand economy.
Cherry s hives keep her awash
with fresh honey, most of which
she gives away. However, with a
garden full of fruit trees, she often
uses the fresh honey to preserve
fruit for the winter and pops it
It s so cool, I just love it, she
said. My family probably think
I m mad.
The bees are surprisingly docile
and are no threat to neighbouring
properties or other animals.
Bees combine nectar and pollen
in the hive with special enzymes.
They reduce the moisture
content in the honey and keep the
hive humming at a balmy 34
degrees Celsius. When they think
it s reached optimum levels, the
bees seal over the honey with wax.
This signals to the beekeepers
when to remove the honey for the
During the busy summer honey-
making season Cherry s bees can
cover vast distances as they
collect their ingredients for the
With urban beekeepers
scattered all over the city and
beyond, the bees can have a huge
impact on the farming
Urban beekeepers do not need a
permit to start their own hives but
industry bodies do regular checks
to ensure they re safe and healthy.
For more information on how to
start your own hives check out
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