Southern North Island Beekeeping Group Ltd

Kiwifruit Pollination in New Zealand

In the 1970 & 1980's kiwifruit was being planted all over the North Island. Production was very mixed, from orchard to orchard and district to district due to orchard design, the number of hives used per acre and varying strength of hive provided by beekeepers.

MAF started running seminars to educate both the growers and the beekeepers.

Trevor Bryant was the MAF Apicultural Officer to the Bay of Plenty at that time and was involved in running these seminars. Attached are his 1982 and 1986 seminar papers in PDF form.

Since that time we have seen new varieties gold planted and the devastating effects of the Psa bacteria. Very little has changed as far as the beekeeper is concerned apart from new Biosecurity requirement orchards require to keep Psa at bay.

Kiwifruit in now concentrated in Northland, the BOP and Gisborne districts because they mature faster in the warmer areas. There are still scattering of orchards in other districts but now not so many. In the last few years more orchards are now being planted and more hives will be required in the future.

Any beekeepers considering pollination should be aware of the hive standard required for kiwifruit production.

Those wishing to pollinate other crops should refer to the 1976 pollination bible - "Insect Pollination Of Cultivated Crop Plants"

Online Pollination Handbook

In this file are the proceeding of the Kiwifruit Pollination Seminar MAF Tauranga October 1986

It's very good reading and gives a snapshot of a growing industry.

Quite a lot of what was presented in 1986 is still relevant today especially Dr Mark Goodwin' s study on honey bee pollination and Trevor Bryant's paper on the use of bees as pollinators of kiwifruit.

Southern North Island Beekeeping Group Ltd