Student Profile

Kelly Retimana - Apiculture

Kelly Retimana - Apiculture

“I had a change of lifestyle after being a caregiver for a long time, so I was looking at available courses and this one appealed. You can study from books and see things online but with bees you actually have to see and do in order to know.”

“This course maintains your interest all the way through as we learn to look after the bees and the hives. We learned about the history of all the different types of hives and that to be commercial they need moveable parts. Then there are further courses to explore things like value-added products, how to run a beekeeping business and queen rearing.”

“The biggest challenge for me was the first time I walked through a swarm of bees – even with all the gear on. It’s not normal to walk through 5000 bees, but this is what we signed up for. We have to learn to get stung and continue to do the job. That’s beekeeping.”

“My classmates are all adult students and we’re here because we want to be, so it’s a great learning environment, and the tutor has been in the industry so can give us feedback on both commercial and domestic situations. It’s great that he is open to us trying something a bit outside the curriculum in order to learn more about the world of bees. He also knows what works for this region, which differs in timing from even the Hokianga.”

“I’d like to have my own hives and honey, but whether I decide to do it on a small scale for barter, or commercially, I’ll have to get a job to earn the money to build up my hive numbers. I’m also keen to do some of the follow-up bee-related courses. Bees are so fascinating that when you become interested in them, you get more and more interested.”


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