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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.




Honey is a popular food in New Zealand. Each person eats, on the average, nearly 5 lb a year. The annual average production is about 6,000 tons. Most of this is eaten locally, but about a sixth is exported. The thriving local and export trades have grown and been maintained with the help of a modern industrial organisation and of regulations governing disease control and the grading of honey to strict standards. Beeswax is also a valuable product. 210,315 lb was produced in the year ended 31 May 1964.

Registrations under the Apiaries Act show that at May 1963 there were 4,701 beekeepers with a total of 13,071 apiaries and 183,875 established hives. Many beekeepers owned fewer than 30 hives but about 250 were full-time commercial beekeepers having an average of 350 hives. Fifty-eight per cent of the hives and 57 per cent of the apiaries were in the North Island. The establishment cost of the industry is estimated at about £1,250,000.


McLintock, Alexander Hare