New Zealand’s national honey production this season is down 24% on the previous season with average honey yield per hive dipping 18%, according to MPIs Apiculture Monitoring Report Beekeeping proved to be more challenging than recent seasons, with the national honey production down to 20,500 tonnes, while the average honey yield per hive fell 18% to 25kgs. Apiculture NZ CEO Karin Kos says last summer’s weather was challenging but despite being down it was in line with the five-year average of 21,000 tonnes. There was also a drop in registered hives in New Zealand down 7% to 806,140 from a peak of 918,026 hives in 2019. The number of hobby beekeepers reached a record 6,748 up 10% on the previous year. Karin Kos says more honey was exported from New Zealand than ever before with 12,788 tonnes crossing the border spurred along by the initial Covid-19 outbreak with overseas buyers building stocks ahead of anticipated supply chain disruptions and an increased consumer interest in healthy foods.