New Zealand Certificate in Apiculture (Level 4)

Gain the skills to operate as a Leading Hand in a commercial bee product producer or to run your own commercial operation. This programme is for people who are single source, comb, or medical-grade mānuka honey producers, pollination service providers or self-marketing producers.

Domestic

Duration
33 Weeks Part-time
Level
4
Credits
60
Fees
$1,451*
*Approximate full qualification tuition fee
Delivery
Online with block course(s)
Location
Multi-location
Intakes
August

International

Duration
33 Weeks Part-time
Level
4
Credits
60
Fees
$10,910*
*Approximate full qualification tuition fee
Delivery
Online with block course(s)
Location
Multi-location
Intakes
August

What You Study

Block course locations

  • Dunedin (Momona Hall)
  • Lincoln (Biological Husbandry Unit)
  • Orewa, North Auckland (Hibiscus Coast Community House)

Courses

Course name Description Credits

Plants, Pollination and Nutrition

Be introduced to the relationships between bees and flowering plants and the importance that plants play in providing food for bees. 

Indicative content 

  • Factors related to weather and seasons in terms of the way in which they influence flowering patterns and honey flows
  • Function of nectar and pollen in the flower
  • Flowering plants which are common sources of honey in terms of their features
  • Contribution of bees to pasture pollination in terms of their effect on meat and dairy production
  • Attributes which make bees good pollinators, and the crops they typically pollinate
  • Feed types for beehives and the situations in which they might be used
  • Seasonal calendar for feeding and nutritional tasks.

Learning outcomes 

At the successful completion of this course, learners will be able to:

  1. Explain the relationship between flowering plants and bees and how it is influenced by weather.
  2. Describe the relationship between bees and arable and crop pollination
  3. Describe the nutritional requirements and feed types in relation to bees and beehives.
  4. Develop, implement and monitor a beehive nutritional management plan.
15

Bee Diseases and Management Plan

 

Learn how to recognise bee diseases, pests and disorders and manage these throughout the beekeeping season. 

Indicative content 

  • Identify exotic diseases and pests by physical appearance, damage caused and presence in the hive
  • Implications for disease, disorder and pest control and notification requirements
  • Varroa treatments and the timing of their application and removal from the apiary
  • Determine when American foulbrood (AFB) disease checks and sampling will be undertaken
  • Use records, seasonal outcomes and industry references to recommend changes to a disease management plan.

Learning outcomes 

At the successful completion of this course, learners will be able to:

  1. Identify and describe exotic bees and the implications of their diseases or disorders.
  2. Describe the management practices for an exotic bee and the impact of an exotic incursion on the New Zealand beekeeping industry.
  3. Develop, implement and monitor a bee disease management plan.
 15

Seasonal Management and Food Safety

 

Develop a seasonal management plan for the operation of apiaries of beehives and to implement this plan over a beekeeping season. 

Indicative content 

  • Assess food stores against spring requirements and determine the needs of beehives
  • Check beehives for disease, locate the queen bee and isolate with queen excluder
  • Assess beehives to determine likelihood of swarming and suitability to divide hives to produce a nucleus hive or top hive
  • Workplace procedures to control or eliminate a food safety hazard at a critical control point.

Learning outcomes 

At the successful completion of this course, learners will be able to:

  1. Develop a seasonal beehive management plan to address seasonal operations within an apiary.
  2. Implement and monitor beehive management operations in accordance with the management plan.
  3. Implement and monitor food safety procedures in an apiculture operation.
15 

Beehive Product Production and Business Strategy

 

Understand the production and processing of a range of beehive products, and analyse an apiculture business to develop a business strategy for a new market. 

Indicative content 

  • Chemical composition and physical properties of honey
  • Factors affecting honey quality
  • Factors used to measure honey quality
  • Understanding granulation, homogenisation, creaming process
  • Types of honey
  • Composition, properties, factors affecting quality, production and marketing of a range of beehive products
  • procedures to minimise product contamination from humans with contagious disease
  • Different types of contaminants present while harvesting honey and in a honey extraction plant
  • Management plans and seasonal calendars
  • Analyse and evaluate beehive management and pest and disease management plans for agriculture business
  • Summarise findings and recommendations for improvement and provide a report. 

Learning outcomes 

At the successful completion of this course, learners will be able to:

  1. Describe the properties and types of honey, the process of honey production and factors affecting honey quality.
  2. Describe the properties and production of beehive products other than honey.
  3. Describe procedures to minimise the risk of product contamination when producing honey.
  4. Research the operation of an apiculture business to determine goals and objectives for the business
  5. Analyse beehive management and pest and disease management plans, and recommend improvements.
 15

Further study options

Graduates of this programme can further their learning with the New Zealand Certificate in Apiculture (Level 4) (Queen Bee Rearing) or other qualifications in small business management. 

Workload

Your workload

As a part-time student you should aim to undertake around 15 hours of study per week throughout the programme. This will include workshops, online learning and discussions, reading text books, doing assessments, practical work in your own time and the completion of an apiary diary. 

  • Online learning - one evening class per fortnight (7.00pm-9.00pm) 
  • Practical weekend workshops once per month (9.00am-5.00pm, Sat and Sun) - see locations in What you study section
  • Further practical work to be carried out in students' own time

Entry

Entry requirements

  • 40 credits at NCEA Level 1, including 10 Literacy credits and 10 Numeracy credits, or
  • New Zealand Certificate in Apiculture (Level 3), or
  • Equivalent industry skills and knowledge.
  • Special and discretionary admission is available. 
  • You must be physically capable of meeting the demands of the programme and will need to disclose any medical conditions which may affect your ability to participate. 
  • If English is not your first language, you must provide:

If you need to improve your English Language skills, we offer a wide range of English programmes

Please note: You will be expected to complete an industry-approved American Foulbrood recognition and destruction course before you graduate from this programme. 

Fees

Domestic fees

Full tuition
Standard
$1,451

Additional costs

  • Hive and honeybee textbook

Approximate cost = $120

Studylink

As this programme is part-time, students generally aren't eligible for student loans or allowances to cover additional material or living costs. But, some help may be possible depending on your circumstances. Check the Studylink website for more information. If you have any questions about student loans and allowances, please email our Studylink Advisor: Amanda.McAra@op.ac.nz 

Get in touch

0800 762 786
International +64 3 477 3014
Email: info@op.ac.nz