- Open entry.
- If English is not your first language, you must provide:
- New Zealand University Entrance OR
- Overall Academic IELTS 5.0 with no individual band score lower than 5.0 (achieved in one test completed in the last two years), OR
- Acceptable alternative evidence of the required IELTS (see here for NZQA proficiency table and here for list of recognised proficiency tests).
If you need to improve your English Language skills, we offer a wide range of English programmes.
Pathways into this programme
- New Zealand Certificate in Primary Industry Skills (Level 2)
- On job training for those employed in the Apiculture industry
Recognition of prior learning
Students who have previously completed unit standards in Apiculture at Level 3 may be able to claim recognition of prior learning to exempt themselves from completing the equivalent learning on this programme provided these units appear on their student Record of Learning.
This programme will involve:
- two weekend days per month (from 9.00am-5.00pm each day) for eight months
- 12 assessments (a mixture of theory and practical)
- a one-day, industry-recognised bee disease workshop (short test to complete at end of workshop)
- reading three text books that we provide you with (see details of books below)
- the completion of a logbook documenting field work undertaken
- 5-10 additional hours per week for extra reading (online and books), undertaking assessments and doing practical work on your own beehives/course hives.
You will study
Each Apiculture tutor will develop their own course timetable and will supply you with the appropriate information. This information will include the dates of each workshop, their content and what will be assessed. There are no electives within this programme and all students undertake the following topics of learning:
- Bee behaviour and life cycle
- Suitable bee forage plants
- Beekeeping equipment
- Building a beehive
- How to feed bees
- Beehive products
- Manipulating beehives including swarm control, and dividing hives
- Re-queening beehives
- Harvesting and extracting honey
- Identifying and managing pests and diseases
- Shifting beehives
- Wintering beehives
At the end of this programme, you will have the knowledge and skills to manage your own beehives throughout a beekeeping season.
Further study options
Graduates of this programme can further their learning with:
These courses can be completed on a part-time basis. Or, for those employed in the Apiculture industry full-time, the New Zealand Certificate in Apiculture (Level 3) and (Level 4) can be completed through an apprenticeship scheme.
- You will need to purchase your own Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which includes a beekeeping suit (overalls and veil), gloves, smoker and hive tool (approximately $250).
- It is preferable that you wear steel-capped boots or gumboots.
- You will be supplied, free of charge, with the woodware to build your own beehive and will then be required to purchase a nucleus of four frames of bees, honey and a queen bee for approximately $250.
- You will be supplied, free of charge, with three textbooks (worth $130) and an industry-recognised American Foulbrood disease recognition course (worth $100).
- You will need to have access to a computer and the internet. Course material will be made available online (through Moodle, our education online platform). Meetings, theory classes and assignments may be carried out online (via Microsoft Teams).
- At the end of this programme, you will own a fully-functioning beehive and be able to manage this at a location that suits your needs.
- As this programme is part-time, students are not eligible for student loans or allowances to cover course-related or living costs.
While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative ONLY. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.