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Balancing bees and other biodiversity

Honey bees are not native to New Zealand. From an ecological perspective, honey bees compete with birds and native insects, such as native solitary bees, for nectar and pollen. To ensure we do not exploit the natural ecosystem and reduce nectar availability for our native birds and insects, we have substantially increased the numbers of nectar-producing shrubs and trees.

Additionally, because birds such as honeyeaters have much longer tongues than bees, they have access to nectar that bees cannot reach. As a guide, we place one hive for every three hectares of forest or scrub to ensure birds have sufficient food resources. Our observations also confirm that native bees continue to thrive at Tahi and we provide new nesting sites for native bees.