- 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
Want your existing skills recognised?
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).
Please note: 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.
Paying for your study
The Government’s Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF) is currently running but will end in December 2022. That means only your part-time study undertaken in 2022 will be covered. You may be able to get some financial help for your remaining study through the Fees Free scheme if you’re eligible (see info below).
Whilst this programme is free for you to study during 2022, the TTAF fund only covers tuition fees and compulsory costs such as student levies. It does not cover any additional costs or living costs.
You can pay for additional and living costs yourself if this is possible.
As a part-time learner, you're generally not eligible for student loans and allowances through Studylink but some help may be possible depending on your circumstances (for domestic students). Check the Studylink website for more information.
The Government is also running a funding scheme called Fees Free for domestic learners. This scheme normally pays for your first year of study if you’ve never been enrolled in tertiary study over 60 credits at Level 3 or higher in New Zealand. They have confirmed that TTAF does not impact on a learner’s entitlement to also access the Fees Free scheme.
So, you’ll be covered by TTAF for your first year of part-time study and, if you would have originally been eligible for Fees Free, you’ll be able to access that to cover some of your remaining part-time study.
Fees Free only covers your tuition fees. You would still need to pay for things like accommodation, living costs and placement transport 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.