Demand from groups wishing to put commercial beehives on conservation land has soared in the past few years, particularly those who are interested in capitalising on manuka honey production.
The Department of Conservation recognises the value of honey to the New Zealand economy and the opportunities it brings. However, because honey bees are an introduced species, the Department decided the environmental and cultural impacts of this commercial activity needed to be carefully managed. Areas which could sustain growth in beekeeping activity without compromising conservation or cultural values were identified. Conservation Boards and iwi are key parties in the consultation process for assessing applications for concessions.