News & Research

CoreLogic uses location analytics to drive quality in the honey industry

25 March 2018

New Zealand’s apiculture industry has grown rapidly over the last few years with strong market demand for premium New Zealand honey on the global market.  As a country we produce between 15,000 and 20,000 tonnes of honey each year, depending on climatic conditions. According to MPI, export earnings have now exceeded $300 million per annum and continue to grow with honey exporters selling their products to almost 40 countries.

With this growth comes increased placement and planning challenges for bee keepers when identifying new sites for hives while at the same time preserving honey quality.

CoreLogic has developed a solution that solves this problem. Emap provides the tools to support hive extension decisions in an environmentally friendly way.  It offers online interactive maps, high-resolution imagery and instant access to highly accurate and reliable New Zealand land and property data.  

Emap has many clever functions, but here are the top 5 ways it can help bee-keepers:

1. Research accurately before a site visit

Emap offers high resolution imagery with overlayed boundary lines. Get a head-start and save a great deal of time in identifying the best sites for your hives, by easily knowing where each property starts and finishes. Imagery is orthorectified, it takes the curvature of the earth’s surface into account providing true and accurate tools to measure land areas and distances for your bees to travel between hives. Understand the specific topography of a certain site, right down to the heights of valleys and hills. 

2. Track down ownership details

Emap has ownership details covering all of NZ, enabling you to verify your own information sources for efficient owner contacting - and not just the farm or property you’re considering having hives on, but the surrounding properties too. Let neighbours know when you will be working in the area as a common courtesy. 

3. Calculate hive access and pollination areas

Draw and measure tools enable you to understand how far the hive is from property access points and calculate whether hive extension is environmentally friendly in that particular spot to prevent hive over-loading.

4. Add your own data

Add in your own information for a visual record of each of your hives. Ensure efficient rotations by recording when you last visited each site. 

5. Understand the lay of the land

Emap’s Land Cover and Rural Land use layers offer invaluable insight. Landcare’s LCDB layer can highlight areas of Manuka and Kanuka, allowing you to better target appropriate hive sites. 

As a technique, geospatial intelligence is invaluable as it allows beekeepers to site hives in the right places in relation to stands of manuka and kanuka plants to avoid diluted or blended honey products.  This is another example of how the New Zealand industry continues to innovate and embrace technology to remain at the forefront of the global industry.

Optimum hive sites can be identified on a map and assessed against property ownership and access rights.  Equally bee fly zones can be visualised against feed source and density leading to improved hive placement and ultimately product quality.  That drives up the ‘Unique Manuka Factor’ which makes New Zealand honey far more valuable than product from other markets.

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