Eighteen year old Cardrona Valley beekeeper Jess Curtis has won an Apiculture New Zealand Ron Mossop Youth Scholarship to help jumpstart a career in the beekeeping industry. Curtis has already started an apprenticeship with ApiNZ in beekeeping, and works part time for Taylor Pass Honey as well as assisting her grandfather and his 50 hives on Branch Creek Station. The scholarship, worth $2,000, will go towards paying for Curtis’ tuition fees, as well as a one-year membership of ApiNZ and a spot at their national conference.
Curtis said that winning the scholarship came as a surprise, “It's quite early on for me. I've only just really started my apprenticeship. I kind of applied for this scholarship not expecting to get it at all.”
Curtis finished school in 2018 and spent last year travelling around the country. Beekeeping has always been a big part of their life, having ‘beeing’ fascinated by her grandfather’s bees and getting a bee suit at the age of five.
This opportunity means that Curtis will now be able to jump head first into the industry. They said that, “It's really cool to get that recognition and get my name out there… I'm excited to go to the conference and meet people there and get a connection in the industry.”