This season we felt a new energy and strength into the company and that has been shifted to the bees. We noticed an extreme vigour in our little friends, because new blood is flowing in their veins. In fact, we have decided to make a change in our bee life introducing a new Italian strain of queens in our honeybee families, because its offspring is more gentile, prolific and productive. This was an obvious choice with an Italian manager in charge of operational management! Do you remember Madonna’s T-shirt? Do you think she had been thinking about the bees when she wore that?
We miss our friends Barbara and John. They have never been our bosses. We were an extended family that loved working and spending some spare time together. Bumping into them every day, sharing a cup of tea at lunch time and listening to their advice was for us a relief and a support that we were making the right decision. But now they are gone because they have decided that we can stand on our own feet and keep going well.
We don’t want to introduce many changes in our bee life, because we still think that nothing has been invented in the last two thousand years that can revolutionise their life cycle or bee
productivity. Beekeeping is a fascinating job that you must carry on not just to make money, but because you are passionate and you think you are doing something essential for the environment and for the farmers. We provide our support for crop pollination (clover, orchards and vegetables) and we improve the pollination of New Zealand’s native trees. Our passion is the same as the farmers we work with who are putting energy into managing their lands. The entire world is rediscovering this now during the Coronavirus outbreak. We are proud to consider our job humble but essential. We need farmer’s support and I hope our farmers consider our tireless bees necessary like the water and the sun.
The season 2019-2020 started in the hardest conditions: freezing spring, rainy and windy weather meant the colonies needed our support. We lost the majority of the honey flew that we usually can gather in spring, but we were compensated with a generous summer, gathering a huge quantity of great quality of Mānuka honey from our remote location. Mānuka blooming has never been so abundant in the last ten years and our hives were very healthy and keen to collect every single droplet of nectar that they could find in the flowers. When we moved hives in November/December the weather recovered and the beehives were in peak condition. Our poor bees didn’t celebrate Christmas and not even the New Year. They worked hard for us and we found full boxes of honey as a gift in January when we went back to check our colony. Well done bees, thank you very much!
At the end of the season, in February/March, we were very lucky because the beehives were all back at our wintering site before the government announced the lock down. So, we didn’t need to go anywhere and we could stay safe around here looking after the bees.
I would express my personal thanks to all the farmers that are supporting us. We are a young team and keen to grow up with our partners.