As our beekeepers are kept busy collecting hives from strategic locations throughout the North Island, all reports are indicating a successful 2017/18 season.
National Beekeeping Manager, Hein Wait, has been out in the field supporting our teams and checking on our hives throughout the Wairarapa, East Cape, Northland and Taranaki regions. He believes that, come March when final yields will be confirmed, we can expect a much stronger season than last year.
“The hives are looking very strong,” confirms Hein. “It’s still early days to comment on their yields but there are areas where the honey is really looking good. Because we operate in regions with low density of manuka cover, we are expecting that the production will be of high grade under the new MPI definitions”
“We are flying hives out now which are all showing much higher production than last year.”
This is good news for our beekeepers who faced a challenging start to the season with heavy rain and strong winds through November and December, forcing many to wait out the weather when normally they would be tending the hives.
Hein summarises the status of the North Island regions where our beekeeping units are based in partnership with our local Maori landowners:
Wairarapa – The season here is now well over. Some land blocks now don’t have anything for the bees to forage so we are supporting them with KōBEE Bee Nutrition tonic which kept them strong and healthy between seasons last year.
East Cape – The Mānuka has finished flowering in this region and is looking positive.
Northland & Taranaki – This was our first season in the Northland region so we ran this as a trial. Early reports from our team are also indicating very positive results.
Our honey yields also point to the health of our bees and hives with some doing so well that we will look at splitting some of our hives. Despite the periods of bad weather which effectively shortened the beekeeping season for our teams, everyone is happy with the honey and yields as well as the health of our bees and hives.