The season, as many of you will already know, has been an awful one for most people, with record lows recorded in most regions across the country, not just in bee-keeping, but agriculture and horticulture generally. Marlborough has been pretty hard hit, with many grape harvest, fruit and honey being of minimal or poor quality due to wind, rain and cool or eratic temperatures. With this in mind, our production was halved on last year and reflects in the buckets of your honey, unfortunately. However, we can only look forward to next season with anticipation, ay! As I so often say, it’s swings and roundabouts in this game! We had 2 good years prior, so it’s not all doom & gloom.
We have also been told by our honey buyer that our honey is superior quality! Nice to hear, I suppose this is because we pride ourselves on our natural (bees own!) hive nutrition and care, not feeding any sugar or syrup to our bees. They collect what they need, we feed their stores back to them, (along with the nutrient-rich pollen they store) over winter and lean periods. It seems false economy & unhealthy to feed the bees inferior nutrition during the most difficult periods - not only cold, damp weather, but living in closer confines in the hive - when disease becomes more prevalent. Good nutrition combats this and our hives come through winter healthy and strong. Also, Matt is a primo beekeeper ;)
Currently, the hives are wintered down, with plenty of feed on to carry them over the cold months, varroa treated and happy. You will still see them foraging out on the warm days, throughout the season, sometimes gathering nectar and pollen if the temperatures are warm enough. Bees don’t hibernate, but the queens stop or reduce laying eggs and the colony shrinks as the unecessary drones, old and wek bees are ejected to conserve feed supplies.
You will see us less often as the bees require less care now, until Spring when things rev up again! We hope your gardens have managed to supply some kind of harvest, and you’re keeping well and warm in these colder nights.
Any questions or concerns, please make sure you contact us, the boys will be around now and then too.