It's been an odd summer, as you know, with a reduced honey crop (by about 40%) Some hives were fantastic, some produced enough for their feed over the season and for winter, and some needed to be fed! Very odd, they seemed to produce in 'pockets'.
We've at last got all the honey off and most extracted and tested, hive health checks done, varroa strips in, most honey delivered and some new queens reared and replaced. We still have a couple to requeen and will do so in the next few weeks when they are ready.
We are still waiting for the pollen count so we can send you the lab results showing what percentage of which kind of honey you have! It's interesting to know if you have manuka, clover, pohutokawa, willow, borage etc in your honey. We send a sample of honey from each batch (Marlborough or Nelson) to a lab. They do a pollen count, finding which plant pollens are present in what quantity, and send us the results. I'll let you know soon :)
Our honey is as pure and natural as we can get it, keeping within the New Zealand regulations of public food consumption. We don't heat or micro-filter it. Some countries don't buy foreign honey, so their suppliers filter it so finely as to remove all traces of pollen, thereby all trace of origin. Some is heated to ensure it remains liquid and/or won't solidify over time or cooler temperatures. This heating can alter the molecular structure, damage the pollens and destroy the health benefits in the honey, making it basically sugar syrup. To us, they're both silly and unethical practices.
We hope you enjoy your honey, don't forget to keep some in reserve for yourself - everyone you give it to will be back for more! :)
You may notice bits of wax outside your hive now and then. When we work the hives, we scrape off built up wax from inside the lid and along frames. Sometimes there's honey on it, so we leave it for the bees to clean up and take back into the hive. You're welcome to pick it up and use it if you want it, or leave it there & we'll collect it next time. We recycle our wax and send it off to become new foundation wax for the next years' frames.