The bees know that it’s spring…
While us humans think that it is still winter, wet, windy and cold, the bees have other ideas! They are starting to build up their populations in anticipation of the first bloom of spring.
And for us here in the Far North the first bloom of the season comes in the form of manuka. Manuka honey has some delicious and unusual properties. First up, it is really difficult to extract or spin out of the comb. Once the bees collect the nectar and store it in the comb, the honey sets like jelly and will not cooperate with traditional honey extraction methods. A clever device has been developed which is known as a pricker; this device has thousands of plastic needles that extend into the comb to agitate each cell of manuka honey, break the surface tension and loosen it, ready to be spun out in the traditional manner (We’ll share pics when it’s being extracted).
Manuka honey also has well known and documented anti-bacterial properties. This has been great for beekeepers, as the unique properties of the honey have driven demand up from all over the world and hence the price beekeepers receive per kilogram. The flip side of the high prices has seen many cowboys enter the industry, and the etiquette that once governed where hives were placed is harder to find. Our theory is to make the health and well-being of our bees number one, create wonderful relationships with our landowners, and see the silver linings 🙂
So for now our Bee Sensual hives are healthy with booming populations of bees and are sitting in sunny apiary sites with the beautiful manuka flowers starting to bloom en masse a short flight away! The season is off to a good start, now it is up the weather gods!
Harlan and the bees x