Now that the season has finished and all the little lose ends are tied up, we can now start to slow down and have a bit of a reflection on the season that is now behind us! Our 5th season since we started to build our hives numbers and begin our boutique honey company so we could bring to you all a taste of Tuapeka honey! Pure natural local honey! Produced in the pristine region of South Otago, spanning from the coastal Catlin's area, to the rolling hills of the Tuapeka surrounds!
Looking back to the spring when it all began again, our hives came through the winter nice and healthy and strong and we managed to get some good willow and hawthorn flows in the latter spring, and with a ready available source of gorse and broom our bees were able to gather plenty of pollen and build their colonies up for the main summer flows!
So coming into early December our hives had built up nicely to a good size which then coincided with a pretty decent kamahi flow in the Catlin's so we moved a few extra hives down to our sites and managed to get a good crop of kamahi which was the perfect start to the season.
The clover started to yield in late december and after a promising start we got a bit of a cold snap and it kind of spluttered along and never got up to the heights that were shaping up earlier in the flow, so for our clover production we would have to say it was a pretty average flow, but thats beekeeping!
On a more positive note our Manuka sites in the Manuka Gorge/Round Hill, Gabriels Gully and Tuapeka Mouth regions brought us in a decent crop and was our most prolific flow this season and we managed to get some nice Manuka to add to our range which is a first for us in terms being able to provide Manuka to our customers! In previous years as we have been building our business generally our manuka would be sold off in bulk to get quick cash flow so we could grow our business, but now we have reached a manageable size and don't need to grow our numbers, we can now offer delicious dark caramel manuka which is proving to be quite popular among our consumers so that was one of the highlights of the season!
Another new addition to our range was the introduction of comb honey and chunk honey! This is new to us as we have been concentrating on building wax comb in our honey boxes( which takes away from honey production as they need honey to produce wax to build the comb!) for the last 4 years and now that they are all drawn out and established we are able to produce some cut comb and chunk honey and it doesn't affect our overall honey production, so fingers crossed we get some decent settled weather at the right times of the season we will be able to keep up a steady supply of comb honey and chunk honey varieties! It goes great on cheese and meat platters with some fresh seasonal fruit and your favourite local wine, or just eaten by the spoonful for the true HONEY lovers!
All in all its been a year of learning and growing and taking another step forward and growing within our means so we can concentrate on the health of our hives and bring the most purest, natural, raw boutique honey, to consumers across the world!
Last hive being closed up for the season