2020 is Nearly Done – Still Happily Buzzing Along
The sun is out, the spring winds have dropped, and our bees are happy. It’s time to give a huge sigh of relief and reflect on the crazy year that was.
We New Zealanders are so privileged to be able to enjoy a Christmas spent with family and friends. As we buzz about looking for festive treats, our bees are foraging for goodies too. At this time of year, they are continuing to work the Kāmahi and are just beginning to discover the early flowering Mānuka.
The busy little creatures are so intent on their honey collection that they pay no attention to us at all. So, we will pretty much leave them to it over the Christmas break — just checking in once or twice, to make sure they are happily working and have strong hives.
As our team takes time to reflect on what has been a difficult year for everyone, we are really proud of the way we have pulled together and coped with such a trying time in the industry. As Nicky says: “it’s amazing to think what we have been challenged with, and how we have come through it.”
We were lucky enough to be considered an essential business during lockdown, which meant we could tend to the bees at a crucial time in wintering them down. That left us to finish the honey extraction — albeit with lots of added complications, courtesy of Covid 19.
Continuing operations came with many challenges. To meet social distancing requirements we had to manage with fewer beekeepers for every job and rethink our transport options. We also had to manage our warehouse spaces to ensure everyone could work in their own distanced bubble.
Lockdown really taught us about the things we value. Not being able to set up at the Saturday market for a number of months, or invite people to pop in and have their honey jars refilled, made us realise how much we love getting to know our customers. We really missed having a chat. Thank goodness we were still able to send customers their favourite honey to their door while New Zealand was in lockdown.
We really appreciate the support of everyone who decided to buy local in 2020. And people didn’t just buy our products, many sent us little messages to encourage us along the way. We are so very thankful, because it really did boost morale. “Over the months it is our lovely customers who have kept us going”, says Nicky.
2020 was also the year that we discovered new customers in the USA, via Amazon. We are so delighted that our gift boxes have proved so popular, and love to think that our beautiful honey is making its way onto the shelves of American pantries. Our new labels, featuring New Zealand’s beautiful native flora, look stunning, and we’re so proud that the gift boxes are being appreciated. We’ll be adding more choices for our American friends in 2021, with some larger jars becoming available.
The launch of The Honey Pot, our loyalty club, has been a highlight this year. It’s great being able to reward our loyal regulars. There are special plans afoot for our Kiwi customers in 2021, so make sure you join up if you haven’t already. It’s the best way to ensure that you are ‘in the know’ about the latest news and special deals coming up.
Since we love keeping things local, our last team event for 2020 will be a delicious lunch at a local café on 23 December. After that, our hard-working beekeepers will take a well-earned break, ready for the honey harvest after the New Year.
Karin and Nicky will still be on-site at our warehouse during the festive time, to ensure that orders are processed and any customer questions are answered.
Murray, Nicky and the entire MVH team hope that your festive season is relaxed and filled with little moments of joy. Because, as this year has truly shown us, it’s the little things that count.
We wish everyone a wonderful 2021. Happy Christmas!