Beech Honeydew Honey: Hero of the Season

Spring has arrived in Nelson, bringing with it an air of excitement. As our bees get more active and we begin to anticipate a brand new season, we can’t help reflecting on the challenges of last summer. It certainly was a season of many unforeseeable obstacles and hiccups. As a result, our team was tired.

Our bees also had minimal flying time due to poor weather. Despite these complications, it wasn’t all bad. Our team gave it their all, and our wonderful bees worked from dusk till dawn. In particular, the season came through with a mass of one of our favourite kinds of honey: Beech Honeydew Honey.

Last season’s tough conditions meant less flowering across many areas resulting in less honey flow for our Kāmahi, Mānuka, and Kānuka honey. But, to our surprise, the bees did bring in an abundance of Beech Honeydew Honey. One of our richest honeys, Beech Honeydew comes from New Zealand’s native Beech trees in the beautiful Richmond Ranges and Buller regions. Those droplets of Honeydew were certainly a welcome sight, and we were more than pleased with the result of our hard-working bees.

In past years, gaining Honeydew has often been a competitive game between bees and wasps. However, wasp numbers were lower this year, which meant the bees didn’t have to defend their hives. Instead, they could get busy putting their energy into doing what they love, collecting nectar from many sources.

Photo credit: Peter O’Regan.

While Mānuka honey is considered the “gold standard” of honey for its high antioxidant content, recent research into Honeydew honey properties suggests it is comparable in terms of antioxidant activity. Honeydew Honey demonstrates similar levels of antioxidants, giving us confidence that our Beech Honeydew Honey is as rich as ever. Along with antioxidant properties, research suggests Honeydew has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties with beneficial compounds that aid the healing process of the human body. 

You may have noticed that our fresh batch of Honeydew has changed colour and is lighter than in previous years. We’re not entirely sure why it has changed so dramatically. Is it because it was flowing so abundantly? Or did the bees just want to make light of a grim summer with a fresh new colour?

We have many theories, but we still don’t know the real reason why our lovely Honeydew has lightened in colour. However, we do know that it is still as silky and bright as usual, with hints of berries, nectar, and caramel. If you love runny honey, with all the raw honey benefits, Honeydew is a perfect choice. 

While last season’s Beech Honeydew might have taken on a lighter shade of amber, it remains a firm favourite with our customers. So rest assured, — it’s just as sweet as ever. As it turns out, Beech Honeydew honey is not just last season’s hero, it’s a hero in the pantry too!

At the end of the honey season when we were about to move hives we got a surprise! The bees had been so busy they ran out of room in the hive and started building honeycomb on the outside!

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