Hunkering Down for Winter – Nelson Style

Winter in Nelson can be such a delight. Log fires, night skies studded with the Matariki stars, crisp walks on the beach, and winter sunshine catching the snow on the mountains. Perfect. 

It’s also a time when many Nelsonian’s enjoy indulging in a wee bit of hibernation. The cold weather gives us the perfect excuse to take a rest from our gardening and adventure activities, and snuggle up by the fire instead. 

Our bees love to hunker down in the winter too. Mostly they huddle together in their hives, with some worker bees venturing out if it gets warm enough. For bees, that means around 8-10 degrees — which just goes to show what sensible little creatures they are. 

Our beekeepers take care not to disturb the bees too much over winter. They just make regular health checks to make sure everything is humming along and the bees are happy and getting enough food. 

Like us, bees are susceptible to viruses and disease so we need to watch for the slightest signs that something might be wrong. Our bees are our family, so we want to make sure they are always in great shape. They need to be healthy and ready to grow their numbers in spring — which, judging by the early blossom, is just around the corner... 

Of course, there’s no rest in the big shed during the colder months. Our warehouse team has been busy as ever, packing up orders and making sure they get safely to our customers all around the world. 

It has been so wonderful to see the Nelson Markets back in full swing, although we really miss hearing the different accents of our international visitors. Not surprisingly, we’ve been having lots of conversations about the benefits of raw honey for boosting the immune system. 

Shoppers at the markets are always very interested to hear more about Manuka honey, but they are often surprised to learn about Kanuka and Beech Honeydew. 

These honeys also have quite astonishing health benefits, some of which are unique to their varieties. 

Sometimes we feel a bit like scientists when we go on about antioxidants, enzymes and methylglyoxal counts. And sometimes it all gets rather too complicated for a busy Saturday market conversation. 

Fortunately, we can always direct people to our website while we serve the next customer. If you’d like to find out more about the health properties of raw honey, you can find some great information here.

With the daffodils and magnolias out all over Nelson, and the first lambs bouncing around in the paddocks, it feels as if we are coming to the end of winter already. 

You might even see a few more bees heading out for a forage and checking out the first of the spring blossoms. Some, like us humans, are still a bit sleepy looking. And some might have ventured out a bit too early. They just need to warm up in the sun and recharge their batteries before they get moving. 

If you see a bee inside your house that looks a bit weak, try moving her outside to a nice warm flower and give her a few drops of sugar water, then let nature do the rest.

It’s amazing what a little bit of sunshine and love can do!  

We hope this message finds you safe and well, and that you have found your own patch of sunshine to enjoy. Because, as we always say, it’s those little things that count!

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