It’s not just about the honey!
Spring has well and truly arrived in Nelson and that means a change of scene for some of our Mountain Valley Honey bees.
Beginning around October, when the days grow warm with sunshine and soft breezes, our bees go on a special working holiday — into the local orchards to help pollinate fruit trees and vines.
Lending a helping hand with pollination around the Nelson region has been a long-standing tradition in our company, and one that runs in the family.
“I’ve been pollinating for around 28 years” says owner, Murray Elwood. “It feels like forever - but Dad was pollinating well before me. Makes me sound old!”
This treasured relationship with local farmers goes right back to when Murray’s dad, Merv was just starting out. Working in the same orchards each year, our bees spend their time pollinating apples and berries. And other beekeepers in the district help out too, by sending their bees into pear and kiwifruit orchards.
We love to get involved with our orchard partners, because we understand what a vital role bees play, especially at this important time of the year. Bees are nature’s best pollinators and it is estimated that a third of the world’s food production depends on bees.
It’s great to think that the bees at MVH are doing their bit to support our horticultural community, not to mention our economy — fruit exports account for a significant percentage of our total exports in New Zealand.
However, we do have to make sure our bees are healthy and capable of performing this important work. Spring can be hard on the hives with changing seasons and different weather, so we attend to them very carefully at this time of year. As much as we love to help, we love our bees too, so we have to be careful not to take on too much.
We are so lucky to live in a bountiful area of New Zealand and it’s all thanks to bees.
Yes, our bees provide us with glorious honey, which people have treasured for food and medicinal purposes since ancient times, but these tiny workers do so much more.
Without bees, our crops would not be nearly as fruitful. So, next time you see a honeybee, thank her for all her hard work. The world would not be the same without her.