Sunshine and Honey. Just as it should be!
The sun is shining and our bees are doing what they do best — making delicious honey. We’re so happy that things are humming along as they should. Now seems like the perfect time to say a big thank you to everyone who helped us rise to the challenges that 2022 threw our way.
We knew the Nelson and Marlborough floods were going to test our team to the very limit. It was such a relief to find that our bees had weathered the storms so well, with very little damage to their hives. Our biggest problem was getting to them!
Road closures caused absolute havoc in the top of the South Island after the floods. The chaos continued for many months as road workers raced to fix road damage, including the main route. Our normal 90-minute drive from Nelson to Marlborough became a three-hour trek.
Working with bees added a whole new dimension to what was already a logistical nightmare. Because we always move our hives at night, the temporary opening schedule of access roads didn’t match our needs. They just weren’t ‘bee-friendly.’
Thank goodness we managed to find a plan Bee!
Plan B was only possible thanks to the generosity of two of our wonderful landowners. Their offer of accommodation for our beekeepers really saved the day. It meant that a team of two could stay down in Marlborough to do all the heavy offloading and then rest.
Our driver situation was solved by setting up a relay system. Two teams would set off, one ute and one truck for each. The team from Nelson was loaded up with hives, with empty vehicles coming from Marlborough sounds. They would meet in the middle to swap vehicles and head back to their starting points. It all felt a bit like something from a movie.
We then had the 3rd team prepping all the hives ready for their “road trip” for the night shift. “Teamwork” makes the dream work, as they say.
Looking back, it seems quite incredible that we were able to turn things around so well. We managed to get everything done that needed doing, setting our bees up for a new season. Even the helicopter flights went like clockwork. For once, it all went ahead on the date we had planned!
We could not have managed any of this without our landowners. We owe them a huge thank you. We’ve always said that they’re very accommodating — we never expected it to be quite so literal!
Yet again, we were blown away by our team’s flexibility and good humour. Working with great people makes everything so much easier — even the most difficult of challenges.
We like to think there’s something a bit miraculous about honey. But this season’s harvest seems even more special. It’s the result of a lot of hard work, a heap of Kiwi ‘can-do’ and countless little acts of kindness. We could not be more thankful to everyone who helped make it happen.