Well, so much has happened since our last Blog. Mothers Day was a huge success for us with our gift packs being really popular. Had some great feedback on our new products which is awesome, and we hope all the Mums who received one of our packs enjoyed them.
Fast forward to today and we have completed our first planting. We planted out about 350 good size manuka plants today. We are planning on planting alot more trees than just manuka though. Our vision is create a home base for our bees that gives them access to a wide variety of floral sources year round. With our focus periods being typical off season for the honey flow, autumn, winter and spring. Dans parents have been growing many different seedlings that we are planting - manuka, kanuka, karo, pittosporums, cabbage trees, flax, kahikateas, kaka beaks, willows, lemonbox gum, wintering flowering gums just to name a few. They have done really well with some fantastic strong healthy plants for us to plant out. It will make an awesome stand and the native birds will flourish.
We have been putting some planning into how we would like to be setup for next season as well. We plan on expanding the number of hives we have by at least double, possibly triple. With that in mind we have had to look at ways to streamline and help us to accomplish this. One of our issues in the past has been how we move the hives and how we lift them. So, we have just placed an order for a flatdeck trailer, so excited! To add to this we have commissioned a crane to be built to help us load both the ute and the trailer at the same time. Its a very specific crane made by beekeepers for beekeepers. An Austrailian company has designed and is building them. And once built, it will be sent over. We then go to an engineer to get fitted to the back of the ute. Cant emphasize enough how exciting this is, will show more as things start coming together! Fingers crossed should all be here before spring!
All our hives have wound down for winter now. The colony sizes have reduced down, the queen slows down how much she lays each day. The workers stay in unless the sun is out and the weather warm. On cold and wet days the bees cluster together in the hive to keep warm. They vibrate their bodies to create warmth and take turns on the outside of the cluster and then push their way back into the cluster when they get cold. But in saying that we are yet to experience any real drop in temperature. It has been a fairly mild autumn so far. I plan on going through all our hives again next week and will give another update then.
So in short we have been taking this time to plan out how we get setup for next season and take the time between now and spring to accomplish those goals. So much to be done and so little time.........