Rain has meant quite an abnormal beekeeping season for us. Usually each year we have a pretty predictable plan, based on what trees we know are budding and where we expect the best honey prospects to be, but this year has not been like that at all. It’s been all about hedging our bets and spreading our risks.
Normally all our loads of bees are moved to the one region for 4-6 weeks as we follow the best looking blossoms around the different eucalypt species in flower. This year not so.
We’ve spread out our loads because nothing has looked quite as it should.
Some have been in the Riverina on lucerne, some on red gum along the rivers and creeks, some in central Victoria on iron bark, and some close to home working blackberries and ground flora, which have actually been helped by the rain. Locally, things like our tiny Chestnut honey crop has been unfortunately totally washed out.
Sadly I have to say, pretty much everything has just resulted only in “good breeding conditions for bees”. That’s beekeeper speak for no excess honey for us beekeepers, but enough to keep the hive in good condition with good pollen supplies coming in to keep the hive breeding and replace the short life spans of the worker bees.
Our job first and foremost as beekeepers, is to always look after the interests of the hive, we only ever get to take what is in excess of what the hive needs. The first job of the bees is to gather enough stores to last them through the winter, and when we’re not sure what’s coming next, we leave any honey they have in their larder, not wanting to risk leaving them short.
As eternal optimists, we still have a couple more months of Autumn options before the season closes. It’s lean times like this that I’m ever so grateful that honey can be stored and we can draw on our honey reserves we have in stock and also for the other hardworking beekeepers in our network. Other parts of the country have fared a bit better so its great to have other honey coming in from our beekeepers located in other parts of Australia.
Beekeepers are part botanist, part entomologists and their constant search of little pockets of pollen and nectar always seems to enable us to manage to only sell 100% Australian honey… always! We all pull together and that’s what underpins the constant supply of beautiful Australian honey.
We hope you enjoy them all! Journey well into 2022 everyone, knowing that life is uncertain but that nature really is incredible, diverse and resilient in sustaining us all.