19 Feb 2021

Champion pollinators buzzing for winter break

From Country Life, 9:30 pm on 19 February 2021
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Photo: supplied

The drop in honey prices has prompted Kirwee beekeeper Glynn Cleaver to focus on pollination services rather than honey collection.

"If we want to keep the bees alive and ourselves fed, the pollination work goes a long way to paying for that and it's really important for Canterbury too, as a lot of seed is grown here for overseas markets."

This week, Glynn has been collecting his hives from cropping farms in the district.

The bees have been buzzing through a variety of local seed crops this year including bok choy, mustard greens, clovers, radish and carrots. Mid Canterbury grows about 40 percent of the world's carrot seed which just shows how important local bees are for food production .

It's been a topsy turvy season. Temperatures have been yo-yoing and there's been more rain than usual so honey production's down, but that's not the bee all and end all.

"The hives are in really good condition so that sets things up really well for next year. You've always got to be an optimist if you're a beekeeper!" Glynn chuckles.

Kirwee Bees sells raw and natural honey, balms, bee boxes and small honey bee colonies for hobbyist beekeepers.