Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Club Honey Show 2009

The Waikato Domestic Beekeepers Assc held their annual Honey Show at the May meeting. It was very successful with quite afew of our new members entering honey and winning prizes !!
It is judged by taste, with light, medium and dark in both the runny and creamed classes. Wax and mead were also judged and I must admit, one of the mead samples had a real kick to it !
It is a fairly laid back affair and I would like to make some changes next year, maybe get judges in from commercial honey producers - make it more interesting. The number of exhibits has grown alot over the last couple of years, I think it is time to make it more professional.
We hold our meetings in a classroom at the Horticultural campus of Wintec, which is a large learning institution in Hamilton city. It gives us lots of room to spread out, we can show DVDs and videos, plus there is a laptop and projector for power point presentations. The biggest bonus is where we are situated . . . the Hamilton Gardens - my favourite place.

Alot of the honey was quite dark in colour, probably due to the pennyroyal around in lawns here in the city during autumn. Most of our members are from the urban area, with afew out of towners on life-style blocks or close to the bush areas.

Our club is growing rapidly with many more people interested in keeping bees, I hope after the adult night class I am teaching in August we will have many more wanting to help pollinate our world . .

Honey Jar .

Is this not a cool honey biscuit barrel or a large honey jar ? My friend gave it to me afew years ago and I love it !! The detail on it is beautiful and it is in perfect condition. I have a small collection of honey pots, but I think this is my favourite .

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Below is an extract from the Organics Aotearoa web site. It is Bee Week here in NZ, focusing on the importance of bees in our lives. There has been articles in the news papers each day, so hopefully more and more people will become aware

01 May 2009
Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ) is putting a focus on bee-friendly farming, calling for reductions in toxic agrichemical use and increased organic research as Bee Week begins on Monday 4 May.
"Bees would not survive without human support, while a third of all the food we eat depends on bee pollination", said Dr Jon Tanner, OANZ Chief Executive Officer.
"During Bee Week, OANZ will advocate for reductions in toxic agrichemical use and more organic research", Dr Tanner said.
"There is mounting concern at the world's declining bee population, with agrichemical use a leading cause.
"Increasing organic research would allow all farmers to reduce their reliance on harmful agrichemicals.
"Greater research is particularly necessary around varroa, where we do not yet have organic options which can control the early stages of infestation. Beekeepers face having to abandon organic production until effective treatments are found.
"New Zealand produces around 300 tonnes of certified organic honey annually, mostly for international export. Organic bee products typically attract a price premium of around 25%.
"Organic beekeepers are required to locate hives more than five kilometers from intensively farmed properties, and to abide by certifiers' standards for hive management.
"Despite the challenge posed by varroa, organic beekeepers are generally positive about their future. Consumers are demanding the greater traceability which organics provides, and more farms are making the switch to organic production.
"OANZ is pleased to work alongside the National Beekeepers Association, Horticulture New Zealand and Plant and Food Research in coordinating Bee Week", Dr Tanner said.
Three organic case studies are available for download:
Waitaki Honey Company
organic bee products exporter John Hartnell
the New Zealand Beeswax Company
There is also a media backgrounder with information about the themes of Bee Week, and more information is available on the National Beekeepers Association website.