Bee and Flow
The fog is starting to settle in the Manuka coated valleys as long shadows silhouette and stretch from one ridge to the next. The last of the bees have returned to the hive for the night. Its three days until Christmas, all 12,000 Ewes and lambs have been shorn and the Calves and Cows have been marked. Silage has been packed and summer crops have been sown. Each hive has been checked every 10 days since October, ensuring they are free of disease and with enough food and space to build and strengthen in preparation for the flowering season. We know that if we manage a healthy and strong hive then they will create a strong honey flow. Our focus is on the ‘Bee’ to create the ‘Flow’.
As we look across the canopy of the Manuka reserve, we decide that enough trees are beginning to flower so that we can harvest the early season honey and place new boxes on each hive to prepare for the Manuka flow. Another few early starts, another few long days and we can enjoy our Christmas. This is Spring. The wind blows from the west, the evenings lengthen and sunlight firms the ground, the grass bolts and the Beehives swell with fresh brood. Nature is in fast forward.
The lazy warmth of Summer is around the corner, the white and pink flowers of the Manuka will tilt towards the arcing Sun as the sweltering heat makes each flower abundant in its own unique nectar. For the farmer and beekeeper there isn’t time to think in the Summer. Will the Manuka flower? Will the wind settle and allow the bee a gentle passage? Will rain from the north nourish the grass, forest and animals? To attain a sense of ‘Flow’ we try to stay present, to just ‘Be’. The tasks are not pretty; they’re tough, but they have to be done. And we are grateful and proud of what we can produce for the world. Manuka Honey. A product so unique, from an animal so special supporting an amazing ecosystem in a beautiful corner of the world that we can call our home.
The name ‘Bee & Flow Manuka’ is inspired by our adulation for the Bee. It is a remarkable experience when you lift the lid on a beehive for the first time. To see tens of thousands of bees, interacting in such a complex system, all working towards the same goal. The Honey flow. Many generations will never see the rewards of their efforts yet each bee plays their role with a selfless determination to support the whole.
We also try and look at our business through a multi-generational lens. Our goal is to be stewards of the land, to work with nature and enhance the lands health for the future. Bees and Manuka are a crucial part of the sustainable management of the land. By having bees located permanently throughout the farm, they not only avoid the trauma and disease risk of being moved from crowded winter apiaries, but also support the growth of clover flowers (a keystone species within a grass based farming system). The Manuka trees are also being incorporated into the farming system by supporting soil on steep areas of the farm prone to erosion and by enhancing the natural biodiversity in the area.
We understand that in this modern world it is easy to get caught up in all of the distractions and expectations that come with living a busy life. We seek inspirations from our bees as an example of how to stay in the moment. We chose to work with passion and gratitude for the people and environment around us, we try to live a healthy life by moving our bodies and consuming healthy, naturally produced foods. We hope that Bee and Flow Manuka can become part of a healthy routine and help to 'bee' part of your own 'Flow'.