Newbees and an older bee
Lindsay Moir, a club member for 19 years, said he got into beekeeping after ‘a bit of a midlife crisis’.
‘‘My Dad was a beekeeper, but he died when I was a toddler. When I got to my 40s I wondered what the attraction was. The best hive I ever had was on a handkerchief section in Merivale – I got more than 100kg of honey off that every year.’’
Lindsay now shares his knowledge with club members. He said hobbyists must go into the interest with their eyes open, however. ’’It’s not a case of just buying a hive and leaving it to go. Hives take up a lot of time, especially in season. You should be going into the hive every nine days, checking for anything unusual.’’
He said naivety often stops people getting involved but joining a club ensures there’s always someone to call on for help.
Newbies Madison and Annette Walker - mother and daughter - got their first hive in March this year. Madison admits to being the instigator of bringing the hive onto her parents’ 10acre property in Styx.
‘‘It was a slow-burning thing really,’’ Madison said. ‘‘Mum and Dad had a woman who wintered ten hives on the property and in the spring the fruit trees flourished and we just really noticed the difference.’’
The pair are now planning their garden around the bees and the honey. ‘‘We’re planting lavender this summer, and thyme,’’ Annette said. ‘‘They’re just such gentle little things.’’