The Mānuka Honey season starts early in the Far North with the Mānuka trees starting to flower as early as August each year and as the season progresses the mānuka flowering gradually moves down the North Island and into the South Island.
Spring is a busy time for us at Kai Ora Honey, moving bees at night, and ensuring our bees are doing well and are ready for the busy Mānuka honey season ahead.
The logistics involved in moving the bees takes a lot of time and skill to manage with over 2500 hives on sites from Spirits Bay to Kaipara Heads. Each hive has 15,000-20,000 bees in the winter, increasing to 50,000-60,000 at the peak of the season, from September to April.
The weather also plays a big part in having a successful season. Bees don't fly in the rain and cold, preferring to stay tucked up in their hives. Also if it’s not warm enough, the flowers don’t release all of their nectar. Some flowers, like Mānuka, won’t release their nectar unless the temperature gets to 20 degrees or above.
Thankfully, we have a great network of landowners and lots of options when it comes to finding the best spots to keep our bees well-fed. We think we have one of the best jobs in the world and we feel so grateful to work with our bees in such beautiful locations up here in Te Tai Tokerau.