By Cornelia Holten
Published: 17th Febuary 2020
Image above: Bees entering the hive at KoruKai Herb Farm (photo credit: Klara Tumova)
At KoruKai Herb Farm we are passionate beekeepers and the wellbeing of the bees is our first principle. We only take honey when they produce surplus and this meant a lot of patience from our side as we harvested our first box of honey after 4 years of beekeeping. We always respect the integrity of the hive and never mix bees randomly as done in some commercial situations. The bees are left with 25kgs of their own honey for the winter months and sugar syrup is fed only when necessary. We open and check the hives at the minimum requirement and do a lot through outside observation. This year we saved a hive this way as robbing was taking place by a different colony. Wet sheets draped over the hive and a narrowed entrance left the robbers confused and they buggered off.
We also use the hives as a teaching tool for our homeschooled children.
1st image below: Nicholas (6) is getting a lesson on the life cycle of honeybees. He was blown away by the activity inside the hive and was lucky to see a bee hatch and a nurse bee feeding her.
2nd image below: Julia (4) enjoys simply sitting and watching the activity on the entrance. She reports back the colour of the "pants" as the bees come back with pollen on their legs. They then muse which flowers they pollinated in the garden.
Beekeeping allows us to harvest honey and beeswax sustainably and by doing it ourselves we can guarantee the wellbeing of the bees. They are so important for our environment and the pollination of plants - both native and introduced - food and wildflowers.
Below some images of the honeybees on our medicinal herbs.
I hope you enjoyed this wee article from our farm. If you have any questions about our bees please send us a message.
Next time we will share how to render beeswax. So keep an eye out for it.
About Cornelia Holten
Cornelia is an herbalist and slow food educator with a passion for simple living, DIY, herbs and self-sufficiency. A certificate in Organic Horticulture, the Soil Food Web, an Apprenticeship in Herbal Medicine and living on a farm in Pigeon Bay equip her with a lot of knowledge and experience with growing food and living a healthy life.
She is teaching workshops on sustainable food systems, whole foods, fermentation, primal diets and organic gardening. A thirst for knowledge and a passion for new scientific studies keep her well informed on those topics.