John Smart (left) from Airborne Honey, with (from left)
Lindis Honey's Tim Wood, Jan Wood, Zoe Wood, Peter Wood and
Carolyn Squires, judge Maureen Maxwell and beekeeper Colin
Wood. Photo supplied.
Central Otago beekeeper Colin Wood reckons he has the
best job in the world.
A qualified builder, Mr Wood has no regrets about entering
the honey industry when he gave a beekeeping friend a hand.
It was during the recession in the 1980s, the building
industry was "not good" and switching to beekeeping was not a
hard decision to make.
A keen outdoors person, he knew the lifestyle would suit him.
Lindis Honey is now a family business which also involves
sons Tim and Peter and daughter Carolyn.
The company won the supreme gold award in the recent
inaugural Airborne Honey monofloral honey competition.
The awards were launched to raise awareness of New Zealand's
monofloral honeys, made predominantly from one single nectar
Lindis Honey won the award for a southern kamihi honey, which
judge Maureen Maxwell described as a "superb example".
"This year's harvest has produced a pale, delicately coloured
honey of subtle musk aroma. Its flavour is rich, lusciously
sweet with a melt in the mouth buttery texture."
The award-winning honeys will be available as limited edition
gold and silver packs in Foodstuffs supermarkets throughout
the South Island from early October.
With 120 sites accommodating 3000-odd hives around the Lindis
Pass, Cromwell, Clyde and Bannockburn areas, as well as on
the West Coast, Lindis Honey produces an average of 140
tonnes of honey each year.
Most is sold under the Airborne Honey label.
Beekeeping was a great lifestyle and there was huge variety
every day - but it was not without its challenges, Mr Wood
Weather affected beekeeping more than any other farming
sector, he said.
He stressed the importance of bees - not just for honey
production but for pollination.
Without bees, there would be a "massive" drop in food
.The National Beekeepers' Association plans to work alongside
the Government to assess how it can better prepare for and
respond to biosecurity risks that threaten beekeepers.
The NBA has agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding with
the Ministry for Primary Industries while it looks into the
Government Industry Agreement.