Winter Harvest 14/7/2013

  • by Robin
  • August 6th, 2013
  • Updates

It is mid winter in Tasmania, and the days are short and fresh.

truck
But that doesn’t stop me moving our hives and preparing our bees for spring. Today I moved the majority of the hives from Lake Gordon leatherwood sites to Richmond. I move these bees because the west coast of Tasmania receives over 1500mm of rain and most of it over the winter. Whilst the bees don’t mind cold weather, wet weather can make the bees unhappy, so moving them in midwinter to the dry warmer hills east of Hobart gives them a chance to spend some restful dry days before the coming spring (for comparison Richmond only receives 500mm of rain a year).

At dawn I arrived at Lake Gordon and loaded the ute and trailer to capacity and made the slow 3 hour journey to Richmond. Another reason for moving the hives this winter is to give the bees access to the flowering of the Blue Gums trees (Eucalyptus globulus). This should produce Wellington Apiary’s first blue gum honey. This native tree is the floral emblem of Tasmania but only flowers every 1-7 years, so ensuring a regular supply of Blue Gum honey can be difficult.

The Blue Gums at the Richmond site have been slowly growing silver blue flower buds over autumn and winter, and it appears the flowering will start at the end of winter. Blue Gums also have a long flowering period, so can provide great honey yields over two to three months. The flowering of the Blue Gums will give the bees the perfect start to spring and hopefully an early honey harvest for Wellington Apiary.