What makes Boons Valley Boutique Honey Ethical ?
Minimal use of plastic parts.
Zero Miticide use.
Limited number of hives per hectare.
The elimination of introduced predators (rats stoats opossums ).
We do not blow our bees when harvesting honey.
Plastic frames ,lids and bottom boards have become the norm. This alters and minimizes the bees ability to control the humidity within the hive.
Hive humidity has an effect on hive health ,disease and varoa control becomes more difficult. Bees will only build wax comb on plastic if forced to do so. The environmental impact of the disposal of damaged plastic frames must be considered.
We only use wooden frames ,boxes and bases. Lids are metal.
National recommendations to maximize nectar harvesting is around 1.5 hectares per hive. This does not allow a surplus of nectar to feed native birds like Tui and Bellbirds.
We have 1 hive per 40 hectares.
Miticide strips are commonly used to treat for Varoa Mites. Commercially available treatments use Flumethrin, Pyrethroide and Fluvalinate.. The use of these chemicals must be rotated in order to minimize resistance. They can not be used when honey is on the hive as it will be absorbed into the honey due to the fact that honey is hydrophilic.
We use Oxalic Acid treatment ( naturally found in green leafed vegetable's and rhubarb ) This can be applied when honey is on the hive. The timber frames and boxes absorb the oxalic acid crystals helping to give a lasting treatment. This is deemed to be an organic method.
Our honeys are from Native NZ trees with Tui and Bellbirds present. They rely on nectar for feed for themselves and the young chicks.
Given a good balance of 1 hive per 40 hectares amply amounts of nectar can be harvested and still allow for native birds to flourish. Given the right balance an abundance of berries will follow later in the season. We also run a predator program to further enhance the bird life.
In order to harvest honey and leave the bees behind a blower is used. Many bees are damaged or can not find there way back to the hive as they may be young bees that have not left the hive as a field bee.
We use a one way board which allows the bees to move down into the brood at night but can not return back up to the honey boxes. This simple method does require a visit to the hive the day before harvest but with minimal loss of bees.
You support our efforts by purchasing Boons Valley Boutique Honeys.