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Local Ringwood Honey - Harvest Notes 2018

Local Ringwood Honey 2018 Harvest Notes 

2018 was the most successful harvest to date - it was a fantastic season with a warm spring and gorgeous summer. Most days seemed to 23c plus and very little rain.

The 2018 crop of Ringwood Honey is darker and a little stringer than past years. I put this down to the abundance of early spring/summer nectar and the dry weather. It was a bountiful year and the hives produced 70lbs - the most I've ever extracted. 

January

In January we seemed to have a warm spell and the bees were quite active - caught a nice close up of this one that took a rest on me after collecting pollen form the early flowers.

 

Ringwood Honey - Honey bee

February

February saw many routine jobs - some new supers being made ready for this year. For the most part, I seem to prefer having fresh wax on combs and although it takes time and energy for them to extract it, it feels good to know the stores are on good fresh wax. 

Ringwood Honey - New supers for 2018

March 

Just as I thought we were in for a good spring - we had a lot of snow. It hung around for two weeks...Although it was cold - they didn't seem too mind too much.

Ringwood Honey - Hives in the snow

 

April through July 

What a great season 2018 has been - plenty of nectar rich flowers everywhere. 

We had a massive blackberry bloom this year that seemed to start early and go on for ages - they loved it.

Ringwood Honey - Blackberry

As well as the usual flowers in the area like fuschias.

Ringwood Honey - Fuschia

And the hundreds of other nectar bearing flowers in the area. The bees forage a lot to the back of the apiary and this area has a lot of buddleia - seems to grow really well here.

Ringwood Honey - Buddleia

2018 Ringwood Honey jars and label design

After the excursion into high end designer honey jars in 2017, I decided to go back to basics and bottled most of the  crop in pretty standard 1/2 lb honey jars. The label design is simple and places the brand at the centre and also carries the required statutory information (lot number, country of origin, weight, producer details). Although I don't really sell commercially, I have been doing this for a the last two years just as a good practice. 

I also went a little more environmentally friendly and designed and printed the labels on 100% recycled brown labels. I think it gives the finished product a great look and feel and I must admit the standard honey jars seem to work the best - there's probably a reason they are the shape they are.

Ringwood Honey - 2018 jar and design