Making lavender honey is something we have been doing for years now. It is a collaboration between us at the farm, the bees that live here and the beekeepers who tend to them. The result is a honey that's a little different to the norm but holds a fantastic floral flavour.
It all starts with the bees
The honey bees at the Wānaka Lavender Farm keep themselves busy all summer by wandering through our array of flower gardens, and relishing in the blooming rows of lavender.
The bees collect nectar from the flowers and carry it back to one of two lots of hives that we have on the farm. There, the clever worker bees turn the nectar into honey, and store it in honeycomb cells.
Did you know that lavender’s calming properties can also have an effect on animals? That's why the bees at our farm are pretty chilled out.
Then the beekeepers step in
Although we often see the beekeepers at Wānaka Lavender Farm checking in on the bees, they are only here to harvest the honey once a year. And that's usually in late-summer. It's really important to harvest the honey at the right time as the taste will be different if it's taken earlier or later.
The harvesting process involves taking the full boxes from each hive and replacing them with empty boxes that the bees can keep storing honey in for their winter dining. As beekeepers know from studying bee behaviour, their nature is to always follow or stay with the queen. Therefore, the queen bee's box is kept in place whilst the others are taken with the honey in, ensuring the rest of the colony stays put and starts work in their newly renovated homes.
The boxes full of honey are then transported to an extraction plant where the honey is extracted from the combs through a spinning mechanism and is then filtered to ensure that it's clean, pure and ready to be enjoyed! And as a last touch of love, before being poured into pots, a drop of our Pacific Blue lavender essential oil is blended to the honey. This subtly enhances the uniquely lively floral flavour profile that many guest here at the farm savour.
Finally, we offer this delicious honey to be enjoyed by you
Thanks to the flowering plants, hard-working bees and stewardship of our beekeepers, our lavender honey is now ready to hit the shelves at the farm. We love our lavender honey so much that we have a special tasting section within our cosy tearoom at Wānaka Lavender Farm. Guests are most welcome - in fact, encouraged - to try and experience the flavour of our range of honeys.
If you can't visit our farm in person but want to enjoy our mouth-watering lavender honey, we have you covered. You can get your hands on our Lakes Honey through our online store.
We hope you adore this one as much as we do...