Young South Canterbury beekeeper Jack Innes is celebrating the sweet taste of success.
Last year, Jack, who is year 8 this year at Waihi School, acquired two beehives — a traditional one and a Flow Hive made from cedar which he bought from Australia. He spent the rest of last year waiting for his first taste-test.
That opportunity came in mid-December.
‘‘[It is] delicious, runny, sweet and good to eat,’’ he said.
As part of the taste-test, Jack has had the honey on toast and over ice cream. ‘‘[It is] very good,’’ he said.
‘‘We are still harvesting approximately once a week at the moment. It is a nice dark colour and comes from the vipers bugloss [blue borage] crop of flowers, which have grown well this year after a good spring.’’
He has harvested about 25 litres of honey so far this season, which he stores in plastic containers, saving some for the winter.
Jack said his new-found hobby was worth the effort. He described the Flow Hive system as an awesome invention, one he wants to invest more money in.
The industry was not completely new to Jack, his grandfather also having had hives at Black Forest, South Canterbury.
With a keen desire to add to his knowledge, he also welcomed outside help, including that of Peter and Ali Bell, of Mackenzie Country Honey, who showed him through their honey factory in Twizel last year.
The visit helped Jack learn the various beekeeping procedures, including how to open a hive, use a smoker, and how to control varroa with special treatment strips which the bees rub past in the hive. He was also shown how to extract honey from a traditional beehive.