Truefood’s honey is seasonal, and the nectar sources vary depending on the time of the year. There are five key nectar sources that our bees feed on. The honey season starts in June in the area around Pretoria-Rustenberg, where the bees thrive on indigenous aloes. Aloe daviana is the richest source of natural pollen in the world and this gives a huge boost to the bee populations and, as a result, honey production.
Then, in the Spring, the hives journey to the Lowveld for the bees to feast on fragrant orange blossom and the gorgeous pink and white flowering racemes of macadamia. Timing is especially crucial when it comes to orange blossom – the trees flower for only three weeks. Orange and macadamia honeys are aromatically more fragrant than aloe, and are also slow granulating.
In October/November, the hives are on the move again, this time to the nearby eucalyptus (bluegum) trees planted originally by the mines.
Bees, like the rest of us in SA, typically take a “vacation” over December, and then it’s on to the Free State’s endless sunflower fields. By March, they’ve been moved again, this time to bluegum plantations in Northern Natal. And then the cycle starts again …