Just the Bees Knees

Shelley Duncan and her honey (Supplied)
Shelley Duncan and her honey (Supplied)

In these turbulent times, golf clubs need all the bright ideas they can find. Just the bees knees is a venture at the Otago Club where the Club’s Director of Golf Shelley Duncan and life member Lou McConnell came up with a real honey of an idea.

Towards the end of 2020, Duncan put a beehive on her own property and thought about the possibilities for the club. When McConnell floated the thought to Duncan it was all go and Balmacewen Course Green Belt Raw Honey was born.

Lou McConnell sells the raffles at the club and it is a great fundraiser for us. Duncan said to him, “Honey is easier than selling cheese rolls,“ She added “We even have people coming off the street to buy. At the moment it is raw honey but we will be getting creamed honey as well. Apparently, you can’t cream it till the temperature drops so we are waiting for the cooler times. The good thing is the flow of honey won’t stop even though we only have the two hives.”

“The hive I have at home is near my deck and I watch it all the time. It is mesmerising. The bees always go in one direction. Apparently, the scout goes out and finds where to go, then comes back and the rest follow the leader there.”

“We have only had them a week and probably sold 40 jars. It seems to be gathering momentum.”

The club uses Honey Contractor Farm Gate hives and they process and pack the honey for the club into a range of sized jars for sale in the pro shop. They also check the hives regularly to make sure the Queen is still there and everything is healthy.

otago honey

This has to be a clever venture for golf clubs to consider if they have the right environment. The two hives at Otago are on the back of the 12th green near manuka and kanuka trees.

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