Westlands Honey



NZ Lifestyle Magazine Group



According to chief bee wrangler Andy Westland, the Mackenzie Region tastes like a spoon of his Westlands Honey. Andy doesn't tamper chemically with his bees' harvest, nor does he heat-treat it, so any scents and flavours his winged nectar agents deliver to his 840 Mackenzie hives sing through loudly in the honey. “Our bees have worked the flowers in these areas for many years now, and the floral types the bees get here are a mixture of New Zealand that you don't see in a lot of other areas of the country.” As befits an operation based on social insects, every member of the Westland family plays a busy part in the flower-to-pot process. Andy's wife Amy and their two children Vince (9) and Melanie (8) are heavily involved (Vince's maiden beekeeping voyage was on his first birthday). Andy describes the kids' talents: “They help move hives and work in the extracting room in the weekends. They can work the packing machine and lid the pots with us, too. There's always a war over who gets to pull the trigger for the packing machine.” Andy's Mum Ivalyne is responsible for this bee-centric lifestyle — she bought her son a hive when he was 12 years old to add to his creature tally (ducks, birds, lizards and mice). “She was reading through the newspaper one day and saw some hives for sale. She thought it would be something different to get her son. Who would have thought it would lead to this?” That was some good planning on Ivalyne's part. “She has earned herself a lifetime supply of honey,” Andy says. Available at selected spots throughout the Mackenzie (including Tekapo 4 Square, and the Garage Gallery in Kimbell) or online at westlandshoney.co.nz