Meet Alazae, Comvita’s newest hobbyist beekeeper
Alazae Davis Peters is a local Paengaroa girl and a hobbyist beekeeper. Alazae works in the Comvita Retail store and helps out with the Community Garden Beehive.
We asked Alazae what she love's about beekeeping?
“I love the thrill of seeing what happens in a hive and seeing it build and grow. Also, the knowledge that I’m helping to boost the population of honey bees, who pollinate and help grow fruit and vegetables.”
How did you get involved in beekeeping (and when)?
Working at Comvita inspired me to start beekeeping. While working in the retail shop at the start of 2019, that has a live display hive, I started asking questions and learning from an experienced beekeeper that managed the onsite hives. My interest and involvement expanded from there to help with hives in our community garden. Now I am excited to have two of my own.
What do you love about beekeeping?
I love the thrill of seeing what happens in a hive and seeing it build and grow. Also, the knowledge that I’m helping to boost the population of honey bees, who pollinate and help grow fruit and vegetables.
What have you learned in beekeeping or from bees that can apply to other areas of life?
It’s like a community and I can relate that to our company. The hive has their Queen, as we have our CEO. In both communities there are workers that help share the workload to get the job done.
What part of your beekeeping practices are based in old traditions? What part of the practice has been influenced by modern practices / technologies?
I use a traditional bee smoker, which helps to soothe the bees when I want to open the hive to inspect the honey frames. The health of bees is so important to Comvita customers.
What practices do we employ that keep the long-term health of the hive in mind?
I aim to create a natural environment for the bees, that is sustainable. I leave honey in the frames, so the bees have enough to feed on through Winter. And I choose sites that have a diverse range of flowers, that flower at different times of the year.
What about beekeeping where you are in New Zealand makes the job special?
Paengaroa is my hometown and is close to my heart. I like to see the plants and trees flourish in the area and help the community garden.
What’s one word you’d use to describe the feeling you experience when beekeeping?
Exhilarating! Because each time you go into a hive it is a thrill to see the hives grow and develop.
How do you incorporate Manuka into your daily routine?
I take Manuka daily. Sometimes I eat a teaspoonful in the morning, have it on my toast, or I substitute sugar for honey in my drinks and baking.
What’s your favorite hobby?
Beekeeping, as I am a hobbyist beekeeper.
What would you tell other curious people who are interested in getting into beekeeping?
To give it a go, and you may just become a passionate beekeeper like me.