Team Rosewood suits up for summer honey harvest. Did you know that bees are herbivores and come from wasps? (but they are much friendlier)
The Roman Family (founders of Rosewood Estates Winery) has been beekeeping for 3 generations. William Roman Senior brought his love of bees to Canada in the 1940’s and his son Eugene and grandson William Roman have continued the family tradition of keeping bees. With 7 bee yards (apiaries) scattered across the Niagara Escarpment, including bee yards at our vineyards, the team is always excited to go out for the summer honey harvest. 300 hives strong and growing, it’s a 3 day adventure involving the entire winemaking and vineyard team. This year we celebrate our winemaker’s 8th honey harvest with Rosewood.
The beekeeping season is a short season, we open hives in May and then towards the end of July we go out to take off the first crop of honey. Traditionally the Rosewood team goes out to harvest honey twice a summer, once in late July and once in early September. We spend one day out visiting all of the bee yards removing the full boxes of honey and checking for the strength of the hive.
We also keep an eye out for Queen Cells. When a hive begins to produce Queens this is an indication of a swarm and we try to prevent this from happening by moving Queen Cells to new hives to focus their energy there. This is how we breed bees and grow our bee yards.
During the honey harvest our goal is to move quickly (while fully clothed and in the middle of the sun) and quietly as to not disturb the bees. They are not happy about losing honey, but the next day we add new “supers” or honey boxes for them to fill up again. This focuses them on their own task at hand.
After we collect all of the hives, typically a whole day adventure, we extract for 1-2 days depending on the amount of honey we receive. Have a look at our first honey harvest of 2013. We were THRILLED to see full boxes of light coloured honey but we also experienced some losses. Bees are sensitive to their surroundings and slowly we’re seeing the impact of human interference on these fragile yet essential insects.
Enjoy our journey from hive to hive. Contact us for fresh honey, honeycomb and other honey products.
A beautiful day to collect honey.
With a team of 7 our team is comprised of viticulture students, winemakers and seasoned beekeepers. This was our winemaker’s 8th honey harvest!
Peekaboo! Did you know that after a Queen gets pregnant she never leaves her hive again? Ever. Meaning 2-3 years.
This year we had 2 new lady beekeepers, Avi and Marlayna our viticulture students. Did you know that 95% of a hive is female?
Bees product propolis to shut the hives to prevent predators from getting in. We use a bee knife to unglue the hives. Propolis is extremely sticky and has many medical and health benefits.
We use smoke so the bees are less hostile and focus on the “fire” vs us. It’s a natural way of distracting them.
Before we remove a box we check for the health and state of the hive. The smaller boxes are honeycomb boxes.
One of our newest and strongest yards. Bees need water and ample pollen to thrive. Location is very important in beekeeping.
Two of our bee yards are located at our different vineyards.The bees don’t pollinate the grapes but we grow lavender, russian sage and other plants to help support the bees love of flowers.
We found our tallest hive ever….. 6 hives tall!!
Here is our Master Beekeeper inspecting a nuc (a baby hive). He’s looking out for the Queen and checking out the bee cells she’s laying.