Skiddaw, the place
Skiddaw is our family farm nestled between forest and sea in the beautiful Kenepuru Sound. This is where all our hives are situated. Skiddaw (pronounced ‘skid-or’) was named in 1863 after a mountain in the Lakes District in England.
The property comprises of 150 hectares of pasture,- mainly near the sea , about 150 hectares of regenerating native bush and young plantation pine and best of all, 200 hectares of lush native forest which goes right up to the skyline. This place is paradise for us and for the bees. Bees, just like us, need shelter, warmth, and clean water, they also need a range of year round nectar sources, Skiddaw provides all this.
Our family bought this property in 1972, it was a rundown sheep farm devoid of trees and looking for some love. Rebuilding the house, planting trees, looking after the animals, fighting the weeds and pests has been a 46 year labour of love. Today we have just a dozen sheep and run approx 50 Angus cows and their calves.
We generate about ½ of our own electricity, we drink water that comes straight from the forest stream, we kill our own meat, grow our own vegetables and try to run the farm (which includes the bees) as respectfully as possible.
The Marlborough Sounds
The Marlborough Sounds is a labyrinth of waterways located at the top of the South Island of NZ. In fact The Sounds are so wiggly that they encompass over 1/5 of the whole of NZ’s coastline. Even though we are in the South Island we are actually further north than Wellington and therefore enjoy a temperate climate, high rainfall (about 2m per year) and lots of sunshine.
Picton and Havelock are the port towns of The Sounds, but only a couple of hundred people live further out in Kenepuru & Pelorus Sounds, there are no shops, no petrol stations and no doctor. There is one school with nine students.
The main industries in the sounds are sheep and beef farming, forestry, aquaculture & tourism. Many people come to holiday in The Sounds and enjoy the climate, the peacefulness, water sports and wildlife.