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May 15, 2020

Comvita Beekeeper Spotlight: Meet Volodymyr

Humans have been beekeeping for nearly 10,000 years, cultivating safe and healthy places for bees to form thriving colonies. Some of the oldest parts of that tradition are alive and well at Comvita, where we’ve been beekeeping since 1974 (and for one of our founders, since the 1920s!). It’s important that we pass down the craft of beekeeping to new generations, and blend the old ways with the new to create the world’s #1 UMF™ Manuka Honey. So we’d like to introduce you to the beekeepers blending modern science and heritage tradition, passionately stewarding the bees and the ecosystem to create healthy, sustainable honey.

This is a conversation we had with Comvita Beekeeper Volodymyr Matyshchuk.

Hometown:

Napier Hawkes Bay, New Zealand via Severynivka, Ukraine.

How did you get involved in beekeeping (and when)?

My uncle has an apiary in the Ukraine. I spent most of my summers with him on his apiary, those are some of my earliest memories.

What do you love about beekeeping?

Let me share some background that will explain the love:

  • Bees are amazing. 50g of wax can hold 1500g of honey.
  • They are organized. Every member of the colony is doing certain jobs, creating one integrated system.
  • They are honest hard workers. Bees will die to protect their colony.
  • Bees naturally produce at least a dozen products that are beneficial for people.
  • Bees pollinate entomophile plants that are 30% of food of the world market - and honey is sweet!

Beekeeper, queens, pollination, honey, manuka honey, nature

What part of your beekeeping practices are based in old traditions? What part of the practice has been influenced by modern practices/technologies?

It’s both, old traditions are more about respect and keeping bees for a hobby, commercial beekeeping brings in new technology and data gathering.

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?

Comvita hires professional beekeepers, at the end of the day only expert beekeepers can manage bee health and honey results.

Beekeeper, queens, pollination, honey, manuka honey, nature

What about beekeeping in New Zealand makes the job special?

Sunny Hawkes Bay in Napier, beautiful place with a lot of native bush and nature and different landscapes.

What’s one word you’d use to describe the feeling you experience when beekeeping?

Exciting.

How do you incorporate Manuka honey into your daily routine?

Every day with tea, we are proud of what we are producing here.

What’s your favorite hobby?

Fishing.

Beekeeper, queens, pollination, honey, manuka honey, nature