Sunday, June 16, 2024
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honeyRockhaven also produces small quantities of raw honey that is farmed organically and which is certified as badger friendly by WWF.  This makes us one of the few honey producers in South Africa to produce honey organically.  We were certified by an overseas certifier for over ten years.

The honey is harvested, spun out and bottles on the farm as a pure and raw organic honey.  

The honey is mainly sold off the farm, although orders can be placed and collected in the southern suburbs of Cape Town.

Rockhaven Farm has achieved organic certification for its honey through BCS-Oko Guarantie in Germany.  This made us one of the few honey producers in South Africa to have international organic accreditation.  The certification process involves a rigorous investigation into the production of honey on the farm: factors include the wood used in the hives, the origin of bees, the use of any bee food, the proximity of the nearest conventional farming (particularly crop spraying) and the honey extraction methods used. We have decided to allow this certification to lapse, but have continued our strict organic farming principles. 

Our honey is also registered as badger friendly through the Wildlife Foundation. Hives are protected (many times unsuccessfully) from the ratels by elevating the hives on wooden stilts and tying them down with wire: no traps, poison or other harmful control methods are used.  We nevertheless lose on average two hives per year to these tough scavengers.

At present, honey production is fairly low-key on the farm: we have 15 active hives across the farm.  We regularly lose hives to ratel, baboons and through abanimg_4607donment (particularly due to the long sold winters), so the number of hives varies greatly.  The development of American Foul Brood in Cape Town has limited our ability to replace hives that have been lost, as we are very concerned that the disease ought not to be introduced onto the mountain.  Fire also remains a constant threat on the mountain, although we have fortunately not lost any hives in this manner so far.

The texture, colour and flavour of the honey differs from one season to the next, depending upon the flowers that the bees have been harvesting.  Fynbos, wildflowers and eucalyptus all produce a darker flavoursome honey, while fruit blossoms tend to provide a lighter, sweeter honey.  We harvest the honey ourselves and all harvesting and bottling is done on the farm.  It is a fascinating process to watch and guests are welcome to help out in the process if we are harvesting.  The honey is sold off the farm.

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