Riversdale is a coastal area. In Māori, it is called Motukairangi which means ‘where the sea devours the sky.’ The Riversdale township is situated at the mouth of the Motuwaireka River, which rises in the native forest before passing through rolling farmland on its journey towards the sea. Motuwaireka means ‘sweet waters’ and there is no time this is truer than summer when the Manuka blooms and the honey flows!
"Riversdale is a big place far from town. For most of the year it is not a hospitable place for a bee to be, because of the harsh climate and lack of bee food, but for 2 months, before and after Christmas the bush turns white here when the Manuka flowers. This is when the hives arrive in large trucks and then are transferred onto utes to travel up the rivers and into the hills. Then the job is full on, within a week 1,500 hives will be on their prepared sites spread over 10,000 acres. This all happens at night time and we are hardly aware of it. For the next 2 months while the Manuka flowers, we see the beekeepers diligently attending to their business. Dressed up in their white suits, we have no idea who they are, but they are always friendly and tidy with a ready wave. And then the hives are on the move again, but this time full of honey. And that is it until next year.
We have now been associated with Watson & Son for over 10 years. We have seen the scale of the business increase from hundreds of hives, to thousands. It is a very professional operation with good equipment and good beekeeping. When the hives are here the bees get on with their business, the beekeepers with theirs and us with ours. Not a problem. It all works well."