Honey of a job comes to an end

SONIA BEAL
Last updated 11:49 03/02/2014
Don Freeth
DEREK FLYNN/Fairfax Media
SWEET ENDING: Don Freeth, of Blenheim, has retired from beekeeping firm Bush & Sons after almost 40 years.

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Don Freeth scooted home for the last time on Friday, after almost 40 years working for Blenheim beekeeping company Bush J & Sons.

Mr Freeth, 73, has clocked up just under 108,000 kilometres on his 1968 Honda 50, most of which had been accumulated riding to and from work every day since he started there in October 1975.

"Sometimes I go in the car if the weather's a bit crook, but other than that it's every day," he said.

Mr Freeth described himself as a "jack of all trades", helping out with all aspects of the company's beehive management including inspecting hives, packing honey, and queen-rearing, the method used to raise more queen bees.

Mr Freeth has long had a fascination for bees, especially due to their ability to survive through the most extreme conditions.

"We've seen bees up at the Molesworth [Station] in the snow and they've been alive - they're can survive through all the elements."

Working in the outdoors and getting the chance to travel to different sites around Marlborough to attend to beehives were among the best parts of the job, Mr Freeth said.

The beehive run to Molesworth Station, which they undertook about 10-15 times a year, was a particular favourite.

"It's just seeing the scenery of the country up there on a beautiful day, breathing in the mountain air.

"Thousands of people would love to be working out there - just not if they don't like bee stings."

Mr Freeth said he also liked that his job kept him stimulated.

"The years go by pretty quick when you're doing this job," Mr Freeth said.

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- The Marlborough Express

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