We are a small family run company; Sticky Ricky the bee keeper, QueenBee and the two bee boys. Our business grew from a hobby and wanting to find a way to not have two parents commuting to the city to pay the mortgage, to have more time to be around to raise our own kids and do work that we are passionate about, that is ethical and makes a positive contribution to our community and environment.
We are assisted by wonderful WWOOFers (click for our listing) from around the world who stay with us, learn about raising bees, stick a lot of labels on jars and exchange knowledge and culture.
Our lucky bees get to live on the sub-tropical Waiheke Island, off the coast of Auckland, New Zealand. We think it is paradise and the bees seem to agree. We keep our breeding stock, raising new colonies of bees at our home overlooking Palm Beach and our honey making bees live in various locations around Waiheke and Ponui Islands.
The different locations, with their different flowering plants make different flavours of honey.
Our Ponui Island hives are pollenating coastal fields of clover giving a creamy white honey with a hint of citrus and salt spray.
Kanuka dominated native bush block hives produce a complex honey with caramel toffee flavours. Great on crumpets or by the spoonful straight from the jar.
From the many famous Waiheke vineyards bees gather from the grassland flowers under the vines and as the harvest approaches the bees clean up sweet grape juice from where birds have pecked, this stops moulds growing giving the resulting wine from having off flavours and can lead to a hint of cabernet in the floral golden syrup flavour of our Multiflora honeys.
Coastal sites with the much loved Pohutukawa or NZ Christmas tree, can make Pohutukawa honey, the Champagne of honeys that sparkles on your tongue evoking memories of summer days at the beach. As Christmas time weather can be unsettled some years we get a great crop and others the rain washes the nectar from the flowers before the bees have a chance to harvest it.
At the end of the Waiheke flowering season we pack up some of our hives for a working holiday in the Manuka forests around Whangamomoma, Taranaki. Here our Waiheke girls make the famous Active Manuka honey. It seems it works some magic for our girls too as the hives that have returned from Taranaki overwinter better than the hives who have spent the dry months on Waiheke.
As a small family-run business, we have not gone to the trouble (and huge expense) of obtaining yearly organic certification for our products. We consider them non-certified organic. This helps keep the cost of our products down, and allows us to focus on what’s most important to us—keeping happy, healthy bees producing high quality, raw, untreated pure New Zealand honey.
We raise our bees using only 100% natural organic treatments for varroa mites, because to us it just doesn’t seem right to use insecticide on insects. We don’t use antibiotics, which thankfully are not legal in NZ. Other than our use of natural varroa mite treatment, there’s really nothing else in our hives that require us to introduce any kind of natural or synthetic chemicals. Our bees, like New Zealand bees in general, are very healthy.
Our honey supers (the boxes they live within) are made from heat treated wood, so it is not tantalised. Heat treated wood costs more, but we believe it’s foolish to keep bees in boxes treated with toxic chemicals.
Best of all our bees get to forage in a beautiful natural environment with a great variety of pollen and nectar sources to give them a balanced diet. The main agriculture on Waiheke is vineyards & olive groves that provide diverse grassland foraging for bees and are not big users of insecticides. Mostly our bees are foraging in natural (non-horticultural) areas like native New Zealand bush, and natural Manuka forests.
Waiheke is a great place to be a bee.
We want happy customers, if there is a problem please let us know so we can put is right and learn from it. Strong happy customers make a strong happy company.
If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase you can return it for a full refund or replacement. Please allow 3 to 7 days for processing and understand that we cannot refund postage and packaging unless goods are deemed to be faulty. The customer is responsible for return shipping or you can make arrangements to drop it back to us.